Apathy (also called perfunctoriness) is most commonly defined as a lack of feeling, emotion, interest, or concern. It is a state of indifference, or the suppression of emotions such as concern, excitement, motivation, and/or passion. An apathetic individual has an absence of interest in or concern about emotional, social, spiritual, philosophical or physical life and the general world.
- Relativism is not indifference; on the contrary, passionate indifference is necessary in order for you not to hear the voices that oppose your absolute decrees.
- Karel Čapek, "On Relativism" (1925)
- Nothing is more conducive to peace of mind than not having any opinion at all.
- Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, Aphorisms (1764-99)
- The greatest danger to our future is apathy.
- Jane Goodall "The Power of One", Time Magazine (August 26, 2002).
- Once you have glimpsed the world as it might be, as it ought to be, as it's going to be (however that vision appears to you), it is impossible to live compliant and complacent anymore in the world as it is.
- Victoria Safford in "The Small Work in the Great Work" in The Impossible Will Take a Little While: A Citizen's Guide to Hope in a Time of Fear (2004) by Paul Rogat Loeb
- Indifference, if let alone, will produce obduracy; and obduracy, if let alone, will produce torment.
- Henry Melvill, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 344.
- Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.
- John Stuart Mill, Inaugural Address Delivered to the University of St. Andrews, Feb. 1st 1867.
- Yeah. Yeah, that's right. Pregnant woman. Gunned her down. Bang. And y'know what? You watched me. You coulda changed the gun into steam or the bullets into mercury or the bottle into god damn snowflakes! You coulda teleported either of us to goddamn Australia...but you didn't lift a finger! You don't really give a damn about human beings. I've watched you. You never cared about what's her name, Janey Slater, even before you ditched her. Soon you won't be interested in Sally Jupiter's little girl, either. You're driftin' outta touch, Doc. You're turnin' into a flake. God help us all.
- There are few signs in a soul's state more alarming than that of religious indifference, that is, the spirit of thinking all religions equally true — the real meaning of which is, that all religions are equally false.
- Frederick William Robertson, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 344.
- The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that's the essence of inhumanity.
- George Bernard Shaw, The Devil's Disciple (1897)
- In any election, only a percentage of the people vote. Those who can't vote because of age or other disqualifications, and those who don't vote because of confusion, apathy, or disgust at a Tweedledum-Tweedledummer choice can hardly be said to have any voice in the passage of the laws which govern them. Nor can the individuals as yet unborn, who will be ruled by those laws in the future.
- The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. The opposite of beauty is not ugliness, it's indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, but indifference between life and death.
- Elie Wiesel, US News & World Report, 27 October 1986
- Rise and shine, Adam. You're probably wondering where you are. I'll tell you where you might be. You might be in the room you die in. Up until now you simply sat in the shadows watching others live out their lives. But what do voyeurs see when they look into the mirror? Now, I see you as a strange mix of someone angry, yet apathetic. But mostly just pathetic. So are you going to watch yourself die today, Adam, or do something about it?
- Jigsaw Saw (2004 film) screenplay by Leigh Whannell
- * If ignorance and passion are the foes of popular morality, it must be confessed that moral indifference is the malady of the cultivated classes.