Quotations about Humankind 2

The small percentage of dogs that bite people is monumental proof that the dog is the most benign, forgiving creature on earth.  ~W.R. Koehler, The Koehler Method of Dog Training

Man was created a little lower than the angels, and has been getting lower ever since.  ~Josh Billings

We have no choice but to be guilty.
God is unthinkable if we are innocent.
~Archibald MacLeish, JB, 1958

Human beings invent just as many ways to sabotage their lives as to improve them.  ~Mark Goulston, Get Out of Your Own Way: Overcoming Self-Defeating Behavior, 1996

As I know more of mankind I expect less of them, and am ready now to call a man a good man upon easier terms than I was formerly.  ~Samuel Johnson

What is man's greatest bane?  His brother man alone.  ~Bias of Priene, Maxims

Acedia is not in every dictionary; just in every heart.  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966

The study of crime begins with the knowledge of oneself.  ~Henry Miller, The Air-Conditioned Nightmare, 1945

Is man a savage at heart, skinned o'er with fragile Manners?  Or is savagery but a faint taint in the natural man's gentility, which erupts now and again like pimples on an angel's arse?  ~John Barth, The Sot-Weed Factor, 1960

God has given a great deal to man, but man would like something from man.  ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

Man is the only trained animal who expects his reward before he does his trick.  ~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com

I was surprised just now at seeing a cobweb around a knocker; for it was not on the door of heaven.  ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827

I sometimes think of what future historians will say of us.  A single sentence will suffice for modern man:  He fornicated and read the papers.  ~Albert Camus

Man, when he is merely what he seems to be, is almost nothing.  ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

Give a man secure possession of a bleak rock, and he will turn it into a garden; give him nine years' lease of a garden, and he will convert it into a desert.  ~Arthur Young, Travels in France, 1792

That's it!  When you come to know men, that's how they are:  too sensitive in the wrong place.  ~D.H. Lawrence

Occident: The part of the world lying west (or east) of the Orient.  It is largely inhabited by Christians, a powerful subtribe of the Hypocrites, whose principal industries are murder and cheating, which they are pleased to call "war" and "commerce." These, also, are the principal industries of the Orient.  ~Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps; for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are and what they ought to be.  ~William Hazlitt, The English Comic Writers, 1819

Nature is neutral.  Man has wrested from nature the power to make the world a desert or to make the deserts bloom.  There is no evil in the atom; only in men's souls.  ~Adlai Stevenson

We are each of us born into the arms of mortality, the Lord recognizing our need to be held.  ~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com

It is the fancy of every mortal that being cradled in the arms of mortality is a safe place for the time being.  ~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com

Men prefer to believe that they are degenerated angels, rather than elevated apes.  ~W.

Man talks about everything, and he talks about everything as though the understanding of everything were all inside him.  ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star.  ~Stephen Hawking

My dog is usually pleased with what I do, because she is not infected with the concept of what I "should" be doing.  ~Lonzo Idolswine

Man will do many things to get himself loved; he will do all things to get himself envied.  ~Mark Twain, Following the Equator, 1897

We are all parasites; we humans, the greatest.  ~Martin H. Fischer

Often what we take for a kindness is just someone acting in their capacity as a human being.  ~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com

I have often had the impression that, to penguins, man is just another penguin - different, less predictable, occasionally violent, but tolerable company when he sits still and minds his own business.  ~Bernard Stonehouse

Suppose some mathematical creature from the moon were to reckon up the human body; he would at once see that the essential thing about it was that it was duplicate.  A man is two men, he on the right exactly resembling him on the left.  Having noted that there was an arm on the right and one on the left, a leg on the right and one on the left, he might go further and still find on each side the same number of fingers, the same number of toes, twin eyes, twin ears, twin nostrils, and even twin lobes of the brain.  At last he would take it as a law; and then, where he found a heart on one side, would deduce that there was another heart on the other.  And just then, where he most felt he was right, he would be wrong.  ~Gilbert Keith Chesterton, "The Paradoxes of Christianity," Orthodoxy

