Morales Famous Quotes

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A witch who is bored might do ANYTHING. People said things like 'we had to make our own amusements in those days' as if this signified some kind of moral worth, and perhaps it did, but the last thing you wanted a witch to do was get bored and start making her own amusements, because witches sometimes had famously erratic ideas about what was amusing.
Terry Pratchett (Legends: Volume I (Legends 1, Volume 1 of 3))
They say that life is an accident, driven by sexual desire, that the universe has no moral order, no truth, no God. Driven by insatiable lusts, drunk on the arrogance of power, hypocritical, deluded, their actions foul with self-seeking, tormented by a vast anxiety that continues until their death, convinced that the gratification of desire is life's sole aim, bound by a hundred shackles of hope, enslaved by their greed, they squander their time dishonestly piling up mountains of wealth. "Today I got this desire, and tomorrow I will get that one; all these riches are mine, and soon I will have even more. Already I have killed these enemies, and soon I will kill the rest. I am the lord, the enjoyer, successful, happy, and strong, noble, and rich, and famous. Who on earth is my equal?
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (The Bhagavad Gita)
Friedrich Nietzsche, who famously gave us the ‘God is dead’ phrase was interested in the sources of morality. He warned that the emergence of something (whether an organ, a legal institution, or a religious ritual) is never to be confused with its acquired purpose: ‘Anything in existence, having somehow come about, is continually interpreted anew, requisitioned anew, transformed and redirected to a new purpose.’ This is a liberating thought, which teaches us to never hold the history of something against its possible applications. Even if computers started out as calculators, that doesn’t prevent us from playing games on them. (47) (quoting Nietzsche, the Genealogy of Morals)
Frans de Waal (The Bonobo and the Atheist: In Search of Humanism Among the Primates)
Economics is a political argument. It is not – and can never be – a science; there are no objective truths in economics that can be established independently of political, and frequently moral, judgements. Therefore, when faced with an economic argument, you must ask the age-old question ‘Cui bono?’ (Who benefits?), first made famous by the Roman statesman and orator Marcus Tullius Cicero.
Ha-Joon Chang (Economics: The User's Guide)
It seems obvious, looking back, that the artists of Weimar Germany and Leninist Russia lived in a much more attenuated landscape of media than ours, and their reward was that they could still believe, in good faith and without bombast, that art could morally influence the world. Today, the idea has largely been dismissed, as it must in a mass media society where art's principal social role is to be investment capital, or, in the simplest way, bullion. We still have political art, but we have no effective political art. An artist must be famous to be heard, but as he acquires fame, so his work accumulates 'value' and becomes, ipso-facto, harmless. As far as today's politics is concerned, most art aspires to the condition of Muzak. It provides the background hum for power.
Robert Hughes (The Shock of the New)
To borrow Wittgenstein’s famous metaphor, morality can climb the ladder of evolution and then kick it away. As
Joshua Greene (Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us and Them)
Then he is a monster!" the Prince crowed, "and I must slay him at once. The Formula works!" "Your Formula must result in a great deal of fighting," I mused. "Oh, yes, when applied correctly mighty and noble battles result! Of course I always win—the value of Prince X is a constant. It cannot be lesser than that of Monster Y—this is the Moral Superiority Hypothesis made famous five hundred years ago by my ancestor Ethelred, the Mathematician-King. We have never seen his equal, in all these centuries.
Catherynne M. Valente (In the Night Garden (The Orphan's Tales, #1))
The cult of self dominates our cultural landscape. This cult has within it the classic traits of psychopaths: superficial charm, grandiosity, and self-importance; a need for constant stimulation, a penchant for lying, deception, and manipulation, and the inability to feel remorse or guilt. This is, of course, the ethic promoted by corporations. It is the ethic of unfettered capitalism. It is the misguided belief that personal style and personal advancement, mistaken for individualism, are the same as democratic equality. In fact, personal style, defined by the commodities we buy or consume, has become a compensation for our loss of democratic equality. We have a right, in the cult of the self, to get whatever we desire. We can do anything, even belittle and destroy those around us, including our friends, to make money, to be happy, and to become famous. Once fame and wealth are achieved, they become their own justification, their own morality. How one gets there is irrelevant. Once you get there, those questions are no longer asked.
Chris Hedges (Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle)
I knew that the languages which one learns there are necessary to understand the works of the ancients; and that the delicacy of fiction enlivens the mind; that famous deeds of history ennoble it and, if read with understanding, aid in maturing one's judgment; that the reading of all the great books is like conversing with the best people of earlier times; it is even studied conversation in which the authors show us only the best of their thoughts; that eloquence has incomparable powers and beauties; that poetry has enchanting delicacy and sweetness; that mathematics has very subtle processes which can serve as much to satisfy the inquiring mind as to aid all the arts and diminish man's labor; that treatises on morals contain very useful teachings and exhortations to virtue; that theology teaches us how to go to heaven; that philosophy teaches us to talk with appearance of truth about things, and to make ourselves admired by the less learned; that law, medicine, and the other sciences bring honors and wealth to those who pursue them; and finally, that it is desirable to have examined all of them, even to the most superstitious and false in order to recognize their real worth and avoid being deceived thereby
René Descartes (Discourse on Method)
It was George Bernard Shaw who famously said that you should not do to others as you would wish to be done to - the famous 'golden rule' of moral philosophy - because they might have other tastes.
Will Buckingham (Introducing Happiness: A Practical Guide)
John Irving (A Prayer for Owen Meany)
I learned two very important lessons from Carl Jung, the famous Swiss depth psychologist, about “doing unto others as you would have them do unto you” or “loving your neighbour as yourself.” The first lesson was that neither of these statements has anything to do with being nice. The second was that both are equations, rather than injunctions. If I am someone’s friend, family member, or lover, then I am morally obliged to bargain as hard on my own behalf as they are on theirs. If I fail to do so, I will end up a slave, and the other person a tyrant. What good is that? It is much better for any relationship when both partners are strong. Furthermore, there is little difference between standing up and speaking for yourself, when you are being bullied or otherwise tormented and enslaved, and standing up and speaking for someone else. As Jung points out, this means embracing and loving the sinner who is yourself, as much as forgiving and aiding someone else who is stumbling and imperfect.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
We lived in a me-first world obsessed with morally inconsequential celebrities of dubious motivations and shallow character. How or why these people had become famous, or why they would be emulated and their every word newsworthy, no one of common sense could explain. The world had seemingly gone mad, and anyone pointing this out was reviled and mocked.
Bobby Underwood (City of Angels)
Morality is like the famous fig leaves that Adam and Eve used to cover their genitals after they first sinned. But what morality really covers up is will, which is our true nature.
Shai Tubali
Knowing the difference between right and wrong is not some religious ideal; it is our moral obligation.
Ken Poirot
Yes! And isn't that the root of every despicable action? Not selfishness, but precisely the absence of a self. Look at them. The man who cheats and lies, but preserves a respectable front. He knows himself to be dishonest, but others think he's honest and he derives his self-respect from that, second-hand. The man who takes credit for an achievement which is not his own. He knows himself to be mediocre, but he's great in the eyes of others. The frustrated wretch who professes love for the inferior and clings to those less endowed, in order to establish his own superiority by comparison. The man whose sole aim is to make money. Now I don't see anything evil in a desire to make money. But money is only a means to some end. If a man wants it for a personal purpose--to invest in his industry, to create, to study, to travel, to enjoy luxury--he's completely moral. But the men who place money first go much beyond that. Personal luxury is a limited endeavor. What they want is ostentation: to show, to stun, to entertain, to impress others. They're second-handers. Look at our so-called cultural endeavors. A lecturer who spouts some borrowed rehash of nothing at all that means nothing at all to him--and the people who listen and don't give a damn, but sit there in order to tell their friends that they have attended a lecture by a famous name. All second-handers.
Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead)
But, well-endowed as Mrs. Rumfoord was, she still did troubled things like chaining a dog's skeleton to the wall, like having the gates of the estate bricked up, like letting the famous formal gardens turn into New England jungle. The moral: Money, position, health, handsomeness and talent aren't everything.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (The Sirens of Titan)
It is the noble races that have left behind them the concept 'barbarian' wherever they have gone; even their highest culture betrays a consciousness of it and even a pride in it (for example, when Pericles says to the Athenians in his famous funeral oration 'our boldness has gained access to every land and sea, everywhere raising imperishable monuments to its goodness and wickedness"). This 'boldness' of noble races, mad, absurd, and sudden in its expression, the incalculability, even incredibility of their undertakings—Pericles specially commends the rhathymia of the Athenians—their indifference to and contempt for security, body, life, comfort, their hair-raising cheerfulness and profound joy in all destruction, in all the voluptuousness of victory and cruelty—all this came together, in the minds of those who suffered from it, in the image of the 'barbarian,' the 'evil enemy,' perhaps as the 'Goths,' the 'Vandals.
Friedrich Nietzsche (On the Genealogy of Morals / Ecce Homo)
Chastity and moral purity were qualities McCandless mulled over long and often. Indeed, one of the books found in the bus with his remains was a collection of stories that included Tol¬stoy’s “The Kreutzer Sonata,” in which the nobleman-turned-ascetic denounces “the demands of the flesh.” Several such passages are starred and highlighted in the dog-eared text, the margins filled with cryptic notes printed in McCandless’s distinc¬tive hand. And in the chapter on “Higher Laws” in Thoreau’s Walden, a copy of which was also discovered in the bus, McCand¬less circled “Chastity is the flowering of man; and what are called Genius, Heroism, Holiness, and the like, are but various fruits which succeed it.” We Americans are titillated by sex, obsessed by it, horrified by it. When an apparently healthy person, especially a healthy young man, elects to forgo the enticements of the flesh, it shocks us, and we leer. Suspicions are aroused. McCandless’s apparent sexual innocence, however, is a corol¬lary of a personality type that our culture purports to admire, at least in the case of its more famous adherents. His ambivalence toward sex echoes that of celebrated others who embraced wilderness with single-minded passion—Thoreau (who was a lifelong virgin) and the naturalist John Muir, most prominently— to say nothing of countless lesser-known pilgrims, seekers, mis¬fits, and adventurers. Like not a few of those seduced by the wild, McCandless seems to have been driven by a variety of lust that supplanted sexual desire. His yearning, in a sense, was too pow¬erful to be quenched by human contact. McCandless may have been tempted by the succor offered by women, but it paled beside the prospect of rough congress with nature, with the cosmos it¬self. And thus was he drawn north, to Alaska.
Jon Krakauer (Into the Wild)
Are your principles not engraved in all hearts, and in order to learn your laws is it not enough to go back into oneself and listen to the voice of one's conscience in the silence of the passions? There you have true philosophy. Let us learn to be satisfied with that, and without envying the glory of those famous men who are immortalized in the republic of letters, let us try to set between them and us that glorious distinction which people made long ago between two great peoples: one knew how to speak well; the other how to act well.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Discourse on the Sciences and Arts and Polemics)
New Rule: Stop pretending your drugs are morally superior to my drugs because you get yours at a store. This week, they released the autopsy report on Anna Nicole Smith, and the cause of death was what I always thought it was: mad cow. No, it turns out she had nine different prescription drugs in her—which, in the medical field, is known as the “full Limbaugh.” They opened her up, and a Walgreens jumped out. Antidepressants, anti-anxiety pills, sleeping pills, sedatives, Valium, methadone—this woman was killed by her doctor, who is a glorified bartender. I’m not going to say his name, but only because (a) I don’t want to get sued, and (b) my back is killing me. This month marks the thirty-fifth anniversary of a famous government report. I was sixteen in 1972, and I remember how excited we were when Nixon’s much ballyhooed National Commission on Drug Abuse came out and said pot should be legalized. It was a moment of great hope for common sense—and then, just like Bush did with the Iraq Study Group, Nixon took the report and threw it in the garbage, and from there the ’70s went right into disco and colored underpants. This week in American Scientist, a magazine George Bush wouldn’t read if he got food poisoning in Mexico and it was the only thing he could reach from the toilet, described a study done in England that measured the lethality of various drugs, and found tobacco and alcohol far worse than pot, LSD, or Ecstasy—which pretty much mirrors my own experiments in this same area. The Beatles took LSD and wrote Sgt. Pepper—Anna Nicole Smith took legal drugs and couldn’t remember the number for nine-one-one. I wish I had more time to go into the fact that the drug war has always been about keeping black men from voting by finding out what they’re addicted to and making it illegal—it’s a miracle our government hasn’t outlawed fat white women yet—but I leave with one request: Would someone please just make a bumper sticker that says, “I’m a stoner, and I vote.
Bill Maher (The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass)
In that treatise Mather wrote his famous formulation: It were better that Ten Suspected Witches should escape, than that one Innocent Person should be Condemned. That sentiment, of course, evolved into the moral underpinning of our modern system of justice. It
John E. Douglas (Law & Disorder)
After Darwin, human morality became a scientific mystery. Natural selection could explain how intelligent, upright, linguistic, not so hairy, bipedal primates could evolve, but where did our morals come from? Darwin himself was absorbed by this question. Natural selection, it was thought, promotes ruthless self-interest. Individuals who grab up all the resources and destroy the competition will survive better, reproduce more often, and thus populate the world with their ruthlessly selfish offspring. How, then, could morality evolve in a world that Tennyson famously described as “red in tooth and claw”? We now have an answer. Morality evolved as a solution to the problem of cooperation, as a way of averting the Tragedy of the Commons: Morality is a set of psychological adaptations that allow otherwise selfish individuals to reap the benefits of cooperation.
Joshua Greene (Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us and Them)
Famous Grouse
C.G. Cooper (Moral Imperative (Corps Justice, #7))
If this story were to have a moral, then I would say: “Just name a hero and I’ll prove he’s a bum.
Gregory Boyington (Baa Baa Black Sheep: The True Story of the "Bad Boy" Hero of the Pacific Theatre and His Famous Black Sheep Squadron)
When you understand your inner self — your passions, motivations, moral code and vulnerabilities, you don’t have to blow in the wind of someone else’s expectations; you can stand firm in your own truth.
Janet Autherine (Island Mindfulness: How to Use the Transformational Power of Mindfulness to Create an Abundant Life)
What benefit have the Hindus derived from their contact with Christian nations? The idea generally prevalent in this country about the morality and truthfulness of the Hindus evidently has been very low. Such seeds of enmity and hatred have been sown by the missionaries that it would be an almost Herculean task to establish better relations between India and America... If we examine Greek, Chinese, Persian, or Arabian writings on the Hindus, before foreigners invaded India, we find an impartial description of their national character. Megasthenes, the famous Greek ambassador, praises them for their love of truth and justice, for the absence of slavery, and for the chastity of their women. Arrian, in the second century, Hiouen-thsang, the famous Buddhist pilgrim in the seventh century, Marco Polo in the thirteenth century, have written in highest terms of praise of Hindu morality. The literature and philosophy of Ancient India have excited the admiration of all scholars, except Christian missionaries.
Virchand Gandhi (The Monist (Volume 5))
In 1908, in a wild and remote area of the North Caucasus, Leo Tolstoy, the greatest writer of the age, was the guest of a tribal chief “living far away from civilized life in the mountains.” Gathering his family and neighbors, the chief asked Tolstoy to tell stories about the famous men of history. Tolstoy told how he entertained the eager crowd for hours with tales of Alexander, Caesar, Frederick the Great, and Napoleon. When he was winding to a close, the chief stood and said, “But you have not told us a syllable about the greatest general and greatest ruler of the world. We want to know something about him. He was a hero. He spoke with a voice of thunder; he laughed like the sunrise and his deeds were strong as the rock….His name was Lincoln and the country in which he lived is called America, which is so far away that if a youth should journey to reach it he would be an old man when he arrived. Tell us of that man.” “I looked at them,” Tolstoy recalled, “and saw their faces all aglow, while their eyes were burning. I saw that those rude barbarians were really interested in a man whose name and deeds had already become a legend.” He told them everything he knew about Lincoln’s “home life and youth…his habits, his influence upon the people and his physical strength.” When he finished, they were so grateful for the story that they presented him with “a wonderful Arabian horse.” The next morning, as Tolstoy prepared to leave, they asked if he could possibly acquire for them a picture of Lincoln. Thinking that he might find one at a friend’s house in the neighboring town, Tolstoy asked one of the riders to accompany him. “I was successful in getting a large photograph from my friend,” recalled Tolstoy. As he handed it to the rider, he noted that the man’s hand trembled as he took it. “He gazed for several minutes silently, like one in a reverent prayer, his eyes filled with tears.” Tolstoy went on to observe, “This little incident proves how largely the name of Lincoln is worshipped throughout the world and how legendary his personality has become. Now, why was Lincoln so great that he overshadows all other national heroes? He really was not a great general like Napoleon or Washington; he was not such a skilful statesman as Gladstone or Frederick the Great; but his supremacy expresses itself altogether in his peculiar moral power and in the greatness of his character. “Washington was a typical American. Napoleon was a typical Frenchman, but Lincoln was a humanitarian as broad as the world. He was bigger than his country—bigger than all the Presidents together. “We are still too near to his greatness,” Tolstoy concluded, “but after a few centuries more our posterity will find him considerably bigger than we do. His genius is still too strong and too powerful for the common understanding, just as the sun is too hot when its light beams directly on us.
Doris Kearns Goodwin (Team of Rivals:The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln)
Mrs. HOWE (Julia Ward)–Wife of Dr. Howe, of Boston, famous as a teacher of the deaf and dumb. This lady is here, giving a course of private lectures, on quaint subjects—e. g. “moral triganometry [sic]” alias “practical ethics.” I dined with her, by special invitation, at Mr. Eames’—She is a smart, educated, traveled lady, a little touched, ‘tis thought, with strong-mindedness. Complacent, and well satisfied with her peculiar theories.
Howard K. Beale (The Diary of Edward Bates 1859-1866)
Janet Malcolm had famously described journalism as the art of seduction and betrayal. Any reporter who didn't see journalism as "morally indefensible" was either "too stupid" or "too full of himself," she wrote. I disagreed. Without shutting the door on the possibility that I was both stupid and full of myself, I'd never bought into the seduction and betrayal conceit. At most, journalism - particularly when writing about media-hungry public figures - was like the seduction of a prostitute. The relationship was transactional. They weren't talking to me because they liked me or because I impressed them; they were talking to me because they wanted the cover of Rolling Stone.
