“ The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference. ”
“ Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all -- the apathy of human beings. ”
“ Killing myself was a matter of such indifference to me that I felt like waiting for a moment when it would make some difference. ”
“ It may well be that we will have to repent in this generation. Not merely for the vitriolic words and the violent actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence and indifference of the good people who sit around and say, "Wait on time. ”
“ And I — my head oppressed by horror — said:
"Master, what is it that I hear? Who are
those people so defeated by their pain?"
And he to me: "This miserable way
is taken by the sorry souls of those
who lived without disgrace and without praise.
They now commingle with the coward angels,
the company of those who were not rebels
nor faithful to their God, but stood apart.
The heavens, that their beauty not be lessened,
have cast them out, nor will deep Hell receive them —
even the wicked cannot glory in them. ”
“ But when they made love he was offended by her eyes. They behaved as though they belonged to someone else. Someone watching. Looking out of the window at the sea. At a boat in the river. Or a passerby in the mist in a hat.
He was exasperated because he didn't know what that look
. He put it somewhere between indifference and despair. He didn’t know that in some places, like the country that Rahel came from, various kinds of despair competed for primacy. And that
despair could never be desperate enough. That something happened when personal turmoil dropped by at the wayside shrine of the vast, violent, circling, driving, ridiculous, insane, unfeasible, public turmoil of a nation. That Big God howled like a hot wind, and demanded obeisance. Then Small God (cozy and contained, private and limited) came away cauterized, laughing numbly at his own temerity. Inured by the confirmation of his own inconsequence, he became resilient and truly indifferent. Nothing mattered much. Nothing much mattered. And the less it mattered, the less it mattered. It was never important enough. Because Worse Things had happened. In the country that she came from, poised forever between the terror of war and the horror of peace, Worse Things kept happening.
So Small God laughed a hollow laugh, and skipped away cheerfully. Like a rich boy in shorts. He whistled, kicked stones. The source of his brittle elation was the relative smallness of his misfortune. He climbed into people’s eyes and became an exasperating expression. ”
“ She knew with painful certainty that the opposite of love was not hate, but indifference. ”
“ The world is very lovely, and it's very horrible--and it doesn't care about your life or mine or anything else. ”
“ They say philosophers and wise men are indifferent. Wrong. Indifference is a paralysis of the soul, a premature death. ”
“ Once conform, once do what other people do because they do it, and a lethargy steals over all the finer nerves and faculties of the soul. She becomes all outer show and inward emptiness; dull, callous, and indifferent. ”
“ To remain indifferent to the challenges we face is indefensible. If the goal is noble, whether or not it is realized within our lifetime is largely irrelevant. What we must do therefore is to strive and persevere and never give up. ”
“ Let's say that the consensus is that our species, being the higher primates, Homo Sapiens, has been on the planet for at least 100,000 years, maybe more. Francis Collins says maybe 100,000. Richard Dawkins thinks maybe a quarter-of-a-million. I'll take 100,000. In order to be a Christian, you have to believe that for 98,000 years, our species suffered and died, most of its children dying in childbirth, most other people having a life expectancy of about 25 years, dying of their teeth. Famine, struggle, bitterness, war, suffering, misery, all of that for 98,000 years.
Heaven watches this with complete indifference. And then 2000 years ago, thinks 'That's enough of that. It's time to intervene,' and the best way to do this would be by condemning someone to a human sacrifice somewhere in the less literate parts of the Middle East. Don't lets appeal to the Chinese, for example, where people can read and study evidence and have a civilization. Let's go to the desert and have another revelation there. This is nonsense. It can't be believed by a thinking person.
Why am I glad this is the case? To get to the point of the wrongness of Christianity, because I think the teachings of Christianity are immoral. The central one is the most immoral of all, and that is the one of vicarious redemption. You can throw your sins onto somebody else, vulgarly known as scapegoating. In fact, originating as scapegoating in the same area, the same desert. I can pay your debt if I love you. I can serve your term in prison if I love you very much. I can volunteer to do that. I can't take your sins away, because I can't abolish your responsibility, and I shouldn't offer to do so. Your responsibility has to stay with you. There's no vicarious redemption. There very probably, in fact, is no redemption at all. It's just a part of wish-thinking, and I don't think wish-thinking is good for people either.
It even manages to pollute the central question, the word I just employed, the most important word of all: the word love, by making love compulsory, by saying you MUST love. You must love your neighbour as yourself, something you can't actually do. You'll always fall short, so you can always be found guilty. By saying you must love someone who you also must fear. That's to say a supreme being, an eternal father, someone of whom you must be afraid, but you must love him, too. If you fail in this duty, you're again a wretched sinner. This is not mentally or morally or intellectually healthy.
