Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence.
Genius means little more than the faculty of perceiving in an unhabitual way.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
That only a few, under any circumstances, protest against the injustice of long-established laws and customs, does not disprove the fact of the oppressions, while the satisfaction of the many, if real only proves their apathy and deeper degradation.
Eugene V. Debs
Now my friends, I am opposed to the system of society in which we live today, not because I lack the natural equipment to do for myself but because I am not satisfied to make myself comfortable knowing that there are thousands of my fellow men who suffer for the barest necessities of life. We were taught under the old ethic that man’s business on this earth was to look out for himself. That was the ethic of the jungle; the ethic of the wild beast. Take care of yourself, no matter what may become of your fellow man. Thousands of years ago the question was asked; ”Am I my brother’s keeper?” That question has never yet been answered in a way that is satisfactory to civilized society.
Yes, I am my brother’s keeper. I am under a moral obligation to him that is inspired, not by any maudlin sentimentality but by the higher duty I owe myself. What would you think me if I were capable of seating myself at a table and gorging myself with food and saw about me the children of my fellow beings starving to death.
Marian Wright Edelman
You just need to be a flea against injustice. Enough committed fleas biting strategically can make even the biggest dog uncomfortable and transform even the biggest nation.
An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics.
The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.
When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become
automatons. We cease to grow.
Martin Luther King, jr.
We must rapidly begin the shift from a "thing-oriented" society to a "person-oriented" society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.
There is nothing to fear except the persistent refusal to find out the truth, the persistent refusal to analyze the causes of happenings.
John F. Kennedy
The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie — deliberate, contrived and dishonest — but the myth — persistent, persuasive and unrealistic
I do not consider it an insult, but rather a compliment to be called an agnostic. I do not pretend to know where many ignorant men are sure — that is all that agnosticism means.
The philosophy of Atheism represents a concept of life without any metaphysical Beyond or Divine Regulator. It is the concept of an actual, real world with its liberating, expanding and beautifying possibilities, as against an unreal world, which, with its spirits, oracles, and mean contentment has kept humanity in helpless degradation.
Sir Julian Huxley
Today the god hypothesis has ceased to be scientifically tenable … and its abandonment often brings a deep sense of relief. Many people assert that this abandonment of the god hypothesis means the abandonment of all religion and all moral sanctions. This is simply not true. But it does mean, once our relief at jettisoning an outdated piece of ideological furniture is over, that we must construct some thing to take its place.
I don’t spend much time thinking about whether God exists. I don’t consider that a relevant question. It’s unanswerable and irrelevant to my life, so I put it in the category of things I can’t worry about.
Believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it
Believe nothing just because a so-called wise person said it. Believe nothing just because a belief is generally held. Believe nothing just because it is said in ancient books. Believe nothing just because it is said to be of divine origin. Believe nothing just because someone else believes it. Believe only what you yourself test and judge to be true. [paraphrased]
The beginning of wisdom is found in doubting; by doubting we come to the question, and by seeking we may come upon the truth.
Becoming responsible adults is no longer a matter of whether children hang up there pajamas or put dirty towels in the hamper, but whether they care about themselves and others — and whether they see everyday chores as related to how we treat this planet.
There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One is roots; the other, wings.
Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.
Don’t limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time.
To know when to be generous and when firm—that is wisdom.
Henry David Thoreau
A man is wise with the wisdom of his time only, and ignorant with its ignorance.
Good people are good because they’ve come to wisdom through failure. We get very little wisdom from success, you know.
Sydney J. Harris:
An idealist believes the short run doesn’t count. A cynic believes the long run doesn’t matter. A realist believes that what is done or left undone in the short run determines the long run.