Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Arrogance

"Receive wealth or prosperity without arrogance; and be ready to let it go." - Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

"Anger an arrogance are partners. Inner feelings of conceit lead a person to become angry. Conversely, humility leads to forgiveness." - Abraham ben Moses ben Maimon, aka Rabbi Avraham Maimuni, aka Rabbeinu Avraham ben ha-Rambam NULL

"The truest characters of ignorance are vanity and pride and arrogance." - Samuel Butler

"Arrogance, pedantry, and dogmatism are the occupational diseases of those who spend their lives directing the intellects of the young." -

"The first American mingled with her pride a singular humility. Spiritual arrogance was foreign to his nature and teaching. He never claimed that his power of articulate speech was proof of superiority over “dumb creation”; on the other hand, speech to him is a perilous gift. He believes profoundly in silence - the sign of perfect equilibrium. silence is the absolute poise or balance of body, mind and spirit. The an who preserves his selfhood ever calm and unshaken by the storms of existence - not a leaf, as it were, astir on the tree, not a ripple upon the surface of the shining pool - his, in the mind of the unlettered sage, is the ideal attitude and conduct of life." - Charles Alexander Eastman, first named Ohiyesa

"Through accepting suffering one can obtain much benefit. Suffering breaks a person’s arrogance and conceit. It leads him to humility and directs him to accept the sovereignty of the Almighty." - Avraham Shmuel Finkel

"New ideas have a hard time in science. They tend to be suppressed by arrogance - condemnation by acknowledged leaders in the field... Dogmatism restrains, iconoclasm liberates. Vanity, powermongering, avariciousness, pride, dedication, love, industry, sadism and most other attributes of people apply to science and to scientists as well." - Lynn Margulis and Carl Lindegren

"Arrogance in persons of merit affronts us more than arrogance in those without merit: merit itself is an affront." -

"Arrogance is the outgrowth of prosperity." - Plautus, full name Titus Maccius Plautus NULL

"The boast of arrogance soon turns to shame." - Publius Syrus

"The modest man has everything to gain, and the arrogant man has everything to lose; for modesty has always to deal with generosity, and arrogance with envy." -

"A poor person does not die from starvation, but from arrogance and honor-seeking." - Yisroel Salanter Lipkin

"For all his learning or sophistication, man is still instinctively reaching toward that force beyond. Only arrogance can deny its existence and the denial falters in the face of evidence on every hand. In every tuft of grass, in every bird, in every opening bud, there it is." - Hal Borland, formally Harold Glen Borland

"The insufferable arrogance of human beings to think that Nature was made solely for their benefit, as if it was conceivable that the sun had been set afire merely to ripen men's apples and head their cabbages." - Cyrano De Bergerac, Savinien de

"It is arrogance to think that the earthbound have any true grasp of the complex meaning, or meanings, of life; we have not yet gathered all the data. Our own significance, our ultimate potential and our ensemble of possible destinies will be understood only by finding and studying the other intelligent creatures of space. Thus, a prime task for us is to seek these other intelligent civilizations and join them in shared knowledge. We now have the means to do so, and if we are as noble as we think, we will proceed vigorously with this enterprise." - Frank Drake

"Pride, arrogance and lust of conquest are the natural and bitter fruits of military preparation." - John Jay

"When power leads man toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the areas of men's concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his experience. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses. For art establishes the basic human truths which must serve as the touchstones of our judgment. The artist... faithful to his personal vision of reality, becomes the last champion of the individual mind and sensibility against an intrusive society and an offensive state." - John F. Kennedy, fully John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy

"Intelligence is derived from two words - inter and legere - inter meaning "between" and legere meaning "to choose." An intelligent person, therefore, is one who has learned "to choose between." He knows that good is better than evil, that confidence should supersede fear, that love is superior to hate, that gentleness is better than cruelty, forbearance than intolerance, compassion than arrogance and that truth has more virtue than ignorance." - J. Martin Klotsche

"There is no more certain sign of a narrow mind, of stupidity, and of arrogance, than to stand aloof from those who think differently from us." - Walter Savage Landor

"The insufferable arrogance of human beings to think that Nature was made solely for their benefit, as if it was conceivable that the sun has been set afire merely to ripen men's apples and head their cabbages." - Edmond Rostand, fully Edmond Eugène Alexis Rostand

"The Christian churches and Christianity have nothing in common save in name: they are utterly hostile opposites. The churches are arrogance, violence, usurpation, rigidity, death; Christianity is humility, penitence, submissiveness, progress, life." -

"Science seldom proceeds in the straightforward logical manner imagined by outsiders. Instead, its steps forward (and sometimes backward) are often very human events in which personalities and cultural traditions play major roles... [Science moves with][ the spirit of an adventure characterized both by youthful arrogance and by the belief that the truth, once found, would be simple as well as pretty." - James Watson, fully James Dewey Watson

