Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Related Quotes

H. L. Mencken, fully Henry Louis Mencken

The scientific impulse seems to me to be the very opposite of the religious impulse. When a man seeks knowledge he is trying to gain means of fighting his own way in the world, but when he prays he confesses that he is unable to do so. .... The feeling of abasement, of incapacity, is inseparable from the religious impulse, but against that feeling all exact knowledge makes war. The efficient man does not cry out "Save me, O God". On the contrary, he makes diligent efforts to save himself. But suppose he fails? Doesn't he throw himself, in the end, on the mercy of the gods? Not at all. He accepts his fate with philosophy, buoyed up by the consciousness that he has done his best. Irreligion, in a word, teaches men how to die with dignity, just as it teaches them how to live with dignity.

Man | Wise |

H. L. Mencken, fully Henry Louis Mencken

Monogamy, in brief, kills passion -- and passion is the most dangerous of all the surviving enemies to what we call civilization, which is based upon order, decorum, restraint, formality, industry, regimentation. The civilized man -- the ideal civilized man -- is simply one who never sacrifices the common security to his private passions. He reaches perfection when he even ceases to love passionately -- when he reduces the most profound of all his instinctive experiences from the level of an ecstasy to the level of a mere device for replenishing the armies and workshops of the world, keeping clothes in repair, reducing the infant death-rate, providing enough tenants for every landlord, and making it possible for the Polizei to know where every citizen is at any hour of the day or night. Monogamy accomplishes this, not by producing satiety, but by destroying appetite. It makes passion formal and uninspiring, and so gradually kills it.

Man |

H. L. Mencken, fully Henry Louis Mencken

The believing mind reaches its perihelion in the so-called liberals. They believe in each and every quack who sets up his booth on the fair-grounds, including the Communists. The Communists have some talents too, but they always fall short of believing in the liberals.

Man |

H. L. Mencken, fully Henry Louis Mencken

The great secret of happiness in love is to be glad that the other fellow married her.

Man |

Hafiz, pen name of Shams-ud-din Muhammad NULL

It is written on the gate of heaven: Nothing in existence is more powerful than destiny. And destiny brought you here, to this page, which is part of your ticket-as all things are-to return to God.

Man |

Hannah Arendt

Men, forever tempted to lift the veil of the future?with the aid of computers or horoscopes or the intestines of sacrificial animals?have a worse record to show in these "sciences" than in almost any scientific endeavor.

Man |

H. L. Mencken, fully Henry Louis Mencken

Man weeps to think that he will die so soon; woman, that she was born so long ago.

Man |

H. L. Mencken, fully Henry Louis Mencken

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.

Man |

H. L. Mencken, fully Henry Louis Mencken

The more uncivilized the man, the surer he is that he knows precisely what is right and what is wrong. All human progress, even in morals, has been the work of men who have doubted the current moral values, not of men who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them. The truly civilized man is always skeptical and tolerant, in this field as in all others. His culture is based on - I am not too sure.

Man |

Hal Borland, formally Harold Glen Borland

You can't be suspicious of a tree, or accuse a bird or a squirrel of subversion or challenge the ideology of a violet.

Happy | Man |

H. L. Mencken, fully Henry Louis Mencken

No matter how long he lives, no man ever becomes as wise as the average woman of forty-eight.

Better | Business | Man | Wise | Business |

H. L. Mencken, fully Henry Louis Mencken

No man of genuinely superior intelligence has ever been an actor. Even supposing a young man of appreciable mental powers to be lured upon the stage, as philosophers are occasionally lured into bordellos, his mind would be inevitably and almost immediately destroyed by the gaudy nonsense issuing from his mouth every night.

Man | Wise |

H. L. Mencken, fully Henry Louis Mencken

No man is ever too old to look at a woman, and no woman is ever too fat to hope that he will look.

Man | Wise |

H. L. Mencken, fully Henry Louis Mencken

No government, of its own motion, will increase its own weakness, for that would mean to acquiesce in its own destruction... governments, whatever their pretensions otherwise, try to preserve themselves by holding the individual down ... Government itself, indeed, may be reasonably defined as a conspiracy against him. It?s one permanent aim, whatever its form, is to hobble him sufficiently to maintain itself.

Evil | Man | Pleasure | Understanding |

H. L. Mencken, fully Henry Louis Mencken

The believing mind is externally impervious to evidence. The most that can be accomplished with it is to induce it to substitute one delusion for another. It rejects all overt evidence as wicked.

Good | Man |

H. L. Mencken, fully Henry Louis Mencken

The basic fact about human existence is not that it is a tragedy, but that it is a bore. It is not so much a war as an endless standing in line. The objection to it is not that it is predominantly painful, but that it is lacking in sense.

Man | Learn |

H. L. Mencken, fully Henry Louis Mencken

The average man never really thinks from end to end of his life. The mental activity of such people is only a mouthing of clich‚s. What they mistake for thought is simply a repetition of what they have heard. My guess is that well over 80 percent of the human race goes through life without having a single original thought.

Man | Woman |

H. L. Mencken, fully Henry Louis Mencken

Misogynist: A man who hates women as much as women hate one another.

Man |

H. L. Mencken, fully Henry Louis Mencken

The average newspaper, especially of the better sort, has the intelligence of a hillbilly evangelist, the courage of a rat, the fairness of a prohibitionist boob-jumper, the information of a high school janitor, the taste of a designer of celluloid valentines, and the honor of a police-station lawyer.

Deeds | Man | Words | Deeds |

H. L. Mencken, fully Henry Louis Mencken

When a man laughs at his troubles he loses a good many friends. They never forgive the loss of their prerogative.

Man |