Quotations about   presumption

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To me, at least, the greatest blasphemy in the world is not the denial of God’s existence, but the claim that we have a pipeline to Him, and that all other claimants are wrong. This assertion is what plunged the world into the bloodiest of wars in the past, and might well do so again if the zealots had their way.

Sydney J. Harris (1917-1986) Anglo-American columnist, journalist, author
“Strictly Personal” column (20 Jan 1985)

Reprinted in Clearing the Ground (1986)
Added on 30-Jun-21 | Last updated 30-Jun-21
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It was one Sunday evening early in September of the year 1903 that I received one of Holmes’s laconic messages: “Come at once if convenient — if inconvenient come all the same. S.H.'”

Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) British writer and physician
“The Adventure of the Creeping Man,” Strand Magazine (Mar 1923)
    (Source)

Reprinted in The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes (1927).
Added on 11-Mar-21 | Last updated 11-Mar-21
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Ability hits the mark where presumption overshoots and diffidence falls short.

John Henry Newman (1801-1890) English prelate, Catholic Cardinal, theologian
(Attributed)

Also attributed to Golda Meir.
Added on 10-Jul-17 | Last updated 10-Jul-17
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Wants what he wants when he wants it — and thinks that constitutes a natural law.

Robert A. Heinlein (1907-1988) American writer
Methuselah’s Children [Lazarus Long] (1958)
Added on 21-Jul-15 | Last updated 21-Jul-15
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There is no great invention, from fire to flying, which has not been hailed as an insult to some god.

J.B.S. Haldane (1892-1964) English geneticist [John Burden Sanderson Haldane]
“Daedalus, or Science and the Future,” speech, Cambridge (24 Feb 1923)
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Added on 21-Nov-14 | Last updated 21-Nov-14
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Of course God will forgive me; that’s his job.

[Bien sûr, il me pardonnera; c’est son métier.]

Heinrich Heine (1797-1856) German poet and critic
Last Words (1856)

Quoted in German in Alfred Meißner, "Heinrich Heine. Erinnerungen," Letzte Worte auf dem Totenbett (1856). Quoted in Bros. Goncourt (ed.) Journal (23 Feb 1863). Quoted in French in Sigmund Freud, The Joke and Its Relation to the Unconscious (1905) [tr. J Crick (2003)].

Alt trans.: "Why, of course, he will forgive me; that's his business. [Gott wird mir verzeihen, das ist sein Beruf.]

See Catherine the Great.
Added on 10-Jun-09 | Last updated 25-Oct-17
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