Stardust tagged me with this some ten days ago, but I just did not have the time. So now, belatedly, here are some quotes I like a lot that I was able to drum up in relatively quick order. Most of them come from my college English text "The American Tradition in Literature: Volume 1".
#1. From 'Walden' by Henry David Thoreau, "It is never too late to give up our prejudices. No way of thinking or doing, however ancient, can be trusted without proof. What every body echoes or in silence passes by as true today may turn out to be falsehoold tomorrow, mere smoke of opinion, which some had trusted for a cloud that would sprinkle fertilizing rain on their fields."
#2. From 'Self-Reliance' by Ralph Waldo Emerson, "A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the lustre of the firmament of bards and sages. Yet he dismisses without notice his thought, because it is his. In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts: they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty."
#3. Also from Self-Reliance, "It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude."
#4. From H. L. Mencken, "What I got in Sunday-School... was simply a firm conviction that the Christian faith was full of palpable absurdities, and the Christian God preposterous... The act of worship, as carried on by Christians, seems to me to be debasing rather than ennobling. It involves groveling before a Being, who, if He really exists, deserves to be denounced rather than respected."
#5. From Woody Allen, though I can't recall off the top of my head which movie, "Sex without love is an empty experience, but as empty experiences go it's one of the best."
And a bonus quote that I think Bacon would like, Abba Eban on the Palestinians, "They never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity."