They taught me that the truth would make me free but failed to warn me of the kind of trouble I’d get into by trying to tell it — I remain duly grateful.

Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood (b. 1939) Canadian writer, literary critic, environmental activist
“Attitude,” Commencement Address, University Of Toronto (14 Jun 1983)
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He is the true conqueror of pleasure, who can make use of it without being carried away by it, not he who abstains from it altogether.

Aristippus of Cyrene (c. 435 – c. 356 BC) Cyrenaic philosopher, Hedonist
Fragment 53
    (Source)

Alt. trans.:

  • "The one to master pleasure is not he who abstains but he who employs it without being carried away by it -- just as being a master of a ship or of a horse is not abstaining from using them, but directing them where one wishes." (Fragment 55 Mannebach) (Stob. Ecl. 3.17 17
  • "The master of pleasure is not he who abstains from it, but he who uses it without being carried away by it."
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The curse of man, and the cause of nearly all his woes, is his stupendous capacity for believing the incredible.

HL Mencken2
H.L. Mencken (1880-1956) American writer and journalist [Henry Lewis Mencken]
In Defense of Women (1918)
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Only the very bad or the very good are polygamists.

Abdul Hakim Murad
Abdal Hakim Murad (b. 1960) British Muslim shaykh, researcher, writer, academic [b. Timothy John Winter]
“Contentions 2,” #84
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And by the way, in the the new Code of Laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make I desire you would Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favourable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands. Remember all Men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the Ladies we are determined to foment a Rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice, or Representation.

Abigail Adams
Abigail Adams (1744-1818) American writer, First Lady
Letter to John Adams (31 Mar 1776)
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A system cannot fail those it was never designed to protect.

WEB DuBois
W. E. B. Du Bois (1868-1963) American writer, historian, social reformer [William Edward Burghardt Du Bois]
(Attributed)
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Many talk like Philosophers and live like Fools.

ifullet001p1
Thomas Fuller (1654-1734) English writer, physician
Gnomologia, #3358 (1732)
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The starting point of all achievement is desire.

Napoleon Hill
Napoleon Hill (1883-1970) American author, motivational writer
Think and Grow Rich (1937)
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ZOE: You sanguine about the kind of reception we’re apt to receive on an Alliance ship, Cap’n?

MAL: Absolutely. [Pause] What’s “sanguine” mean?

ZOE: “Sanguine”. Hopeful. Plus, point of interest: it also means “bloody”.

MAL: Well, that pretty much covers all the options, don’t it?

Drew Z Greenberg
Drew Z. Greenberg (contemp.) TV producer and writer
Firefly, 1×05 “Safe” (8 Nov 2002)
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There is an old saw in the services: that which is not inspected deteriorates.

Dwight D Eisenhower
Dwight David Eisenhower (1890-1969) American general, US President (1954-60)
News conference (12 May 1954)
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Most of the things we do, we do for no better reason than that our fathers have done them or our neighbors do them, and the same is true of a larger part than what we suspect of what we think.

oliver wendell holmes jr
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (1841-1935) American jurist, Supreme Court Justice
“The Path of the Law,” speech, Boston University School of Law on (8 Jan 1897)
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If evil Men speak good, or good Men evil of thee; examine thy Actions, and suspect thyself.

ifullet001p1
Thomas Fuller (1654-1734) English writer, physician
Introductio ad Prudentiam, #1252 (1731)
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We have solved, by fair experiment, the great and interesting question whether freedom of religion is compatible with order in government and obedience to the laws. And we have experienced the quiet as well as the comfort which results from leaving every one to profess freely and openly those principles of religion which are the inductions of his own reason and the serious convictions of his own inquiries.

Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) American political philosopher, polymath, statesman, US President (1801-09)
Speech, Baptist General Meeting, Chesterfield, Virginia (21 Nov 1808)
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Peace will not be built, however, by people with bitterness in their hearts.