"Individuals who suffer success have what I call the four A’s - arrogance, a sense of aloneness, the need to seek adventure, and adultery." - Steven Berglas

"The control of nature is a phrase conceived in arrogance, born of the Neanderthal age of biology and philosophy, when it was supposed that nature exists for the convenience of man. The concepts and practices of applied entomology for the most part date from that Stone Age of science. It is our alarming misfortune that so primitive a science has armed itself with the most modem and terrible weapons, and that in turning them against the insects it has also turned them against the earth." - Rachel Carson, fully Rachel Louise Carson

"In spite of the fact that religion looks backward to revealed truth while science looks forward to new vistas and discoveries, both activities produce a sense of awe and a curious mixture of humility and arrogance in practitioners. All great scientists are inspired by the subtlety and beauty of the natural world that they are seeking to understand. Each new subatomic particle, every unexpected object, produces delight and wonderment. In constructing their theories, physicists are frequently guided by arcane concepts of elegance in the belief that the universe is intrinsically beautiful." - Paul Davies

"Death is the radical refutation of man’s power and a stark reminder of the necessity to relate to a meaning which lies beyond the dimension of human time. Humanity without death would be arrogance without end. Nobility has its root in humanity, and humanity derived much of its power from the thought of death." - Abraham Joshua Heschel

"If you do not see clearly, but are still arrogant about your attainment, then you will totally lose whatever power you have gained. The relationship between your arrogance and your abilities is quite exact." - Hsuan Hua, aka An Tzu and Tu Lun

"Arrogance, pedantry, and dogmatism…the occupational diseases of those who spend their lives directing the intellects of the young." - Henry Seidel Canby

"To have arrived on this earth as a product of a biological accident, only to depart through human arrogance, would be the ultimate irony." - Richard Leakey, fully Richard Erskine Frere Leakey

"Arrogance is the obstruction of wisdom." - Bion NULL

"It is harder to be poor without murmuring, than to be rich without arrogance." - Confucius, aka Kong Qiu, Zhongni, K'ung Fu-tzu or Kong Fuzi NULL

"Pride goes before ruin, arrogance, before failure." - Jewish Proverbs

"When power leads people towards arrogance, poetry reminds them of their limitations. When power narrows the areas of people's concern, poetry reminds them of the richness and diversity of their existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses. For art establishes the basic human truths which must serve as the touchstone of our judgment." -

"Riches are apt to betray a man into arrogance." - Joseph Addison

"In prosperity let us most carefully avoid pride, disdain, and arrogance." - Cicero, fully Marcus Tullius Cicero, anglicized as Tully NULL

"Learning, the destroyer of arrogance, begets arrogance in fools; even as light, that illumines the eye, makes owls blind... Knowledge is the true organ of sight, not the eyes." - Panchatantra or The Panchatantra NULL

"The “control of nature” is a phase conceived in arrogance, born of the Neanderthal age of biology and philosophy, when it was supposed that nature exists for the convenience of man." -

"Willpower should be understood to be the strength of mind which makes it capable of meeting success or failure with equanimity… Success develops arrogance, and the man’s spiritual progress is thus arrested. Failure, on the other hand, is beneficial, inasmuch as it opens the eyes of the man to his limitations and prepares him to surrender himself. Self-surrender is synonymous with eternal happiness. Therefore, one should try to gain the equipoise of mind under all circumstances: that is will-power." -

"Compassion is a far greater and nobler thing than pity. Pity has its roots in fear, and a sense of arrogance and condescension, sometimes even a smug feeling of “I’m glad its not me.”" - Sogyal Rinpoche

"The modest man has everything to gain, and the arrogant man has everything to lose; for modesty has always to deal with generosity, and arrogance with envy." - Antoine de Rivarol, also known as Comte de Rivarol

"The Christian churches and Christianity have nothing in common save in name: they are utterly hostile opposites. The churches are arrogance, violence, usurpation, rigidity, death; Christianity is humility, penitence, submissiveness, progress, life." -

