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Thomas Szasz quotes (26)

A child becomes an adult when he realizes that he has a right not only to be right but also to be wrong.
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A teacher should have maximal authority, and minimal power.
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Adulthood is the ever-shrinking period between childhood and old age. It is the apparent aim of modern industrial societies to reduce this period to a minimum.
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Boredom is the feeling that everything is a waste of time; serenity, that nothing is.
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Clear thinking requires courage rather than intelligence.
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Doubt is to certainty as neurosis is to psychosis. The neurotic is in doubt and has fears about persons and things; the psychotic has convictions and makes claims about them. In short, the neurotic has problems, the psychotic has solutions.
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Every act of conscious learning requires the willingness to suffer an injury to one's self-esteem. That is why young children, before they are aware of their own self-importance, learn so easily.
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Formerly, when religion was strong and science weak, men mistook magic for medicine; now, when science is strong and religion weak, men mistake medicine for magic.
Thomas Szasz   Category: Society

Happiness is an imaginary condition, formerly often attributed by the living to the dead, now usually attributed by adults to children, and by children to adults.
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He who does not accept and respect those who want to reject life does not truly accept and respect life itself.
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If the dead talk to you, you are a spiritualist; if God talks to you, you are a schizophrenic.
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If you talk to God, you are praying. If God talks to you, you have schizophrenia.
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In the animal kingdom, the rule is, eat or be eaten; in the human kingdom, define or be defined.
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It is easier to do one's duty to others than to one's self. If you do your duty to others, you are considered reliable. If you do your duty to yourself, you are considered selfish.
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Narcissist: psychoanalytic term for the person who loves himself more than his analyst; considered to be the manifestation of a dire mental disease whose successful treatment depends on the patient learning to love the analyst more and himself less.
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No further evidence is needed to show that 'mental illness' is not the name of a biological condition whose nature awaits to be elucidated, but is the name of a concept whose purpose is to obscure the obvious.
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People often say that this or that person has not yet found himself. But the self is not something one finds, it is something one creates.
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Permissiveness is the principle of treating children as if they were adults; and the tactic of making sure they never reach that stage.
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Psychiatric expert testimony: mendacity masquerading as medicine.
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Punishment is now unfashionable... because it creates moral distinctions among men, which, to the democratic mind, are odious. We prefer a meaningless collective guilt to a meaningful individual responsibility.
Thomas Szasz   Category: Society

The proverb warns that 'You should not bite the hand that feeds you.' But maybe you should, if it prevents you from feeding yourself.
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The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget.
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The system isn't stupid, but the people in it are.
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There is no psychology; there is only biography and autobiography.
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Two wrongs don't make a right, but they make a good excuse.
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When a person can no longer laugh at himself, it is time for others to laugh at him.
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