Michael Hastings (The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America's War in Afghanistan)
The Christian answer to this is that no two people are compatible. Duke University ethics professor Stanley Hauerwas has famously made this point:   Destructive to marriage is the self-fulfillment ethic that assumes marriage and the family are primarily institutions of personal fulfillment, necessary for us to become “whole” and happy. The assumption is that there is someone just right for us to marry and that if we look closely enough we will find the right person. This moral assumption overlooks a crucial aspect to marriage. It fails to appreciate the fact that we always marry the wrong person. We never know whom we marry; we just think we do. Or even if we first marry the right person, just give it a while and he or she will change. For marriage, being [the enormous thing it is] means we are not the same person after we have entered it. The primary problem is . . . learning how to love and care for the stranger to whom you find yourself married.40
Timothy J. Keller (The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God)
What I want to fix your attention on is the vast, overall movement towards the discrediting, and finally the elimination, of every kind of human excellence—moral, cultural, social, or intellectual. And is it not pretty to notice how Democracy (in the incantatory sense) is now doing for us the work that was once done by the most ancient Dictatorships, and by the same methods? You remember how one of the Greek Dictators (they called them ‘tyrants’ then) sent an envoy to another Dictator to ask his advice about the principles of government. The second Dictator led the envoy into a field of corn, and there he snicked off with his cane the top of every stalk that rose an inch or so above the general level. The moral was plain. Allow no pre-eminence among your subjects. Let no man live who is wiser, or better, or more famous, or even handsomer than the mass. Cut them all down to a level; all slaves, all ciphers, all nobodies. All equals. Thus Tyrants could practise, in a sense, ‘democracy’. But now ‘democracy’ can do the same work without any other tyranny than her own. No one need now go through the field with a cane. The little stalks will now of themselves bite the tops off the big ones. The big ones are beginning to bite off their own in their desire to Be Like Stalks.
C.S. Lewis (The Screwtape Letters: Also Includes "Screwtape Proposes a Toast")
Jeremy Bentham opened his Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation with the famous sentence “Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall do.
Daniel Kahneman (Thinking, Fast and Slow)
As Osborne famously declared, "Adequacy is sufficient. All else is superfluous." Jobs found that approach to be morally appalling, and he spent days making fun of Osborne. "This guy just doesn't get it," Jobs repeatedly railed as he wandered the Apple corridors. "He's not making art, he's making shit.
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
The play tells the story of Henry Bolingbroke, who deposes the corrupt King Richard.  Themes and moral questions concerning divine right and the power of language dominate the play.  Although lesser known than Shakespeare’s more famous history plays, Richard II boasts some of the playwright’s finest poetry, with Gaunt’s ‘This England’ speech being a particular highlight.
William Shakespeare (Complete Works of William Shakespeare)
Is life merely about achievement? If we should achieve anything, we should become lovingly moral and soundly wise people. Such people that only pursue selfish gain forget that life has its end. Indeed, you don’t need God to become rich, famous, or powerful. Anyone can do that! But what you do with your life after you die is determined by the decisions you make now, as you know.
Adam Houge (NOT A BOOK: The 7 Habits That Will Change Your Life Forever)
Kraus asks the question of Freudian analysis: What would be enough? At what point would talking about one’s problems for x hours a week, be sufficient to bring one to a state of “normalcy”? The genius of Freudianism, Kraus writes, is not the creation of a cure, but of a disease—the universal, if intermittent, human sentiment that “something is not right,” elaborated into a state whose parameters, definitions, and prescriptions are controlled by a self-selecting group of “experts,” who can never be proved wrong. It was said that the genius of the Listerine campaign was attributable to the creation not of mouthwash, but of halitosis. Kraus indicts Freud for the creation of the nondisease of dissatisfaction. (See also the famous “malaise” of Jimmy Carter, which, like Oscar Wilde’s Pea Soup Fogs, didn’t exist ’til someone began describing it.) To consider a general dissatisfaction with one’s life, or with life in general as a political rather than a personal, moral problem, is to exercise or invite manipulation. The fortune teller, the “life coach,” the Spiritual Advisor, these earn their living from applying nonspecific, nonspecifiable “remedies” to nonspecifiable discomforts.The sufferers of such, in medicine, are called “the worried well,” and provide the bulk of income and consume the bulk of time of most physicians. It was the genius of the Obama campaign to exploit them politically. The antecedent of his campaign has been called Roosevelt’s New Deal, but it could, more accurately, be identified as The Music Man.
David Mamet (The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture)
The unexamined life is not worth living'...Socrates made provocative remarks like this famous one as part of his daily practice in Athens in the late fourth century B.C. When he made these statements, he was invariably exhorting his fellow Greeks to avoid falling into the trap of what we might call 'ethical complacency,' the point at which an individual ceases trying to become a better person.
Russell Gough (Character Is Destiny: The Value of Personal Ethics in Everyday Life)
It is not that the historian can avoid emphasis of some facts and not of others. This is as natural to him as to the mapmaker, who, in order to produce a usable drawing for practical purposes, must first flatten and distort the shape of the earth, then choose out of the bewildering mass of geographic information those things needed for the purpose of this or that particular map. My argument cannot be against selection, simplification, emphasis, which are inevitable for both cartographers and historians. But the map-maker's distortion is a technical necessity for a common purpose shared by all people who need maps. The historian's distortion is more than technical, it is ideological; it is released into a world of contending interests, where any chosen emphasis supports (whether the historian means to or not) some kind of interest, whether economic or political or racial or national or sexual. Furthermore, this ideological interest is not openly expressed in the way a mapmaker's technical interest is obvious ("This is a Mercator projection for long-range navigation-for short-range, you'd better use a different projection"). No, it is presented as if all readers of history had a common interest which historians serve to the best of their ability. This is not intentional deception; the historian has been trained in a society in which education and knowledge are put forward as technical problems of excellence and not as tools for contending social classes, races, nations. To emphasize the heroism of Columbus and his successors as navigators and discoverers, and to de-emphasize their genocide, is not a technical necessity but an ideological choice. It serves- unwittingly-to justify what was done. My point is not that we must, in telling history, accuse, judge, condemn Columbus in absentia. It is too late for that; it would be a useless scholarly exercise in morality. But the easy acceptance of atrocities as a deplorable but necessary price to pay for progress (Hiroshima and Vietnam, to save Western civilization; Kronstadt and Hungary, to save socialism; nuclear proliferation, to save us all)-that is still with us. One reason these atrocities are still with us is that we have learned to bury them in a mass of other facts, as radioactive wastes are buried in containers in the earth. We have learned to give them exactly the same proportion of attention that teachers and writers often give them in the most respectable of classrooms and textbooks. This learned sense of moral proportion, coming from the apparent objectivity of the scholar, is accepted more easily than when it comes from politicians at press conferences. It is therefore more deadly. The treatment of heroes (Columbus) and their victims (the Arawaks)-the quiet acceptance of conquest and murder in the name of progress-is only one aspect of a certain approach to history, in which the past is told from the point of view of governments, conquerors, diplomats, leaders. It is as if they, like Columbus, deserve universal acceptance, as if they-the Founding Fathers, Jackson, Lincoln, Wilson, Roosevelt, Kennedy, the leading members of Congress, the famous Justices of the Supreme Court-represent the nation as a whole. The pretense is that there really is such a thing as "the United States," subject to occasional conflicts and quarrels, but fundamentally a community of people with common interests. It is as if there really is a "national interest" represented in the Constitution, in territorial expansion, in the laws passed by Congress, the decisions of the courts, the development of capitalism, the culture of education and the mass media.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States)
A woman named Cynthia once told me a story about the time her father had made plans to take her on a night out in San Francisco. Twelve-year-old Cynthia and her father had been planning the “date” for months. They had a whole itinerary planned down to the minute: she would attend the last hour of his presentation, and then meet him at the back of the room at about four-thirty and leave quickly before everyone tried to talk to him. They would catch a tram to Chinatown, eat Chinese food (their favourite), shop for a souvenir, see the sights for a while and then “catch a flick” as her dad liked to say. Then they would grab a taxi back to the hotel, jump in the pool for a quick swim (her dad was famous for sneaking in when the pool was closed), order a hot fudge sundae from room service, and watch the late, late show. They discussed the details over and over again before they left. The anticipation was part of the whole experience. This was all going according to plan until, as her father was leaving the convention centre, he ran into an old college friend and business associate. It had been years since they had seen each other, and Cynthia watched as they embraced enthusiastically. His friend said, in effect: “I am so glad you are doing some work with our company now. When Lois and I heard about it we thought it would be perfect. We want to invite you, and of course Cynthia, to get a spectacular seafood dinner down at the Wharf!” Cynthia’s father responded: “Bob, it’s so great to see you. Dinner at the wharf sounds great!” Cynthia was crestfallen. Her daydreams of tram rides and ice cream sundaes evaporated in an instant. Plus, she hated seafood and she could just imagine how bored she would be listening to the adults talk all night. But then her father continued: “But not tonight. Cynthia and I have a special date planned, don’t we?” He winked at Cynthia and grabbed her hand and they ran out of the door and continued with what was an unforgettable night in San Francisco. As it happens, Cynthia’s father was the management thinker Stephen R. Covey (author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People) who had passed away only weeks before Cynthia told me this story. So it was with deep emotion she recalled that evening in San Francisco. His simple decision “Bonded him to me forever because I knew what mattered most to him was me!” she said.5 One simple answer is we are unclear about what is essential. When this happens we become defenceless. On the other hand, when we have strong internal clarity it is almost as if we have a force field protecting us from the non-essentials coming at us from all directions. With Rosa it was her deep moral clarity that gave her unusual courage of conviction. With Stephen it was the clarity of his vision for the evening with his loving daughter. In virtually every instance, clarity about what is essential fuels us with the strength to say no to the non-essentials. Stephen R. Covey, one of the most respected and widely read business thinkers of his generation, was an Essentialist. Not only did he routinely teach Essentialist principles – like “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing” – to important leaders and heads of state around the world, he lived them.6 And in this moment of living them with his daughter he made a memory that literally outlasted his lifetime. Seen with some perspective, his decision seems obvious. But many in his shoes would have accepted the friend’s invitation for fear of seeming rude or ungrateful, or passing up a rare opportunity to dine with an old friend. So why is it so hard in the moment to dare to choose what is essential over what is non-essential?
Greg McKeown (Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less)
Karl Marx famously belittled religion as an “opiate for the masses,” a drug that the spread of worldwide socialism would one day make undesirable. Obama’s aside in San Francisco about “bitter” Americans clinging to belief in God out of economic frustration was nothing more than a restatement of Marx’s view of religion. Like Marx, Obama views traditional religion as a temporary opiate for the poor, confused, and jobless—a drug that will dissipate, he hopes, as the federal government assumes more God-like powers, and his new morality of abortion, subsidized contraception, and gay marriage gains adherents. “You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not,” Obama said, warming to his theme in San Francisco. “So it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.
Phyllis Schlafly (No Higher Power: Obama's War on Religious Freedom)
The course of training of the yogī was divided into eight stages, reminding us of the eightfold path of Buddhism, but far less practical: (1) Self-control (yama), the practice of the five moral rules: non-violence, truthfulness, not stealing, chastity, and the avoidance of greed. (2) Observance (niyama), the regular and complete observance of the above five rules. (3) Posture (āsana), sitting in certain postures, difficult without practice, which are thought to be essential to meditation. The most famous of these is padmāsna, the “Lotus Posture”, in which the feet are placed on the opposite thighs, and in which gods and sages are commonly depicted. (4) Control of the Breath (prānāyāma), whereby the breath is held and controlled and the respiration forced into unusual rhythms, which are believed to be of great physical and spiritual value. (5) Restraint (pratyāhāra), whereby the sense organs are trained to take no note of their perceptions. (6) Steadying the Mind (dhāranā), by concentration on a single object, such as the tip of the nose, the navel, an icon, or a sacred symbol. (7) Meditation (dhyāna), when the object of concentration fills the whole mind. (8) Deep Meditation (samādhi), when the whole personality is temporarily dissolved.
A.L. Basham (The Wonder That Was India: A Survey of the Culture of the Indian Sub-Continent Before the Coming of the Muslims)
We marched him to the turfy shack where he lived with his parents and while the youth sulked Petronius Longus put the whole moral issue in succinct terms to them: Ollia’s father was a legionary veteran who had served in Egypt and Syria for over twenty years until he left with double pay, three medals, and a diploma that made Ollia legitimate; he now ran a boxers’ training school where he was famous for his high-minded attitude and his fighters were notorious for their loyalty to him… The old fisherman was a toothless, hapless, faithless cove you would not trust too near you with a filleting knife, but whether from fear or simple cunning he co-operated eagerly. The lad agreed to marry the girl and since Silvia would never abandon Ollia here, we decided that the fisherboy had to come back with us to Rome. His relations looked impressed by this result. We accepted it as the best we could achieve.
Lindsey Davis (Shadows in Bronze (Marcus Didius Falco, #2))
Moon grew up, lost weight and became a famous singer, which proves that there is no justice in the universe, or that indeed, there is justice. Your interpretation of the denouement mostly depends on your race, creed, hair color, social and economic class and political proclivities -- whether or not you are a revisionist feminist and have a habit of cheering for the underdog. What is the moral of the story? Well, it's a tale of revenge, obviously written from the Chinese American girl's perspective. My intentions are to veer you away from teasing and humiliating little chubby Chinese girls like myself. And that one wanton act of humiliation you perpetrated on the fore or aft of that boat on my arrival may be one humiliating act too many. For although we are friendly neighbors, you don't really know me. You don't know the depth of my humiliation. And you don't know what I can do. You don't know what is beneath my doing.
Marilyn Chin (Revenge of the Mooncake Vixen)
...most gentlemen of breeding considered themselves amateurs at all kinds of disciplines. Go all the way back to Jefferson, who collected fossils and wrote about botany and invented household tools and studied animals. He was an amateur anthropologist and even an amateur theologian who famously cut all the miracles out of the New Testament because he thought Jesus made a whole lot more sense without the supernatural material mucking up the good moral philosophy.
Jack Hitt (Bunch of Amateurs: A Search for the American Character)
All the most reasonable teachings of human wisdom concerning justice are summed up in that famous adage: Do unto others that which you would that others should do unto you; Do not unto others that which you would not that others should do unto you. But this rule of moral practice is unscientific: what have I a right to wish that others should do or not do to me? It is of no use to tell me that my duty is equal to my right, unless I am told at the same time what my right is.
Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (What Is Property?)
Even so, little separation between the soteriological and the humanitarian motifs was in evidence during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The missionaries persisted in the pre-Enlightenment tradition of the indissoluble unity of “evangelization” and “humanization” (cf van der Linde 1973), of “service to the soul” and “service to the body” (Nergaard 1988:34–40), of proclaiming the gospel and spreading a “beneficent civilization” (Rennstich 1982a, 1982b). For Blumhardt of the Basel Mission this clearly included “reparation for injustice committed by Europeans, so that to some extent the thousand bleeding wounds could be healed which were caused by the Europeans since centuries through their most dirty greediness and most cruel deceitfulness” (quoted by Rennstich 1982a:95; cf 1982b:546). And Henry Venn, famous General Secretary of the British CMS, urged missionaries to take their stand between the oppressor and the oppressed, between the tyranny of the system and the morally and physically threatened masses of the people to whom they went (cf Rennstich 1982b:545).
David J. Bosch (Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission)
I learned two very important lessons from Carl Jung, the famous Swiss depth psychologist, about “doing unto others as you would have them do unto you” or “loving your neighbour as yourself.” The first lesson was that neither of these statements has anything to do with being nice. The second was that both are equations, rather than injunctions. If I am someone’s friend, family member, or lover, then I am morally obliged to bargain as hard on my own behalf as they are on theirs. If I fail to do so, I will end up a slave, and the other person a tyrant. What good is that?
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
Survival of the fittest" in the commonly used animal sense is not a theory or principle for a "time-binding" being. This theory is only for the physical bodies of animals; its effect upon humanity is sinister and degrading. We see the principle at work all about us in criminal exploitation and profiteering. As a matter of fact, the ages-long application of this animal principle to human affairs has degraded the whole human morale in an inconceivably far-reaching way. Personal greed and selfishness are brazenly owned as principles of conduct. We shrug our shoulders in acquiescence and proclaim greed and selfishness to be the very core of human nature, take it all for granted, and let it pass at that. We have gone so far in our degradation that the prophet of capitalistic principles, Adam Smith, in his famous Wealth of Nations, arrives at the laws of wealth, not from the phenomena of wealth nor from statistical statements, but from the phenomena of selfishness-a fact which shows how far-reaching in its dire influence upon all humanity is the theory that human beings are "animals." Of course the effect is very disastrous. The preceding chapters have shown that the theory is false; it is false, not only because of its unhappy effects, but it belies the characteristic nature of man. Human nature, this time-binding power, not only has the peculiar capacity for perpetual progress, but it has, over and above all animal propensities, certain qualities constituting it a distinctive dimension or type of life. Not only our whole collective life proves a love for higher ideals, but even our dead give us the rich heritage, material and spiritual, of all their toils. There is nothing mystical about it; to call SUCH a class a naturally selfish class is not only nonsensical but monstrous.
Alfred Korzybski (Manhood of Humanity)
A detailed analysis of the most famous novels would show, in different perspectives each time, that the essence of the novel lies in this perpetual alteration, always directed toward the same ends, that the artist makes in his own experience. Far from being moral or even purely formal, this alteration aims, primarily, at unity and thereby expresses a metaphysical need. The novel, on this level, is primarily an exercise of the intelligence in the service of nostalgic or rebellious sensibilities. It would be possible to study this quest for unity in the French analytical novel and in Melville, Balzac, Dostoievsky, or Tolstoy
Albert Camus (The Rebel)
In a famous passage, Mill explained Precisely because the tyranny of opinion is such as to make eccentricity a reproach, in order to break through that tyranny, that people should be eccentric. Eccentricity has always abounded when and where strength of character has abounded; and the amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigour and moral courage which it contained. That so few now dare to be eccentric, marks the chief danger of the time. Yet, ironically, Mill himself could not tolerate unconventional men such as Comte, who often referred to himself as an 'eccentric thinker.
