Quotes about fake

A collection of quotes on the topic of falseness.

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Jerry Coyne photo
Leonardo Da Vinci photo

„The false interpreters of nature declare that quicksilver is the common seed of every metal, not remembering that nature varies the seed according to the variety of the things she desires to produce in the world.“

—  Leonardo Da Vinci Italian Renaissance polymath 1452 - 1519

The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci (1883), XIX Philosophical Maxims. Morals. Polemics and Speculations.

Antonin Artaud photo
Origen photo

„The reason why all those we have mentioned hold false opinions and make impious or ignorant assertions about God appears to be nothing else but this, that scripture“

—  Origen Christian scholar in Alexandria 185 - 254

“How divine scripture should be interpreted,” On First Principles, book 4, chapter 2, § 2, Readings in World Christian History (2013), p. 69
On First Principles
Context: The reason why all those we have mentioned hold false opinions and make impious or ignorant assertions about God appears to be nothing else but this, that scripture is not understood in its spiritual sense, but is interpreted according to the bare letter.

Francisco Palau photo
Fulton J. Sheen photo
H.L. Mencken photo

„What should be a civilized man's attitude toward such superstitions? It seems to me that the only attitude possible to him is one of contempt. If he admits that they have any intellectual dignity whatever, he admits that he himself has none. If he pretends to a respect for those who believe in them, he pretends falsely, and sinks almost to their level. When he is challenged he must answer honestly, regardless of tender feelings.“

—  H.L. Mencken American journalist and writer 1880 - 1956

"Aftermath" in the Baltimore Evening Sun http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/menck05.htm#SCOPESD (14 September 1925)
1920s
Context: Once more, alas, I find myself unable to follow the best Liberal thought. What the World's contention amounts to, at bottom, is simply the doctrine that a man engaged in combat with superstition should be very polite to superstition. This, I fear, is nonsense. The way to deal with superstition is not to be polite to it, but to tackle it with all arms, and so rout it, cripple it, and make it forever infamous and ridiculous. Is it, perchance, cherished by persons who should know better? Then their folly should be brought out into the light of day, and exhibited there in all its hideousness until they flee from it, hiding their heads in shame.
True enough, even a superstitious man has certain inalienable rights. He has a right to harbor and indulge his imbecilities as long as he pleases, provided only he does not try to inflict them upon other men by force. He has a right to argue for them as eloquently as he can, in season and out of season. He has a right to teach them to his children. But certainly he has no right to be protected against the free criticism of those who do not hold them.... They are free to shoot back. But they can't disarm their enemy.
The meaning of religious freedom, I fear, is sometimes greatly misapprehended. It is taken to be a sort of immunity, not merely from governmental control but also from public opinion. A dunderhead gets himself a long-tailed coat, rises behind the sacred desk, and emits such bilge as would gag a Hottentot. Is it to pass unchallenged? If so, then what we have is not religious freedom at all, but the most intolerable and outrageous variety of religious despotism. Any fool, once he is admitted to holy orders, becomes infallible. Any half-wit, by the simple device of ascribing his delusions to revelation, takes on an authority that is denied to all the rest of us.... What should be a civilized man's attitude toward such superstitions? It seems to me that the only attitude possible to him is one of contempt. If he admits that they have any intellectual dignity whatever, he admits that he himself has none. If he pretends to a respect for those who believe in them, he pretends falsely, and sinks almost to their level. When he is challenged he must answer honestly, regardless of tender feelings.

Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia photo
John Dryden photo

„In friendship false, implacable in hate,
Resolved to ruin or to rule the state.“

—  John Dryden, Absalom and Achitophel

Pt. I, lines 173–174.
Absalom and Achitophel (1681)

Robert K. Merton photo

„The self-fulfilling prophecy is, in the beginning, a false definition of the situation evoking a new behaviour which makes the original false conception come "true".“

—  Robert K. Merton, book Social Theory and Social Structure

Source: Social Theory and Social Structure (1949), p. 477 (1968 Enlarged edition)
Context: The self-fulfilling prophecy is, in the beginning, a false definition of the situation evoking a new behaviour which makes the original false conception come "true". This specious validity of the self-fulfilling prophecy perpetuates a reign of error. For the prophet will cite the actual course of events as proof that he was right from the very beginning.

