Great Quotes

“If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. …  ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition and like the air incapable of confinement”: :

“I have ever thought religion a concern purely between our God and our consciences, for which we were accountable to him, and not to the priests. I never told my own religion, nor scrutinized that of another. I never attempted to make a convert, nor wished to change another’s creed. I have ever judged of the religion of others by their lives, For it is in our lives, and not from our words, that our religion must be read.”: Thomas Jefferson August 6, 1816:

“The Gothic idea that we are to look backwards instead of forwards for the improvement of the human mind, and to … the annals of our ancestors for what is most perfect in government, in religion & in learning is worthy of those bigots in religion & government, by whom it has been recommended, & whose purposes it would answer.  But it is not an idea which this country will endure”: Thomas Jefferson To Dr. Joseph ; Philadelphia, Jan. 27, 1800; The Letters of Thomas Jefferson 1743-1826:

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”: (1863-1952)

“History may not repeat itself, but it does rhyme a lot.”: Mark Twain

“It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”: Mark Twain

“Toleration is not the opposite of intolerance but the counterfeit of it. Both are despotisms: the one assumes to itself the right of withholding liberty of conscience, the other of granting it.”: Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man, 1791-1792

“Toleration is a concession; liberty is a right.”: John M. Swomley: Religious Liberty and the Secular State: The Constitutional Context, Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1987

“It is error alone that needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.”: Thomas Jefferson

“We must not allow other people’s limited perceptions to define us.”: Virginia Satir

“Life is not what it’s supposed to be. It’s what it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference.”: Virginia Satir

“Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.”: Voltaire

“By liberty I mean the assurance that every man shall be protected in doing what he believes to be his duty against the influences of authority and majorities, custom and opinion.”: Lord Acton

“The most certain test by which we judge whether a country is really free is the amount of security enjoyed by minorities.”: Lord Acton

“Intolerance betrays want of faith in one’s cause.”: Gandhi

“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”: Eleanor Roosevelt

“[if] you know your enemy and know yourself, … you need not fear the result of a hundred battles … If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat.”: Sun Tzu: quoted by Oliver North:

“Some people see science and religion as enemies, … Others see science and religion as … unrelated facets of life.  God reveals himself in both … Thus,  … scripture should not conflict with … nature. Since God does not lie, the conflict must occur at the level of human interpretation: either a misunderstanding of … nature, or a misunderstanding of … scripture.“:  are-science-and-christianity-at-war

“I suppose to be self evident, that the earth belongs … to the living; that the dead have neither powers nor rights over it. The portion occupied by an individual ceases to be his when himself ceases to be, and reverts to the . If the society has formed … rules for the appropriation of its lands … those rules may give it to the wife and children, or to some one of them, or to the legatee of the deceased. … But the child, the legatee or creditor takes it, not by any natural right, but by a law of the society of which they are members, and … subject.”: Thomas Jefferson Letter To James Madison, Sep. 6, 1789:

“Some men look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence, … too sacred to be touched. They ascribe to … the preceding age a wisdom more than human, and suppose what they did to be beyond amendment. … I am certainly not an advocate for frequent and untried changes in laws and constitutions … But I know also, laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy, as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors. Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Kercheval, July 12, 1816:

“The owners of this country know the truth: its called the American Dream because you have to be asleep to it.”: George Carlin

“… wisely yielding to the gradual change of circumstances, … Let us [not] … believe that one generation is not as capable as another of taking care of itself, and of ordering its own affairs. Each generation is as independent as the one preceding, It has … a right to choose for itself the form of government  the dead have no rights. … and  cannot own something. This corporeal globe, and everything upon it, belong to its present corporeal inhabitants, … They alone have a right  … to declare the law  …  to make the constitution what they think will be the best for themselves.”: Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Kercheval, July 12, 1816:

“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”: Aldous Huxley:

“That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.”: Aldous Huxley:

“I think that one of our most important tasks is to convince others that there’s nothing to fear in difference; that difference, in fact, is one of the healthiest and most invigorating of human characteristics without which life would become meaningless.”: Adlai Stevenson:

“Patriotism is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.”: Adlai E. Stevenson:

“La nôtre [religion] est sans contredit la plus ridicule, la plus absurde, et la plus sanguinaire qui ait jamais infecté le monde. (Ours [religion] is without a doubt the most ridiculous, the most absurd, and the most blood-thirsty ever to infect the world.)”: Voltaire In a letter to Frederick II, King of Prussia,  5 January 1767

“Our system is to live in perpetual peace with the Indians, …  giving them effectual protection against wrongs from our own people. In truth, the ultimate point of rest & happiness for them is to let our settlements and theirs meet and blend together, to intermix, and become one people.”:   Thomas Jefferson To Governor William H. Harrison Washington, February 27, 1803:

“… If anyone shall set the authority of Holy Writ against clear and manifest reason, he who does this knows not what he has undertaken; for he opposes to the truth not the meaning of the Bible, which is beyond his comprehension, but rather his own interpretation, not what is in the Bible, but what he has found in himself and imagines to be there.”: St. Augustine

” … it being that two truths cannot contradict one another, it is the function of expositors to seek out the true senses of scriptural texts. These will unquestionably accord with the physical conclusions which manifest sense and necessary demonstrations have previously made certain to us.”: Galileo, … in a letter to the Grand Duchess Christina:

“What an effort … of bigotry in Politics & Religion have we gone through! The barbarians really flattered themselves they should be able to bring back the times … when ignorance put everything into the hands of power & priestcraft. All advances in science were proscribed. … We were to look backwards, not forwards, for improvement; , … we were never to expect to go beyond them in real science.”: Thomas Jefferson To Dr. JOSEPH PRIESTLEY Washington, March, 21, 1801:

“I … wish … preservation of our present … constitution, … I am for freedom of religion, & against all maneuvers to bring about a legal ascendancy of one sect over another: for freedom of the press, & against all violations of the constitution to silence … the complaints or criticisms, … of our citizens … I am for encouraging the progress of science in all its branches; … not for raising a hue and cry against … philosophy; … go backwards instead of forwards …  believe that government, religion, morality, & … science were in … perfection in ages of …ignorance, and that nothing can ever be devised more perfect than what was established by our forefathers”: Thomas Jefferson To Elbridge Gerry:

“It ain’t so much the things we don’t know that get us in trouble. It’s the things we know that ain’t so.”: Artemus Ward

“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”: Martin Luther King, Jr.

“It does not require great art, or magnificently trained eloquence, to prove that Christians should tolerate each other. I, however, am going further: I say that we should regard all men as our brothers. … are we not all children of the same father and creatures of the same God?”: Voltaire A Treatise on Toleration (1763)

“No one can sit at the bedside of a dying child and still believe in God.”: Bertrand Russell

“There must be no impatience, no barbarity, no insolence, no undue pressure. If we want to cultivate a true spirit of democracy, we cannot afford to be intolerant. Intolerance betrays want of faith in one’s cause.”: Gandhi

“I will uphold your right to do whatever you wish , within the Law, as long as you respect my right to do the same.”: Lord Devlin:

“The criminal law is not a statement of how people ought to behave; it is a statement of what will happen to them if they do not behave; good citizens are not expected to come within reach of it or to set their sights by it”: Lord Devlin:

“… every worthy society sets for its members standards which are above those of the law. We recognize the existence of such higher standards when we use expressions such as ‘moral obligation’ and ‘morally bound’.”: Lord Devlin:

“There is a failure to keep separate the question of society’s right to pass a moral judgement and the question of whether the arm of the law should be used to enforce the judgement. The line that divides the criminal law from the moral … is like a line that divides land and sea, a coastline of irregularities and indentations. There are gaps which the law has … left substantially untouched”: Lord Devlin:

“My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways … For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”: Isaiah 55:8-9

“A good government implies two things: first, fidelity to the object of government, which is the happiness of the people; secondly, a knowledge of the means by which that object can be best attained. Some governments are deficient in both these qualities; most governments are deficient in the first. I scruple not to assert, that in American governments too little attention has been paid to the last.”: Publius (a pseudonym for  Alexander Hamilton or James Madison) The Federalist # 62:

“he has waged … war against human nature … violating … rights of life and liberty … of a distant people … carrying them into slavery … suppressing … attempt[s] to prohibit or to restrain this … commerce [and] to keep open a market where MEN should be bought and sold”: Thomas Jefferson  in the first draft of The Declaration of Independence

“I think we risk becoming the best informed society that has ever died of ignorance.”: Reuben Blades:

“How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?”: Pope Francis; Nov 26, 2013: Laudato Si

“Thou shalt not be a victim, thou shalt not be a perpetrator, but, above all, thou shalt not be a bystander.”: Yehuda Bauer,  professor of Holocaust Studies at the Avraham Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.:

“The soul is dyed with the color of its thoughts. Think only those things that are in line with your principles and that can bear the light of day.”: Heraclitus, Greek Poet and Philosopher

“Religion and government will BOTH exist in greater purity the LESS they are mixed together”, James Madison, the father of the Constitution, from a letter to Edward Livingston

“You can always count on Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else.” – Winston Churchill

“Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.” Eric Hoffer

“In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.” Confucius

“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross.” Sinclair Lewis, 1935

“Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat, but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” – John Steinbeck

“Those who can make you believe absurdities will get you to commit atrocities.” – Voltaire

“There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice.” Charles de Montesquieu

The opposite of progressive is regressive. The dictionary

“You can lead a conservative to knowledge but you can’t make them think.”

“… the most acceptable service to God is doing good to men.” Benjamin Franklin

“To desire to keep down the rate of wages… is to seek to render the citizens of a state miserable, … it is, at most, attempting to enrich a few … by impoverishing the of the nation; it is taking the part of the stronger in that contest, already so unequal, between the man who can pay wages, and him who is under the necessity of receiving them; it is, in one word, to forget, that the object of every political society ought to be the happiness of the largest number.” Benjamin Franklin, essay: “Reflections on the Augmentation of Wages, Which Will Be Occasioned in Europe by the American Revolution” 1783

“Consumption is the sole end and purpose of all production; and the interest of the producer ought to be attended to, only so far as it may be necessary for promoting that of the consumer” Adam Smith, Author of “The Wealth of Nations” – the bible of capitalism.

“the cruellest of our revenue laws, I will venture to affirm, are mild and gentle in comparison of some of those which the clamour of our merchants and manufacturers has extorted from the legislature … these laws may be said to be all written in blood.”
– Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations

“The rich alone use imported , and on these alone the whole taxes of the General Government are levied…. the farmer will see his government supported, his children educated, and the face of his country made a paradise by the contributions of the rich alone, without his being called on to spend a cent from his earnings.” Thomas Jefferson to Thaddeus Kosciusko, 1811,

“Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they rise.” Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, October 28, 1785

“The Wall Streeters with their mega-bucks are not job creators – they are parasites who feed off a broken system.” LynChi

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