And that brings me to the final objection - I'll condense it, Dr. Orlafsky - which is, this is a totalitarian system. If there was a God who could do these things and demand these things of us, and he was eternal and unchanging, we'd be living under a dictatorship from which there is no appeal, and one that can never change and one that knows our thoughts and can convict us of thought crime, and condemn us to eternal punishment for actions that we are condemned in advance to be taking. All this in the round, and I could say more, it's an excellent thing that we have absolutely no reason to believe any of it to be true. ”
“ A person is wise if he listens to millions of advice and doesn't implement any of it. ”
“ Our country is the best country in the world. We are swimming in prosperity and our President is the best president in the world. We have larger apples and better cotton and faster and more beautiful machines. This makes us the greatest country in the world. Unemployment is a myth. Dissatisfaction is a fable. In preparatory school America is beautiful. It is the gem of the ocean and it is too bad. It is bad because people believe it all. Because they become indifferent. Because they marry and reproduce and vote and they know nothing. ”
“ But certainly, for us who understand life, figures are a matter of indifference. ”
“ His hatred for all was so intense that it should extinguish the very love from which it was conceived. And thus, he ceased to feel. There was nothing further in which to believe that made the prospect of feeling worthwhile. Daily he woke up and cast downtrodden eyes upon the sea and he would say to himself with a hint of regret at his hitherto lack of indifference, 'All a dim illusion, was it? Surely it was foolish of me to think any of this had meaning.' He would then spend hours staring at the sky, wondering how best to pass the time if everything—even the sky itself— were for naught. He arrived at the conclusion that there was no best way to pass the time. The only way to deal with the illusion of time was to endure it, knowing full well, all the while, that one was truly enduring nothing at all. Unfortunately for him, this nihilistic resolution to dispassion didn’t suit him very well and he soon became extremely bored. Faced now with the choice between further boredom and further suffering, he impatiently chose the latter, sailing another few weeks along the coast , and then inland, before finally dropping anchor off the shores of the fishing village of Yami. ”
“ But what force in the galaxy is stronger than she is?"
"Indifference." Jerusha surprised herself with the answer. "Indifference, Gundhalinu, is the strongest force in the universe. It makes everything it touches meaningless. Love and hate don't stand a chance against it. It lets neglect and decay and monstrous injustice go unchecked. It doesn't act, it allows. And that's what gives it so much power. ”
“ He almost said to himself that he did not like her, before their conversation ended; he tried so hard to compensate himself for the mortified feeling, that while he looked upon her with an admiration he could not repress, she looked at him with proud indifference, taking him, he thought, for what, in his irritation, he told himself - was a great fellow, with not a grace or a refinement about him. ”
“ Only love that continues to flow in the face of anger, blame, and indifference can be called love. All else is simply a transaction. ”
“ That's the hardest thing of all--never to become cynical, never to lose faith, never to become indifferent. ”
“ Overpowered by the sadness of not knowing
there is in the world, and what I'm doing. Feeling completely indifferent to good and evil too, to beauty or anything else. I know that
is the root of all human troubles, all of them. Indifferent to that knowledge, too. Nothing got written. ”
“ Indifference is more truly the opposite of love than hate is, for we can both love and hate the same person at the same time, but we cannot both love and be indifferent to the same person at the same time. ”
“ The human mind is often, and I think it is for the most part, in a state neither of pain nor pleasure, which I call a state of indifference. ”
“ I never thought meeting you would be this boring. I thought we'd put our Italian emotion into gear and scream the place down. I never expected indifference. ”
“ The West's post-Holocaust pledge that genocide would never again be tolerated proved to be hollow, and for all the fine sentiments inspired by the memory of Auschwitz, the problem remains that denouncing evil is a far cry from doing good. ”
“ Tu as tout à apprendre, tout ce qui ne s'apprend pas: la solitude, l'indifférence, la patience, le silence. Tu dois te déshabituer de tout: d'aller à la rencontre de ceux que si longtemps tu as côtoyés, de prendre tes repas, tes cafés à la place que chaque jour d'autres ont retenue pour toi, ont parfois défendue pour toi, de traîner dans la complicité fade des amitiés qui n'en finissent pas de se survivre, dans la rancoeur opportuniste et lâche des liaisons qui s'effilochent. ”
“ He's going on and on, and I can't be bothered. I just can't be fuckin well arsed saying something like: Solaris shites all over 2001, and then listening to him arguing vehemently against it. Or, alternatively, waiting for him to say it, and then being expected to argue engingly, as if to agree, even if we do, is a sign that we're effete proofs. I can't be bothered with it and I can't even be bothered to tell him that I can'be be bothered. ”
“ I sensed a mutual indifference behind polite smiles and had the overwhelming impression that, more and more frequently, I was watching people who didn't really know why they were living. ”
“ The difference between men and women is this--if you catch a woman butt-naked, she tries to cover the private parts with her hands. A man will sit there just like you found him even if he doesn't have much to be proud of. ”