A.C. Grayling quotes

  • To believe something in the face of evidence and against reason - to believe something by faith - is ignoble, irresponsible and ignorant, and merits the opposite of respect,
    -- A.C. Grayling

    #Believe #Opposites #Ignorant

  • Religion and science have a common ancestor - ignorance.
    -- A.C. Grayling

    #Ignorance #Common #Science And Religion

  • Misuse of reason might yet return the world to pre-technological night; plenty of religious zealots hunger for just such a result, and are happy to use the latest technology to effect it.
    -- A.C. Grayling

    #Religious #Technology #Night

  • Future generations may or may not judge Wittgenstein to be one of the great philosophers. Even if they do not, however, he is sure always to count as one of the great personalities of philosophy. From our perspective it is easy to mistake one for the other; which he is time will tell.
    -- A.C. Grayling

    #Philosophy #Mistake #Perspective

  • Humanism is the philosophy that you should be a good guest at the dinner table of life.
    -- A.C. Grayling

    #Philosophy #Guests #Tables

  • People should be left to believe what they like, so long as they harm no one else. Apart from normal expectations of politeness, it is not however clear why people should require their personal beliefs to be treated with special sensitivity by others, to the point that if others fail to tip-toe respectfully around them they will start throwing bombs.
    -- A.C. Grayling

    #Believe #Long #People

  • Just as modern motorways have no room for ox-carts or wandering pedestrians, so modern society has little place for lives and ways that are too eccentric.
    -- A.C. Grayling

    #Littles #Eccentric #Way

  • To read is to fly: it is to soar to a point of vantage which gives a view over wide terrains of history, human variety, ideas, shared experience and the fruits of many inquiries.
    -- A.C. Grayling

    #Reading #Views #Ideas

  • Everybody is entitled to believe. Churches have exactly the same right to exist as a football club, a trade union or a political party. But if you and I set up the Church of the Fairies of the Garden, then I don't think we should automatically be meeting the queen, be entitled to seats in the House of Lords or get public money for our fairy schools.
    -- A.C. Grayling

    #Football #Queens #Party

  • It takes a certain ingenuous faith - but I have it - to believe that people who read and reflect more likely than not come to judge things with liberality and truth.
    -- A.C. Grayling

    #Believe #Reflection #People

  • I do not believe that there are any such things as gods and goddesses, for exactly the same reasons as I do not believe there are fairies, goblins or sprites, and these reasons should be obvious to anyone over the age of ten.
    -- A.C. Grayling

    #Believe #Age #Fairy

  • A human lifespan is less than a thousand months long. You need to make some time to think how to live it.
    -- A.C. Grayling

    #Life #Thinking #Long

  • Look at the blogosphere - the biggest lavatory wall in the universe, a palimpsest of graffiti and execration.
    -- A.C. Grayling

    #Wall #Graffiti #Looks

  • Try lighting your house by prayer instead of electricity and see which one works.
    -- A.C. Grayling

    #Prayer #House #Trying

  • Religious apologists complain bitterly that atheists and secularists are aggressive and hostile in their criticism of them. I always say: look, when you guys were in charge, you didn't argue with us, you just burnt us at the stake. Now what we're doing is, we're presenting you with some arguments and some challenging questions, and you complain.
    -- A.C. Grayling

    #Religious #Atheist #Guy

  • Perhaps worse still is what liberal societies might do to themselves in the face of this new and different threat [of terrorism]. They begin, by small but dangerous increments, to cease to be as liberal as they once were. They begin to restrict their own hard-won rights and freedoms as a protection against the crminial minority who attempt (and as we thus see, by forcing liberty to commit suidcide, succed in doing) to terrorise society.
    -- A.C. Grayling

    #Rights #Liberty #Different

  • Socrates famously said that the unconsidered life is not worth living. He meant that a life lived without forethought or principle is a life so vulnerable to chance, and so dependent on the choices and actions of others, that it is of little real value to the person living it. He further meant that a life well lived is one which has goals, and integrity, which is chosen and directed by the one who lives it, to the fullest extent possible to a human agent caught in the webs of society and history.
    -- A.C. Grayling

    #Life #Integrity #Real

  • Eagleton has spent his life inside two mental boxes, Catholicism and Marxism, of both of which he is a severe internal critic—that is, he frequently kicks and scratches at the inside of the boxes, but does not leave them. Neither are ideologies that loosen their grip easily, and people who need the security of adherence to a big dominating ideology, however much they kick and scratch but without daring to leave go, hold on to it every bit as tightly as it holds onto them. The result is of course strangulation, but alas not mutual strangulation: the ideology always wins.
    -- A.C. Grayling

    #Winning #Two #People

  • I am putting together a secular bible. My Genesis is when the apple falls on Newton's head.
    -- A.C. Grayling

    #Fall #Writing #Science

  • And I say, the meaning of life is what you make it. There will be as many different meaningful lives as there are people to live them.
    -- A.C. Grayling

    #Meaningful #People #Meaning Of Life

  • Middle age has been defined as what happens when a person's broad mind and narrow waist change places.
    -- A.C. Grayling

    #Mind #Age #Middle

  • ...mastery of the emotions is fundamental to a virtuous life.
    -- A.C. Grayling

    #Mastery #Fundamentals #Emotion

  • It doesn't have to be the Grand Canyon, it could be a city street, it could be the face of another human being - Everything is full of wonder.
    -- A.C. Grayling

    #Atheist #Cities #Faces

  • Science is the outcome of being prepared to live without certainty and therefore a mark of maturity. It embraces doubt and loose ends.
    -- A.C. Grayling

    #Science #Maturity #Doubt

  • Religions survive mainly because they brainwash the young.
    -- A.C. Grayling

    #Religion #Atheism #Young

  • I despise people who depend on these things [heroin and cocaine]. If you really want a mind-altering experience, look at a tree.
    -- A.C. Grayling

    #People #Tree #Drug

  • I believe that decisions about the timing and manner of death belong to the individual as a human right. I believe it is wrong to withhold medical methods of terminating life painlessly and swiftly when an individual has a rational and clear-minded sustained wish to end his or her life.
    -- A.C. Grayling

    #Believe #Decision #Wish

  • The wise say that our failure is to form habits: for habit is the mark of a stereotyped world,
    -- A.C. Grayling

    #Wise #World #Habit

  • Behave in life as at a dinner party. Is anything brought around to you? Put out your hand and take your share with moderation. Does it pass by you? Do not stop it. Is it not yet come? Do not stretch your desire towards it, but wait till it reaches you. Do this with regard to children, to a spouse, to public post, to riches, and you will eventually be a worthy guest at the feast of life.
    -- A.C. Grayling

    #Children #Party #Hands

  • The media no longer hesitate to whip up lurid anxieties in order to increase sales, in the process undermining social confidence and multiplying fears.
    -- A.C. Grayling

    #Media #Order #Anxiety

  • Inculcating the various competing - competing, note - falsehoods of the major faiths into small children is a form of child abuse, and a scandal.
    -- A.C. Grayling

    #Children #Abuse #Religion

  • If there is anything worth fearing in the world, it is living in such a way that gives one cause for regret in the end.
    -- A.C. Grayling

    #Regret #Giving #World

  • There is a beautiful and life-enhancing alternative outlook that offers insight, consolation, inspiration and meaning, which has nothing to do with religion, and everything to do with the best, most generous, most sympathetic understanding of human reality.
    -- A.C. Grayling

    #Beautiful #Inspiration #Reality