To me, then, true criticism consists in trying to find out the intrinsic worth of the thing itself, and not in attributing a quality to that thing. You attribute a quality to an environment, to an experience, only when you want to derive something from it, when you want to gain or to have power or happiness. Now this destroys true criticism. Your desire is perverted through attributing values, and therefore you cannot see clearly. Instead of trying to see the flower in its original and entire beauty, you look at it through coloured glasses, and therefore you can never see it as it is.
We often feel that we lack something, and seem to see that very quality in someone else, promptly attributing all our own qualities to him too, and a kind of ideal contentment as well. And so the happy mortal is a model of complete perfection-which we have ourselves created.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
We often feel that we lack something, and seem to see that very quality in someone else, promptly attributing all our own qualities to him too, and a kind of ideal contentment as well. And so the happy mortal is a model of complete perfection--which we have ourselves created.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
What struck me whenever I visited a farm was how much more sophisticated was the life the animals were capable of living than was assumed by those exploiting them. The more we are willing to see about their lives, the more we will see. Humans seem to take perverse pleasure in attributing stupidity to animals when it is almost always entirely a question of human ignorance.
Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson
I had gradually come, by this time [1839-01], to see that the Old Testament from its manifestly false history of the world, with the Tower of Babel, the rainbow as a sign, etc., etc. and from its attributing to God the feelings of a revengeful tyrant, was no more to be trusted than the sacred books of the Hindoos, or the beliefs of any barbarian.
It strikes me as unfair, and even in bad taste, to select a few of them for boundless admiration, attributing superhuman powers of mind and character to them. This has been my fate, and the contrast between the popular estimate of my powers and achievements and the reality is simply grotesque.
Whenever and wherever men have engaged in the mindless slaughter of animals (including other men), they have often attempted to justify their acts by attributing the most vicious or revolting qualities to those they would destory; and the less reason there is for the slaughter, the greater the campaign for vilification.
Learn to look without imagination, to listen without distortion: that is all. Stop attributing names and shapes to the essentially nameless and formless, realize that every mode of perception is subjective, that what is seen or heard, touched or smelled, felt or thought, expected or imagined, is in the mind and not in reality, and you will experience peace and freedom from fear.
Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
In this book it is spoken of the Sephiroth and the Paths; of Spirits and Conjurations; of Gods, Spheres, Planes, and many other things which may or may not exist. It is immaterial whether these exist or not. By doing certain things certain results will follow; students are most earnestly warned against attributing objective reality or philosophic validity to any of them.
[Attributing the origin of life to spontaneous generation.] However improbable we regard this event, it will almost certainly happen at least once.... The time... is of the order of two billion years.... Given so much time, the "impossible" becomes possible, the possible probable, and the probable virtually certain. One only has to wait: time itself performs the miracles.
It's really a pity that there are observers who view political events like comic strips. There has to be a Zorro, there has to be a star. No, the problem of Upper Volta is more serious than that. It was a grave mistake to have looked for a man, a star, at all costs, to the point of creating one, that is, to the point of attributing the ownership of the event to captain Sankara, who must have been the brains, etc.
I spoke of the tragic illusion of perpetuity, but, no, my friends, it is a comic one. The ludicrous plot in which we are all trapped. The ancient Greeks referred to plot as mythos, attributing the random drift of human affairs to some sort of unknowable but glimpsable divine motion, attempting to attach a certain grandeur to it, the delusion of meaning. But we are characters who do not exist, in a story composed by no one from nothing. Can anything be more pitiable? No wonder we all are grieving.
But how can we venture to reprove or praise the universe! Let us beware of attributing to it heartlessness and unreason or their opposites: it is neither perfect nor beautiful nor noble, and has no desire to become any of these; it is by no means striving to imitate mankind! It is quite impervious to all our aesthetic and moral judgments! It has likewise no impulse to self-preservation or impulses of any kind; neither does it know any laws. Let us beware of saying there are laws in nature. There are only necessities: there is no one to command, no one to obey, no one to transgress...
There are significant relationships, of course, between wanting things and caring about them..The notion of caring is in large part constructed out of the notion of desire. Caring about something may be, in the end, nothing more than a certain complex mode of wanting it. However, simply attributing desire to a person does not in itself convey that the person cares about the object he desires.
The universe shudders in horror that we have this infinitely valuable, infinitely deep, infinitely rich, infinitely wise, infinitely loving God, and instead of pursuing him with steadfast passion and enthralled fury "" instead of loving him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength; instead of attributing to him glory and honor and praise and power and wisdom and strength "" we just try to take his toys and run. It is still idolatry to want God for his benefits but not for himself.
In the current environment, attributing low student performance to teacher tenure is one of the great unproven causal links out there. The relationship just hasn't been examined very carefully, but we should all recognize that in higher education the strongest institutions generally have the most robust tenure systems, and in elementary and secondary, the states with the strongest teacher unions (and tenure systems) tend to have the highest student performance.
