In this, as in all things, context is king.
Fictional Presidential Candidate Matthew Santos
Existence is thicker in facts than laws.
I live, therefore I think.
Jose Ortega y Gasset
Art, like morality, consists in drawing the line somewhere.
Gilbert Keith Chesterton
Freedom of speech is an American concept, so I don't give it any value.
Dean Steacy, Canadian Human Rights Commission, on Mark Steyn's Show Trial
The greatest threat to mankind and civilization is the spread of the totalitarian philosophy. Its best ally is not the devotion of its followers but the confusion of its enemies. To fight it, we must understand it.
"The Only Path to Tomorrow" Readers Digest, Jan 1944
Benjamin Hayden said: "Fortunately for serious minds, a bias recognized is a bias sterilized." Voltaire said: "The perfect is the enemy of the good." Integrating them both leaves ‘perfectionism’ – something really good for mankind – morally unscathed, as the more perfect perfectionists will have a more perfect perspective regarding the inherent pitfalls of perfectionism, per se.
Edward D. Thompson
Atheism alone is a rotting corpse. I substitute art and nature for God -- the grandeur of man and the vast mystery of the universe.
That church teaches us that we can make God happy by being miserable ourselves; that a nun is holier in the sight of God than a loving mother with her child in her thrilled and thrilling arms; that a priest is better than a father; that celibacy is better than that passion of love that has made everything of beauty in this world. That church tells the girl of sixteen or eighteen years of age, with eyes like dew and light; that girl with the red of health in the white of her beautiful cheeks - tells that girl, 'Put on the veil, woven of death and night, kneel upon stones, and you will please God.' I tell you that, by law, no girl should be allowed to take the veil and renounce the joys and beauties of this life.
The Bible and Morality: The Bible lacks any guidance of morals. On purpose, whoever wrote the Genesis presented the fantasy figure called "God" as not being in the least interested in people to behave morally but only to obey, like ignorants, his commands, however criminal and immoral they were (the Bible presenting ample proofs of this). To attain this end, the Genesis had to stigmatize "opening the eyes" or "gaining knowledge" as a sin. Reason was forbidden. Were the Bible to be taken as a teaching of morals, as it purports, "Adam and Eve" would had never been forbidden to taste the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for precisely discerning between good and evil is the very fundament of morality.
Manfred F. Schieder (1937 - )
Manfred F. Schieder's own mind.
For optimal well-being, folks need to be made to feel uncoerced, capable, and somehow connected to others.
Edward D. Thompson
[my summary of “self-determination theory”]
Just in terms of allocation of time resources, religion is not very efficient. There's a lot more I could be doing on a Sunday morning.
William (Bill) H. Gates
But we are social persons, not social animals. Hence we cannot be satisfied, as the gregarious animals are, simply by herding together, simply by being useful to another, or simply by the pleasures of bodily contact. We want to share one another's lives. How can this be done? Only by conversation -- which is indispensable to love. Love without conversation is impossible. Conversation without love is quite possible, but then it is only abstract discussion, not the heart-to-heart talk which is the conversation of lovers. Unless we love and are loved, each of us is alone, each of us is deeply lonely. Unless we enjoy the community of love -- the communication or conversation of love, we cannot get out of ourselves, and we are shut out from all others, as animals are, even when they herd closely together.
Mortimer J. Adler
Never let man imagine that he can pursue a good end by evil means, without sinning against his own soul! Any other issue is doubtful; the evil effect on himself is certain.
Robert Southey (1774-1843)
"I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever."
I would rather be ashes than dust. I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of man is to live, not to exist.
The idea of God was not a lie but a device of the unconscious which needed to be decoded by psychology. A personal god was nothing more than an exalted father-figure: desire for such a deity sprang from infantile yearnings for a powerful, protective father, for justice and fairness and for life to go on forever. God is simply a projection of these desires, feared and worshipped by human beings out of an abiding sense of helplessness. Religion belonged to the infancy of the human race; it had been a necessary stage in the transition from childhood to maturity. It had promoted ethical values which were essential to society. Now that humanity had come of age, however, it should be left behind.
If religion were true, its followers would not try to bludgeon their young into an artificial conformity; but would merely insist on their unbending quest for truth, irrespective of artificial backgrounds or practical consequences. With such an honest and inflexible openness to evidence, they could not fail to receive any real truth which might be manifesting itself around them. The fact that religionists do not follow this honourable course, but cheat at their game by invoking juvenile quasi-hypnosis, is enough to destroy their pretensions in my eyes even if their absurdity were not manifest in every other direction.
"Philosophy saves us one mind at a time/Or not at all, and only by our choice."
"Ayn Rand: A Centennial"
Trust that still, small voice that says, "This might work and I'll try it."
If, on your journey, you should encounter God, God will be cut.
Kill Bill: Volume 1
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.
The world exists for us human beings. It is not we who exist for the world, as the enemies of mankind would have it, for a world without humans lacks every sense of existence.
Manfred F. Schieder (1937 - )
From Manfred's own mind, a product and non-dualistic part of matter
The only leverage a philosopher has is the principle of noncontradiction.