Eleanor Roosevelt
Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) First Lady of the US (1933-45), politician, diplomat, activist
“My Day” (7 Jan 1944)
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There isn’t a way things should be. There’s just what happens, and what we do.

Terry Pratchett
Terry Pratchett (1948-2015) English author
A Hat Full of Sky (2004)
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Any sufficiently advanced indifference is indistinguishable from evil.

George Wiman
George Wiman (contemp.) American blogger, computer technician
Google+ (15 May 2015)
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See Clarke.
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The gloomy and the resentful are always found among those who have nothing to do or who do nothing.

Samuel Johnson
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) English writer, lexicographer, critic
The Idler (1 Sep 1759)
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Beloved Pan, and all ye other gods who haunt this place, give me beauty in the inward soul; and may the outward and inward man be at one.

Plato philosopher
Plato (c.428-347 BC) Greek philosopher
Phaedrus, 279 [tr. Jowett (1894)]
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Privacy is as necessary as company; you can drive a man crazy by depriving him of either.

Robert Heinlein
Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Time Enough For Love [Lazarus Long] (1973)
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Honor wears different coats to different eyes.

Barbara Tuchman
Barbara W. Tuchman (1912-1989) American historian and author
The Guns of August, ch. 7 (1962)
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I must say I’m not very fond of oratory that’s so full of energy it hasn’t any room for facts.

Sinclair Lewis
Sinclair Lewis (1885-1951) American novelist, playwright
Arrowsmith, ch. 22, part 3 (1925)
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The result of a single action may spread like the circles that expand when a stone is thrown into a pond, until they touch places and people unguessed at by the person who threw the stone.

Robertson Davies
Robertson Davies (1913-1995) Canadian author, editor, publisher
“Literature and Moral Purpose” (1990)
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Contraceptives should be used on all conceivable occasions.

Spike Milligan
Terence Alan "Spike" Milligan (1918-2002) Anglo-Irish comedian, writer, actor
The Last Goon Show of All (1972)
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Ultimately, therefore, the question “whether or not we admit religious values into our public affairs” is too broad to yield a single answer. “Yes,” we create our public morality through consensus and in this country that consensus reflects to some extent religious values of a great majority of Americans. But “no,” all religiously based values don’t have an a priori place in our public morality. The community must decide if what is being proposed would be better left to private discretion than public policy; whether it restricts freedoms, and if so to what end, to whose benefit; whether it will produce a good or bad result; whether overall it will help the community or merely divide it.

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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Let us think the unthinkable, let us do the undoable, let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all.

Douglas Adams
Douglas Adams (1952-2001) English writer
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (1987)
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To blame the poor for subsisting on welfare has no justice unless we are also willing to judge every rich member of society by how productive he or she is. Taken individual by individual, it is likely that there’s more idleness and abuse of government favors among the economically privileged than among the ranks of the disadvantaged.

Norman Mailer
Norman Mailer (1923-2007) American novelist, journalist, playwright, activist
Esquire (1996)
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Business and pleasure, rightly understood, mutually assist each other, instead of being enemies, as silly or dull people often think them. No man tastes pleasures truly who does not earn them by previous business; and few people do business well who do nothing else.

Lord Chesterfield
Lord Chesterfield (1694-1773) English statesman, wit [Philip Dormer Stanhope]
Letter to his son (7 Aug 1749)
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Earthly minds, like mud walls, resist the strongest batteries: and though, perhaps, sometimes the force of a clear argument may make some impression, yet they nevertheless stand firm, and keep out the enemy, truth, that would captivate or disturb them. Tell a man passionately in love that he is jilted; bring a score of witnesses of the falsehood of his mistress, it is ten to one but three kind words of hers shall invalidate all their testimonies.

John Locke
John Locke (1632-1704) English philosopher
An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Book 4, ch. 20, “Of Wrong Assent, or Error” (1690)
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Idolatry is worse than atheism.

