Penalty Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Penalty. Here they are! All 100 of them:

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The heaviest penalty for declining to rule is to be ruled by someone inferior to yourself.
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Plato (The Republic)
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One of the penalties of refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.
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Plato
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Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement.
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J.R.R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1))
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I can believe things that are true and things that aren't true and I can believe things where nobody knows if they're true or not. I can believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and the Beatles and Marilyn Monroe and Elvis and Mister Ed. Listen - I believe that people are perfectable, that knowledge is infinite, that the world is run by secret banking cartels and is visited by aliens on a regular basis, nice ones that look like wrinkled lemurs and bad ones who mutilate cattle and want our water and our women. I believe that the future sucks and I believe that the future rocks and I believe that one day White Buffalo Woman is going to come back and kick everyone's ass. I believe that all men are just overgrown boys with deep problems communicating and that the decline in good sex in America is coincident with the decline in drive-in movie theaters from state to state. I believe that all politicians are unprincipled crooks and I still believe that they are better than the alternative. I believe that California is going to sink into the sea when the big one comes, while Florida is going to dissolve into madness and alligators and toxic waste. I believe that antibacterial soap is destroying our resistance to dirt and disease so that one day we'll all be wiped out by the common cold like martians in War of the Worlds. I believe that the greatest poets of the last century were Edith Sitwell and Don Marquis, that jade is dried dragon sperm, and that thousands of years ago in a former life I was a one-armed Siberian shaman. I believe that mankind's destiny lies in the stars. I believe that candy really did taste better when I was a kid, that it's aerodynamically impossible for a bumble bee to fly, that light is a wave and a particle, that there's a cat in a box somewhere who's alive and dead at the same time (although if they don't ever open the box to feed it it'll eventually just be two different kinds of dead), and that there are stars in the universe billions of years older than the universe itself. I believe in a personal god who cares about me and worries and oversees everything I do. I believe in an impersonal god who set the universe in motion and went off to hang with her girlfriends and doesn't even know that I'm alive. I believe in an empty and godless universe of causal chaos, background noise, and sheer blind luck. I believe that anyone who says sex is overrated just hasn't done it properly. I believe that anyone who claims to know what's going on will lie about the little things too. I believe in absolute honesty and sensible social lies. I believe in a woman's right to choose, a baby's right to live, that while all human life is sacred there's nothing wrong with the death penalty if you can trust the legal system implicitly, and that no one but a moron would ever trust the legal system. I believe that life is a game, that life is a cruel joke, and that life is what happens when you're alive and that you might as well lie back and enjoy it.
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Neil Gaiman (American Gods (American Gods, #1))
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Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every man present his views without penalty there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.
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Albert Einstein
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Lukewarm people don't really want to be saved from their sin; they want only to be saved from the penalty of their sin.
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Francis Chan (Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God)
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Beauty was not everything. Beauty had this penalty β€” it came too readily, came too completely. It stilled life β€” froze it.
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Virginia Woolf (To the Lighthouse)
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It's fear, Jack. The man deals with a huge amount of fear.' Because he got hurt?' No, not entirely. Fear comes with imagination, it's a penalty, it's the price of imagination.
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Thomas Harris (Red Dragon (Hannibal Lecter, #1))
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An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law
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Martin Luther King Jr.
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The death penalty is not about whether people deserve to die for the crimes they commit. The real question of capital punishment in this country is, Do we deserve to kill?
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Bryan Stevenson (Just Mercy)
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To feel anything deranges you. To be seen feeling anything strips you naked. In the grip of it pleasure or pain doesn’t matter. You think what will they do what new power will they acquire if they see me naked like this. If they see you feeling. You have no idea what. It’s not about them. To be seen is the penalty.
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Anne Carson (Red Doc>)
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Fear comes with imagination, it’s a penalty, it’s the price of imagination.
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Thomas Harris (Red Dragon (Hannibal Lecter, #1))
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One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. Much of the damage inflicted on land is quite invisible to laymen. An ecologist must either harden his shell and make believe that the consequences of science are none of his business, or he must be the doctor who sees the marks of death in a community that believes itself well and does not want to be told otherwise.
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Aldo Leopold (A Sand County Almanac)
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Only the Jew knew that by an able and persistent use of propaganda heaven itself can be presented to the people as if it were hell and, vice versa, the most miserable kind of life can be presented as if it were paradise. The Jew knew this and acted accordingly. But the German, or rather his Government, did not have the slightest suspicion of it. During the War the heaviest of penalties had to be paid for that ignorance. -- Mein Kampf, Chapter 10
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Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf)
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The death penalty can be tolerated only by extreme statist reactionaries who demand a state that is so powerful that it has the right to kill.
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Noam Chomsky
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A penalty is a cowardly way to score.
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PelΓ© (Pele: The Autobiography)
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Redemption, n. Deliverance of sinners from the penalty of their sin through their murder of the deity against whom they sinned. The doctrine of Redemption is the fundamental mystery of our holy religions, and whoso believeth in it shall not perish, but have everlasting life in which to try to understand it.
