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"People have to talk about something just to keep their voice boxes in working order, so they'll have good voice boxes in case there's ever anything really meaningful to say."
- Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle, p. 116

"Man is vile, and man makes nothing worth making, knows nothing worth knowing."
- Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle, p. 116

" 'When Bokonon and McCabe took over this miserable country years ago,' said Julian Castle, 'they threw out the priests. And then Bokonon, cynically and playfully, invented a new religion. ... when it became evident that no governmental or economic reform was going to make the people much less miserable, the religion becamse the one real instrument of hope. Truth was the enemy of the people, because the truth was so terrible, so Bokonon made it his business to provide the people with better and better lies.'"
- Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle, p. 118

"Many orthodox people speak as though it were the business of sceptics to disprove received dogmas rather than of dogmatists to prove them. This is, of course, a mistake. If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time."
- Bertrand Russell, "Is There a God?", accessed 4/16/07 from PositiveAtheism.org

"[...] many scientists, not too long ago, took an active part in the lively working class culture of the day, seeking to compensate for the class character of the cultural institutions through programs of workers' education, or by writing books on mathematics, science, and other topics for the general public. ... It strikes me as remarkable that their left counterparts today should seek to deprive oppressed people not only of the joys of understanding and insight, but also of tools of emancipation, informing us that the "project of the Enlightenment" is dead, that we must abandon the "illusions" of science and rationality--a message that will gladden the hearts of the powerful, delighted to monopolize these instruments for their own use."
-Noam Chomsky, http://www.chomsky.info/articles/1995----02.htm

"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."
-Carl Sagan, Cosmos

"A delusion held by one person is a mental illness, held by a few is a cult, held by many is a religion."
-Robert Carroll, The Skeptic's Dictionary

"One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity, there ain't nothin' can beat teamwork."(Seldom Seen Smith)
-Edward Abbey, The Monkey Wrench Gang

"Reason has seldom failed us because it has seldom been tried."
-Edward Abbey, AbbeyWeb

"Anarchism is not a romantic fable but the hardheaded realization, based on five thousand years of experience, that we cannot entrust the management of our lives to kings, priests, politicians, generals, and county commissioners."
-Edward Abbey, AbbeyWeb

"‘The point is,’he said, ‘that people like you and me, Slartibartfast, and Arthur-- particularly and especially Arthur-- are just dilettantes, eccentrics, layabouts if you like.’
Slartibartfast frowned, partly in puzzlement and partly in umbrage. He started to speak.
‘....’ is as far as he got.
‘We're not obsessed by anything, you see,’ insisted Ford.
‘....’
‘And that's the deciding factor. We can't win against obsession. They care, we don't. They win.’
‘I care about lots of things,’ said Slartibartfast, his voice trembling with annoyance, but also partially with uncertainty.
‘Such as?’
‘Well,’ said the old man, ‘life, the Universe. Everything, really. Fjords.’
‘Would you die for them?’
‘Fjords?’ blinked Slartibartfast in surprise. ‘No.’
‘Well then.’"
-Douglas Adams, Life, The Universe, and Everything

" The combinations I created in the folk music world were all voluntary. I have no boss. If anybody comes on to me like a boss, I take a hike. They're noncoercive combinations. When I pass it along to young people, I tell them exactly the same story that I've told you. I say, first thing you've got to do, while you're examining your behavior and deciding what's compulsive and what isn't and taking charge of yourself, you've got to discover what your unique and specific virtue is. I don't mean virtue in a moral sense. I mean virtue in a Greek sense. The ball bounces by virtue of its elasticity, the knife cuts by virtue of its edge. The flower that grows, the sun that shines, everything is in exercise of its own unique and specific virtue. Human beings, because of that coercion, depart from our virtue and we have to fight like hell to get back to it. You have to relax into yourself and find what your real virtue is. What is your work? Work is what you do for yourself. Toil is what you do for somebody else. "
-Utah Phillips, quoted in an interview in Z Magazine with Carolyn Crane (July/August 2004)

"Clevinger was one of those people with lots of intelligence and no brains, and everyone knew it except those who soon found out. In short, he was a dope. He often looked to Yossarian like one of those people hanging around modern museums with both eyes together on one side of a face. It was an illusion, of course, generated by Clevinger's predilection for staring fixedly at one side of a question and never seeing the other side at all. Politically, he was a humanitarian who did not know right from left and was trapped uncomfortably between the two. He was constantly defending his Communist friends to his right-wing enemies and his right-wing friends to his Communist enemies, and he was thoroughly detested by both groups, who never defended him to anyone because they thought he was a dope."
-Joseph Heller, Catch-22