Abdul Hakim Murad
Abdal Hakim Murad (b. 1960) British Muslim shaykh, researcher, writer, academic [b. Timothy John Winter]
“Contentions 2,” #37
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I am more and more convinced that man is a dangerous creature; and that power, whether vested in many or a few, is ever grasping, and, like the grave, cries, “Give, give!” The great fish swallow up the small; and he who is most strenuous for the rights of the people, when vested with power, is as eager after the prerogatives of government. You tell me of degrees of perfection to which human nature is capable of arriving, and I believe it, but at the same time lament that our admiration should arise from the scarcity of the instances.

Abigail Adams
Abigail Adams (1744-1818) American writer, First Lady
Letter to John Adams (27 Nov 1775)
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Looky here, America
What you done done —
Let things drift
Until the riots come.

Langston Hughes
Langston Hughes (1902-1967) American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright
“Beaumont to Detroit: 1943″
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The real reason for not committing suicide is because you always know how swell life gets again after hell is over.

hemingway
Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) American writer
Letter (1926)
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To understand the heart and mind of a person, look not at what he has already achieved, but at what he aspires to.

Khalil Gibran
Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931) Lebanese-American poet, writer, painter [Gibran Khalil Gibran]
(Attributed)
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ZOE: Cap’n’ll come up with a plan.
KAYLEE: Well, that’s good. Right?
ZOE: Possible you’re not recalling some of his previous plans.

Drew Z Greenberg
Drew Z. Greenberg (contemp.) TV producer and writer
Firefly, 1×05 “Safe” (8 Nov 2002)
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Thank goodness, many years ago, I had a preceptor, for whom my admiration has never died, and he had a favorite saying, one that I trust I try to live by. It was: always take your job seriously, never yourself.

Dwight D Eisenhower
Dwight David Eisenhower (1890-1969) American general, US President (1954-60)
Speech, New England “Forward to ’54” Dinner, Boston (21 Sep 1953)
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There is something to be said for every error; but, whatever may be said for it, the most important thing to be said about it is that it is erroneous.

Gilbert_Chesterton
Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
Illustrated London News (25 April 1931)
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Watch how a man takes praise, and there you have the measure of him.

Thomas Burke
Thomas Burke (1886-1945) British author
In T.P.’s Weekly (8 Jun 1928)
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We should begin by setting conscience free. When all men of all religions shall enjoy equal liberty, property, and an equal chance for honors and power we may expect that improvements will be made in the human character and the state of society.

John Adams
John Adams (1735-1826) American lawyer, Founding Father, statesman, US President (1797-1801)
Letter to Dr. Price (8 Apr 1785)
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We will have to want peace, want it enough to pay for it, pay for it in our own behavior and in material ways. We will have to want it enough to overcome our lethargy and go out and find all those in other countries who want it as much as we do.

Eleanor Roosevelt
Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) First Lady of the US (1933-45), politician, diplomat, activist
This Troubled World (1938)
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Time is a drug. Too much of it kills you.

Terry Pratchett
Terry Pratchett (1948-2015) English author
Small Gods (1992)
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Wisdom without honesty is mere craft and cozenage.

Ben Jonson
Ben Jonson (1572-1637) English playwright and poet
Timber, or Discoveries Made upon Men and Matter (1641)
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Tart words make no friends; a spoonful of honey will catch more flies than a gallon of vinegar.

Ben Franklin
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) American statesman, scientist, philosopher
Poor Richard’s Almanack (1744)

From Giovanni Torriano, Italian Proverbs (1666): "Honey catches more flies than vinegar."
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Teach me to feel another’s Woe;
To hide the Fault I see;
That Mercy I to others show,
That Mercy show to me.

Alexander Pope
Alexander Pope (1688-1744) English poet
“The Universal Prayer,” 9 (1738)
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If the human animal has any value at all, he is too valuable to be property. If he has an inner dignity, he is much too proud to own other men. I don’t give a damn how scrubbed and perfumed he may be, a slave owner is subhuman.