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Ambrose Bierce (The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary)
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If Jesus had been killed twenty years ago, Catholic school children would be wearing little electric chairs around their necks instead of crosses.
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Lenny Bruce
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Insider trading is a serious crime. Do you know what the penalty for doing it is? Nothing, if you’re a member of Congress.

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Jarod Kintz (At even one penny, this book would be overpriced. In fact, free is too expensive, because you'd still waste time by reading it.)
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Lee Jordan was finding it difficult not to take sides. 'So β€” after that obvious and disgusting bit of cheating β€”' 'Jordan!' growled Professor McGonagall. 'I mean after that open and revolting foul β€”' 'Jordan, I'm warning you β€”' 'All right, all right. Flint nearly kills the Gryffindor Seeker, which could happen to anyone, I'm sure, so a penalty to Gryffindor, taken by Spinnet, who puts it away, no trouble, and we continue play, Gryffindor still in possession.
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J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1))
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Yes, I want money more than anything else in the world.” β€œThen you’ve made the only choice. But there’s a penalty attached, as there is to most things you want. It’s loneliness.
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Margaret Mitchell (Gone With the Wind)
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I believe [...] that while all human life is sacred there’s nothing wrong with the death penalty if you can trust the legal system implicitly, and that no one but a moron would ever trust the legal system.
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Neil Gaiman (American Gods (American Gods, #1))
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Kids. They're not easy. But there has to be some penalty for sex.
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Bill Maher
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But Mole stood still a moment, held in thought. As one wakened suddenly from a beautiful dream, who struggles to recall it, but can recapture nothing but a dim sense of the beauty in it, the beauty! Till that, too, fades away in its turn, and the dreamer bitterly accepts the hard, cold waking and all its penalties.
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Kenneth Grahame (The Wind in the Willows)
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The devil has put a penalty on all things we enjoy in life. Either we suffer in health or we suffer in soul or we get fat.
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Albert Einstein
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Neil Gaiman
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One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds.
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Aldo Leopold
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Most conservatives also believe in the death penalty, but not abortion, which proves they like to procrastinate.
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Margaret Cho (I Have Chosen to Stay and Fight)
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Penalties against possession of a drug should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself; and where they are, they should be changed. Nowhere is this more clear than in the laws against possession of marijuana in private for personal use... Therefore, I support legislation amending Federal law to eliminate all Federal criminal penalties for the possession of up to one ounce [28g] of marijuana.
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Jimmy Carter
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If failure had no penalty success would not be a prize.
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Terry Pratchett (Sourcery (Discworld, #5; Rincewind, #3))
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The first law of reason is that what exists, exists; what is, is, and that from this ineducible, bedrock principle, all knowledge is built...that is the foundation from which life is embraced... thinking is a choice...wishes and whims are not facts, nor are they a means to discover them... reason is our only way of grasping reality--it's our basic tool of survival. We are free to evade the effort of thinking--to reject reason--but we are not free to avoid the penalty of the abyss we refuse to see... Reason is the very substance of truth itself. The glory that is life is wholly embraced through reason. In rejecting reason one embraces death.
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Terry Goodkind (Faith of the Fallen (Sword of Truth, #6))
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But secondly you say 'society must exact vengeance, and society must punish'. Wrong on both counts. Vengeance comes from the individual and punishment from God.
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Victor Hugo (The Last Day of a Condemned Man)
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Happiness is a state of non-contradictory joy--a joy without penalty or guilt, a joy that does not clash with any of your values and does not work for your own destruction, not the joy of escaping from your mind, but of using your mind's fullest power, not the joy of faking reality, but of achieving values that are real, not the joy of a drunkard, but of a producer.
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Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
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If you are deemed insane, then all actions that would oherwise prove you are not do, in actuality, fall into the framework of an insane person’s actions. Your sound protests constitute denial. Your valid fears are deemed paranoia. Your survival instincts are labeled defense mechanisms. It’s a no-win situation. It’s a death penalty really.
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Dennis Lehane (Shutter Island)
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I believe that more people would be alive today if there were a death penalty.
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Nancy Reagan
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Suicide is a war of two fearsβ€”fear of death and fear of the thing that pushes you toward it. The stronger side always wins. And if you lose, the penalty is death.
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Parker S. Huntington (Darling Venom)
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There is a legitimate argument over whether the death penalty effectively deters violent crime, although my personal observation is that not one of the criminals who have been executed over the years has ever killed again.
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Dinesh D'Souza (Letters to a Young Conservative)
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Aggressive and hard-charging women violate unwritten rules about acceptable social conduct. Men are continually applauded for being ambitious and powerful and successful, but women who display these same traits often pay a social penalty. Female accomplishments come at a cost.
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Sheryl Sandberg (Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead)
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Then you've made the only choice. But there's a penalty attached, as there is to most things you want. It's loneliness.
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Margaret Mitchell
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After perhaps thirty meters, just as a soldier turned around, the girl was felled. Hands were clamped upon her from behind and the boy next door brought her down. He forced her knees to the road and suffered the penalty. He collected her punches as if they were presents. Her bony hands and elbows were accepted with nothing but a few short moans. He accumulated the loud, clumsy specks of saliva and tears as if they were lovely to his face, and more important, he was able to hold her down.