Mary Pickering (Auguste Comte: An Intellectual Biography, Volume II)
Saturday evening, on a quiet lazy afternoon, I went to watch a bullfight in Las Ventas, one of Madrid's most famous bullrings. I went there out of curiosity. I had long been haunted by the image of the matador with its custom made torero suit, embroidered with golden threads, looking spectacular in his "suit of light" or traje de luces as they call it in Spain. I was curious to see the dance of death unfold in front of me, to test my humanity in the midst of blood and gold, and to see in which state my soul will come out of the arena, whether it will be shaken and stirred, furious and angry, or a little bit aware of the life embedded in every death. Being an avid fan of Hemingway, and a proponent of his famous sentence "About morals, I know only that what is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after,” I went there willingly to test myself. I had heard atrocities about bullfighting yet I had this immense desire to be part of what I partially had an inclination to call a bloody piece of cultural experience. As I sat there, in front of the empty arena, I felt a grandiose feeling of belonging to something bigger than anything I experienced during my stay in Spain. Few minutes and I'll be witnessing a painting being carefully drawn in front of me, few minutes and I will be part of an art form deeply entrenched in the Spanish cultural heritage: the art of defying death. But to sit there, and to watch the bull enter the arena… To watch one bull surrounded by a matador and his six assistants. To watch the matador confronting the bull with the capote, performing a series of passes, just before the picador on a horse stabs the bull's neck, weakening the neck muscles and leading to the animal's first loss of blood... Starting a game with only one side having decided fully to engage in while making sure all the odds will be in the favor of him being a predetermined winner. It was this moment precisely that made me feel part of something immoral. The unfair rules of the game. The indifferent bull being begged to react, being pushed to the edge of fury. The bull, tired and peaceful. The bull, being teased relentlessly. The bull being pushed to a game he isn't interested in. And the matador getting credits for an unfair game he set. As I left the arena, people looked at me with mocking eyes. Yes, I went to watch a bull fight and yes the play of colors is marvelous. The matador’s costume is breathtaking and to be sitting in an arena fills your lungs with the sands of time. But to see the amount of claps the spill of blood is getting was beyond what I can endure. To hear the amount of claps injustice brings is astonishing. You understand a lot about human nature, about the wars taking place every day, about poverty and starvation. You understand a lot about racial discrimination and abuse (verbal and physical), sex trafficking, and everything that stirs the wounds of this world wide open. You understand a lot about humans’ thirst for injustice and violence as a way to empower hidden insecurities. Replace the bull and replace the matador. And the arena will still be there. And you'll hear the claps. You've been hearing them ever since you opened your eyes.
Malak El Halabi
There is no man,’ he began, ‘however wise, who has not at some period of his youth said things, or lived in a way the consciousness of which is so unpleasant to him in later life that he would gladly, if he could, expunge it from his memory. And yet he ought not entirely to regret it, because he cannot be certain that he has indeed become a wise man—so far as it is possible for any of us to be wise—unless he has passed through all the fatuous or unwholesome incarnations by which that ultimate stage must be preceded. I know that there are young fellows, the sons and grand sons of famous men, whose masters have instilled into them nobility of mind and moral refinement in their schooldays. They have, perhaps, when they look back upon their past lives, nothing to retract; they can, if they choose, publish a signed account of everything they have ever said or done; but they are poor creatures, feeble descendants of doctrinaires, and their wisdom is negative and sterile. We are not provided with wisdom, we must discover it for ourselves, after a journey through the wilderness which no one else can take for us, an effort which no one can spare us, for our wisdom is the point of view from which we come at last to regard the world. The lives that you admire, the attitudes that seem noble to you are not the result of training at home, by a father, or by masters at school, they have sprung from beginnings of a very different order, by reaction from the influence of everything evil or commonplace that prevailed round about them. They represent a struggle and a victory. I can see that the picture of what we once were, in early youth, may not be recognisable and cannot, certainly, be pleasing to contemplate in later life. But we must not deny the truth of it, for it is evidence that we have really lived, that it is in accordance with the laws of life and of the mind that we have, from the common elements of life, of the life of studios, of artistic groups—assuming that one is a painter—extracted something that goes beyond them.
Marcel Proust (Within a Budding Grove, Part 2)
So instead of providing another intellectual answer that would be ignored, David cut right to the heart. He said, “You’re raising all of these objections because you’re sleeping with your girlfriend. Am I right?” All the blood drained from the young man’s face. He was caught. He was rejecting God because he didn’t like God’s morality. And he was disguising it with feigned intellectual objections. This young man wasn’t the first atheist or agnostic to admit that his desire to follow his own agenda was keeping him out of the kingdom. In the first chapter of his letter to the Romans, the apostle Paul revealed this tendency we humans have to “suppress the truth” about God in order to follow our own desires. In other words, unbelief is more motivated by the heart than the head. Some prominent atheists have admitted this. Friedrich Nietzsche, who famously wrote, “God is dead and we have killed him,” also wrote, “If one were to prove this God of the Christians to us, we should be even less able to believe in him.”[24] Obviously Nietzsche’s rejection of God was not intellectual! Professor Thomas Nagel of NYU more recently wrote, “I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers. It isn’t just that I don’t believe in God and, naturally, hope that I’m right in my belief. It’s that I hope there is no God! I don’t want there to be a God; I don’t want the universe to be like that. My
Frank Turek (Stealing from God: Why Atheists Need God to Make Their Case)
Elsewhere, in schools where teachers had come under the influence of the Moravian reformer Jan Amos Comenius (1592–1670), shafts of sunlight were theoretically able to penetrate. The Klosterschule in Ohrdruf (previously a monastic school) to which Bach moved from Eisenach after his parents’ death and attended for four and a half years, is alleged to have been just such a place, famous in the district for having adopted Comenius’s curricular reforms. His method stressed the importance of cultivating a favourable environment for learning, of encouraging pleasure as well as moral instruction through study, and of helping pupils to learn progressively from concrete examples, stage by stage – from a knowledge of things (including songs and pictures) rather than through words alone.
John Eliot Gardiner (Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven)
Perhaps the most important Stoic legacy to the history of moral thought was the concept of universal humanity. In his famous Elements of Ethics, the second-century Stoic philosopher Hierocles imagines every individual as standing at the centre of a series of concentric circles. The first circle is the individual, next comes the immediate family, followed by the extended family, the local community, the country, and finally the entire human race. To be virtuous, Hierocles suggested, is to draw these circles together, constantly to transfer people from the outer circles to the inner circles, to treat strangers as cousins and cousins as brothers and sisters, making all human beings part of our concern. The Stoics called this process of drawing the circles together oikeiosis, a word that is almost untranslatable but means something like the process by which everything is made into your home.
Kenan Malik (The Quest for a Moral Compass: A Global History of Ethics)
And even though he’s the father of capitalism and wrote the most famous and maybe the best book ever on why some nations are rich and others are poor, Adam Smith in The Theory of Moral Sentiments wrote as eloquently as anyone ever has on the futility of pursuing money with the hope of finding happiness. How do you reconcile that with the fact that no one did more than Adam Smith to make capitalism and self-interest respectable? That is a puzzle I try to unravel toward the end of this book. Besides the emptiness of excessive materialism, Smith understood the potential we have for self-deception, the danger of unintended consequences, the seductive lure of fame and power, the limitations of human reason, and the unseen sources of what makes our lives both so complex and yet at times so orderly. The Theory of Moral Sentiments is a book of observations about what makes us tick. As a bonus, almost in passing, Smith tells us how to lead the good life in the fullest sense of that phrase.
Russel "Russ" Roberts (How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life: An Unexpected Guide to Human Nature and Happiness)
Political economist and sociologist Max Weber famously spoke of the “disenchantment of the world,” as rationalization and science led Europe and America into modern industrial society, pushing back religion and all “magical” theories about reality. Now we are witnessing the disenchantment of the self. One of the many dangers in this process is that if we remove the magic from our image of ourselves, we may also remove it from our image of others. We could become disenchanted with one another. Our image of Homo sapiens underlies our everyday practice and culture; it shapes the way we treat one another as well as how we subjectively experience ourselves. In Western societies, the Judeo-Christian image of humankind—whether you are a believer or not—has secured a minimal moral consensus in everyday life. It has been a major factor in social cohesion. Now that the neurosciences have irrevocably dissolved the Judeo-Christian image of a human being as containing an immortal spark of the divine, we are beginning to realize that they have not substituted anything that could hold society together and provide a common ground for shared moral intuitions and values. An anthropological and ethical vacuum may well follow on the heels of neuroscientific findings. This is a dangerous situation. One potential scenario is that long before neuroscientists and philosophers have settled any of the perennial issues—for example, the nature of the self, the freedom of the will, the relationship between mind and brain, or what makes a person a person—a vulgar materialism might take hold. More and more people will start telling themselves: “I don’t understand what all these neuroexperts and consciousness philosophers are talking about, but the upshot seems pretty clear to me. The cat is out of the bag: We are gene-copying bio- robots, living out here on a lonely planet in a cold and empty physical universe. We have brains but no immortal souls, and after seventy years or so the curtain drops. There will never be an afterlife, or any kind of reward or punishment for anyone, and ultimately everyone is alone. I get the message, and you had better believe I will adjust my behavior to it. It would probably be smart not to let anybody know I’ve seen through the game.
Thomas Metzinger
In another curious and roundabout way, however, the Nazis gave a propaganda answer to the question of what their future role would be, and that was in their use of the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” as a model for the future organization of the German masses for “world empire.” The use of the Protocols was not restricted to the Nazis; hundreds of thousands of copies were sold in postwar Germany, and even their open adoption as a handbook of politics was not new. Nevertheless, this forgery was mainly used for the purpose of denouncing the Jews and arousing the mob to the dangers of Jewish domination. In terms of mere propaganda, the discovery of the Nazis was that the masses were not so frightened by Jewish world rule as they were interested in how it could be done, that the popularity of the Protocols was based on admiration and eagerness to learn rather than on hatred, and that it would be wise to stay as close as possible to certain of their outstanding formulas, as in the case of the famous slogan: “Right is what is good for the German people,” which was copied from the Protocols’ “Everything that benefits the Jewish people is morally right and sacred”.
Hannah Arendt (The Origins of Totalitarianism)
For his son-in-law the Pope suffered no further spasms of morality. Rather, judging from Burchard’s diary, the last inhibitions, if any, dropped away. Two months after Alfonso’s death, the Pope presided over a banquet given by Cesare in the Vatican, famous in the annals of pornography as the Ballet of the Chestnuts. Soberly recorded by Burchard, fifty courtesans danced after dinner with the guests, “at first clothed, then naked.” Chestnuts were then scattered among candelabra placed on the floor, “which the courtesans, crawling on hands and knees among the candelabra, picked up, while the Pope, Cesare and his sister Lucrezia looked on.” Coupling of guests and courtesans followed, with prizes in the form of fine silken tunics and cloaks offered “for those who could perform the act most often with the courtesans.” A month later Burchard records a scene in which mares and stallions were driven into a courtyard of the Vatican and equine coupling encouraged while from a balcony the Pope and Lucrezia “watched with loud laughter and much pleasure.” Later they watched again while Cesare shot down a mass of unarmed criminals driven like the horses into the same courtyard.
Barbara W. Tuchman (The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam)
After moving his family from Yakima to Paradise, California, in 1958, he enrolled at Chico State College. There, he began an apprenticeship under the soon-to-be-famous John Gardner, the first "real writer" he had ever met. "He offered me the key to his office," Carver recalled in his preface to Gardner’s On Becoming a Novelist (1983). "I see that gift now as a turning point." In addition, Gardner gave his student "close, line-by-line criticism" and taught him a set of values that was "not negotiable." Among these values were convictions that Carver held until his death. Like Gardner, whose On Moral Fiction (1978) decried the "nihilism" of postmodern formalism, Carver maintained that great literature is life-connected, life-affirming, and life-changing. "In the best fiction," he wrote "the central character, the hero or heroine, is also the ‘moved’ character, the one to whom something happens in the story that makes a difference. Something happens that changes the way that character looks at himself and hence the world." Through the 1960s and 1970s he steered wide of the metafictional "funhouse" erected by Barth, Barthelme and Company, concentrating instead on what he called "those basics of old-fashioned storytelling: plot, character, and action." Like Gardner and Chekhov, Carver declared himself a humanist. "Art is not self-expression," he insisted, "it’s communication.
William L. Stull
God famously doesn't afflict Job because of anything Job has done, but because he wants to prove a point to Satan. Twenty years later, I am sympathetic with my first assessment; to me, in spite of the soft radiant beauty of many of its passages, the Bible still has a mechanical quality, a refusal to brook complexity that feels brutal and violent. There has been a change, however. When I look at Revelation now, it still seems frightening and impenetrable, and it still suggests an inexorable, ridiculous order that is unknowable by us, in which our earthly concerns matter very little. However, it not longer reads to me like a chronicle of arbitrarily inflicted cruelty. It reads like a terrible abstract of how we violate ourselves and others and thus bring down endless suffering on earth. When I read And they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pain and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds, I think of myself and others I've known or know who blaspheme life itself by failing to have the courage to be honest and kind—and how then we rage around and lash out because we hurt. When I read the word fornication, I don't read it as a description of sex outside legal marriage: I read it as sex done in a state of psychic disintegration, with no awareness of one's self or one's partner, let alone any sense of honor or even real playfulness. I still don't know what to make of much of it, but I'm inclined to read it as a writer's primitive attempt to give form to his moral urgency, to create a structure that could contain and give ballast to the most desperate human confusion.
Mary Gaitskill (Somebody with a Little Hammer: Essays)
For the lady’s husband to become actively jealous was considered both doltish and dishonorable, a breach of the spirit of courtesy. Yet the record suggests that this was a fairly common occurrence and one of the occupational hazards of being a troubadour. The most famous crime passionnel of the epoch was the murder of Guilhem de Cabestanh, a troubadour knight whose love for the Lady Seremonda aroused the jealousy of her husband, Raimon de Castel-Roussillon. The story goes that Raimon killed Guilhem while he was out hunting, removed the heart from the body, and had it served to his wife for dinner, cooked and seasoned with pepper. Then comes the great confrontation: “And when the lady had eaten of it, RAimon de Castel-Roussillon said unto her: “Know you of what you have eaten?’ And she said, ‘I know not, save that the taste thereof is good and savoury.’ Then he said to her that that she had eaten of was in very truth the head of SIr Guilhem of Cabestanh, and caused the head to be brought before her, that she might the more readily believe it. And when the lady had seen and heard this, she straightway fell into a swoon, and when she was recovered of it, she spake and said: “Of a truth, my Lord, such good meat have you given me that never more will I eat of other.” THen he, hearing this, ran upon her with his sword and would have struck at her head, but the lady ran to a balcony, and cast herself down, and so died.” ...the story is probably apocryphal… grisly details...borrowed from an ancient legend...the Middle Ages believed it and drew the intended moral conclusion-that husbands should leave well enough alone. Raimon was held up to scorn while Guilhem became one of the great heroes of the troubadour epoch.
Horizon Magazine, Summer 1970
But nothing has ever expressed the general, gut-felt moral revulsion against city-bombing better than a virtually unknown article, from firsthand experience, by America’s most famous writer at the time, Ernest Hemingway, in July 1938. It’s still little known because he wrote it, by request, for the Soviet newspaper Pravda, which published it in Russian; his manuscript in English didn’t surface143 for forty-four years. It conveys in words the same surreal images that Picasso had rendered on canvas the year before. His lead sentence: “During the last fifteen months I saw murder done in Spain by the Fascist invaders. Murder is different from war.” Hemingway was describing what he had seen of fascist bombing of workers’ housing in Barcelona and shelling of civilian cinemagoers in Madrid. You see the murdered children with their twisted legs, their arms that bend in wrong directions, and their plaster powdered faces. You see the women, sometimes unmarked when they die from concussion, their faces grey, green matter running out of their mouths from bursted gall bladders. You see them sometimes looking like bloodied bundles of rags. You see them sometimes blown capriciously into fragments as an insane butcher might sever a carcass. And you hate the Italian and German murderers who do this as you hate no other people. … When they shell the cinema crowds, concentrating on the squares where the people will be coming out at six o’clock, it is murder. … You see a shell hit a queue of women standing in line to buy soap. There are only four women killed but a part of one woman’s torso is driven against a stone wall so that blood is driven into the stone with such force that sandblasting later fails to clean it. The other dead lie like scattered black bundles and the wounded are moaning or screaming.
Daniel Ellsberg (The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner)
Over the next year, he practiced every day. In his diary, he wrote as if his control over himself and his choices was never in question. He got married. He started teaching at Harvard. He began spending time with Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., who would go on to become a Supreme Court justice, and Charles Sanders Peirce, a pioneer in the study of semiotics, in a discussion group they called the Metaphysical Club.9.30 Two years after writing his diary entry, James sent a letter to the philosopher Charles Renouvier, who had expounded at length on free will. “I must not lose this opportunity of telling you of the admiration and gratitude which have been excited in me by the reading of your Essais,” James wrote. “Thanks to you I possess for the first time an intelligible and reasonable conception of freedom.… I can say that through that philosophy I am beginning to experience a rebirth of the moral life; and I can assure you, sir, that this is no small thing.” Later, he would famously write that the will to believe is the most important ingredient in creating belief in change. And that one of the most important methods for creating that belief was habits. Habits, he noted, are what allow us to “do a thing with difficulty the first time, but soon do it more and more easily, and finally, with sufficient practice, do it semi-mechanically, or with hardly any consciousness at all.” Once we choose who we want to be, people grow “to the way in which they have been exercised, just as a sheet of paper or a coat, once creased or folded, tends to fall forever afterward into the same identical folds.” If you believe you can change—if you make it a habit—the change becomes real. This is the real power of habit: the insight that your habits are what you choose them to be. Once that choice occurs—and becomes automatic—it’s not only real, it starts to seem inevitable, the thing, as James wrote, that bears “us irresistibly toward our destiny, whatever the latter may be.
Charles Duhigg (The Power Of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life And Business)
We must first understand what the purport of society and the aim of government is held to be. If it be your intention to confer a certain elevation upon the human mind, and to teach it to regard the things of this world with generous feelings, to inspire men with a scorn of mere temporal advantage, to give birth to living convictions, and to keep alive the spirit of honorable devotedness; if you hold it to be a good thing to refine the habits, to embellish the manners, to cultivate the arts of a nation, and to promote the love of poetry, of beauty, and of renown; if you would constitute a people not unfitted to act with power upon all other nations, nor unprepared for those high enterprises which, whatever be the result of its efforts, will leave a name forever famous in time—if you believe such to be the principal object of society, you must avoid the government of democracy, which would be a very uncertain guide to the end you have in view. But if you hold it to be expedient to divert the moral and intellectual activity of man to the production of comfort, and to the acquirement of the necessaries of life; if a clear understanding be more profitable to man than genius; if your object be not to stimulate the virtues of heroism, but to create habits of peace; if you had rather witness vices than crimes and are content to meet with fewer noble deeds, provided offences be diminished in the same proportion; if, instead of living in the midst of a brilliant state of society, you are contented to have prosperity around you; if, in short, you are of opinion that the principal object of a Government is not to confer the greatest possible share of power and of glory upon the body of the nation, but to ensure the greatest degree of enjoyment and the least degree of misery to each of the individuals who compose it—if such be your desires, you can have no surer means of satisfying them than by equalizing the conditions of men, and establishing democratic institutions.
