Values And Beliefs Quotes

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Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions, Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values, Your values become your destiny.
Mahatma Gandhi
Belief isn't simply a thing for fair times and bright days...What is belief - what is faith - if you don't continue in it after failure?...Anyone can believe in someone, or something that always succeeds...But failure...ah, now, that is hard to believe in, certainly and truly. Difficult enough to have value. Sometimes we just have to wait long enough...then we find out why exactly it was that we kept believing...There's always another secret.
Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn: The Final Empire (Mistborn, #1))
A highly developed values system is like a compass. It serves as a guide to point you in the right direction when you are lost.
Idowu Koyenikan (Wealth for All: Living a Life of Success at the Edge of Your Ability)
When you look at what C.S. Lewis is saying, his message is so anti-life, so cruel, so unjust. The view that the Narnia books have for the material world is one of almost undisguised contempt. At one point, the old professor says, ‘It’s all in Plato’ — meaning that the physical world we see around us is the crude, shabby, imperfect, second-rate copy of something much better. I want to emphasize the simple physical truth of things, the absolute primacy of the material life, rather than the spiritual or the afterlife. [The New York Times interview, 2000]
Philip Pullman
I'm trying to undermine the basis of Christian belief... I'm not in the business of offending people. I find the books upholding certain values that I think are important, such as life is immensely valuable and this world is an extraordinarily beautiful place. We should do what we can to increase the amount of wisdom in the world. [Washington Post interview, 19 February 2001]
Philip Pullman
I think honesty is the most heroic quality one can aspire to.
Daniel Radcliffe
Consensus: “The process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values, and policies in search of something in which no one believes, but to which no one objects; the process of avoiding the very issues that have to be solved, merely because you cannot get agreement on the way ahead. What great cause would have been fought and won under the banner: ‘I stand for consensus?
Margaret Thatcher
How you look at it is pretty much how you'll see it
Rasheed Ogunlaru
It is not until you change your identity to match your life blueprint that you will understand why everything in the past never worked.
Shannon L. Alder
To be changed by ideas was pure pleasure. But to learn ideas that ran counter to values and beliefs learned at home was to place oneself at risk, to enter the danger zone. Home was the place where I was forced to conform to someone else’s image of who and what I should be. School was the place where I could forget that self and, through ideas, reinvent myself.
bell hooks
It is easier to tell a person what life is not, rather than to tell them what it is. A child understands weeds that grow from lack of attention, in a garden. However, it is hard to explain the wild flowers that one gardener calls weeds, and another considers beautiful ground cover.
Shannon L. Alder
Since the notion that we should all forsake attachment to race and/or cultural identity and be “just humans” within the framework of white supremacy has usually meant that subordinate groups must surrender their identities, beliefs, values, and assimilate by adopting the values and beliefs of privileged-class whites, rather than promoting racial harmony this thinking has created a fierce cultural protectionism.
bell hooks (Killing Rage: Ending Racism)
Our natural tendency is to project onto other people our own belief and value systems, in ways in which we are not even aware.
Robert Greene (Mastery)
Diversity is an aspect of human existence that cannot be eradicated by terrorism or war or self-consuming hatred. It can only be conquered by recognizing and claiming the wealth of values it represents for all.
Aberjhani (Splendid Literarium: A Treasury of Stories, Aphorisms, Poems, and Essays)
When liberal whites fail to understand how they can and/or do embody white supremacist values and beliefs even though they may not embrace racism as prejudice or domination (especially domination that involves coercive control), they cannot recognize the ways their actions support and affirm the very structure of racist domination and oppression that they wish to see eradicated.
bell hooks (Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black)
With humility comes the willingness to stop trying to control or change other people or life situations or events ostensibly 'for their own good'. To be a committed spiritual seeker, it is necessary to relinquish the desire to be 'right' or of imaginary value to society. In fact, nobody's ego or belief systems are of any value to society at all. The world is neither good nor bad nor defective, nor is it in need of help or modification because its appearance is only a projection of one's own mind. No such world exists.
David R. Hawkins
The Christian Gospel is that I am so flawed that Jesus had to die for me, yet I am so loved and valued that Jesus was glad to die for me. This leads to deep humility and deep confidence at the same time. It undermines both swaggering and sniveling. I cannot feel superior to anyone, and yet I have nothing to prove to anyone. I do not think more of myself nor less of myself. Instead, I think of myself less.
Timothy J. Keller (The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism)
Diversity of character is due to the unequal time given to values. Only through each other will we see the importance of the qualities we lack and our unfinished soul's potential.
Shannon L. Alder
There are only two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it. Very few people or companies can clearly articulate WHY they do WHAT they do. By WHY I mean your purpose, cause or belief - WHY does your company exist? WHY do you get out of bed every morning? And WHY should anyone care? People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it. We are drawn to leaders and organizations that are good at communicating what they believe. Their ability to make us feel like we belong, to make us feel special, safe and not alone is part of what gives them the ability to inspire us. For values or guiding principles to be truly effective they have to be verbs. It’s not “integrity,” it’s “always do the right thing.” It’s not “innovation,” it’s “look at the problem from a different angle.” Articulating our values as verbs gives us a clear idea - we have a clear idea of how to act in any situation. Happy employees ensure happy customers. And happy customers ensure happy shareholders—in that order. Leading is not the same as being the leader. Being the leader means you hold the highest rank, either by earning it, good fortune or navigating internal politics. Leading, however, means that others willingly follow you—not because they have to, not because they are paid to, but because they want to. You don’t hire for skills, you hire for attitude. You can always teach skills. Great companies don’t hire skilled people and motivate them, they hire already motivated people and inspire them. People are either motivated or they are not. Unless you give motivated people something to believe in, something bigger than their job to work toward, they will motivate themselves to find a new job and you’ll be stuck with whoever’s left. Trust is maintained when values and beliefs are actively managed. If companies do not actively work to keep clarity, discipline and consistency in balance, then trust starts to break down. All organizations start with WHY, but only the great ones keep their WHY clear year after year.
Simon Sinek (Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action)
Happiness does not come from a job. It comes from knowing what you truly value, and behaving in a way that’s consistent with those beliefs.
Mike Rowe
The primary subject of fiction is and has always been human emotion, values, and beliefs.
John Gardner (The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers)
Your choice is to be active or passive in your responses.
Deborah Day
No two persons can learn something and experience it in the same way.
Shannon L. Alder
God has a way of picking a “nobody” and turning their world upside down, in order to create a “somebody” that will remove the obstacles they encountered out of the pathway for others.
Shannon L. Alder
I swear the older I get, the more I value bad examples over good ones. It's a good thing too, because most people are egotistical, neurotic, self-absorbed peons, insistent on wearing near-sighted glasses in a far-sighted world. And it's this exact sort of myopic ignorance that has led to my groundbreaking new theory. I call it Mim's Theorem of Monkey See Monkey Don't, and what it boils down to is this: it is my belief that there are some people whose sole purpose of existence is to show the rest of how not to act.
David Arnold (Mosquitoland)
The mass media serve as a system for communicating messages and symbols to the general populace. It is their function to amuse, entertain, and inform, and to inculcate individuals with the values, beliefs, and codes of behavior that will integrate them into the institutional structures of the larger society. In a world of concentrated wealth and major conflicts of class interest, to fulfil this role requires systematic propaganda.
Noam Chomsky (Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media)
Life has a tendency to provide a person with what they need in order to grow. Our beliefs, what we value in life, provide the roadmap for the type of life that we experience. A period of personal unhappiness reveals that our values are misplaced and we are on the wrong path. Unless a person changes their values and ideas, they will continue to experience discontentment.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
It is my belief...that the talents every child has, regardless of his official 'I.Q,' could stay with him through life, to enrich him and everybody else, if these talents were not regarded as commodities with a value in the success-stakes.
Doris Lessing
A dogmatic belief in objective value is necessary to the very idea of a rule which is not tyranny or an obedience which is not slavery.
C.S. Lewis (The Abolition of Man)
Belief in yourself is more important than endless worries of what others think of you. Value yourself and others will value you. Validation is best that comes from within.
Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o (Dreams in a Time of War)
It is, I think, an indisputable fact that Americans are, as Americans, the most self- conscious people in the world, and the most addicted to the belief that the other nations are in a conspiracy to under-value them.
Henry James
Poetry aside, a religion is really a moral code that is expressed through legends, myths, or any type of literary device in order to establish a system of beliefs, values, and rules with which to regulate a culture or a society.
Carlos Ruiz Zafón (The Angel's Game (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #2))
Your ability to shape your destiny is directly proportional to your belief that it is a matter of will and determination--however much or little that belief may be.
James A. Owen (The Barbizon Diaries: A Meditation on Will, Purpose, and the Value Of Stories)
And, I think: I am but one more drop in the great sea of matter, defined, with the ability to realize my existence. Of the millions, I, too, was potentially everything at birth. I, too, was stunted, narrowed, warped, by my environment, my outcroppings of heredity. I, too, will find a set of beliefs, of standards to live by, yet the very satisfaction of finding them will be marred by the fact that I have reached the ultimate in shallow, two-dimensional living — a set of values.
Sylvia Plath (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath)
Your life is not a result of your potential, skills or desires, but of your consistent expectations and actions, which largely flow from your values and beliefs.
Christopher Babson
As I have explained in earlier chapters, abusiveness has little to do with psychological problems and everything to do with values and beliefs. Where do a boy’s values about partner relationships come from? The sources are many. The most important ones include the family he grows up in, his neighborhood, the television he watches and books he reads, jokes he hears, messages that he receives from the toys he is given, and his most influential adult role models. His role models are important not just for which behaviors they exhibit to the boy but also for which values they teach him in words and what expectations they instill in him for the future. In sum, a boy’s values develop from the full range of his experiences within his culture.
Lundy Bancroft (Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men)
You cannot trade the courage needed to live every moment for immunity from life's sorrows. We may say we know this but ours is the culture of the deal-making mind. From infancy, we have breathed in the belief that there is always a deal to be made, a bargain to be struck. Eventually, we believe, if we do the right thing, if we are good enough, clever enough, sincere enough, work hard enough, we will be rewarded. There are different verses to this song - if you are sorry for your sins and try hard not to sin again, you will go to heaven; if you do your daily practise, clean up your diet, heal your inner child, ferret out all your emotional issue's, focus your intent, come into alignment with the world around you, hone your affirmations, find and listen to the voice of your higher self, you will be rewarded with vibrant health, abundant prosperity, loving relations and inner peace - in other words, heaven! We know that what we do and how we think affects the quality of our lives. Many things are clearly up to us. And many others are not. I can see no evidence that the universe works on a simple meritocratic system of cause and effect. Bad things happen to good people - all the time. Monetary success does come to some who do not do what they love, as well as to some who are unwilling or unable to see the harm they do to the planet or others. Illness and misfortune come to some who follow their soul's desire. Many great artist's have been poor. Great teachers have lived in obscurity. My invitation, my challenge to you here, is to journey into a deeper intimacy with the world and your life without any promise of safety or guarantee of reward beyond the intrinsic value of full participation.
Oriah Mountain Dreamer (The Invitation)
Pragmatism asks its usual question. "Grant an idea or belief to be true," it says, "what concrete difference will its being true make in anyone's actual life? How will the truth be realized? What experiences will be different from those which would obtain if the belief were false? What, in short, is the truth's cash-value in experiential terms?
William James
Why do women waste their time trying to convince their insecure family members and girlfriends that they are beautiful? Self esteem is not a beauty cream that you can rub all over them and see instant results. Instead, convince them they are not stupid. Every intelligent woman knows outward beauty is a nip, tuck, chemical peel or diet away. If you don't like it, fix it.
Shannon L. Alder
You can't stop negative thoughts from coming in, but you can make sure they leave as quickly as they enter.
Nkem Paul (The Art of Achievement and Fulfillment: Fundamental Principles to Overcome Obstacles and Turn Dreams Into Reality!)
The most delightful surprise in life is to suddenly recognize your own worth.
Maxwell Maltz
...Whilst on board the Beagle I was quite orthodox, and I remember being heartily laughed at by several of the officers... for quoting the Bible as an unanswerable authority on some point of morality... But I had gradually come by this time, i.e., 1836 to 1839, to see that the Old Testament from its manifestly false history of the world, with the Tower of Babel, the rainbow at sign, &c., &c., and from its attributing to God the feelings of a revengeful tyrant, was no more to be trusted than the sacred books of the Hindoos, or the beliefs of any barbarian. ...By further reflecting that the clearest evidence would be requisite to make any sane man believe in the miracles by which Christianity is supported, (and that the more we know of the fixed laws of nature the more incredible do miracles become), that the men at that time were ignorant and credulous to a degree almost uncomprehensible by us, that the Gospels cannot be proved to have been written simultaneously with the events, that they differ in many important details, far too important, as it seemed to me, to be admitted as the usual inaccuracies of eyewitnesses; by such reflections as these, which I give not as having the least novelty or value, but as they influenced me, I gradually came to disbelieve in Christianity as a divine revelation. The fact that many false religions have spread over large portions of the earth like wild-fire had some weight with me. Beautiful as is the morality of the New Testament, it can be hardly denied that its perfection depends in part on the interpretation which we now put on metaphors and allegories. But I was very unwilling to give up my belief... Thus disbelief crept over me at a very slow rate, but was at last complete. The rate was so slow that I felt no distress, and have never since doubted even for a single second that my conclusion was correct. I can indeed hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true; for if so the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe, and this would include my Father, Brother and almost all of my friends, will be everlastingly punished. And this is a damnable doctrine.
Charles Darwin (The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, 1809–82)
Before you embark upon this journey of your business’ vision and mission discovery, there are a few questions that you need to answer: Why are you in this business? How big do you want your business to be one day? Who is going to benefit from your product or service? What is the core purpose of the existence of your business?
Pooja Agnihotri (17 Reasons Why Businesses Fail :Unscrew Yourself From Business Failure)
I am praying that the Church will be united under the Lordship of Jesus Christ around the seat of truth so that we can arise to oppose the activities of Satan on the Earth.
Tolulope Oyewole (The Spirit of Prayer: The Believer's Authority on the Earth (The Sons of God Book 2))
In thinking about miracles, I believe that our frame of reference has been too dramatic. We have been looking for the burning bush, the parting of the sea, the bellowing voice from heaven. Instead we should be looking at the ordinary day-to-day events in our lives for evidence of the miraculous, maintaining at the same time a scientific orientation.
M. Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth)
People that hold onto hate for so long do so because they want to avoid dealing with their pain. They falsely believe if they forgive they are letting their enemy believe they are a doormat. What they don’t understand is hatred can’t be isolated or turned off. It manifests in their health, choices and belief systems. Their values and religious beliefs make adjustments to justify their negative emotions. Not unlike malware infesting a hard drive, their spirit slowly becomes corrupted and they make choices that don’t make logical sense to others. Hatred left unaddressed will crash a person’s spirit. The only thing he or she can do is to reboot, by fixing him or herself, not others. This might require installing a firewall of boundaries or parental controls on their emotions. Regardless of the approach, we are all connected on this "network of life" and each of us is responsible for cleaning up our spiritual registry.
Shannon L. Alder
There are a few rules I know to be true about love and marriage... Your values must be alike. And the biggest one of those values, Mitch?" Yes? "Your belief in the importance of your marriage.
