Inconsistent Men Quotes

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If you have feelings for someone, let them know. It doesn’t matter if they can be in your life or not. Maybe, it is just enough for both of you to release the truth, so healing can occur. The opposite is true, as well. If you don’t have feelings for someone then never let another person suggest that you do. Protect your reputation and be responsible for the wrong information spread about you. Never allow anyone to live with a false belief or unfounded hope about you. An honorable person sets the record straight, so that person can move on with their life.
Shannon L. Alder
Sarah learnt a lot from Alex. Like the way men could say one thing, then another, then act in a way inconsistent with both positions and somehow still be convinced of their own integrity.
Emily Maguire (Taming the Beast)
I therefore hate the corrupt, slaveholding, women-whipping, cradle-plundering, partial and hypocritical Christianity of the land... I look upon it as the climax of all misnomers, the boldest of all frauds, and the grossest of all libels. Never was there a clearer case of 'stealing the livery of the court of heaven to serve the devil in.' I am filled with unutterable loathing when I contemplate the religious pomp and show, together with the horrible inconsistencies, which every where surround me. We have men-stealers for ministers, women-whippers for missionaries, and cradle-plunderers for church members. The man who wields the blood-clotted cowskin during the week fills the pulpit on Sunday, and claims to be a minister of the meek and lowly Jesus. . . . The slave auctioneer’s bell and the church-going bell chime in with each other, and the bitter cries of the heart-broken slave are drowned in the religious shouts of his pious master. Revivals of religion and revivals in the slave-trade go hand in hand together. The slave prison and the church stand near each other. The clanking of fetters and the rattling of chains in the prison, and the pious psalm and solemn prayer in the church, may be heard at the same time. The dealers in the bodies of men erect their stand in the presence of the pulpit, and they mutually help each other. The dealer gives his blood-stained gold to support the pulpit, and the pulpit, in return, covers his infernal business with the garb of Christianity. Here we have religion and robbery the allies of each other—devils dressed in angels’ robes, and hell presenting the semblance of paradise.
Frederick Douglass (Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass)
I was born to love - but none of you wanted to believe it, and that misunderstanding was crucial in forming my character. It's true that nature was strangely inconsistent in giving me a warm heart, but also a face that was like a stone mask and a tongue that was heavy and slow. She refused me what she bestowed freely on even the most loutish of my fellow men. . . . People judged my inner character by my outer covering, and like a sterile fruit, I withered under the rough husk I couldn't slough off.
George Sand (Indiana)
If a man tells you he's an asshole & that you deserve better, believe him...it's a warning. It's best you listen before he proves it to you.
April Mae Monterrosa
[Standing armies] constantly threaten other nations with war by giving the appearance that they are prepared for it, which goads nations into competing with one another in the number of men under arms, and this practice knows no bounds. And since the costs related to maintaining peace will in this way finally become greater than those of a short war, standing armies are the cause of wars of aggression that are intended to end burdensome expenditures. Moreover, paying men to kill or be killed appears to use them as mere machines and tools in the hands of another (the nation), which is inconsistent with the rights of humanity.
Immanuel Kant (Perpetual Peace)
Bless the ladies and their charming inconsistency! They demand to be treated like men, but they react like women.
Elizabeth Peters (The Deeds of the Disturber (Amelia Peabody, #5))
CONSORTING WITH ANGELS I was tired of being a woman, tired of the spoons and the pots, tired of my mouth and my breasts, tired of the cosmetics and the silks. There were still men who sat at my table, circled around the bowl I offered up. The bowl was filled with purple grapes and the flies hovered in for the scent and even my father came with his white bone. But I was tired of the gender of things. Last night I had a dream and I said to it . . . "You are the answer. You will outlive my husband and my father." In that dream there was a city made of chains where Joan was put to death in man's clothes and the nature of the angels went unexplained, no two made in the same species, one with a nose, one with an ear in its hand, one chewing a star and recording its orbit, each one like a poem obeying itself, performing God's functions, a people apart. "You are the answer," I said, and entered, lying down on the gates of the city. Then the chains were fastened around me and I lost my common gender and my final aspect. Adam was on the left of me and Eve was on the right of me, both thoroughly inconsistent with the world of reason. We wove our arms together and rode under the sun. I was not a woman anymore, not one thing or the other. 0 daughters of Jerusalem, the king has brought me into his chamber. I am black and I am beautiful. I've been opened and undressed. I have no arms or legs. I'm all one skin like a fish. I'm no more a woman than Christ was a man.
Anne Sexton (The Complete Poems)
The more men are freed from privation; the more telegraphs, telephones, books, papers, and journals there are; the more means there will be of diffusing inconsistent lies and hypocrisies, and the more disunited and consequently miserable will men become, which indeed is what we see actually taking place.
Leo Tolstoy (The Kingdom of God Is Within You)
As for romance, Frank had dated a few women over the years but found them to be too inconsistent and illogical, so he dated a few men and found them to be even more random and frightening.
Sherman Alexie (Ten Little Indians)
Wherever, therefore, any number of men so unite into one society, as to quit everyone his executive power of the law of Nature, and to resign it to the public, there, and there only, is a political or civil society. [....] Hence it is evident that absolute monarchy, which by some men [e.g., Hobbes] is counted the only government in the world, is indeed inconsistent with civil society, and so can be no form of civil government at all.
John Locke (Second Treatise of Government (Hackett Classics))
Homer was wrong," wrote Heracleitus of Ephesus. "Homer was wrong in saying: 'Would that strife might perish from among gods and men!' He did not see that he was praying for the destruction of the universe; for if his prayer were heard, all things would pass away." These are the words on which the superhumanists should meditate. Aspiring toward a consistent perfection, they are aspiring toward annihilation. The Hindus had the wit to see and the courage to proclaim the fact; Nirvana, the goal of their striving, is nothingness. Wherever life exists, there also is inconsistency, division, strife.
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World)
For thirty years now I have been studying my fellow-men. I do not know very much about them. I should certainly hesitate to engage a servant on his face, and yet I suppose it is on the face that for the most part we judge the persons we meet. We draw our conclusions from the shape of the jaw, the look in the eyes, the contour of the mouth. I wonder if we are more often right than wrong. Why novels and plays are so often untrue to life is because their authors, perhaps of necessity, make their characters all of a piece. They cannot afford to make them self-contradictory, for then they become incomprehensible, and yet self-contradictory is what most of us are. We are a haphazard bundle of inconsistent qualities. In books on logic they will tell you that it is absurd to say that yellow is tubular or gratitude heavier than air; but in that mixture of incongruities that makes up the self yellow may very well be a horse and cart and gratitude the middle of the week. I shrug my shoulders when people tell me that their first impressions of a person are always right. I think they must have small insight or great vanity. For my own part I find that the longer I know people the more they puzzled me: my oldest friends are just these of whom I can say that I don't know the first thing about them.
W. Somerset Maugham
Men are seldom struck by incongruities in their appearance any more than their own conduct.
James Fenimore Cooper (The Deerslayer (The Leatherstocking Tales, #1))
For many years I have regarded the Pentateuch simply as a record of a barbarous people, in which are found a great number of the ceremonies of savagery, many absurd and unjust laws, and thousands of ideas inconsistent with known and demonstrated facts. To me it seemed almost a crime to teach that this record was written by inspired men; that slavery, polygamy, wars of conquest and extermination were right, and that there was a time when men could win the approbation of infinite Intelligence, Justice, and Mercy, by violating maidens and by butchering babes.
Robert G. Ingersoll (Some Mistakes of Moses)
In a healthy environment, increased threat sensitivity, poor emotion control and enhanced fear memory in MAOA-L [i.e., the “warrior” variant] men might only manifest as variation in temperament within a ‘normal’ or subclinical range. However, these same characteristics in an abusive childhood environment—one typified by persistent uncertainty, unpredictable threat, poor behavioral modeling and social referencing, and inconsistent reinforcement for prosocial decision making—might predispose toward frank aggression and impulsive violence in the adult.
Robert M. Sapolsky (Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst)
Philosophy being nothing else but the study of wisdom and truth, it may with reason be expected that those who have spent most time and pains in it should enjoy a greater calm and serenity of mind, a greater clearness and evidence of knowledge, and be less disturbed with doubts and difficulties than other men. Yet so it is, we see the illiterate bulk of mankind that walk the high-road of plain common sense, and are governed by the dictates of nature, for the most part easy and undisturbed. To them nothing that is familiar appears unaccountable or difficult to comprehend. They complain not of any want of evidence in their senses, and are out of all danger of becoming Sceptics. But no sooner do we depart from sense and instinct to follow the light of a superior principle, to reason, meditate, and reflect on the nature of things, but a thousand scruples spring up in our minds concerning those things which before we seemed fully to comprehend. Prejudices and errors of sense do from all parts discover themselves to our view; and, endeavouring to correct these by reason, we are insensibly drawn into uncouth paradoxes, difficulties, and inconsistencies, which multiply and grow upon us as we advance in speculation, till at length, having wandered through many intricate mazes, we find ourselves just where we were, or, which is worse, sit down in a forlorn Scepticism.
George Berkeley
I please myself with imagining a State at last which can afford to be just to all men, and to treat the individual with respect as a neighbor; which even would not think it inconsistent with its own repose if a few were to live aloof from it, not meddling with it, nor embraced by it, who fulfilled all the duties of neighbors and fellow men. A State which bore this kind of fruit, and suffered it to drop off as fast as it ripened, would prepare the way for a still more perfect and glorious State, which I have also imagined, but not yet anywhere seen.
