Top Paradoxes Quotes

Browse top 44 famous quotes and sayings about Paradoxes by most favorite authors.

Favorite Paradoxes Quotes

1. "The democratic nations that have introduced freedom into their political constitution at the very time when they were augmenting the despotism of their administrative constitution have been led into strange paradoxes. To manage those minor affairs in which good sense is all that is wanted, the people are held to be unequal to the task; but when the government of the country is at stake, the people are invested with immense powers; they are alternately made the play things of their ruler, and his masters, more than kings and less than men. After having exhausted all the different modes of election without finding one to suit their purpose, they are still amazed and still bent on seeking further; as if the evil they notice did not originate in the constitution of the country far more than in that of the electoral body."
Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
2. "The fact of simultaneously being Christian and having as my mother tongue Arabic, the holy language of Islam, is one of the basic paradoxes that have shaped my identity."
Author: Amin Maalouf
3. "It is one of the paradoxes of American literature that our writers are forever looking back with love and nostalgia at lives they couldn't wait to leave."
Author: Anatole Broyard
4. "C'est (...) l'un des paradoxes de cette guerre : le côté irréprochable du gouvernement de Colombo qui, dans les zones qu'il a perdues, et ne serait-ce que pour ne pas s'avouer vaincu et avoir à prendre acte de la sécession, continue d'assurer les services publics, de payer les fonctionnaires, fussent-ils désignés par les Tigres et à leur botte."
Author: Bernard Henri Lévy
5. "In its quest to discover how the patterns of reality are organised, the story of modern science hints at a picture of a set of Chinese puzzle boxes, each one more intricately structured and wondrous than the last. Every time the final box appears to have been reached, a key has been found which has opened up another, revealing a new universe even more breathtakingly improbable in its conception. We are now forced to suspect that, for human reason, there is no last box, that in some deeply mysterious, virtually unfathomable, self-reflective way, every time we open a still smaller box, we are actually being brought closer to the box with which we started, the box which contains our own conscious experience of the world. This is why no theory of knowledge, no epistemology, can ever escape being consumed by its own self-generated paradoxes. And this is why we must consider the universe to be irredeemably mystical."
Author: Bob Hamilton
6. "Put all these numbers together and what do they add up to? In a sentence: We are the healthiest, wealthiest, and longest-lived people in history. And we are increasingly afraid. This is one of the great paradoxes of our time."
Author: Daniel Gardner
7. "Only by acknowledging the full extent of slavery's full grip on U.S. Society - its intimate connections to present day wealth and power, the depth of its injury to black Americans, the shocking nearness in time of its true end - can we reconcile the paradoxes of current American life."
Author: Douglas A. Blackmon
8. "If the Universe came to an end every time there was some uncertainty about what had happened in it, it would never have got beyond the first picosecond. And many of course don't. It's like a human body, you see. A few cuts and bruises here and there don't hurt it. Not even major surgery if it's done properly. Paradoxes are just the scar tissue. Time and space heal themselves up around them and people simply remember a version of events which makes as much sense as they require it to make."
Author: Douglas Adams
9. "But that can't work, can it?" Said Richard. "If we do that, then this won't have happened. Don't we generate all sorts of paradoxes?"Reg stirred himself from thought. "No worse than many that exist already," he said. "If the universe came to an end every time there was some uncertainty about what had happened in it, it would never have got beyond the first picosecond. And many of course don't. It's like a human body, you see. A few cuts and bruises here and there don't hurt it. Not even major surgery if its done properly. Paradoxes are just the scar tissue. Time and space heal themselves up around them and people simply remember a version of events which makes as much sense as they require it to make. That isn't to say if you get involved in a paradox a few things won't strike you as being very odd, but if you've got through life without that already happening to you, then I don't know which universe you've been living in, but it isn't this one"
Author: Douglas Adams
10. "Two paradoxes are better than one; they may even suggest a solution."
Author: Edward Teller
11. "It is no sign of benediction to have been obsessed with the lives of saints, for it is an obsession intertwined with a taste for maladies and hunger for depravities. One only troubles oneself with saints because one has been disappointed by the paradoxes of earthly life; one therefore searches out other paradoxes, more outlandish in guise, redolent of unknown truths, unknown perfumes..."
Author: Emil Cioran
12. "There are many of these apparent philosophical paradoxes or contradictions which don't concern me anymore."
Author: Evan Parker
13. "All thought usually reached the public after thirty years in some such form: The man on the street heard the conclusions of some dead genius through someone else's clever paradoxes and didactic epigrams."
Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald
14. "I'm almost never serious, and I'm always too serious. Too deep, too shallow. Too sensitive, too cold hearted. I'm like a collection of paradoxes."