Mitch Albom (Tuesdays with Morrie)
So much enthusiasm about the non-existence of God is somewhat bewildering, as no one appears to be nearly as excited about a similar absence of belief in unicorns, vampires, werewolves, astrology, nation-building, or the Labor Theory of Value. Nor is anyone dedicating much of their time to writing books and giving speeches at universities and conferences with the avowed goal of convincing others not to believe in them either.
Vox Day
When examining evidence relevant to a given belief, people are inclined to see what they expect to see, and conclude what they expect to conclude. Information that is consistent with our pre-existing beliefs is often accepted at face value, whereas evidence that contradicts them is critically scrutinized and discounted. Our beliefs may thus be less responsive than they should to the implications of new information
Thomas Gilovich (How We Know What Isn't So: The Fallibility of Human Reason in Everyday Life)
Motivation is like fire—unless you keep adding fuel to it, it dies. Your fuel is your belief in your inner values.
Shiv Khera (You Can Win: A Step-by-Step Tool for Top Achievers)
Stop seeking attention from people who don't give you the time of day. Value your time, comfort your spirit, have peace of mind. There are people who love you and care about you.Give your smiles to them.
Amaka Imani Nkosazana (Release The Ink)
Educators may bring upon themselves unnecessary travail by taking a tactless and unjustifiable position about the relation between scientific and religious narratives. We see this, of course, in the conflict concerning creation science. Some educators representing, as they think, the conscience of science act much like those legislators who in 1925 prohibited by law the teaching of evolution in Tennessee. In that case, anti-evolutionists were fearful that a scientific idea would undermine religious belief. Today, pro-evolutionists are fearful that a religious idea will undermine scientific belief. The former had insufficient confidence in religion; the latter insufficient confidence in science. The point is that profound but contradictory ideas may exist side by side, if they are constructed from different materials and methods and have different purposes. Each tells us something important about where we stand in the universe, and it is foolish to insist that they must despise each other.
Neil Postman (The End of Education: Redefining the Value of School)
Speak Life: You are loved. You have purpose. You are a masterpiece. You are wonderfully made. God has a great plan for you.
Germany Kent
We live with a value system that I call the Extrovert Ideal—the omnipresent belief that the ideal self is gregarious, alpha, and comfortable in the spotlight.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
For a long while I have believed – this is perhaps my version of Sir Darius Xerxes Cama’s belief in a fourth function of outsideness – that in every generation there are a few souls, call them lucky or cursed, who are simply born not belonging, who come into the world semi-detached, if you like, without strong affiliation to family or location or nation or race; that there may even be millions, billions of such souls, as many non-belongers as belongers, perhaps; that, in sum, the phenomenon may be as “natural” a manifestation of human nature as its opposite, but one that has been mostly frustrated, throughout human history, by lack of opportunity. And not only by that: for those who value stability, who fear transience, uncertainly, change, have erected a powerful system of stigmas and taboos against rootlessness, that disruptive, anti-social force, so that we mostly conform, we pretend to be motivated by loyalties and solidarities we do not really feel, we hide our secret identities beneath the false skins of those identities which bear the belongers’ seal of approval. But the truth leaks out in our dreams; alone in our beds (because we are all alone at night, even if we do not sleep by ourselves), we soar, we fly, we flee. And in the waking dreams our societies permit, in our myths, our arts, our songs, we celebrate the non-belongers, the different ones, the outlaws, the freaks. What we forbid ourselves we pay good money to watch, in a playhouse or a movie theater, or to read about between the secret covers of a book. Our libraries, our palaces of entertainment tell the truth. The tramp, the assassin, the rebel, the thief, the mutant, the outcast, the delinquent, the devil, the sinner, the traveler, the gangster, the runner, the mask: if we did not recognize in them our least-fulfilled needs, we would not invent them over and over again, in every place, in every language, in every time.
Salman Rushdie (The Ground Beneath Her Feet)
I cannot give up on my values and beliefs for the sake of respecting someone else’s values and morals. Because those values explain who am I. I prefer struggling and even dying for what I believe and what I don’t believe. Silence is not respect; it is not condemning brutality and cruelty, and neglecting your own existence as human being. I will be killed and so many others because of standing against the fallacy and misleading notion of religions. They will torture us and cut us in pieces alive and even won’t stop disrespecting our death bodies; that is how these monsters have been governing for hundreds thousands of years.
M.F. Moonzajer
Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged. When our Founding Fathers passed the First Amendment, they sought to protect churches from government interference. They never intended to construct a wall of hostility between government and the concept of religious belief itself. … To those who cite the First Amendment as reason for excluding God from more and more of our institutions every day, I say: The First Amendment of the Constitution was not written to protect the people of this country from religious values; it was written to protect religious values from government tyranny.
Ronald Reagan
The danger is in what we codify, commodify, and exploit.
Terry Tempest Williams (Leap)
Christianity . . . sees the necessity for man to have spiritual values and it shows him how to get at those through physical sacraments.
Malcolm Muggeridge
Do you know what religion is, Martin, my friend? -I can barely remember Lord's Prayer. -A beautiful and well-crafted prayer. Poetry aside, a religion is really a moral code that is expressed through legends,myths, or any type of literary device in order to establish a system of beliefs, values , and rules with which to regulate a culture or a society.
Carlos Ruiz Zafón (The Angel's Game (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #2))
The most important gift anyone can give a girl is a belief in her own power as an individual, her value without reference to gender, her respect as a person with potential.
Emilie Buchwald
Each of us has a finite reservoir of energy in any given day. Whatever amount of energy we spend obsessing about missteps we have made, decisions that do not go our way or the belief we have been treated unfairly is energy no longer available to add value in the world.
Tony Schwartz
ABUSIVE MEN COME in every personality type, arise from good childhoods and bad ones, are macho men or gentle, “liberated” men. No psychological test can distinguish an abusive man from a respectful one. Abusiveness is not a product of a man’s emotional injuries or of deficits in his skills. In reality, abuse springs from a man’s early cultural training, his key male role models, and his peer influences. In other words, abuse is a problem of values, not of psychology. When someone challenges an abuser’s attitudes and beliefs, he tends to reveal the contemptuous and insulting personality that normally stays hidden, reserved for private attacks on his partner. An abuser tries to keep everybody—his partner, his therapist, his friends and relatives—focused on how he feels, so that they won’t focus on how he thinks, perhaps because on some level he is aware that if you grasp the true nature of his problem, you will begin to escape his domination.
Lundy Bancroft (Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men)
Society is invincible—to a certain degree. But your real life is your own, and nothing can touch it. There is no power on earth that can prevent your criticizing and despising mediocrity—nothing that can stop you retreating into splendour and beauty—into the thoughts and beliefs that make the real life—the real you.
E.M. Forster (Where Angels Fear to Tread)
When you devalue ethics and morals by proclaiming that our attitude toward them should be casual or lenient, you can't be surprised by a rising generation who then behaves disrespectfully, treating life, people, and choices as if they possess little value or worth.  For whether or not that was the intention, society has taught them to believe thusly.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, and Grumblings for Every Day of the Year)
For the photograph's immobility is somehow the result of a perverse confusion between two concepts: the Real and the Live: by attesting that the object has been real, the photograph surreptitiously induces belief that it is alive, because of that delusion which makes us attribute to Reality an absolute superior, somehow eternal value; but by shifting this reality to the past ('this-has-been'), the photograph suggests that it is already dead.
Roland Barthes (Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography)
To truly motivate others 1) discover what their motives, desires & drivers are 2) genuinely connect with and support them from the heart.
Rasheed Ogunlaru
The path of the norm is the path of least resistance; it is the route we take when we're on auto-pilot and don't even realize we're following a course of action that we haven't consciously chosen. Most people who eat meat have no idea that they're behaving in accordance with the tenets of a system that has defined many of their values, preferences, and behaviors. What they call 'free choice' is, in fact, the result of a narrowly obstructed set of options that have been chosen for them. They don't realize, for instance, that they have been taught to value human life so far above certain forms of nonhuman life that it seems appropriate for their taste preferences to supersede other species' preference for survival.
Melanie Joy (Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism: The Belief System That Enables Us to Eat Some Animals and Not Others)
Of all the misconceptions about love the most powerful and pervasive is the belief that "falling in love" is love or at least one of the manifestations of love. It is a potent misconception, because falling in love is subjectively experienced in a very powerful fashion as an experience of love. When a person falls in love what he or she certainly feels is "I love him" or "I love her." But two problems are immediately apparent. The first is that the experience of falling in love is specifically a sex-linked erotic experience. We do not fall in love with our children even though we may love them very deeply. We do not fall in love with our friends of the same sex-unless we are homosexually oriented-even though we may care for them greatly. We fall in love only when we are consciously or unconsciously sexually motivated. The second problem is that the experience of falling in love is invariably temporary. No matter whom we fall in love with, we sooner or later fall out of love if the relationship continues long enough. This is not to say that we invariably cease loving the person with whom we fell in love. But it is to say that the feeling of ecstatic lovingness that characterizes the experience of falling in love always passes. The honeymoon always ends. The bloom of romance always fades.
M. Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth)
The romance genre is the only genre where readers are guaranteed novels that place the heroine at the heart of the story. These are books that celebrate women's heroic virtues and values: courage, honor, determination and a belief in the healing power of love.
Jayne Ann Krentz
No empire imposed by force or otherwise has ever been without this feature: control of the indigenous by members of their own group. In the case of Gilead, there were many women willing to serve as Aunts, either because of a genuine belief in what they called "traditional values", or for the benefits they might thereby acquire. When power is scarce, a little of it is tempting.
Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid's Tale (The Handmaid's Tale, #1))
The lack of a clear set of values and beliefs, along with the weak culture that resulted, created the conditions for an every-man-for-himself environment, the long-term impact of which could yield little else than disaster. This is caveman stuff.
Simon Sinek (Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action)
Regimes planted by bayonets do not take root... Our military strength is a prerequisite to peace, but let it be clear we maintain this strength in the hope it will never be used, for the ultimate determinant in the struggle that's now going on in the world will not be bombs and rockets but a test of wills and ideas, a trial of spiritual resolve, the values we hold, the beliefs we cherish, the ideals to which we are dedicated.
Ronald Reagan (The Quest for Peace, the Cause of Freedom)
our moral reasoning is plagued by two illusions. The first illusion can be called the wag-the-dog illusion: We believe that our own moral judgment (the dog) is driven by our own moral reasoning (the tail). The second illusion can be called the wag-theother-dog's-tail illusion: In a moral argument, we expect the successful rebuttal of an opponent's arguments to change the opponent's mind. Such a belief is like thinking that forcing a dog's tail to wag by moving it with your hand will make the dog happy.
Sam Harris (The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values)
Their cup is not empty; you can’t just pour your ideas into it. Their cup is already full, so you have to understand what is in their cup.” If you don’t understand the meaning and beliefs behind a community’s practices, you won’t present your idea in the context of their values and concerns, and people won’t hear you.
Melinda French Gates (The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World)
I believe the way to write a good play is to convince yourself it is easy to do--then go ahead and do it with ease. Don't maul, don't suffer, don't groan till the first draft is finished. A play is a pheonix and it dies a thousand deaths. Usually at night. In the morning it springs up again from its ashes and crows like a happy rooster. It is never as bad as you think, it is never as good. It is somewhere in between, and success or failure depends on which end of your emotional gamut concerning its value it approaches more closely. But it is much more likely to be good if you think it is wonderful while you are writing the first draft. An artist must believe in himself. Your belief is contagious. Others may say he is vain, but they are affected.
Tennessee Williams (Notebooks)
Alcohol does not a change a person’s fundamental value system. People’s personalities when intoxicated, even though somewhat altered, still bear some relationship to who they are when sober. When you are drunk you may behave in ways that are silly or embarrassing; you might be overly familiar or tactlessly honest, or perhaps careless or forgetful. But do you knock over little old ladies for a laugh? Probably not. Do you sexually assault the clerk at the convenience store? Unlikely. People’s conduct while intoxicated continues to be governed by their core foundation of beliefs and attitudes, even though there is some loosening of the structure. Alcohol encourages people to let loose what they have simmering below the surface. ABUSERS MAKE CONSCIOUS CHOICES EVEN WHILE INTOXICATED
Lundy Bancroft (Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men)
So they trust in the deity of the Old Testament, an incontinent dotard who soiled Himself and the universe with his corruption, a low-budget divinity passing itself off as the genuine article. (Ask the Gnostics.) They trust in Jesus Christ, a historical cipher stitched together like Frankenstein's monster out of parts robbed from the graves of messiahs dead and buried - a savior on a stick. They trust in the virgin-pimping Allah and his Drum Major Mohammed, a prophet-come-lately who pioneered a new genus of humbuggery for an emerging market of believers that was not being adequately served by existing religious products. They trust in anything that authenticates their importance as persons, tribes, societies, and particularly as a species that will endure in this world and perhaps in an afterworld that may be uncertain in its reality and unclear in its layout, but which states their craving for values "not of this earth" - that depressing, meaningless place their consciousness must sidestep every day.
Thomas Ligotti (The Conspiracy Against the Human Race)
The belief that we somehow moved on to something else - whether still recognisably ourselves, or quite thoroughly changed - might be a tribute to our evolutionary tenacity and our animal thirst for life, but not to our wisdom. That saw a value beyond itself; in intelligence, knowledge and wit as concepts - wherever and by whoever expressed - not just in its own personal manifestation of those qualities, and so could contemplate its own annihilation with equanimity, and suffer it with grace; it was only a sort of sad selfishness that demanded the continuation of the individual spirit in the vanity and frivolity of a heaven.
Iain Banks
I understood there were many ways of being in the world, that to privilege one rigid set of beliefs over another was to lose something. Everything is bizarre, and everything has value. Or if not value, at least merits investigation.
Esi Edugyan (Washington Black)
Does poetry - or language or philosophy or music or architecture, even that of our temples - really need to dance to the same tune as our political beliefs or our religious convictions? Is the strict harmony of our cultural identities a virtue to be valued above others that may come from the accommodation of contradictions?
María Rosa Menocal (The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews, and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain)
Liberalism is the ideology of Western suicide. When once this initial and final sentence is understood, everything about liberalism - the beliefs, emotions and values associated with it, the nature of its enchantment, its practical record, its future - falls into place.
James Burnham (Suicide of the West: An Essay on the Meaning and Destiny of Liberalism)
Morrie: And the biggest one of those values, Mitch? Mitch: Yes? Morrie: Your belief in the importance of your marriage.
Morrie Schwartz
Like beliefs, in most cases, we don’t create our values… others do.
Maddy Malhotra (How to Build Self-Esteem and Be Confident: Overcome Fears, Break Habits, Be Successful and Happy)
we also think our morals and values are absolute, but actually they’re just a bunch of thoughts and beliefs that we’ve adopted over time as being true.
Anita Moorjani (Dying to Be Me)
If a belief is based on insufficient evidence, then any further conclusions drawn from the belief will at best be of questionable value.
Peter Boghossian (A Manual for Creating Atheists)
Consensus is the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values and policies in search of something in which no one believes, but to which no one objects. - Margaret Thatcher.