Henry David Thoreau (Civil Disobedience)
Come, Paul!" she reiterated, her eye grazing me with its hard ray like a steel stylet. She pushed against her kinsman. I thought he receded; I thought he would go. Pierced deeper than I could endure, made now to feel what defied suppression, I cried - "My heart will break!" What I felt seemed literal heart-break; but the seal of another fountain yielded under the strain: one breath from M. Paul, the whisper, "Trust me!" lifted a load, opened an outlet. With many a deep sob, with thrilling, with icy shiver, with strong trembling, and yet with relief - I wept. "Leave her to me; it is a crisis: I will give her a cordial, and it will pass," said the calm Madame Beck. To be left to her and her cordial seemed to me something like being left to the poisoner and her bowl. When M. Paul answered deeply, harshly, and briefly - "Laissez-moi!" in the grim sound I felt a music strange, strong, but life-giving. "Laissez-moi!" he repeated, his nostrils opening, and his facial muscles all quivering as he spoke. "But this will never do," said Madame, with sternness. More sternly rejoined her kinsman - "Sortez d'ici!" "I will send for Père Silas: on the spot I will send for him," she threatened pertinaciously. "Femme!" cried the Professor, not now in his deep tones, but in his highest and most excited key, "Femme! sortez à l'instant!" He was roused, and I loved him in his wrath with a passion beyond what I had yet felt. "What you do is wrong," pursued Madame; "it is an act characteristic of men of your unreliable, imaginative temperament; a step impulsive, injudicious, inconsistent - a proceeding vexatious, and not estimable in the view of persons of steadier and more resolute character." "You know not what I have of steady and resolute in me," said he, "but you shall see; the event shall teach you. Modeste," he continued less fiercely, "be gentle, be pitying, be a woman; look at this poor face, and relent. You know I am your friend, and the friend of your friends; in spite of your taunts, you well and deeply know I may be trusted. Of sacrificing myself I made no difficulty but my heart is pained by what I see; it must have and give solace. Leave me!" This time, in the "leave me" there was an intonation so bitter and so imperative, I wondered that even Madame Beck herself could for one moment delay obedience; but she stood firm; she gazed upon him dauntless; she met his eye, forbidding and fixed as stone. She was opening her lips to retort; I saw over all M. Paul's face a quick rising light and fire; I can hardly tell how he managed the movement; it did not seem violent; it kept the form of courtesy; he gave his hand; it scarce touched her I thought; she ran, she whirled from the room; she was gone, and the door shut, in one second. The flash of passion was all over very soon. He smiled as he told me to wipe my eyes; he waited quietly till I was calm, dropping from time to time a stilling, solacing word. Ere long I sat beside him once more myself - re-assured, not desperate, nor yet desolate; not friendless, not hopeless, not sick of life, and seeking death. "It made you very sad then to lose your friend?" said he. "It kills me to be forgotten, Monsieur," I said.
Charlotte Brontë (Villette)
But the truth is that there is no more conscious inconsistency between the humility of a Christian and the rapacity of a Christian than there is between the humility of a lover and the rapacity of a lover. The truth is that there are no things for which men will make such herculean efforts as the things of which they know they are unworthy. There never was a man in love who did not declare that, if he strained every nerve to breaking, he was going to have his desire. And there never was a man in love who did not declare also that he ought not to have it.
G.K. Chesterton (Heretics)
It will seem to many persons very inconsistent with their ideas of the dignity of a spirit that they should appear and act in the manner I have described, and shall describe further; and I have heard it objected that we cannot suppose God would permit the dead to return merely to frighten the living, and that it is showing Him little reverence to imagine He would suffer them to come on such trifling errands, or demean themselves in so undignified a fashion. But God permits men of all degrees of wickedness, and of every kind of absurdity, to exist, and to harass and disturb the earth, whilst they expose themselves to its obloquy or its ridicule.
Catherine Crowe (The Night Side of Nature)
How could I, a poor dazed village lad, avoid that wonderful inconsistency into which the best and wisest of men fall every day?
Charles Dickens (Great Expectations)
...modern man does not think about current problems; he feels them. He reacts, but he does not understand them any more than he takes responsibility for them. He is even less capable of spotting any inconsistency between successive facts; man's capacity to forget is unlimited. This is one of the most important and useful points for the propagandist, who can always be sure that a particular propaganda theme, statement, or event will be forgotten within a few weeks.
Jacques Ellul (Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes)
What do you remember—their kisses?" "All sorts of things…. Men are different with women." "Different in what way?" "Oh, entirely—and quite inexpressibly. Men who had the most firmly rooted reputation for being this way or that would sometimes be surprisingly inconsistent with me. Brutal men were tender, negligible men were astonishingly loyal and lovable, and, often, honorable men took attitudes that were anything but honorable." "For
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Beautiful and Damned)
If I devote myself to other pursuits and contemplations, I must first see, at least, that I do not pursue them sitting upon another man's shoulders. I must get off him first, that he may pursue his contemplations too. See what gross inconsistency is tolerated. I have heard some of my townsmen say, "I should like to have them order me out to help put down an insurrection of the slaves, or to march to Mexico—see if I would go"; and yet these very men have each, directly by their allegiance, and so indirectly, at least, by their money, furnished a substitute.
Henry David Thoreau (Civil Disobedience)
The origin of superstition above given affords us a clear reason for the fact, that it comes to all men naturally, though some refer its rise to a dim notion of God, universal to mankind, and also tends to show, that it is no less inconsistent and variable than other mental hallucinations and emotional impulses, and further that it can only be maintained by hope, hatred, anger, and deceit; since it springs, not from reason, but solely from the more powerful phases of emotion.
Christopher Hitchens (The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever)
I compared what was really known about the stars with the account of creation as told in Genesis. I found that the writer of the inspired book had no knowledge of astronomy -- that he was as ignorant as a Choctaw chief -- as an Eskimo driver of dogs. Does any one imagine that the author of Genesis knew anything about the sun -- its size? that he was acquainted with Sirius, the North Star, with Capella, or that he knew anything of the clusters of stars so far away that their light, now visiting our eyes, has been traveling for two million years? If he had known these facts would he have said that Jehovah worked nearly six days to make this world, and only a part of the afternoon of the fourth day to make the sun and moon and all the stars? Yet millions of people insist that the writer of Genesis was inspired by the Creator of all worlds. Now, intelligent men, who are not frightened, whose brains have not been paralyzed by fear, know that the sacred story of creation was written by an ignorant savage. The story is inconsistent with all known facts, and every star shining in the heavens testifies that its author was an uninspired barbarian. I admit that this unknown writer was sincere, that he wrote what he believed to be true -- that he did the best he could. He did not claim to be inspired -- did not pretend that the story had been told to him by Jehovah. He simply stated the "facts" as he understood them. After I had learned a little about the stars I concluded that this writer, this "inspired" scribe, had been misled by myth and legend, and that he knew no more about creation than the average theologian of my day. In other words, that he knew absolutely nothing. And here, allow me to say that the ministers who are answering me are turning their guns in the wrong direction. These reverend gentlemen should attack the astronomers. They should malign and vilify Kepler, Copernicus, Newton, Herschel and Laplace. These men were the real destroyers of the sacred story. Then, after having disposed of them, they can wage a war against the stars, and against Jehovah himself for having furnished evidence against the truthfulness of his book.
Robert G. Ingersoll
There is a twofold liberty, natural (I mean as our nature is now corrupt) and civil or federal. The first is common to man with beasts and other creatures. By this, man, as he stands in relation to man simply, hath liberty to do what he lists; it is a liberty to evil as well as to good. This liberty is incompatible and inconsistent with authority, and cannot endure the least restrain of the most just authority. The exercise and maintaining of this liberty makes men grow more evil, and in time to be worse than brute beasts: omnes sumus licentia deteriores. This is that great enemy of truth and peace, that wild beast, which all the ordinances of God are bent against, to restrain and subdue it. The other kind of liberty I call civil or federal; it may also be termed moral, in reference to the covenant between God and man, in the moral law, and the politic covenants and constitutions, among men themselves. This liberty is the proper end and object of authority, and cannot subsist without it; and it is a liberty to that only which is good, just, and honest. This liberty you are to stand for, with the hazard not only of your goods, but of your lives, if need be. Whatsoever crosseth this, is not authority, but a distemper thereof. This liberty is maintained and exercised in a way of subjection to authority; IT IS OF THE SAME KIND OF LIBERTY WHEREWITH CHRIST HATH MADE US FREE
Alexis de Tocqueville
It was odd, how many common features they all had. Most claimed ultimate authority, denouncing other faiths. Most taught of an afterlife, but could offer no proof. Most taught about a god or gods, yet—again—had little justification for their teachings. And every single one of them was riddled with inconsistencies and logical fallacies. How did men believe in something that preached love on one hand, yet taught destruction of unbelievers on the other? How did one rationalize belief with no proof? How could they honestly expect him to have faith in something that taught of miracles and wonders in the far past, but carefully gave excuses for why such things didn’t occur in the present day?
Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn Trilogy (Mistborn, #1-3))
To the extent that propaganda is based on current news, it cannot permit time for thought or reflection. A man caught up in the news must remain on the surface of the event; he is carried along in the current, and can at no time take a respite to judge and appreciate; he can never stop to reflect. There is never any awareness -- of himself, of his condition, of his society -- for the man who lives by current events. Such a man never stops to investigate any one point, any more than he will tie together a series of news events. We already have mentioned man's inability to consider several facts or events simultaneously and to make a synthesis of them in order to face or to oppose them. One thought drives away another; old facts are chased by new ones. Under these conditions there can be no thought. And, in fact, modern man does not think about current problems; he feels them. He reacts, but be does not understand them any more than he takes responsibility for them. He is even less capable of spotting any inconsistency between successive facts; man's capacity to forget is unlimited. This is one of the most important and useful points for the propagandist, who can always be sure that a particular propaganda theme, statement, or event will be forgotten within a few weeks. Moreover, there is a spontaneous defensive reaction in the individual against an excess of information and -- to the extent that he clings (unconsciously) to the unity of his own person -- against inconsistencies. The best defense here is to forget the preceding event. In so doing, man denies his own continuity; to the same extent that he lives on the surface of events and makes today's events his life by obliterating yesterday's news, he refuses to see the contradictions in his own life and condemns himself to a life of successive moments, discontinuous and fragmented. This situation makes the "current-events man" a ready target for propaganda. Indeed, such a man is highly sensitive to the influence of present-day currents; lacking landmarks, he follows all currents. He is unstable because he runs after what happened today; he relates to the event, and therefore cannot resist any impulse coming from that event. Because he is immersed in current affairs, this man has a psychological weakness that puts him at the mercy of the propagandist. No confrontation ever occurs between the event and the truth; no relationship ever exists between the event and the person. Real information never concerns such a person. What could be more striking, more distressing, more decisive than the splitting of the atom, apart from the bomb itself? And yet this great development is kept in the background, behind the fleeting and spectacular result of some catastrophe or sports event because that is the superficial news the average man wants. Propaganda addresses itself to that man; like him, it can relate only to the most superficial aspect of a spectacular event, which alone can interest man and lead him to make a certain decision or adopt a certain attitude. But here we must make an important qualification. The news event may be a real fact, existing objectively, or it may be only an item of information, the dissemination of a supposed fact. What makes it news is its dissemination, not its objective reality.