Alexis de Tocqueville (Democracy in America: Volume 1)
The free market system of capitalism enhances freedom in three ways. Traditionally freedom of exchange has been seen as a basic form of individual freedom, with which it would be wrong to interfere, and in this sense is a basic, negative freedom like the freedom of speech, assembly, the press, or conscience. Gerald Gaus, a liberal defender of the morality of markets, summarizes the liberal case for freedom in capitalism: “classical liberalism embraces market relations because (but not, of course, only because) they (1) are essentially free, (2) respect the actual choices of individuals, and (3) legitimately express different individuals’ rational decisions about the proper choice between competing ends, goods, and values.”98 Market freedom is necessary to respect individuals as free choosers and designers of their own “experiments in living,” as Mill famously puts it.99 Free markets also have positive aspects, however, in providing opportunities by increasing persons’ material wealth in order to choose things that they value. Another aspect of the positive freedom that markets promote is the freedom of persons to develop their autonomy as decision makers, and to find opportunities to escape from oppressive traditional roles. Markets also promote a third, more controversial, sense of freedom in that they allow persons to interact in mutually beneficial ways even when they do not know each other or have any other traditional reason to care about the other. I call this sense of freedom “social freedom.” In each of these ways – negative, positive, and social – markets have much, and in some cases even more, to offer to women, as women have been more confined by traditional roles to a constrained family life, deprived of a fair distribution of benefits and burdens of family life, and treated as second-class citizens in their communities. While capitalism has already, as we have seen, brought great advances in the realm of negative and positive liberties, capitalism’s ability to destruct the old and create new forms of community offer a vision of freedom that is yet to be fulfilled.
Ann E. Cudd (Capitalism, For and Against)
what makes life worth living when we are old and frail and unable to care for ourselves? In 1943, the psychologist Abraham Maslow published his hugely influential paper “A Theory of Human Motivation,” which famously described people as having a hierarchy of needs. It is often depicted as a pyramid. At the bottom are our basic needs—the essentials of physiological survival (such as food, water, and air) and of safety (such as law, order, and stability). Up one level are the need for love and for belonging. Above that is our desire for growth—the opportunity to attain personal goals, to master knowledge and skills, and to be recognized and rewarded for our achievements. Finally, at the top is the desire for what Maslow termed “self-actualization”—self-fulfillment through pursuit of moral ideals and creativity for their own sake. Maslow argued that safety and survival remain our primary and foundational goals in life, not least when our options and capacities become limited. If true, the fact that public policy and concern about old age homes focus on health and safety is just a recognition and manifestation of those goals. They are assumed to be everyone’s first priorities. Reality is more complex, though. People readily demonstrate a willingness to sacrifice their safety and survival for the sake of something beyond themselves, such as family, country, or justice. And this is regardless of age. What’s more, our driving motivations in life, instead of remaining constant, change hugely over time and in ways that don’t quite fit Maslow’s classic hierarchy. In young adulthood, people seek a life of growth and self-fulfillment, just as Maslow suggested. Growing up involves opening outward. We search out new experiences, wider social connections, and ways of putting our stamp on the world. When people reach the latter half of adulthood, however, their priorities change markedly. Most reduce the amount of time and effort they spend pursuing achievement and social networks. They narrow in. Given the choice, young people prefer meeting new people to spending time with, say, a sibling; old people prefer the opposite. Studies find that as people grow older they interact with fewer people and concentrate more on spending time with family and established friends. They focus on being rather than doing and on the present more than the future.
Atul Gawande (Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End)
Racial stereotyping. For Martin Luther King, Jr., and other civil rights leaders, the sin of white racism was stereotyping all black people as inferior. It was a prejudice to be sure, but it was predicated on the assumption that all blacks were the same. King objected to stereotyping because he wanted blacks to be treated as individuals and not reduced exclusively to their racial identity (hence the meaning of his famous statement about the content of one's character taking precedence over the color of one's skin). The postmodern left turns the civil rights model on its head. It embraces racial stereotyping -- racial identity by any other name -- and reverses it, transforming it into something positive, provided the pecking order of power is kept in place. In the new moral scheme of racial identities, black inferiority is replaced by white culpability, rendering the entire white race, with few exceptions, collectively guilty of racial oppression. The switch is justified through the logic of racial justice, but that does not change the fact that people are being defined by their racial characteristic. Racism is viewed as structural, so it is permissible to use overtly positive discrimination (i.e., affirmative action) to reorder society. This end-justifies-the-means mentality of course predates the postmodern left. It can be found in the doctrine of affirmative action. But the racial theorists of identity politics have taken "positive" discrimination to a whole new level. Whereas affirmative action was justified mainly in terms of trying to give disadvantaged blacks a temporary leg up, the racial theorists of the postmodern left see corrective action as permanent. The unending struggle that ensues necessitates acceptance of a new type of racial stereotyping as a way of life and increasingly as something that needs to be enshrined in administrative regulations and the law. The idea of positive stereotyping contains all sorts of illiberal troublemaking. Once one race is set up as victim and another as guilty of racism, any means necessary are permitted to correct the alleged unjust distribution of power. Justice becomes retaliatory rather than color blind -- a matter of vengeance rather than justice. The notion of collective racial guilt, once a horror to liberal opinion, is routinely accepted today as the true mark of a progressive. Casualties are not only King's dream of racial harmony but also the hope that someday we can all -- blacks and whites -- rise above racial stereotypes.
Kim R. Holmes (The Closing of the Liberal Mind: How Groupthink and Intolerance Define the Left)
It has to be said: there are too many great men in the world. There are too many legislators, organizers, founders of society, leaders of peoples, fathers of nations, etc., etc. Too many people put themselves above humanity in order to rule it and too many people think their job is to become involved with it. People will say to me: you yourself are becoming involved, you who talk about it. That is true. But they will agree that it is for a very different reason and from a very different point of view, and while I am taking on those who wish to reform, it is solely to make them abandon their effort. I am becoming involved with it not like Vaucanson with his automaton but like a physiologist with the human organism, in order to examine it and admire it. I am becoming involved with it in the same spirit as that of a famous traveler. He arrived among a savage tribe. A child had just been born and a host of fortune-tellers, warlocks, and quacks were crowding around it, armed with rings, hooks, and ties. One said, “This child will never smell the aroma of a pipe if I do not lengthen his nostrils.” Another said, “He will be deprived of the sense of hearing if I do not make his ears reach down to his shoulders.” A third said, “He will never see the light of the sun unless I make his eyes slant obliquely.” A fourth said, “He will never stand upright if I do not make his legs curve.” A fifth said, “He will never be able to think if I do not squeeze his brain.” “Away with you,” said the traveler. “God does His work well. Do not claim to know more than He does and, since He has given organs to this frail creature, leave those organs to develop and grow strong through exercise, experimentation, experience, and freedom.” [print edition page 146] God has also provided humanity with all that is necessary for it to accomplish its destiny. There is a providential social physiology just as there is a providential human physiology. The social organs are also constituted so as to develop harmoniously in the fresh air of freedom. Away with you, therefore, you quacks and organizers! Away with your rings, chains, hooks, and pincers! Away with your artificial means! Away with your social workshop, your phalanstery, your governmentalism, your centralization, your tariffs, your universities, your state religion, your free credit or monopolistic banks, your constraints, your restrictions, your moralizing, or your equalizing through taxes! And since the social body has had inflicted on it so many theoretical systems to no avail, let us finish where we should have started; let us reject these and at last put freedom to the test, freedom, which is an act of faith in God and in His work.
Frédéric Bastiat (The Law, The State, and Other Political Writings, 1843–1850)
One can take the ape out of the jungle, but not the jungle out of the ape. This also applies to us, bipedal apes. Ever since our ancestors swung from tree to tree, life in small groups has been an obsession of ours. We can’t get enough of politicians thumping their chests on television, soap opera stars who swing from tryst to tryst, and reality shows about who’s in and who’s out. It would be easy to make fun of all this primate behavior if not for the fact that our fellow simians take the pursuit of power and sex just as seriously as we do. We share more with them than power and sex, though. Fellow-feeling and empathy are equally important, but they’re rarely mentioned as part of our biological heritage. We would much rather blame nature for what we don’t like in ourselves than credit it for what we do like. As Katharine Hepburn famously put it in The African Queen, ”Nature, Mr. Allnut, is what we are put in this world to rise above.” This opinion is still very much with us. Of the millions of pages written over the centuries about human nature, none are as bleak as those of the last three decades, and none as wrong. We hear that we have selfish genes, that human goodness is a sham, and that we act morally only to impress others. But if all that people care about is their own good, why does a day-old baby cry when it hears another baby cry? This is how empathy starts. Not very sophisticated perhaps, but we can be sure that a newborn doesn’t try to impress. We are born with impulses that draw us to others and that later in life make us care about them. The possibility that empathy is part of our primate heritage ought to make us happy, but we’re not in the habit of embracing our nature. When people commit genocide, we call them ”animals”. But when they give to the poor, we praise them for being ”humane”. We like to claim the latter behavior for ourselves. It wasn’t until an ape saved a member of our own species that there was a public awakening to the possibility of nonhuman humaneness. This happened on August 16, 1996, when an eight-year-old female gorilla named Binti Jua helped a three-year-old boy who had fallen eighteen feet into the primate exhibit at Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo. Reacting immediately, Binti scooped up the boy and carried him to safety. She sat down on a log in a stream, cradling the boy in her lap, giving him a few gentle back pats before taking him to the waiting zoo staff. This simple act of sympathy, captured on video and shown around the world, touched many hearts, and Binti was hailed as a heroine. It was the first time in U.S. history that an ape figured in the speeches of leading politicians, who held her up as a model of compassion. That Binti’s behavior caused such surprise among humans says a lot about the way animals are depicted in the media. She really did nothing unusual, or at least nothing an ape wouldn’t do for any juvenile of her own species. While recent nature documentaries focus on ferocious beasts (or the macho men who wrestle them to the ground), I think it’s vital to convey the true breadth and depth of our connection with nature. This book explores the fascinating and frightening parallels between primate behavior and our own, with equal regard for the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Frans de Waal (Our Inner Ape: A Leading Primatologist Explains Why We Are Who We Are)
We cannot provide a definition of those products from which the age takes it name, the feuilletons. They seem to have formed an uncommonly popular section of the daily newspapers, were produced by the millions, and were a major source of mental pabulum for the reader in want of culture. They reported on, or rather "chatted" about, a thousand-and-one items of knowledge. The cleverer writers poked fun at their own work. Many such pieces are so incomprehensible that they can only be viewed as self-persiflage on the part of the authors. In some periods interviews with well-known personalities on current problems were particularly popular. Noted chemists or piano virtuosos would be queried about politics, for example, or popular actors, dancers, gymnasts, aviators, or even poets would be drawn out on the benefits and drawbacks of being a bachelor, or on the presumptive causes of financial crises, and so on. All that mattered in these pieces was to link a well-known name with a subject of current topical interest. It is very hard indeed for us to put ourselves in the place of those people so that we can truly understand them. But the great majority, who seem to have been strikingly fond of reading, must have accepted all these grotesque things with credulous earnestness. If a famous painting changed owners, if a precious manuscript was sold at auction, if an old palace burned down, the readers of many thousands of feature articles at once learned the facts. What is more, on that same day or by the next day at the latest they received an additional dose of anecdotal, historical, psychological, erotic, and other stuff on the catchword of the moment. A torrent of zealous scribbling poured out over every ephemeral incident, and in quality, assortment, and phraseology all this material bore the mark of mass goods rapidly and irresponsibly turned out. Incidentally, there appear to have been certain games which were regular concomitants of the feature article. The readers themselves took the active role in these games, which put to use some of their glut of information fodder. Thousands upon thousands spent their leisure hours sitting over squares and crosses made of letters of the alphabet, filling in the gaps according to certain rules. But let us be wary of seeing only the absurd or insane aspect of this, and let us abstain from ridiculing it. For these people with their childish puzzle games and their cultural feature articles were by no means innocuous children or playful Phaeacians. Rather, they dwelt anxiously among political, economic, and moral ferments and earthquakes, waged a number of frightful wars and civil wars, and their little cultural games were not just charming, meaningless childishness. These games sprang from their deep need to close their eyes and flee from unsolved problems and anxious forebodings of doom into an imaginary world as innocuous as possible. They assiduously learned to drive automobiles, to play difficult card games and lose themselves in crossword puzzles--for they faced death, fear, pain, and hunger almost without defenses, could no longer accept the consolations of the churches, and could obtain no useful advice from Reason. These people who read so many articles and listened to so many lectures did not take the time and trouble to strengthen themselves against fear, to combat the dread of death within themselves; they moved spasmodically on through life and had no belief in a tomorrow.
Hermann Hesse
The Age Of Reason 1. ‘Well, it’s that same frankness you fuss about so much. You’re so absurdly scared of being your own dupe, my poor boy, that you would back out of the finest adventure in the world rather than risk telling yourself a lie.’ 2. “ I’m not so much interested in myself as all that’ he said simply. ‘I know’, said Marcelle. It isn’t an aim , it’s a means. It helps you to get rid of yourself; to contemplate and criticize yourself: that’s the attitude you prefer. When you look at yourself, you imagine you aren’t what you see, you imagine you are nothing. That is your ideal: you want to be nothing.’’ 3. ‘In vain he repeated the once inspiring phrase: ‘I must be free: I must be self-impelled, and able to say: ‘’I am because I will: I am my own beginning.’’ Empty, pompous words, the commonplaces of the intellectual.’ 4. ‘He had waited so long: his later years had been no more than a stand-to. Oppressed with countless daily cares, he had waited…But through all that, his sole care had been to hold himself in readiness. For an act. A free, considered act; that should pledge his whole life, and stand at the beginning of a new existence….He waited. And during all that time, gently, stealthily, the years had come, they had grasped him from behind….’ 5. ‘ ‘It was love. This time, it was love. And Mathiue thought:’ What have I done?’ Five minutes ago this love didn’t exist; there was between them a rare and precious feeling, without a name and not expressible in gestures.’ 6. ‘ The fact is, you are beyond my comprehension: you, so prompt with your indignation when you hear of an injustice, you keep this woman for years in a humiliating position, for the sole pleasure of telling yourself that you are respecting your principles. It wouldn’t be so bad if it were true, if you really did adapt your life to your ideas. But, I must tell you once more…you like that sort of life-placid, orderly, the typical life of an official.’ ‘’That freedom consisted in frankly confronting situations into which one had deliberately entered, and accepting all one’s responsibilities.’ ‘Well…perhaps I’m doing you an injustice. Perhaps you haven’t in fact reached the age of reason, it’s really a moral age…perhaps I’ve got there sooner than you have.’ 7. ‘ I have nothing to defend. I am not proud of my life and I’m penniless. My freedom? It’s a burden to me, for years past I have been free and to no purpose. I simply long to exchange it for a good sound of certainty….Besides, I agree with you that no one can be a man who has not discovered something for which he is prepared to die.’ 8. ‘‘I have led a toothless life’, he thought. ‘ A toothless life. I have never bitten into anything. I was waiting. I was reserving myself for later on-and I have just noticed that my teeth have gone. What’s to be done? Break the shell? That’s easily said. Besides, what would remain? A little viscous gum, oozing through the dust and leaving a glistering trail behind it.’ 9.’’ A life’, thought Mathieu, ‘is formed from the future just like the bodies are compounded from the void’. He bent his head: he thought of his own life. The future had made way into his heart, where everything was in process and suspense. The far-off days of childhood, the day when he has said:’I will be free’, the day when he had said: ’I will be famous’, appeared to him even now with their individual future, like a small, circled individual sky above them all, and the future was himself, himself just as he was at present, weary and a little over-ripe, they had claims upon him across the passage of time past, they maintained their insistencies, and he was often visited by attacks of devastating remorse, because his casual, cynical present was the original future of those past days.
Jean-Paul Sartre
All morality presupposes a universalizing principle. As Immanuel Kant put it, “Act as if the maxim through which you act were to become through your will a universal law.” The absence of this universalizing principle, the refusal to respect the principle, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” should have rendered Nazi policies recognizable as immoral from the start, just as we should for the same reason recognize US policies as immoral today. This Kantian principle is expressed in Martin Luther King’s famous maxim, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
Roderick Stackelberg (Into the Twenty-First Century: A Memoir, 1999 - 2012)
our most famous universities as esteemed as ever.
Roger L. Simon (I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasn't Already)
In response to this situation, the Australian philosopher Peter Singer wrote a now famous essay, “Famine, Affluence, and Morality,” in which he argued that spending money on the trappings of middle-class life rather than on famine relief, or some other form of charitable aid, was not merely stingy but depraved. His argument went like this: If you walk past a shallow pond and see a child drowning, ought you to save the child, even if it would mean muddying your clothes? Most people would say that of course you should—muddy clothes are nothing compared with a dead child. Well, he argued, children are dying all the time, so if we can save them without sacrificing anything of equal importance, particularly something as unimportant as extra clothes, we ought to do it. Most of these children are nowhere near us, but what moral difference does it make if the child is in front of us or far away? If we spend two hundred dollars on clothes that could have bought lifesaving food or medicine, we’re still responsible for a death. And, by extension, if we don’t give much of what we own and earn for the relief of suffering, then we’re responsible for many deaths. This
Larissa MacFarquhar (Strangers Drowning: Grappling with Impossible Idealism, Drastic Choices, and the Overpowering Urge to Help)
One important reason that philosophers should take Nietzsche seriously is because he seems to have gotten, at least in broad contours, many points about human moral psychology right. Consider: (1) Nietzsche holds that heritable type-facts are central determinants of personality and morally significant behaviors, a claim well supported by extensive empirical findings in behavioral genetics. (2) Nietzsche claims that consciousness is a “surface” and that “the greatest part of conscious thought must still be attributed to [non-conscious] instinctive activity,” theses overwhelmingly vindicated by recent work by psychologists on the role of the unconscious (e.g., Wilson 2002) and by philosophers who have produced synthetic meta-analyses of work on consciousness in psychology and neuroscience (e.g., Rosenthal 2008). (3) Nietzsche claims that moral judgments are post-hoc rationalizations of feelings that have an antecedent source, and thus are not the outcome of rational reflection or discursiveness, a conclusion in sync with the findings of the ascendent “social intuitionism” in the empirical moral psychology of Jonathan Haidt (2001) and others. (4) Nietzsche argues that free will is an “illusion,” that our conscious experience of willing is itself the causal product of non-conscious forces, a view recently defended by the psychologist Daniel Wegner (2002), who, in turn, synthesiyes a large body of empirical literature, including the famous neurophysical data about “willing” collected by Benjamin Libet.