Margaret Thatcher (Margaret Thatcher: The Autobiography)
The Bible was written two thousand years ago. The world is a different place now. Stories that had meaning then are meaningless now. Beliefs that might have been valid then are invalid now. Those books should be looked at in the same way we look at anything of that age with interest with an acknowledgement of the historical importance but they should not be thought of as anything that has any value.
James Frey (The Final Testament of the Holy Bible)
We talk about the disappointments of early adolescence - the betrayals by friends, the discovery that one is not beautiful by cultural standards, the feeling that one's smartness is a liability, the pressure to be popular instead of honest and feminine instead of whole. I encourage girls to search within themselves for their deepest values and beliefs. Once they have discovered their own true selves, I encourage them to trust that self is the source of meaning and direction in their lives.
Mary Pipher (Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls)
Put bluntly, the struggle that so many companies have to differentiate or communicate their true value to the outside world is not a business problem, it's a biology problem. And just like a person struggling to put her emotions into words, we rely on metaphors, imagery and analogies in an attempt to communicate how we feel. Absent the proper language to share our deep emotions, our purpose, cause or belief, we tell stories. We use symbols. We create tangible things for those who believe what we believe to point to and say, "That's why I'm inspired." If done properly, that's what marketing, branding and products and services become; a way for organizations to communicate to the outside world. Communicate clearly and you shall be understood.
Simon Sinek (Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action)
American values as self-reliance, rugged independence, a reverence for the land, a belief in the importance of hard work and self-sacrifice, and a willingness to fight when necessary for home, family, and community. And
Harold Schechter (The Pirate)
We learn that our spirit is not apart from us; it is a part of us. We gain awareness of the exact nature of what is right about us. Our fractured personalities come back together into an integrated whole. Integrity is the state of being fully integrated: Our actions, our thinking, our feelings, our ideals, and our values all match up. It takes a long time for a lot of us to get here, and longer still for us to feel like it’s real. More and more, we are able to bring our behavior into alignment with our values and beliefs rather than our feelings and reactions.
Narcotics Anonymous (Living Clean: The Journey Continues)
Body terrorism is a hideous tower whose primary support beam is the belief that there is a hierarchy of bodies. We uphold the system by internalizing this hierarchy and using it to situate our own value and worth in the world.
Sonya Renee Taylor (The Body Is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love)
At this point I reveal myself in my true colours, as a stick-in-the-mud. I hold a number of beliefs that have been repudiated by the liveliest intellects of our time. I believe that order is better than chaos, creation better than destruction. I prefer gentleness to violence, forgiveness to vendetta. On the whole I think that knowledge is preferable to ignorance, and I am sure that human sympathy is more valuable than ideology. I believe that in spite of the recent triumphs of science, men haven't changed much in the last two thousand years; and in consequence we must still try to learn from history. History is ourselves. I also hold one or two beliefs that are more difficult to put shortly. For example, I believe in courtesy, the ritual by which we avoid hurting other people's feelings by satisfying our own egos. And I think we should remember that we are part of a great whole. All living things are our brothers and sisters. Above all, I believe in the God-given genius of certain individuals, and I value a society that makes their existence possible.
Kenneth Clark (Civilisation)
Becoming aware of the intense suffering of billions of animals, and of our own participation in that suffering, can bring up painful emotions: sorrow and grief for the animals; anger at the injustice and deception of the system; despair at the enormity of the problem; fear that trusted authorities and institutions are, in fact, untrustworthy; and guilt for having contributed to the problem. Bearing witness means choosing to suffer. Indeed, empathy is literally 'feeling with.' Choosing to suffer is particularly difficult in a culture that is addicted to comfort--a culture that teaches that pain should be avoided whenever possible and that ignorance is bliss. We can reduce our resistance to witnessing by valuing authenticity over personal pleasure, and integration over ignorance.
Melanie Joy (Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism: The Belief System That Enables Us to Eat Some Animals and Not Others)
Since art is a virtue of the intellect, it demands to communicate with the entire universe of the intellect. Hence it is that the normal climate of art is intelligence and knowledge: its normal soil, the civilized heritage of a consistent and integrated system of beliefs and values; its normal horizon , the infinity of human experience enlighted by the passionate insight of anguish or the intellectual virtues of a contemplative mind.
Jacques Maritain (Creative Intuition in Art and Poetry)
The night before brain surgery, I thought about death. I searched out my larger values, and I asked myself, if I was going to die, did I want to do it fighting and clawing or in peaceful surrender? What sort of character did I hope to show? Was I content with myself and what I had done with my life so far? I decided that I was essentially a good person, although I could have been better--but at the same time I understood that the cancer didn't care. I asked myself what I believed. I had never prayed a lot. I hoped hard, I wished hard, but I didn't pray. I had developed a certain distrust of organized religion growing up, but I felt I had the capacity to be a spiritual person, and to hold some fervent beliefs. Quite simply, I believed I had a responsibility to be a good person, and that meant fair, honest, hardworking, and honorable. If I did that, if I was good to my family, true to my friends, if I gave back to my community or to some cause, if I wasn't a liar, a cheat, or a thief, then I believed that should be enough. At the end of the day, if there was indeed some Body or presence standing there to judge me, I hoped I would be judged on whether I had lived a true life, not on whether I believed in a certain book, or whether I'd been baptized. If there was indeed a God at the end of my days, I hoped he didn't say, 'But you were never a Christian, so you're going the other way from heaven.' If so, I was going to reply, 'You know what? You're right. Fine.' I believed, too, in the doctors and the medicine and the surgeries--I believed in that. I believed in them. A person like Dr. Einhorn [his oncologist], that's someone to believe in, I thought, a person with the mind to develop an experimental treatment 20 years ago that now could save my life. I believed in the hard currency of his intelligence and his research. Beyond that, I had no idea where to draw the line between spiritual belief and science. But I knew this much: I believed in belief, for its own shining sake. To believe in the face of utter hopelessness, every article of evidence to the contrary, to ignore apparent catastrophe--what other choice was there? We do it every day, I realized. We are so much stronger than we imagine, and belief is one of the most valiant and long-lived human characteristics. To believe, when all along we humans know that nothing can cure the briefness of this life, that there is no remedy for our basic mortality, that is a form of bravery. To continue believing in yourself, believing in the doctors, believing in the treatment, believing in whatever I chose to believe in, that was the most important thing, I decided. It had to be. Without belief, we would be left with nothing but an overwhelming doom, every single day. And it will beat you. I didn't fully see, until the cancer, how we fight every day against the creeping negatives of the world, how we struggle daily against the slow lapping of cynicism. Dispiritedness and disappointment, these were the real perils of life, not some sudden illness or cataclysmic millennium doomsday. I knew now why people fear cancer: because it is a slow and inevitable death, it is the very definition of cynicism and loss of spirit. So, I believed.
Lance Armstrong (It's Not about the Bike: My Journey Back to Life)
No matter what we do, each instant contains infinite choices. What we choose to think, to say or to hear creates what we feel in the present moment, it conditions the quality of our communication and in the end the quality of our everyday life. Beliefs and attitudes are made of thoughts. Negative thoughts can be changed and by doing so we create for ourselves more pleasant inner states and have a different impact on the people around us
Dorotea Brandin (Heart to heart(s) Communication @ work.Universal values of Buddhism to inspire open, compassionate and effective communication)
We could decide simply to remain absorbed in the mysterious, unformed, free-play of reality. This would be the choice of the mystic who seeks to extinguish himself in God or Nirvana—analogous perhaps to the tendency among artists to obliterate themselves with alcohol or opiates. But if we value our participation in a shared reality in which it makes sense to make sense, then such self-abnegation would deny a central element of our humanity: the need to speak and act, to share our experience with others.
Stephen Batchelor (Buddhism without Beliefs: A Contemporary Guide to Awakening)
But why must the system go to such lengths to block our empathy? Why all the psychological acrobatics? The answer is simple: because we care about animals, and we don't want them to suffer. And because we eat them. Our values and behaviors are incongruent, and this incongruence causes us a certain degree of moral discomfort. In order to alleviate this discomfort, we have three choices: we can change our values to match our behaviors, we can change our behaviors to match our values, or we can change our perception of our behaviors so that they appear to match our values. It is around this third option that our schema of meat is shaped. As long as we neither value unnecessary animal suffering nor stop eating animals, our schema will distort our perceptions of animals and the meat we eat, so that we feel comfortable enough to consume them. And the system that constructs our schema of meat equips us with the means by which to do this.
Melanie Joy (Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism: The Belief System That Enables Us to Eat Some Animals and Not Others)
If we're lucky, we find the one person who will hold our trust and keep it sacred and safe against all attackers. That one soul who will restore our belief that people are decent and kind, and that life, while messy, is still the most wondrous gift anyone can know. But until that day comes, we have to try and remember that home isn't a specific place or person. It's a feeling we carry inside ourselves. That touch of the divine that lights a fire inside us that burns out the past and consumes the pain until nothing is left but a warmth that allows us to love others more than ourselves. A warmth that only grows when we do right even while others seek to do us wrong. Peace is knowing that one life, no matter how trivial it seems, touches thousands of others, and learningto respect that about all people. While you may not mean much to the world, to those who know and love you, you are their entire world. And it is knowledge that no one can hurt you unless you allow them to. The only power they have isn't something they're taken or demanded. It's what we give them by choice. And while it is imperative that we value the lives of others, it is equally important to value our own.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Time Untime (Dark-Hunter #21; Hellchaser, #4; Were-Hunter, #7))
Values are deeply held personal beliefs that form your own priority code for living.
Stan Slap
Belief in eternity can clarify your values and renew your hope.
Paul David Tripp (New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional)
Beliefs divide us, values unite us." from Godless – Living a Valuable Life beyond Beliefs
Jeff Rasley
Religion can thus be defined as a system of human norms and values that is founded on a belief in a superhuman order.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
Capitalist ideology in general, Zizek maintains, consists precisely in the overvaluing of belief - in the sense of inner subjective attitude - at the expense of the beliefs we exhibit and externalize in our behavior. So long as we believe (in our hearts) that capitalism is bad, we are free to continue to participate in capitalist exchange. According to Zizek, capitalism in general relies on this structure of disavowal. We believe that money is only a meaningless token of no intrinsic worth, yet we act as if it has a holy value. Moreover, this behavior precisely depends upon the prior disavowal - we are able to fetishize money in our actions only because we have already taken an ironic distance towards money in our heads.
Mark Fisher (Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative?)
These five values are both unconventional and uncomfortable. But, to me, they are life-changing. The first, which we’ll look at in the next chapter, is a radical form of responsibility: taking responsibility for everything that occurs in your life, regardless of who’s at fault. The second is uncertainty: the acknowledgement of your own ignorance and the cultivation of constant doubt in your own beliefs. The next is failure: the willingness to discover your own flaws and mistakes so that they may be improved upon. The fourth is rejection: the ability to both say and hear no, thus clearly defining what you will and will not accept in your life. The final value is the contemplation of one’s own mortality; this one is crucial, because paying vigilant attention to one’s own death is perhaps the only thing capable of helping us keep all our other values in proper perspective.
Mark Manson (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life)
God wants you to face the reasons why you separate yourself from Him. He will show you what you fear, what you need, and what you desire. He will inventory your beliefs and values, and help you line them up with His truth.
Michael Barbarulo
doesn’t matter whether the cultural hero-system is frankly magical, religious, and primitive or secular, scientific, and civilized. It is still a mythical hero-system in which people serve in order to earn a feeling of primary value, of cosmic specialness, of ultimate usefulness to creation, of unshakable meaning. They earn this feeling by carving out a place in nature, by building an edifice that reflects human value: a temple, a cathedral, a totem pole, a skyscraper, a family that spans three generations. The hope and belief is that the things that man creates in society are of lasting worth and meaning, that they outlive or outshine death and decay, that man and his products count.
Ernest Becker (The Denial of Death)
But what is unjust? That depends on a person's thoughts, values, and beliefs. People differ sharply on what is just or unjust in this world. Thus, some people become angry much quicker than others.
Abraham J. Twerski (Addictive Thinking: Understanding Self-Deception)
Suppose that a great commotion arises in the street about something, let us say a lamp-post, which many influential persons desire to pull down. A grey-clad monk, who is the spirit of the Middle Ages, is approached upon the matter, and begins to say, in the arid manner of the Schoolmen, "Let us first of all consider, my brethren, the value of Light. If Light be in itself good--" At this point he is somewhat excusably knocked down. All the people make a rush for the lamp-post, the lamp-post is down in ten minutes, and they go about congratulating each other on their unmediaeval practicality. But as things go on they do not work out so easily. Some people have pulled the lamp-post down because they wanted the electric light; some because they wanted old iron; some because they wanted darkness, because their deeds were evil. Some thought it not enough of a lamp-post, some too much; some acted because they wanted to smash municipal machinery; some because they wanted to smash something. And there is war in the night, no man knowing whom he strikes. So, gradually and inevitably, to-day, to-morrow, or the next day, there comes back the conviction that the monk was right after all, and that all depends on what is the philosophy of Light. Only what we might have discussed under the gas-lamp, we now must discuss in the dark.
G.K. Chesterton (Heretics)
It would have been impossible for me to have told anyone what I derived from these novels, for it was nothing less than a sense of life itself. [...] It had been only through books - at best, no more than vicarious cultural transfusions - that I had managed to keep myself alive in a negatively vital way. Whenever my environment had failed to support or nourish me, I had clutched at books; consequently, my belief in books had risen more out of a sense of desperation than from any abiding conviction of their ultimate value.
Richard Wright
Ever since puberty I have believed in the value of two things: kindness and clear thinking. At first these two remained more or less distinct; when I felt triumphant I believed most in clear thinking, and in the opposite mood I believed most in kindness. Gradually, the two have come more and more together in my feelings. I find that much unclear thought exists as an excuse for cruelty, and that much cruelty is prompted by superstitious beliefs.
Bertrand Russell (The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell)
We shall be compelled to renounce the hope of finding philosophical proofs of religious beliefs. ...Hence, once more, the value of philosophy must not depend upon any supposed body of definitely ascertainable knowledge to be acquired by those who study it.
Bertrand Russell (The Problems of Philosophy)
The belief that a person has a share in an unknown life to which his or her love may win us admission is, of all the prerequisites of love, the one which it values most highly and which makes it set little store by all the rest.
Marcel Proust
In our nation’s popular culture, country life in the 1800s has often been portrayed as an idyllic experience, one that cultivated such quintessentially American values as self-reliance, rugged independence, a reverence for the land, a belief in the importance of hard work and self-sacrifice, and a willingness to fight when necessary for home, family, and community.
Harold Schechter (The Pirate)
According to the Shuos," Jedao said, "games are about behavior modification. The rules constrain some behaviors and reward others. Of course, people cheat, and there are consequences around that, too, so implicit rules and social context are just as important. Meaningless cards, tokens, and symbols become invested with value and significance in the world of the game. In a sense, all calendrical war is a game between competing sets of rules, fueled by the coherence of our beliefs. To win a calendrical war, you have to understand how game systems work.
Yoon Ha Lee (Ninefox Gambit (The Machineries of Empire, #1))
If, on the other hand, you value peaceful coexistence, compassion and cooperation, freedom and justice, then teach your children the principle of self ownership, teach them to respect the rights of every human being, and teach them to recognize and reject the belief in "authority" for what it is: the most irrational, self-contradictory, antihuman, evil, destructive and dangerous superstition the world has ever known.
