Assertions Quotes

Authors: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Categories: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
all-sweeping-assertions-are-erroneous
i-never-trust-peoples-assertions-i-always-judge-them-by-their-actions-ann-radcliffe
nothing-is-free-asserts-two-things-both-assertions-are-true-mokokoma-mokhonoana
while-having-ones-assertions-challenged-might-be-bad-for-unintelligent-mans-ego-it-sure-is-good-for-his-intellect-mokokoma-mokhonoana
in-conversation-we-are-sometimes-confused-by-tone-our-own-voice-mislead-to-make-assertions-that-do-not-at-all-correspond-to-our-opinions-friedrich-nietzsche
if-we-accept-that-there-is-no-such-thing-as-zero-risk-then-we-should-not-spin-meaning-words-with-assertions-such-as-all-accidents-are-preventable-rob-long
if-we-are-honest-scientists-have-to-be-we-must-admit-that-religion-is-jumble-false-assertions-with-no-basis-in-reality-paul-dirac
make-definite-assertions-avoid-tame-colorless-hesitating-non-committal-language
assertions-that-russia-has-undermined-efforts-to-strengthen-partnerships-on-european-continent-do-not-correspond-to-facts
the-partisan-when-he-is-engaged-in-dispute-cares-nothing-about-rights-question-but-is-anxious-only-to-convince-his-hearers-his-own-assertions-socrates
claims-that-cannot-be-tested-assertions-immune-to-disproof-are-veridically-worthless-whatever-value-may-have-in-inspiring-us-in-exciting-our-sense-wonder-carl-sagan
one-most-important-skills-for-political-success-is-ability-to-make-confident-assertions-absurdities-lies-thomas-sowell
intellectuals-regard-oversimplification-as-original-sin-mind-have-no-use-for-slogans-unqualified-assertions-sweeping-generalizations-aldous-huxley
i-have-also-seen-it-stated-that-capital-punishment-is-murder-in-its-worst-form-i-should-like-to-know-upon-what-principle-human-society-these-assertions-are-based-justified
proof-was-conclusion-built-on-pyramid-facts-broad-base-accepted-information-on-which-more-specific-assertions-were-made-dan-brown
the-holy-spirit-is-no-skeptic-things-he-has-written-in-our-hearts-are-not-doubts-opinions-but-assertions-surer-more-certain-than-sense-life-martin-luther
gail-didnt-want-me-commenting-on-opinion-pages-i-was-hired-by-news-department-despite-rabid-assertions-times-enemies-detractors-two-really-have-nothing-to-do-with-each-other
let-us-be-cautious-in-making-assertions-critical-in-examining-them-but-tolerant-in-permitting-linguistic-forms-carnaps-famous-plea-for-tolerance-to-which-wv-quine-took-exception-
experience-alone-can-give-final-answer-the-knowledge-gained-in-few-years-by-commission-kind-suggested-would-be-worth-more-than-volumes-mere-assertions-contradictions
a-cup-is-useful-only-when-it-is-empty-mind-that-is-filled-with-beliefs-with-dogmas-with-assertions-with-quotations-is-really-uncreative-mind-jiddu-krishnamurti
i-offer-no-apologies-to-those-whom-i-may-have-rendered-uncomfortable-with-my-open-honest-assertions-the-truth-is-often-harsh-uncomfortable-to-embrace-casper-odinson-crewell
listen-to-your-heart-not-your-ego-your-ego-prompts-you-to-boast-vain-assertions-to-obtain-glory-this-world-turn-away-from-vanity-seek-him-in-abdulqadir-gilani
Each religion makes scores of purportedly factual assertions about everything from the creation of the universe to the afterlife. But on what grounds can believers presume to know that these assertions are true? The reasons they give are various, but the ultimate justification for most religious people's beliefs is a simple one: we believe what we believe because our holy scriptures say so. But how, then, do we know that our holy scriptures are factually accurate? Because the scriptures themselves say so. Theologians specialize in weaving elaborate webs of verbiage to avoid saying anything quite so bluntly, but this gem of circular reasoning really is the epistemological bottom line on which all 'faith' is grounded. In the words of Pope John Paul II: 'By the authority of his absolute transcendence, God who makes himself known is also the source of the credibility of what he reveals.' It goes without saying that this begs the question of whether the texts at issue really were authored or inspired by God, and on what grounds one knows this. 'Faith' is not in fact a rejection of reason, but simply a lazy acceptance of bad reasons. 'Faith' is the pseudo-justification that some people trot out when they want to make claims without the necessary evidence. But of course we never apply these lax standards of evidence to the claims made in the other fellow's holy scriptures: when it comes to religions other than one's own, religious people are as rational as everyone else. Only our own religion, whatever it may be, seems to merit some special dispensation from the general standards of evidence. And here, it seems to me, is the crux of the conflict between religion and science. Not the religious rejection of specific scientific theories (be it heliocentrism in the 17th century or evolutionary biology today); over time most religions do find some way to make peace with well-established science. Rather, the scientific worldview and the religious worldview come into conflict over a far more fundamental question: namely, what constitutes evidence. Science relies on publicly reproducible sense experience (that is, experiments and observations) combined with rational reflection on those empirical observations. Religious people acknowledge the validity of that method, but then claim to be in the possession of additional methods for obtaining reliable knowledge of factual matters - methods that go beyond the mere assessment of empirical evidence - such as intuition, revelation, or the reliance on sacred texts. But the trouble is this: What good reason do we have to believe that such methods work, in the sense of steering us systematically (even if not invariably) towards true beliefs rather than towards false ones? At least in the domains where we have been able to test these methods - astronomy, geology and history, for instance - they have not proven terribly reliable. Why should we expect them to work any better when we apply them to problems that are even more difficult, such as the fundamental nature of the universe? Last but not least, these non-empirical methods suffer from an insuperable logical problem: What should we do when different people's intuitions or revelations conflict? How can we know which of the many purportedly sacred texts - whose assertions frequently contradict one another - are in fact sacred?