"The Logic of Torture" -- TCS Daily -- http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=112707C
"... principles shouldn't fly out the window when on the battlefield. Moreover, that might be where we need them most, where our actions will bring severe consequences one way or other. "
RoR Member 216 Jordan
"What is an Objective Justice System?" RoR Law
Reality does not require believing - it demands knowledge, which comes from your reasoning faculty [which is why you have it, and what it is for].... only the non-real demands believing..
Effectively packaged, nearly any idea, no matter how vile, can attract the loyalty of some.
Tibor R. Machan
Life & Property
Groups can never define the individual, although the individual can define the group (and often does so).
Common law is good in the way witchdoctors were once good: some of their discoveries were a primitive form of medicine, and to that extent achieved something. But once a science of medicine is established, you don't return to witchdoctors. Similarly, common law established--by tradition or inertia-- some proper principles (and some dreadful ones). But once a civilization grasps the concept of law, and particularly of a constitution, common law becomes unnecessary and should not be regarded as law. In a free society, anyone can have customs; but that's not law.
Ayn Rand Answers
When thinkers accept those who deny the existence of thinking, as fellow thinkers of a different school of thought - it is they who achieve the destruction of the mind. They grant the enemy's basic premise, thus granting the sanction of reason to formal dementia. A basic premise is an absolute that permits no co-operation with its antithesis and tolerates no tolerance.
Atlas Shrugged - Hugh Akston speaking to Dagny
No, justice has not ceased to exist. How could it? It is possible for men to abandon their sight of it, and then it is justice that destroys them. But it is not possible for justice to go out of existence, because one is an attribute of the other, because justice is the act of acknowledging that which exists...
Atlas Shrugged - Judge Narragansett speaking to Dagny
Every form of happiness is one, every desire is driven by the same motor - by our love for a single value, for the highest potentiality of our own existence - and every achievement is an expression of it.
Atlas Shrugged - Francisco speaking to Dagny in Galt's Gulch
You have a life. It’s a precious thing, and it’s yours. Make the most of it. Don’t give it up, don’t waste it on things you don’t value, regardless of what others demand from you. Work with others when you can, love and give yourself to them as they deserve—but always by the standard of what is best for your own life. The purpose of ethics is to help you find and enjoy what is best, not to sacrifice it. Pursuing your happiness, taking full responsibility for it, is a worthy and challenging task. It will take thought and effort, it will take ambition and courage, it will take everything you have, and if you succeed you will have the right to be proud, morally proud, of what you have accomplished.
"A Philosophy for the 21st Century." The New Individualist. Oct. 2007: 49
He who asserts that everything happens by necessity can hardly find fault with one who denies that everything happens by necessity; by his own theory this very argument is voiced by necessity.
The Vatican Sayings
My regard for the inventor of the harp is not made less by knowing that the instrument was very crudely constructed and still more crudely played. Rather, I admire [the inventor] more than I do the hundreds of craftsmen who in ensuing centuries have brought this art to the highest perfection. ...
Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences
I happen to know that when bad things happen a great many people will do extraordinary things. Not because they have to, not because some calculation tells them that's the sensible thing to do but because our lives are our personal work of art. We sometimes do things because that's the beautiful thing to do. Because in the contemplation of our lives there should be beautiful things.
A wise man is not only one who begins with the end in mind; he is also one who discovers and chooses the best ends to even have in mind in the first place.
Edward D. Thompson
Ed Thompson, 08/2007
[T]here is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.
A Room of One's Own
"Stop mixing crap and chocolate. The mix always tastes like crap."
They could not see the world beyond the mountains, there was only a void of darkness and rock … But far in the distance, on the edge of the earth, a small flame was waving in the wind, the defiantly stubborn flame of Wyatt’s torch, twisting, being torn and regaining its hold, not to be uprooted or extinguished. It seemed to be calling and waiting for the words John Galt was now to pronounce. “The road is cleared,” said Galt. “We are going back to the world.”
To abstain from condemning a torturer is to become an accessory to his crimes
An Untitled Letter
What is the nature of Love? Love is a command to rise to one's highest potential, the best and noblest vision of oneself. Love is a reward, the greatest we can earn, granted to us for the moral qualities we have achieved in our life.
Helen Mirren portraying Ayn Rand in "The Passion of Ayn Rand."
...that an error made on your own is safer than ten truths accepted on faith, because the first leaves you the means to correct it, but the second destroys your capacity to distinguish truth from error.
Atlas Shrugged, "This is John Galt Speaking"
"What has sustainable development to do with human rights?"
The substitute for fear is not confidence. It's compassion for yourself and others.
One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.
Rationalism was an essential inclination amid the Muslim thinkers during the Golden Age of Islam; it was toleration of ideas in which the so-called golden age of Islam flourished.
The saga of 'missing' Nobel prizes within nations of Islam
Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.
Winston Smith, 1984
"Our life is our answer."
Contrary habits must be broken and good ones acquired and established, before we can have any dependence on a steady, uniform rectitude of conduct.