Larken Rose (The Most Dangerous Superstition)
Few value just how fragile a person’s psyche is. All those pieces, both the good and bad, the values, the lessons, the beliefs that construct us—they’re all woven into the fabric of our being. Once you start pulling out the first thread, the entire person is in danger of unravelling.
Jessica Dotta (Born of Persuasion (Price of Privilege, #1))
Such beliefs were born in man's willful refusal to use his mind, in his lust for the unearned, his wish for success without effort. Such beliefs were the embodiment of hatred for all that was good, hatred for virtue, hatred for value. It was ultimately a hatred of themselves, of life, of existence. It was that hate, that dedication to death, that was the true manifestation of evil.
Terry Goodkind (Confessor (Sword of Truth, #11))
Though it has no intrinsic value – you cannot eat or drink a dollar bill – trust in the dollar and in the wisdom of the Federal Reserve is so firm that it is shared even by Islamic fundamentalists, Mexican drug lords and North Korean tyrants.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
In any culture, subculture, or family in which belief is valued above thought, and self-surrender is valued above self-expression, and conformity is valued above integrity, those who preserve their self-esteem are likely to be heroic exceptions.
Nathaniel Branden
In order to take control of our lives and accomplish something of lasting value, sooner or later we need to learn to believe. We don't need to shift our responsibilities onto the shoulders of some deified spiritual superman or sit around and wait for fate to come knocking on our door. We simply need to believe in the power that's within us, and use it. When we do that, and stop imitating others and competing against them, things begin to work for us.
Benjamin Hoff (The Tao of Pooh)
There is no need to ”believe” in Jupiter or Wotan—something that is no more ridiculous then believing in Yahweh however—to be pagan. Contemporary paganism does not consist of erecting altars to Apollo or reviving the worship of Odin. Instead it implies looking behind religion and, according to a now classic itinerary, seeking for the “mental equipment” that produced it, the inner world it reflects, and how the world it depicts as apprehended. In short, it consists of viewing the gods as “centers of value” and the beliefs they generate as value systems: gods and beliefs may pass away, but the values remain.
Alain de Benoist (On Being A Pagan)
We are participatory beings who inhabit a participatory reality, seeking relationships that enhance our sense of what it means to be alive. In terms of dharma practice, a true friend is more than just someone with whom we share common values and who accepts us for what we are. Such a friend is someone with whom we share common values and who accepts us for what we are. Such a friend is someone whom we can trust to refine our understanding of what it means to live, who can guide us when we’re lost and help us find the way along a path, who can assuage our anguish through the reassurance of his or her presence.
Stephen Batchelor (Buddhism without Beliefs: A Contemporary Guide to Awakening)
The speed of modern life is an oppressive thing, and the corporate world is quick to punish those with an honest heart. Qualities such as ‘nice, honest, kind, happy, relaxed, sincere, innocent’ are frowned upon as weaknesses. Yet these values are the essence of a good person. Unfortunately, if you don’t keep the balance, they can be lost like sand through your fingers.
Fennel Hudson (Wild Carp - Fennel's Journal - No. 4)
Understand your purpose and the belief-energy. Belief energy is the core of leadership and success. Design your belief energy for higher purpose and values. Belief energy can inspire and motivate you and others. Articulate, communicate and radiate your positive belief energy.
Amit Ray (Mindfulness Meditation for Corporate Leadership and Management)
Poetry aside, a religion is really a moral code that is expressed through legends, myths or any type of literary device in order to establish a system of beliefs, values and rules with which to regulate a culture or a society.
Carlos Ruiz Zafón (The Angel's Game (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #2))
I believe in the ability to choose. I believe this life is made up of our choices and their consequences— the good and the bad. I do not believe in letting anything up to fate. We are the makers of our own destinies, our own futures, our own paths. To blindly follow is an insult to the miracle of being human. To be human is to make choices; the moment you allow others to make decisions for you is the moment you do an injustice to not only mankind but to yourself.
Kelseyleigh Reber (If I Resist (Circle and Cross, #2))
Democracy bases its appeal on the sacredness of the People – the consecration of Folk; socialism on the sacredness of Labor – the consecration of Work; and nationalism on the sacredness of the Fatherland – the consecration of Place. These concepts still arouse transcendent religious values or sanctions. It is religious emotion divorced from religious belief.
Christopher Henry Dawson (Dynamics Of World History)
We are all bounded with each other on the basis of our beliefs and values; when we question those values, we are certainly left alone, away from our families, friends and the dear one. And that is a cost benefit analysis we all make and we keep satisfying ourselves with the status quo of situations.
M.F. Moonzajer
Though violent action is sometimes associated with nihilism, what makes such activity nihilistic, it seems, is the belief that ultimately nothing will come out of it. When nihlists throw themselves into activity it is with the understanding that its only goal is the expression and dissipation of their life's energy. Any creative product will eventually be consumed by decay. Since there is nothing that humans can do to mend the separation between themselves and reality, they can never actualize their supreme standards of worth and value. This world must remain substandard no matter what we do to try and change the situation.
John Marmysz (Laughing at Nothing: Humor as a Response to Nihilism)
Boys’ aggressiveness is increasingly being treated as a medical problem, particularly in schools, a trend that has led to the diagnosing and medicating of boys whose problem may really be that they have been traumatized and influenced by exposure to violence and abuse at home. Treating these boys as though they have a chemical problem not only overlooks the distress they are in but also reinforces their belief that they are “out of control” or “sick,” rather than helping them to recognize that they are making bad choices based on destructive values. I have sometimes heard adults telling girls that they should be flattered by boys’ invasive or aggressive behavior “because it means they really like you,” an approach that prepares both boys and girls to confuse love with abuse and socializes girls to feel helpless.
Lundy Bancroft (Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men)
Those who don't love themselves as they are rarely love life as it is either. Most people have come to prefer certain of life's experiences and deny and reject others, unaware of the value of the hidden things that may come wrapped in plain or even ugly paper. In avoiding all pain and seeking comfort at all cost, we may be left without intimacy or compassion; in rejecting change and risk we often cheat ourselves of the quest; in denying our suffering we may never know our strength or our greatness. Or even that the love we have been given can be trusted. It is natural, even instinctive to prefer comfort to pain, the familiar to the unknown. But sometimes our instincts are not wise. Life usually offers us far more than our biases and preferences will allow us to have. Beyond comfort lie grace, mystery, and adventure. We may need to let go of our beliefs and ideas about life in order to have life.
Rachel Naomi Remen (Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories That Heal)
It makes sense that so many introverts hide even from themselves. We live with a value system that I call the Extrovert Ideal—the omnipresent belief that the ideal self is gregarious, alpha, and comfortable in the spotlight. The archetypal extrovert prefers action to contemplation, risk-taking to heed-taking, certainty to doubt. He favors quick decisions, even at the risk of being wrong. She works well in teams and socializes in groups. We like to think that we value individuality, but all too often we admire one type of individual—the kind who’s comfortable “putting himself out there.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
There is something inherently stupid about gentrified thinking. It’s a dumbing down and smoothing over of what people are actually like. It’s a social position rooted in received wisdom, with aesthetics blindly selected from the presorted offerings of marketing and without information or awareness about the structures that create its own delusional sense of infallibility. Gentrified thinking is like the bourgeois version of Christian fundamentalism, a huge, unconscious conspiracy of homogenous patterns with no awareness about its own freakishness. The gentrification mentality is rooted in the belief that obedience to consumer identity over recognition of lived experience is actually normal, neutral, and value free.
Sarah Schulman (The Gentrification of the Mind: Witness to a Lost Imagination)
The idealized market was supposed to deliver ‘friction free’ exchanges, in which the desires of consumers would be met directly, without the need for intervention or mediation by regulatory agencies. Yet the drive to assess the performance of workers and to measure forms of labor which, by their nature, are resistant to quantification, has inevitably required additional layers of management and bureaucracy. What we have is not a direct comparison of workers’ performance or output, but a comparison between the audited representation of that performance and output. Inevitably, a short-circuiting occurs, and work becomes geared towards the generation and massaging of representations rather than to the official goals of the work itself. Indeed, an anthropological study of local government in Britain argues that ‘More effort goes into ensuring that a local authority’s services are represented correctly than goes into actually improving those services’. This reversal of priorities is one of the hallmarks of a system which can be characterized without hyperbole as ‘market Stalinism’. What late capitalism repeats from Stalinism is just this valuing of symbols of achievement over actual achievement. […] It would be a mistake to regard this market Stalinism as some deviation from the ‘true spirit’ of capitalism. On the contrary, it would be better to say that an essential dimension of Stalinism was inhibited by its association with a social project like socialism and can only emerge in a late capitalist culture in which images acquire an autonomous force. The way value is generated on the stock exchange depends of course less on what a company ‘really does’, and more on perceptions of, and beliefs about, its (future) performance. In capitalism, that is to say, all that is solid melts into PR, and late capitalism is defined at least as much by this ubiquitous tendency towards PR-production as it is by the imposition of market mechanisms.
Mark Fisher (Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative?)
There is a sense in which all cognition can be said to be motivated. One is motivated to understand the world, to be in touch with reality, to remove doubt, etc. Alternately one might say that motivation is an aspect of cognition itself. Nevertheless, motives like wanting to find the truth, not wanting to be mistaken, etc., tend to align with epistemic goals in a way that many other commitments do not. As we have begun to see, all reasoning may be inextricable from emotion. But if a person's primary motivation in holding a belief is to hue to a positive state of mind, to mitigate feelings of anxiety, embarrassment, or guilt for instance. This is precisely what we mean by phrases like "wishful thinking", and "self-deception". Such a person will of necessity be less responsive to valid chains of evidence and argument that run counter to the beliefs he is seeking to maintain. To point out non-epistemic motives in an others view of the world, therefore, is always a criticism, as it serves to cast doubt on a persons connection to the world as it is.
Sam Harris (The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values)
To me, the real challenge is the human mind, which is driving our actions: our beliefs and values shape the way we see the world, which in turn determines how we will treat it. So long as we assume that we are the centre of the universe and everything revolves around us, we will not be able to see the dangers we create. To see those, we have to recognize that our very lives and our well-being depend on the richness of nature.
David Suzuki (Letters to My Grandchildren)
I strongly feel that it is only when there is a deep understanding of one's own religious beliefs and commitments that progress can be made in achieving true understanding and respect for the religious values and beliefs of others. Engaging in interfaith dialogue does not in any way mean undermining one's own faith or religious tradition. Indeed, interfaith dialogue is constructive only when people become firmly grounded in their own religious traditions and through that process gain a willingness to listen and respect the beliefs of other religions. (by Cilliers, Ch. 3, p. 48-49)
David R. Smock (Interfaith Dialogue and Peacebuilding)
Beauty” is a currency system like the gold standard. Like any economy, it is determined by politics, and in the modern age in the West it is the last, best belief system that keeps male dominance intact. In assigning value to women in a vertical hierarchy according to a culturally imposed physical standard, it is an expression of power relations in which women must unnaturally compete for resources that men have appropriated for themselves.
Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women)
For a considerable portion of humanity today, it is possible and indeed likely that one's neighbor, one's colleague, or one's employer will have a different mother tongue, eat different food, and follow a different religion than oneself. It is a matter of great urgency, therefore, that we find ways to cooperate with one another in a spirit of mutual acceptance and respect. In such a world, I feel, it is vital for us to find genuinely sustainable and universal approach to ethics, inner values, and personal integrity-an approach that can transcend religious, cultural, and racial differences and appeal to people at a sustainable, universal approach is what I call the project of secular ethics. All religions, therefore, to some extent, ground the cultivation of inner values and ethical awareness in some kind of metaphysical (that is, not empirically demonstrable) understanding of the world and of life after death. And just as the doctrine of divine judgment underlies ethical teachings in many theistic religions, so too does the doctrine of karma and future lives in non-theistic religions. As I see it, spirituality has two dimensions. The first dimension, that of basic spiritual well-being-by which I mean inner mental and emotional strength and balance-does not depend on religion but comes from our innate human nature as beings with a natural disposition toward compassion, kindness, and caring for others. The second dimension is what may be considered religion-based spirituality, which is acquired from our upbringing and culture and is tied to particular beliefs and practices. The difference between the two is something like the difference between water and tea. On this understanding, ethics consists less of rules to be obeyed than of principles for inner self-regulation to promote those aspects of our nature which we recognize as conducive to our own well-being and that of others. It is by moving beyond narrow self-interest that we find meaning, purpose, and satisfaction in life.
Dalai Lama XIV (Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World)
Here is a fundamental difference between the man of faith and the man of unbelief. The unbeliever is 'of the world', judges everything by worldly standards, views life from the standpoint of time and sense, and weighs everything in the balances of his own carnal making. But the man of faith brings in God, looks at everything from His standpoint, estimates values by spiritual standards, and views life in the light of eternity. Doing this, he receives whatever comes as from the hand of God. Doing this, his heart is calm in the midst of the storm. Doing this, he rejoices in hope of the glory of God.
Arthur W. Pink (The Sovereignty of God)
People always, always talk about confidence, it’s supposed to be such an attractive thing. I wonder why though, why is it supposed to be such an attractive thing? When confidence hides so many other things that are so much more beautiful! When you think of being confident, you think of tucking away all those other things that you consider to be nuisances; but those nuisances make up whom you are! And those nuisances are beautiful. They are beautiful and they are you and they’re always going to be there, even when you try to cover them up! So what happens when they all come out one day? Are you going to feel like less of a person? Are the people who are supposed to love you, going to see you as less of a person? I say that it’s not about going out into the world and putting on a certain face— it’s just about going out into the world. I’ve gone out into the world! And I don’t put on that face! Or any other face, as a matter of fact! I don’t want to hide the way I play with my hair to feel more secure or the way I laugh at all the wrong times. I don’t want to hide those things because those things are a part of me. And I can still go out into the world— and all alone, too! I know so, because I’ve actually done it! So more important than confidence— is serenity and acceptance. The serenity comes from having a deep acceptance of all those little things about you that add up like the trillions of molecules and atoms you are made up of! And that’s just beautiful. Being beautiful is something rooted and strong; being confident is just a matter of putting on something that isn’t even a real part of you. Falling in love with the molecules that make up your essence is so much more attractive. And maybe that’s what confidence really means— the acceptance and belief in every single atom that you are.
C. JoyBell C.
The remarkable thing was that everyone accepted the entire process, seemingly as normal as physical laws of nature, despite the fact that it was really as ethereal as a rainbow. The money did not physically exist. Even “real” money was only specially made paper printed with black ink on the front and green on the back. What backed the money was not gold or something of intrinsic value, but rather the collective belief that money had value because it had to have such value.
Tom Clancy (Debt of Honor (Jack Ryan, #7; Jack Ryan Universe, #8))
It is very difficult to go through life when your core belief about yourself is that you are incompetent and do not count. When you have no sense of your own value, you are like a leaf in the wind, dependent on what others think of you to know who you are. In order to attain a better quality of life, it is imperative that your loved one develop a sense of mastery, competency, and respect for himself.