Alan Sokal
each-religion-makes-scores-purportedly-factual-assertions-about-everything-from-creation-universe-to-afterlife-but-on-what-grounds-can-believers-presume-to-know-that-these-assert
when-one-takes-into-account-also-his-reiterated-assertions-about-his-divinity-such-as-asking-us-to-love-him-above-parents-to-believe-in-him-even-in-face-persecution-to-be-ready-t
I cannot understand why we idle discussing religion. If we are honest-and scientists have to be-we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality. The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination. It is quite understandable why primitive people, who were so much more exposed to the overpowering forces of nature than we are today, should have personified these forces in fear and trembling. But nowadays, when we understand so many natural processes, we have no need for such solutions. I can't for the life of me see how the postulate of an Almighty God helps us in any way. What I do see is that this assumption leads to such unproductive questions as why God allows so much misery and injustice, the exploitation of the poor by the rich and all the other horrors He might have prevented. If religion is still being taught, it is by no means because its ideas still convince us, but simply because some of us want to keep the lower classes quiet. Quiet people are much easier to govern than clamorous and dissatisfied ones. They are also much easier to exploit. Religion is a kind of opium that allows a nation to lull itself into wishful dreams and so forget the injustices that are being perpetrated against the people. Hence the close alliance between those two great political forces, the State and the Church. Both need the illusion that a kindly God rewards-in heaven if not on earth-all those who have not risen up against injustice, who have done their duty quietly and uncomplainingly. That is precisely why the honest assertion that God is a mere product of the human imagination is branded as the worst of all mortal sins.