It is the nature of mortals to kick a fallen man.  ~Aeschylus, Agamemnon

God is less careful than General Motors, for He floods the world with factory rejects.  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960

Man's highest merit always is, as much as possible, to rule external circumstances and as little as possible to let himself be ruled by them.  ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

So there he is at last.  Man on the moon.  The poor magnificent bungler!  He can't even get to the office without undergoing the agonies of the damned, but give him a little metal, a few chemicals, some wire and twenty or thirty billion dollars and vroom! there he is, up on a rock a quarter of a million miles up in the sky.  ~Russell Baker, New York Times, 21 July 1969

Every human being is a problem in search of a solution.  ~Ashley Montagu

Man is the only animal for whom his own existence is a problem which he has to solve.  ~Erich Fromm, Man for Himself, 1947

When freedom from want and freedom from fear are achieved, man's remains will be in rigor mortis.  ~Martin H. Fischer

Man is nature's sole mistake.  ~W.S. Gilbert

Society has always seemed to demand a little more from human beings than it will get in practice.  ~George Orwell

The average man's judgment is so poor, he runs a risk every time he uses it.  ~E.W. Howe

Man - a reasoning rather than a reasonable animal.  ~Alexander Hamilton

First God created time; then God created man that man might, in the course of time, perfect himself; then God decided that He'd better create eternity.  ~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com

We must, however, acknowledge, as it seems to me, that man with all his noble qualities, still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin.  ~Charles Darwin, Descent of Man, 1871

We're animals.  We're born like every other mammal and we live our whole lives around disguised animal thoughts.  ~Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams

Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us.  We are not the only experiment.  ~R. Buckminister Fuller

Be a good animal, true to your animal instincts.  ~David Herbert Lawrence, White Peacock, 1911

The question is this:  Is man an ape or an angel?  I am on the side of the angels.  ~Benjamin Disraeli

I viewed my fellow man not as a fallen angel, but as a risen ape.  ~Desmond Morris, The Naked Ape

Man desired concord; but nature knows better what is good for his species; she desires discord.  Man wants to live easy and content; but nature compels him to leave ease... and throw himself into roils and labors.  ~Immanuel Kant, Idea for a Universal History with a Cosmopolitan Purpose, 1787

Perchance God will pity a race that sought the better angels of its nature and found only its lesser demons.  ~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com

The thief and the murderer follow nature just as much as the philanthropist.  ~T.H. Huxley, "Evolution and Ethics," 1893

Many people believe that they are attracted by God, or by Nature, when they are only repelled by man.  ~William Ralph Inge

People are like birds:  on the wing, all beautiful; up close, all beady little eyes.  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966

Evolution is individual - devolution is collective.  ~Martin H. Fischer

Here is the basic question: Are we marionettes, or are we creatures of free will who just happen to have a lot of jerky reflexes?  ~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com

I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contain'd.  I stand and look at them long and long.  They do not sweat and whine about their condition.... Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of owning things, not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago, not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth.  ~Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

As long as people believe in absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities.  ~Voltaire

I demand of you, and of the whole world, that you show me a generic character... by which to distinguish between Man and Ape.  I myself most assuredly know of none.  ~Carl Linnaeus, 1788

In creating the human brain, evolution has wildly overshot the mark.  ~Arthur Koestler

We have a world for each one, but we do not have a world for all.  ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

We are survival machines - robot vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish molecules known as genes.  ~Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene

I do not value any view of the universe into which man and the institutions of man enter very largely and absorb much of the attention.  Man is but the place where I stand, and the prospect hence is infinite.  ~Henry David Thoreau, journal, 2 April 1852

Nature does not deceive us; it is we who deceive ourselves.  ~Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Emile, 1762

It is not titles that honor men, but men that honor titles.  ~Niccolo Machiavelli

Are we marionettes, or are we creatures of free will who just happen to have a lot of jerky reflexes?  ~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com

Nobody knows the age of the human race, but everybody agrees that it is old enough to know better.  ~Author Unknown


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