Man is the only animal that laughs

Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps; for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are and what they ought to be.  ~William Hazlitt, The English Comic Writers, 1819LCD

The belief in a supernatural source of

The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.  ~Joseph Conrad, Under Western Eyes, 1911, pt. 2, ch. 4, MBT p130

Suppose some mathematical creature from the moon

Suppose some mathematical creature from the moon were to reckon up the human body; he would at once see that the essential thing about it was that it was duplicate.  A man is two men, he on the right exactly resembling him on the left.  Having noted that there was an arm on the right and one on the left, a leg on the right and one on the left, he might go further and still find on each side the same number of fingers, the same number of toes, twin eyes, twin ears, twin nostrils, and even twin lobes of the brain.  At last he would take it as a law; and then, where he found a heart on one side, would deduce that there was another heart on the other.  And just then, where he most felt he was right, he would be wrong.  ~Gilbert Keith Chesterton, "The Paradoxes of Christianity," OrthodoxyNA

Man is the only animal for whom

Man is the only animal for whom his own existence is a problem which he has to solve.  ~Erich Fromm, Man for Himself, 1947LCD

I think could turn and live with

I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contain’d.  I stand and look at them long and long.  They do not sweat and whine about their condition…. Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of owning things, not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago, not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth.  ~Walt Whitman, Leaves of GrassSJ

God has given a great deal to

God has given a great deal to man, but man would like something from man.  ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. MerwinTPV

It would indeed be a tragedy if

It would indeed be a tragedy if the history of the human race proved to be nothing more than the story of an ape playing with a box of matches on a petrol dump.  ~David Ormsby Gore

I do not value any view of

I do not value any view of the universe into which man and the institutions of man enter very largely and absorb much of the attention.  Man is but the place where I stand, and the prospect hence is infinite.  ~Henry David Thoreau, journal, 2 April 1852SS

Man will do many things to get

Man will do many things to get himself loved; he will do all things to get himself envied.  ~Mark Twain, Following the Equator, 1897PMB

If man were relieved of all superstition

If man were relieved of all superstition, and all prejudice, and had replaced these with a keen sensitivity to his real environment, and moreover had achieved a level of communication so simplified that one syllable could express his every thought, then he would have achieved the level of intelligence already achieved by his dog.  ~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com

So there he is at last man

So there he is at last.  Man on the moon.  The poor magnificent bungler!  He can’t even get to the office without undergoing the agonies of the damned, but give him a little metal, a few chemicals, some wire and twenty or thirty billion dollars and vroom! there he is, up on a rock a quarter of a million miles up in the sky.  ~Russell Baker, New York Times, 21 July 1969LCD

The disastrous history of our species indicates

The disastrous history of our species indicates the futility of all attempts at a diagnosis which do not take into account the possibility that homo sapiens is a victim of one of evolution’s countless mistakes.  ~Arthur Koestler, Janus: A Summing UpSH

I was surprised just now at seeing

I was surprised just now at seeing a cobweb around a knocker; for it was not on the door of heaven.  ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827TPV

We have a world for each one

We have a world for each one, but we do not have a world for all.  ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. MerwinTPV

I demand of you and the whole

I demand of you, and of the whole world, that you show me a generic character… by which to distinguish between Man and Ape.  I myself most assuredly know of none.  ~Carl Linnaeus, 1788QSCI

O poor mortals how ye make this

O poor mortals, how ye make this earth bitter for each other.  ~Thomas Carlyle, The French Revolution, vol. I, book II, chapter 1BMC

Human nature if healthy demands excitement and

Human nature, if healthy, demands excitement; and if it does not obtain its thrilling excitement in the right way, it will seek it in the wrong.  God never makes bloodless stoics; He makes no passionless saints.  ~Oswald Chambers

Man when he is merely what seems

Man, when he is merely what he seems to be, is almost nothing.  ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. MerwinTPV

Men prefer to believe that they are

Men prefer to believe that they are degenerated angels, rather than elevated apes.  ~W. LAAN, see Benjamin Disraeli quote “on the side of the angels”

Why should man expect his prayer for

Why should man expect his prayer for mercy to be heard by What is above him when he shows no mercy to what is under him?  ~Pierre TroubetzkoyQSO

Human beings invent just as many ways

Human beings invent just as many ways to sabotage their lives as to improve them.  ~Mark Goulston, Get Out of Your Own Way: Overcoming Self-Defeating Behavior, 1996