Whilst on board the Beagle I was quite orthodox, and I remember being heartily laughed at by several of the officers... for quoting the Bible as an unanswerable authority on some point of morality... But I had gradually come by this time, i.e., 1836 to 1839, to see that the Old Testament from its manifestly false history of the world, with the Tower of Babel, the rainbow at sign, &c., &c., and from its attributing to God the feelings of a revengeful tyrant, was no more to be trusted than the sacred books of the Hindoos, or the beliefs of any barbarian... By further reflecting that the clearest evidence would be requisite to make any sane man believe in the miracles by which Christianity is supported, (and that the more we know of the fixed laws of nature the more incredible do miracles become), that the men at that time were ignorant and credulous to a degree almost uncomprehensible by us, that the Gospels cannot be proved to have been written simultaneously with the events, that they differ in many important details, far too important, as it seemed to me, to be admitted as the usual inaccuracies of eyewitnesses; by such reflections as these, which I give not as having the least novelty or value, but as they influenced me, I gradually came to disbelieve in Christianity as a divine revelation. The fact that many false religions have spread over large portions of the earth like wild-fire had some weight with me. Beautiful as is the morality of the New Testament, it can be hardly denied that its perfection depends in part on the interpretation which we now put on metaphors and allegories. But I was very unwilling to give up my belief... Thus disbelief crept over me at a very slow rate, but was at last complete. The rate was so slow that I felt no distress, and have never since doubted even for a single second that my conclusion was correct. I can indeed hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true; for if so the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe, and this would include my Father, Brother and almost all of my friends, will be everlastingly punished. And this is a damnable doctrine.
Pakistan were still just one major hurdle from victory, however, and Wasim thought he had vaulted it with Australia 132 runs short. There was a wooden, clicking noise as the ball passed Langer's bat on its way through to Moin Khan. It registered at precisely the right moment on the snickometer; there was even a small deflection, visible from the reverse-angle replay. (The reader is directed to YouTube.) But home umpire Peter Parker was having none of it. He shook his head, and Wasim was livid: 'I can't believe you didn't hear it!' 'Come on!' moaned Moin. 'Parker had earlier apologised to Langer for a poor first-innings decision-'a silly thing to do, ' in the view of his colleague Peter Willey. When the fact was publicised, the suspicion naturally arose that Pakistan had been hard done by. The umpire, it seemed, had attempted to make amends. 'I honestly believe I didn't hit it, ' Langer claimed afterwards. He was lying through his teeth, and he would lie a decade more, attributing the sound, whenever he was asked about it, to 'a clicky bat handle.' He even kept this up with his father. It is a wonder anyone believed it. 'Truth is, ' he admitted ten years later, when it no longer mattered, 'I absolutely smashed it.' 'But Langer's mendacity, and Parker's possible cowardice, is less interesting and salient for our purposes than the question of whether or not Gilchrist, too, was lying: 'I didn't hear anything-absolutely nothing.' These were his words to a press conference later that day. But many spectators heard it; Roebuck heard it; Langer's own team-mates heard it; even his father heard it. The claim is also crucially at odds with Gilchrist's own memoir, in which he affirms that 'there was a noise, but it was inconclusive.' It is difficult to say what he could mean by this. The bat had been nowhere near either pad or turf; it could only have been leather. As a 'walker' himself, Gilchrist is acclaimed for his probity. Someone ought to ask him about this episode.
To return to my point about the immense power that his enemies attribute to him, Orwell once wrote about the 'large, vague renown' that constituted the popular memory of Thomas Carlyle. His own reputation has long been of that kind, if not rather greater and more precise. But this is not the same as moving millions to despair and apathy (Deutscher), or spoiling the morale of a whole generation (Williams), or authoring a work of fiction that was in fact, in rather cunning disguise, the work of an entire 'culture' (Thompson). In some semi-articulated way, many major figures of the Left have thought of Orwell as an enemy, and an important and frightening one. This was true to a somewhat lesser extent in his own lifetime. And, again, the dislike or distrust can be illustrated by a simple-or at any rate a simple-minded-confusion of categories. It was widely said, and believed, of Orwell that he had written the damning sentence: 'The working classes smell.' This statement of combined snobbery and heresy was supposedly to be found in The Road to Wigan Pier; in other words-since the book was a main selection of Victor Gollancz's Left Book Club-it could be checked and consulted. But it obviously never was checked or consulted, because in those pages Orwell only says that middle-class people, such as his own immediate forebears, were convinced that the working classes smelled. Victor Gollancz himself, though hopelessly at odds with Orwell in matters of politics, issued a denial on his behalf that he had ever said, or written, that 'the working classes smell.' It made no difference. As his published correspondence shows, every time Orwell wrote anything objectionable to the Left, up would come this old charge again, having attained the mythic status that placed it beyond mere factual refutation. It feels silly even to go over this pettiness again, but the identical method-of attributing to him the outlook that he attributed to others-is employed in our own time in critical discussions of 'Inside the Whale.