Rationality Quotes

Friedrich Nietzsche

One ought to hold on to one's heart; for if one lets it go, one soon
One ought to hold on to one's heart; for if one lets it go, one soon loses control of the head too.

René Descartes

And thus, the actions of life often not allowing any delay, it is a truth very certain that, when it is not in our power to determine the most true opinions we ought to follow the most probable.

Salman Rushdie

Books choose their authors; the act of creation is not entirely a rational and conscious one.

Robert S. Mulliken

I decided that life rationally considered seemed pointless and futile, but it is still interesting in a variety of ways, including the study of science. So why not carry on, following the path of scientific hedonism? Besides, I did not have the courage for the more rational procedure of suicide.

Stefan Molyneux

The true self is that which is in touch with reality.
The false self is the aspects of your personality that are adapted to threats and no longer consciously recognizes either the adaptation or the threat.

Simon Blackburn

People who have cut their teeth on philosophical problems of rationality, knowledge, perception, free will and other minds are well placed to think better about problems of evidence, decision making, responsibility and ethics that life throws up.

Paul Gibbons

Many of the cataclysmic leadership failures were failures of rationality. The pendulum of leadership development needs to swing back toward the rational: strategy, creativity, foresight, decision-making, and analytics.

Tom Heehler

The educated don't get that way by memorizing facts; they get that way by respecting them.

Eliezer Yudkowsky

One of chief pieces of advice I give to aspiring rationalists is "Don't try to be clever." And, "Listen to those quiet, nagging doubts." If you don't know, you don't know what you don't know, you don't know how much you don't know, and you don't know how much you needed to know.

Stefan Molyneux

The world, viewed philosophically, remains a series of slave camps, where citizens – tax livestock – labor under the chains of illusion in the service of their masters.

Robert A. Heinlein

If God meant for people to fly, He would have given them brains.


Selfishness is a bad habit. That’s why I always rationally think through my decisions to act without regard for others.

Gene Wolfe

The would-be sorcerer alone has faith in the efficacy of pure knowledge; rational people know that things act of themselves or not at all.

Brian Cox

The problem with today’s world is that everyone believes they have the right to express their opinion AND have others listen to it.

The correct statement of individual rights is that everyone has the right to an opinion, but crucially, that opinion can be roundly ignored and even made fun of, particularly if it is demonstrably nonsense!

Leo Tolstoy

Well, pray if you like, only you'd do better to use your judgment.

Norman G. Finkelstein

Conversion and zealotry, just like revelation and apostasy, are flip sides of the same coin, the currency of a political culture having more in common with religion than rational discourse.

Paul Graham

You can't distinguish your group by doing things that are rational and believing things that are true. If you want to set yourself apart from other people you have to do things that are arbitrary and believe things that are false.

Ricky Gervais

A Christian telling an atheist they're going to hell is as scary as a child telling an adult they're not getting any presents from Santa.

Mary Doria Russell

Writing my own novels in the '90s...I never imagined that in ten years, science and rationality would require explanation and defense in a world rocked and ruled by religious fervor.

Susan Neiman

You may substitute knowledge for superstition without satisfying the needs that drive people into superstition's arms.

Stefan Molyneux

Lies don't make you happy. They just make you lie about being happy.

Ayn Rand

When men reject reason, they have no means left for dealing with one another - except brute, physical force.

Terence McKenna

Reality is, you know, the tip of an iceberg of irrationality that we've managed to drag ourselves up onto for a few panting moments before we slip back into the sea of the unreal.

Peter Ackroyd

You say that it is time to shake off the Mist, but Mankind walks in a Mist; that Reason which you cry up as the Glory of this Age is a Proteus and Cameleon that changes its Shape almost in every Man: there is no Folly that may not have a thousand Reasons produc'd to advance it into the Class of Wisdom. Reason itself is a Mist.

Peter Ackroyd

Well,' said Hawksmoor. 'It's a theory and a theory can do no harm.

Stefan Molyneux

Truth has nothing to do with the conclusion, and everything to do with the methodology.