Jacques Ellul (Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes)
of women’s inborn capacity to bond with their own captors as a psycho-socially adaptive survival trait, and how this evolved into women’s pronounced facility with which they can ‘get over’ former lovers so much faster than men seem to be capable of. Women don’t like me detailing this phenomenon for obvious reasons, but I think men dislike the notion of their easy ‘disposability’ because of that same inconsistency in gender concepts of love.
Rollo Tomassi (The Rational Male)
we should also consider the remoter analogy of the animals. Many birds and animals, especially the carnivorous, have only one mate, and the love and care of offspring which seems to be natural is inconsistent with the primitive theory of marriage. If we go back to an imaginary state in which men were almost animals and the companions of them, we have as much right to argue from what is animal to what is human as from the barbarous to the civilized man. The record of animal life on the globe is fragmentary,—the connecting links are wanting and cannot be supplied; the record of social life is still more fragmentary and precarious. Even if we admit that our first ancestors had no such institution as marriage, still the stages by which men passed from outer barbarism to the comparative civilization of China, Assyria, and Greece, or even of the ancient Germans, are wholly unknown to us. Such
Plato (The Republic)
Punishment, without any proper end or purpose, is inconsistent with our ideas of goodness and justice; and no end can be served by it after the whole scene is closed. Punishment, according to our conception, should bear some proportion to the offence. Why then eternal punishment for the temporary offences of so frail a creature as man? Can any one approve of Alexander's rage, who intended to exterminate a whole nation, because they had seized his favorite horse, Bucephalus? Heaven and hell suppose two distinct species of men, the good and the bad. But the greatest part of mankind float betwixt vice and virtue.
David Hume (Essays)
It was inevitable that she should accept any inconsistency and cruelty from her deity as all good worshipers do from theirs. All gods who receive homage are cruel. All gods dispense suffering without reason. Otherwise they would not be worshiped. Through indiscriminate suffering men know fear and fear is the most divine emotion. It is the stones for altars and the beginning of wisdom. Half gods are worshiped in wine and flowers. Real gods require blood."(138-139)
Zora Neale Hurston (Their Eyes Were Watching God)
Marriage is a kind of scaffolding that protects those of us, men and women, who choose it. It protects us from our inconsistency; it helps us.
Costanza Miriano (Marry Him and Be Submissive)
MEN. For thou thinkest inconsistently, now one thing, before another, another thing presently. AG. Well hast thou talked evil. Hateful is a too clever tongue. [20]
Euripides (The Tragedies of Euripides, Volume I.)
Tolstoy wrote, back in 1894, in The Kingdom of God Is Within You: The more men are freed from privation; the more telegraphs, telephones, books, papers, and journals there are; the more means there will be of diffusing inconsistent lies and hypocrisies, and the more disunited and consequently miserable will men become, which indeed is what we see actually taking place.
Matt Haig (Notes on a Nervous Planet: Matt Haig)
And the whole power of the government must be limited to the maintenance of that single principle. And that one principle is justice. There is no other principle that any man can rightfully enforce upon others, or ought to consent to have enforced against himself. Every man claims the protection of this principle for himself, whether he is willing to accord it to others, or not. Yet such is the inconsistency of human nature, that some men—in fact, many men—who will risk their lives for this principle, when their own liberty or property is at stake, will violate it in the most flagrant manner, if they can thereby obtain arbitrary power over the persons or property of others. We have seen this fact illustrated in this country, through its whole history—especially during the last hundred years—and in the case of many of the most conspicuous persons. And their example and influence have been employed to pervert the whole character of the government. It is against such men, that all others, who desire nothing but justice for themselves, and are willing to unite to secure it for all others, must combine, if we are ever to have justice established for any.
Lysander Spooner (A Letter to Grover Cleveland On His False Inaugural Address, The Usurpations and Crimes of Lawmakers and Judges, and the Consequent Poverty, Ignorance, and Servitude Of The People)
The very points of my character that are most commended mark me as unfit to reign: love of retirement and of studies inconsistent with business, a passion that has become inveterate in me for peace, for unwarlike occupations, and for the society of men whose meetings are but those of worship and of kindly intercourse, whose lives in general are spent upon their farms and their pastures.
Plutarch (Plutarch's Lives: Volume I)
People are delighted to accept pensions and gratuities, for which they hire out their labour or their support or their services. But nobody works out the value of time: men use it lavishly as if it cost nothing. But if death threatens these same people, you will see them praying to their doctors; if they are in fear of capital punishment, you will see them prepared to spend their all to stay alive. So inconsistent are they in their feelings. But if each of us could have the tally of his future years set before him, as we can of our past years, how alarmed would be those who saw only a few years ahead, and how carefully would they use them! And yet it is easy to organize an amount, however small, which is assured; we have to be more careful in preserving what will cease at an unknown point.
Seneca (On the Shortness of Life)
And it was then, watching him eat before me, that I realised there was inconsistency in him. He said there was no difference between Chosen and Quelled; he said men were not more sacred than women, nor women less than men; he said we were side by side, matched in every way; he said all these things — but his life spoke differently. He still ate before me, first, as my lord. And in that simple act, he undid all his words.
Sherryl Jordan (Winter of Fire)
MEN. For thou thinkest inconsistently, now one thing, before another, another thing presently. AG. Well hast thou talked evil. Hateful is a too clever tongue. [20] MEN. But an unstable mind is an unjust thing to possess, and
Euripides (The Tragedies of Euripides, Volume I.)
The true lover was suffering for the sins of the false. This inconsistency is unfortunately only to be expected so long as men do not know how many flowers are mown down in a young woman’s soul by the first stroke of treachery.
Honoré de Balzac
Is the consideration of a little dirty pelf, to individuals, to be placed in competition with the essential rights & liberties of the present generation, & of millions yet unborn? shall a few designing men for their own aggrandizement, and to gratify their own avarice, overset the goodly fabric we have been rearing at the expence of so much time, blood, & treasure? and shall we at last become the victems of our own abominable lust of gain? Forbid it heaven! forbid it all, & every state in the union! by enacting & enforcing, efficatious laws for checking the growth of these monstrous evils, & restoring matters in some degree to the pristine state they were in at the commencement of the War. Our cause is noble. It is the cause of Mankind! and the danger to it springs from ourselves—Shall we slumber & sleep then while we should be punishing those miscreants who have brought these troubles upon us, & who are aiming to continue us in them? While we should be striving to fill our Battalions—and devising ways and means to appreciate the currency—On the credit of which every thing depends? I hope not—let vigorous measures be adopted—not to limit the price of articles—for this I conceive is inconsistent with the very nature of things, & impracticable in itself—but to punish speculators—forestallers—& extortioners—and above all—to sink the money by heavy Taxes—To promote public & private Œconomy—encourage Manufactures &ca—Measures of this sort gone heartily into by the several states will strike at once at the root of all our misfortunes, & give the coup-de-grace to British hope of subjugating this great Continent, either by their Arms or their Arts—The first as I have before observed they acknowledge is unequal to the task—the latter I am sure will be so if we are not lost to every thing that is good & virtuous.
George Washington
Exactly what I myself had thought, many times. Exactly what was perfectly manifest to me at the moment. But how could I, a poor dazed village lad avoid that wonderful inconsistency into which the best and wisest of men fall everyday.
Charles Dickens (Great Expectations)
The Black Power advocates are disenchanted with the inconsistencies in the militaristic posture of our government. Over the past decade they have seen America applauding nonviolence whenever the Negroes have practiced it. They have watched it being praised in the sit-in movements of 1960, in the Freedom Riots of 1961, in the Albany movement of 1962, in the Birmingham movement of 1963 and in the Selma movement of 1965. But then these same black young men and women have watched as America sends black young men to burn Vietnamese with napalm, to slaughter men, women, and children; and they wonder what kind of nation it is that applauds nonviolence whenever Negroes face white people in the streets of the United State but then applauds violence and burning and death when these same Negroes are sent to the fields of Vietnam.
Martin Luther King Jr. (Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?)
It is a strange notion that the acknowledgment of a first principle is inconsistent with the admission of secondary ones. To inform a traveler respecting the place of his ultimate destination, is not to forbid the use of land-marks and direction-posts on the way. The proposition that happiness is the end and aim of morality, does not mean that no road ought to be laid down to that goal, or that persons going thither should not be advised to take one direction rather than another. Men really ought to leave off talking a kind of nonsense on this subject, which they would neither talk nor listen to on other matters of practical concernment. Nobody argues that the art of navigation is not founded on astronomy, because sailors cannot wait to calculate the Nautical Almanack. Being rational creatures, they go to sea with it ready calculated; and all rational creatures go out upon the sea of life with their minds made up on the common questions of right and wrong, as well as on many of the far more difficult questions of wise and foolish. And this, as long as foresight is a human quality, it is to be presumed they will continue to do. Whatever we adopt as the fundamental principle of morality, we require subordinate principles to apply it by: the impossibility of doing without them, being common to all systems, can afford no argument against any one in particular: but gravely to argue as if no such secondary principles could be had, and as if mankind had remained till now, and always must remain, without drawing any general conclusions from the experience of human life, is as high a pitch, I think, as absurdity has ever reached in philosophical controversy.
