Dr. Manhattan Quotes

A few quotes by the character of Dr. Manhattan from the movie/ comic “Watchmen”. I agree with these ones..

A live body and a dead body contain the same number of particles. Structurally, there’s no discernible difference. Life and death are unquantifiable abstracts. Why should I be concerned?

This statement is much more meaningful than you realize. Consider bacterial spores, prions or even two identically damaged cells, where one will recover and another that will die.. the line between ‘live and ‘not live’ is far hazier than you realize.

There is no future. There is no past. Do you see? Time is simultaneous, an intricately structured jewel that humans insist on viewing one edge at a time, when the whole design is visible in every facet.

We perceive time as linear and unidirectional. The important words are “we perceive”

I would only agree that a symbolic clock is as nourishing to the intellect as a photo of oxygen to a drowning man.

Most human talk and perform actions that do not address the real problem, because no one is confident they can succeed.

I’ve walked across the sun. I’ve seen events so tiny and so fast they hardly can be said to have occurred at all, but you… you are a man. And this world’s smartest man means no more to me than does its smartest termite.

Required reading for any person, especially western civilization-type white guys. In terms of impact, humans are as important as termites. We may, one day, have as large an impact on earth as blue green algae.

The morality of my activities escapes me.

Morality is what humans like to believe.

Even if I can’t predict where I’m going to find you, I can turn these walls to glass.

You are only human!

She says I am like a god now. I tell her I don’t think there is a god. And if there is I’m nothing like him.

Because I do not care about humans, unlike the gods conceptualized by humans.

Nothing ends, Adrian. Nothing ever ends.

Causality and randomness are a bitch!

In my opinion, the existence of life is a highly overrated phenomenon.

It is..

Why must I save the world I no longer have any stake in?

If you want to behave like apes, don’t expect me to care.

I am tired of Earth. These people. I’m tired of being caught in the tangle of their lives.

I am tired of humans.

Anything that can happen does happen.

Will explain this in a separate post. Potentially the most brilliant line in the book/ movie.

I can change almost anything… but I can’t change human nature.

It is not that he cannot change human nature, but the result would be more problematic than you realize.

Laurie Juspeczyk: Everyone will die!
Dr. Manhattan : And the universe will not even notice.

But most humans cannot face that reality.

They claim their labors are to build a heaven, yet their heaven is populated by horrors. Perhaps the world is not made. Perhaps nothing is made. A clock without a craftsman. It’s too late. Always has been, always will be. Too late.

I do not care about suicidal apes.

What do you think?

  1. February 26, 2010 at 6:08 am

    he did drop the knowledge

    but nobody likes to hear stuff that makes them feel less important.

  2. February 26, 2010 at 7:48 am

    I’ve been meaning to tell you, but your voice and opinions remind me of Ian Brady’s. You ought to read his “Gates of Janus.”

    Here is more backstory on Brady.

    It is all just entertainment to me, because anything resembling the current trajectory of events is bound to end very badly (and very soon).

    Might works as long as the average person cannot cause much damage. The world of the last 30 years has changed that, whether we like it or not. We have gone from a system that was much less productive but more robust to one that is very productive but less capable of handling disruptions (and we cannot go back).

    It is about choice, but people cannot choose unless they have to..

  3. rightsaidfred
    February 26, 2010 at 8:51 am

    To paraphrase Woody Allen, “Life is overrated, but as overrated things go, it is one of the best.”

    Life as in biological life, not living.

  4. rightsaidfred
    February 27, 2010 at 5:56 am

    Dr. Manhattan was protective of the “life” he had.

    I am not so sure. He was essentially immortal.. humans were, at best, a bad sideshow for him.

  5. Jack
    May 15, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Excellent post concerning issues which I imagine most people shy away from thinking on for any length of time. It is good to feel some kinship on these matters with others even if merely over the internet. Have to focus on the other perspective too. We are the all singing all dancing crap of the world and yet simulataneously, “…to distill so specific a form…it’s like turning air into gold.” Must focus on enjoying the ride that’s all I can suggest to myself lest I succumb to total mind-numbing apathy and depression. One of the best movie characters in one of the best films ever.

  6. May 16, 2012 at 10:42 am

    You’re side notes are quite irritating and unnecessary.

    • theone
      January 2, 2016 at 1:13 am


  7. August 6, 2012 at 4:50 am

    ^ I disagree. I like the side notes. Dr. Manhattan is definitely one of my favorite characters

  8. Jon
    September 15, 2012 at 1:19 am

    i think you overthink things waaaay too much.

    • joesantus
      August 19, 2015 at 10:01 am

      …or, is what you think a result of you overthinking AD waaaaay too much?

      By the way…how much thinking is “too much”? How much thinking is “enough”? What constitutes “overthinking”? Might a charge of “overthinking way too much” be coming from someone who is UNDERthinking ?

  9. NonExist
    September 19, 2012 at 10:01 am

    I totally agree.
    Even though I will never have Manhattan’s power, I pretty much feel exactly like he does and have felt this way for a long time.

    Excepting the quotes that refer to his power as a reason “I’ve walked across the sun. I’ve seen events so tiny and so fast they hardly can be said to have occurred at all, but you… you are a man. And this world’s smartest man means no more to me than does its smartest termite.”

    From a standpoint of logic, his mindset makes total sense. Now I’m an advocate of people choosing to do whatever they want as long as it harms no one else. But it annoys me to no end when those I know personally or those online feel like I must engage life exactly as they do to be able to enjoy it.

    Some of us prefer to stay away from the tangle of rampant emotion that is the strongest part of the basis for both human creation and destruction. Because there is never a guarantee of which will happen.

