Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Diversion

"No man’s spirits were ever hurt by doing his duty; on the contrary, one good action, one temptation resisted and overcome, one sacrifice of desire or interest, purely for conscience’ sake, will prove a cordial for weak and low spirits, far beyond what either indulgence or diversion or company can do for them." - William Paley, Archdeacon of Saragossa

"The seduction of war is insidious because so much of what we are told about it is true; It does create a sense of comradeship, which obliterates our alienation and makes us, for perhaps the only time of our life, feel we belong. War allows us to rise above our small stations in life. We find nobility in a cause and feelings of selflessness and even bliss. And at a time of soaring deficits and financial scandals and the very deterioration of our domestic fabric, war is a fine diversion. War, for those who enter into combat, has a dark beauty, filled with the monstrous and the grotesque. The Bible calls it the "lust of the eye" and warns believers against it. War gives us a distorted sense of self; it gives us meaning." - Chris Hedges

"People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices." - Adam Smith

"If our condition were truly happy, we would not need diversion from thinking of it in order to make ourselves happy." - Blaise Pascal

"The great secret both of health and successful industry is the absolute yielding up of one's consciousness to the business and diversion of the hour--never permitting the one to infringe in the least degree upon the other." - Jean Charles Sismondi, fully Jean Charles Léonard de Sismondi

"As we move nearer and nearer to contemporary art, we are well-nigh shocked by the contrast we encounter. Art becomes increasingly a commodity manufactured primarily for the market ...aimed almost exclusively at utility, relaxation, diversion and amusement, the stimulation of jaded nerves, or sexual excitation. ...It has to disregard virtually all religious and moral values, because these are rarely `amusing' and `entertaining' in the same sense as wine and women. Hence it comes to be more and more divorced from truly cultural values and turns into an empty art... at once amoral, nonreligious, and nonsocial, and often antimoral, antireligious and antisocial - a mere gilded shell to toy with in moments of relaxation." - Pitirim A. Sorokin, fully Pitirim Alexandrovich (Alexander) Sorokin

"If I can find Cerebus a sop, I shall be at rest for one day." - William Congreve

"The truly scientific mind is altogether unafraid of the new, and while having no mercy for ideas which have served their turn or shown their uselessness, it will not grudge to any unfamiliar conception its moment of full and friendly attention, hoping to expand rather than to minimize what small core of usefulness it may happen to contain." - Wilfred Trotter, fully Wilfred Batten Lewis Trotter

"Monsanto doesn't care about feeding the world. We have to think about the wage slavery of migrant workers and salary slavery of those who are desperately unhappy." - Wendell Berry

"We need to fix the Bush prescription drug plan that subsidizes big pharmaceutical companies at the expense of senior citizens. We need to stop the oil companies from obscene profiteering, which reduces the standard of living for so many Americans. As usual, this Administration prescribes the same quack medicine for all our ailments: tax breaks for the richest Americans and the largest, most profitable corporations." - Eli Pariser

"Nature and Books belong to the eyes that see them." - Emily Brontë, fully Emily Jane Brontë, aka pseudonym Ellis Bell