John Stuart Mill (Utilitarianism)
If any considerable number of the people believe the Constitution to be good, why do they not sign it themselves, and make laws for, and administer them upon, each other; leaving all other persons (who do not interfere with them) in peace? Until they have tried the experiment for themselves, how can they have the face to impose the Constitution upon, or even to recommend it to, others? Plainly the reason for absurd and inconsistent conduct is that they want the Constitution, not solely for any honest or legitimate use it can be of to themselves or others, but for the dishonest and illegitimate power it gives them over the persons and properties of others. But for this latter reason, all their eulogiums on the Constitution, all their exhortations, and all their expenditures of money and blood to sustain it, would be wanting. VIII. The Constitution itself, then, being of no authority, on what authority does our government practically rest? On what ground can those who pretend to administer it, claim the right to seize men's property, to restrain them of their natural liberty of action, industry, and trade, and to kill all who deny their authority to dispose of men's properties, liberties, and lives at their pleasure or discretion? The most they can say, in answer to this question, is, that some half, two-thirds, or three-fourths, of the male adults of the country have a tacit understanding that they will maintain a government under the Constitution; that they will select, by ballot, the persons to administer it; and that those persons who may receive a majority, or a plurality, of their ballots, shall act as their representatives, and administer the Constitution in their name, and by their authority. But
Lysander Spooner (No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority (Complete Series))
And there you have your Founders and Framers in all their elite glory—the 1 percent of their time. Many spent more than they made. Struggled their entire lives with debt. And, when they could, always married into money. They were—obvious to say—petty, flawed, inconsistent, and all too human. Yet compared to many of our feckless lawmakers of today,XV those rich white guys were indeed like demigods come from Mount Olympus to walk the Earth. Or at least the streets of Philadelphia. Not merely politicians, they were (collectively) inventors, architects, scientists, linguists, and scholars who had studied Greek and Latin; who read Voltaire, John Stuart Mill, and David Hume. More interestingly, Voltaire, John Stuart Mill, and David Hume read them.XVI They were eloquent orators and brilliant writers. They wrote books, political articles, essays, and long, philosophical letters to their wives, friends, and to one another.XVII So who were those guys? They were men of the Enlightenment who valued reason over dogma, tolerance over bigotry, and science over faith. And, unlike the current Right-Wing doomsayers and fearmongers, they were all, truly, apostles of optimism.
Ed Asner (The Grouchy Historian: An Old-Time Lefty Defends Our Constitution Against Right-Wing Hypocrites and Nutjobs)
Then let us put a speech into the mouths of our opponents. They will say: 'Socrates and Glaucon, no adversary need convict you, for you yourselves, at the first foundation of the State, admitted the principle that everybody was to do the one work suited to his own nature.' And certainly, if I am not mistaken, such an admission was made by us. 'And do not the natures of men and women differ very much indeed?' And we shall reply: Of course they do. Then we shall be asked, 'Whether the tasks assigned to men and to women should not be different, and such as are agreeable to their different natures?' Certainly they should. 'But if so, have you not fallen into a serious inconsistency in saying that men and women, whose natures are so entirely different, ought to perform the same actions?'—What defence will you make for us, my good Sir, against any one who offers these objections? That
Plato (The Republic)
Do you want to be a gentleman, to spite her or to gain her over?" Biddy quietly asked me, after a pause. "I don't know," I moodily answered. "Because, if it is to spite her," Biddy pursued, "I should think—but you know best—that might be better and more independently done by caring nothing for her words. And if it is to gain her over, I should think—but you know best—she was not worth gaining over." Exactly what I myself had thought, many times. Exactly what was perfectly manifest to me at the moment. But how could I, a poor dazed village lad, avoid that wonderful inconsistency into which the best and wisest of men fall every day?
Charles Dickens (Great Expectations)
The main reason for moral inconsistencies and betrayals, Ayn Rand believed, is that men have been taught to pursue ideals that are irrational and therefore impractical. Traditional virtues, such as self-sacrifice, faith, and humility, are contrary to the requirements of human life and happiness. They force men into the horrible dilemma of having to choose between virtue and happiness—between morality and life itself.
Robert James Bidinotto (Atlas Shrugged: The Novel, the Films, the Philosophy)
Men set very great store by pensions and doles, and for these they hire out their labor or service or effort.   But no one sets a value on time; all use it lavishly as if it cost nothing.  But see how these same people clasp the knees of physicians if they fall ill and the danger of death draws nearer, see how ready they are, if threatened with capital punishment, to spend all their possessions in order to live!  So great is the inconsistency of their feelings.
Seneca (On the Shortness of Life)
as the mass of mankind remains always at about the same pitch of misery, it never assents long to any one remedy, but is always best pleased by a novelty, which has not yet proved illusive. This element of inconsistency has been the cause of many terrible wars and revolutions; for, as Curtius well says (lib. iv. chap. 10): “The mob has no ruler more potent than superstition,” and is easily led, on the plea of religion, at one moment to adore its kings as gods, and anon to execrate and abjure them as humanity’s common bane. Immense pains have therefore been taken to counteract this evil by investing religion, whether true or false, with such pomp and ceremony, that it may rise superior to every shock, and be always observed with studious reverence by the whole people—a system which has been brought to great perfection by the Turks, for they consider even controversy impious, and so clog men’s minds with dogmatic formulas, that they leave no room for sound reason, not even enough to doubt with.
Christopher Hitchens (The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever)
One day Lot went into Sodom, took office, tried to reform the evil city, succeeded in vexing his righteous, but unspiritual soul with the filthy conversation of the wicked, got down to the level of the natural man, lost his testimony and seemed to his friends and intimates like a madman or the most excuselessly inconsistent trifler when he attempted to take up once more his damaged testimony. Then there was a night when God’s angels came and snatched him out of the doomed city. The next morning the fire of God fell and Lot “saved so as by fire” looked on at the blaze and the burning of all his works of righteousness as wood hay and stubble, big in bulk but rejected of God. Looking forward to His Second Coming and backward for an illustration the Son of God declared as it was in the days of Lot so should it be when the Son of man should come again. There are good and righteous Christians—righteous enough but wholly unspiritual who are seeking to make spotless town of a world God has judged and doomed, failing to see the cross is not only the judgment of the individual, but equally the judgment of the world; that not only does the cross reveal the end of all flesh but the end in God’s sight of that system of things which men call the world; that on the cross the world is crucified to the Christian and the Christian to the world; and failing to see this, failing to get the mind of God are daily descending to the plane of the natural man, are losing and in many cases deliberately setting aside the testimony once for all delivered to the saints. Without warning, they will be snatched away to meet a descending Lord (if they be real and regenerated Christians) and this alone because their faith be it never so small holds them securely in the bonds of the covenant. After that the Lord will be revealed in flaming fire to execute judgment on the world and all the works of misguided social reformers because these works are built, not upon the righteousness of God, but the righteousness of man.
Isaac Massey Haldeman (Why I Preach the Second Coming)
For most people there is a fascinating inconsistency in the position of St. Francis. He expressed in loftier and bolder language than any earthly thinker the conception that laughter is as divine as tears. He called his monks the mountebanks of God. He never forgot to take pleasure in a bird as it flashed past him, or a drop of water as it fell from his finger; he was perhaps the happiest of the sons of men. Yet this man undoubtedly founded his whole polity on the negation of what we think of the most imperious necessities; in his three vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience he denied to himself, and those he loved most, property, love, and liberty. Why was it that the most large-hearted and poetic spirits in that age found their most congenial atmosphere in these awful renunciations? Why did he who loved where all men were blind, seek to blind himself where all men loved? Why was he a monk and not a troubadour? We have a suspicion that if these questions were answered we should suddenly find that much of the enigma of this sullen time of ours was answered also.
G.K. Chesterton (Twelve Types: A Collection of Mini-Biographies)
En vérité, la prompte retraite de mon père m'avait gratifié d'un « Œdipe » fort incomplet: pas de Sur-moi, d'accord, mais point d'agressivité non plus. Ma mère était à moi, personne ne m'en contestait la tranquille possession: j'ignorais la violence et la haine, on m'épargna ce dur apprentissage, la jalousie; faute de m'être heurté à ses angles, je ne connus d'abord la réalité que par sa rieuse inconsistance. Contre qui, contre quoi me serais-je révolté: jamais le caprice d'un autre ne s'était prétendu ma loi.Mourir n'est pas facile
Jean-Paul Sartre
I believe there is far more harm done by unholy and inconsistent Christians than we are at all aware of. Such men are among Satan’s best allies. They pull down by their lives what ministers build with their lips. They cause the chariot wheels of the gospel to drive heavily. They supply the children of this world with a never-ending excuse for remaining as they are. ‘I cannot see the use of so much religion,’ said an irreligious tradesman not long ago, ‘I observe that some of my customers are always talking about the gospel and faith and election and the blessed promises and so forth, and yet these very people think nothing of cheating me of pence and halfpence when they have an opportunity. Now, if religious persons can do such things, I do not see what good there is in religion.’ I grieve to be obliged to write such things, but I fear that Christ’s name is too often blasphemed because of the lives of Christians. Let us take heed lest the blood of souls should be required at our hands. From murder of souls by inconsistency and loose walking, good Lord, deliver us! Oh, for the sake of others, if for no other reason, let us strive to be holy!
Michael John Beasley (Internet Inferno: A Contemporary Warning and Reminder Regarding this Ancient Truth - "The Tongue is a Fire, the Very World of Iniquity, and is Set on Fire by Hell" James 3:6)
For I agree with you that there is a natural aristocracy among men. The grounds of this are virtue and talents. Formerly bodily powers gave place among the aristoi. But since the invention of gunpowder has armed the weak as well as the strong with missile death, bodily strength, like beauty, good humor, politeness and other accomplishments, has become but an auxiliary ground of distinction. There is also an artificial aristocracy founded on wealth and birth, without either virtue or talents; for with these it would belong to the first class. The natural aristocracy I consider as the most precious gift of nature for the instruction, the trusts, and government of society. And indeed it would have been inconsistent in creation to have formed man for the social state, and not to have provided virtue and wisdom enough to manage the concerns of the society. May we not even say that that form of government is the best which provides the most effectually for a pure selection of these natural aristoi into the offices of government? The artificial aristocracy is a mischievous ingredient in government, and provision should be made to prevent its ascendancy.
