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Top 500 Yuval Noah Harari Quotes (2022 Update)
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Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “That’s why the theory of evolution cannot accept the idea of souls, at least if by ‘soul’ we mean something indivisible, immutable and potentially eternal. Such an entity cannot possibly result from a step-by-step evolution. Natural.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Modernity is a surprisingly simple deal. The entire contract can be summarised in a single phrase: humans agree to give up meaning in exchange for power.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Homo sapiens is a post-truth species, whose power depends on creating and believing fictions.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Individual humans know embarrassingly little about the world, and as history has progressed, they have come to know less and less. A hunter-gatherer in the Stone Age knew how to make her own clothes, how to start a fire, how to hunt rabbits, and how to escape lions. We think we know far more today, but as individuals, we actually know far less. We rely on the expertise of others for almost all our needs.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “For the first time in history, more people die today from eating too much than from eating too little; more people die from old age than from infectious diseases; and more people commit suicide than are killed by soldiers, terrorists and criminals combined.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “War is obsolete You are more likely to commit suicide than be killed in conflict Famine is disappearing You are at more risk of obesity than starvation Death is just a technical problem Equality is out – but immortality is in What does our future hold?”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “In order to flourish we still need to ground ourselves in intimate communities. For millions of years, humans have been adapted to living in small bands of no more than a few dozen people. Even today most of us find it impossible to really know more than 150 individuals, irrespective of how many Facebook friends we boast.4 And if we don’t belong to any intimate community, we humans feel lonely and alienated.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Romanticism, which encourages variety, meshes perfectly with consumerism.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “So our medieval ancestors were happy because they found meaning to life in collective delusions about the afterlife? Yes. As long as nobody punctured their fantasies, why shouldn’t they?”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Radical Islam poses no serious threat to the liberal package, because for all their fervour the zealots don’t really understand the world of the twenty-first century, and have nothing relevant to say about the novel dangers and opportunities that new technologies are generating all around us.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “One potential remedy for human stupidity is a dose of humility. National, religious and cultural tensions are made worse by the grandiose feeling that my nation, my religion and my culture are the most important in the world – hence my interests should come before the interests of anyone else, or of humankind as a whole. How can we make nations, religions and cultures a bit more realistic and modest about their true place in the world?”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Most top predators of the planet are majestic creatures. Millions of years of dominion have filled them with self-confidence. Sapiens by contrast is more like a banana republic dictator. Having so recently been one of the underdogs of the savannah, we are full of fears and anxieties over our position, which makes us doubly cruel and dangerous.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “There is little sense, then, in arguing that the natural function of women is to give birth, or that homosexuality is unnatural. Most of the laws, norms, rights and obligations that define manhood and womanhood reflect human imagination more than biological reality.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Culture tends to argue that it forbids only that which is unnatural. But from a biological perspective, nothing is unnatural. Whatever is possible is by definition also natural. A truly unnatural behaviour, one that goes against the laws of nature, simply cannot exist, so it would need no prohibition.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “The Hindu caste system and its attendant laws of purity became deeply embedded in Indian culture. Long after the Indo-Aryan invasion was forgotten, Indians continued to believe in the caste system and to abhor the pollution caused by caste mixing.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “For the first time in history, more people die today from eating too much than from eating too little; more people die from old age than from infectious diseases; and more people commit suicide than are killed by soldiers, terrorists and criminals combined. In the early twenty-first century, the average human is far more likely to die from bingeing at McDonald’s than from drought, Ebola or an al-Qaeda attack. Hence.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “For the first time in history, infectious diseases kill fewer people than old age, famine kills fewer people than obesity, and violence kills fewer people than accidents.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “So, monotheism explains order, but is mystified by evil. Dualism explains evil, but is puzzled by order.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Sapiens by contrast is more like a banana republic dictator. Having so recently been one of the underdogs of the savannah, we are full of fears and anxieties over our position, which makes us doubly cruel and dangerous. Many historical calamities, from deadly wars to ecological catastrophes, have resulted from this over-hasty jump.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “How does modern science relate to religion? It seems that people have already said a million times everything there is to say about this question. Yet in practice, science and religion are like a husband and wife who after 500 years of marriage counselling still don’t know each other. He still dreams about Cinderella and she keeps pining for Prince Charming, while they argue about whose turn it is to take out the rubbish.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Consumerism and nationalism work extra hours to make us imagine that millions of strangers belong to the same community as ourselves, that we have a common past, common interests and a common future. This isn’t a lie. It’s imagination. Like money, limited liability companies and human rights, nations and consumer tribes are inter-subjective realities. They exist only in our collective imagination, yet their power is immense.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Had the Neanderthals survived, would we still imagine ourselves to be a creature apart? Perhaps this is exactly why our ancestors wiped out the Neanderthals. They were too familiar to ignore, but too different to tolerate.