Brian Leiter (Nietzsche and Morality)
Not selfishness, but precisely the absence of a self. Look at them. The man who cheats and lies, but preserves a respectable front. He knows himself to be dishonest, but others think he’s honest and he derives his self-respect from that, second-hand. The man who takes credit for an achievement which is not his own. He knows himself to be mediocre, but he’s great in the eyes of others. The frustrated wretch who professes love for the inferior and clings to those less endowed, in order to establish his own superiority by comparison. The man whose sole aim is to make money. Now I don’t see anything evil in a desire to make money. But money is only a means to some end. If a man wants it for a personal purpose—to invest in his industry, to create, to study, to travel, to enjoy luxury—he’s completely moral. But the men who place money first go much beyond that. Personal luxury is a limited endeavor. What they want is ostentation: to show, to stun, to entertain, to impress others. They’re second-handers. Look at our so-called cultural endeavors. A lecturer who spouts some borrowed rehash of nothing at all that means nothing at all to him—and the people who listen and don’t give a damn, but sit there in order to tell their friends that they have attended a lecture by a famous name. All second-handers.
Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead)
Hence Hume's famous provocative remark: "Reason is and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them.
John Rawls (Lectures on the History of Moral Philosophy)
People have looked at these questions from every possible angle. Abraham Maslow famously looked at how human needs evolve along the human journey, from basic physiological needs to self-actualization. Others looked at development through the lenses of worldviews (Gebser, among others), cognitive capacities (Piaget), values (Graves), moral development (Kohlberg, Gilligan), self-identity (Loevinger), spirituality (Fowler), leadership (Cook-Greuter, Kegan, Torbert), and so on.
Frederic Laloux (Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage of Human Consciousness)
Bezmenov’s famous quote about how the KGB instructed him offers a look at how conservatives were preferred recruits for spies: “Try to get into established conservative media with a large circulation, reach filthy rich movie makers, intellectuals, so-called academic circles, cynical egocentric people who can look into your eyes with angelic expression and tell you a lie. These are the most recruitable people, people who lack moral principles who are either too greedy or suffer from self-importance. They feel they matter a lot. These are the people the KGB wanted to recruit.” The Russian intelligence officers were wary of liberals, socialists, and, worst of all, other communists. Bezmenov said that idealistically minded leftists were not to be recruited or used because “when they become disillusioned, they become your worst enemies.
Malcolm W. Nance (The Plot to Commit Treason: How Donald Trump Pulled Off the Greatest Act of Treachery in US History)
the king laughed. “You could ask her anything, and she’ll know the answer. Watch. Baroness, who is the wealthiest amongst the nobles at this very moment?” “Lord Allen,” the Baroness chuckled. “And who is the most well connected?” Temin asked with a drunken grin. “Myself, of course,” she replied. “What about the most likely to be killed?” the king chuckled, but the Baroness looked less amused. “Mason Flynt.” Everyone sobered a little as they looked my way, but I couldn’t help laughing. “Damn straight. How about the most likely to be killed by me?” The Baroness calmly sipped her Rosh, but after a moment, she eyed me with a smirk. “That is a question I cannot answer,” she admitted. “Your actions are difficult to predict.” “Are they, though?” I asked with a roguish grin. “I thought I was sooo predictable. I have this annoying habit of protecting civilians at all costs.” Temin snorted through his chicken wing, and the Baroness blushed under my gaze. “True,” she allowed, “but your morals are famously partial. Your dedication to protecting others ceases where any danger to the ones you love begins. This complicates matters exceedingly.” I furrowed my brow as Nulena looked away and finished her drink, but I had too much Rosh in me to try and reason my way through her statement.
Eric Vall (Metal Mage 11 (Metal Mage, #11))
The alternative to violence is nonviolent resistance. This method was made famous in our generation by Mohandas K. Gandhi, who used it to free India from the domination of the British empire. Five points can be made concerning nonviolence as a method in bringing about better racial conditions. First, this is not a method for cowards; it does resist. The nonviolent resister is just as strongly opposed to the evil against which he protests as the person who uses violence. His method is passive or nonaggressive in the sense that he is not physically aggressive toward his opponent. But his mind and emotions are always active, constantly seeking to persuade the opponent that he is mistaken. This method is passive physically but strongly active spiritually; it is nonaggressive physically but dynamically aggressive spiritually. A second point is that nonviolent resistance does not seek to defeat or humiliate the opponent, but to win his friendship and understanding. The nonviolent resister must often express his protest through noncooperation or boycotts, but he realizes that noncooperation and boycotts are not ends themselves; they are merely means to awaken a sense of moral shame in the opponent. The end is redemption and reconciliation. The aftermath of nonviolence is the creation of the beloved community, while the aftermath of violence is tragic bitterness. A third characteristic of this method is that the attack is directed against forces of evil rather than against persons who are caught in those forces. It is evil we are seeking to defeat, not just the persons victimized by evil. Those of us who struggle against racial injustice must come to see that the basic tension is not between races. As I like to say to the people in Montgomery, Alabama: ‘The tension in this city is not between white people and Negro people. The tension is at bottom between justice and injustice, between the forces of light and the forces of darkness. And if there is a victory it will be a victory not merely for fifty thousand Negroes, but a victory for justice and the forces of light. We are out to defeat injustice and not white persons who may happen to be unjust.’ A fourth point that must be brought out concerning nonviolent resistance is that it avoids not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. At the center of nonviolence stands the principle of love. In struggling for human dignity, the oppressed people of the world must not allow themselves to become bitter or indulge in hate campaigns. To retaliate with hate and bitterness would do nothing but intensify the hate in the world. Along the way of life, someone must have sense enough and morality enough to cut off the chain of hate. This can be done only by projecting the ethics of love to the center of our lives.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
To do Evil, that Good may come of it, is for Bunglers in Politicks, as well as Morals.
Charles William Eliot (The Complete Harvard Classics - ALL 71 Volumes: The Five Foot Shelf & The Shelf of Fiction: The Famous Anthology of the Greatest Works of World Literature)
There may still have been an ‘establishment’ of snobbery, church, monarchy, clubland and old-school-tie links in 1961. There was no such thing ten years later, but it suited the comics and all reformers to pretend that there was and to continue to attack this mythical thing. After all, if there were no snobbery, no crusty old aristocrats and cobwebbed judges, what was the moral justification for all this change, change which benefited the reformers personally by making them rich, famous and influential?
Peter Hitchens (The Abolition of Britain: From Winston Churchill to Princess Diana)
Book-writing is the province of specialists, living is the business of us all. Moral life, sentimental life, religious life, whatever is above the terre à terre of mere existing, also consists of illuminations which once departed return no more. A diary, a few old letters, a few sheets containing thoughts or meditations, may keep up the connection between us today and our better selves of the past. I was deeply impressed as a youth by the advice of a spiritual writer to read one's own spiritual notes preferably to even famous works. All saints seem to have done so. The moment we realize that any thought, ours or borrowed, is pregnant enough not to be wasted, or original enough not to be likely to come back again, we must fix it on paper. Our manuscripts should mirror our reading, our meditations, our ideals, and our approach to it in our lives. Anybody who has early taken the habit to record himself in that way knows that the loss of his papers would also mean a loss to his thinking possibilities.
Ernest Dimnet (The Art of Thinking)
The first half of the nineteenth century saw Protestant evangelicalism enter India. And while Christian missions did much good – in education, uplifting the marginalized and exposing failures even of the Company – as far as Indian elites were concerned, they were a thorn in the side. In Travancore, for example, converts from low castes, empowered by their new identity, now aspired to equality with their ex-superiors. As a Dewan argued, by ‘violating the existing social distinctions’, the new Christians were bound to ‘annoy the high castes’, who demanded retribution. For generations, battles would be fought on dress, access to roads, temples, and even government buildings, and much of the reform Travancore grew famous for owed to this tension with missionaries, and the confidence they gave disempowered segments. Missionaries, however, also tended to magnify the evils they saw, to gain financial sympathy at home, for example. In 1848, thus, it was alleged that Travancore had a ‘professed torturer’, an expert in ‘twenty-three modes’ of abuse, on its payroll. In 1855 the state was described as ‘a perfect pandemonium of torture and misgovernment’. But the core problem was a clash of moralities, causing even the maharajah ‘great uneasiness’.77 As a Hindu king his duty lay in preserving the way things were; or as he said: ‘As my kingdom was in my predecessors’ time, so let it remain, and so let it descend to my heir.’78 His critics, however, wished to smash that caste-based order with a new conception of justice. Which side prevailed at any given moment depended also on higher-ups – Resident Cullen was sympathetic to the maharajah, while the infamous governor-general, Lord Dalhousie, showed personally an evangelical bent.
Manu S. Pillai (False Allies: India's Maharajahs in The Age of Ravi Varma)
It turns out that in that terrible year Andrei Yanuaryevich (one longs to blurt out, “Jaguaryevich”) Vyshinsky, availing himself of the most flexible dialectics (of a sort nowadays not permitted either Soviet citizens or electronic calculators, since to them yes is yes and no is no), pointed out in a report which became famous in certain circles that it is never possible for mortal men to establish absolute truth, but relative truth only. He then proceeded to a further step, which jurists of the last two thousand years had not been willing to take: that the truth established by interrogation and trial could not be absolute, but only, so to speak, relative. Therefore, when we sign a sentence ordering someone to be shot we can never be absolutely certain, but only approximately, in view of certain hypotheses, and in a certain sense, that we are punishing a guilty person. Thence arose the most practical conclusion: that it was useless to seek absolute evidence—for evidence is always relative—or unchallengeable witnesses—for they can say different things at different times. The proofs of guilt were relative, approximate, and the interrogator could find them, even when there was no evidence and no witness, without leaving his office, “basing his conclusions not only on his own intellect but also on his Party sensitivity, his moral forces” (in other words, the superiority of someone who has slept well, has been well fed, and has not been beaten up) “and on his character” (i.e., his willingness to apply cruelty!). In only one respect did Vyshinsky fail to be consistent and retreat from dialectical logic: for some reason, the executioner’s bullet which he allowed was not relative but absolute. . . . Thus it was that the conclusions of advanced Soviet jurisprudence, proceeding in a spiral, returned to barbaric or medieval standards. Like medieval torturers, our interrogators, prosecutors, and judges agreed to accept the confession of the accused as the chief proof of guilt.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation)
The head inclines; the cardinal says, in those honeyed tones, famous from here to Vienna, ‘So now, tell me how was Yorkshire.’ ‘Filthy.’ He sits down. ‘Weather. People. Manners. Morals.
Hilary Mantel (Wolf Hall (Thomas Cromwell, #1))
in a city that had long ago waived most moral or legal limits for the famous, their philosophy was “We’re us, there are no rules, we get to do this.
Jeff Guinn (Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson)
the famous Wisdom of Cato "Buy not what you need, but what you must have. That which you do not need, is dear even at a farthing.
Seneca (Letters From A Stoic: Epistulae Morales AD Lucilium (Illustrated. Newly revised text. Includes Image Gallery + Audio): All Three Volumes)
The questions specially proposed to you in the first, namely, How and What to Read, rose out of a far deeper one, which it was my endeavor to make you propose earnestly to yourselves, namely, Why to Read. I want you to feel, with me, that whatever advantages we possess in the present day in the diffusion of education and of literature, can only be rightly used by any of us when we have apprehended clearly what education is to lead to, and literature to teach. I wish you to see that both well-directed moral training and well-chosen reading lead to the possession of a power over the ill-guided and illiterate, which is, according to the measure of it, in the truest sense, kingly; conferring indeed the purest kingship that can exist among men: too many other kingships (however distinguished by visible insignia or material power) being either spectral, or tyrannous;—Spectral—that is to say, aspects and shows only of royalty, hollow as death, and which only the "Likeness of a kingly crown have on"; or else tyrannous—that is to say, substituting their own will for the law of justice and love by which all true kings rule.
Charles William Eliot (The Complete Harvard Classics - ALL 71 Volumes: The Five Foot Shelf & The Shelf of Fiction: The Famous Anthology of the Greatest Works of World Literature)
There is, then, I repeat—and as I want to leave this idea with you, I begin with it, and shall end with it—only one pure kind of kingship; an inevitable and external kind, crowned or not: the kingship, namely, which consists in a stronger moral state, and a truer thoughtful state, than that of others; enabling you, therefore, to guide, or to raise them. Observe that word "State"; we have got into a loose way of using it. It means literally the standing and stability of a thing; and you have the full force of it in the derived word "statue"—"the immovable thing.
Charles William Eliot (The Complete Harvard Classics - ALL 71 Volumes: The Five Foot Shelf & The Shelf of Fiction: The Famous Anthology of the Greatest Works of World Literature)
This hardened response to those on the “other team” is not an invention of modern American politics. It seems to be hardwired into the circuitry of our brains. The Old Testament is filled with stories of sometimes deadly tribalism, and scientific data gives us insight into why that happens. In 1968, elementary school teacher Jane Elliott conducted a famous experiment with her students in the days after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. She divided the class by eye color. The brown-eyed children were told they were better. They were the “in-group.” The blue-eyed children were told they were less than the brown-eyed children—hence becoming the “out-group.” Suddenly, former classmates who had once played happily side by side were taunting and torturing one another on the playground. Lest we assign greater morality to the “out-group,” the blue-eyed children were just as quick to attack the brown-eyed children once the roles were reversed.6
Sarah Stewart Holland (I Think You're Wrong (But I'm Listening): A Guide to Grace-Filled Political Conversations)
Usually adolescent rebels are quickly humbled because they overestimate their own truth and underestimate the truth of their elders. As Mark Twain famously put it, “When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.” One purpose of youthful rebellion is to put one’s self at odds with adult authority not so much to defeat it as to be defeated by it. One opposes it to discover its logic and validity for one’s self. And by failing to defeat it, one comes to it, and to greater maturity, through experience rather than mere received wisdom. Of course, every new generation alters the adult authority it ultimately joins. But if the young win their rebellion against the old, their rite of passage to maturity is cut short and they are falsely inflated rather than humbled. Uninitiated, they devalue history rather than find direction in it, and feel entitled to break sharply and even recklessly from the past. The sixties generation of youth is very likely the first generation in American history to have actually won its adolescent rebellion against its elders. One of the reasons for this, if not the primary reason, is that this generation came of age during the age of white guilt, which meant that its rebellion ran into an increasingly uncertain adult authority. Baby boomers, already rather inflated from growing up in the unparalleled prosperity of postwar America, were inflated further by an adult authority that often backed down in the face of their rebellion. It doesn’t matter, for example, that there was honor in America’s acknowledgment of moral wrong in the area of race. An acknowledgement of wrong was an acknowledgment of wrong, and it brought a loss of moral authority—and, thus, adult authority—despite the good it achieved.
Shelby Steele (White Guilt)
Tolstoy’s point is subtle and substantive. When people begin to lose their religious convictions, often the first thing they stop doing is observing religious rituals. The last thing they lose is their moral beliefs. A whole generation of mid-Victorian English intellectuals, most famously George Eliot and Matthew Arnold, lost their Christian faith but held fast to their Christian ethics.13 But that, implies Tolstoy, cannot last for ever. New generations appear for whom the old moral constraints no longer make sense, and they go. Moralities may be a long time dying but, absent the faith on which they are based,
Jonathan Sacks (The Great Partnership: Science, Religion, and the Search for Meaning)
People who are dependent on the favor of others will almost inevitably be anxious about how they are viewed by their patrons. This anxiety is unpleasant in itself and constrains what they feel comfortable doing or saying. Ultimately it is likely to affect—one might well say infect—their thinking. As Upton Sinclair famously observed, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”52 Thus when Epicurus says that “the greatest fruit of self-sufficiency is freedom,” he primarily has in mind freedom from any such inhibitions or anxieties, a condition he views as both conducive to moral integrity and necessary for peace of mind.
Emrys Westacott (The Wisdom of Frugality: Why Less Is More - More or Less)
Ambrose Bierce’s famous description of politics as ‘the conduct of public affairs for private advantage’.
Peter Oborne (The Assault on Truth: Boris Johnson, Donald Trump and the Emergence of a New Moral Barbarism)
where Jeffrey Sachs, the Columbia University economist most famous for having designed the “shock therapy” reforms applied to the former Soviet Union, had a live-on-video-link session in which he startled everyone by presenting what careful journalists might describe as an “unusually candid” assessment of those in charge of America’s financial institutions. Sachs’s testimony is especially valuable because, as he kept emphasizing, many of these people were quite up front with him because they assumed (not entirely without reason) that he was on their side: Look, I meet a lot of these people on Wall Street on a regular basis right now . . . I know them. These are the people I have lunch with. And I am going to put it very bluntly: I regard the moral environment as pathological. [These people] have no responsibility to pay taxes; they have no responsibility to their clients; they have no responsibility to counterparties in transactions. They are tough, greedy, aggressive, and feel absolutely out of control in a quite literal sense, and they have gamed the system to a remarkable extent. They genuinely believe they have a God-given right to take as much money as they possibly can in any way that they can get it, legal or otherwise. If you look at the campaign contributions, which I happened to do yesterday for another purpose, the financial markets are the number one campaign contributors in the US system now. We have a corrupt politics to the core . . . both parties are up to their necks in this. But what it’s led to is this sense of impunity that is really stunning, and you feel it on the individual level right now. And it’s very, very unhealthy, I have waited for four years . . . five years now to see one figure on Wall Street speak in a moral language. And I’ve have not seen it once.20 So there you have it. If Sachs was right—and honestly, who is in a better position to know?—then at the commanding heights of the financial system, we’re not actually talking about bullshit jobs. We’re not even talking about people who have come to believe their own propagandists. Really we’re just talking about a bunch of crooks.
David Graeber (Bullshit Jobs: A Theory)
Numerous lab experiments confirm that people are, indeed, pro-social punishers. The most famous such experiment was conducted by Ernst Fehr and Simon Gächter, using what’s called the “Public Goods Game,” a multiperson prisoner’s dilemma that is analogous to the Tragedy of the Commons.
Joshua D. Greene (Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us and Them)
Above I mentioned Kant’s categorical imperative, which he famously summarized thus: Act so that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or that of another, always as an end and never as a means only.
Joshua D. Greene (Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us and Them)
allegorical interpretation. This was one of the most influential approaches to biblical interpretation until the Reformation of the sixteenth century. The roots of allegorical interpretation reach back to the Golden Age of Greece and, in early Jewish hermeneutics, to Philo Judeas. In the beginning centuries of the Christian church, allegorical interpretation was identified with the Alexandrian school and especially with its most famous scholar, *Origen. The key assumption in this hermeneutical approach is that the scriptural text contains several senses. The interpreter seeks to discover levels of meaning that lie beneath the literal sense of a text. The figure of Moses in the Exodus narrative, for example, can be interpreted allegorically as Jesus Christ, who comes to those enslaved in sin and leads them to salvation. Origen identified three primary senses: the literal, the moral and the spiritual. Later Latin fathers expanded the senses into four: the literal, the allegorical, the tropological (moral) and the anagogic (focusing on the end or the goal of the Christian life).