Thomas Jefferson
And, first, I premise that labour is, as I have already intimated, a commodity, and as such, an article of trade. If I am right in this notion, then labour must be subject to all the laws and principles of trade, and not to regulations foreign to them, and that may be totally inconsistent with those principles and those laws. When any commodity is carried to market, it is not the necessity of the vender, but the necessity of the purchaser that raises the price. The extreme want of the seller has rather (by the nature of things with which we shall in vain contend) the direct contrary operation. If the goods at market are beyond the demand, they fall in their value; if below it, they rise. The impossibility of the subsistence of a man, who carries his labour to a market, is totally beside the question in this way of viewing it. The only question is, what is it worth to the buyer? But if authority comes in and forces the buyer to a price, who is this in the case (say) of a farmer, who buys the labour of ten or twelve labouring men, and three or four handycrafts, what is it, but to make an arbitrary division of his property among them? [Thoughts and Details on Scarcity]
Edmund Burke
The progress from an absolute to a limited monarchy, from a limited monarchy to a democracy, is a progress toward a true respect for the individual. Even the Chinese philosopher was wise enough to regard the individual as the basis of the empire. Is a democracy, such as we know it, the last improvement possible in government? Is it not possible to take a step further towards recognizing and organizing the rights of man? There will never be a really free and enlightened State until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly. I please myself with imagining a State at least which can afford to be just to all men, and to treat the individual with respect as a neighbor; which even would not think it inconsistent with its own repose if a few were to live aloof from it, not meddling with it, nor embraced by it, who fulfilled all the duties of neighbors and fellow-men. A State which bore this kind of fruit, and suffered it to drop off as fast as it ripened, would prepare the way for a still more perfect and glorious State, which also I have imagined, but not yet anywhere seen.
Henry David Thoreau (Civil Disobedience)
What is love? Jane had asked Nicolas, when he had professed that emotion, unasked. It hadn’t been coyness. It had been a genuine question. She knew what the poets said of love; she knew what great men and women had sacrificed in the name of that elusive emotion. Towers had toppled; fleets had been launched. But Jane had always wondered if they had all felt a bit sheepish about it afterwards, if what they had lauded as love was merely, in fact, the grip of a strong infatuation, lust fueled by inaccessibility. The prize, when won, lost its luster; infatuation turned to indifference. The famous beauty had a shrill voice; the great lover stinted his servants. Love was a chimera, an ideal. Maybe you just aren’t capable of feeling it , Nicolas had tossed back at her, one of those golden barbs that cut deeper than she had ever allowed herself to acknowledge. But he had been wrong. And so had she. Love wasn’t an ideal; it was messy and muddy and fraught with inconsistencies. It was a hard arm around her shoulders when she slipped and might have fallen, a reluctant nod in the middle of an argument. It was the slouch of Jack’s shoulders and the crooked line of his smile. It was knowing that whatever hardships befell them, they would stumble through it together.
Lauren Willig (The Lure of the Moonflower (Pink Carnation, #12))
Insensate cruelty to those you can whip, and grovelling submission to those you can't. Once having set up her idols and built altars to the, it was imevitable that she would worship there. It was inevitable that she would accept any inconsistency and cruelty from her deity as all good worshippers do from theirs. All gods who recieve homage are cruel. All gods dispense suffering without reason. Otherwise they would not be worshipped Though indiscriminate suffering men know fear and fear is the most divine emotion. It is the stones for altars and the beginning of wisdom. Half gods are worshipped in wine and flowers. Real gods require blood.
Zora Neale Hurston
1. What is this force, Lucilius, that drags us in one direction when we are aiming in another, urging us on to the exact place from which we long to withdraw? What is it that wrestles with our spirit, and does not allow us to desire anything once for all? We veer from plan to plan. None of our wishes is free, none is unqualified, none is lasting. 2. "But it is the fool," you say, "who is inconsistent; nothing suits him for long." But how or when can we tear ourselves away from this folly? No man by himself has sufficient strength to rise above it; he needs a helping hand, and some one to extricate him. 3. Epicurus remarks that certain men have worked their way to the truth without any one's assistance, carving out their own passage. And he gives special praise to these, for their impulse has come from within, and they have forged to the front by themselves. Again, he says, there are others who need outside help, who will not proceed unless someone leads the way, but who will follow faithfully. Of these, he says, Metrodorus was one; this type of man is also excellent, but belongs to the second grade. We ourselves are not of that first class, either; we shall be well treated if we are admitted into the second. Nor need you despise a man who can gain salvation only with the assistance of another; the will to be saved means a great deal, too. 4. You will find still another class of man, – and a class not to be despised, – who can be forced and driven into righteousness, who do not need a guide as much as they require someone to encourage and, as it were, to force them along. This is the third variety. If you ask me for a man of this pattern also, Epicurus tells us that Hermarchus was such. And of the two last-named classes, he is more ready to congratulate the one, but he feels more respect for the other; for although both reached the same goal, it is a greater credit to have brought about the same result with the more difficult material upon which to work.
Seneca (Letters from a Stoic)
Like the pecking-order in a chicken yard. Insensate cruelty to those you can whip, and groveling submission to those you can’t. Once having set up her idols and built altars to them it was inevitable that she would worship there. It was inevitable that she should accept any inconsistency and cruelty from her deity as all good worshippers do from theirs. All gods who receive homage are cruel. All gods dispense suffering without reason. Otherwise they would not be worshipped. Through indiscriminate suffering men know fear and fear is the most divine emotion. It is the stones for altars and the beginning of wisdom. Half gods are worshipped in wine and flowers. Real gods require blood.
Zora Neale Hurston (Their Eyes Were Watching God)
Adrienne Rich once wrote that Virginia Woolf’s style — that detachment and banked rage, that light, calculated charm — revealed a woman who never forgot she was being overheard, and evaluated, by men. Reading the flood of public writing about #MeToo in recent years — the op-eds and testimonies — I’d occasionally experience a prickly feeling of recognition. Here again, I’d think, was writing that stemmed from outrage, and often shame, but remained impeccably well-mannered and sure of itself, almost legalistic in structure and presentation. Necessarily, perhaps — women must constantly perform credibility. “The whole long arc of justice now crashing down that we call #MeToo has been about whether women may be in possession of facts, and whether anyone will bother to hear out those facts or believe them or, having believed them, allow those facts to have consequences,” Rebecca Solnit has written. These pieces often felt preoccupied with their imagined reception — straining to appease, convince, console — conscious of being overheard, in Rich’s phrase, but this time by women as well as men. Not these novels. They occupy the backwaters where the writer need not pander or persuade, and can instead seek to understand, or merely complicate, something for herself. They are stories about inconsistencies and incoherence, stories that thicken the mysteries of memory and volition.
Parul Sehgal
I am often filled with wonder when I see some men demanding the time of others and those from whom they ask it most indulgent. Both of them fix their eyes on the object of the request for time, neither of them on the time itself; just as if what is asked were nothing, what is given, nothing. Men trifle with the most precious thing in the world; but they are blind to it because it is an incorporeal thing, because it does not come beneath the sight of the eyes, and for this reason it is counted a very cheap thing—nay, of almost no value at all. Men set very great store by pensions and doles, and for these they hire out their labour or service or effort. But no one sets a value on time; all use it lavishly as if it cost nothing. But see how these same people clasp the knees of physicians if they fall ill and the danger of death draws nearer, see how ready they are, if threatened with capital punishment, to spend all their possessions in order to live! So great is the inconsistency of their feelings. But if each one could have the number of his future years set before him as is possible in the case of the years that have passed, how alarmed those would be who saw only a few remaining, how sparing of them would they be! And yet it is easy to dispense an amount that is assured, no matter how small it may be; but that must be guarded more carefully which will fail you know not when.
Seneca (On the Shortness of Life: Life Is Long if You Know How to Use It (Penguin Great Ideas))
You will see that the most powerful and highly placed men let drop remarks in which they long for leisure, acclaim it, and prefer it to all their blessings. They desire at times, if it could be with safety, to descend from their high pinnacle; for, though nothing from without should assail or shatter, Fortune of its very self comes crashing down.8 The deified Augustus, to whom the gods vouchsafed more than to any other man, did not cease to pray for rest and to seek release from public affairs; all his conversation ever reverted to this subject—his hope of leisure. This was the sweet, even if vain, consolation with which he would gladden his labours—that he would one day live for himself. In a letter addressed to the senate, in which he had promised that his rest would not be devoid of dignity nor inconsistent with his former glory, I find these words: "But these matters can be shown better by deeds than by promises. Nevertheless, since the joyful reality is still far distant, my desire for that time most earnestly prayed for has led me to forestall some of its delight by the pleasure of words." So desirable a thing did leisure seem that he anticipated it in thought because he could not attain it in reality. He who saw everything depending upon himself alone, who determined the fortune of individuals and of nations, thought most happily of that future day on which he should lay aside his greatness. He had discovered how much sweat those blessings that shone throughout all lands drew forth, how many secret worries they concealed. Forced to pit arms first against his countrymen, then against his colleagues, and lastly against his relatives, he shed blood on land and sea. Through Macedonia, Sicily, Egypt, Syria, and Asia, and almost all countries he followed the path of battle, and when his troops were weary of shedding Roman blood, he turned them to foreign wars. While he was pacifying the Alpine regions, and subduing the enemies planted in the midst of a peaceful empire, while he was extending its bounds even beyond the Rhine and the Euphrates and the Danube, in Rome itself the swords of Murena, Caepio, Lepidus, Egnatius, and others were being whetted to slay him. Not yet had he escaped their plots, when his daughter9 and all the noble youths who were bound to her by adultery as by a sacred oath, oft alarmed his failing years—and there was Paulus, and a second time the need to fear a woman in league with an Antony.10 When be had cut away these ulcers11 together with the limbs themselves, others would grow in their place; just as in a body that was overburdened with blood, there was always a rupture somewhere. And so he longed for leisure, in the hope and thought of which he found relief for his labours. This was the prayer of one who was able to answer the prayers of mankind.
