Quotation Explorer - 'Thomas Szasz'

The ethics of psychiatric therapy is the very negation of the ethics of political liberty. The former embraces absolute power, provided it is used to protect and promote the patient's mental health. The latter rejects absolute power, regardless of its aim or use. - Thomas Szasz
In the United States today, there is a pervasive tendency to treat children as adults, and adults as children. The options of children are thus steadily expanded, while those of adults are progressively constricted. The result is unruly children and childish adults. - Thomas Szasz
Parents teach children discipline for two different, indeed diametrically opposed, reasons: to render the child submissive to them and to make him independent of them. Only a self-disciplined person can be obedient; and only such a person can be autonomous. - Thomas Szasz
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; and why older persons, especially if vain or important, cannot learn at all. - Thomas Szasz
Men are afraid to rock the boat in which they hope to drift safely through life's currents, when, actually, the boat is stuck on a sandbar. They would be better off to rock the boat and try to shake it loose. - Thomas Szasz
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. - Thomas Szasz
When a person can no longer laugh at himself, it is time for others to laugh at him. - Thomas Szasz
The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget. - Thomas Szasz
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. - Thomas Szasz
Permissiveness is the principle of treating children as if they were adults; and the tactic of making sure they never reach that stage. - Thomas Szasz
Is psychiatry a medical enterprise concerned with treating diseases, or a humanistic enterprise concerned with helping persons with their personal problems? Psychiatry could be one or the other, but it cannot--despite the pretensions and protestations of psichiatrists--be both. - Thomas Szasz
If you talk to God, you are praying. If God talks to you, you have schizophrenia. - Thomas Szasz
The stupid neither forgive or forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget. - Thomas Szasz
Thousands of years ago--in times we are fond of calling "primitive" (since this renders us "modern" without having to exert ourselves further to earn this qualification)... - Thomas Szasz
Two wrongs don't make a right, but they make a good excuse. - Thomas Szasz
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. - Thomas Szasz
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
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
Our legal system does not grant adults a right to liberty, because they already possess that right; it only revokes the right to liberty (for certain offenses) or restores it (if the deprivation did not conform to due process). - Thomas Szasz
In the animal kingdom, the rule is, eat or be eaten; in the human kingdom, define or be defined. - Thomas Szasz
Men love liberty because it protects them from control and humiliation from others, and thus affords them the possibility of dignity. They loathe liberty because it throws them back on their own abilities and resources, and thus confronts them with the possibility of insignificance. - Thomas Szasz
A child becomes an adult when he realizes that he has a right not only to be right but also to be wrong. - Thomas Szasz
People often say that this person is or that person has not yet found himself. But the self is not something that one finds. It is something one creates. - Thomas Szasz
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