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Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
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He's a two-faced, cutthroat, dirt-dumb, chicken shit, slimy, little bastard with a bright future in politics.
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John Grisham (The Confession)
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You must pay the penalty of growing-up, Paul. You must leave fairyland behind you.
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L.M. Montgomery (Anne of the Island (Anne of Green Gables, #3))
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It is cold at six-forty in the morning on a March day in Paris, and seems even colder when a man is about to be executed by firing squad.
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Frederick Forsyth (The Day of the Jackal)
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You know how I think they choose people for Gryffindor team?" said Malfoy loudly a few minutes later, as Snape awarded Hufflepuff another penalty for now reason at all. "It's people they feel sorry for. See, there's Potter, who's got no parents, then there's the Weasleys, who've got no money - you should be on the team, Longbottom, you've got no brains.
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J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1))
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High School is the penalty for transgressions yet to be specified.
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Frank Portman (King Dork (King Dork, #1))
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It is one of the most mysterious penalties of men that they should be forced to confide the most precious of their possessions to things so unstable and ever changing, alas, as words.
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Georges Bernanos (The Diary of a Country Priest)
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Death row is a nightmare to serial killers and ax murderers. For an innocent man, it's a life of mental torture that the human spirit is not equipped to survive.
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John Grisham (The Confession)
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Avoid taking advice from someone who gives advice for a living, unless there is a penalty for their advice.
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Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life (Incerto))
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In any case, frequent punishments are a sign of weakness or slackness in the government. There is no man so bad that he cannot be made good for something. No man should be put to death, even as an example, if he can be left to live without danger to society.
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Jean-Jacques Rousseau (The Social Contract)
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This idea that children won't learn without outside rewards and penalties, or in the debased jargon of the behaviorists, "positive and negative reinforcements," usually becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we treat children long enough as if that were true, they will come to believe it is true. So many people have said to me, "If we didn't make children do things, they wouldn't do anything." Even worse, they say, "If I weren't made to do things, I wouldn't do anything." It is the creed of a slave.
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John C. Holt (How Children Fail (Classics in Child Development))
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Let me be a free man, free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade where I choose, free to choose my own teachers, free to follow the religion of my fathers, free to talk, think and act for myself β€” and I will obey every law or submit to the penalty.
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Chief Joseph
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But what then is capital punishment but the most premeditated of murders, to which no criminal's deed, however calculated it may be, can be compared? For there to be equivalence, the death penalty would have to punish a criminal who had warned his victim of the date at which he would inflict a horrible death on him and who, from that moment onward, had confined him at his mercy for months. Such a monster is not encountered in private life.
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Albert Camus
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The woman was sane; she accepted the heavy penalties of reality and enjoyed its gifts also.
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Joanne Greenberg (I Never Promised You a Rose Garden)
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You see,' [Armand] said, 'killing other vampires is very exciting; that is why it is forbidden under penalty of death.
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Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1))
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To become reconciled to a friend with whom you have broken, is a form of weakness; and you pay the penalty of it when he takes the first opportunity of doing precisely the very thing which brought about the breach.
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Arthur Schopenhauer
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You think too much.' 'I suppose I do; but I can’t help it, my mind is so terribly active. When I give myself, I give myself. I pay the penalty in my headaches, my famous headaches--a perfect circlet of pain! But I carry it as a queen carries her crown.
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Henry James (Washington Square (Signet Classics))
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Fear is the penalty of consciousness forced to stare at itself.
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Frank Herbert (The Green Brain)
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Plea Against the Death Penalty Look, examine, reflect. You hold capital punishment up as an example. Why? Because of what it teaches. And just what is it that you wish to teach by means of this example? That thou shalt not kill. And how do you teach that "thou shalt not kill"? By killing. I have examined the death penalty under each of its two aspects: as a direct action, and as an indirect one. What does it come down to? Nothing but something horrible and useless, nothing but a way of shedding blood that is called a crime when an individual commits it, but is (sadly) called "justice" when society brings it about. Make no mistake, you lawmakers and judges, in the eyes of God as in those of conscience, what is a crime when individuals do it is no less an offense when society commits the deed.
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Victor Hugo
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Bob loses saving throw vs. shiny with a penalty of -5. Bob takes 2d8 damage to the credit card.
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Charles Stross (The Fuller Memorandum (Laundry Files, #3))
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There were eleven votes for "guilty." It's not easy for me to raise my hand and send a boy off to die without talking about it first.
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Reginald Rose (Twelve Angry Men)
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The idea of adultery is like a soccer ball. Yeah, you might kick it around for a while, but if you actually wind up scoring, you get slapped with a huge penalty.
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Jarod Kintz (This Book is Not for Sale)
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Society can and does execute its own mandates: and if it issues wrong mandates instead of right, or any mandates at all in things with it ought not to meddle, it practices a social tyranny more formidable than many kinds of political oppression, since, though not usually upheld by such extreme penalties, it leaves fewer means of escape, penetrating much more deeply into the details of life, and enslaving the soul itself.