Valerie Porr (Overcoming Borderline Personality Disorder: A Family Guide for Healing and Change)
Title 'Yikin heykellerimi' ->'Destroy and shatter the statues you have built of me' O nation I am Kemal Mustafa If my thoughts and beliefs are not of this day and age If my wisdom isn't still the most authentic mentor Then let my tongue cleave to the roof of my palate I apoligize Forget everything I said Destroy and shatter the statues you have built of me If freedom isn’t still the supreme value If you’d rather have slaves stay chained Forget everything I said Destroy and shatter the statues you have built of me If you see no sense in living a civilized life If you want to be sent back in time to the middle ages and wish to put a crown on the head of a man who spits into the face of art Forget everything I said Destroy and shatter the statues you have built of me If the pain of war violence was not enough If peace at home, peace in the world has no meaning If to be awarded requires an arms race Forget everything I said Destroy and shatter the statues you have built of me If you miss the fez and the veil and prefer to light the night If you’re still hoping to find healing from a dervish, a sheik or an amulet Forget everything I said Destroy and shatter the statues you have built of me If you say women should not be equal to men and should be covered in black sheets in order to flee from the wrath of bigots If you say you don’t want to see our women and daughters to get an education just because you believe this is their fate Forget everything I said Destroy and shatter the statues you have built of me If freedom and democracy is too much for you to handle If you have a longing for the sultan of the Sultanate and are still not able to determine the significance of being a nation Be servants, stay on the path of religion and wait for şeyhülislam to lay down the law for you Forget everything I said Destroy and shatter the statues you have built of me And LEAVE ME ALONE… -Musafa Kemal Atatürk
Suleyman Apaydin
the abandonment of a belief in objective values can cause, at least temporarily, a decay of subjective concern and sense of purpose. That it does so is evidence that the people in whom this reaction occurs have been tending to objectify their concerns and purposes, have been giving them a fictitious external authority. A claim to objectivity has been so strongly associated with their subjective concerns and purposes that the collapse of the former seems to undermine the latter as well.
John Leslie Mackie (Ethics: Inventing Right and Wrong)
Reverent is the way they live. Reverence implies honor, respect, love and obedience. A reverent life is the product of reverent view of God. An exalted view of God will shape a Biblical world view that permeates all of life for the woman of faith. A Biblical belief and value system is foundational for a lifestyle of reverence.
Susan Hunt (Spiritual Mothering)
[Donald] Keene observed [in a book entitled The Pleasures of Japanese Literature, 1988] that the Japanese sense of beauty has long sharply differed from its Western counterpart: it has been dominated by a love of irregularity rather than symmetry, the impermanent rather than the eternal and the simple rather than the ornate. The reason owes nothing to climate or genetics, added Keene, but is the result of the actions of writers, painters and theorists, who had actively shaped the sense of beauty of their nation. Contrary to the Romantic belief that we each settle naturally on a fitting idea of beauty, it seems that our visual and emotional faculties in fact need constant external guidance to help them decide what they should take note of and appreciate. 'Culture' is the word we have assigned to the force that assists us in identifying which of our many sensations we should focus on and apportion value to.
Alain de Botton (The Architecture of Happiness)
Telling a lie is an act with a sharp focus. It is designed to insert a particular falsehood at a particular point in a set or system of beliefs, in order to have that point occupied by the truth. This requires a degree of craftsmanship, in which the teller of the lie submits to objective constraints imposed by what he takes to be the truth. The liar is inescapably concerned with truth-values. In order to invent a lie at all, he must think he knows what is true. And in order to invent an effective lie, he must design his falsehood under the guidance of that truth. On the other hand, a person who takes to bullshit his way through has much more freedom. His focus is panoramic rather than particular. He does not limit himself to inserting a certain falsehood at a specific point, and thus he is not constrained by the truths surrounding that point or intersecting it. He is prepared, so far as is required, to fake the context as well. This freedom from the constraints to which the liar must submit does not necessarily mean, of course, that his task is easier than the task of the liar. But the mode of creativity upon which it relies is less analytical and less deliberative than that which is mobilized in lying. It is more expansive and independent, with more spacious opportunities for improvisation, color and imaginative play. This is less a matter of craft than of art. Hence the familiar notion of the 'bullshit artist'.
Harry G. Frankfurt (On Bullshit)
if you don't respect the other person, you're gonna have a lot of trouble. If you don't know how to compromise, you're gonna have a lot of trouble. If you can't talk openly about what goes on between you, you're gonna have a lot of trouble. And if you have different set of values in life, you're gonna have a lot of trouble.Your values must be alike. And the biggest of those values... the belief in the importance of your marriage.
Mitch Albom (Tuesdays with Morrie)
What you do, what you own, what you plan, what you believe, what you think you are, what you want, and so much more are all the result of beliefs and values you've been trained to have, to be, and to want. Some of this is simply enculturation, but when it takes on the intent of deliberate manipulation, then enculturation per se is an inadequate term.
Eldon Taylor
Scientists are dedicated to asking questions in the search for truth. But they too are human, and like all humans, they would like their answers to be clean and clear and easy. In their desire for simple solutions, scientists are prone to fall into two traps as they question the reality of God. The first is to throw the baby out with the bath water. And the second is tunnel vision. There is clearly a lot of dirty bath water surrounding the reality of God. Holy wars. Inquisitions. Animal sacrifice. Human sacrifice. Superstition. Stultification. Dogmatism. Ignorance. Hypocrisy. Self-righteousness. Rigidity. Cruelty. Book-burning. Witch-burning. Inhibition. Fear. Conformity. Morbid guilt. Insanity. The list is almost endless. But is all this what God has done to humans or what humans have done to God? It is abundantly evident that belief in God is often destructively dogmatic. Is the problem, then, that humans tend to believe in God, or is the problem that humans tend to be dogmatic?
M. Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth)
Correction of past wrongdoings, like ending slavery and dismantling legal segregation, confirmed the rightness of our ideals. Nothing fundamental about those ideals needed to change. We simply had to be better people. I want no part of that story. It blinds us to how the value gap has been so fundamental to who we are as a nation. Over and over again, we have confronted the overriding belief, held by our government and exhibited in our daily lives, in white supremacy. The story blinds most white Americans to the harsh reality of this country.
Eddie S. Glaude Jr. (Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul)
Finally, it means creating a growth-mindset environment in which people can thrive. This involves: • Presenting skills as learnable • Conveying that the organization values learning and perseverance, not just ready-made genius or talent • Giving feedback in a way that promotes learning and future success • Presenting managers as resources for learning Without a belief in human development, many corporate training programs become exercises of limited value.
Carol S. Dweck (Mindset: The New Psychology Of Success)
The pillars of traditional healing were 1) connection to clan and the natural world; 2) regulating rhythm through dance, drumming, and song; 3) a set of beliefs, values, and stories that brought meaning to even senseless, random trauma; and 4) on occasion, natural hallucinogens or other plant-derived substances used to facilitate healing with the guidance of a healer or elder. It is not surprising that today’s best practices in trauma treatment are basically versions of these four things
Oprah Winfrey (What Happened To You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing)
Judgment is the number one reason we feel blocked, sad, and alone. Our popular culture and media place enormous value on social status, looks, racial and religious separation, and material wealth. We are made to feel less than, separate, and not good enough, so we use judgment to insulate ourselves from the pain of feeling inadequate, insecure, or unworthy. It’s easier to make fun of, write off, or judge someone for a perceived weakness of theirs than it is to examine our own sense of lack.
Gabrielle Bernstein (Judgment Detox: Release the Beliefs That Hold You Back from Living A Better Life)
Remembering is an ethical act, has ethical value in and of itself. Memory is, achingly, the only relation we can have with the dead. So the belief that remembering is an ethical act is deep in our natures as humans, who know we are going to die, and who mourn those who in the normal course of things die before us—grandparents, parents, teachers, and older friends. Heartlessness and amnesia seem to go together. But history gives contradictory signals about the value of remembering in the much longer span of a collective history. There is simply too much injustice in the world. And too much remembering (of ancient grievances: Serbs, Irish) embitters. To make peace is to forget. To reconcile, it is necessary that memory be faulty and limited. If the goal is having some space in which to live one’s own life, then it is desirable that the account of specific injustices dissolve into a more general understanding that human beings everywhere do terrible things to one another. *   *   * P
Susan Sontag (Regarding the Pain of Others)
Sazed shook his head, walking over to stand beside her. “Belief isn’t simply a thing for fair times and bright days, I think. What is belief—what is faith—if you don’t continue in it after failure?” Vin frowned. “Anyone can believe in someone, or something, that always succeeds, Mistress. But failure…ah, now, that is hard to believe in, certainly and truly. Difficult enough to have value, I think.
Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn: The Final Empire (Mistborn, #1))
Nationalism is the uncritical celebration of one’s nation regardless of its moral or political virtue. It is summarized in the saying, “My country right or wrong.” Lump it or leave it. Nationalism is a harmful belief that can lead a country down a dangerous spiral of arrogance, or off a precipice of political narcissism. Nationalism is the belief that no matter what one’s country does—whether racist, homophobic, sexist, xenophobic, or the like—it must be supported and accepted entirely. Patriotism is a bigger, more uplifting virtue. Patriotism is the belief in the best values of one’s country, and the pursuit of the best means to realize those values. If the nation strays, then it must be corrected. The patriot is the person who, spotting the need for change, says so clearly and loudly, without hate or rancor. The nationalist is the person who spurns such correction and would rather take refuge in bigotry than fight it. It is the nationalists who wrap themselves in a flag and loudly proclaim themselves as patriots. That is dangerous, as glimpsed in Trump’s amplification of racist and xenophobic sentiments. In the end, Trump is a nationalist, and Kaepernick is a patriot. Beloved,
Michael Eric Dyson (Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America)
I don’t remember when I stopped noticing—stopped noticing every mirror, every window, every scale, every fast-food restaurant, every diet ad, every horrifying model. And I don’t remember when I stopped counting, or when I stopped caring what size my pants were, or when I started ordering what I wanted to eat and not what seemed “safe,” or when I could sit comfortably reading a book in my kitchen without noticing I was in my kitchen until I got hungry—or when I started just eating when I got hungry, instead of questioning it, obsessing about it, dithering and freaking out, as I’d done for nearly my whole life. I don’t remember exactly when recovery took hold, and went from being something I both fought and wanted, to being simply a way of life. A way of life that is, let me tell you, infinitely more peaceful, infinitely happier, and infinitely more free than life with an eating disorder. And I wouldn’t give up this life of freedom for the world. What I know is this: I chose recovery. It was a conscious decision, and not an easy one. That’s the common denominator among people I know who have recovered: they chose recovery, and they worked like hell for it, and they didn’t give up. Recovery isn’t easy, at first. It takes time. It takes more work, sometimes, than you think you’re willing to do. But it is worth every hard day, every tear, every terrified moment. It’s worth it, because the trade-off is this: you let go of your eating disorder, and you get back your life. There are a couple of things I had to keep in mind in early recovery. One was that I was going to recover, even though I didn’t feel “ready.” I realized I was never going to feel ready—I was just going to jump in and do it, ready or not, and I am deeply glad that I did. Another was that symptoms were not an option. Symptoms, as critically necessary and automatic as they feel, are ultimately a choice. You can choose to let the fallacy that you must use symptoms kill you, or you can choose not to use symptoms. Easier said than done? Of course. But it can be done. I had to keep at the forefront of my mind the reasons I wanted to recover so badly, and the biggest one was this: I couldn’t believe in what I was doing anymore. I couldn’t justify committing my life to self-destruction, to appearance, to size, to weight, to food, to obsession, to self-harm. And that was what I had been doing for so long—dedicating all my strength, passion, energy, and intelligence to the pursuit of a warped and vanishing ideal. I just couldn’t believe in it anymore. As scared as I was to recover, to recover fully, to let go of every last symptom, to rid myself of the familiar and comforting compulsions, I wanted to know who I was without the demon of my eating disorder inhabiting my body and mind. And it turned out that I was all right. It turned out it was all right with me to be human, to have hungers, to have needs, to take space. It turned out that I had a self, a voice, a whole range of values and beliefs and passions and goals beyond what I had allowed myself to see when I was sick. There was a person in there, under the thick ice of the illness, a person I found I could respect. Recovery takes time, patience, enormous effort, and strength. We all have those things. It’s a matter of choosing to use them to save our own lives—to survive—but beyond that, to thrive. If you are still teetering on the brink of illness, I invite you to step firmly onto the solid ground of health. Walk back toward the world. Gather strength as you go. Listen to your own inner voice, not the voice of the eating disorder—as you recover, your voice will get clearer and louder, and eventually the voice of the eating disorder will recede. Give it time. Don’t give up. Love yourself absolutely. Take back your life. The value of freedom cannot be overestimated. It’s there for the taking. Find your way toward it, and set yourself free.
Marya Hornbacher
The purpose of college, to put this all another way, is to turn adolescents into adults. You needn't go to school for that, but if you're going to be there anyway, then that's the most important thing to get accomplished. That is the true education: accept no substitutes. The idea that we should take the first four years of young adulthood and devote them to career preparation alone, neglecting every other part of life, is nothing short of an obscenity. If that's what people had you do, then you were robbed. And if you find yourself to be the same person at the end of college as you were at the beginning - the same beliefs, the same values, the same desires, the same goals for the same reasons - then you did it wrong. Go back and do it again.
William Deresiewicz (Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life)
they argue that belief in a transcendent being conveys a genetic advantage: that couples who follow one of the three religions of the Book and maintain patriarchal values have more children than atheists or agnostics. You see less education among women, less hedonism and individualism. And to a large degree, this belief in transcendence can be passed on genetically. Conversions, or cases where people grow up to reject family values, are statistically insignificant. In the vast majority of cases, people stick with whatever metaphysical system they grow up in. That’s why atheist humanism—the basis of any ‘pluralist society’—is doomed.
Michel Houellebecq (Submission)
By being exactly who you are. When you see someone in pain, stop and help them. When you see someone alone, be a friend. Know there is value to every single life. The most important lesson I ever learned was that every single group of people, divided up however they like by race, religion, or beliefs, has in it the most wonderful, kind-hearted, peaceful, and loving people that you will be happy you met, and every single group of people, divided however they like by race, religion, or beliefs, has in it the poorest excuse for humans, and you will be sorry you met them. There is no way to know by looking at someone which type they are.
Danielle Stewart (Flowers in the Snow (The Edenville Series, #1))
In my view the study of fairy origins assumes a greater degree of importance than popular opinion is wont to concede to it. Indeed, the ideas associated with it strike at the very roots of human belief and primitive methods of reasoning. It is scarcely to be questioned that the explanation of fairy origins is of the utmost value to the better comprehension of primitive religion. Later it will be made clear that, for the writer at least, the whole tradition of Faerie reveals quite numerous and excellent proofs of its former existence as a primitive and separate cult and faith, more particularly as regards its appearance and tradition in these islands.