Hermann Hesse

Faith is stronger than so-called reason.

Jane Austen

Elinor agreed with it all, for she did not think he deserved the compliment of rational opposition.

David Levithan

the thing about fear is that it defies the laws of rationality. It creates its own laws instead

Shannon Celebi

Of course, I rationalize the fear. I realize it’s not real, that my house isn’t burning down, that the deer aren’t going to kill me.

Ronald H. Nash

Just as the moon derives the light it reflects from the sun, so the rational human mind derives a created ability to know from its origin, God.

Eliezer Yudkowsky

Your strength as a rationalist is your ability to be more confused by fiction than by reality. If you are equally good at explaining any outcome, you have zero knowledge.

J.G. Ballard

...reason rationalizes reality for him (Dr. Nathan) as it does for the rest of us, in the Freudian sense of providing a more palatable or convenient explanation, and there are so many subjects about which we should not be reasonable.

Raheel Farooq

Melancholy is an escape not from reality, but unreality of the world.

Stefan Molyneux

Tribalism is an addiction that is driven by false beliefs that need to be reflected back to be perceived as true.

Stefan Molyneux

Spiritual": religion without any rules. All the comfort of fictitious friends with none of their demands.

Amit Kalantri

Rationality and common sense never goes out of fashion.

Amit Kalantri

Leaders console the world with their speeches, heroes console the world with their actions.

Stefan Molyneux

When you go with first principles, a giant light goes off in what you think is a city and turns out to be an insane asylum.

Stefan Molyneux

Culture makes lies plausible through exposure to time. It makes prejudice seem like physics intergenerationally. It is therefore the most dangerous opponent of philosophy, because it feels the most credible to the average person.

Stefan Molyneux

Empathy is the sunlight to the vampire of culture.

Jeffrey Tucker

The goal of intellectual life should be to see and understand what is true, not merely to adhere to a prevailing orthodoxy.

Stefan Molyneux

The best way to destroy the decrepit is to build the glorious.

Brian Eno

If we are ever going to achieve a rational approach to organizing our affairs, we have to dignify the process of admitting to being wrong. It doesn't help matters at all if the media, or your friends, accuse you of "flip-flopping" when you change your mind. Changing our minds is our hope for the future.

Thomas M. Disch

It considered trying to explain their error to them, but what would be the use? They would only go away with hurt feelings. You can't always expect people, or squirrels, to be rational.

Roy Blount Jr.

Even intellectuals should have learned by now that objective rationality is not the default position of the human mind, much less the bedrock of human affairs.

Stefan Molyneux

You cannot connect with anyone except through reality.

Krzysztof Kieślowski

In believing too much in rationality, our contemporaries have lost something.

Duop Chak Wuol

A man who does not question his own judgment, society, and who flourishes between deceit and bewilderment, fails his moral responsibility as a rational being.

Martin Guevara Urbina

When the experts’ scientific knowledge is legitimated in terms of being rational, logical, efficient, educated, progressive, modern, and enlightened, what analogies can other segments of society . . . utilize to challenge them?

B.R. Ambedkar

A bitter thing cannot be made sweet.
The taste of anything can be changed.
But poison cannot be changed into nectar.

Jane Austen

I hate to hear you talk about all women as if they were fine ladies instead of rational creatures. None of us want to be in calm waters all our lives.

Mary Wollstonecraft

My own sex, I hope, will excuse me, if I treat them like rational creatures, instead of flattering their fascinating graces, and viewing them as if they were in a state of perpetual childhood, unable to stand alone.

Christopher Hitchens

You have to choose your future regrets.

Raheel Farooq

That which does not come by logic, does not leave by logic.

Nathaniel Branden

Anyone who engages in the practice of psychotherapy confronts every day the devastation wrought by the teachings of religion.

Nathaniel Branden

In any culture, subculture, or family in which belief is valued above thought, and self-surrender is valued above self-expression, and conformity is valued above integrity, those who preserve their self-esteem are likely to be heroic exceptions.

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