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John Stuart Mill (On Liberty)
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In the state I was in, if someone had come and told me I could go home quietly, that they would leave me my life whole, it would have left me cold: several hours or several years of waiting is all the same when you have lost the illusion of being eternal.
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Jean-Paul Sartre (The Wall)
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There are spaces of sorrow only God can touch.
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Helen Prejean (Dead Man Walking: The Eyewitness Account Of The Death Penalty That Sparked a National Debate)
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I believe that anyone who says that sex is overrated just hasn't done it properly. I believe that anyone who claims to know what's going on will lie about the little things too. I believe in absolute honesty and sensible social lies. I believe in a woman's right to choose, a baby's right to live, that while all human life is sacred there's nothing wrong with the death penalty if you can trust the legal system implicitly, and that no one but a moron would ever trust the legal system. I believe that life is a game, that life is a cruel joke, and that life is what happens when you're alive and that you might as well lie back and enjoy it.
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Neil Gaiman (American Gods (American Gods, #1))
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So I have to create the whole thing afresh for myself each time. Probably all writers now are in the same boat. It is the penalty we pay for breaking with tradition, and the solitude makes the writing more exciting though the being read less so. One ought to sink to the bottom of the sea, probably, and live alone with ones words.
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Virginia Woolf (A Writer's Diary)
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My cousin Helen, who is in her 90s now, was in the Warsaw ghetto during World War II. She and a bunch of the girls in the ghetto had to do sewing each day. And if you were found with a book, it was an automatic death penalty. She had gotten hold of a copy of β€˜Gone With the Wind’, and she would take three or four hours out of her sleeping time each night to read. And then, during the hour or so when they were sewing the next day, she would tell them all the story. These girls were risking certain death for a story. And when she told me that story herself, it actually made what I do feel more important. Because giving people stories is not a luxury. It’s actually one of the things that you live and die for.
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Neil Gaiman
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The greedy, profit-seeking exploiter cannot see beyond the end of his nose. He can see a chance for an β€œopening”; he is cunning enough to know what graft is and where it is, and how it can be secured, but vision he has none-not the slightest. He knows nothing of the great throbbing world that spreads out in all directions. He has no capacity for literature; no appreciation of art; no soul for beauty. That is the penalty the parasites pay for the violation of the laws of life.
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Eugene V. Debs (Works of Eugene Victor Debs)
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Happiness is not to be achieved at the command of emotional whims. Happiness is not the satisfaction of whatever irrational wishes you might blindly attempt to indulge. Happiness is a state of non-contradictory joyβ€”a joy without penalty or guilt, a joy that does not clash with any of your values and does not work for your own destruction, not the joy of escaping from your mind, but of using your mind's fullest power, not the joy of faking reality, but of achieving values that are real, not the joy of a drunkard, but of a producer. Happiness is possible only to a rational man, the man who desires nothing but rational goals, seeks nothing but rational values and finds his joy in nothing but rational actions.
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Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
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There was a dragon who had a long-standing obsession with a queen's breasts," she said, growing breathless. "The dragon knew the penalty to touch her would mean death, yet he revealed his secret desire to the king's chief doctor. This man promised he could arrange for the dragon to satisfy his desire, but it would cost him one thousand gold coins." She spread her soapy hands over his nipples, then down his arms. "Though he didn't have the money, the dragon readily agreed to the scheme." Grace," Darius moaned, his erection straining against her stomach. She hid her smile, loving that she had this much power over such a strong man. That she, Grace Carlyle, made him ache with longing. "The next day the physician made a batch of itching powder and poured some into the queen's bra… uh, you might call it a brassiere… while she bathed. After she dressed, she began itching and itching and itching. The physician was summoned to the Royal Chambers, and he informed the king and queen that only a special saliva, if applied for several hours, would cure this type of itch. And only a dragon possessed this special saliva." Out of breath, she paused. Continue," Darius said. His arms wound around her so tightly she could barely breathe. His skin blazed hot against hers, hotter than even the steamy water. Are you sure?" Continue." Taut lines bracketed his mouth. Well, the king summoned the dragon. Meanwhile, the physician slipped him the antidote for the itching powder, which the dragon put into his mouth, and for the next few hours, the dragon worked passionately on the queen's breasts. Anyway," she said, reaching around him and lathering the muscled mounds of his butt, "the queen's itching was eventually relieved, and the dragon left satisfied and touted as a hero." This does not sound like a joke," Darius said. I'm getting to the punch line. Hang on. When the physician demanded his payment, the now satisfied dragon refused. He knew that the physician could never report what really happened to the king. So the next day, the physician slipped a massive dose of the same itching powder into the king's loincloth. And the king immediately summoned the dragon." -Heart of the Dragon
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Gena Showalter
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For years, I declined to fill in the form for my Senate press credential that asked me to state my 'race,' unless I was permitted to put 'human.' The form had to be completed under penalty of perjury, so I could not in conscience put 'white,' which is not even a color let alone a 'race,' and I sternly declined to put 'Caucasian,' which is an exploded term from a discredited ethnology. Surely the essential and unarguable core of King's campaign was the insistence that pigmentation was a false measure: a false measure of mankind (yes, mankind) and an inheritance from a time of great ignorance and stupidity and cruelty, when one drop of blood could make you 'black.
