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Isaac Asimov (1920 – 1992)


Russian-born American author and biochemist.
Isaac Asimov
I am honorary president of the American Humanist Association, having succeeded the late, great, spectacularly prolific writer and scientist, Dr. Isaac Asimov in that essentially functionless capacity. At an A.H.A. memorial service for my predecessor I said, "Isaac is up in Heaven now." That was the funniest thing I could have said to an audience of humanists. It rolled them in the aisles. Mirth! Several minutes had to pass before something resembling solemnity could be restored.
Asimov quotes
“That was the time to begin all-out preparations for war.”
“On the contrary. That was the time to begin all-out prevention of war.”
Asimov
The fall of Empire, gentlemen, is a massive thing, however, and not easily fought. It is dictated by a rising bureaucracy, a receding initiative, a freezing of caste, a damming of curiosity — a hundred other factors. It has been going on, as I have said, for centuries, and it is too majestic and massive a movement to stop.




Asimov Isaac quotes
There are limits beyond which your folly will not carry you. I am glad of that. In fact, I am relieved.
Asimov Isaac
“That insufferable, dull-witted donkey! That—”
Hardin broke in: “Not at all. He’s merely the product of his environment. He doesn’t understand much except that ‘I got a gun and you ain’t.’ ”
Isaac Asimov quotes
I don’t like anything that’s got to be. I want to know why.
Isaac Asimov
He is energetic only in evading responsibility.
Asimov Isaac quotes
“Violence,” came the retort, “is the last refuge of the incompetent.”
Asimov
The spell of power never quite releases its hold.
Asimov Isaac
To him, a stilted geometric love of arrangement was “system,” an indefatigable and feverish interest in the pettiest facets of day-to-day bureaucracy was “industry,” indecision when right was “caution,” and blind stubbornness when wrong, “determination.”
Isaac Asimov
An atom blaster is a good weapon, but it can point both ways.




Isaac Asimov quotes
Courtiers don’t take wagers against the king’s skill. There is the deadly danger of winning.
Isaac Asimov
Don't you believe in flying saucers, they ask me? Don't you believe in telepathy? — in ancient astronauts? — in the Bermuda triangle? — in life after death?
No, I reply. No, no, no, no, and again no.
One person recently, goaded into desperation by the litany of unrelieved negation, burst out "Don't you believe in anything?"
"Yes", I said. "I believe in evidence. I believe in observation, measurement, and reasoning, confirmed by independent observers. I'll believe anything, no matter how wild and ridiculous, if there is evidence for it. The wilder and more ridiculous something is, however, the firmer and more solid the evidence will have to be."
Asimov quotes
Societies create their own history and tend to wipe out lowly beginnings, either by forgetting them or inventing totally fictitious heroic rescues.
Asimov Isaac
I am an atheist, out and out. It took me a long time to say it. I've been an atheist for years and years, but somehow I felt it was intellectually unrespectable to say one was an atheist, because it assumed knowledge that one didn't have. Somehow, it was better to say one was a humanist or an agnostic. I finally decided that I'm a creature of emotion as well as of reason. Emotionally, I am an atheist. I don't have the evidence to prove that God doesn't exist, but I so strongly suspect he doesn't that I don't want to waste my time.
Asimov Isaac quotes
Inertia! Our ruling class knows one law; no change. Despotism! They know one rule; force. Maldistribution! They know one desire; to hold what is theirs.
Isaac Asimov
At odd and unpredictable times, we cling in fright to the past.
Isaac Asimov quotes
It is well-known that the friend of a conqueror is but the last victim.
Isaac Asimov
There is no belief, however foolish, that will not gather its faithful adherents who will defend it to the death.
Asimov Isaac
If I were not an atheist, I would believe in a God who would choose to save people on the basis of the totality of their lives and not the pattern of their words. I think he would prefer an honest and righteous atheist to a TV preacher whose every word is God, God, God, and whose every deed is foul, foul, foul.
I would also want a God who would not allow a Hell. Infinite torture can only be a punishment for infinite evil, and I don't believe that infinite evil can be said to exist even in the case of Hitler. Besides, if most human governments are civilized enough to try to eliminate torture and outlaw cruel and unusual punishments, can we expect anything less of an all-merciful God?
I feel that if there were an afterlife, punishment for evil would be reasonable and of a fixed term. And I feel that the longest and worst punishment should be reserved for those who slandered God by inventing Hell.


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