March 26

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Quotes of the day from previous years:

The propagandist's purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human. ~ Aldous Huxley
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall, that wants it down. ~ Robert Frost (born 26 March 1874)
He acts without contact,
instructs without meeting,
guides without pointing.
Desires do not conflict with Him,
thoughts do not mingle with Him:
His essence is without qualification,
His action without effort.

~ Mansur al-Hallaj (died 26 March 922)
The world and the universe is an extremely beautiful place, and the more we understand about it the more beautiful does it appear. It is an immensely exciting experience to be born in the world, born in the universe, and look around you and realise that before you die you have the opportunity of understanding an immense amount about that world and about that universe and about life and about why we're here. We have the opportunity of understanding far, far more than any of our predecessors ever. That is such an exciting possibility, it would be such a shame to blow it and end your life not having understood what there is to understand. ~ Richard Dawkins (born 26 March 1941)
People say that what we're all seeking is a meaning for life. I don't think that's what we're really seeking. I think what we're seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonance within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive. That's what it's all finally about. ~ Joseph Campbell (born 26 March 1904)
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

~ Robert Frost ~
I have kept hidden in the instep arch
Of an old cedar at the waterside
A broken drinking goblet like the Grail
Under a spell so the wrong ones can't find it,
So can't get saved, as Saint Mark says they mustn't.
(I stole the goblet from the children's playhouse.)
Here are your waters and your watering place.
Drink and be whole again beyond confusion.

~ Robert Frost ~
In the Name of Allah the Merciful, the Compassionate, Who manifests Himself through everything, the revelation of a clear knowing to whomsoever He wishes, peace be upon you, my son. This praise belongs to Allah Who manifests Himself on the head of a pin to whom He wishes, so that one testifies that He is not, and another testifies that there is none other than He. But the witnessing in the denying of Him is not rejected, and the witnessing in the affirming of Him is not praised. ~ Mansur Al-Hallaj
Yes, I have tricks in my pocket, I have things up my sleeve. But I am the opposite of a stage magician. He gives you illusion that has the appearance of truth. I give you truth in the pleasant disguise of illusion. ~ Tennessee Williams
The very scientist who, in the service of the sinful king, was the brain behind the horror of the labyrinth, quite as readily can serve the purposes of freedom. But the hero-heart must be at hand. … Centuries of husbandry, decades of diligent culling, the work of numerous hearts and hands, have gone into the hackling, sorting, and spinning of this tightly twisted yarn. Furthermore, we have not even to risk the adventure alone, for the heroes of all time have gone before us — the labyrinth is thoroughly known. We have only to follow the thread of the hero path, and where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence. And where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world.
~ Joseph Campbell ~
Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
~ Robert Frost ~
It is not enough to be in the right place at the right time. You should also have an open mind at the right time.
~ Paul Erdős ~
The years thunder by. The dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed.
~ Sterling Hayden ~
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
~ Robert Frost ~
I may have wept that any should have died
Or missed their chance, or not have been their best,
Or been their riches, fame, or love denied;
On me as much as any is the jest.
I take my incompleteness with the rest.
God bless himself can no one else be blessed.

I hold your doctrine of Memento Mori.
And were an epitaph to be my story
I’d have a short one ready for my own.
I would have written of me on my stone:
I had a lover’s quarrel with the world.
~ Robert Frost ~
I think that the appetite for mystery, the enthusiasm for that which we do not understand, is healthy and to be fostered. It is the same appetite which drives the best of true science, and it is an appetite which true science is best qualified to satisfy.
~ Richard Dawkins ~
We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively outnumbers the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here. … what I see as I write is that I am lucky to be alive and so are you.
~ Richard Dawkins ~
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If Man exalt himself, I humble him,
If he humble himself, I exalt him;
And I always contradict him,
Until he understands
That he is an incomprehensible monster.
Blaise Pascal (Born June 19 1623) proposed by Pluke 00:01, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

  • 2 due to lack of connection to this particular day. - InvisibleSun 08:29, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 03:11, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
  • 1 Zarbon 04:37, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

But men at whiles are sober
And think by fits and starts,
And if they think, they fasten
Their hands upon their hearts.
~ A. E. Housman (born March 26, 1859)

And how am I to face the odds
Of man’s bedevilment and God’s?
I, a stranger and afraid
In a world I never made.
~ A. E. Housman

Even when poetry has a meaning, as it usually has, it may be inadvisable to draw it out … and perfect understanding will sometimes almost extinguish pleasure. ~ A. E. Housman

Most of the change we think we see in life
Is due to truths being in and out of favor.
~ Robert Frost (born March 26, 1874)

Wind goes from farm to farm in wave on wave,
But carries no cry of what is hoped to be.
There may be little or much beyond the grave,
But the strong are saying nothing until they see.
~ Robert Frost

Yes, I have tricks in my pocket, I have things up my sleeve. But I am the opposite of a stage magician. He gives you illusion that has the appearance of truth. I give you truth in the pleasant disguise of illusion. ~ Tennessee Williams (born March 26, 1911)

A lion wants to eat an antelope's body, but the antelope has very different plans for its body. This is not normally regarded as competition for a resource, but logically it is hard to see why not. ~ Richard Dawkins (born March 26, 1941)

  • 3 InvisibleSun 08:29, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
  • 2 01:14, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
  • 3 because it makes a lot of sense. Zarbon 04:37, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

