Julian Baggini Quotes
Untested assumptions and lazy habits of thought can be shown up, once put in a spotlight of a different hue.
From time to time, it is worth wandering around the fuzzy border regions of what you do, if only to remind yourself that no human activity is an island.
One reason why it has become harder to promote the beneficial side of emotions such as anger is that the moral vocabulary of good and bad has been replaced by the self-help lexicon of positive and negative thinking.
If there's one thing that makes me cynical, it's optimists. They are just far too cynical about cynicism. If only they could see that cynics can be happy, constructive, even fun to hang out with, they might learn a thing or two.
Love is indeed, at root, the product of the firings of neurons and release of hormones.
Trade has played a vital role in the social evolution of humankind. It allowed people to specialise, which raises both skill levels and efficiency. It brought people from different lands together, co-operating rather than competing over resources.
Society needs both justice and compassion, a head and a heart, if it is to be civilised.
Daily life is better when it involves interactions with real people who have a personal investment in their labour, like shopkeepers, than it is with someone 'just doing my job' or the infernal self-checkout machine.
This is the deal: we are happy to single out people as superior just as long as they don't accept the description themselves. We want heroes and idols, but we also want egalitarianism, and that requires proclamations of humility from our gods.
The only good reason to embrace a philosophical position is that you are convinced it is true or at least makes sense of the world better than the alternatives.
People should not expect the state to protect them from fraudsters. If we do, we get into the habit of neglecting our own powers of intellectual discernment.
I don't believe in God because certain reasons and arguments weigh more heavily in my mind than others, not because I have willfully decided to reject my creator, as many religious people seem to think. I could no more simply decide to believe in God than I could decide to like beetroot, just like that.
If we now find ourselves looking down on the cheap and convenient, it is only because we now have better things which are affordable.
I don't feel proprietorial about the problems of philosophy. History has taught us that many philosophical issues can grow up, leave home and live elsewhere.
Big sporting events and spectacles might give the national morale a shot in the arm, but they are too transient and taste-specific to stand as robust symbols of nationhood.
Traditional arguments for the existence of God and contemporary attempts to use fine-tuning and cosmology to back up the case for his existence always strike me as kinds of games, since hardly anyone believes on the basis of these arguments at all.
Whatever your religious persuasion, if you believe that that the universe is governed by benign forces, at some point you have to explain why there is so much suffering, misfortune and misery in the world.
Many people are never happier than when they get the opportunity to complain, while others are deeply unhappy with how things are but just accept the fact. Complaint occurs when we refuse to accept that things are wrong and we do something about it, even if that something is simply articulating our unease.
Since Plato, we have been considering the nature of knowledge, the meaning of meaning and the status of the physical world.
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