Seneca (On the Shortness of Life: Life Is Long if You Know How to Use It (Penguin Great Ideas))
Liberty is a word which, according as it is used, comprehends the most good and the most evil of any in the world. Justly understood it is sacred next to those which we appropiate in divine adoration; but in the mouths of some it means anything, which enervate a necessary government; excite a jealousy of the rulers who are our own choice, and keep society in confusion for want of a power sufficiently concentered to promote its good. It is not strange that the licentious should tell us a government of energy is inconsistent with liberty, for being inconsistent with their wishes and their vices, they would have us think it contrary to human happiness. . . . A government capable of controling the whole, and bringing its force to a point, is one of the prerequisites for national liberty. We combine in society, with an expectation to have our persons and properties defended against unreasonable exactions either at home or abroad. If the public are unable to protest against the unjust impositions of foreigners, in this case we do not enjoy our natural rights, and a weakness of government is the cause. If we mean to have our natural rights and properties protected, we must first create a power which is able to do it, and in our case there is no want of resources, but a civil constitution which may draw them out and point their force. . . . Some men are mightily afraid of giving power lest it should be improved for oppression; this is doubtless possible, but where is the probability. The same objection may be made against the constitution of every state in the union, and against every possible mode of government; because a power of doing good always implies a power to do evil if the person or party be disposed. The right of the legislature to ordain laws binding on the people, gives them a power to make bad laws. The right of the judge to inflict punishment, gives him both power and opportunity to oppress the innocent; yet none but crazy men will from thence determine that it is best to have neither a legislature nor judges. If a power to promote the best interest of the people, necessarily implies a power to do evil, we must never expect such a constitution in theory as will not be open in some respects to the objections of carping and jealous men. The new Constitution is perhaps more cautiously guarded than any other in the world, and at the same time creates a power which will be able to protect the subject; yet doubtless objections may be raised, and so they may against the constitution of each state in the union. . . . If, my countrymen, you wait for a constitution which absolutely bars a power of doing evil, you must wait long, and when obtained it will have no power of doing good. I allow you are oppressed, but not from the quarter that jealous and wrongheaded men would insinuate. You are oppressed by the men, who to serve their own purposes would prefer the shadow of government to the reality.
Oliver Ellsworth
Byron’s diabolism, if indeed it deserves the name, was of a mixed type. He shared, to some extent, Shelley’s Promethean attitude, and the Romantic passion for Liberty; and this passion, which inspired his more political outbursts, combined with the image of himself as a man of action to bring about the Greek adventure. And his Promethean attitude merges into a Satanic (Miltonic) attitude. The romantic conception of Milton’s Satan is semi-Promethean, and also contemplates Pride as a virtue. It would be difficult to say whether Byron was a proud man, or a man who liked to pose as a proud man – the possibility of the two attitudes being combined in the same person does not make them any less dissimilar in the abstract. Byron was certainly a vain man, in quite simple ways: I can’t complain, whose ancestors are there, Erneis, Radulphus – eight-and-forty manors (If that my memory doth not greatly err) Were their reward for following Billy’s banners. His sense of damnation was also mitigated by a touch of unreality: to a man so occupied with himself and with the figure he was cutting nothing outside could be altogether real. It is therefore impossible to make out of his diabolism anything coherent or rational. He was able to have it both ways, it seems; and to think of himself both as an individual isolated and superior to other men because of his own crimes, and as a naturally good and generous nature distorted by the crimes committed against it by others. It is this inconsistent creature that turns up as the Giaour, the Corsair, Lara, Manfred and Cain; only as Don Juan does he get nearer to the truth about himself. But in this strange composition of attitudes and beliefs the element that seems to me most real and deep is that of a perversion of the Calvinist faith of his mother’s ancestors.
T.S. Eliot (On Poetry and Poets)
A sincere man who sits down at night and pens that which his soul believes to be right, that which his soul tells him will be good for humanity, is exercising a power over the world that is beneficial. We should hail that expression of greatness, of goodness, with thanksgiving. But the insincere man, the man who will sit down at night and distort facts, who will wilfully misrepresent truth, who is a traitor to the divine within him which is calling, nay longing for truth, what shall we say of that man? He is publishing falsehoods to the world, giving poison to young, innocent souls who are longing for truth. Oh, there is no condemnation too strong for the hypocrite, for the betrayer of Christ. We will not condemn him, but God will, in His justice; He must. Too much time is taken up by our young people, and by our older ones, too, in reading useless pamphlets, useless books; "It is worse than useless," says Farrar, in that excellent little work on "Great Books:". . . . Men in Israel, it is time that we take a stand against vile literature. It is poisonous to the soul. It is the duty of a parent to put the poison, that is in the house, on the highest shelf, away from that innocent little child who knows not the danger of it. It is the duty of the parent also to keep the boy's mind from becoming polluted with the vile trash that is sometimes scattered--nay, that is daily distributed among us. There is inconsistency in a man's kneeling down with his family in prayer, and asking God to bless the leader of our Church, and then put into the hands of the boy, who was kneeling there, a paper that calls the leader a hypocrite. It ought not to be done; it is poison to the soul. How can we tell? May be those are the great men who are writing the scurrilous articles, and these whom they attack are not the great men? Some may say: Give the children an opportunity to hear both sides. Yes, that is all well and good; but if a man were to come into your home and say to you that your mother is not a good woman, you would know he lied; wouldn't you? And you wouldn't let your children hear him. If a man came and told you that your brother was dishonest, and you had been with him all your life and knew him to be honest, you would know the man lied. So when they come and tell you the Gospel is a hypocritical doctrine, taught by this organization, when they tell you the men at the head are insincere, you know they lie; and you can take the same firm stand on that, being sincere yourself as you could in regard to your mother and brother. Teach your children, your boys and girls everywhere, to keep away from every bad book and all bad literature, especially that which savors of hatred, or envy, or malice, that which bears upon it the marks of hypocrisy, insincerity, edited by men who have lost their manhood.
David O. McKay
Liquor, guns, motorcycle helmets (legislation had gone back and forth on that)—mainly white masculine pursuits—are fairly unregulated. But for women and black men, regulation is greater. Within given parameters, federal law gives women the right to decide whether or not to abort a fetus. But the state of Louisiana has imposed restrictions on clinics offering the procedure, which, if upheld in the U.S. Supreme Court, would prevent all but one clinic, in New Orleans, from offering women access to it. Any adult in the state can also be jailed for transporting a teenager out of state for the purposes of an abortion if the teen has not informed her parents. Young black males are regulated too. Jefferson Davis Parish passed a bill banning the wearing of pants in public that revealed "skin beneath their waists or their underwear" and newspaper accounts featured images, taken from the back, of two black teenage boys exposing large portions of their undershorts. The parish imposed a $50 fine for a first offense and $100 for a second.
Arlie Russell Hochschild (Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right)
My dear boys, what are you thinking about?” exclaimed Mrs. Lynn. “I cannot possibly countenance any such inconsistent proceeding,” chimed in the Dowager Ingram. “Indeed, mama, but you can—and will,” pronounced the haughty voice of Blanche, as she turned round on the piano-stool; where till now she had sat silent, apparently examining sundry sheets of music. “I have a curiosity to hear my fortune told: therefore, Sam, order the beldame forward.” “My darling Blanche! recollect—” “I do—I recollect all you can suggest; and I must have my will—quick, Sam!” “Yes—yes—yes!” cried all the juveniles, both ladies and gentlemen. “Let her come—it will be excellent sport!” The footman still lingered. “She looks such a rough one,” said he. “Go!” ejaculated Miss Ingram, and the man went. Excitement instantly seized the whole party: a running fire of raillery and jests was proceeding when Sam returned. “She won’t come now,” said he. “She says it’s not her mission to appear before the ‘vulgar herd’ (them’s her words). I must show her into a room by herself, and then those who wish to consult her must go to her one by one.” “You see now, my queenly Blanche,” began Lady Ingram, “she encroaches. Be advised, my angel girl—and—” “Show her into the library, of course,” cut in the “angel girl.” “It is not my mission to listen to her before the vulgar herd either: I mean to have her all to myself. Is there a fire in the library?” “Yes, ma’am—but she looks such a tinkler.” “Cease that chatter, blockhead! and do my bidding.” Again Sam vanished; and mystery, animation, expectation rose to full flow once more. “She’s ready now,” said the footman, as he reappeared. “She wishes to know who will be her first visitor.” “I think I had better just look in upon her before any of the ladies go,” said Colonel Dent. “Tell her, Sam, a gentleman is coming.” Sam went and returned. “She says, sir, that she’ll have no gentlemen; they need not trouble themselves to come near her; nor,” he added, with difficulty suppressing a titter, “any ladies either, except the young, and single.” “By Jove, she has taste!” exclaimed Henry Lynn. Miss Ingram rose solemnly: “I go first,” she said, in a tone which might have befitted the leader of a forlorn hope, mounting a breach in the van of his men.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre: The Original 1847 Unabridged and Complete Edition (Charlotte Brontë Classics))
Ah, my friends, that innocent afternoon with Larry provoked me into thought in a way my own dicelife until then never had. Larry took to following the dice with such ease and joy compared to the soul-searching gloom that I often went through before following a decision, that I had to wonder what happened to every human in the two decades between seven and twenty-seven to turn a kitten into a cow. Why did children seem to be so often spontaneous, joy-filled and concentrated while adults seemed controlled, anxiety-filled and diffused? It was the Goddam sense of having a self: that sense of self which psychologists have been proclaiming we all must have. What if - at the time it seemed like an original thought - what if the development of a sense of self is normal and natural, but is neither inevitable nor desirable? What if it represents a psychological appendix: a useless, anachronistic pain in the side? - or, like the mastodon's huge tusks: a heavy, useless and ultimately self-destructive burden? What if the sense of being some-one represents an evolutionary error as disastrous to the further development of a more complex creature as was the shell for snails or turtles? He he he. What if? indeed: men must attempt to eliminate the error and develop in themselves and their children liberation from the sense of self. Man must become comfortable in flowing from one role to another, one set of values to another, one life to another. Men must be free from boundaries, patterns and consistencies in order to be free to think, feel and create in new ways. Men have admired Prometheus and Mars too long; our God must become Proteus. I became tremendously excited with my thoughts: 'Men must become comfortable in flowing from one role to another' - why aren't they? At the age of three or four, children were willing to be either good guys or bad guys, the Americans or the Commies, the students or the fuzz. As the culture molds them, however, each child comes to insist on playing only one set of roles: he must always be a good guy, or, for equally compulsive reasons, a bad guy or rebel. The capacity to play and feel both sets of roles is lost. He has begun to know who he is supposed to be. The sense of permanent self: ah, how psychologists and parents lust to lock their kids into some definable cage. Consistency, patterns, something we can label - that's what we want in our boy. 'Oh, our Johnny always does a beautiful bower movement every morning after breakfast.' 'Billy just loves to read all the time...' 'Isn't Joan sweet? She always likes to let the other person win.' 'Sylvia's so pretty and so grown up; she just loves all the time to dress up.' It seemed to me that a thousand oversimplifications a year betrayed the truths in the child's heart: he knew at one point that he didn't always feel like shitting after breakfast but it gave his Ma a thrill. Billy ached to be out splashing in mud puddles with the other boys, but... Joan wanted to chew the penis off her brother every time he won, but ... And Sylvia daydreamed of a land in which she wouldn’t have to worry about how she looked . . . Patterns are prostitution to the patter of parents. Adults rule and they reward patterns. Patterns it is. And eventual misery. What if we were to bring up our children differently? Reward them for varying their habits, tastes, roles? Reward them for being inconsistent? What then? We could discipline them to be reliably various, to be conscientiously inconsistent, determinedly habit-free - even of 'good' habits.