Lewis Spence (British Fairy Origins)
As they walked, Tehol spoke. ‘…the assumption is the foundation stone of Letherii society, perhaps all societies the world over. The notion of inequity, my friends. For from inequity derives the concept of value, whether measured by money or the countless other means of gauging human worth. Simply put, there resides in all of us the unchallenged belief that the poor and the starving are in some way deserving of their fate. In other words, there will always be poor people. A truism to grant structure to the continual task of comparison, the establishment through observation of not our mutual similarities, but our essential differences. ‘I know what you’re thinking, to which I have no choice but to challenge you both. Like this. Imagine walking down this street, doling out coins by the thousands. Until everyone here is in possession of vast wealth. A solution? No, you say, because among these suddenly rich folk there will be perhaps a majority who will prove wasteful, profligate and foolish, and before long they will be poor once again. Besides, if wealth were distributed in such a fashion, the coins themselves would lose all value—they would cease being useful. And without such utility, the entire social structure we love so dearly would collapse. ‘Ah, but to that I say, so what? There are other ways of measuring self-worth. To which you both heatedly reply: with no value applicable to labour, all sense of worth vanishes! And in answer to that I simply smile and shake my head. Labour and its product become the negotiable commodities. But wait, you object, then value sneaks in after all! Because a man who makes bricks cannot be equated with, say, a man who paints portraits. Material is inherently value-laden, on the basis of our need to assert comparison—but ah, was I not challenging the very assumption that one must proceed with such intricate structures of value? ‘And so you ask, what’s your point, Tehol? To which I reply with a shrug. Did I say my discourse was a valuable means of using this time? I did not. No, you assumed it was. Thus proving my point!’ ‘I’m sorry, master,’ Bugg said, ‘but what was that point again?’ ‘I forget. But we’ve arrived. Behold, gentlemen, the poor.
Steven Erikson (Midnight Tides (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #5))
The belief that a person has a share in an unknown life to which his or her love may win us admission is, of all the prerequisites of love, the one which it values most highly and which makes it set little store by all the rest. Even those women who claim to judge a man by his looks alone, see in those looks the emanation of a special way of life. That is why they fall in love with soldiers or with firemen; the uniform makes them less particular about the face; they feel they are embracing beneath the gleaming breastplate a heart different from the rest, more gallant, more adventurous, more tender; and so it is that a young king or a crown prince may make the most gratifying conquests in the countries that he visits, and yet lack entirely that regular and classic profile which would be indispensable, I dare say, for a stockbroker.
Marcel Proust (Swann's Way)
Drama usually bases itself on the bedrock of original sin, whether the writer thinks in theological terms or not. Then, too, any character in a serious novel is supposed to carry a burden of meaning larger than himself. The novelist doesn’t write about people in a vacuum; he writes about people in a world where something is obviously lacking, where there is the general mystery of incompleteness and the particular tragedy of our own times to be demonstrated, and the novelist tries to give you, within the form of the book, a total experience of human nature at any time. For this reason, the greatest dramas naturally involve the salvation or loss of the soul. Where there is no belief in the soul, there is very little drama. The Christian novelist is distinguished from his pagan colleagues by recognizing sin as sin. According to his heritage, he sees it not as a sickness or an accident of the environment, but as a responsible choice of offense against God which involves his eternal future. Either one is serious about salvation or one is not. And it is well to realize that the maximum amount of seriousness admits the maximum amount of comedy. Only if we are secure in our beliefs can we see the comical side of the universe. One reason a great deal of our contemporary fictions is humorless is because so many of these writers are relativists and have to be continually justifying the actions of their characters on a sliding scale of values.
Flannery O'Connor (Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose)
I am no ecological Pollyana. I have borne, and will continue to bear, feelings of wholehearted melancholy over the ecological state of the earth. How could I not? How could anyone not? But I am unwilling to become a hand-wringing nihilist, as some environmental 'realists' seem to believe is the more mature posture. Instead, I choose to dwell, as Emily Dickinson famously suggested, in possibility, where we cannot predict what will happen but we make space for it, whatever it is, and realize that our participation has value. This is grown-up optimism, where our bondedness with the rest of creation, a sense of profound interaction, and a belief in our shared ingenuity give meaning to our lives and actions on behalf of the more-than-human world.
Lyanda Lynn Haupt (Crow Planet: Essential Wisdom from the Urban Wilderness)
If only we lived in a culture in which internal measures of satisfaction and success — a capacity for joy and caring, an ability to laugh, a sense of connection to others, a belief in social justice — were as highly valued as external measures. If only we lived in a culture that made ambition compatible with motherhood and family life, that presented models of women who were integrated and whole: strong, sexual, ambitious, cued into their own varied appetites and demands, and equipped with the freedom and resources to explore all of them. If only women felt less isolated in their frustration and fatigue, less torn between competing hungers, less compelled to keep nine balls in the air at once, and less prone to blame themselves when those balls come crashing to the floor. If only we exercised our own power, which is considerable but woefully underused; if only we defined desire on our own terms. And — painfully, truly — if only we didn't care so much about how we looked, how much we weighed, what we wore.
Caroline Knapp (Appetites: Why Women Want)
I have engaged in enough women’s rights activism to know that the belief “sons are better than daughters'' is a huge problem in some parts of the world. For those who have little knowledge of Islam, there is the impression that women’s oppression stems from islamic teachings. This is simply not the case. In fact, muslim imams preach about the value of daughters often siting that a daughter opens the gates of paradise for their father. Indeed, the person the most beloved to the Prophet Mohammed, peace be upon him, was his youngest daughter, Fatima. Islamic teachings are clear that a father has to fulfill his duty to raise and care for his daughters, and that the obligations go beyond providing financial support. He must provide a safe, peaceful, and loving home environment that is conducive to his daughter’s overall spiritual and moral development.
Mariam Khan (It's Not About the Burqa)
Many people in this world are always looking to science to save them from something. But just as many, or more, prefer old and reputable belief systems and their sectarian offshoots for salvation. So they trust in the deity of the Old Testament, an incontinent dotard who soiled Himself and the universe with His corruption, a low-budget divinity passing itself off as the genuine article. (Ask the Gnostics.) They trust in Jesus Christ, a historical cipher stitched together like Frankenstein’s monster out of parts robbed from the graves of messiahs dead and buried—a savior on a stick. They trust in the virgin-pimping Allah and his Drum Major Mohammed, a prophet-come-lately who pioneered a new genus of humbuggery for an emerging market of believers that was not being adequately served by existing religious products. They trust in anything that authenticates their importance as persons, tribes, societies, and particularly as a species that will endure in this world and perhaps in an afterworld that may be uncertain in its reality and unclear in its layout, but which sates their craving for values not of this earth—that depressing, meaningless place their consciousness must sidestep every day.
Thomas Ligotti (The Conspiracy Against the Human Race: A Contrivance of Horror)
This changing international environment brought to the fore the fundamental cultural differences between Asian and American civilizations. At the broadest level the Confucian ethos pervading many Asian societies stressed the values of authority, hierarchy, the subordination of individual rights and interests, the importance of consensus, the avoidance of confrontation, “saving face,” and, in general, the supremacy of the state over society and of society over the individual. In addition, Asians tended to think of the evolution of their societies in terms of centuries and millennia and to give priority to maximizing long-term gains. These attitudes contrasted with the primacy in American beliefs of liberty, equality, democracy, and individualism, and the American propensity to distrust government, oppose authority, promote checks and balances, encourage competition, sanctify human rights, and to forget the past, ignore the future, and focus on maximizing immediate gains. The sources of conflict are in fundamental differences in society and culture.
Samuel P. Huntington (The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order)
One emerging view of Homo sapiens among evolutionary biologists is that he has built a trap for himself by clinging to certain orthodoxies in a time of environmental emergency. A belief in cultural progress, for example, or in the propriety of a social animal’s quest for individual material wealth is what has led people into the trap, or so goes the thinking. To cause the trap to implode, to disintegrate, humanity has to learn to navigate using a reckoning fundamentally different from the one it’s long placed its faith in. A promising first step to take in dealing with this trap might be to bring together wisdom keepers from traditions around the world whose philosophies for survival developed around the same uncertainty of a future that Darwin suggested lies embedded in everything biological. Such wisdom keepers would be people who are able to function well in the upheaval of any century. Their faith does not lie solely with pursuing technological innovation as an approach to solving humanity’s most pressing problems. Their solutions lie with a profound change in what humans most value.
Barry López (Horizon)
The spiritualist or the idealist believes in a spiritual essence of force; spiritual, that is to say phantomatic, inexplicable. The man of materialist science is an unbeliever. Nowhere does a scientific justification exist either for belief or unbelief. Materialism has the advantage that it is not seeking the transcendental, the essence, the cause, the force behind phenomena nor that beyond matter. But when he misconstrues the distinction between force and matter, when he denies the existence of the whole problem, he merely slips around behind idealism. The materialist asserts the real indivisibility of matter and force and to explain their seperation, gives value solely to "an exterior reason, born of the need for systemisation of our consciousness.
Joseph Dietzgen (Philosophical Essays on Socialism and Science, Religion, Ethics; Critique-of-Reason and the World-at-Large)
The consequences of this amassing of fortunes were first felt in the catastrophe experienced by small farmers in Europe and England. The peasants became impoverished, dependent workers crowded into city slums. For the first time in human history, the majority of Europeans depended for their livelihood on a small wealthy minority, a phenomenon that capitalist-based colonialism would spread worldwide. The symbol of this new development, indeed its currency, was gold. Gold fever drove colonizing ventures, organized at first in pursuit of the metal in its raw form. Later the pursuit of gold became more sophisticated, with planters and merchants establishing whatever conditions were necessary to hoard as much gold as possible. Thus was born an ideology: the belief in the inherent value of gold despite its relative uselessness in reality. Investors, monarchies, and parliamentarians devised methods to control the processes of wealth accumulation and the power that came with it, but the ideology behind gold fever mobilized settlers to cross the Atlantic to an unknown fate. Subjugating entire societies and civilizations, enslaving whole countries, and slaughtering people village by village did not seem too high a price to pay, nor did it appear inhumane. The systems of colonization were modern and rational, but its ideological basis was madness.
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States (ReVisioning American History, #3))
The protection guaranteed by the Amendments is much broader in scope. The makers of our Constitution undertook to secure conditions favorable to the pursuit of happiness. They recognized the significance of man’s spiritual nature, of his feelings, and of his intellect. They knew that only a part of the pain, pleasure and satisfactions of life are to be found in material things. They sought to protect Americans in their beliefs, their thoughts, their emotions and their sensations. They conferred, as against the Government, the right to be let alone—the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men. To protect that right, every unjustifiable intrusion by the Government upon the privacy of the individual, whatever the means employed, must be deemed a violation of the Fourth Amendment. And the use, as evidence in a criminal proceeding, of facts ascertained by such intrusion must be deemed a violation of the Fifth. [Olmstead v. United States, 277 U.S. 438 (1928) (dissenting)]
Louis D. Brandeis
It’s no secret that we all live within a damning illusion called denial. We are doomed by our own far-reaching imaginations and beliefs that extend into a glorified version of eternity. How are we to live sanely on the earth, with our heads in the clouds, when we are so far from being giants? How are we to claim higher ideals, when God is absent from the conversations in our minds? There can be no going back, once we’ve believed in perfection. We are slain by the stories we were taught as children, stories about Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and a God who cares. We pass these heirlooms to our children with the same fervor with which they were delivered, never allowing ourselves to doubt their authenticity or value. I wondered what the view held outside the proverbial slaughterhouse. For a spiritually awakened person, a good God seems the only reasonable answer. If there’s no eternal good, then what would be the use of life? Man lays the tracks of good and evil before the train of his evolution, moving onward into places he barely understands
Christopher Hawke
Many cultural stories worldwide present the domination system as the only human alternative. Fairy tales romanticize the rule of kings and queens over “common people.” Classics such as Homers Illiad and Shakespeare’s kings trilogy romanticize “Heroic violence.” Many religious stories present men’s control, even ownership, of women as normal and moral. These stories came out of the times that oriented much more closely to a “pure” domination system. Along with newer stories that perpetuate these limited beliefs about human nature, they play a major role in how we view our world and how we live in it. But precisely because stories are so important in shaping values, new narratives can help change unhealthy values. Of particular importance are new stories about human nature. We need new narratives that give us a more complete and accurate picture of who we are and who we can be - stories that show that our enormous capacities for consciousness, creativity and caring are integral to human evolution, that these capacities are what make us distinctively human.
Riane Eisler (The Real Wealth of Nations: Creating a Caring Economics)
Here I am, a bundle of past recollections and future dreams, knotted up in a reasonably attractive bundle of flesh. I remember what this flesh has gone through; I dream of what it may go through. I record here the actions of optical nerves, of taste buds, of sensory perception. And, I think: I am but one more drop in the great sea of matter, defined, with the ability to realize my existence. Of the millions, I, too, was potentially everything at birth. I, too, was stunted, narrowed, warped, by my environment, my outcroppings of heredity. I, too, will find a set of beliefs, of standards to live by, yet the very satisfaction of finding them will be marred by the fact that I have reached the ultimate in shallow, two-dimensional living - a set of values. This loneliness will blur and diminish, no doubt, when tomorrow I plunge again into classes, into the necessity of studying for exams. But now, that false purpose is lifted and I am spinning in a temporary vacuum. At home I rested and played, here, where I work, the routine is momentarily suspended and I am lost. There is no living being on earth at this moment except myself. I could walk down the halls, and empty rooms would yawn mockingly at me from every side. God, but life is loneliness, despite all the opiates, despite the shrill tinsel gaiety of "parties" with no purpose, despite the false grinning faces we all wear. And when at last you find someone to whom you feel you can pour out your soul, you stop in shock at the words you utter - they are so rusty, so ugly, so meaningless and feeble from being kept in the small cramped dark inside you so long. Yes, there is joy, fulfillment and companionship - but the loneliness of the soul in it's appalling self-consciousness, is horrible and overpowering.
Sylvia Plath (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath)
All things considered, science is the best means of understanding almost everything around us. It works well on the human scale and stands as a stark counter-point to beliefs that by their very nature refute the notion of evidence. And I would be the last person to attack people encouraging the rest of us to use our ability to be rational, thereby defending the value and the necessity of science. But I will lift a querying hand when the notion of ‘science’ is held to be immutable, because ‘science’ as such does not exist. Science is a process to be sure, a way of thinking, but what science is above all is that which scientists do, and alas, scientists are people, too. As potentially fallible, irrational, biased, greedy, in short, as flawed, as the rest of us. So, by all means defend science as a process. But don’t confuse it with the very human endeavor of science as a profession. Because they’re not the same thing. And this is why when some guy in a white lab-coat says ‘you can trust me, I’m a scientist,’ best take it with a big bucket of salt, and then say ‘Fine, now show me the evidence and more to the point, show me how you got to it.
Steven Erikson (Rejoice)
...his consuming interest remains in the world of men, their institutions, their history, their passions. And because he is interested in men, nothing that men do can be altogether tedious...He will naturally be interested in the events that engage men’s ultimate beliefs, their moments of tragedy and grandeur and ecstasy. But he will also be fascinated by the commonplace, the everyday. He will know reverence, but this reverence will not prevent him from wanting to see and to understand. He may sometimes feel revulsion or contempt , but this will also not deter him from wanting to have his questions answered. ...in his quest for understanding, moves through the world of men without respect for the usual lines of demarcation. Nobility ad degradation, power and obscurity, intelligence and folly -- these are equally interesting to him, however unequal they may be in his personal values or tastes. This his questions may lead him to all possible levels of society, the best and least known places, the most respected and the most despised. ...he will find himself in all these places because his own questions have so taken possession of him that he has little choice but to seek for answers.