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Christopher Hitchens
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I wish my countrymen to consider, that whatever the human law may be, neither an individual nor a nation can ever commit the least act of injustice against the obscurest individual, without having to pay the penalty for it. A government which deliberately enacts injustice, and persists in it, will at length ever become the laughing-stock of the world.
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Henry David Thoreau (Civil Disobedience and Other Essays)
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In a word, we may reasonably hope for the virtual abolition of education when I'm as good as you has fully had its way. All incentives to learn and all penalties for not learning will vanish.The few who might want to learn will be prevented; who are they to overtop their fellows? And anyway the teachers--or should I say, nurses?--will be far too busy reassuring the dunces and patting them on the back to waste any time on real teaching. We shall no longer have to plan and toil to spread imperturable conceit and incurable ignorance among men. The little vermin themselves will do it for us.
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C.S. Lewis (The Screwtape Letters)
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Pride is the recognition of the fact that you are your own highest value and, like all of man’s values, it has to be earned. His own happiness is man’s only moral purpose, but only his own virtue can achieve it…Life is the reward of virtue- and happiness is the goal and the reward of life. Happiness is a state of non-contradictory joy- a joy without penalty or guilt, a joy that does not clash with any of your values and does not work for your won destruction, not the joy of escaping from your mind, but using your mind’s fullest power. Happiness is possible only to a rational man, the man who desires nothing but rational goals, seek nothing but rational values and finds his joy in nothing bu rational actions. The symbol of all relationships among such men, the moral symbol of respect for human beings, is the trade…A trader is a man who earns what he gets and does not give or take the undeserved.
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Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
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All over the world there are enormous numbers of smart, even gifted, people who harbor a passion for science. But that passion is unrequited. Surveys suggest that some 95 percent of Americans are β€œscientifically illiterate.” That’s just the same fraction as those African Americans, almost all of them slaves, who were illiterate just before the Civil Warβ€”when severe penalties were in force for anyone who taught a slave to read. Of course there’s a degree of arbitrariness about any determination of illiteracy, whether it applies to language or to science. But anything like 95 percent illiteracy is extremely serious.
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Carl Sagan (The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark)
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Loneliness is the penalty of leadership, but the man who has to make the decisions is assisted greatly if he feels that there is no uncertainty in the minds of those who follow him, and that his orders will be carried out confidently and in expectation of success.
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Ernest Shackleton (South: The last Antarctic expedition of Shackleton and the Endurance (Adlard Coles Maritime Classics))
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Those who try to make room for sex as mere casual enjoyment pay the penalty: they become shallow. At any rate the talk that reflects and commends this attitude is always shallow. They dishonour their own bodies; holding cheap what is naturally connected with the origination of human life.
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G.E.M. Anscombe (Faith in a Hard Ground: Essays on Religion, Philosophy and Ethics (St Andrews Studies in Philosophy and Public Affairs))
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The hangman is a disgrace to any civilized country.
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Arthur Koestler
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The only sovereign I can allow to rule me is reason. The first law of reason is this: what exists exists; what is is. From this irreducible, bedrock principle, all knowledge is built. This is the foundation from which life is embraced. Reason is a choice. Wishes and whims are not facts, nor are they a means to discovering them. Reason is our only way of grasping reality–it is our basic tool of survival. We are free to evade the effort of thinking, to reject reason, but we are not free to avoid the penalty of the abyss we refuse to see." -Richard
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Terry Goodkind (Faith of the Fallen (Sword of Truth, #6))
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The object of this Essay is to assert one very simple principle, as entitled to govern absolutely the dealings of society with the individual in the way of compulsion and control, whether the means used be physical force in the form of legal penalties, or the moral coercion of public opinion. That principle is, that the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinions of others, to do so would be wise, or even right. These are good reasons for remonstrating with him, or reasoning with him, or persuading him, or entreating him, but not for compelling him, or visiting him with any evil, in case he do otherwise. To justify that, the conduct from which it is desired to deter him must be calculated to produce evil to someone else. The only part of the conduct of any one, for which he is amenable to society, is that which concerns others. In the part which merely concerns himself, his independence is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.
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John Stuart Mill (On Liberty)
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No bond is greater than the ones you'll bleed for.
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Shey Stahl (Delayed Penalty (Crossing the Line, #1))
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I think being condemned to death is the only real distinction," said Mathilde. "It is the only thing which cannot be bought.
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Stendhal (The Red and the Black)
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She was trying to find the section that described the penalties for treason. She'd browsed through the section at one point and vaguely recalled a long list of punishments culminating with the guilty party being ritually trampled to death by the population of the village of Avebury, which seemed unlikely, or at least somewhat difficult to arrange.
