Quotes by Thomas Szasz

“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.”

“Clear thinking requires courage rather than intelligence.”

“If you talk to God, you are praying If God talks to you, you have schizophrenia.”

“Happiness is an imaginary condition, formerly attributed by the living to the dead, now usually attributed by adults to children, and by children to adults.”

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

“Individual psychotherapy - that is, engaging a distressed fellow human in a disciplined conversation and human relationship - requires that the therapist have the proper temperament and philosophy of life for such work. By that I mean that the therapist must be patient, modest, and a perceptive listener, rather than a talker and advice-giver.”

“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.”

“He who does not accept and respect those who want to reject life does not truly accept and respect life itself.”

“A teacher should have maximal authority, and minimal power.”

“Boredom is the feeling that everything is a waste of time serenity, that nothing is.”

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