Peter L. Berger
What Is Trust? There are many different models and definitions of trust in the published literature. However, the focus of this book is to learn to build and maintain trust in the workplace. For this purpose, trust is defined as choosing to risk making something you value vulnerable to another person’s actions. When you trust someone, what you make vulnerable can range from concrete things such as money, a job, a promotion, or a particular goal, to less tangible things like a belief you hold, a cherished way of doing things, your “good name,” or even your sense of happiness and well being. Whatever you choose to make vulnerable to the other’s actions, you do so because you believe their actions will support it or, at the very least, will not harm it. Some people tend to extend trust to others easily and with little or no evidence it is warranted. They only withdraw their trust it if is betrayed. Others believe that people must earn their trust by demonstrating trustworthiness. Whether you tend to extend trust more or less easily, you do so by assessing the probability that the other person will support or harm what you value in the future. In this sense choosing to trust or distrust is a risk assessment.
Charles Feltman (The Thin Book of Trust; An Essential Primer for Building Trust at Work)
Money was the blood of civilized society, its currents running through everything and everyone. Where money was insufficient, things withered. People starved, sickened and died, constructions eroded, even ideas perished. Where funds were plentiful, the same things blossomed with new life. And money was, in the end, little more than the product of collective imagination. A slip of paper or a coin had no value beyond that of the material it was fashioned of. It only took on a life of its own when people as a whole collectively agreed that certain papers and coins were worth something. Only then did people bleed and die for it. For a fantasy, a faith given form in hard, concrete numbers. Then again, much of society was built on a series of shared delusions. Clothing was little more than scraps of particular materials with particular geometries, but people clung to the idea of fashion. Style. Good and bad fashion was another belief system, one which all members of a culture were indoctrinated into. Breaking certain conventions didn’t only challenge the aesthetic sensibilities of others, but it challenged their sense of self. It reminded them, subconsciously, of the very pretendings they clung to. Only those with power could stand against society’s tides, flaunt the collective’s ‘safe’ aesthetic. When one had enough power, others couldn’t rise against them and safely say something calculated to reduce their own dissonance and remind the offending party of the unspoken rules. When one had enough power to take a life with a twitch of a finger, a thought, they earned the right to wear skin-tight clothing and call themselves Hero, or Legend. To wear a mask and name themselves something inane like ‘the Cockatoo’ and still take themselves seriously.
Wildbow (Worm (Parahumans, #1))
The way they were treated should make you angry,” Richard said as he started away, “but not because you share an attribute with them.” Taken aback by his words, even looking a little hurt, Jennsen didn’t move. “What do you mean?” Richard paused and turned back to her. “That’s how the Imperial Order thinks. That’s how Owen’s people think. It’s a belief in granting disembodied prestige, or the mantle of guilt, to all those who share some specific trait or attribute. “The Imperial Order would like you to believe that your virtue, your ultimate value, or even your wickedness, arises entirely from being born a member of a given group, that free will itself is either impotent or nonexistent. They want you to believe that all people are merely interchangeable members of groups that share fixed, preordained characteristics, and they are predestined to live through a collective identity, the group will, unable to rise on individual merit because there can be no such thing as independent, individual merit, only group merit. “They believe that people can only rise above their station in life when selected to be awarded recognition because their group is due an indulgence, and so a representative, a stand-in for the group, must be selected to be awarded the badge of self-worth. Only the reflected light off this badge, they believe, can bring the radiance of self-worth to others of their group. “But those granted this badge live with the uneasy knowledge that it’s only an illusion of competence. It never brings any sincere self-respect because you can’t fool yourself. Ultimately, because it is counterfeit, the sham of esteem granted because of a connection with a group can only be propped up by force. “This belittling of mankind, the Order’s condemnation of everyone and everything human, is their transcendent judgment of man’s inadequacy. “When you direct your anger at me for having a trait borne by someone else, you pronounce me guilty for their crimes. That’s what happens when people say I’m a monster because our father was a monster. If you admire someone simply because you believe their group is deserving, then you embrace the same corrupt ethics. “The Imperial Order says that no individual should have the right to achieve something on his own, to accomplish what someone else cannot, and so magic must be stripped from mankind. They say that accomplishment is corrupt because it is rooted in the evil of self-interest, therefore the fruits of that accomplishment are tainted by its evil. This is why they preach that any gain must be sacrificed to those who have not earned it. They hold that only through such sacrifice can those fruits be purified and made good. “We believe, on the other hand, that your own individual life is the value and its own end, and what you achieve is yours. “Only you can achieve self-worth for yourself. Any group offering it to you, or demanding it of you, comes bearing chains of slavery.
Terry Goodkind (Naked Empire (Sword of Truth, #8))
The transformation of the world is brought about by the transformation of oneself, because the self is the product and a part of the total process of human existence. To transform oneself, self-knowledge is essential; without knowing what you are, there is no basis for right thought, and without knowing yourself there cannot be transformation. One must know oneself as on is, not as on wishes to be, which is merely an ideal and there for fictitious, unreal; it is only that which is that can be transformed, not that which you wish to be. To know oneself as one is requires and extraordinary alertness of mind, because what is, is constantly undergoing transformation, change; and to follow it swiftly the mind must not be tethered to any particular dogma or belief, to any particular pattern of action. If you would follow anything, it is no good being tethered. To know yourself, there must be the awareness, the alertness of mind in which there is freedom from all beliefs, from all idealization, because beliefs and ideals only give you a color, perverting true perception. If you want to know what you are, you cannot imagine or have belief in something which you are not. If I am greedy, envious, violent, merely having an ideal of non-violence, of non-greed, is of little value. The understanding of what you are, whatever it be – ugly or beautiful, wicked or mischievous – the understanding of what you are, without distortion, is the beginning of virtue. Virtue is essential, for it gives freedom.
Jiddu Krishnamurti (The Book of Life)
On behalf of those you killed, imprisoned, tortured, you are not welcome, Erdogan! No, Erdogan, you’re not welcome in Algeria. We are a country which has already paid its price of blood and tears to those who wanted to impose their caliphate on us, those who put their ideas before our bodies, those who took our children hostage and who attempted to kill our hopes for a better future. The notorious family that claims to act in the name of the God and religion—you’re a member of it—you fund it, you support it, you desire to become its international leader. Islamism is your livelihood Islamism, which is your livelihood, is our misfortune. We will not forget about it, and you are a reminder of it today. You offer your shadow and your wings to those who work to make our country kneel down before your “Sublime Door.” You embody and represent what we loathe. You hate freedom, the free spirit. But you love parades. You use religion for business. You dream of a caliphate and hope to return to our lands. But you do it behind the closed doors, by supporting Islamist parties, by offering gifts through your companies, by infiltrating the life of the community, by controlling the mosques. These are the old methods of your “Muslim Brothers” in this country, who used to show us God’s Heaven with one hand while digging our graves with the other. No, Mr. Erdogan, you are not a man of help; you do not fight for freedom or principles; you do not defend the right of peoples to self-determination. You know only how to subject the Kurds to the fires of death; you know only how to subject your opponents to your dictatorship. You cry with the victims in the Middle East, yet sign contracts with their executioners. You do not dream of a dignified future for us, but of a caliphate for yourself. We are aware of your institutionalized persecution, your list of Turks to track down, your sinister prisons filled with the innocent, your dictatorial justice palaces, your insolence and boastful nature. You do not dream of a humanity that shares common values and principles, but are interested only in the remaking of the Ottoman Empire and its bloodthirsty warlords. Islam, for you, is a footstool; God is a business sign; modernity is an enemy; Palestine is a showcase; and local Islamists are your stunned courtesans. Humanity will not remember you with good deeds Humanity will remember you for your machinations, your secret coups d’état, and your manhunts. History will remember you for your bombings, your vengeful wars, and your inability to engage in constructive dialogue with others. The UN vote for Al-Quds is only an instrument in your service. Let us laugh at this with the Palestinians. We know that the Palestinian issue is your political capital, as it is for many others. You know well how to make a political fortune by exploiting others’ emotions. In Algeria, we suffered, and still suffer, from those who pretend to be God and act as takers and givers of life. They applaud your coming, but not us. You are the idol of Algerian Islamists and Populists, those who are unable to imagine a political structure beyond a caliphate for Muslim-majority societies. We aspire to become a country of freedom and dignity. This is not your ambition, nor your virtue. You are an illusion You have made beautiful Turkey an open prison and a bazaar for your business and loved ones. I hope that this beautiful nation rises above your ambitions. I hope that justice will be restored and flourish there once again, at least for those who have been imprisoned, tortured, bombed, and killed. You are an illusion, Erdogan—you know it and we know it. You play on the history of our humiliation, on our emotions, on our beliefs, and introduce yourself as a savior. However, you are a gravedigger, both for your own country and for your neighbors. Turkey is a political miracle, but it owes you nothing. The best thing you can do
Kamel Daoud
Error regarding life necessary to life. - Every belief in the value and dignity of life rests on false thinking; it is possible only through the fact that empathy with the universal life and suffering of mankind is very feebly developed in the individual. Even those rarer men who think beyond themselves at all have an eye, not for this universal life, but for fenced-off portions of it. If one knows how to keep the exceptions principally in view, I mean the greatly gifted and pure of soul, takes their production for the goal of world-evolution and rejoices in the effects they in turn produce, one may believe in the value of life, because the one is overlooking all other men: thinking falsely, that is to say. And likewise if, though one does keep in view all mankind, one accords validity only to one species of drives, the less egoistical, and justifies them in face of all the others, then again one can hope for something of mankind as a whole and to this extent believe in the value of life: thus, in this case too, through falsity of thinking. Whichever of these attitudes one adopts, however, one is by adopting in an exception among men. The great majority endure life without complaining overmuch; they believe in the value of existence, but they do so precisely because each of them exists for himself alone, refusing to step out of himself as those exceptions do: everything outside themselves they notice not at all or at most as a dim shadow. Thus for the ordinary, everyday man the value of life rests solely on the fact that regards himself more highly than he does the world. The great lack of imagination from which he suffers means he is unable to feel his way into other beings and thus he participates as little as possible in their fortunes and sufferings. He, on the other hand, who really could participate in them would have to despair of the value of life; if he succeeded in encompassing and feeling within himself the total consciousness of mankind he would collapse with a curse on existence - for mankind has as a whole no goal, and the individual man when he regards its total course cannot derive from it any support or comfort, but must be reduced to despair. If in all he does he has before him the ultimate goallessness of man, his actions acquire in his own eyes the character of useless squandering. But to feel thus squandered, not merely as an individual fruits but as humanity as a whole, in the way we behold the individual fruits of nature squandered, is a feeling beyond all other feelings. - But who is capable of such a feeling? Certainly only a poet: and poets always know how to console themselves.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits)
Look now. Look at what you value, what you hold dear. Objects, first. And not necessarily because of their innate value (although that might figure into it), but because they are endowed - by your mind and imagination, by your memories - with what is know as "sentimental value." Sentiment has been defined as ascribing a value to something above and beyond what its value is to God. This presumes a belief in God, and furthermore a belief in a kind of God that passes judgment on the inexplicable fondness of the human heart; there is an expression, isn't there: "the object of my affections." But perhaps you do not believe in that kid of God, or any other, for that matter. Look then at the faces and bodies of people you love. The explicit beauty that comes not from smoothness of skin or neutrality of expression, but from the web of experience that has left its mark. Each face, each body is its own lving fossilized record. A record of cats, combatants, difficult births; of accidents, cruelties, blessings. Reminders of folly, greed, indiscretion, impatience. A moment of time, of memory, preserved, internalized, and enshrined within and upon the body. You need not be told that these records are what render your beloved beautiful. If God exists, He is there, in the small, cast-off pieces, rough and random and no two alike.
Stephanie Kallos
In all conflicts between groups, there are three elements. One: the certitude that our group is morally superior, possibly even chosen by God. All others should follow our example or be at our service. In order to bring peace to the world, we have to impose our set of beliefs upon others, through manipulation, force, and fear, if necessary. Two: a refusal or incapacity to see or admit to any possible errors or faults in our group. The undeniable nature of our own goodness makes us think we are infallible; there can be no wrong in us. Three: a refusal to believe that any other group possesses truth or can contribute anything of value. At best, others may be regarded as ignorant, unenlightened, and possessing only half—truths; at worst, they are seen as destructive, dangerous, and possessed by evil spirits: they need to be overpowered for the good of humanity. Society and cultures are, then, divided into the “good” and the “bad”; the good attributing to themselves the mission to save, to heal, to bring peace to a wicked world, according to their own terms and under their controlling power. Such is the story of all civilizations through the ages as they spread over the earth by invading and colonizing. Differences must be suppressed; “savages” must be civilized. We must prove by all possible means that our culture, our power, our knowledge, and our technology are the best, that our gods are the only gods! This is not just the story of civilizations but also of all wars of religion, inquisitions, censorships, dictatorships; all things, in short, that are ideologies. An ideology is a set of ideas translated into a set of values. Because they are held to be absolutely true, these ideas and values need to be imposed on others if they are not readily accepted. A political system, a school of psychology, and a philosophy of economics can all be ideologies. Even a place of work can be an ideology. Religious sub—groups, sects, are based upon ideological principles. Religions themselves can become ideologies. And ideologues, by their nature, are not open to new ideas or even to debate; they refuse to accept or listen to anyone else’s reality. They refuse to admit any possibility of error or even criticism of their system; they are closed up in their set of ideas, theories, and values. We human beings have a great facility for living illusions, for protecting our self—image with power, for justifying it all by thinking we are the favoured ones of God.
Jean Vanier (Becoming Human)
This world is not what you believed it was – you, humans, are not the ultimate beings who govern over the universe. The world is not only one universe, to begin with. There are seven universes, all filled with hundreds and thousands of galaxies, countless stars, more planets and asteroids… A lot of them, unlike how you humans believed, are populated. There are numerous species both similar and different from you, all with their own views, values, beliefs, joys, and sorrows. So dare not think what you believe in is the ultimate truth of this world, or what you value matters the most. We are different and you should get over with it – there will be people whom you can never agree with. That does not mean, however, that you cannot accept them for who they are, cannot live side by side with them, share their pain and joy, earn their trust and benevolence, and ultimately, lean on their shoulders for support and believe they shall be there whenever you are in need. Remember, my dearest friend – the only truth we all can mutually agree on, and the only force which can unite all of us is the power of the heart, for we, all living beings, have that one thing in common: the power to feel, to care, and to love. As for other things – mindset, views, principles, beliefs, opinions – they are never absolute, so what you think is immoral, might not look so in another person’s eyes. I am sorry, but this is how this world runs.
