15 Great Quotes from “Sapiens”

Discovery of Ignorance

“The greatest scientific discovery was the discovery of ignorance. Once humans realized how little they knew about the world, they suddenly had a very good reason to seek new knowledge, which opened up the scientific road to progress.”

Liberating from suffering

“Suffering arises from craving; the only way to be fully liberated from suffering is to be fully liberated from craving; and the only way to be liberated from craving is to train the mind to experience reality as it is.”

System of money

“Money is the most universal and most efficient system of mutual trust ever devised.”

The essence of the Agricultural Revolution

“This is the essence of the Agricultural Revolution: the ability to keep more people alive under worse conditions.”

Biology…

“Biology enables, Culture forbids.”

History

“History is something that very few people have been doing while everyone else was ploughing fields and carrying water buckets.”

College Graduates

“How many young college graduates have taken demanding jobs in high-powered firms, vowing that they will work hard to earn money that will enable them to retire and pursue their real interests when they are thirty-five? But by the time they reach that age, they have large mortgages, children to school, houses in the suburbs that necessitate at least two cars per family, and a sense that life is not worth living without really good wine and expensive holidays abroad. What are they supposed to do, go back to digging up roots? No, they double their efforts and keep slaving away.”

Imagined Order

“How do you cause people to believe in an imagined order such as Christianity, democracy or capitalism? First, you never admit that the order is imagined.”

Never convince a monkey

“You could never convince a monkey to give you a banana by promising him limitless bananas after death in monkey heaven.”

Natural Rights

“Voltaire said about God that ‘there is no God, but don’t tell that to my servant, lest he murder me at night’. Hammurabi would have said the same about his principle of hierarchy, and Thomas Jefferson about human rights. Homo sapiens has no natural rights, just as spiders, hyenas and chimpanzees have no natural rights. But don’t tell that to our servants, lest they murder us at night.”

Amount spend

“Each year the US population spends more money on diets than the amount needed to feed all the hungry people in the rest of the world.”

Alternative imagined order

“In order to change an existing imagined order, we must first believe in an alternative imagined order.”

Evolution

“Evolution has made Homo sapiens, like other social mammals, a xenophobic creature. Sapiens instinctively divide humanity into two parts, ‘we’ and ‘they’.”

Meaningful life

“A meaningful life can be extremely satisfying even in the midst of hardship, whereas a meaningless life is a terrible ordeal no matter how comfortable it is.”

Happiness begins within

“Nothing captures the biological argument better than the famous New Age slogan: ‘Happiness begins within.’ Money, social status, plastic surgery, beautiful houses, powerful positions — none of these will bring you happiness. Lasting happiness comes only from serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin.”

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I write about Computer Science, Tech and Literature.

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Salman Maken

Salman Maken

I write about Computer Science, Tech and Literature.

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