Robert Heinlein
Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Time Enough For Love [Lazarus Long] (1973)
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The contemporary has no perspective; everything is in the foreground and appears the same size. Little matters loom big, and great matters are sometimes missed because their outlines cannot be seen. Viet­nam and Panama are given four-column headlines today, but the historian 50 or 100 years hence will put them in a chap­ter under a general heading we have not yet thought of.

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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You always said people don’t do what they believe in,
they just do what’s most convenient, then they repent.

Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan (b. 1941) American singer, songwriter
“Brownsville Girl,” Knocked Out Loaded (1986)
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The only things in which we can be said to have any property are our actions. Our thoughts may be bad, yet produce no poison; they may be good, yet produce no fruit. Our riches may be taken away from us by misfortune, our reputation by malice, our spirits by calamity, our health by disease, our friends by death. But our actions must follow us beyond the grave; with respect to them alone, we can not say that we shall carry nothing with us when we die, neither that we shall go naked out of the world.

Charles Caleb Colton
Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer
Lacon: or, Many Things in Few Words, # 52 (1821 ed.)
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Why is it that we rejoice at a birth and grieve at a funeral? It is because we are not the person involved.

Mark Twain
Mark Twain (1835-1910) American writer [pseud. of Samuel Clemens]
Pudd’nhead Wilson, ch. 7 epigraph “Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar” (1894)
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The arguments start when religious values are used to support positions which would impose on other people restrictions they find unacceptable. Some people do object to Catholic demands for an end to abortion, seeing it as a violation of the separation of church and state. And some others, while they have no compunction about invoking the authority of the Catholic bishops in regard to birth control and abortion, might reject out of hand their teaching on war and peace and social policy.

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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If you try and take a cat apart to see how it works, the first thing you have on your hands is a nonworking cat. Life is a level of complexity that almost lies outside our vision; it is so far beyond anything we have any means of understanding that we just think of it as a different class of object, a different class of matter; ‘life’, something that had a mysterious essence about it, was God given, and that’s the only explanation we had.

Douglas Adams
Douglas Adams (1952-2001) English writer
Speech, Digital Biota 2 Conference, Cambridge, UK (Sep 1998)
    (Source)

Quoted by Richard Dawkins in his eulogy for Adams (17 Sep 2001)
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For telling a good and incisive religious joke, you should be praised. For telling a bad one, you should be ridiculed and reviled. The idea that you could be prosecuted for the telling of either is quite fantastic.

Rowan Atkinson
Rowan Atkinson (b. 1955) English actor, comedian, and screenwriter
Letter to The Times of London (Oct 2001)
    (Source)

Regarding proposed legislation outlaw "incitement to religious hatred."
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The honest Man takes Pains, and then enjoys Pleasures;
the Knave takes Pleasure, and then suffers Pains.

Ben Franklin
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) American statesman, scientist, philosopher
Poor Richard’s Almanack (May 1755)
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Everyone believes very easily whatever they fear or desire.

Jean de La Fontaine
Jean de La Fontaine (1621-1695) French fabulist and poet
(Attributed)
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The believer sings louder than he speaks.

Abdul Hakim Murad
Abdal Hakim Murad (b. 1960) British Muslim shaykh, researcher, writer, academic [b. Timothy John Winter]
“Contentions 2,” #33
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Another thing. This idea of “I’m offended”. Well I’ve got news for you. I’m offended by a lot of things too. Where do I send my list? Life is offensive, you know what I mean? Just get in touch with your outer adult, and grow up, and move on. Reasonable people don’t write letters because (a) they have lives and (b), they understand it’s just TV, (c) if they see something they don’t like, something they do like might be on later. I’ve seen many comics I’ve hated. I’ve seen many religious shows that have offended me. I’ve never written a letter. I just go about my life.

Bill Hicks
Bill Hicks (1961-1994) American stand-up comedian, social critic, satirist, musician [William Melvin "Bill" Hicks]
Interview with Howard Stern (1993)
    (Source)
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