Thomas Szasz Quotes
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The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget.
If you talk to God, you are praying; If God talks to you, you have schizophrenia.
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.
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.
In the animal kingdom, the rule is, eat or be eaten; in the human kingdom, define or be defined.
Labeling a child as mentally ill is stigmatization, not diagnosis. Giving a child a psychiatric drug is poisoning, not treatment.
In the past, men created witches: now they create mental patients.
What people really need and demand from life is not wealth, comfort, or esteem, but games worth playing
Mental illness is a myth, whose function is to disguise and thus render more palatable the bitter pill of moral conflicts in human relations.
The neurotic has problems; the psychotic has solutions.
The proverb warns that 'You should not bite the hand that feeds you.' But maybe you should, if it prevents you from feeding yourself.
Psychiatry is probably the single most destructive force that has affected American Society within the last fifty years.
The FDA calls certain substances "controlled." But there are no "controlled substances," there are only controlled citizens.
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.
When a person can no longer laugh at himself, it is time for others to laugh at him.
We prefer a meaningless collective guilt to a meaningful individual responsibility
Psychiatry does not commit human rights abuse. It is a human rights abuse.
A child becomes an adult when he realizes that he has a right not only to be right but also to be wrong.
Self-respect is to the soul as oxygen is to the body. Deprive a person of oxygen, and you kill his body; deprive him of self-respect and you kill his spirit.
Boredom is the feeling that everything is a waste of time; serenity, that nothing is.
Psychiatric expert testimony: mendacity masquerading as medicine.
The greatest analgesic, soporific, stimulant, tranquilizer, narcotic, and to some extent even antibiotic - in short, the closest thing to a genuine panacea - known to medical science is work.
Knowledge is gained by learning; trust by doubt; skill by practice; and love by love.
The system isn't stupid, but the people in it are.
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.
Men often treat others worse than they treat themselves, but they rarely treat anyone better. It is the height of folly to expect consideration and decency from a person who mistreats himself.
The poor need jobs and money, not psychoanalysis. The uneducated need knowledge and skills, not psychoanalysis.
He who does not accept and respect those who want to reject life does not truly accept and respect life itself.
Two wrongs don't make a right, but they make a good excuse.
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.
Men are rewarded or punished not for what they do but for how their acts are defined. That is why men are more interested in better justifying themselves than in better behaving themselves.
Science can give us power over nature, but it cannot give us power over human nature.
If the dead talk to you, you are a spiritualist; if God talks to you, you are a schizophrenic.
A teacher should have maximal authority, and minimal power.
All drugs of any interest to any moderately intelligent person in America are now illegal.
Delusion: belief said to be false by someone who does not share it.
The battle for the world is the battle for definitions.
Marriages are said to be made in Heaven, which may be why they don't work here on Earth.
Marx said that religion was the opiate of the people. In the United States today, opiates are the religion of the people.
Work is pushing matter around. Politics is pushing people around.
Permissiveness is the principle of treating children as if they were adults; and the tactic of making sure they never reach that stage.
Mysticism joins and unites; reason divides and separates. People crave belonging more than understanding. Hence the prominent role of mysticism, and the limited role of reason in human affairs.
There is no psychology; there is only biography and autobiography.
A person cannot make another happy, but he can make him unhappy. This is the main reason why there is more unhappiness than happiness in the world.
We have, in our day, witnessed the birth of the Therapeutic State. This is perhaps the major implication of psychiatry as an institution of social control.
The passion to interpret as madness that with which we disagree seems to have infected the best of contemporary minds.
People dream of making the virtuous powerful, so they can depend upon them. Since they cannot do that, people choose to make the powerful virtuous, glorifying in becoming victimized by them.
If someone does something we disapprove of, we regard him as bad if we believe we can deter him from persisting in his conduct, but we regard him as mad if we believe we cannot.
We should pledge ourselves to the proposition that the irresponsible life is not worth living.
The language of science—and especially of a science of man—is, necessarily, anti-individualistic, and hence a threat to human freedom and dignity.