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “As the twenty-first century unfolds, nationalism is fast losing ground. More and more people believe that all of humankind is the legitimate source of political authority, rather than the members of a particular nationality, and that safeguarding human rights and protecting the interests of the entire human species should be the guiding light of politics.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “The feminine genes that made it to the next generation belonged to women who were submissive caretakers. Women who spent to much time fighting for power did not leave any of those powerful genes for future generations.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “We are full of fears and anxieties over our position, which makes us doubly cruel and dangerous.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “In 1938 humans were offered three global stories to choose from, in 1968 just two, and in 1998 a single story seemed to prevail. In 2018 we are down to zero.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Humans of all creeds would do well to take humility more seriously.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “So if you want to know the truth about the universe, about the meaning of life, and about your own identity, the best place to start is by observing suffering and exploring what it is. The answer isn’t a story.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Traditional racism is waning, but the world is now full of “culturists.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “The dog was the first animal domesticated by Homo sapiens, and this occurred before the Agricultural Revolution.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Big Data algorithms might create digital dictatorships in which all power is concentrated in the hands of a tiny elite while most people suffer not from exploitation, but from something far worse – irrelevance.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “If we want to prevent the concentration of all wealth and power in the hands of a small elite, the key is to regulate the ownership of data.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “We should never underestimate human stupidity, it’s one of the most powerful forces in history.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Una de las pocas leyes rigurosas de la historia es que los lujos tienden a convertirse en necesidades y a generar nuevas obligaciones.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “How did wheat convince Homo sapiens to exchange a rather good life for a more miserable existence? What did it offer in return? It did not offer a better diet. Remember, humans are omnivorous apes who thrive on a wide variety of foods. Grains made up only a small fraction of the human diet before the Agricultural Revolution. A diet based on cereals is poor in minerals and vitamins, hard to digest, and really bad for your teeth and gums.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Well, suppose you observe a pride of lions take down and devour a giraffe. You wait patiently until they’re done. But it’s still not your turn because first the hyenas and jackals – and you don’t dare interfere with them – scavenge the leftovers. Only then would you and your band dare approach the carcass, look cautiously left and right – and dig into the edible tissue that remained.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Terrorism works by pressing the fear button deep in our minds and hijacking the private imagination of millions of individuals.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “We therefore have a good chance of overcoming the problem of resource scarcity. The real nemesis of the modern economy is ecological collapse. Both scientific progress and economic growth take place within a brittle biosphere, and as they gather steam, so the shock waves destabilise the ecology. In.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Modern culture is the most powerful in history, and it is ceaselessly researching, inventing, discovering and growing. At the same time, it is plagued by more existential angst than any previous culture.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Modernity, in contrast, is based on the firm belief that economic growth is not only possible, but absolutely essential... Modernity has turned ‘more stuff’ into a panacea applicable to almost all public and private problems, from religious fundamentalism through Third World authoritarianism down to a failed marriage... Economic growth has thus become the crucial juncture where almost all modern religions, ideologies and movements meet.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Then what will happen tomorrow? Nobody knows.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Today, the richest 1 percent own half the world’s wealth. Even more alarmingly, the richest one hundred people together own more than the poorest four billion.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “It is an iron rule of history that what looks inevitable in hindsight was far from obvious at the time.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Yet in the case of animals such as cattle, sheep and Sapiens, each with a complex world of sensations and emotions, we have to consider how evolutionary success translates into individual experience. In the following chapters we will see time and again how a dramatic increase in the collective power and ostensible success of our species went hand in hand with much individual suffering.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “When Charles Darwin indicated that Homo sapiens was just another kind of animal, people were outraged. Even today many refuse to believe it. Had the Neanderthals survived, would we still imagine ourselves to be a creature apart? Perhaps this is exactly why our ancestors wiped out the Neanderthals. They were too familiar to ignore, but too different to tolerate.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “There is some evidence that the size of the average Sapiens brain has actually decreased since the age of foraging.5 Survival in that era required superb mental abilities from everyone. When agriculture and industry came along people could increasingly rely on the skills of others for survival, and new ‘niches for imbeciles’ were opened up. You could survive and pass your unremarkable genes to the next generation by working as a water carrier or an assembly-line worker.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Russia has been following the schoolyard-bully principle: pick on the weakest kid, and don’t beat him up too much, lest the teacher intervene.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “In 1776 the Scottish economist Adam Smith published The Wealth of Nations, probably the most important economics manifesto of all time. In.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “So here is that line from the American Declaration of Independence translated into biological terms: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men evolved differently, that they are born with certain mutable characteristics, and that among these are life and the pursuit of pleasure.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “When the pope in Rome heard the news from France, he was so overcome by joy that he organised festive prayers to celebrate.”
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