We know nothing of what will happen in future, but by the analogy of experience.

Abraham_Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) American lawyer, politician, US President (1861-65)
Speech on the Sub-Treasury (26 Dec 1839)
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They that seldom take pleasure seldom give pleasure.

Fulke Greville
Fulke Greville (1554-1628) 1st Baron Brooke; Elizabethan poet, dramatist, and statesman
Maxims, Characters, and Reflections (1756)
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In our reasonings concerning matter of fact, there are all imaginable degrees of assurance, from the highest certainty to the lowest species of moral evidence. A wise man, therefore, proportions his belief to the evidence. […] No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind, that its falsehood would be more miraculous, than the fact, which it endeavors to establish.

David Hume
David Hume (1711-1776) Scottish philosopher, economist, historian, empiricist
An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, Sec. 10 “Of Miracles,” Part 1 (1748)

Often given as just, "A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence."
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The companion before the road, and the road before the destination. But without the destination there is no road, and without the road there is no companion.

Abdul Hakim Murad
Abdal Hakim Murad (b. 1960) British Muslim shaykh, researcher, writer, academic [b. Timothy John Winter]
“Contentions 2,” # 7
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I need my sleep. I need about eight hours a day, and about ten at night.

Bill Hicks
Bill Hicks (1961-1994) American stand-up comedian, social critic, satirist, musician [William Melvin "Bill" Hicks]
Performance at The Oxford Playhouse (11 Nov 1992)

Released on Salvation (2005) .
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What counts now is not just what we are against, but what we are for.

Adlai Stevenson
Adlai Stevenson (1900-1965) American diplomat, statesman
Speech, Democratic National Convention, Chicago (21 Jul 1952)
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Be nice to people on your way up because you’ll meet ‘em on your way down.

Wilson Mizner
Wilson Mizner (1876-1933) American screenwriter and wit
In Alva Johnston, The Legendary Mizners, ch. 4 (1953)
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I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.

Douglas Adams
Douglas Adams (1952-2001) English writer
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (1979)
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BOOK: Only one thing is gonna walk you though this, Mal: belief.

MAL: You know I always look to you for counsel, but sermons make me sleepy, Shepherd. I ain’t looking for help on high. That’s a long wait for a train don’t come.

BOOK: When I talk about belief, why do you always assume I’m talking about God?

Joss Whedon
Joss Whedon (b. 1964) American screenwriter, author, producer [Joseph Hill Whedon]
Serenity (2005)
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The remedy for speech that is false is speech that is true. This is the ordinary course in a free society. The response to the unreasoned is the rational; to the uninformed, the enlightened; to the straight-out lie, the simple truth.
.

Anthony Kennedy
Anthony Kennedy (b. 1936) US Supreme Court Justice
United States v. Alvarez, 567 U. S. ____, *16 (2012) [Plurality]
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A man who procrastinates in his CHOOSING will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance.

Hunter S Thompson
Hunter S. Thompson (1937-2005) American journalist, writer
Letter to Hume Logan (22 Apr 1958)
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To have great poets, there must be great audiences, too.

Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman (1819-1892) American poet
Specimen Days and Collect, “Ventures, on an Old Theme,” closing paragraph (1882)
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[Ambition] is so powerful a passion in the human breast, that however high we reach we are never satisfied.

Niccolò Machiavelli
Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527) Italian politician, philosopher, political scientist
The Discourses (1517)
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Surely, in the light of history, it is more intelligent to hope rather than to fear, to try rather than not to try. For one thing we know beyond all doubt: Nothing has ever been achieved by the person who says, “It can’t be done.”

Eleanor Roosevelt
Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) First Lady of the US (1933-45), politician, diplomat, activist
You Learn By Living (1960)
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There are few situations in life that cannot be honourably settled, and without loss of time, either by suicide, a bag of gold, or by thrusting a despised antagonist over the edge of a precipice upon a dark night.

Ernest Bramah
Ernest Bramah (1868-1942) English author [Ernest Brammah Smith]
“The Story of Hien and the Chief Examiner,” Kai Lung’s Golden Hours (1922)
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It is the business of the future to be dangerous.

