Derren Victor Brown Quotes

I have had no formal training in painting: I gave up Art A level because I was sick of drawing peppers.

Derren Victor Brown

There will always be liars, swindlers and charlatans. Hopefully there will also always be the modern Houdinis and the seekers of the truth, snapping at their heels and holding them to account.

Derren Victor Brown

The balls, the chutzpah, the gall, nerve and impudence of the successful lie that is huge enough never to be questioned is always a source of immense professional pleasure amongst magicians with any sense of the theatrical.

Derren Victor Brown

Dull magic is a collection of tricks: great magic should sting.

Derren Victor Brown

To forgive purely because it is nicer to forgive, and to do so when its a tough call; to try to speak only kindly of those we know because it is preferable to do so; to enjoy the successes of others because living thus is more enjoyable than the stress of living resentfully: such kind things make us better, lovlier people. And to try to live this way for its own merits, without invoking a supernatural reason for doing so, is to celebrate our humanity and to give kindness back its teeth.

Derren Victor Brown

Most people think themselves kind enough, but rather like a magician thinking he is fooling an audience who can see through his trick, we are the worst judges of the effect we have on others. True, we can mentally point out various kindnesses we have committed and those pleasant aspects of ourselves. Yet by doing so, we ignore the real test cases: how we behave under pressure, how nice we are to people we dont like, how we deal with other people who seem determined to not live up to our unrealistic expectations.

Derren Victor Brown

All told, kindness is not fashionable.

Derren Victor Brown

In the same breath, one might add that the atheist is surely as religious as the Christian, in that he has adopted a set of beliefs to which he chooses to rigorously adhere. While its temptingly clever to make that claim, it is a nonsensical statement; no more logical than to say that a Christian is a type of atheist. Having a set of beliefs about religion is not the same as being a religious True Believer.

Derren Victor Brown

The sort of ill-informed armchair moralizing that pours from the permanently outraged, Daily Mail-reading mentality is one of the more revolting and frightening aspects of our society.

Derren Victor Brown

For a while now I have concerned myself with engaging peoples beliefs. A large part of me wishes to have people retain a scepticism about what I do and apply that to other areas in life where our beliefs are manipulated in ugly ways.

Derren Victor Brown

If a piece of 'alternative medicine' can be shown to work reliably, it ceases to become alternative. It just becomes medicine.

Derren Victor Brown

Science is unusual in that it is cumulative. It is a system built over time, wherein useful information is retained and ideas that simply don't stand up are discarded, based on the confirmation of knowledge through testing.

Derren Victor Brown

Moderate religious people may of course express distaste for such violence, pretending that the clear calls for grotesque and violent behaviour in their sacred book aren't there and cherry-picking the 'nice bits', but they are still guilty of not opening up the subject of belief to rational discourse, and in doing so are part of the machinery that leads to all the ugliness caused by fundamentalism.

Derren Victor Brown

We are allowed to question people about their politics or ethics and expect them to defend their beliefs, or at least hold their own in any other important matter by recourse to evidence, yet somehow on the massive subject of God and how he might have us behave, all rational discussion must stop the moment we hear 'I believe'.

Derren Victor Brown

One can be a true believer in anything: psychic ability, Christianity or, as Bertrand Russell classically suggested (with irony), in the fact there is a teapot orbiting the earth. I could believe any of those things with total conviction. But my conviction doesn't make them true. Indeed, it is something of an insult to the very truth I might hold dear to say that something is true just because I believe it is.

Derren Victor Brown
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