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Daniel O'Malley (The Rook (The Checquy Files, #1))
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Rosa Parks turned to me sweetly and asked, 'Now, Bryan, tell me who you are and what you're doing.' I looked at Ms. Carr to see if I had permission to speak, and she smiled and nodded at me. I then gave Ms. Parks my rap. 'Yes, ma'am. Well, I have a law project called the Equal Justice Initiative, and we're trying to help people on death row. We're trying to stop the death penalty, actually. We're trying to do something about prison conditions and excessive punishment. We want to free people who've been wrongly convicted. We want to end unfair sentences in criminal cases and stop racial bias in criminal justice...Ms. Parks leaned back smiling. 'Ooooh, honey, all that's going to make you tired, tired, tired.' We all laughed. I looked down, a little embarrassed. Then Ms. Carr leaned forward and put her finger in my face and talked o me just like my grandmother used to talk to me. She said, 'That's why you've got to be brave, brave, brave.' All three women nodded in silent agreement and for just a little while, they made me feel like a young prince.
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Bryan Stevenson (Just Mercy)
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They sit here in the darkness, trusting. That the coffee will be hot and unpoisoned. That no raging madman will come in with a gun or bomb. It leaves him breathless at times, how much faith people put in one another. So fragile, the social contract: we will all stand by the rules, move with care and gentleness, invest in the infrastructure, agree with the penalties of failure. That this man driving his truck down the street won't, on a whim, angle into the plate glass and end things. That the president won't let his hand hover over the red button and, in moment of rage or weakness, explode the world. The invisible tissue of civilization: so thin, so easily rendable. It's a miracle that it exists at all.
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Lauren Groff (Arcadia)
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Do you feel no compunction, Socrates, at having followed a line of action which puts you in danger of the death penalty?' I might fairly reply to him, 'You are mistaken, my friend, if you think that a man who is worth anything ought to spend his time weighing up the prospects of life and death. He has only one thing to consider in performing any action--that is, whether he is acting rightly or wrongly, like a good man or a bad one.
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Socrates (Apology)
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In sorting out my feelings and beliefs, there is, however, one piece of moral ground of which I am absolutely certain: if I were to be murdered I would not want my murderer executed. I would not want my death avenged. Especially by government--which can't be trusted to control its own bureaucrats or collect taxes equitably or fill a pothole, much less decide which of its citizens to kill.
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Helen Prejean (Dead Man Walking: The Eyewitness Account Of The Death Penalty That Sparked a National Debate)
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If you want a safe compass to guide you through life, and to banish all doubt as to the right way of looking at it, you cannot do better than accustom yourself to regard this world as a penitentiary... β€’ If you accustom yourself to this view of life you will regulate your expectations accordingly, and cease to look upon all its disagreeable incidents, great and small, its sufferings, its worries, its misery, as anything unusual or irregular; nay, you will find that everything is as it should be, in a world where each of us pays the penalty of existence in his own peculiar way.
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Arthur Schopenhauer (Studies in Pessimism: The Essays)
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[Jesus] tilted His head back, pulled up one last time to draw breath and cried, "Tetelestai!" It was a Greek expression most everyone present would have understood. It was an accounting term. Archaeologists have found papyrus tax receipts with "Tetelestai" written across them, meaning "paid in full." With Jesus' last breath on the cross, He declared the debt of sin cancelled, completely satisfied. Nothing else required. Not good deeds. Not generous donations. Not penance or confession or baptism or...or...or...nothing. The penalty for sin is death, and we were all born hopelessly in debt. He paid our debt in full by giving His life so that we might live forever.
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Charles R. Swindoll
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Protection, therefore, against tyranny of the magistrate is not enough: there needs protection also against the tyranny of the prevailing opinion and feeling; against the tendency of society to impose, by other means than civil penalties, its own ideas and practices as rules of conduct on those who dissent from them; to fetter the development, and, if possible, prevent the formation, of any individuality not in harmony with its ways, and compel all characters to fashion themselves upon the model of its own.
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John Stuart Mill (On Liberty and Other Essays)
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In me was shaping a yearning for a kind of consciousness, a mode of being that the way of life about me had said could not be, must not be, and upon which the penalty of death had been placed. Somewhere in the dead of the southern night my life had switched onto the wrong track and without my knowing it, the locomotive of my heart was rushing down a dangerously steep slope, heading for a collision, heedless of the warning red lights that blinked all about me, the sirens and the bells and the screams that filled the air.
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Richard Wright (Black Boy)
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Three hundred years ago people in England were putting witches to death. Was that what you call the 'Rule of Human Nature or Right Conduct?’ But surely the reason we do not execute witches is that we do not believe there are such things. If we didβ€”if we really thought that there were people going about who had sold themselves to the devil and received supernatural powers from him in return and were using these powers to kill their neighbours or drive them mad or bring bad weatherβ€”surely we would all agree that if anyone deserved the death penalty, then these filthy quislings did? There is no difference of moral principle here: the difference is simply about matter of fact. It may be a great advance in knowledge not to believe in witches: there is no moral advance in not executing them when you do not think they are there. You would not call a man humane for ceasing to set mousetraps if he did so because he believed there were no mice in the house.
