criticism

Doubtless criticism was originally benignant, pointing out the beauties of a work rather than its defects. The passions of men have made it malignant, as the bad heart of Procrustes turned the bed, the symbol of repose, into an instrument of torture.

The foundation of irreligious criticism is this: man makes religion; religion does not make man. Religion is, in fact, the self-consciousness and self-esteem of man who has either not yet gained himself or has lost himself again... The wretchedness of religion is at once an express of and a protest against real wretchedness. Religion is the sigh of the opposed creature, the heart of a heartless world and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.

Science must begin with myths: with the criticism of myths.

Miserable indeed is a world in which we have knowledge without understanding, criticism without appreciation, beauty without love, truth without passion, righteousness without mercy, and courtesy without a warm heart!

Art is a criticism of society and life, and I believe that if life became perfect, art would be meaningless and cease to exist.

Our civilization has been founded on the notion of criticism: there is nothing sacred or untouchable except the freedom to think. Without criticism, that is to say, without rigor and experimentation, there is no science; without criticism there is no art or literature. I would also say that without criticism there is no healthy society.

To silence criticism is to silence freedom.

Love without criticism is not love.

Hiding your faults from others so they won’t correct you might save you from momentary unpleasantness, but you will remain with your faults... Fear of criticism stems from inferiority feelings... If you feel hurt by someone’s criticism, remember it is your choice to feel hurt. You can choose self-statements that allow you to feel grateful for the opportunity to improve yourself.

You cannot be hurt by criticism when you know that you are master of your thoughts, reactions and emotions.

Few people have the wisdom to prefer the criticism that would do them good, to the praise that deceives them.

Honest criticism is hard to take, particularly from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger.

Children are never sure of their abilities. A public attack on intelligence hits their most vulnerable spot. Virulent criticism doesn't motivate children to improve; on the contrary, it ruins their initiative.

A lively, disinterested, persistent looking for truth is extraordinarily rare. Action and faith enslave thought, both of them in order not to be troubled or inconvenienced by reflection, criticism or doubt.

Honest criticism means nothing: what one wants is unrestrained passion, fire for fire.

Persecution is the first law of society because it is always easier to suppress criticism than to meet it.

To me, then, true criticism consists in trying to find out the intrinsic worth of the thing itself, and not in attributing a quality to that thing. You attribute a quality to an environment, to an experience, only when you want to derive something from it, when you want to gain or to have power or happiness. Now this destroys true criticism. Your desire is perverted through attributing values, and therefore you cannot see clearly. Instead of trying to see the flower in its original and entire beauty, you look at it through coloured glasses, and therefore you can never see it as it is.

Faith lived in the incognito is one which is located outside the criticism coming from society, from politics, from history, for the very reason that it has itself the vocation to be a source of criticism. It is faith (lived in the incognito) which triggers the issues for the others, which causes everything seemingly established to be placed in doubt, which drives a wedge into the world of false assurances.

Against criticism a man can neither protest nor defend himself; he must act in spite of it, and then it will gradually yield to him.

I much prefer the sharpest criticism of a single intelligent man to the thoughtless approval of the masses.