Alfred North Whitehead
Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947) English mathematician and philosopher
Science and the Modern World (1925)
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It is certain that I cannot always distinguish my own thoughts from those I read, because what I read becomes the very substance and text of my mind.

Helen Keller
Helen Keller (1880-1968) American author and lecturer
(Attributed)

After being accused of plagiarism. In James R. Kincaid, "Purloined Letters," New Yorker (20 Jan 1997)
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I have never made but one prayer to God, and very short one: “O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.” And God granted it.

fvoltaire
Voltaire (1694-1778) French writer [pseud. of Francois-Marie Arouet]
Letter to M. Damilaville (16 May 1767)
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I don’t trust a man who talks about ethics when he’s picking my pockets.

Robert Heinlein
Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Time Enough For Love (1973)
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The unrecorded past is none other than our old friend, the tree in the primeval forest which fell without being heard.

Barbara Tuchman
Barbara W. Tuchman (1912-1989) American historian and author
“Can History Be Served Up Hot?” New York Times (8 Mar 1964)
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When friends and acquaintances are telling you you are a genius, before you accept their opinion, take a moment to remember what you always thought of their opinions in the past.

Carl Icahn
Carl Icahn (b. 1936) American businessman and investor
In “The Best Financial Advice I Ever Got (or Gave),” Wall Street Journal (6 Jan 2014)
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Consider and act with reference to the true ends of existence. This world is but the vestibule of an immortal life. Every action of our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity.

Edwin Hubbel Chapin
Edwin Hubbell Chapin (1814-1880) American clergyman
(Attributed)
    (Source)

Quoted in Charles Northend, Memory Gems (1890).
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The real problem of our existence lies in the fact that we ought to love one another, but do not.

Reinhold Niebuhr
Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971) American theologian and clergyman
Christian Realism and Political Problems, ch. 8 (1953)
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In addition to all the weaknesses, dilemmas and temptations that impede every pilgrim’s progress, the Catholic who holds political office in a pluralistic democracy — who is elected to serve Jews and Muslims, atheists and Protestants, as well as Catholics — bears special responsibility. He or she undertakes to help create conditions under which all can live with a maximum of dignity and with a reasonable degree of freedom; where everyone who chooses may hold beliefs different from specifically Catholic ones — sometimes contradictory to them; where the laws protect people’s right to divorce, to use birth control and even to choose abortion. In fact, Catholic public officials take an oath to preserve the Constitution that guarantees this freedom. And they do so gladly. Not because they love what others do with their freedom, but because they realize that in guaranteeing freedom for all, they guarantee our right to be Catholics: our right to pray, to use the sacraments, to refuse birth control devices, to reject abortion, not to divorce and remarry if we believe it to be wrong.

Mario Cuomo
Mario Cuomo (1932-2015) American politician
“Religious Belief and Public Morality,” John A. O’Brien Lecture, U. of Notre Dame (13 Sep 1984)
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Man is a complex being who makes deserts bloom and lakes die.

NPG x27017; Gladys Bertha ('G.B.') Stern by Bassano
G. B. Stern (1890-1973) British writer [Gladys Bronwyn Stern]
(Attributed)

Also attributed (unsourced) to Gil Stern, Gil Scott-Heron, and Lawrence Peter.
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It needs inordinate self-confidence to face drastic change without inner trembling.

Eric Hoffer
Eric Hoffer (1902-1983) American writer, philosopher, longshoreman
The Ordeal of Change (1963)
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The last pleasure in life is the sense of discharging our duty.

William_Hazlitt
William Hazlitt (1778-1830) English writer
Table Talk, “On Novelty and Familiarity” (1822)
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More important than any belief a man holds is the way he holds it. Any fool or fanatic can embrace a doctrine. Even if true, it remains a dogma unless it is evaluated in the light of its alternatives, and the relevant evidence for them.

Sydney Hook
Sidney Hook (1902-1989) American philosopher
Political Power and Personal Freedom, ch. 28 “Socialism Without Utopia: A Rejoinder to Max Eastman”(1959)
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Religion that seeks to be no more than a time capsule is likely to be claustrophobic.

