Quotation.Cloud - A repository of notable quotations from across time and space

   

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Quotations about purpose

Welfare's purpose should be to eliminate, as far as possible, the need for its own existence.

 - Ronald Reagan

Mark TwainThe two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.

 - Mark Twain

David HumeWhere am I, or what? From what causes do I derive my existence, and to what condition shall I return? ... I am confounded with all these questions, and begin to fancy myself in the most deplorable condition imaginable, environed with the deepest darkness, and utterly deprived of the use of every member and faculty.

Most fortunately it happens, that since Reason is incapable of dispelling these clouds, Nature herself suffices to that purpose, and cures me of this philosophical melancholy and delirium, either by relaxing this bent of mind, or by some avocation, and lively impression of my senses, which obliterate all these chimeras. I dine, I play a game of backgammon, I converse, and am merry with my friends. And when, after three or four hours' amusement, I would return to these speculations, they appear so cold, and strained, and ridiculous, that I cannot find in my heart to enter into them any farther.

 - David Hume

AristotleHappiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.

 - Aristotle

Ralph Waldo EmersonSo is music an asylum. It takes us out of the actual and whispers to us dim secrets that startle our wonder as to who we are, and for what, whence and whereto. All the great interrogatories, like questioning angels, float in on its waves of sound.

 - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Cats are intended to teach us that not everything in nature has a purpose.

 - Garrison Keillor

Nick TroutIt may be a cat, a bird, a ferret, or a guinea pig, but the chances are high that when someone close to you dies, a pet will be there to pick up the slack. Pets devour the loneliness. They give us purpose, responsibility, a reason for getting up in the morning, and a reason to look to the future. They ground us, help us escape the grief, make us laugh, and take full advantage of our weakness by exploiting our furniture, our beds, and our refrigerator. We wouldn't have it any other way. Pets are our seat belts on the emotional roller coaster of life--they can be trusted, they keep us safe, and they sure do smooth out the ride.

 - Nick Trout

Richard FeynmanI can live with doubt, and uncertainty, and not knowing. I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. I have approximate answers, and possible beliefs, and different degrees of certainty about different things, but I'm not absolutely sure of anything. There are many things I don't know anything about, such as whether it means anything to ask "Why are we here?" I might think about it a little bit, and if I can't figure it out then I go on to something else. But I don't have to know an answer. I don't feel frightened by not knowing things, by being lost in the mysterious universe without having any purpose.

 - Richard Feynman

Richard DawkinsThe universe we obey has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference . . .DNA neither cares nor knows. DNA just is. And we dance to its music.

 - Richard Dawkins

The average man, who does not know what to do with his life, wants another one which will last forever.

 - Anatole France

Carl JungAs far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.

 - Carl Jung

Carl JungThe afternoon of human life must also have a significance of its own and cannot be merely a pitiful appendage to life's morning.

 - Carl Jung

Diane AckermanOne of the things I like best about animals in the wild is that they're always off on some errand. They have appointments to keep. It's only we humans who wonder what we're here for.

 - Diane Ackerman

Fred RogersWhether we're a preschooler or a young teen, a graduating college senior or a retired person, we human beings all want to know that we're acceptable, that our being alive somehow makes a difference in the lives of others.

 - Fred Rogers

Blaise PascalThere is nothing so insupportable to man as to be in entire repose, without passion, occupation, amusement, or application. Then it is that he feels his own nothingness, isolation, insignificance, dependent nature, powerlessness, emptiness. Immediately there issue from his soul ennui, sadness, chagrin, vexation, despair.

 - Blaise Pascal

Stephen HawkingOne, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Two, never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it. Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don't throw it away.

 - Stephen Hawking

Richard DawkinsNatural selection, the blind, unconscious, automatic process which Darwin discovered, and which we now know is the explanation or the existence and apparently purposeful form of all life, has no purpose in mind. It has no mind and no mind's eye. It does not plan for the future. It has no vision, no foresight, no sight at all. If it can be said to play the role of watchmaker in nature, it is the blind watchmaker.

 - Richard Dawkins