Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Quotes: Humanism. Humanity.

The idea in bold-face print is a summary of the quote. The number after the topic is the page on which the quote was found.

Humanism viii "As the name [humanism] implies, the central reason for humanist activity was a passionate concern with the human condition, a passionate dedication to the improvement of human life and to the emancipation of man." Introd. John Anthony Scott. Sir Thomas More, Utopia.

Humanity 1273 Their lives were not useful for softening the hard lot of of man. "There was neither use nor beauty in such a life as theirs; for they never softened or sweetened the hard lot of mortality by the exercise of kindly affections, between man and man." “The Miraculous Pitcher” Hawthorne’s The Wonder Book for Boys and Girls

Humanity 742 Has the existence of man improved the universe? "Yet I could wish that the world might be permitted to endure, until some great moral shall have been evolved…now, if it should be burnt tomorrow morning, I am at a loss to know what purpose will have been accomplished, or how the universe will be wiser or better for our existence or destruction." Hawthorne: “The Hall of Fantasy”

Humanity 742 Maybe the existence of man is a drama for the instruction of some other spectators. "…the whole drama, in which we are involuntary actors, may have been performed for the instruction of another set of spectators…cannot perceive that our own comprehension of it is at all essential to the matter." Hawthorne: “The Hall of Fantasy”

Humanity 744 I doubt that man would want to do it [existence] over again. "But I doubt whether we shall be inclined to play such a poor scene [life and the world] over again." Hawthorne: “The Hall of Fantasy”

Humanity 765 The birthmark on her otherwise beautiful face was a symbol of human imperfection. "No, dearest Georgiana, you came so nearly perfect from the hand of nature, that this slightest possible defect [the birthmark on her cheek]—which we hesitate to term a defect or a beauty—shocks me, as being the visible mark of earthly imperfection." Hawthorne: “The Birth Mark”

Humanity 766 "It [the birthmark was a symbol of…] the fatal flaw of humanity, which Nature, in one shape or another, stamps ineffaceably on all her productions, either to imply that they are temporary and finite, or that their perfection must be wrought by toil and pain." Hawthorne: “The Birth Mark”

Humanity 780 "As the last crimson tint of the birthmark—that sole token of human imperfection—faded from her cheek, the parting breath of the now perfect woman passed into the atmosphere…." Hawthorne: “The Birth Mark”

Humanity 780 Only a higher state will complete the perfection of human beings. Not on this earth. "Thus ever does the gross fatality of earth exult in its invariable triumph over the immortal essence, which, in this dim sphere of half-development, demands the completeness of a higher state." Hawthorne: “The Birth Mark”

Humanity 881 Humans would not give up the superficial habits which were important to nobody but themselves. "But it was remarkable, that what all were the least willing to give up, even on the most advantageous terms, were the habits, the oddities, the characteristic traits, the little ridiculous indulgences, somewhere between faults and follies, of which nobody but themselves could understand the fascination." Hawthorne: “The Intelligence Office”

Humanity 58 People may think they are individuals, but they are just like other people. "Whatever you may be sure of, be sure of this: that you are dreadfully like other people." James Russell Lowell. 1871. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.

Humanity 106 "When a man is down, ‘down with him!’ " Cervantes. 1605-15. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.

Humanity 138 "Man is a social animal who dislikes his fellow men." Delacroix. 1852. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.

Humanity 139 "All men naturally hate each other." Pascal. 1670. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.

Humanity 134 "Man is either a brute or a god." Aristotle. Greek. Dictionary of Foreign Terms

Humanity 174 "Man is to man either a god or a wolf." Erasmus. Latin. Dictionary of Foreign Terms

Humanity 212 "Man is neither an angel nor a beast." Pascal. Dictionary of Foreign Terms

Humanity 288 "Few men are missed." Spanish. Dictionary of Foreign Terms

Humanity 327 People enjoy observing the perils of another. "How pleasant when, on the vast deep, the winds have lashed the waters into billows, to witness--from the land--the perils of another." Lucretius. Latin. Dictionary of Foreign Terms

Humanity 19 La Rochefoucauld: "We all have strength enough to endure the troubles of others." Reflections or Moral Thoughts and Maxims, 1665.