Nathan P. Feldmeth (Pocket Dictionary of Church History)
If it all ended on our shores that would be serious enough, indeed, as our idol worship of famous, rich actors and sports figures is not a sign of an emotionally healthy, let alone morally strong, nation.
John Price (The End of America: The Role of Islam in the End Times and Biblical Warnings to Flee America)
In any event, as a hint of what is now in store for Egypt, consider the city of Alexandria—for decades the Muslim Brotherhood’s stronghold. Once it was a cosmopolitan summer resort famous for its secular, carefree atmosphere. Now it is about the least fun place to live in North Africa. All Muslim women in the city are veiled, among the young often for fear of otherwise being labeled whores by the unemployed guardians of public morality; and violence between local Christians and Muslims is commonplace. Extremist Muslims rioted in the city when the postrevolutionary regime happened to appoint a local mayor who was a Christian. Most bars have stopped serving alcohol. The
John R. Bradley (After the Arab Spring: How Islamists Hijacked The Middle East Revolts)
At the height of the witch craze the Duke of Brunswick invited two learned and famous Jesuits—both of whom believed in witchcraft and in torture as a means of eliciting a confession—to join him in the Brunswick dungeon to witness the torture of a woman accused of witchcraft. Suspecting that people will say anything to stop the pain, the duke told the woman on the rack that he had reasons to believe that the two men accompanying him were warlocks and that he wanted to know what she thought, instructing her torturers to jack up the pain a little more. The woman promptly “confessed” that she had seen both men turn themselves into goats, wolves, and other animals, that they had sexual relations with other witches, and that they had fathered many children with heads like toads and legs like spiders. “The Duke of Brunswick led his astounded friends away,” MacKay narrates. “This was convincing proof to both of them that thousands of persons had suffered unjustly; they knew their own innocence, and shuddered to think what their fate might have been if an enemy instead of a friend had put such a confession into the mouth of a criminal.
Michael Shermer (The Moral Arc: How Science and Reason Lead Humanity toward Truth, Justice, and Freedom)
If brute force wouldn't suffice, however, there was always the famous Viking cunning. The fleet was put to anchor and under a flag of truce some Vikings approached the gate. Their leader, they claimed, was dying and wished to be baptized as a Christian. As proof, they had brought along the ailing Hastein on a litter, groaning and sweating.  The request presented a moral dilemma for the Italians. As Christians they could hardly turn away a dying penitent, but they didn't trust the Vikings and expected a trick. The local count, in consultation with the bishop, warily decided to admit Hastein, but made sure that he was heavily guarded. A detachment of soldiers was sent to collect Hastein and a small retinue while the rest of the Vikings waited outside.  Despite the misgivings, the people of Luna flocked to see the curiosity of a dreaded barbarian peacefully inside their city. The Vikings were on their best behavior as they were escorted to the cathedral, remaining silent and respectful. Throughout the service, which probably lasted a few hours, Hastein was a picture of reverence and weakness, a dying man who had finally seen the light. The bishop performed the baptism, and the count stood in as godfather, christening Hastein with a new name. When the rite had concluded, the Vikings respectfully picked up the litter and carried their stricken leader back to the ships.  That night, a Viking messenger reappeared at the gates, and after thanking the count for allowing the baptism, sadly informed him that Hastein had died. Before he expired, however, he had asked to be given a funeral mass and to be buried in the holy ground of the cathedral cemetery.  The next day a solemn procession of fifty Vikings, each dressed in long robes of mourning, entered the city carrying Hastein's corpse on a bier. Virtually all the inhabitants of the city had turned out to witness the event, joining the cavalcade all the way to the cathedral. The bishop, surrounded by a crowd of monks and priests bearing candles, blessed the coffin with holy water, and led the entire procession inside.  As the bishop launched into the funerary Mass, reminding all good Christians to look forward to the day of resurrection, the coffin lid was abruptly thrown to the ground and a very much alive Hastein leapt out. As he cut down the bishop, his men threw off their cloaks and drew their weapons. A few ran to bar the doors, the rest set about slaughtering the congregation.  At the same time – perhaps alerted by the tolling bell – Bjorn Ironside led the remaining Vikings into the city and they fanned out, looking for treasure. The plundering lasted for the entire day. Portable goods were loaded onto the ships, the younger citizens were spared to be sold as slaves, and the rest were killed. Finally, when night began to fall, Hastein called off the attack. Since nothing more could fit on their ships, they set fire to the city and sailed away.97 For the next two years, the Norsemen criss-crossed the Mediterranean, raiding both the African and European coasts. There are even rumors that they tried to sack Alexandria in Egypt, but were apparently unable to take it by force or stealth.
Lars Brownworth (The Sea Wolves: A History of the Vikings)
The idea of mind separate from body goes far back in time. The most famous expression of this is the idea of the Platonic image discussed in the Socratic Dialogues (circa 350 BC). Socrates and Plato expressed the opinion that the real world was but a shadow of reality, and that reality existed on a higher, purer plane reachable only through and preserved in the mind. The mind was considered immortal and survived the crumbling corpus in which it dwelt. But only enlightened minds, such as theirs, could see true reality. As such, they believed people like themselves ought to be elevated to the position of philosopher kings and rule the world with purity of vision. (A similarly wacky idea was expressed by the fictional air force General Jack D. Ripper in Kubrick’s classic dark satire Dr. Strangelove. General Ripper postulated that purity of essence was the most important thing in life.)
James Luce (Chasing Davis: An Atheist's Guide to Morality Using Logic and Science)
Okay,” I said again, “so I won’t totally delete my accounts and attempt to melt into the earth and cut out a big red letter P to wear on my chest every time I leave the house.” “It was an A,” Monique said automatically. Trust Monique to correct me on school stuff at the moment she’s trying to repair our friendship with cupcakes and moral support. “I know, but I’m not an adulteress, I’m pathetic.” “Rachel, how many times have I—” “No, no, I get it.” I raised my cupcake-free hand to stop her. “I’m just saying if I had a shame badge, that would be the one. Let’s say it stands for photographer, will that make you feel better? Pathetic, puppy dog, pitiful photographer. Either way, I’m not planning on actually wearing it.” Monique smirked, but she kept her mouth shut.
Jilly Gagnon (#famous)
I was also aware of three other historically important Christians whose apparently obsessive-compulsive symptoms had become a source of latter-day psychiatric speculation. They were Martin Luther, architect of Europe’s sixteenth-century Reformation and a figure of incomparable importance in the history of Western civilization; Ignatius of Loyola, Luther’s famous adversary, founder of the Catholic order known as the Jesuits and leader of the Counter-Reformation; and Alphonsus Liguori, a nineteenth-century Catholic saint who is renowned for his contributions to the field of moral theology.
Ian Osborn (Can Christianity Cure Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?: A Psychiatrist Explores the Role of Faith in Treatment)
Bear in mind, practice is more important than principle. Principles without practice is worthless. Humans of principles may get famous for a short while, but it’s humans of practice who become the legends of human history.
Abhijit Naskar (Lord is My Sheep: Gospel of Human)
Then, as they began to decline, they all experienced some peculiar similarities: an inordinate emphasis on sports and entertainment, a fixation with lifestyles of the rich and famous, political corruption, and the loss of a moral compass.
Ben Carson (America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great)
The teachings of Buddhism which delve into the various causes of suffering identify greed or lust – the passion for indulging an intemperate appetite – as the first of the Ten Impurities2 which stand in the way of a tranquil, wholesome state of mind. On the other hand, much value is attached to liberality or generosity, which heads such lists as the Ten Perfections of the Buddha,3 the Ten Virtues4 which should be practised and the Ten Duties of Kings.5 This emphasis on liberality should not be regarded as a facile endorsement of alms-giving based on canny calculation of possible benefits in the way of worldly prestige or other-worldly rewards. It is a recognition of the crucial importance of the liberal, generous spirit as an effective antidote to greed as well as a fount of virtues which engender happiness and harmony. The late Sayadaw Ashin Janaka Bivamsa of the famous Mahagandharun monastery at Amarapura taught that liberality without morality cannot really be pure. An act of charity committed for the sake of earning praise or prestige or a place in a heavenly abode, he held to be tantamount to an act of greed. Loving
Suu Kyi, Aung San (Freedom from Fear: And Other Writings)
As Warren Buffett, the voice of the un– 1 percent, famously observed, something’s wrong when billionaires pay taxes at a lower rate than their secretaries. However,
Joshua Greene (Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason and the Gap Between Us and Them)
Experiments published in 1983 clearly showed that subjects could choose not to perform a movement that was on the cusp of occurring (that is, that their brain was preparing to make) and that was preceded by a large readiness potential. In this view, although the physical sensation of an urge to move is initiated unconsciously, will can still control the outcome by vetoing the action. Later researchers, in fact, reported readiness potentials that precede a planned foot movement not by mere milliseconds but by almost two full seconds, leaving free won’t an even larger window of opportunity. “Conscious will could thus affect the outcome of the volitional process even though the latter was initiated by unconscious cerebral processes,” Libet says. “Conscious will might block or veto the process, so that no act occurs.” Everyone, Libet continues, has had the experience of “vetoing a spontaneous urge to perform some act. This often occurs when the urge to act involves some socially unacceptable consequence, like an urge to shout some obscenity at the professor.” Volunteers report something quite consistent with this view of the will as wielding veto power. Sometimes, they told Libet, a conscious urge to move seemed to bubble up from somewhere, but they suppressed it. Although the possibility of moving gets under way some 350 milliseconds before the subject experiences the will to move, that sense of will nevertheless kicks in 150 to 200 milliseconds before the muscle moves—and with it the power to call a halt to the proceedings. Libet’s findings suggest that free will operates not to initiate a voluntary act but to allow or suppress it. “We may view the unconscious initiatives for voluntary actions as ‘bubbling up’ in the brain,” he explains. “The conscious will then selects which of these initiatives may go forward to an action or which ones to veto and abort…. This kind of role for free will is actually in accord with religious and ethical strictures. These commonly advocate that you ‘control yourself.’ Most of the Ten Commandments are ‘do not’ orders.” And all five of the basic moral precepts of Buddhism are restraints: refraining from killing, from lying, from stealing, from sexual misconduct, from intoxicants. In the Buddha’s famous dictum, “Restraint everywhere is excellent.
Jeffrey M. Schwartz (The Mind and the Brain: Neuroplasticity and the Power of Mental Force)
In his memoirs of the late 1940s and 50s, published after his death following the famous ‘umbrella assassination’ in London in 1978, the Bulgarian dissident writer Georgi Markov told a story that is emblematic of the postwar period – not only in his own country, but in Europe as a whole. It involved a conversation between one of his friends, who had been arrested for challenging a Communist official who had jumped the bread queue, and an officer of the Bulgarian Communist militia: ‘And now tell me who your enemies are?’ the militia chief demanded. K. thought for a while and replied: ‘I don’t really know, I don’t think I have any enemies.’ ‘No enemies!’ The chief raised his voice. ‘Do you mean to say that you hate nobody and nobody hates you?’ ‘As far as I know, nobody.’ ‘You are lying,’ shouted the Lieutenant-Colonel suddenly, rising from his chair. ‘What kind of a man are you not to have any enemies? You clearly do not belong to our youth, you cannot be one of our citizens, if you have no enemies! … And if you really do not know how to hate, we shall teach you! We shall teach you very quickly!’1 In a sense, the militia chief in this story is right – it was virtually impossible to emerge from the Second World War without enemies. There can hardly be a better demonstration than this of the moral and human legacy of the war. After the desolation of entire regions; after the butchery of over 35 million people; after countless massacres in the name of nationality, race, religion, class or personal prejudice, virtually every person on the continent had suffered some kind of loss or injustice. Even countries which had seen little direct fighting, such as Bulgaria, had been subject to political turmoil, violent squabbles with their neighbours, coercion from the Nazis and eventually invasion by one of the world’s new superpowers. Amidst all these events, to hate one’s rivals had become entirely natural. Indeed, the leaders and propagandists of all sides had spent six long years promoting hatred as an essential weapon in the quest for victory. By the time this Bulgarian militia chief was terrorizing young students at Sofia University, hatred was no longer a mere by-product of the war – in the Communist mindset it had been elevated to a duty.
Keith Lowe (Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War II)
As George Eliot observed in the famous last sentence of Middlemarch: “The growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.
David Brooks (The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life)
In 1968, elementary school teacher Jane Elliott conducted a famous experiment with her students in the days after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. She divided the class by eye color. The brown-eyed children were told they were better. They were the “in-group.” The blue-eyed children were told they were less than the brown-eyed children—hence becoming the “out-group.” Suddenly, former classmates who had once played happily side by side were taunting and torturing one another on the playground. Lest we assign greater morality to the “out-group,” the blue-eyed children were just as quick to attack the brown-eyed children once the roles were reversed.6 Since Elliott’s experiment, researchers have conducted thousands of studies to understand the in-group/out-group response. Now, with fMRI scans, these researchers can actually see which parts of our brains fire up when perceiving a member of an out-group. In a phenomenon called the out-group homogeneity effect, we are more likely to see members of our groups as unique and individually motivated—and more likely to see a member of the out-group as the same as everyone else in that group. When we encounter this out-group member, our amygdala—the part of our brain that processes anger and fear—is more likely to become active. The more we perceive this person outside our group as a threat, the more willing we are to treat them badly.
Sarah Stewart Holland (I Think You're Wrong (But I'm Listening): A Guide to Grace-Filled Political Conversations)
There is no man,” he began, “however wise, who has not at some period of his youth said things, or lived in a way the consciousness of which is so unpleasant to him in later life that he would gladly, if he could, expunge it from his memory. And yet he ought not entirely to regret it, because he cannot be certain that he has indeed become a wise man—so far as it is possible for any of us to be wise—unless he has passed through all the fatuous or unwholesome incarnations by which that ultimate stage must be preceded. I know that there are young fellows, the sons and grandsons of famous men, whose masters have instilled into them nobility of mind and moral refinement in their schooldays. They have, perhaps, when they look back upon their past lives, nothing to retract; they can, if they choose, publish a signed account of everything they have ever said or done; but they are poor creatures, feeble descendants of doctrinaires, and their wisdom is negative and sterile. We are not provided with wisdom, we must discover it for ourselves, after a journey through the wilderness which no one else can take for us, an effort which no one can spare us, for our wisdom is the point of view from which we come at last to regard the world
Marcel Proust (In Search Of Lost Time (All 7 Volumes) (ShandonPress))
Be not deceived; for thou shalt never live to read thy moral commentaries, nor the acts of the famous Romans and Grecians; nor those excerpta from several books; all which thou hadst provided and laid up for thyself against thine old age. Hasten therefore to an end, and giving over all vain hopes, help thyself in time if thou carest for thyself, as thou oughtest to do.
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
And while I was writing this review, I discovered that if I were going to review books I should need to do battle with a certain phantom. And the phantom was a woman, and when I came to know her better I called her after the heroine of a famous poem, The Angel in the House. It was she who used to come between me and my paper when I was writing reviews. It was she who bothered me and wasted my time and so tormented me that at last I killed her. You who come of a younger and happier generation may not have heard of her — you may not know what I mean by the Angel in the House. I will describe her as shortly as I can. She was intensely sympathetic. She was immensely charming. She was utterly unselfish. She excelled in the difficult arts of family life. She sacrificed herself daily. If there was chicken, she took the leg; if there was a draught she sat in it — in short she was so constituted that she never had a mind or a wish of her own, but preferred to sympathize always with the minds and wishes of others. Above all — I need not say it —-she was pure. Her purity was supposed to be her chief beauty — her blushes, her great grace. And when I came to write I encountered her with the very first words. The shadow of her wings fell on my page; I heard the rustling of her skirts in the room. Directly, that is to say, I took my pen in my hand to review that novel by a famous man, she slipped behind me and whispered: “My dear, you are a young woman. You are writing about a book that has been written by a man. Be sympathetic; be tender; flatter; deceive; use all the arts and wiles of our sex. Never let anybody guess that you have a mind of your own. Above all, be pure.” And she made as if to guide my pen. I turned upon her and caught her by the throat. I did my best to kill her. My excuse, if I were to be had up in a court of law, would be that I acted in self-defence. Had I not killed her she would have killed me. She would have plucked the heart out of my writing. For, as I found, directly I put pen to paper, you cannot review even a novel without having a mind of your own, without expressing what you think to be the truth about human relations, morality, sex. And all these questions, according to the Angel of the House, cannot be dealt with freely and openly by women; they must charm, they must conciliate, they must — to put it bluntly — tell lies if they are to succeed. Thus, whenever I felt the shadow of her wing or the radiance of her halo upon my page, I took up the inkpot and flung it at her. She died hard. Her fictitious nature was of great assistance to her. It is far harder to kill a phantom than a reality. But it was a real experience; it was an experience that was bound to befall all women writers at that time. Killing the Angel in the House was part of the occupation of a woman writer.
Virginia Woolf (Profissões para mulheres e outros artigos feministas)
There’s a famous Russian proverb about this type of behavior. One day, a poor villager happens upon a magic talking fish that is ready to grant him a single wish. Overjoyed, the villager weighs his options: “Maybe a castle? Or even better—a thousand bars of gold? Why not a ship to sail the world?” As the villager is about to make his decision, the fish interrupts him to say that there is one important caveat: whatever the villager gets, his neighbor will receive two of the same. Without skipping a beat, the villager says, “In that case, please poke one of my eyes out.” The moral is simple: when it comes to money, Russians will gladly—gleefully, even—sacrifice their own success to screw their neighbor.
Bill Browder (Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man's Fight for Justice)
A woman's demand for emancipation and her qualification for it are in direct proportion to the amount of maleness in her. The idea of emancipation, however, is many-sided, and its indefiniteness is increased by its association with many practical customs which have nothing to do with the theory of emancipation. By the term emancipation of a woman, I imply neither her mastery at home nor her subjection of her husband. I have not in mind the courage which enables her to go freely by night or by day unaccompanied in public places, or the disregard of social rules which prohibit bachelor women from receiving visits from men, or discussing or listening to discussions of sexual matters. I exclude from my view the desire for economic independence, the becoming fit for positions in technical schools, universities and conservatories or teachers' institutes. And there may be many other similar movements associated with the word emancipation which I do not intend to deal with. Emancipation, as I mean to discuss it, is not the wish for an outward equality with man, but what is of real importance in the woman question, the deep-seated craving to acquire man's character, to attain his mental and moral freedom, to reach his real interests and his creative power. I maintain that the real female element has neither the desire nor the capacity for emancipation in this sense. All those who are striving for this real emancipation, all women who are truly famous and are of conspicuous mental ability, to the first glance of an expert reveal some of the anatomical characters of the male, some external bodily resemblance to a man.