If you have a faith, it is statistically overwhelmingly likely that it is the same faith as your parents and grandparents had. No doubt soaring cathedrals, stirring music, moving stories and parables, help a bit. But by far the most important variable determining your religion is the accident of birth. The convictions that you so passionately believe would have been a completely different, and largely contradictory, set of convictions, if only you had happened to be born in a different place. Epidemiology, not evidence. ~ Richard Dawkins

  • 3 InvisibleSun 08:29, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 01:14, 23 March 2009 (UTC) * 3 Kalki 03:11, 27 March 2007 (UTC) This is true even if one's "faith" is in atheistic assumptions based on materialistic ideas about reality and the life processes, and "moving stories and parables" that equate all religious faiths with mere ignorance and superstition, fraud and delusion, and all modern scientific faiths with clear "common sense" materialistic observations. I am speaking as someone who has examined the worth and absurdities of many religious and scientific traditions and am appalled at the fallacious presumptions inherent in most. There is certainly need for far greater humility and compassion among nearly all people, whatever traditions they embrace or reject, whether they be defined as scientific, religious, or political.
  • 1 Zarbon 04:37, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further. ~ Richard Dawkins

  • 3 InvisibleSun 08:29, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 01:14, 23 March 2009 (UTC) * 3 Kalki 03:11, 27 March 2007 (UTC) with a lean toward 3.
  • 2 Zarbon 04:37, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
  • 0 DanielTom (talk) 00:14, 26 March 2017 (UTC) (see [1])

Scientific beliefs are supported by evidence, and they get results. Myths and faiths are not and do not. ~ Richard Dawkins (date of birth)

  • 4 ~ Jeff Q (talk) 05:02, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
  • 4 because this is strong. It holds truth to destroying myth and faith which has falsely captivated many. Zarbon 04:37, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
  • 0 ♌︎Kalki ⚓︎ 21:11, 17 March 2013 (UTC) 1 Kalki 01:14, 23 March 2009 (UTC) This is hardly historically or scientifically accurate. Scientific beliefs become supported by evidence, and they do get results, if they are in sufficient accord with underlying and all-encompassing aspects of Reality. But so do many myths and faiths, even when they have been deeply flawed and deficient, and the dichotomies between scientific theories and faith in myths are not so absolute as they are made here to falsely seem. Even in the realms of the modern sciences we advance in our ideas from faith to faith and myth to myth, such as the myth of the material atom with orbiting electron particles rather than electron "clouds" determined by the resonance of waveform potentials … from 4 dimensional physics to perhaps 11 dimensional physics... and the ends of all our explorations and ideas of what ultimate "Reality" is in terms of significant forces, dimensions and fundamental substances or energy patterns are hardly in sight. ~ Kalki 01:14, 23 March 2009 (UTC) + tweak
  • 2 InvisibleSun 21:42, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

I saw my Lord with the eye of the heart. I asked: Who art Thou?
He answered: Thou.
~ Mansur Al-Hallaj ~

  • 3 Kalki 01:14, 23 March 2009 (UTC) with a lean toward 4.
  • 2 Zarbon 03:35, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
  • 3 InvisibleSun 21:42, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

I’d like to get away from earth awhile
And then come back to it and begin over.
May no fate willfully misunderstand me
And half grant what I wish and snatch me away
Not to return. Earth’s the right place for love:
I don’t know where it’s likely to go better.

~ Robert Frost ~

  • 3 Kalki 01:14, 23 March 2009 (UTC) with a lean toward 4.
  • 1 Zarbon 03:35, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
  • 3 InvisibleSun 21:42, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

Slaying the dragon of delay is no sport for the short-winded. ~ Sandra Day O'Connor

  • 3 Zarbon 04:02, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 05:35, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

The stately ship is seen no more,
The fragile skiff attains the shore;
And while the great and wise decay,
And all their trophies pass away,
Some sudden thought, some careless rhyme,
Still floats above the wrecks of Time. ~ William Edward Hartpole Lecky

Some French socialist said that private property was theft … I say that private property is a nuisance.
~ Paul Erdős ~

They are in you and me; they created us, body and mind; and their preservation is the ultimate rationale for our existence. They have come a long way, those replicators. Now they go by the name of genes, and we are their survival machines. ~ Richard Dawkins

The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference. ~ Richard Dawkins

Faith is one of the world's great evils, comparable to the smallpox virus but harder to eradicate. ~ Richard Dawkins

The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully. ~ Richard Dawkins

Oh, but of course the story of Adam and Eve was only ever symbolic, wasn't it? Symbolic?! So Jesus had himself tortured and executed for a symbolic sin by a non-existent individual? Nobody not brought up in the faith could reach any verdict other than "barking mad". ~ Richard Dawkins

There's real poetry in the real world. Science is the poetry of reality. ~ Richard Dawkins

  • 3 DanielTom (talk) 00:14, 26 March 2017 (UTC) Or: "The truth has a magic of its own. The truth is more magical – in the best and most exciting sense of the word – than any myth or made-up mystery or miracle. Science has its own magic: the magic of reality."
  • 3 ♌︎Kalki ⚓︎ 01:00, 26 March 2017 (UTC) but with a preference for the second suggestion on the theme.
  • 3 Zarbon (talk) 22:51, 7 April 2019 (UTC)

All cruel people describe themselves as paragons of frankness.
~ Tennessee Williams ~