Luke Rhinehart (The Dice Man)
I therefore hate the corrupt, slaveholding, women-whipping, cradle-plundering, partial and hypocritical Christianity of the land... I look upon it as the climax of all misnomers, the boldest of all frauds, and the grossest of all libels. Never was there a clearer case of 'stealing the livery of the court of heaven to serve the devil in.' I am filled with unutterable loathing when I contemplate the religious pomp and show, together with the horrible inconsistencies, which every where surround me. We have men-stealers for ministers, women-whippers for missionaries, and cradle-plunderers for church members. The man who wields the blood-clotted cowskin during the week fills the pulpit on Sunday, and claims to be a minister of the meek and lowly Jesus. . . . The slave auctioneer’s bell and the church-going bell chime in with each other, and the bitter cries of the heart-broken slave are drowned in the religious shouts of his pious master. Revivals of religion and revivals in the slave-trade go hand in hand together. The slave prison and the church stand near each other. The clanking of fetters and the rattling of chains in the prison, and the pious psalm and solemn prayer in the church, may be heard at the same time. The dealers in the bodies of men erect their stand in the presence of the pulpit, and they mutually help each other. The dealer gives his blood-stained gold to support the pulpit, and the pulpit, in return, covers his infernal business with the garb of Christianity. Here we have religion and robbery the allies of each other—devils dressed in angels’ robes, and hell presenting the semblance of paradise.” ― Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Frederick Douglass (Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass)
The credit for defining the artist as a person who can hold two inconsistent ideas at once goes to F. Scott Fitzgerald. The credit for realizing that that is precisely what all modern men can do—indeed, must be able to do— belongs to Sir Walter Scott.
Arthur Herman (How the Scots Invented the Modern World: The True Story of How Western Europe's Poorest Nation Created Our World and Everything In It)
I please myself with imagining a State at last which can afford to be just to all men, and to treat the individual with respect as a neighbor; which even would not think it inconsistent with its own repose if a few were to live aloof from it, not meddling with it, nor embraced by it, who fulfilled all the duties of neighbors and fellow men. A State which bore this kind of fruit, and suffered it to drop off as fast as it ripened, would prepare the way for a still more perfect and glorious State, which I have also imagined, but not yet anywhere seen.
Anonymous
Oh, if you have the hearts of Christians or of men in you, let them yearn towards your poor ignorant, ungodly neighbours. Alas, there is but a step betwixt them and death and hell; many hundred diseases are waiting ready to seize on them, and if they die unregenerate, they are lost forever. Have you hearts of rock, that cannot pity men in such a case as this? If you believe not the Word of God, and the danger of sinners, why are you Christians yourselves? If you do believe it, why do you not bestir yourself to the helping of others? Do you not care who is damned, so you be saved? If so, you have sufficient cause to pity yourselves, for it is a frame of spirit utterly inconsistent with grace.… Dost thou live close by them, or meet them in the streets, or labour with them, or travel with them, or sit and talk with them, and say nothing to them of their souls, or the life to come? If their houses were on fire, thou wouldst run and help them; and wilt thou not help them when their souls are almost at the fire of hell?2
John F. MacArthur Jr. (Alone With God: Rediscovering the Power and Passion of Prayer)
In the battles over the Bible in the twentieth century, and now in the twenty-first century, conservatives moved away from the word infallible in favor of inerrant. This happened in part because theological liberals had begun using the word infallible to mean something more like . . . oh, I don’t know, something more like fallible. And that reminds me of something else. How is it that liberals preen themselves for the virtues of frankness and honesty when they do things like this to words like infallible, or to words like frank and honest for that matter? Or even words like liberal. And now, in the latest go-rounds, the same kind of thing is happening to the word inerrant. Men with solemn faces and a shaky donor base affirm the inerrancy of the Bible, and they also affirm that this is not inconsistent with the subtle truth that the Bible has mistakes in it. The serpent was craftier than all the beasts of the field, having completed some post-doctoral work in Europe.
Anonymous
While egalitarian positions had been advocated since the 1950s by theologically liberal Protestant writers, no evangelical books took such a position until 1974. In that year freelance writers Letha Scanzoni and Nancy Hardesty published their groundbreaking book All We’re Meant to Be.1 The following year, Paul Jewett, then a professor at Fuller Seminary, published Man as Male and Female.2 Both books claimed that the apostle Paul’s advocacy of female subordination in marriage and the church was a remnant of his rabbinic training that he had not fully resolved when he wrote his epistles, and that this particular rabbinic element was inconsistent with Paul’s other emphasis on total equality for men and women in Christ. In fact, though Scanzoni and Hardesty’s book was published earlier, they actually depended on Jewett’s class notes from Fuller Seminary for their key argument that Paul was wrong on this issue.3 Jewett therefore may be considered the intellectual father of the modern evangelical feminist movement.
Wayne Grudem (Evangelical Feminism: A New Path to Liberalism?)
There have been a lot of men in this world who have tried to shape it by getting it to conform to their own ideology. My own beliefs are too inconsistent and contradictory to expect them to change the world by having other people conform to them.
Lauren Wilkinson (American Spy)
People tend to fall into two main types: those dominated by feeling and those dominated by intellect. (It is a common notion that women belong to the former and men to the latter). The former being guided by feeling, use intellect as a subordinate means to justify the impulsive feeling, and so tend to be inconsistent logically, self-contradictory and adaptable. Those dominated by intellect tend to use the subordinated feeling as a means to justify choice guided by logical formalism, and so they tend to be ambivalent to things and persons, being more interested in principles than in things. Just as the former try and convince others and themselves that their impulsive choice is right by isolated logical argument, so do the latter by trying to force what their line of argument had led to upon others and themselves.
Nanamoli Thera
What a weak, credulous, unbelieving, superstitious, bold, frightened, what a ridiculous world ours is, as far as concerns the minds of men. How full of inconsistencies, contradictions and absurdities it is.
Nancy Forbes (Faraday, Maxwell, and the Electromagnetic Field: How Two Men Revolutionized Physics)
THE EVANGELICAL MEN’S MOVEMENT of the 1990s was marked by experimentation and laden with contradictions. “Soft patriarchy” papered over tensions between a harsher, authoritarian masculinity and a more egalitarian posture; the motif of the tender warrior reconciled militancy with a kinder, gentler, more emotive bearing. Inconsistencies within the evangelical men’s movement reflected those within evangelicalism as a whole in the post–Cold War years. Earlier in the decade, it might have appeared that the more egalitarian and emotive impulses had the upper hand. It was a new era for America, and for American evangelicals. Rhetoric of culture wars persisted, but evangelicals’ interests had expanded to include a broader array of issues, including racial reconciliation, antitrafficking activism, and addressing the persecution of the global church. At the end of the decade, however, the more militant movement would begin to reassert itself. When it did, this resurgent militancy would become intertwined both with the sexual purity movement and with the assertion of complementarianism within evangelical circles. In time it would become clear that the combination of all three could produce toxic outcomes.
Kristin Kobes Du Mez (Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation)
Is it not amazing,” wrote Henry, “that at a time when the rights of humanity are defined and understood with precision, in a country above all others fond of liberty … we find men professing religion the most humane, mild, gentle, and generous, adopting a principle as repugnant to humanity as it is inconsistent with the Bible and destructive to liberty?” Henry
Andrew Burstein (Madison and Jefferson)
Right-Wing Authoritarian—Followers: • men and women • submissive to authority* • aggressive on behalf of authority* • conventional* • highly religious • moderate to little education • trust untrustworthy authorities • prejudiced (particularly against homosexuals, women, and followers of religions other than their own) • mean-spirited • narrow-minded • intolerant • bullying • zealous • dogmatic • uncritical toward chosen authority • hypocritical • inconsistent and contradictory • prone to panic easily • highly self-righteous • moralistic • strict disciplinarian • severely punitive • demands loyalty and returns it • little self-awareness • usually politically and economically conservative/Republican
John W. Dean (Conservatives Without Conscience)
Is it not strange that it should be precisely our century—a century of social science and of solidarity if ever there was one, and consequently of authority, apart from wandering into the most inconsistent Utopias—which rejects the Church because she refuses to be individualist! Thinking that they had destroyed the religious life by killing it in themselves, we saw its politicians attempt but yesterday to replace it by enunciating theories of moral unity, of monopoly and spiritual collectivism, theories which cannot express anything except on condition of inviting men to erect once more, and this time arbitrarily, the authority they claimed they had destroyed.
Antonin Sertillanges (The Church (Classic Reprint))
Most men, when they have thrown off superficially the superstitions of their childhood, think that there is no more to be done. They do not realize that these superstitions are still lurking underground. When a rational conviction has been arrived at, it is necessary to dwell upon it, to follow out its consequences, to search out in oneself whatever beliefs inconsistent with the new conviction might otherwise survive. . . . What I suggest is that a man should make up his mind with emphasis as to what he rationally believes, and should never allow contrary irrational beliefs to pass unchallenged or obtain a hold over him, however brief. This is a question of reasoning with himself in those moments in which he is tempted to become infantile, but the reasoning, if it is sufficiently emphatic, may be very brief.
Maxwell Maltz (Psycho-Cybernetics: Updated and Expanded)
Next—according to John, of course—in one continuous motion, he “triple-kicked” a third man in the face, while shooting a fourth “right in his damned cock.” John, of course, knew that he couldn’t leave that man just lying there, screaming in pain. So he grasped him by the sides of his face and mercifully snapped his neck with a sharp twisting motion of his bare hands. At this point John says the rest of the hazard workers noticed what was going on and a chase ensued; he escaped by stealing a nearby horse. This is the first inconsistency in John’s account, because when the story picks up he is calmly driving his Caddie back down the road, past Amy’s house and away from the Rooter plant. I suspect that, in reality, either the men at the cleanup site didn’t see John at all or they merely gave him a dirty look until he turned around and drove away. Again, I wasn’t there and I do not wish to cast an unfavorable light on John’s personal credibility.