Otto Weininger (Sex and Character: An Investigation of Fundamental Principles)
There is no man,” he began, “however wise, who has not at some period of his youth said things, or lived in a way the consciousness of which is so unpleasant to him in later life that he would gladly, if he could, expunge it from his memory. And yet he ought not entirely to regret it, because he cannot be certain that he has indeed become a wise man — so far as it is possible for any of us to be wise — unless he has passed through all the fatuous or unwholesome incarnations by which that ultimate stage must be preceded. I know that there are young fellows, the sons and grandsons of famous men, whose masters have instilled into them nobility of mind and moral refinement in their schooldays. They have, perhaps, when they look back upon their past lives, nothing to retract; they can, if they choose, publish a signed account of everything they have ever said or done; but they are poor creatures, feeble descendants of doctrinaires, and their wisdom is negative and sterile. We are not provided with wisdom, we must discover it for ourselves, after a journey through the wilderness which no one else can take for us, an effort which no one can spare us, for our wisdom is the point of view from which we come at last to regard the world. The lives that you admire, the attitudes that seem noble to you are not the result of training at home, by a father, or by masters at school, they have sprung from beginnings of a very different order, by reaction from the influence of everything evil or commonplace that prevailed round about them. They represent a struggle and a victory. I can see that the picture of what we once were, in early youth, may not be recognisable and cannot, certainly, be pleasing to contemplate in later life. But we must not deny the truth of it, for it is evidence that we have really lived, that it is in accordance with the laws of life and of the mind that we have, from the common elements of life, of the life of studios, of artistic groups — assuming that one is a painter — extracted something that goes beyond them.
Marcel Proust (In Search of Lost Time [volumes 1 to 7] (Centaur Classics) [The 100 greatest novels of all time - #13])
The greatest happiness of the greatest number is the foundation of morals and legislation,’ Bentham famously once articulated. Yet dig a little deeper, and a trickier, quirkier, murkier, picture emerges – one of ruthless selectivity and treacherous moral rip-tides. Crafting that legislation, for example, excavating those morals, will inevitably necessitate riding roughshod over someone else’s interests: some group or cause, which, through the simple lottery of numbers, has to bite the bullet for the sake of the ‘greater good’.
Kevin Dutton (The Wisdom of Psychopaths)
Ball in the Well As future rulers of the land, the princes of the ancient kingdom of Hastings were required to master various skills like archery and sword play. Their grandfather, Peter decided that they should have only the best teacher and so he was on the constant lookout for such a person. One day, the princes were playing in the garden with their ball, which unfortunately fell into the palace well.   The princes ran to the well and peered inside. All they could see was the bright red ball floating on top of the water far down in the well. The princes were disappointed because they could not continue with their game. Just then, they saw a young man dressed in black clothes passing by. From his dress, they knew immediately that was a sage, a wise and pious man with little concern for the cares of the world. They called out to him. “Sir, can you help us?” When he approached them, Durand, the eldest prince, told him how their ball had fallen into the well and they could not reach it. The man smiled. “You are princes of royal blood and you cannot solve such a simple problem?” he said. “Now watch me.” The princes looked on as the sage plucked a blade of grass, chanted some holy words and threw it into the well.   Amazingly, the blade of grass hit the surface of the ball and remained stuck on it. The sage took a second blade of grass and again after chanting some words, threw it into the well. The second blade of grass stuck to the first blade of grass. The man kept chanting and throwing blades of grass into the well. Each blade stuck to the earlier blade of grass and soon formed a chain leading to the very top of the well. The sage then used this to pull out the ball. The princes stared at him in astonishment.   Later, they told their grandfather what had happened. He then asked them to describe the man who he realised was none other than Sayer, a famous warrior who had given up fighting to become a sage. So their grandfather hastened to find him and never stopped until he persuaded Sayer to come and teach the princes how to shoot and to fight with a sword. Sayer faithfully taught the princes all kinds of warfare and military skills. As a result, the kingdom of Hastings became extremely powerful. In the process, Sayer became one of the most important and powerful men in the land. Moral of story: Once skills are learned they are not easily forgotten.
D.R. Tara (The Honest King and Other Stories (Stories for Children Series #4))
Choose Your Attitude—The fish guys are aware that they choose their attitude each day. One of the fish guys said, “When you are doing what you are doing, who are you being? Are you being impatient and bored, or are you being world famous? You are going to act differently if you are being world famous.” Who do we want to be while we do our work?
Stephen C. Lundin (Fish!: A Proven Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results)
Get Out Of Legal Trouble By Finding A Great Medical Malpractice Lawyer In Baltimore You will save on legal costs when you're taking the time to effectively ensure that your medical malpractice lawyer knows what you need. Your lawyer ought to be well versed on how to get the best outcome for your case. Take these factors into consideration the next time you are searching for the right attorney. Dependable attorneys are famous for having comprehensive, detailed interviews with their clients. The questions, though they might seem excessive, can help the medical malpractice lawyer in learning more about you before going into the courtroom, which will ultimately allow him to offer you the very best representation that they could. Whether it is from a book, online, or through questioning, any attorney worth his salt is usually out to learn more info. You have to find a new attorney immediately if the one you have is uninterested in your case and only asks a few pointless questions. Law firms and independent attorneys are like all other business - they can acquire clients through deception. Look for proof when an attorney claims his work is exceptional in order to validate it. Perform a comprehensive background check to understand their case history, their performance in college and the type of reputation that they've. Online reviews can also help you determine if the legal consultant delivered on his or her promises. There's nothing more important in the attorney-client relationship than good communication. A good, dependable medical malpractice lawyer can make sure that you have a clear understanding of any details they provide. The percentage of winning grows higher when your legal consultant understands and has all the info they need to win your case. Excellent interactions between you and your lawyer are vital to winning your case. When working with a legal consultant, be very specific about what type of attorney you want to hire. You'll need to find a legal consultant that specializes in the kind of law that governs your legal case. Find attorneys who have had success in similar cases. Call for a consultation in order to understand more about the attorney and what other skills or experience they possess in the field your legal case falls under. A medical malpractice lawyer who lacks moral character won't be up front about their ability to represent you. That attorney must be willing to inform you in the event that one is not able to handle your legal case in some way. Be really careful never to fall for attorneys who make false reports about past accomplishments. There are a few attorneys who'll need to work your legal case just to receive that new experience.
Schochor Federico and Staton, P.A.
I wrote in a bedroom crowded with ghosts," Brooke Hayward says. "My mother would disapprove, and my father would be horrified. The moral of my book is that you pay for everything. They were rich, accomplished, famous and beautiful. We were drowned in privilege, yet it ended in all this hideous tragedy." (interview from People magazine (May 23, 1977)
Brooke Hayward
Writing is a solitary act—but it's only the first act. What comes next is what really matters. However, personally, I have never been all that comfortable with the second act. I'm a solitary person by nature and not much of a joiner. Yet still I've come to see the nonfiction writer's solitary act as important to the greater cause—really the only cause—of decreasing cruelty and increasing sympathy. In that service, nonfiction writers can perform two fundamental tasks that are unavailable to the writers of fiction. Like Florence Reece, we can bear witness and we can call for change—for an end to injustices. It is precisely on this subject of bearing witness that I find John D'Agata's recent writing about the genre of nonfiction so malicious and inept. D'Agata argues that nonfiction must serve the greater good of art, and therefore reality can be altered in the name of art. But to elevate reality to the level of art is one of the fundamental tasks of the nonfiction writer, and to say it cannot be done honestly, as D'Agata claims, displays an astonishing lack of imagination as well as an equally unflattering amount of arrogance and pedantry. But let's put aside the either-or nature of this line of thinking. The real problem here is that such an attitude robs nonfiction of it greatest strength and virtue—its ability to bear witness and the veracity that comes from that act. To admit that one only has a passing interest in representing reality is to forfeit one's moral authority to call that reality into question. That is to say, I have no right to call mountaintop removal an injustice—one in need of a new reality—if I cannot be trusted to depict the travesty of strip mining as it now exists. To play D'Agata's game is to lose the reader's trust, and without that, it seems to me that the nonfiction writer has very little left. Writers of that persuasion can align themselves with Picasso's famous sentiment that art is the lie that tells the truth, but I have no truck with such pretentiousness. The work of the nonfiction writers I most admire is telling a truth that exposes a lie.
Sean Prentiss (The Far Edges of the Fourth Genre: An Anthology of Explorations in Creative Nonfiction)
People who are humble about their own nature are moral realists. Moral realists are aware that we are all built from “crooked timber”— from Immanuel Kant’s famous line, “Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made.
David Brooks
It was left to Hume, once again, to completely circumscribe reason. “Reason is, and ought only to be, the slave of the passions,” Hume famously wrote, taking to its logical extreme the thought of his predecessors. “[Reason] cannot be the source of moral good or evil, which are found to have that influence.”24
Ben Shapiro (The Right Side of History: How Reason and Moral Purpose Made the West Great)
Never risk or sell moral dignity and the beauty values for, only to become famous. Such values have much worth and the prestige than just fame and renown.
Ehsan Sehgal
I’ve just been visiting (second visit) a chap called Krishnamurti,fn105 who used to be very famous (and beautiful – he’s still beautiful age ninety-one) some time ago. He is an Indian sage, discovered as a child by the theosophists (as the ‘destined one’ etc.) and transported to Europe. In India he is a god. He teaches a kind of anti-religious quasi-mystical good way of life. I was asked to have a (videotaped for the faithful) discussion with him, which though producing little clarity interested me a lot. How very very serious human beings are in their deep assumptions about morals, mind etc. etc. (Obvious idea, but I find I lose it from time to time!) I think he is a remarkable being, though I don’t like all his talk. […]
Iris Murdoch (Living on Paper: Letters from Iris Murdoch 1934-1995)
In his firm grip on the earth he inherits, in his improvidence and generosity, in his lavishness with his gifts, in his manly vanity, in the obscure sense of his greatness and in his faithful devotion with something despairing as well as desperate in its impulses, he is a Man of the People, their very own unenvious force, disdaining to lead but ruling from within. Years afterwards, grown older as the famous Captain Fidanza, with a stake in the country, going about his many affairs followed by respectful glances in the modernised streets of Sulaco, calling on the widow of the cargador, attending the Lodge, listening in unmoved silence to anarchist speeches at the meeting, the enigmatical patron of the new revolutionary agitation, the trusted, the wealthy comrade Fidanza with the knowledge of his moral ruin locked up in his breast, he remains essentially a Man of the People. In his mingled love and scorn of life and in the bewildered conviction of having been betrayed, of dying betrayed he hardly knows by what or by whom, he is still of the People, their undoubted Great Man—with a private history of his own.
Joseph Conrad (Joseph Conrad: The Complete Collection)
Recognizing these patterns has a number of important implications. First, obviously, accusing people of racism or calling them the “deplorables,” as Hillary Clinton famously did, is a terrible idea. It assaults people’s moral sense of themselves and puts their backs up. They immediately stop listening. Conversely, one can see why calling egregious racists “fine people,” and emphasizing there are bad people “on both sides,” as President Trump did, is clearly an effective strategy (however morally reprehensible) to gain popularity, since it makes those who make these remarks feel better about themselves.
Abhijit V. Banerjee (Good Economics for Hard Times: Better Answers to Our Biggest Problems)
Even famous evangelical author Max Lucado (who had never spoken publicly about presidential candidates) warned against Donald Trump.
Ronald J. Sider (The Spiritual Danger of Donald Trump: 30 Evangelical Christians on Justice, Truth, and Moral Integrity)
In the mid-1950s, Governor Luther Hodges cited Aycock’s “march of progress” in his defense of Jim Crow as a system that both ensured political tranquility and enabled racial uplift. His successor in the state house, Terry Sanford, noted that Aycock famously proclaimed “as a white man, I am afraid of but one thing for my race and that is we shall become afraid to give the Negro a fair chance. The white man in the South can never attain to his fullest growth until he does absolute justice to the Negro race.” This framing enabled Hodges, Sanford, and, later, Governor Dan Moore to define the “North Carolina way” in sharp contrast with the racially charged massive resistance rhetoric that defined the approaches of Alabama under George Wallace and Mississippi under Ross Barnett. This moderate course caused early observers like V. O. Key to view the state as “an inspiring exception to southern racism.” Crucially, it operated hand-in-hand with North Carolina’s anti-labor stance to advance the state’s economic interests. Hodges, Sanford, and Moore approached racial policy by emphasizing tranquility, and thus an intolerance for political contention. These officials placed a high value on law and order, condemning as “extremists” those who threatened North Carolina’s “harmonious” race relations by advocating either civil rights or staunch segregation. While racial distinctions could not be elided in the Jim Crow South, where the social fabric was shot through with racial disparity, an Aycock-style progressivist stance emphasized the maintenance of racial separation alongside white elites’ moral and civic interest in the well-being of black residents. This interest generally took the form of a pronounced paternalism, which typically enabled powerful white residents to serve as benefactors to their black neighbors, in a sort of patron-client relationship. “It was white people doing something for blacks—not with them,” explained Charlotte-based Reverend Colemon William Kerry Jr. While often framed as gestures of beneficence and closeness, such acts reproduced inequity and distance. More broadly, this racial order served dominant economic and political interests, as it preserved segregation with a progressive sheen that favored industrial expansion.12
David Cunningham (Klansville, U.S.A.: The Rise and Fall of the Civil Rights-Era Ku Klux Klan)
George Washington had said that “virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government.” John Adams had insisted that public virtue, “the only foundation of republics,” could not “exist in a nation without private” virtue. Alexander Hamilton had written that “virtue and honor” were the “foundation of confidence” that underpinned “the institution of delegated power.” The contemporary Anglo-Irish philosopher Edmund Burke had famously declared that “society cannot exist unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere, and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free.” Trump had said to hell with all that. And he had gotten elected anyway. It’s true that many presidents seem petty when measured against the founders. But Trump was different even from prior unsavory men who had attained the presidency. They had at least feigned that they cared about these values and expectations. Trump had campaigned against them and won on that basis.
Susan Hennessey (Unmaking the Presidency: Donald Trump's War on the World's Most Powerful Office)
With wry irony, Alfred Edward Housman (1859–1936) advises preparing oneself for a world that may contain “much good, but much less good than ill.” Escapist solutions such as drink (Burton-on-Trent, mentioned in the second stanza, is a famous English brewing town) offer only the false answer of illusion. The best tack, Housman says, is to “train for ill and not for good,” and thereby steel oneself against all the unfairness life has to offer. And so he suggests as a model Mithridates, king of ancient Pontus in Asia Minor, who made himself immune to poison by swallowing small doses every day. There’s a bit of cynicism in this poem, but there’s also a good measure of hard truth: we must practice bracing ourselves for all of life’s contingencies.
William J. Bennett (The Book of Virtues: A Treasury of Great Moral Stories)
3 He seems to have regarded agriculture as the business most conducive to moral and physical health. He thought "if the leadings of the Spirit were more attended to, more people would be engaged in the sweet employment of husbandry, where labor is agreeable and healthful." He does not condemn the honest acquisition of wealth in other business free from oppression; even "merchandising," he thought, might be carried on innocently and in pure reason. Christ does not forbid the laying up of a needful support for family and friends; the command is, "Lay not up for YOURSELVES treasures on earth." From his little farm on the Rancocas he looked out with a mingled feeling of wonder and sorrow upon the hurry and unrest of the world; and especially was he pained to see luxury and extravagance overgrowing the early plainness and simplicity of his own religious society. He regarded the merely rich man with unfeigned pity. With nothing of his scorn he had all of Thoreau's commiseration, for people who went about bowed down with the weight of broad acres and great houses on their backs.
Benjamin Franklin (The Complete Harvard Classics - ALL 71 Volumes: The Five Foot Shelf & The Shelf of Fiction: The Famous Anthology of the Greatest Works of World Literature)
What distinguishes democratic politicians from populists is that the former make representative claims in the form of something like hypotheses that can be empirically disproven on the basis of the actual results of regular procedures and institutions like elections.67 Or, as Paulina Ochoa Espejo has argued, democrats make claims about the people that are self-limiting and are conceived of as fallible.68 In some sense, they’d have to subscribe to Beckett’s famous words in Worstward Ho: “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” Populists, by contrast, will persist with their representative claim no matter what; because their claim is of a moral and symbolic—not an empirical—nature, it cannot be disproven. When in opposition, populists are bound to cast doubt on the institutions that produce the “morally wrong” outcomes. Hence they can accurately be described as “enemies of institutions”—although not of institutions in general. They are merely the enemies of mechanisms of representation that fail to vindicate their claim to excusive moral representation.
Jan-Werner Müller (What Is Populism?)
Our nation is built from the ground up to handle political disagreement. It is not built to endure mass-scale dishonesty and vindictiveness. No less a light than John Adams understood our nation’s unique vulnerability to individual depravity. In his October 11, 1798, letter to the Massachusetts Militia, Adams famously wrote that “our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.
David French (The Great American Divorce: Why Our Country Is Coming Apart—And Why It Might Be for the Best)
He smiled and left me to my misgivings about Paris Denard. The man had received too many accolades for too little suffering and now wore them like medals of valor everywhere he went. A little more notoriety and his ego would bring him one short step away from the ugly little snare that waits and watches for those too fond of themselves. It is the same nasty little trap that lures the nouveau rich or puerile famous. As fame and notoriety take hold, suddenly you are surrounded with an ample variety of overindulgences available to you most any time. Innocently you begin sampling the ones that do not offend your morals or ethics while secretly eyeing those that do. After a while, the lines become blurred and they all become indulgences that you rightly deserve, a normal part of the avant-garde life style you lead. The compromises become greater and greater until you are so possessed by overindulgence that you are a person owned by indiscretions, and those who provide them. That is the trap. You lose your self, one sin at a time, until those who specialize in sin can make you serve them and do most anything they require you to do to further their own aims. It is at that point many wealthy or famous individuals decide there is no going back, though they are unwilling to continue. They help fill the news and star magazines with the regretful obituaries of people who gave so much, and who were so dearly loved it seemed unthinkable that they took their own lives. They will always be remembered. There will always be gratitude.
