„I confess I know not what a sceptic can answer to this, nor by what good argument he can plead even for a hearing; for either his reasoning is sophistry, and so deserves contempt; or there is no truth in the human faculties, and then why should we reason?“

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Thomas Reid1
1710 - 1796
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„Such a one does not always know what he can do, but he nevertheless instinctively feels, I am good for something! My existence is not without reason!“

— Vincent Van Gogh Dutch post-Impressionist painter (1853-1890) 1853 - 1890
Context: There is a great difference between one idler and another idler. There is someone who is an idler out of laziness and lack of character, owing to the baseness of his nature. If you like, you may take me for one of those. Then there is the other kind of idler, the idler despite himself, who is inwardly consumed by a great longing for action who does nothing because his hands are tied, because he is, so to speak, imprisoned somewhere, because he lacks what he needs to be productive, because disastrous circumstances have brought him forcibly to this end. Such a one does not always know what he can do, but he nevertheless instinctively feels, I am good for something! My existence is not without reason! I know that I could be a quite a different person! How can I be of use, how can I be of service? There is something inside me, but what can it be? He is quite another idler. If you like you may take me for one of those.

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„The reason why so few good books are written is, that so few people that can write know anything.“

— Walter Bagehot British journalist, businessman, and essayist 1826 - 1877
Context: The reason why so few good books are written is, that so few people that can write know anything. In general an author has always lived in a room, has read books, has cultivated science, is acquainted with the style and sentiments of the best authors, but he is out of the way of employing his own eyes and ears. He has nothing to hear and nothing to see. His life is a vacuum. Shakespeare

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„A reproach can only hurt if it hits the mark. Whoever knows that he does not deserve a reproach can treat it with contempt.“

— Arthur Schopenhauer German philosopher 1788 - 1860
Context: A reproach can only hurt if it hits the mark. Whoever knows that he does not deserve a reproach can treat it with contempt. <!-- p. 383 in Oxford University Press edition of Parerga and Paralipomena: Short Philosophical Essays (1974)

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„How can the Infinite be glorified? Does he wish for reputation?... Why should he wish the flattery of the average Presbyterian? What good will it do him to know that his course has been approved of by the Methodist Episcopal Church? What does he care, even, for the religious weeklies, or the presidents of religious colleges?“

— Robert G. Ingersoll Union United States Army officer 1833 - 1899
Context: Neither do I believe that it is the end of man to glorify God. How can the Infinite be glorified? Does he wish for reputation?... Why should he wish the flattery of the average Presbyterian? What good will it do him to know that his course has been approved of by the Methodist Episcopal Church? What does he care, even, for the religious weeklies, or the presidents of religious colleges? I do not see how we can help God, or hurt him. If there be an infinite Being, certainly nothing we can do can in any way affect him. We can affect each other, and therefore man should be careful not to sin against man.

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