Author: Ferdinand De Saussure
15. "Life is full of paradoxes, as roses are of thorns."
Author: Fernando Pessoa
16. "Volunteering to help others is the right thing to do, and it also boosts personal happiness; a review of research by the Corporation for National and Community Service shows that those who aid the causes they value tend to be happier and in better health. They show fewer signs of physical and mental aging. And it's not just that helpful people also tend to be healthier and happier; helping others causes happiness. "Be selfless, if only for selfish reasons," as one of my happiness paradoxes holds. About one-quarter of Americans volunteer, and of those, a third volunteer for more than a hundred hours each year."
Author: Gretchen Rubin
17. "It was time to expect more of myself. Yet as I thought about happiness, I kept running up against paradoxes. I wanted to change myself but accept myself. I wanted to take myself less seriously -- and also more seriously. I wanted to use my time well, but I also wanted to wander, to play, to read at whim. I wanted to think about myself so I could forget myself. I was always on the edge of agitation; I wanted to let go of envy and anxiety about the future, yet keep my energy and ambition."
Author: Gretchen Rubin
18. "And this is the strangest of all paradoxes of the human adventure; we live inside all experience, but we are permitted to bear witness only to the outside. Such is the riddle of life and the story of the passing of our days."
Author: Howard Thurman
19. "Thinking about language, while thinking _in_ language, leads to puzzles and paradoxes."
Author: James Gleick
20. "Today, as we have seen, fascism and communism are discredited, but are replaced by a paraphilic consumer culture driven by fantasy, desperately in search of distractions and escalating sensations, and a fundamentalist culture wherein the rigors of a private journey are shunned in favor of an ideology that, at the expense of the paradoxes and complexities of truth, favors one-sided resolutions, black-and-white values, and a privileging of one's own complexes as the norm for others."
Author: James Hollis
21. "Inevitably, if we are to grow and change as adults, we must gradually learn to confront the challenges, paradoxes, problems and painful reality of an insecure world."
Author: James P. Krehbiel
22. "One of the chief paradoxes of our culture [is] that the welfare of its children, its _future_, is placed almost exclusively in the hands of people of low status, a class it holds in contempt."
Author: Joan Smith
23. "I was just rather fascinated by certain what seemed to me insoluble paradoxes about reflection, about what it was like to look in one direction and see in another. I was struck by the strange capability we have to look through the front window of a motor car and at the same time look through the driving mirror and not to confuse the view that one saw inside one frame with the view that surrounded it in another frame."
Author: Jonathan Miller
24. "And nothing inspires as much shame as being a parent. Children confront us with our paradoxes and hypocrisies, and we are exposed. You need to find an answer for every why — Why do we do this? Why don't we do that? — and often there isn't a good one. So you say, simply, because. Or you tell a story that you know isn't true. And whether or not your face reddens, you blush. The shame of parenthood — which is a good shame — is that we want our children to be more whole than we are, to have satisfactory answers."
Author: Jonathan Safran Foer
25. "The next day, when I was sober, I thought again about the three of us, and about time's many paradoxes. For instance: that when we are young and sensitive, we are also at our most hurtful; whereas when the blood begins to slow, when we feel less sharply, when we are more armoured and have learnt how to bear hurt, we tread more carefully."
Author: Julian Barnes
26. "The American writer and dilettante Logan Pearsall Smith once said: 'Some people think that life is the thing; but I prefer reading.' When I first came across this, I thought it witty; now I find it—as I do many aphorisms—a slick untruth. Life and reading are not separate activities. The distinction is false (as it is when Yeats imagines a choice between 'perfection of the life, or of the work'). When you read a great book, you don't escape from life, you plunge deeper into it. There may be a superficial escape—into different countries, mores, speech patterns—but what you are essentially doing is furthering your understanding of life's subtleties, paradoxes, joys, pains and truths. Reading and life are not separate but symbiotic. And for this serious task of imaginative discovery and self-discovery, there is and remains one perfect symbol: the printed book."
Author: Julian Barnes
27. "The Socratic teacher turns his students away from himself and back onto themselves; he hides in paradoxes, makes himself inaccessible. The intimate relationship between student and teacher here is not one of submission, but of a contest for truth."
Author: Karl Jaspers
28. "Jesus used paradoxes to help us see the kingdom of God. His paradoxical statements turned the secular world upside down. As we have already noted, He said that 'whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave.' He said that 'the last shall be first, and the first shall be last.' He said: 'I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.' He said that 'Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it."
Author: Kent M. Keith
29. "Abandon the urge to simplify everything, to look for formulas and easy answers, and to begin to think multidimensionally, to glory in the mystery and paradoxes of life, not to be dismayed by the multitude of causes and consequences that are inherent in each experience -- to appreciate the fact that life is complex."