E.R. Mason (Deep Crossing)
Modern art always projects itself into a twilight zone where no values are fixed. It is always born in anxiety, at least since Cézanne. And Picasso once said that what matters most to us in Cézanne, more than his pictures, is his anxiety. It seems to me a function of modern art to transmit this anxiety to the spectator, so that his encounter with the work is--at least while the work is new-- a genuine existential predicament. Like Kierkegaard's God, the work molests us with its aggressive absurdity [...]. It demands a decision in which you discover something of your own quality; and this decision is always a "leap of faith," to use Kierkegaard's famous term. And like Kierkegaard's God, who demands a sacrifice from Abraham in violation of every moral standard: like Kierkegaard's God, the picture seems arbitrary, cruel, irrational, demanding your faith, while it makes no promise of future rewards. In other words, it is in the nature of original contemporary art to present itself as a bad risk. And we the public, artists included, should be proud of being in this predicament, because nothing else would seem to us quite true to life; and art, after all, is supposed to be a mirror of life.
Leo Steinberg (Other Criteria: Confrontations with Twentieth-Century Art)
The ghastly mother-in-law is well represented by a little comedy film of 1952: No Room for the Groom, directed by Douglas Sirk, the fine German director more famous for his melodramas that humanely criticize American morals and values.
Jeanine Basinger (I Do and I Don't: A History of Marriage in the Movies)
The recent explosions, from India to the United States, of ressentiment against writers and journalists as well as politicians, technocrats, businessmen and bankers reveal how Rousseau’s history of the human heart is still playing itself out among the disaffected. Those who perceive themselves as left or pushed behind by a selfish conspiratorial minority can be susceptible to political seducers from any point on the ideological spectrum, for they are not driven by material inequality alone. The Jacobins and the German Romantics may have been Rousseau’s most famous disciples, determined to create through retributive terror or economic and cultural nationalism the moral community neglected by Enlightenment philosophes.
Pankaj Mishra (Age of Anger: A History of the Present)
This is the Number. It is in the things we do, the people we meet, the ID cards that we carry. It's part of our identities, our credit cards, our social interactions. It takes our influences, our biases, morals, lifestyles and turns them into a massive alternate reality that no-one can escape from. It lives on our phones, in our televisions, in the cards we swipe to enter office. At its best, it’s an exact mirror of how human society actually works - all our greatness, all our petty shallowness, all our small talk and social contacts all codified and reduced and made plain. At its worst, it’s also exactly that. It’s how poor and rich and famous and desirable you are. It’s the backchannel given a name and dragged out into the limelight for everyone to see.
Yudhanjaya Wijeratne (Numbercaste)
to Freyja.” and Odin is like “Can I at least have the octohorse?” and Loki is like “Only if I don’t have to do what you say anymore.” and Odin is like “FINE.” and Loki is like “HAHA, I PRANKED YOU THAT HORSE CAME OUT OF MY HORSE VAGINA.” And Odin is like “Ew, ick. I still want the horse though.” So the moral of the story is that only a sucker pays full price for masonry. Oh, speaking of which let me tell you about another really gross thing Loki had sex with . . . FENRIR IS A DILF So one day, Loki’s wandering around Jotunheim and he sees this chick Angrboða pronounced ANGER BOW THE and he is like “Well, I know she’s pretty ugly and her name is kinda like a reference book entry for THE ANGER BOW but you know what? I’m gonna tap that and have three kids with that and all three of those kids are going to be horrible beasts that bring on the apocalypse. I see no problems with this.” So for now, let’s just focus on the first kid: a giant wolf named Fenrir. Now Loki brings baby Fenrir to Asgard and the Aesir all instantly know that this wolf is gonna be the death of them mainly because it is a GIANT WOLF NAMED FENRIR. But instead of doing anything about it they decide to see if they can just raise it as their own presumably because they don’t want to hurt Loki’s feelings. So this god Tyr the god of single combat and being awesome gets put in charge of feeding Fenrir because he’s the only person with sufficient testicular mass to actually go near the wolf and Fenrir gets bigger and bigger and holy shit bigger until the gods start to be like “Uhh . . . we should really do something about this wolf.” So what they do is they make a big metal chain. This chain is so incredibly massive that they don’t feel right until they give it a name that name is Leyding. So they go up to Fenrir like “Hey, man I bet you totally can’t break out of this chain.” And Fenrir is like “Okay, bring it.” So they tie him up and he pretty much just breaks the chains like cobwebs and he gets famous because of that and the gods are like “Fuck, that backfired. Okay, let’s make a better chain.” so they make a chain that is TWO TIMES AS STRONG and they name it Dromi and they go back to Fenrir like “Bet you can’t break THIS chain.” And Fenrir is like “I don’t know if I want to let you tie me up again.” And the gods are like “Don’t you want to be double famous?” and Fenrir is like “Ugh, okay.” So he lets them tie him up again and he flexes a little, but the chain doesn’t break so then he kicks the chain, and it does break and the gods are all like “Okay we definitely need a better chain. Somebody call some dwarves.” So the dwarves are like “Okay the mistake you guys have been making is you have been trying to make a chain out of actual things that exist such as metal instead of abstract concepts such as the sound of a cat’s footfall.” So what the dwarves do is they take the sound of a cat’s footfall along with the roots of a mountain the sinews of a bear the beard of a woman— remember, these are dwarves— and the breath of a fish, and the spit of a bird so that’s why you can’t hear cats walking around and mountains don’t have roots and fish don’t breathe, and birds don’t spit but I think bears still probably have sinews and I have definitely met me some bearded ladies so I guess the dwarves were not that thorough. But anyway somehow they manage to distill all this shit into THE ULTIMATE
Cory O'Brien (Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes: A No-Bullshit Guide to World Mythology)
Through the decade of the 1880s and into the early 1890s, Tolstoy and Fedorov met many times, and Tolstoy frequently refers to him in his letters and notebooks. For Tolstoy these were years of spiritual unrest. Never a complacent person unaware of his own self-development, Tolstoy in the late 1870S and early 1880s was passing through a stage of especially intense spiritual torment and particularly ruthless self-examination. His earlier religious faith, never terribly strong, had collapsed utterly, and he was seeking a new faith to live by. That he could not live a life strictly consistent with his deeply felt (and widely publicized) principles had always troubled him, and now tormented him. He had turned against the ideal of family life that he had so memorably depicted in War and Peace, but he still lived as-and at times very much enjoyed being-a family man. Theoretically he had turned against his own social class and against all art that did not illustrate some simple moral truth-and yet his biographers give us a charming picture of Tolstoy at age fifty and his old aesthetic and ideological enemy Turgenev, age sixty, sitting at opposite ends of a child's teeter-totter, seesawing up and down as children from the neighborhood laugh and applaud. Even during his famous "peasant" phase, in which he allowed himself to be portrayed by the artist Repin à la moujik behind a plow, we learn from his wife's diary that under his peasant smock he always wore silk underwear.
George M. Young (Russian Cosmists: The Esoteric Futurism of Nikolai Federov and His Followers)
Johnson was not impressed. He conceded that the letters might have made a ‘very pretty’ book (the faintest of faint praise), then commented, stingingly, that they ‘teach the morals of a whore, and the manners of a dancing master’. 8 Here, as in the famous letter and the Dictionary’s entry under ‘patron’, Chesterfield’s errors are more lastingly preserved than any of his achievements. There
Henry Hitchings (Defining the World: The Extraordinary Story of Dr Johnson's Dictionary)
We make God the steward of morality and build up expectations, expectations that sooner or later are bound to be shattered. If instead we strive to accept all sides of the equation, if we could get into a Möbius strip mentality in which both sides of the page, good and evil, are one and the same, then we start to get a real sense of that famous phrase from Adon Olam: “Ve-hu echad ve-ein sheini,” God is one, there is no other.
Zalman Schachter-Shalomi (Jewish with Feeling: A Guide to Meaningful Jewish Practice)
Andrei Yanuaryevich (one longs to blurt out, “Jaguaryevich”) Vyshinsky, availing himself of the most flexible dialectics (of a sort nowadays not permitted either Soviet citizens or electronic calculators, since to them yes is yes and no is no), pointed out in a report which became famous in certain circles that it is never possible for mortal men to establish absolute truth, but relative truth only. He then proceeded to a further step, which jurists of the last two thousand years had not been willing to take: that the truth established by interrogation and trial could not be absolute, but only, so to speak, relative. Therefore, when we sign a sentence ordering someone to be shot we can never be absolutely certain, but only approximately, in view of certain hypotheses, and in a certain sense, that we are punishing a guilty person. Thence arose the most practical conclusion: that it was useless to seek absolute evidence-for evidence is always relative-or unchallengeable witnesses-for they can say different things at different times. The proofs of guilt were relative, approximate, and the interrogator could find them, even when there was no evidence and no witness, without leaving his office, “basing his conclusions not only on his own intellect but also on his Party sensitivity, his moral forces” (in other words, the superiority of someone who has slept well, has been well fed, and has not been beaten up) “and on his character” (i.e., his willingness to apply cruelty!)… In only one respect did Vyshinsky fail to be consistent and retreat from dialectical logic: for some reason, the executioner’s bullet which he allowed was not relative but absolute…
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956 (Abridged))
Oh, yes, when applied correctly mighty and noble battles result! Of course I always win—the value of Prince X is a constant. It cannot be lesser than that of Monster Y—this is the Moral Superiority Hypothesis made famous five hundred years ago by my ancestor Ethelred, the Mathematician-King. We have never seen his equal, in all these centuries.
Catherynne M. Valente (In the Night Garden (The Orphan's Tales, #1))
John Irving (A Prayer for Owen Meany)
When admitting you are wrong, you gain back the control others took away from you when making you lose it. That's why you must say sorry. It represents a change of attitude but not really a change of personality; The changes on the personality come later on, when, by controlling yourself better, you don't express anger. Because saying sorry means nothing but anger means a lot. You should not want to be an angry person. When you get angry, those who make you angry, win; They win control over your emotional state, your thoughts, your words and your behaviors. They may then accuse you of always being angry and never apologizing, but that's not where you should focus your attention. The main point here, is that you’re living on the basis of instinctive reaction and not awareness or consciousness. So, when you say sorry, you are acknowledging that there is no excuse for losing control over yourself. You should not be sorry for being angry. That's an emotion; and you can't feel sorry for feeling. When you’re angry, you are feeling. When you insult, however, you are losing, yourself, your self-control, your self-respect, and even your capacity to use what you know. More knowledge, makes you more aware, more frustrated, having more and higher expectations on others, and more angry too, more often as well. But that's your problem! No other people's problem! They are just being themselves. Most people really think they are perfect as they are, and that the problems they experience are all outside themselves. And by realizing that, you say sorry as if saying sorry for not being who you really are. And when doing it, you get back the control another person took away from you. It is actually not good when someone needs to say sorry too often to someone else, especially if it’s always the same individual. But that someone else often likes it, as it makes them feel superior. That’s because their ego needs that. They have low self-esteem. Most people do! And that’s why most people's behavior is wired to their ego. Their likes and dislikes are connected to a sense of self-importance and a desperate need to feel important, which they project on their idols, the famous and most popular among them. They admire what they seek the most. When they think they are not important, they offend, to get aggression, which is a desperate need for attention; and to feel like victims of life, which is a deeper state of need, in this case, related to sympathy; and they then blame the other for what he does, for his reactions; and when that other says sorry, they think they have power over that insane cycle in which they now live, and in which they incorporate anyone else, and which they now perfectly master. Their pride is built on arrogance, an arrogance emerged out of ignorance, ignorance composed from delusional cycles within a big illusion; but an illusion that makes sense to them, as if they were succeeding at merging truth with lie, darkness with light. Because the arrogant, the abusive and the violent are desperate. God made them blind after witnessing their crimes against moral and ethics - His own laws. And they want to see again, and feel the same pleasure they once felt when witnessing the true colors of the world during childhood. The arrogant want to reaffirm their sanity by acting insanely because they know no other way. And when you say sorry, you are saying to them that you don't belong there, to their world, and that you are sorry for playing their games. That drama belongs to them only, and not you. And yet, people interpret the same paradox as they choose. That is their experience of truth and how they put sense on a life without any. And when so much nonsense becomes popular, we call it common sense. When common sense becomes a reality, we call it science. And when science is able to theorize common sense, we call it wisdom. Then, we wonder why the wisdom of those we name wise, does not help.
Robin Sacredfire
The fact that the four strictest Commandments were not included would create public uproar. The potential moral shift that resulted would fall squarely on Thomas’s shoulders. As would any economic deterioration or escalation of tension in the Middle East. Yet he would become rich and famous. And any shadow that hung over his career as a result of the firing would be gone. The dilemma was simple. Should he place personal comfort and professional success first and risk unknown economic and religious stability? Or let the world rest, and sacrifice his financial and professional future?
Hunt Kingsbury (The Moses Riddle (Treasure Hunter (Bimini Road Publishing)))
While so many people floated on the sea, dying, most of the lifeboats did not sit idly by. They had to confront the excruciating moral question of whether to put their own lives at risk and row back to pick up survivors, or whether to preserve their safety at a distance, and either hope that a ship would arrive soon (doubtful, since none appeared to be on the horizon), or let the others die. Most opted for the latter. Famously, Margaret Brown (discussed above) forced her boat to return, but by the time she had taken charge, they were only able to pull a few people from the icy water. The rest had already perished.
Henry Freeman (Titanic: The Story About The Unsinkable Ship)
CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE: YOU IN? Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings!” Acts 5:29 The English historian Lord Acton wrote, “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority.” People can’t seem to help themselves. When they get a taste of power, they often abuse it and lord it over everyone else. That includes legislators, chief executives, and even judges (and justices of the Supreme Court). Laws, made under the guise of authority, are sometimes bad laws that oppress the innocent. If a law is unjust and opposed to God’s laws, we need to oppose it. Throughout our history—most famously with the abolitionist movement—Americans have done just that. Like the apostles, we must obey God’s eternal moral law rather than the human-made law of the moment. Our Founding Fathers were suspicious of government power—especially the power of the federal government—because they too understood that power corrupts. We should always view government power suspiciously and reject it when it oversteps its bounds. SWEET FREEDOM IN Action Today, pledge to support candidates for office who actually believe in limited government as set forth in our Constitution and who give paramountcy to God’s eternal law.
Sarah Palin (Sweet Freedom: A Devotional)
President Theodore Roosevelt said, “When you educate a man in mind and not in morals, you educate a menace to society.” Science is learning to control everything but man. We have not yet solved the problems of hate, lust, greed, and prejudice, which produce social injustice, racial strife, and ultimately war. Our future is threatened by many dangers, such as the nuclear destruction that hangs over our heads. However, the greatest danger is from within. Every major civilization before us has disintegrated and collapsed from internal forces rather than military conquest. Ancient Rome is the outstanding example of the fall of a civilization. While its disintegration was hastened by foreign invasions, in the opinion of Arthur Weigall, a world-famous archaeologist, it collapsed “only after bribery and corruption had been rife for generations.” No matter how advanced its progress, any generation that neglects its spiritual and moral life is going to disintegrate. This is the story of man, and this is our modern problem.
Billy Graham (Unto the Hills: A Daily Devotional)
5 learning and creative things that kids can do in TAS Art Classes NYC Summer art classes give a young mind a new creative perspective. Art classes are usually organized in small batches where individual attention is given to all learners to understand their interests, innovations and offer a personalized experience. It is a crucial phase in a child’s life where they learn different skills, socialize and groom their overall personalities. TAS Art classes NYC offers art, painting, drawing, cartoon making and sculpting courses in New York to enhance the creative skills of the kids, Importance of art classes NYC Art courses is a good recreation to make new friends with similar interests. Extra co-curricular activities give the scope to go out for physical activities rather than wasting time watching television or playing video games. The culture is very different from the school learning environment and offers a safe and fun way towards extracurricular development. The student builds confidence and prepares themselves to face life challenges. Explore your child’s hobbies at Art Classes NYC There are many creative things students can do at TAS Art classes NYC like: 1. Art and craft Art and craft allow learner’s hand on materials like paper, popsicles, wool, cardboard, clay etc. which helps to upgrade their creative skills and visualization. Students have fun in fall art classes as their imagination runs wild to produce interesting designs, homemade cards, and paintings. 2. Sculptures Sculpting is an interesting drawing class for beginners. Different materials like POP and polymer clay is used to sculpt carve and create beautiful shapes. Sculpting classes are as fun as they are messy and is very good exercise to shape the creative thoughts of young minds. 3. Oil painting Oil painting classes involve several DIY kits for students of different age groups. They can have fun with different colors like acrylic, oil paints, watercolors etc. while learning how to paint in their oil painting lessons. It is more about having fun and also learning about the different masterpieces from famous artists. 4. Cartoons Cartoon making is very interesting as your imagination comes to life. A student might visualize a true friend in some imagination cartoon, and by drawing it helps the parents and teachers to better understand the mindset and understanding of the student. Cartoons can be colorful, funky and fun to play with. 5. Drawing A student can start very young age to sit and sketch. With proper drawing courses, the student can achieve skills of talented painter and will be able to exhibit his work locally. Art & Crafts classes NYC offers a lot of scopes to participate, learn, develop and grow. Art classes for teens give them a platform to present their skills and make them more refined and sharp with proper training. Art classes for adults are more therapeutical but definitely, it also involves great learning and experience. Benefits of Art Classes NYC Art Workshops promote various social, moral, creative and academic skills for students. If you want your child to do well in life both personally and professionally, drawing lessons can be a great way to learn, create something new and have fun at the same time. Our Art classes help to reduce stress and enhance competence. Students learn patience, self-discipline, goal setting, and decision making and working in a team. Definitely, the classes act as a protective measure against unhealthy lifestyle and activities and help to develop creative thinking skills, expand the social circle, meet new people, and keep one’s mind healthy and happy.
Theory of Art & Sciences
The ethical autonomy the impartial spectator offers us is a deception that has the function of rendering us more profoundly sociable than we were when we were in a state of ethical childhood and dependency. Rousseau once famously remarked that while men were born free, everywhere they were in chains. In Smith’s view the chains were those of the imagination, chains that could be loosened by a common-sense, sceptical awareness of the processes by which the moral personality was formed, but never altogether thrown off. And while Smith’s account of the life of virtue lived under the direction of the impartial spectator might seem to be nothing more than a subtle deception to a Rousseaunian or a Christian, and while this fabric of deception was to trouble him at the end of his life, Smith was to argue that the satisfaction of being able to live sociably under the direction of the impartial spectator was enough for humankind, and enough to encourage the improvement of society and the progress of civilization from the self-evidently wretched condition in which it had hitherto existed.
Nicholas Phillipson (Adam Smith: An Enlightened Life)