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C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)
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Remember those dogs I was talking about? The cues? While I was watching TV, I missed a few. Take a look: Steven is smiling, almost laughing. After all the punishment he’s received from my sister over the years, he’s developed quite the sadistic streak when it comes to other people getting their asses handed to them. Then there’s Matthew. God only knows what kind of sick and depraved penalties Delores has inflicted on that poor bastard, because he just looks scared. Kate, on the other hand, is staring at my hand like it’s a cockroach. That she wants to squash. And then she gets an ideaβ€”a wonderful, awful idea. If you look hard enough, you can see the light bulb go on above her head. She smiles and leaves the room. I missed all this the first time.
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Emma Chase (Tangled Extra Scenes (Tangled, #1.1))
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Elsewhere there are no mobile phones. Elsewhere sleep is deep and the mornings are wonderful. Elsewhere art is endless, exhibitions are free and galleries are open twenty-four hours a day. Elsewhere alcohol is a joke that everybody finds funny. Elsewhere everybody is as welcoming as they’d be if you’d come home after a very long time away and they’d really missed you. Elsewhere nobody stops you in the street and says, are you a Catholic or a Protestant, and when you say neither, I’m a Muslim, then says yeah but are you a Catholic Muslim or a Protestant Muslim? Elsewhere there are no religions. Elsewhere there are no borders. Elsewhere nobody is a refugee or an asylum seeker whose worth can be decided about by a government. Elsewhere nobody is something to be decided about by anybody. Elsewhere there are no preconceptions. Elsewhere all wrongs are righted. Elsewhere the supermarkets don’t own us. Elsewhere we use our hands for cups and the rivers are clean and drinkable. Elsewhere the words of the politicians are nourishing to the heart. Elsewhere charlatans are known for their wisdom. Elsewhere history has been kind. Elsewhere nobody would ever say the words bring back the death penalty. Elsewhere the graves of the dead are empty and their spirits fly above the cities in instinctual, shapeshifting formations that astound the eye. Elsewhere poems cancel imprisonment. Elsewhere we do time differently. Every time I travel, I head for it. Every time I come home, I look for it.
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Ali Smith (Public library and other stories)
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CAUSE AND EFFECT You can give a man who has never given you a good word, Volumes of knowledge. And you can give a man who has never given you a gift, A thousand gifts. You can give that same man who has never given you a blessing, A thousand blessings. And you can offer that same man who has never Offered a hand to help you grow, Seeds to help him grow a garden. And while you have never seen true kindness from his direction, You still offer to help push him up. And in the end, He only wants to be the hand that pulls you down. Do not worry, my friends. Cause and effect was written by the stars of the universe. He who passes suffering onto others Will also have that suffering passed onto his own children. Gifts he feels he should have in the next lifetime will be unobtainable. And the help he needs to grow in the next lifetime will be unavailable. And the people he cuts down that were good to him, Will cut him down in the next lifetime. What goes around does come back again, Even through your children. There is a vibrational effect In every action, Just as there is A vibration that rings From every letter In every word. No cause occurs without effect And no effect occurs without cause. No unjust action goes without penalty And no action or thought Flows unnoticed Throughout The universe.
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Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
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Can we believe that the real God, if there is one, ever ordered a man to be killed simply for making hair oil, or ointment? We are told in the thirtieth chapter of Exodus, that the Lord commanded Moses to take myrrh, cinnamon, sweet calamus, cassia, and olive oil, and make a holy ointment for the purpose of anointing the tabernacle, tables, candlesticks and other utensils, as well as Aaron and his sons; saying, at the same time, that whosoever compounded any like it, or whoever put any of it on a stranger, should be put to death. In the same chapter, the Lord furnishes Moses with a recipe for making a perfume, saying, that whoever should make any which smelled like it, should be cut off from his people. This, to me, sounds so unreasonable that I cannot believe it. Why should an infinite God care whether mankind made ointments and perfumes like his or not? Why should the Creator of all things threaten to kill a priest who approached his altar without having washed his hands and feet? These commandments and these penalties would disgrace the vainest tyrant that ever sat, by chance, upon a throne.