Author: M. Scott Peck
30. "Bits have unique properties, then, that we can use to our advantage: they're super-small, super-fast, easily acquired and created and copied and shared in near-infinite quantity, protected from the ravages of time, and free from the limitations of distance and space. In practice, though, bits reveal several paradoxes: they're weightless, but they weigh us down; they don't take up any space, but they always seem to pile up; they're created in an instant, but they can last forever; they move quickly, but they can waste our time."
Author: Mark Hurst
31. "Riddles: They either delight or torment. Their delight lies in solutions. Answers provide bright moments of comprehension perfectly suited for children who still inhabit a world where solutions are readily available. Implicit in the riddle's form is a promise that the rest of the world resolves just as easily. And so riddles comfort the child's mind which spins wildly before the onslaught of so much information and so many subsequent questions.The adult world, however, produces riddles of a different variety. They do not have answers and are often called enigmas or paradoxes. Still the old hint of the riddle's form corrupts these questions by the echoing the most fundamental lesson: there must be an answer. From there comes torment."
Author: Mark Z. Danielewski
32. "Paradoxes haunt the lives of born wayfinders, driving them to seek resolutions to the apparent contradictions in their lives, enticing them into the world that is beyond words and can therefore contain paradox without contradiction."
Author: Martha N. Beck
33. "The seeming paradoxes of beauty and truth collide and individuality emerges from the debris. We spend our lifetimes dusting it down."
Author: Martin Cosgrove
34. "The bed is a bundle of paradoxes: we go to it with reluctance, yet we quit it with regret; we make up our minds every night to leave it early, but we make up our bodies every morning to keep it late."
Author: Ogden Nash
35. "Well, the way of paradoxes is the way of truth. To test reality we must see it on the tight rope. When the verities become acrobats, we can judge them."
Author: Oscar Wilde
36. "There is in my opinion a great similarity between the problems provided by the mysterious behavior of the atom and those provided by the present economic paradoxes confronting the world."
Author: Paul Dirac
37. "One of the supreme paradoxes of baseball, and all sports, is that the harder you try to throw a pitch or hit a ball or accomplish something, the smaller your chances are for success. You get the best results not when you apply superhuman effort but when you let the game flow organically and allow yourself to be fully present. You'll often hear scouts say of a great prospect, "The game comes slow to him." It mean the prospect is skilled and poised enough to let the game unfold in its own time, paying no attention to the angst or urgency or doubt, funnelling all awareness to the athletic task at hand."
Author: R.A. Dickey
38. "Paradoxes are less paradoxical in their reference to truth than most of the most plausible axioms."
Author: Raheel Farooq
39. "Mike did not seem to grasp the idea of Creation itself. Well, Jubal wasn't sure that he did, either--he had long ago made a pact with himself to postulate a Created Universe on even-numbered days, a tail-swallowing eternal-and-uncreated Universe on odd-numbered days--since each hypothesis, while equally paradoxical, neatly avoided the paradoxes of the other--with, of course, a day off each year for sheer solipsist debauchery."
Author: Robert A. Heinlein
40. "Living with contradiction may be nothing new to humans, but acknowledging it, and accepting it are. Even the dictionary has trouble accepting a paradox, calling it 'two things that seem to be contradictory but may possibly be true.' But that's not a real paradox--a real paradox IS contradictory and IS true. So I don't even call them paradoxes anymore, I call them 'contradictory co-existing realities,' both in direct opposition to each other, both true at the same time."
Author: Shellen Lubin
41. "I got a lot of paradoxes in my life. I guess I'm a real confused person, but there are some focused parts to my life now, and I'm slowly trying to put all the pieces back together."
Author: Stevie Ray Vaughan
42. "Pure in heart means to be sing-hearted... to will one thing- God. All (Jesus)'s moments flowed from His single-heartedness, from His intimacy with God. That was His core. Christianity is full of paradoxes and this is one of the strangest. When we are centered in God alone, we are able to relate to more of life and the world, and find more meaning in them. In some way a centered life becomes wider and fuller. To form one's life around this single perspective enables us to deal with more problems, not fewer, embrace more of life, not less of it. One reason is that we're not so divided, overwhelmed or bogged down by trivia and confusion."
Author: Sue Monk Kidd
43. "The goal, I suppose, any fiction writer has, no matter what your subject, is to hit the human heart and the tear ducts and the nape of the neck and to make a person feel something about the characters are going through and to experience the moral paradoxes and struggles of being human."
Author: Tim O'Brien
44. "When we talk of freedom and opportunity for all nations, the mocking paradoxes in our own society become so clear they can no longer be ignored."
Author: Wendell Willkie

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