David Wong (John Dies at the End (John Dies at the End #1))
Men can be deceived by our outward appearance or action, but God is never deceived. Men may think we are strong or weak, faithful or disloyal, focused or inconsistent. God knows.
Anna Moore Bradfield
It is to be feared that there are some who profess religion with an appearance of strictness, who never separate themselves from all other occasions, to meditate on Christ and his glory; and yet, with a strange inconsistency of apprehensions, they will profess that they desire nothing more than to behold his glory in heaven for ever. But it is evident, even in the light of reason, that these things are irreconcilable. It is impossible that he who never meditates with delight on the glory of Christ here in this world, who labours not to behold it by faith as it is revealed in the Scripture, should ever have any real gracious desire to behold it in heaven. They may love and desire the fruition of their own imaginations; — they cannot do so of the glory of Christ, whereof they are ignorant, and wherewith they are unacquainted. It is, therefore, to be lamented that men can find time for, and have inclinations to think and meditate on, other things, that may be earthly and vain; but have neither heart, nor inclination, nor leisure, to meditate on this glorious object. What is the faith and love which such men profess? How will they find themselves deceived in the issue!
John Owen (The Glory of Christ (Vintage Puritan))
Some Christians today may be tempted to focus on their theological shortcomings, especially Boniface’s devotion to the pope as his spiritual leader. Doubtless, as Christians of their time, they had their inconsistencies. But how inconsistent of us if we sit in judgment on what we regard as their failures, yet also sit in silence and comfort rather than speak the gospel and go to the ends of the earth to tell others about Christ as they did. These men illustrate two of the characteristics Christ looks for in contemporary Christians: to stand for Christ in a pagan environment—whatever it costs—like Boniface, and the willingness to go wherever God sends us, like A-lo-pen.
Sinclair B. Ferguson (In the Year of Our Lord: Reflections on Twenty Centuries of Church History)
... the primary duty of charity does not lie in the toleration of false ideas, however sincere they may be, nor in the theoretical or practical indifference towards the errors and vices in which we see our brethren plunged but in the zeal for their intellectual and moral improvement as well as for their material well-being ... True, Jesus has loved us with an immense, infinite love, and He came on earth to suffer and die so that, gathered around Him in justice and love, motivated by the same sentiments of mutual charity, all men might live in peace and happiness. But for the realization of this temporal and eternal happiness, He has laid down with supreme authority the condition that we must belong to His Flock, that we must accept His doctrine, that we must practice virtue, and that we must accept the teaching and guidance of Peter and his successors. Further, whilst Jesus was kind to sinners and to those who went astray, He did not respect their false ideas, however sincere they might have appeared. He loved them all, but He instructed them in order to convert them and save them. Whilst He called to Himself in order to comfort them, those who toiled and suffered, it was not to preach to them the jealousy of a chimerical equality. Whilst He lifted up the lowly, it was not to instill in them the sentiment of a dignity independent from, and rebellious against, the duty of obedience. Whilst His heart overflowed with gentleness for the souls of good-will, He could also arm Himself with holy indignation against the profaners of the House of God, against the wretched men who scandalized the little ones, against the authorities who crush the people with the weight of heavy burdens without putting out a hand to lift them. He was as strong as he was gentle. He reproved, threatened, chastised, knowing, and teaching us that fear is the beginning of wisdom, and that it is sometimes proper for a man to cut off an offending limb to save his body. Finally, He did not announce for future society the reign of an ideal happiness from which suffering would be banished; but, by His lessons and by His example, He traced the path of the happiness which is possible on earth and of the perfect happiness in Heaven: the royal way of the Cross. These are teachings that it would be wrong to apply only to one's personal life in order to win eternal salvation; these are eminently social teachings, and they show in Our Lord Jesus Christ something quite different from an inconsistent and impotent humanitarianism.
St. Pius X
Whitman’s reticence, or outright deceptiveness, later in his life on the subject was inconsistent, to say the least. It’s often been pointed out that male love, not necessarily homosexual love, was accepted during that time in a way not many decades later it wasn’t: men embracing, kissing, calling each “lover,” was apparently commonplace. In fact, when Leaves of Grass was “banned in Boston,” it was because of the passages of heterosexual eroticism, not the portions that could be construed as being homosexual. There’s no question that Whitman later on did clearly want to temper the frankness that informed so much of the passages of homosexual experience that he’d recorded during those first years of the poems, but the words are there.
C.K. Williams (On Whitman (Writers on Writers Book 8))
They had multiple identities, roles, and responsibilities that they needed to navigate with care, because even though they were heirs of the kingdom in the church, in the worldly society there were expectations, demands, and obligations that had to be met and entailed behavior often inconsistent with their true status in Christ. For Paul, there were at least three reasons why these expectations, demands, and obligations needed to be fulfilled. First, it was a primary goal for the church community to live at peace among the people and structures of the Roman Empire in order to thrive (1 Tim. 2:1–3). Second, survival was a goal, and it was important that the community did not flout the laws and core commitments of the Roman officials and local authorities in order to avoid being the victim of their sword (Rom. 13:1–7). Third, the expansion of the gentile mission was a primary goal, and there was no personal sacrifice that Paul was unwilling to make to win more people to Christ: “I have become all things to all people, that I might by all means save some” (1 Cor. 9:22 NRSV). Paul sacrificed social rights, power, and status that belonged to him in the eyes of the Roman Empire, to serve the gospel and follow Christ’s example (Phil. 3:4–8), and he wanted his communities
Cynthia Long Westfall (Paul and Gender: Reclaiming the Apostle's Vision for Men and Women in Christ)
It meant I got so good at pretending I didn’t need anything that I forgot how to be myself. It also meant I mistook instability for attraction, because the scraps of affection men tossed me were more thrilling for their inconsistency: the surprise of a text message at 1.30 a.m. that said, ‘Are you out?’, or the promise of a drunken ‘I love you’ never mentioned again when sober. The men I dated never called the relationships off, but never fully committed to them either.
Natasha Lunn (Conversations on Love)
If anyone is still reading along, The Ragamuffin Gospel was written for the bedraggled, beat-up, and burnt-out. It is for the sorely burdened who are still shifting the heavy suitcase from one hand to the other. It is for the wobbly and weak-kneed who know they don’t have it all together and are too proud to accept the handout of amazing grace. It is for inconsistent, unsteady disciples whose cheese is falling off their cracker. It is for poor, weak, sinful men and women with hereditary faults and limited talents. It is for earthen vessels who shuffle along on feet of clay. It is for the bent and the bruised who feel that their lives are a grave disappointment to God. It is for smart people who know they are stupid and honest disciples who admit they are scalawags. The Ragamuffin Gospel is a book I wrote for myself and anyone who has grown weary and discouraged along the Way. —Brennan Manning Chapter One SOMETHING IS RADICALLY WRONG On a blustery October night in a church outside Minneapolis,
Brennan Manning (The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out)
Prudence is a great virtue, of course,’ said James. ‘Well. And promotion means a great deal to you, so?’ ‘Of course it does. There never was an officer worth a farthing that did not long to succeed and hoist his flag at last. But I can see in your eye that you think me inconsistent. Understand my position: I want no republic – I stand by settled, established institutions, and by authority so long as it is not tyranny. All I ask is an independent parliament that represents the responsible men of the kingdom and not merely a squalid parcel of place-men and place-seekers. Given that, I am perfectly happy with the English connexion, perfectly happy with the two kingdoms: I can drink the loyal toast without choking, I do assure you.
Patrick O'Brian (Master and Commander (Aubrey/Maturin, #1))
Adams disagreed. “I told Calhoun I could not see things in the same light.” And as he later reflected on the day’s discussion, he realized how thoroughly he disagreed with nearly everything Calhoun and the other Southerners said by way of defense of slavery. “It is, in truth, all perverted sentiment—mistaking labor for slavery, and dominion for freedom. The discussion of this Missouri question has betrayed the secret of their souls. In the abstract, they admit that slavery is an evil, they disclaim all participation in the introduction of it, and cast it all upon the shoulders of our old Grandam Britain. But when probed to the quick upon it, they show at the bottom of their souls pride and vainglory in their condition of masterdom. They fancy themselves more generous and noble-hearted than the plain freemen who labor for subsistence. They look down upon the simplicity of a Yankee’s manners, because he has no habit of overbearing like theirs and cannot treat negroes like dogs. It is among the evils of slavery that it taints the very sources of moral principle. It establishes false estimates of virtue and vice; for what can be more false and heartless than this doctrine which makes the first and holiest rights of humanity to depend upon the color of the skin? It perverts human reason, and reduces man endowed with logical powers to maintain that slavery is sanctioned by the Christian religion, that slaves are happy and contented in their condition, that between master and slave there are ties of mutual attachment and affection, that the virtues of the master are refined and exalted by the degradation of the slave; while at the same they vent execrations upon the slave-trade, curse Britain for having given them slaves, burn at the stake negroes convicted of crimes for the terror of the example, and write in agonies of fear at the very mention of human rights as applicable to men of color.” Adams had never pondered slavery at such length, and the experience made him fear for the future of the republic. “The impression produced upon my mind by the progress of this discussion is that the bargain between freedom and slavery contained in the Constitution of the United States is morally and politically vicious, inconsistent with the principles upon which alone our Revolution can be justified; cruel and oppressive, by riveting the chains of slavery, by pledging the faith of freedom to maintain and perpetuate the tyranny of the master; and grossly unequal and impolitic, by admitting that slaves are at once enemies to be kept in subjection, property to be secured or restored to their owners, and persons not to be represented themselves, but for whom their masters are privileged with nearly a double share of representation. The consequence has been that this slave representation has governed the Union.
H.W. Brands (Heirs of the Founders: The Epic Rivalry of Henry Clay, John Calhoun and Daniel Webster, the Second Generation of American Giants)
As Tolstoy wrote, back in 1894, in The Kingdom of God Is Within You: The more men are freed from privation; the more telegraphs, telephones, books, papers, and journals there are; the more means there will be of diffusing inconsistent lies and hypocrisies, and the more disunited and consequently miserable will men become, which indeed is what we see actually taking place.
Matt Haig (Notes on a Nervous Planet: Matt Haig)