  10. P Ray
    September 20, 2012 at 4:26 am

    A live body and a dead body contain the same number of particles. Structurally, there’s no discernible difference. Life and death are unquantifiable abstracts. Why should I be concerned?
    Yes, but Dr. Manhattan has one thing wrong:
    There’s electrical activity between those particles.

    • convergedilingr
      May 15, 2016 at 8:34 pm

      There are always electrical interactions between all atoms and within all atoms. Dr. Manhattan knows this. There is a negatively charged electron and a positively charged nucleus on his forehead. These electrical charges remain after you die.

      • P Ray
        May 16, 2016 at 10:01 am

        At a certain base level, yes … but none that go above the threshold to demonstrate life.
        That is why there is a difference between a dead body and a live one

  11. Jaime Munoz
    October 31, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    I agree with all of them as well… My favorite is “While i am standing still, i pr……… Its too late, always has been. Always will be. Too late.”
    Dr. Manhattan is my role model hehh.

  12. Daniel
    April 10, 2013 at 11:32 pm

    I think we lend far too much credibility to the “wisdom” of something created purely for our entertainment. Many of these quotes are attractive to the human psyche only because they are enigmatic.

    • Human
      February 16, 2014 at 6:56 am

      Did Alan moore create The Watchmen purely for entertainment? Or is it also his thoughts on life? Unless anyone has had a conversation with him, no one can assume why he made this.

      Secondly, fiction or not, Manhattan’s opinion of the world matched the opinion I have had since before I knew what the watchmen was. I would assume same or similar for most who enjoy Manhattan. His logic seems sound.

      Reality is harsh, although that doesn’t mean you should hold up and be emo about it all. But shying away because people are afraid of how pointless all of it really is, is also a silly action.

      • jookyone
        August 9, 2015 at 8:23 pm

        Old thread, but let me pile on.

        Ignore the name Alan Moore, and the medium the message was delivered with (movie/comics). Humans spend their whole lives trying to connect with something. Know that when you connect with an invented philosophy from a fake character that hates humanity, that the character and its philosophy was created by humans and that you are connecting with people that share your viewpoint. You aren’t as alone as you would like to believe.

      • P Ray
        August 9, 2015 at 11:23 pm

        There’s a lot to hate about humanity when you have the time to analyse interactions and messages and actions … discovering them to be self-serving and finally – putting the blame on you while you get no benefits.
        In many ways Dr. Manhattan was right.

      • joesantus
        August 19, 2015 at 8:56 am

        “… lot to hate about humanity…”

        Moore, same as many others among us, simply applied logic and reason, as objectively as he could, to the observed and measured world, humanity, and history as it is not as the idyllic situation we might wish it could or should be.

        Moore might have used an atypical medium to voice his opinions, but he essentially did what others, who voiced opinions through other media (while sometimes likewise getting financial profit from it while they were voicing theirs), have done through history.

        To me, humanity is a rabid dog: a rabid dog becomes deranged and dangerous, often vicious, to others and to itself. A rabid dog can be expected to behave as a violent perpetrator. However, the dog never knowingly chose nor wanted to become infected with rabies, so the dog is a victim of nature. As a vicious perpetrator, it needs to be handled warily and even avoided if possible. But as a victim, it’s to be pitied. It never asked to be the way it is.

  13. jaco
    June 9, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    what do you mean when you comment “mortality is what humans like to believe?

  14. Ray
    August 4, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    jaco, he says “Morality” not “mortality”

  15. Justin
    May 9, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    Please tell me more quotes just like dr manhattan any books or comics movies i need more he is my hero please if you can text me at 301 -395-6513

  16. December 10, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    He’s almost like the real thing.

  17. Viz
    March 26, 2018 at 10:44 pm

    Some of OPs notes on the quotes are way off… Like the termite quote. It is in no way relating mankind’s influence on earth to that of termites, merely their influence on Manhattan himself, who exists beyond time and with nigh omnipotence.
    But more importantly, this yuck about his lack of concern for humanity as a whole? Blarney. Watchmen may tell a wonderful story but its true shining point is its characters, and Manhattan is no exception. Over time he has become more and more removed from humanity due to his powers, but he maintains his connection through his relationship, with certain scenes clearly indicating how his work life, representing his higher thinking, and his love life, representing his tie to humanity, are conflicting with each other. He still clearly expresses guilt when he believes he is responsible for causing cancer, and even seems reluctant to kill Rorschach. If he truly was the nihilist godhead he is so often touted as, none of these personal relationships would matter to him. As a being who exists through all of time, he would likely perceive relationships to us almost as we view pets, fleeting pleasures that ultimately are doomed. He blatantly rejects his own humanity on the surface, referring to his earlier self in third person as if he were truly a different man. But he remembers his humanity, he still has emotional ties to it, and through that, to us as a whole. Furthermore he makes the rational decision to support Ozy’s plan it appeals to his utilitarian sensibilities, and utilitarianism, while maybe seeming a bit cold and calculated, still has direct ties to morality. His dehumanizing dissociation doesnt stem DIRECTLY from his godlike state of being, but rather from the effect that amount of power has on his perspective. If you know something must end, are you as concerned with how? It doesnt mean you dont care, but its hard to remain emotionally invested when you already know the end result. While he does, in each moment, care, in the broad scheme of things he has trouble staying rooted to his human traits because his perspective cuts right through many of the reasons we develop the perspectives we do. He is too frequently reduced to the almost highschool-esque depressive nihilist, but to buy into this is an insult to his character. Throughout the series/film he is constantly struggling with his humanity, it has not left him. When he speaks of no longer being invested it is untrue; he says this in the bitter way an person would talk about not loving their ex. It is wishful thinking vocalized to hide tumultuous pain.

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