Abdul Hakim Murad
Abdal Hakim Murad (b. 1960) British Muslim shaykh, researcher, writer, academic [b. Timothy John Winter]
“Contentions 2,” # 8
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That’s what I hate about the war on drugs. All day long we see those commercials: “Here’s your brain, here’s your brain on drugs”, “Just Say No”, “Why do you think they call it dope?” … And then the next commercial is “This Bud’s for yooouuuu.” C’mon, everybody, let’s be hypocritical bastards. It’s okay to drink your drug. We meant those other drugs. Those untaxed drugs. Those are the ones that are bad for you.

Bill Hicks
Bill Hicks (1961-1994) American stand-up comedian, social critic, satirist, musician [William Melvin "Bill" Hicks]
Performance, Pittsburgh (20 Jun 1991)

Recorded in Flying Saucer Tour, Vol. 1 (2002)
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Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable.

George Bernard Shaw 2
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) British playwright and critic
Back to Methuselah, Part 5 (1921)
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Never kick a man when he’s down — he may get up.

~generic
Louis A. Safian (contemp.) American theatrical producer, writer
The Book of Updated Proverbs, ch. 1 (1967)
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Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It is not a day when you lounge around doing nothing: it’s when you’ve had everything to do, and you’ve done it.

Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher (1925-2013) British Prime Minister (1979-90), research chemist, barrister, politician
(Attributed)
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JAYNE: I just don’t get it. How’s a man get so wrong? Cuttin’ on his own face, rapin’ and murdering. Hell, I’ll kill a man in a fair fight. Or if I think he’s gonna start a fair fight. Or if he bothers me. Or if there’s a woman. Or if I’m gettin’ paid. Mostly only when I’m gettin’ paid. But these Reavers — last ten years they show up like the bogeyman from stories. Eating people alive? Where’s that get fun?

Joss Whedon
Joss Whedon (b. 1964) American screenwriter, author, producer [Joseph Hill Whedon]
Serenity (2005)
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Managers who don’t know how to measure what they want settle for wanting what they can measure. For example, those who want a high quality of work life but don’t know how to measure it, often settle for wanting a high standard of living because they can measure it.

Russell Ackoff
Russell L. Ackoff (1919-2009) American organizational theorist, consultant, management scientist
A little book of f-laws: 13 common sins of management (2006)
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I frankly admit to not knowing who I am. This is why I refuse to buy clothes that will tell people who I want them to think I am.

Russell Baker
Russell Baker (b. 1925) American journalist, author, humorist
“Talking Clothes,” So This Is Depravity (1973)
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Sir, I admit your gen’ral Rule
That every Poet is a Fool;
But you yourself may serve to show it.
That ever Fool is not a Poet.

Alexander Pope
Alexander Pope (1688-1744) English poet
“Epigram from the French” (1732)
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Most people would succeed in small things if they were not troubled with great ambitions.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) American poet
“Table Talk,” Prose Works (1857)
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One thing I believe profoundly: We make our own history. The course of history is directed by the choices we make and our choices grow out of the ideas, the beliefs, the values, the dreams of the people. It is not so much the powerful leaders that determine our destiny as the much more powerful influence of the combined voices of the people themselves.

Eleanor Roosevelt
Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) First Lady of the US (1933-45), politician, diplomat, activist
Tomorrow Is Now (1963)
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When struck by a thunderbolt it is unnecessary to consult the Book of Dates as to the precise meaning of the omen.

Ernest Bramah
Ernest Bramah (1868-1942) English author [Ernest Brammah Smith]
“The Transformation of Ling,” The Wallet of Kai Lung (1900)
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The secret demerits of which we alone, perhaps, are conscious, are often more difficult to bear than those which have been publicly censured in us, and thus in some degree atoned for.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) American poet
Kavanagh: A Tale, ch. 30 (1849)
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Though old the thought and oft exprest,
‘Tis his at last who says it best.