"Following his release from imprisonment on Kislev 19, 5559 (1798), an event which marked the Chassidic movement's decisive victory over its opponents, Rabbi Schneur Zalman sent a letter to his followers. The letter begins by quoting the verse in which Jacob says to G‑d, "I am diminished by all the kindnesses... You have shown Your servant" (Genesis 32:11). "The meaning of this," explains Rabbi Schneur Zalman "is that every kindness bestowed by G‑d upon a person should cause him to be exceedingly humble. For a [Divine] kindness is [an expression of] ... 'His right hand does embrace me' (Song of Songs 2:6) -- G‑d is literally bringing the person close to Himself, far more intensely than before. And the closer a person is to G‑d ... the greater the humility this should evoke in him... This because 'all before Him is as naught' (Zohar), so that the more 'before Him' a person is, the more 'as naught' [does he perceive himself to be].... This is the attribute of Jacob... The very opposite is the case in the contrasting realm of ... kelipah (evil): the greater the kindness shown a person, the more he grows in arrogance and self-satisfaction..." The letter concludes: "Therefore, I come with a great call to all our community regarding the many kindnesses which G‑d has exceedingly shown us: Assume the attribute of Jacob... Do not feel yourselves superior to your brethren (i.e., the opponents of Chassidism); do not give free rein to your mouths regarding them, or hiss at them, G‑d forbid. [I] strictly warn: Make no mention [of our victory]. Only humble your spirits and hearts with the truth of Jacob."" - Shneur Zalman of Liadi

"Trouble arises when either science or religion claims universal jurisdiction, when either religious dogma or scientific dogma claims to be infallible. Religious creationists and scientific materialists are equally dogmatic and insensitive. By their arrogance they bring both science and religion into disrepute. The media exaggerate their numbers and importance. The media rarely mention the fact that the great majority of religious people belong to moderate denominations that treat science with respect, or the fact that the great majority of scientists treat religion with respect so long as religion does not claim jurisdiction over scientific questions." - Freeman John Dyson

"Arrogance in persons of merit affronts us more than arrogance in those without merit: merit itself is an affront." - Friedrich Nietzsche, fully Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

"The arrogance of the artist is a very profound thing, and it fortifies you." - James A. Michener, fully James Albert Michener

"That is the arrogance of the kind of academic narrowness one too often sees; it is trapped in its own predictable prejudices, its own stale categories. It is the mind dulled to the poetry of existence. It’s fashionable now to demand some economic payoff from space, some reward to prove it was all worthwhile. Those who say this resemble the apelike creatures in 2001. They are fighting for food among themselves, while one separates himself from them and moves to the slab, motivated by awe. That is the point they are missing. He is the one who evolves into a human being; he is the one who understands the future." - Joseph Campbell

"Therefore it is not arrogance or narrowrnindedness that leads the economist to discuss these things from the standpoint of economics. No one, who is not able to form an independent opinion about the admittedly difficult and highly technical problem of calculation in the socialist economy, should take sides in the question of socialism versus capitalism. No one should speak about interventionism who has not examined the economic consequences of interventionism. An end should be put to the common practice of discussing these problems from the standpoint of the prevailing errors, fallacies, and prejudices. It might be more entertaining to avoid the real issues and merely to use popular catchwords and emotional slogans. But politics is a serious matter. Those who do not want to think its problems through to the end should keep away from it." - Ludwig von Mises, fully Ludwig Heinrich Edler von Mises

"I think that all artists, regardless of degree of talent, are a painful, paradoxical combination of certainty and uncertainty, of arrogance and humility, constantly in need of reassurance, and yet with a stubborn streak of faith in their own validity no matter what." -

"Timing and arrogance are decisive factors in the successful use of talent." - Marya Mannes

"Anger (being hostile) is a quality which to some, is like a religion. How can we kill it? It can only be killed by a sharpened intellect (koorvaputhi). Anger is like an elephant, - heavy, burdensome, which obliterates everything on its path, and cannot be killed easily. A very sharp intellect is the only weapon with which you can kill it. In folklore, it is said that if you are able to kill it, you are likened to a 'dev muni' (a petty god in tamil folklore). To us, it means that one could realise the Truth (Haqq) which is Allah. Further we have arrogance, which is the "I" in me, and everything else that is associated with the "I". It is also said in Tamil folklore, that so long as the pride and arrogance remains as the "I" in me, they will slaughter me. That "I" consciousness will unerringly drag my mind down to abysmal depths of degradation. Like a mote in your eye which affects your vision, it blocks the power of the mind. Whilst the arrogance of the "I" infects the mind, and whilst the greed of "mine" envelops the mind, then you are under the fatal stranglehold. Then your eyes are dazzled by the visions portrayed, and you succumb to that stranglehold. So the constant intention and inward prayer should be - "Oh Allah, the Almighty Power, let the arrogance that is "I", and the greed that is called "mine" be cast asunder, that I shall see Thee in all thy Majesty". That is the priceless effulgent Thing. That is why we always say, annihilate the "I", because that is the cause of your disease of misery, (thoonbam). Your pride, your arrogance, your greed, your lust, your attachments, all have the "I", your base ego being the generator. The idea of "I" and "mine" permeates your entire being and taints your every thought and action, your conduct and behaviour. Therefore, if and when you come to possess the knowledge to cross this abyss of the "I" and "mine" then that knowledge you must have before you can pursue your religion, whatever it may be." - Bawa Mahaiyadden, fully Muhammad Raheem Bawa Muhaiyaddeen