Terms Of Service
Quote Of The Day
Terms Of Service
Viktor E. Frankl
Cite this page
Find Paul Bloom on:
Paul Bloom Quotes
We are constituted so that simple acts of kindness, such as giving to charity or expressing gratitude, have a positive effect on our long-term moods. The key to the happy life, it seems, is the good life: a life with sustained relationships, challenging work, and connections to community.
The enjoyment we get from something is powerfully influenced by what we think that thing really is. This is true for intellectual pleasures, such as the appreciation of paintings and stories, and it is true as well for pleasures that seem simpler and more animalistic, such as the satisfaction of hunger and lust.
Strong moral arguments exist for why we should often try to ignore stereotypes or override them. But we shouldn't assume they represent some irrational quirk of the unconscious mind. In fact, they're largely the consequence of the mind's attempt to make a rational decision.
Humans are social beings, and we are happier, and better, when connected to others.
Relying on the face might be human nature - even babies prefer to look at attractive people. But, of course, judging someone based on the geometry of his features is, from a moral and legal standpoint, no better than judging him based on the color of his skin.
Even in the most peaceful communities, an appetite for violence shows up in dreams, fantasies, sports, play, literature, movies and television. And, so long as we don't transform into angels, violence and the threat of violence - as in punishment and deterrence - is needed to rein in our worst instincts.
It's really difficult working with kids and with babies because they are not cooperative subjects: they are not socialized into the idea that they should cheerfully and cooperatively give you information. They're not like undergraduates, who you can bribe with beer money or course credit.
A sympathetic parent might see the spark of consciousness in a baby's large eyes and eagerly accept the popular claim that babies are wonderful learners, but it is hard to avoid the impression that they begin as ignorant as bread loaves.
Maybe one of the most heartening findings from the psychology of pleasure is there's more to looking good than your physical appearance. If you like somebody, they look better to you. This is why spouses in happy marriages tend to think that their husband or wife looks much better than anyone else thinks that they do.
The irrationality of disgust suggests it is unreliable as a source of moral insight. There may be good arguments against gay marriage, partial-birth abortions and human cloning, but the fact that some people find such acts to be disgusting should carry no weight.
We benefit, intellectually and personally, from the interplay between different selves, from the balance between long-term contemplation and short-term impulse. We should be wary about tipping the scales too far. The community of selves shouldn't be a democracy, but it shouldn't be a dictatorship, either.
Most of us know nothing about constitutional law, so it's hardly surprising that we take sides in the Obamacare debate the way we root for the Red Sox or the Yankees. Loyalty to the team is what matters.
If our moral attitudes are entirely the result of nonrational factors, such as gut feelings and the absorption of cultural norms, they should either be stable or randomly drift over time, like skirt lengths or the widths of ties. They shouldn't show systematic change over human history. But they do.
Perhaps looking out through big baby eyes - if we could - would not be as revelatory experience as many imagine. We might see a world inhabited by objects and people, a world infused with causation, agency, and morality - a world that would surprise us not by its freshness but by its familiarity.
Some of the natural world is appealing, some of it is terrifying, and some of it grosses us out. Modern people don't want to be dropped naked into a swamp. We want to tour Yosemite with our water bottles and G.P.S. devices. The natural world is a source of happiness and fulfillment, but only when prescribed in the right doses.
We are naturally moral beings, but our environments can enhance - or, sadly, degrade - this innate moral sense.
Empathy has some unfortunate features - it is parochial, narrow-minded, and innumerate. We're often at our best when we're smart enough not to rely on it.
One way to make a baby cry is to expose it to cries of other babies. There's sort of contagiousness to the crying. It's not just crying. We also know that if a baby sees another human in silent pain, it will distress the baby. It seems part of our very nature is to suffer at the suffering of others.
Natural selection shaped the human brain to be drawn toward aspects of nature that enhance our survival and reproduction, like verdant landscapes and docile creatures. There is no payoff to getting the warm fuzzies in the presence of rats, snakes, mosquitoes, cockroaches, herpes simplex and the rabies virus.
In politics and in society, we can use our reason to rise above our parochial natures. Too bad that our elected officials don't choose to do so more often.
More-radical scholars insist that an inherent clash exists between science and our long-held conceptions about consciousness and moral agency: if you accept that our brains are a myriad of smaller components, you must reject such notions as character, praise, blame, and free will.
The real problem with natural selection is that it makes no intuitive sense. It is like quantum physics; we may intellectually grasp it, but it will never feel right to us.
Once we accept violence as an adaptation, it makes sense that its expression is calibrated to the environment. The same individual will behave differently if he comes of age in Detroit, Mich., versus Windsor, Ontario; in New York in the 1980s versus New York now; in a culture of honor versus a culture of dignity.
Periods of cooperation between political parties shouldn't be taken for granted; they are a stunning human achievement.
Modern science tells us that the conscious self arises from a purely physical brain. We do not have immaterial souls.
Our best hope for the future is not to get people to think of all humanity as family - that's impossible. It lies, instead, in an appreciation of the fact that, even if we don't empathize with distant strangers, their lives have the same value as the lives of those we love.
Load more quotes
Viktor E. Frankl
Quote Of The Day
Top 100 Quotes
BQ on Facebook
BQ on Twitter
BQ on Pinterest
BQ on Google+
BQ on Instagram
Quote Of The Day Feeds
Quote of the Day Email
© 2001 - 2019 BrainyQuote