Tamuna Tsertsvadze (Galaxy Pirates)
We had better want the consequences of what we believe or disbelieve, because the consequences will come! . . . But how can a society set priorities if there are no basic standards? Are we to make our calculations using only the arithmetic of appetite? . . . The basic strands which have bound us together socially have begun to fray, and some of them have snapped. Even more pressure is then placed upon the remaining strands. The fact that the giving way is gradual will not prevent it from becoming total. . . . Given the tremendous asset that the family is, we must do all we can within constitutional constraints to protect it from predatory things like homosexuality and pornography. . . . Our whole republic rests upon the notion of “obedience to the unenforceable,” upon a tremendous emphasis on inner controls through self-discipline. . . . Different beliefs do make for different behaviors; what we think does affect our actions; concepts do have consequences. . . . Once society loses its capacity to declare that some things are wrong per se, then it finds itself forever building temporary defenses, revising rationales, drawing new lines—but forever falling back and losing its nerve. A society which permits anything will eventually lose everything! Take away a consciousness of eternity and see how differently time is spent. Take away an acknowledgement of divine design in the structure of life and then watch the mindless scurrying to redesign human systems to make life pain-free and pleasure-filled. Take away regard for the divinity in one’s neighbor, and watch the drop in our regard for his property. Take away basic moral standards and observe how quickly tolerance changes into permissiveness. Take away the sacred sense of belonging to a family or community, and observe how quickly citizens cease to care for big cities. Those of us who are business-oriented are quick to look for the bottom line in our endeavors. In the case of a value-free society, the bottom line is clear—the costs are prohibitive! A value-free society eventually imprisons its inhabitants. It also ends up doing indirectly what most of its inhabitants would never have agreed to do directly—at least initially. Can we turn such trends around? There is still a wealth of wisdom in the people of this good land, even though such wisdom is often mute and in search of leadership. People can often feel in their bones the wrongness of things, long before pollsters pick up such attitudes or before such attitudes are expressed in the ballot box. But it will take leadership and articulate assertion of basic values in all places and in personal behavior to back up such assertions. Even then, time and the tides are against us, so that courage will be a key ingredient. It will take the same kind of spunk the Spartans displayed at Thermopylae when they tenaciously held a small mountain pass against overwhelming numbers of Persians. The Persians could not dislodge the Spartans and sent emissaries forward to threaten what would happen if the Spartans did not surrender. The Spartans were told that if they did not give up, the Persians had so many archers in their army that they would darken the skies with their arrows. The Spartans said simply: “So much the better, we will fight in the shade!
Neal A. Maxwell
Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths.1 It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult—once we truly understand and accept it—then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters. Most do not fully see this truth that life is difficult. Instead they moan more or less incessantly, noisily or subtly, about the enormity of their problems, their burdens, and their difficulties as if life were generally easy, as if life should be easy. They voice their belief, noisily or subtly, that their difficulties represent a unique kind of affliction that should not be and that has somehow been especially visited upon them, or else upon their families, their tribe, their class, their nation, their race or even their species, and not upon others. I know about this moaning because I have done my share. Life is a series of problems. Do we want to moan about them or solve them? Do we want to teach our children to solve them? Discipline is the basic set of tools we require to solve life’s problems. Without discipline we can solve nothing. With only some discipline we can solve only some problems. With total discipline we can solve all problems. What makes life difficult is that the process of confronting and solving problems is a painful one. Problems, depending upon their nature, evoke in us frustration or grief or sadness or loneliness or guilt or regret or anger or fear or anxiety or anguish or despair. These are uncomfortable feelings, often very uncomfortable, often as painful as any kind of physical pain, sometimes equaling the very worst kind of physical pain. Indeed, it is because of the pain that events or conflicts engender in us all that we call them problems. And since life poses an endless series of problems, life is always difficult and is full of pain as well as joy.
M. Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth)
There are two aspects of man’s existence which are the special province and expression of his sense of life: love and art. I am referring here to romantic love, in the serious meaning of that term—as distinguished from the superficial infatuations of those whose sense of life is devoid of any consistent values, i.e., of any lasting emotions other than fear. Love is a response to values. It is with a person’s sense of life that one falls in love—with that essential sum, that fundamental stand or way of facing existence, which is the essence of a personality. One falls in love with the embodiment of the values that formed a person’s character, which are reflected in his widest goals or smallest gestures, which create the style of his soul—the individual style of a unique, unrepeatable, irreplaceable consciousness. It is one’s own sense of life that acts as the selector, and responds to what it recognizes as one’s own basic values in the person of another. It is not a matter of professed convictions (though these are not irrelevant); it is a matter of much more profound, conscious and subconscious harmony. Many errors and tragic disillusionments are possible in this process of emotional recognition, since a sense of life, by itself, is not a reliable cognitive guide. And if there are degrees of evil, then one of the most evil consequences of mysticism—in terms of human suffering—is the belief that love is a matter of “the heart,” not the mind, that love is an emotion independent of reason, that love is blind and impervious to the power of philosophy. Love is the expression of philosophy—of a subconscious philosophical sum—and, perhaps, no other aspect of human existence needs the conscious power of philosophy quite so desperately. When that power is called upon to verify and support an emotional appraisal, when love is a conscious integration of reason and emotion, of mind and values, then—and only then—it is the greatest reward of man’s life.
Ayn Rand (The Romantic Manifesto)
But where should he begin? - Well, then, the trouble with the English was their: Their: In a word, Gibreel solemnly pronounced, their weather. Gibreel Farishta floating on his cloud formed the opinion that the moral fuzziness of the English was meteorologically induced. 'When the day is not warmer than the night,' he reasoned, 'when the light is not brighter than the dark, when the land is not drier than the sea, then clearly a people will lose the power to make distinctions, and commence to see everything - from political parties to sexual partners to religious beliefs - as much-the-same, nothing-to-choose, give-or-take. What folly! For truth is extreme, it is so and not thus, it is him and not her; a partisan matter, not a spectator sport. It is, in brief, heated. City,' he cried, and his voice rolled over the metropolis like thunder, 'I am going to tropicalize you.' Gibreel enumerated the benefits of the proposed metamorphosis of London into a tropical city: increased moral definition, institution of a national siesta, development of vivid and expansive patterns of behaviour among the populace, higher-quality popular music, new birds in the trees (macaws, peacocks, cockatoos), new trees under the birds (coco-palms, tamarind, banyans with hanging beards). Improved street-life, outrageously coloured flowers (magenta, vermilion, neon-green), spider-monkeys in the oaks. A new mass market for domestic air-conditioning units, ceiling fans, anti-mosquito coils and sprays. A coir and copra industry. Increased appeal of London as a centre for conferences, etc.: better cricketeers; higher emphasis on ball-control among professional footballers, the traditional and soulless English commitment to 'high workrate' having been rendered obsolete by the heat. Religious fervour, political ferment, renewal of interest in the intellegentsia. No more British reserve; hot-water bottles to be banished forever, replaced in the foetid nights by the making of slow and odorous love. Emergence of new social values: friends to commence dropping in on one another without making appointments, closure of old-folks' homes, emphasis on the extended family. Spicier foods; the use of water as well as paper in English toilets; the joy of running fully dressed through the first rains of the monsoon. Disadvantages: cholera, typhoid, legionnaires' disease, cockroaches, dust, noise, a culture of excess. Standing upon the horizon, spreading his arms to fill the sky, Gibreel cried: 'Let it be.
Salman Rushdie (The Satanic Verses)
What shapes the best in us dies when the best education dies! The best in us shall always be undermined when they that are responsible for shaping the best in us are always undermined! I stand for a different education: a different education where students will not just learn books but life! I stand for a different education: a different education where students will not just learn moral principles, but they shall be living examples of moral principles. I stand for a different education: a different education where students don’t just understand what they learn, but practice what they learn with understanding! I stand for a different education: a different education where students will not just learn about people of different beliefs, culture and backgrounds, but how to live with people who don’t share common perspective with them and know how to show their emotions of bitterness and misunderstanding rightly! I stand for a different education: a different education where students will be perfect ambassadors’ of God on earth and live their daily lives with all due diligence! I stand for a different education: a different education where students will understand why we all breathe the same air, sleep and wake up each day in the same manner to continue the journey of life! I stand for a different education: a different education where students will learn with inspiration even in their desperations! I stand for a different education: a different education where teachers are seen as true epitome of education! I stand for a different education: a different education in which the value of the teacher is well understood and the teacher is well valued as a treasure! I stand for a different education: a different education where students will not just learn, but they will reproduce great and noble things with what they learn! I stand for a different education: a different education where students will understand the real meaning of integrity and responsibility and with true courage and humility be that as such! I stand for a different education: a different education where education means creativity! Education is the spine of every nation! The better the education, the better the nation! The mediocre the education, the mediocre the nation! A good nation is good because of how education has shaped the perspective and understanding of the populace! A nation that does not know where it is heading towards must ask the machine that produces the populace who drive the nation: education! Until we fix our education, we shall always have a wrong education and we shall always see a wrong nation!
Ernest Agyemang Yeboah
Certainty is an unrealistic and unattainable ideal. We need to have pastors who are schooled in apologetics and engaged intellectually with our culture so as to shepherd their flock amidst the wolves. People who simply ride the roller coaster of emotional experience are cheating themselves out of a deeper and richer Christian faith by neglecting the intellectual side of that faith. They know little of the riches of deep understanding of Christian truth, of the confidence inspired by the discovery that one’s faith is logical and fits the facts of experience, and of the stability brought to one’s life by the conviction that one’s faith is objectively true. God could not possibly have intended that reason should be the faculty to lead us to faith, for faith cannot hang indefinitely in suspense while reason cautiously weighs and reweighs arguments. The Scriptures teach, on the contrary, that the way to God is by means of the heart, not by means of the intellect. When a person refuses to come to Christ, it is never just because of lack of evidence or because of intellectual difficulties: at root, he refuses to come because he willingly ignores and rejects the drawing of God’s Spirit on his heart. unbelief is at root a spiritual, not an intellectual, problem. Sometimes an unbeliever will throw up an intellectual smoke screen so that he can avoid personal, existential involvement with the gospel. In such a case, further argumentation may be futile and counterproductive, and we need to be sensitive to moments when apologetics is and is not appropriate. A person who knows that Christianity is true on the basis of the witness of the Spirit may also have a sound apologetic which reinforces or confirms for him the Spirit’s witness, but it does not serve as the basis of his belief. As long as reason is a minister of the Christian faith, Christians should employ it. It should not surprise us if most people find our apologetic unconvincing. But that does not mean that our apologetic is ineffective; it may only mean that many people are closed-minded. Without a divine lawgiver, there can be no objective right and wrong, only our culturally and personally relative, subjective judgments. This means that it is impossible to condemn war, oppression, or crime as evil. Nor can one praise brotherhood, equality, and love as good. For in a universe without God, good and evil do not exist—there is only the bare valueless fact of existence, and there is no one to say that you are right and I am wrong. No atheist or agnostic really lives consistently with his worldview. In some way he affirms meaning, value, or purpose without an adequate basis. It is our job to discover those areas and lovingly show him where those beliefs are groundless. We are witnesses to a mighty struggle for the mind and soul of America in our day, and Christians cannot be indifferent to it. If moral values are gradually discovered, not invented, then our gradual and fallible apprehension of the moral realm no more undermines the objective reality of that realm than our gradual, fallible apprehension of the physical world undermines the objectivity of that realm. God has given evidence sufficiently clear for those with an open heart, but sufficiently vague so as not to compel those whose hearts are closed. Because of the need for instruction and personal devotion, these writings must have been copied many times, which increases the chances of preserving the original text. In fact, no other ancient work is available in so many copies and languages, and yet all these various versions agree in content. The text has also remained unmarred by heretical additions. The abundance of manuscripts over a wide geographical distribution demonstrates that the text has been transmitted with only trifling discrepancies.
William Lane Craig (Reasonable Faith)
Have you ever heard of the madman who on a bright morning lighted a lantern and ran to the market-place calling out unceasingly: "I seek God! I seek God!"—As there were many people standing about who did not believe in God, he caused a great deal of amusement. Why! is he lost? said one. Has he strayed away like a child? said another. Or does he keep himself hidden? Is he afraid of us? Has he taken a sea-voyage? Has he emigrated?—the people cried out laughingly, all in a hubbub. The insane man jumped into their midst and transfixed them with his glances. "Where is God gone?" he called out. "I mean to tell you! We have killed him,—you and I! We are all his murderers! But how have we done it? How were we able to drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the whole horizon? What did we do when we loosened this earth from its sun? Whither does it now move? Whither do we move? Away from all suns? Do we not dash on unceasingly? Back-wards, sideways, forewards, in all directions? Is there still an above and below? Do we not stray, as through infinite nothingness? Does not empty space breathe upon us? Has it not become colder? Does not night come on continually, darker and darker? Shall we not have to light lanterns in the morning? Do we not hear the noise of the grave-diggers who are burying God? Do we not smell the divine putrefaction?—for even Gods putrefy! God is dead! God remains dead! And we have killed him! How shall we console ourselves, the most murderous of all murderers? The holiest and the mightiest that the world has hitherto possessed, has bled to death under our knife,—who will wipe the blood from us? With what water could we cleanse ourselves? What lustrums, what sacred games shall we have to devise? Is not the magnitude of this deed too great for us? Shall we not ourselves have to become Gods, merely to seem worthy of it? There never was a greater event,—and on account of it, all who are born after us belong to a higher history than any history hitherto!"—Here the madman was silent and looked again at his hearers; they also were silent and looked at him in surprise. At last he threw his lantern on the ground, so that it broke in pieces and was extinguished. "I come too early," he then said, "I am not yet at the right time. This prodigious event is still on its way, and is travelling,—it has not yet reached men's ears. Lightning and thunder need time, the light of the stars needs time, deeds need time, even after they are done, to be seen and heard. This deed is as yet further from them than the furthest star,—and yet they have done it!"—It is further stated that the madman made his way into different churches on the same day, and there intoned his Requiem æternam deo. When led out and called to account, he always gave the reply: "What are these churches now, if they are not the tombs and monuments of God?
Friedrich Nietzsche (The Gay Science)
Just as summer-killed meat draws flies, so the court draws spurious sages, philosophists, and acosmists who remain there as long as their purses and their wits will maintain them, in the hope (at first) of an appointment from the Autarch and (later) of obtaining a tutorial position in some exalted family. At sixteen or so, Thecla was attracted, as I think young women often are, to their lectures on theogony, thodicy, and the like, and I recall one particularly in which a phoebad put forward as an ultimate truth the ancient sophistry of the existence of three Adonai, that of the city (or of the people), that of the poets, and that of the philosophers. Her reasoning was that since the beginning of human consciousness (if such a beginning ever was) there have been vast numbers of persons in the three categories who have endeavored to pierce the secret of the divine. If it does not exist, they should have discovered that long before; if it does, it is not possible that Truth itself should mislead them. Yet the beliefs of the populace, the insights of the rhapsodists, and the theories of the metaphysicians have so far diverged that few of them can so much as comprehend what the others say, and someone who knew nothing of any of their ideas might well believe there was no connection at all between them. May it not be, she asked (and even now I am not certain I can answer), that instead of traveling, as has always been supposed, down three roads to the same destination, they are actually traveling toward three quite different ones? After all, when in common life we behold three roads issuing from the same crossing, we do not assume they all proceed toward the same goal. I found (and find) this suggestion as rational as it is repellent, and it represents for me all that monomaniacal fabric of argument, so tightly woven that not even the tiniest objection or spark of light can escape its net, in which human minds become enmeshed whenever the subject is one in which no appeal to fact is possible. As a fact the Claw was thus an incommensurable. No quantity of money, no piling up of archipelagoes or empires could approach it in value any more than the indefinite multiplication of horizontal distance could be made to equal vertical distance. If it was, as I believed, a thing from outside the universe, then its light, which I had seen shine faintly so often, and a few times brightly, was in some sense the only light we had. If it were destroyed, we were left fumbling in the dark.
Gene Wolfe (The Sword of the Lictor (The Book of the New Sun, #3))