Paul A.M. Dirac
i-cannot-understand-why-we-idle-discussing-religion-if-we-are-honest-scientists-have-to-bewe-must-admit-that-religion-is-jumble-false-assertions-with-no-basis-in-reality-the-idea
Thus, by science I mean, first of all, a worldview giving primacy to reason and observation and a methodology aimed at acquiring accurate knowledge of the natural and social world. This methodology is characterized, above all else, by the critical spirit: namely, the commitment to the incessant testing of assertions through observations and/or experiments - the more stringent the tests, the better - and to revising or discarding those theories that fail the test. One corollary of the critical spirit is fallibilism: namely, the understanding that all our empirical knowledge is tentative, incomplete and open to revision in the light of new evidence or cogent new arguments (though, of course, the most well-established aspects of scientific knowledge are unlikely to be discarded entirely)... I stress that my use of the term 'science' is not limited to the natural sciences, but includes investigations aimed at acquiring accurate knowledge of factual matters relating to any aspect of the world by using rational empirical methods analogous to those employed in the natural sciences. (Please note the limitation to questions of fact. I intentionally exclude from my purview questions of ethics, aesthetics, ultimate purpose, and so forth.) Thus, 'science' (as I use the term) is routinely practiced not only by physicists, chemists and biologists, but also by historians, detectives, plumbers and indeed all human beings in (some aspects of) our daily lives. (Of course, the fact that we all practice science from time to time does not mean that we all practice it equally well, or that we practice it equally well in all areas of our lives.)

Alan Sokal
thus-by-science-i-mean-first-all-worldview-giving-primacy-to-reason-observation-methodology-aimed-at-acquiring-accurate-knowledge-natural-social-world-this-methodology-is-charact
The television commercial has mounted the most serious assault on capitalist ideology since the publication of Das Kapital. To understand why, we must remind ourselves that capitalism, like science and liberal democracy, was an outgrowth of the Enlightenment. Its principal theorists, even its most prosperous practitioners, believed capitalism to be based on the idea that both buyer and seller are sufficiently mature, well informed and reasonable to engage in transactions of mutual self-interest. If greed was taken to be the fuel of the capitalist engine, the surely rationality was the driver. The theory states, in part, that competition in the marketplace requires that the buyer not only knows what is good for him but also what is good. If the seller produces nothing of value, as determined by a rational marketplace, then he loses out. It is the assumption of rationality among buyers that spurs competitors to become winners, and winners to keep on winning. Where it is assumed that a buyer is unable to make rational decisions, laws are passed to invalidate transactions, as, for example, those which prohibit children from making contracts... Of course, the practice of capitalism has its contradictions... But television commercials make hash of it... By substituting images for claims, the pictorial commercial made emotional appeal, not tests of truth, the basis of consumer decisions. The distance between rationality and advertising is now so wide that it is difficult to remember that there once existed a connection between them. Today, on television commercials, propositions are as scarce as unattractive people. The truth or falsity of an advertiser's claim is simply not an issue. A McDonald's commercial, for example, is not a series of testable, logically ordered assertions. It is a drama-a mythology, if you will-of handsome people selling, buying and eating hamburgers, and being driven to near ecstasy by their good fortune. No claim are made, except those the viewer projects onto or infers from the drama. One can like or dislike a television commercial, of course. But one cannot refute it.

Neil Postman
the-television-commercial-has-mounted-most-serious-assault-on-capitalist-ideology-since-publication-das-kapital-to-understand-why-we-must-remind-ourselves-that-capitalism-like-sc
Darwin, with his Origin of Species, his theories about Natural Selection, the Survival of the Fittest, and the influence of environment, shed a flood of light upon the great problems of plant and animal life. These things had been guessed, prophesied, asserted, hinted by many others, but Darwin, with infinite patience, with perfect care and candor, found the facts, fulfilled the prophecies, and demonstrated the truth of the guesses, hints and assertions. He was, in my judgment, the keenest observer, the best judge of the meaning and value of a fact, the greatest Naturalist the world has produced. The theological view began to look small and mean. Spencer gave his theory of evolution and sustained it by countless facts. He stood at a great height, and with the eyes of a philosopher, a profound thinker, surveyed the world. He has influenced the thought of the wisest. Theology looked more absurd than ever. Huxley entered the lists for Darwin. No man ever had a sharper sword - a better shield. He challenged the world. The great theologians and the small scientists - those who had more courage than sense, accepted the challenge. Their poor bodies were carried away by their friends. Huxley had intelligence, industry, genius, and the courage to express his thought. He was absolutely loyal to what he thought was truth. Without prejudice and without fear, he followed the footsteps of life from the lowest to the highest forms. Theology looked smaller still. Haeckel began at the simplest cell, went from change to change - from form to form - followed the line of development, the path of life, until he reached the human race. It was all natural. There had been no interference from without. I read the works of these great men - of many others - and became convinced that they were right, and that all the theologians - all the believers in "special creation" were absolutely wrong. The Garden of Eden faded away, Adam and Eve fell back to dust, the snake crawled into the grass, and Jehovah became a miserable myth.