Maximilien Robespierre photo
Jacque Fresco photo
Slavoj Žižek photo

„Darcy wants to present himself to Elizabeth as a proud gentleman, and he gets from her the message 'your pride is nothing but contemptible arrogance.' After the break in their relationship each discovers, through a series of accidents, the true nature of the other - she the sensitive and tender nature of Darcy, he her real dignity and wit - and the novel ends as it should, with their marriage. The theoretical interest of this story lies in the fact that the failure of their first encounter, the double misrecognition concerning the real nature of the other, functions as a positive condition of the final outcome: we cannot say 'if, from the very beginning, she had recognized his real nature and he hers, their story could have ended at once with their marriage.' Let us take a comical hypothesis that the first encounter of the future lovers was a success - that Elizabeth had accepted Darcy's first proposal. What would happen? Instead of being bound together in true love they would become a vulgar everyday couple, a liaison of an arrogant, rich man and a pretentious, every-minded young girl… If we want to spare ourselves the painful roundabout route through the misrecognition, we miss the truth itself: only the working-through of the misrecognition allows us to accede to the true nature of the other and at the same time to overcome our own deficiency - for Darcy, to free himself of his false pride; for Elizabeth, to get rid of her prejudices.“

—  Slavoj Žižek, book The Sublime Object of Ideology

67
The Sublime Object of Ideology (1989)

Slavoj Žižek photo
George Bernard Shaw photo
Paul Dirac photo

„If we are honest — and scientists have to be — we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality. The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination.“

—  Paul Dirac theoretical physicist 1902 - 1984

Remarks made during the Fifth Solvay International Conference (October 1927), as quoted in Physics and Beyond: Encounters and Conversations (1971) by Werner Heisenberg, pp. 85-86; these comments prompted the famous remark later in the day by Wolfgang Pauli: "Well, our friend Dirac, too, has a religion, and its guiding principle is "God does not exist and Dirac is His prophet." Variant translations and paraphrases of that comment are listed in the "Quotes about Dirac" section below.
Context: If we are honest — and scientists have to be — we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality. The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination. It is quite understandable why primitive people, who were so much more exposed to the overpowering forces of nature than we are today, should have personified these forces in fear and trembling. But nowadays, when we understand so many natural processes, we have no need for such solutions. I can't for the life of me see how the postulate of an Almighty God helps us in any way. What I do see is that this assumption leads to such unproductive questions as why God allows so much misery and injustice, the exploitation of the poor by the rich and all the other horrors He might have prevented. If religion is still being taught, it is by no means because its ideas still convince us, but simply because some of us want to keep the lower classes quiet. Quiet people are much easier to govern than clamorous and dissatisfied ones. They are also much easier to exploit. Religion is a kind of opium that allows a nation to lull itself into wishful dreams and so forget the injustices that are being perpetrated against the people. Hence the close alliance between those two great political forces, the State and the Church. Both need the illusion that a kindly God rewards — in heaven if not on earth — all those who have not risen up against injustice, who have done their duty quietly and uncomplainingly. That is precisely why the honest assertion that God is a mere product of the human imagination is branded as the worst of all mortal sins.

Ludwig Wittgenstein photo

„Philosophizing is: rejecting false arguments.
The philosopher strives to find the liberating word, that is, the word that finally permits us to grasp what up to now has intangibly weighed down upon our consciousness.“

—  Ludwig Wittgenstein Austrian-British philosopher 1889 - 1951

Source: 1930s-1951, Philosophical Occasions 1912-1951 (1993), Ch. 9 : Philosophy, p. 165
Corresponding to TS 213, Kapitel 87, 409

Ludwig Wittgenstein photo
Shams-i Tabrizi photo

„The salat can be made up for, but there is no making up for false show or outward worship without presence.“

—  Shams-i Tabrizi 1185-1248, spiritual instructor of Mewlānā Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhi. 1185 - 1248

Me & Rumi (2004)

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada photo