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Robert G. Ingersoll (Some Mistakes of Moses)
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[T]here are some human rights that are so deep that we can't negotiate them away. I mean people do heinous, terrible things. But there are basic human rights I believe that every human being has. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the United Nations says it for me. And it says there are two basic rights that can't be negotiated that government doesn't give for good behavior and doesn't take away for bad behavior. And it's the right not to be tortured and not to be killed. Because the flip side of this is that then when you say OK we're gonna turn over -- they truly have done heinous things, so now we will turn over to the government now the right to take their life. It involves other people in doing essentially the same kind of act." (PBS Frontline: Angel on Death Row)
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Helen Prejean
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How imperious the homicidal madness must have become if they’re willing to pardonβ€”no, forget!β€”the theft of a can of meat! True, we have got into the habit of admiring colossal bandits, whose opulence is revered by the entire world, yet whose existence, once we stop to examine it, proves to be one long crime repeated ad infinitum, but those same bandits are heaped with glory, honors, and power, their crimes are hallowed by the law of the land, whereas, as far back in history as the eye can seeβ€”and history, as you know is my businessβ€”everything conspires to show that a venial theft, especially of inglorious foodstuffs, such as bread crusts, ham, or cheese, unfailingly subjects its perpetrator to irreparable opprobrium, the categoric condemnation of the community, major punishment, automatic dishonor, and inexpiable shame, and this for two reasons, first because the perpetrator of such an offense is usually poor, which in itself connotes basic unworthiness, and secondly because his act implies, as it were, a tacit reproach to the community. A poor man’s theft is seen as a malicious attempt at individual redress . . . Where would we be? Note accordingly that in all countries the penalties for petty theft are extrememly severe, not only as a means of defending society, but also as a stern admonition to the unfortunate to know their place, stick to their caste, and behave themselves, joyfully resigned to go on dying of hunger and misery down through the centuries forever and ever . . . Until today, however, petty thieves enjoyed one advantage in the Republic, they were denied the honor of bearing patriotic arms. But that’s all over now, tomorrow I, a theif, will resume my place in the army . . . Such are the orders . . . It has been decided in high places to forgive and forget what they call my momentary madness, and this, listen carefully, in consideration of what they call the honor of my family. What solicitude! I ask you, comrade, is it my family that is going to serve as a strainer and sorting house for mixed French and German bullets? . . . It’ll just be me wont it? And when I’m dead is the honor of my family going to bring me back to life?
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Louis-Ferdinand CΓ©line (Journey to the End of the Night)
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Here we come to the central question of this book: What, precisely, does it mean to say that our sense of morality and justice is reduced to the language of a business deal? What does it mean when we reduce moral obligations to debts? What changes when the one turns into the other? And how do we speak about them when our language has been so shaped by the market? On one level the difference between an obligation and a debt is simple and obvious. A debt is the obligation to pay a certain sum of money. As a result, a debt, unlike any other form of obligation, can be precisely quantified. This allows debts to become simple, cold, and impersonal-which, in turn, allows them to be transferable. If one owes a favor, or one’s life, to another human being-it is owed to that person specifically. But if one owes forty thousand dollars at 12-percent interest, it doesn’t really matter who the creditor is; neither does either of the two parties have to think much about what the other party needs, wants, is capable of doing-as they certainly would if what was owed was a favor, or respect, or gratitude. One does not need to calculate the human effects; one need only calculate principal, balances, penalties, and rates of interest. If you end up having to abandon your home and wander in other provinces, if your daughter ends up in a mining camp working as a prostitute, well, that’s unfortunate, but incidental to the creditor. Money is money, and a deal’s a deal. From this perspective, the crucial factor, and a topic that will be explored at length in these pages, is money’s capacity to turn morality into a matter of impersonal arithmetic-and by doing so, to justify things that would otherwise seem outrageous or obscene. The factor of violence, which I have been emphasizing up until now, may appear secondary. The difference between a β€œdebt” and a mere moral obligation is not the presence or absence of men with weapons who can enforce that obligation by seizing the debtor’s possessions or threatening to break his legs. It is simply that a creditor has the means to specify, numerically, exactly how much the debtor owes.
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David Graeber (Debt: The First 5,000 Years)
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Not much time will be gained, O Athenians, in return for the evil name which you will get from the detractors of the city, who will say that you killed Socrates, a wise man; for they will call me wise even although I am not wise when they want to reproach you. If you had waited a little while, your desire would have been fulfilled in the course of nature. For I am far advanced in years, as you may perceive, and not far from death. I am speaking now only to those of you who have condemned me to death. And I have another thing to say to them: You think that I was convicted through deficiency of words - I mean, that if I had thought fit to leave nothing undone, nothing unsaid, I might have gained an acquittal. Not so; the deficiency which led to my conviction was not of words - certainly not. But I had not the boldness or impudence or inclination to address you as you would have liked me to address you, weeping and wailing and lamenting, and saying and doing many things which you have been accustomed to hear from others, and which, as I say, are unworthy of me. But I thought that I ought not to do anything common or mean in the hour of danger: nor do I now repent of the manner of my defence, and I would rather die having spoken after my manner, than speak in your manner and live. For neither in war nor yet at law ought any man to use every way of escaping death. For often in battle there is no doubt that if a man will throw away his arms, and fall on his knees before his pursuers, he may escape death; and in other dangers there are other ways of escaping death, if a man is willing to say and do anything. The difficulty, my friends, is not in avoiding death, but in avoiding unrighteousness; for that runs faster than death. I am old and move slowly, and the slower runner has overtaken me, and my accusers are keen and quick, and the faster runner, who is unrighteousness, has overtaken them. And now I depart hence condemned by you to suffer the penalty of death, and they, too, go their ways condemned by the truth to suffer the penalty of villainy and wrong; and I must abide by my award - let them abide by theirs. I suppose that these things may be regarded as fated, - and I think that they are well.
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Plato (Apology)