Robert G. Ingersoll
darwin-with-his-origin-species-his-theories-about-natural-selection-survival-fittest-influence-environment-shed-flood-light-upon-great-problems-plant-animal-life-these-things-had
It is already the fashion to diminish Eliot by calling him derivative, the mouthpiece of Pound, and so forth; and yet if one wanted to understand the apocalypse of early modernism in its true complexity it would be Eliot, I fancy, who would demand one's closest attention. He was ready to rewrite the history of all that interested him in order to have past and present conform; he was a poet of apocalypse, of the last days and the renovation, the destruction of the earthly city as a chastisement of human presumption, but also of empire. Tradition, a word we especially associate with this modernist, is for him the continuity of imperial deposits; hence the importance in his thought of Virgil and Dante. He saw his age as a long transition through which the elect must live, redeeming the time. He had his demonic host, too; the word 'Jew' remained in lower case through all the editions of the poems until the last of his lifetime, the seventy-fifth birthday edition of 1963. He had a persistent nostalgia for closed, immobile hierarchical societies. If tradition is, as he said in After Strange Gods-though the work was suppressed-'the habitual actions, habits and customs' which represent the kinship 'of the same people living in the same place' it is clear that Jews do not have it, but also that practically nobody now does. It is a fiction, a fiction cousin to a myth which had its effect in more practical politics. In extenuation it might be said that these writers felt, as Sartre felt later, that in a choice between Terror and Slavery one chooses Terror, 'not for its own sake, but because, in this era of flux, it upholds the exigencies proper to the aesthetics of Art.' The fictions of modernist literature were revolutionary, new, though affirming a relation of complementarity with the past. These fictions were, I think it is clear, related to others, which helped to shape the disastrous history of our time. Fictions, notably the fiction of apocalypse, turn easily into myths; people will live by that which was designed only to know by. Lawrence would be the writer to discuss here, if there were time; apocalypse works in Woman in Love, and perhaps even in Lady Chatterley's Lover, but not n Apocalypse, which is failed myth. It is hard to restore the fictive status of what has become mythical; that, I take it, is what Mr. Saul Bellow is talking about in his assaults on wastelandism, the cant of alienation. In speaking of the great men of early modernism we have to make very subtle distinctions between the work itself, in which the fictions are properly employed, and obiter dicta in which they are not, being either myths or dangerous pragmatic assertions. When the fictions are thus transformed there is not only danger but a leak, as it were, of reality; and what we feel about. all these men at times is perhaps that they retreated inso some paradigm, into a timeless and unreal vacuum from which all reality had been pumped. Joyce, who was a realist, was admired by Eliot because he modernized myth, and attacked by Lewis because he concerned himself with mess, the disorders of common perception. But Ulysses , alone of these great works studies and develops the tension between paradigm and reality, asserts the resistance of fact to fiction, human freedom and unpredictability against plot. Joyce chooses a Day; it is a crisis ironically treated. The day is full of randomness. There are coincidences, meetings that have point, and coincidences which do not. We might ask whether one of the merits of the book is not its lack of mythologizing; compare Joyce on coincidence with the Jungians and their solemn concordmyth, the Principle of Synchronicity. From Joyce you cannot even extract a myth of Negative Concord; he shows us fiction fitting where it touches. And Joyce, who probably knew more about it than any of the others, was not at tracted by the intellectual opportunities or the formal elegance of fascism.

Frank Kermode
it-is-already-fashion-to-diminish-eliot-by-calling-him-derivative-mouthpiece-pound-forth-yet-if-one-wanted-to-understand-apocalypse-early-modernism-in-its-true-complexity-it-woul
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