Humanity 1 Without vain opinions, flattering hopes, misjudgments and illusions, most men would be hopelessly melancholic. "Doth any man doubt, that if there were taken out of men’s minds vain opinions, flattering hopes, false valuations, would leave the minds of a number of men poor shrunken things, full of melancholy and indisposition...." F. Bacon, “Of Truth.” 1625. Gross, ed. Essays.

Humanity 505 "The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection...and that one is prepared in the end to be defeated and broken up by life…." George Orwell. “Reflections on Gandhi.” 1949. Gross, ed. Essays.

Humanity 639 "But to deny the dark nature of human personality is not only fatuous but dangerous. "Gore Vidal. “Robert Graves and the Twelve Caesars.” 1959. Gross, ed. Essays.

Humanity 639 Sartre on Algeria: "Anybody, at any time, may equally find himself victim or executioner." Gore Vidal. “Robert Graves and the Twelve Caesars.” 1959. Gross, ed. Essays.

Humanity 640 "…half-tamed creatures, whose great moral task it is to hold in balance the angel and the monster within—for we are both, and to ignore this duality is to invite disaster." [RFS: One of the lessons that one learns from reading literature.] Gore Vidal. “Robert Graves and the Twelve Caesars.” 1959. Gross, ed. Essays.

Humanity 295 "Well, I am convinced that there is a vast deal of inconsistency in almost every human character." Austen, Sense and Sensibility.

Humanity 123 "Thus it was with the erring sons of men; they were lost before they knew it; they went astray without being aware; only others could see them as they were." Rölvaag, Giants in the Earth.

Humanity 339 "And now had begun a seemingly endless struggle between man’s fortitude in adversity, on the one hand, and the powers of evil…on the other." Rölvaag, Giants in the Earth.

Humanity 156 Now that we have conquered Nature, we raise other evils to keep us occupied--wars, politics, race-hatreds, labor disputes, etc. "We have nature beaten; we can make her grow wheat; we can keep warm when she sends blizzards; so we raise the devil just for pleasure—wars, politics, race-hatreds, labor disputes." Lewis, Main Street.

Humanity 156 We're civilized, so we have to make ourselves unhappy artificially. "Here in Gopher Prairie we’ve cleared the fields, and become soft, so we make ourselves unhappy artificially at great expense and exertion…." Sinclair Lewis, Main Street.

Humanity 195 "Tell you Carrie: There’s just three classes of people: folks that haven’t got any ideas at all; and cranks that kick about everything; and Regular Guys, the fellows with stick-to-itiveness’, that boost and get the world’s work done." Sinclair Lewis, Main Street.

Humanity 241 People migrate, maybe because it's their heritage, or their inner spirit lacks adventure. "The citizen of the prairie drifts always westward…may be because he is the heir of ancient migrations—and it may be because he finds within his own spirit so little adventure that he is driven to seek it by changing his horizon." Sinclair Lewis, Main Street.

Humanity 254 "The greatest mystery about a human being is not his reaction to sex or praise, but the manner in which he contrives to put in twenty-four hours a day." Sinclair Lewis, Main Street.

Humanity 358 "There are two insults which no human being will endure: the assertion that he hasn’t a sense of humor, and the doubly impertinent assertion that he has never known trouble." Sinclair Lewis, Main Street.

Humanity 163 Madmen think they can change the world in the seventy years allotted to them. "...the crown of thorns that madmen wear whose dream it is to change a world in the little seventy years they are allowed to live." DeKruif, Microbe Hunters.

Humanity 288 Grassi: "Mankind is composed of those who work, those who pretend to work, and those who do neither." DeKruif, Microbe Hunters.

Humanity 82 A book that changed man's view of the world. "…in 1543 Copernicus’s controversial treatise…Of the Movement of Heavenly Bodies was published, which placed the sun at the center of the universe--displacing Ptolemy’s Almagest, which had assured the world that the earth and human kind were at the center of all creation." Manguel, A History of Reading.

Humanity 393 "…just as an instinct for reproduction was attributed to humankind, so there must have been another one more definite and pressing, which was the instinct to kill cockroaches." Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude.

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