James Russell Lowell
James Russell Lowell (1819-1891) American diplomat, essayist, poet
“For an Autograph,” Under the Willows and Other Poems (1868)
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When the gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers.

Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) Irish poet, wit, dramatist
An Ideal Husband, Act 2 (1895)
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We have borne patiently a great deal of wrong, on the consideration that if nations go to war for every degree of injury, there would never be peace on earth. But when patience has begotten false estimates of its motives, when wrongs are pressed because it is believed they will be borne, resistance becomes morality.

Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) American political philosopher, polymath, statesman, US President (1801-09)
Letter to Mme de Stael (1807) [ME 11:282]
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To search for meaning we must not forget that the gods (or God, for that matter) are a concept of the human mind; they are the creatures of man, not vice-versa. They are invented to give meaning and purpose to the puzzle that is life on earth, to explain strange and irregular phenomena of nature, haphazard events, and, above all, irrational human conduct. They exist to bear the burden of all the things that cannot be comprehended except by supernatural intervention or design.

Barbara Tuchman
Barbara W. Tuchman (1912-1989) American historian and author
The March of Folly: from Troy to Vietnam, ch. 2 (1984)
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Silence is not always tact and it is tact that is golden, not silence.

Samuel Butler
Samuel Butler (1835-1902) English novelist, satirist, scholar
Notebooks, “Silence and Tact” (1912)
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If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

bible
The Bible (14th C BC - 2nd C AD) Christian sacred scripture
James 2:15-16 [KJV]

Alt. trans.:
  • "If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,' and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that?" [NRSV]
  • "Suppose there are brothers or sisters who need clothes and don't have enough to eat.  What good is there in your saying to them, 'God bless you! Keep warm and eat well!'—if you don't give them the necessities of life?" [GNT]
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The older I get, the more wisdom I find in the ancient rule of taking first things first — a process which often reduces the most complex human problems to manageable proportions.

Dwight D Eisenhower
Dwight David Eisenhower (1890-1969) US President (1954-60)
“Let’s Be Honest with Ourselves,” Reader’s Digest (Dec 1963)
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Individuals sometimes forgive, but bodies and societies never do.

Lord Chesterfield
Lord Chesterfield (1694-1773) English statesman, wit [Philip Dormer Stanhope]
Letter to his son (17 Feb 1754)
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Both optimists and pessimists contribute to our society. The optimist invents the airplane and the pessimist the parachute.

NPG x27017; Gladys Bertha ('G.B.') Stern by Bassano
G. B. Stern (1890-1973) British writer [Gladys Bronwyn Stern]
(Attributed)
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It is revolting to have no better reason for a rule of law than that so it was laid down in the time of Henry IV.

oliver wendell holmes jr
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (1841-1935) American jurist, Supreme Court Justice
“The Path of the Law,” Speech to the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts (8 Jan 1897)
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No state can be more destitute than that of a him who, when the delites of sense forsake him, has no pleasures of the mind.

Samuel Johnson
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) English writer, lexicographer, critic
The Plays of William Shakespeare, “Cymbeline” (1765)
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We are all tattooed in our cradles with the beliefs of our tribe; the record may seem superficial, but it is indelible. You cannot educate a man wholly out of the superstitious fears which were implanted in his imagination, no matter how utterly his reason may reject them.

Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (1809-1894) American poet, essayist, scholar
The Poet at the Breakfast-Table (1872)
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It is only when you truly don’t care what people think that you truly don’t need to care what people think.

Abdul Hakim Murad
Abdal Hakim Murad (b. 1960) British Muslim shaykh, researcher, writer, academic [b. Timothy John Winter]
“Contentions 2,” # 5
    (Source)
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“I believe that the Bible is the literal word of God.” And I say no, it’s not, Dad. “Well, I believe that it is.” Well, you know, some people believe they’re Napoleon. That’s fine. Beliefs are neat. Cherish them, but don’t share them like they’re the truth.

Bill Hicks
Bill Hicks (1961-1994) American stand-up comedian, social critic, satirist, musician [William Melvin "Bill" Hicks]
Filling Up the Hump (1993)
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