Quotations about   zeal

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The intoxication of anger, like that of the grape, shows us to others, but hides us from ourselves; and we injure our own cause, in the opinion of the world, when we too passionately and eagerly defend it.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer
Lacon, Vol. 1, #240 (1820)
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Added on 18-Jan-19 | Last updated 18-Jan-19
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Enthusiasm of the cause may sometimes warp judgment.

William Howard Taft (1857-1930) US President (1909-13) and Chief Justice (1921-1930)
Speech, Methodist Conference, Ocean Grove, NJ (15 Aug 1911)
Added on 10-Aug-16 | Last updated 10-Aug-16
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If a cause be good, the most violent attack of its enemies will not injure it so much as an injudicious defense of it by its friends.

Colton - injudicious defense - wist_info quote

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer
Lacon: or, Many Things in Few Words, #475 (1821 ed.)
Added on 18-May-16 | Last updated 18-May-16
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It would be almost unbelievable, if history did not record the tragic fact that men have gone to war and cut each other’s throat because they could not agree as to what was to become of them after their throats were cut. Many sins have been committed in the name of religion. Alas! the spirit of proscription is never kind. It is the unhappy quality of religious disputes that they are always bitter. For some reason, too deep to fathom, men contend more furiously over the road to heaven, which they cannot see, than over their visible walks on earth.

Walter P. Stacy (1884-1951) American jurist
State v. Beal, 199 N.C. 278 (1930)
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Added on 3-Oct-14 | Last updated 3-Oct-14
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An eagerness and zeal for dispute on every subject, and with every one, shows great self-sufficiency, that never-failing sign of great self-ignorance.

William Pitt the Elder (1708-1778) British statesman, orator [1st Earl of Chatham]
Correspondence of William Pitt, vol 4 (1840) [ed. Taylor and Pringle]
Added on 22-Aug-14 | Last updated 22-Aug-14
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Men of Athens, I honor and love you; but I shall obey God rather than you, and while I have life and strength I shall never cease from the practice and teaching of philosophy, exhorting anyone whom I meet and saying to him after my manner: You, my friend — a citizen of the great and mighty and wise city of Athens — are you not ashamed of heaping up the greatest amount of money and honor and reputation, and caring so little about wisdom and truth and the greatest improvements of the soul, which you never regard or heed at all?

Socrates (c.470-399 BC) Greek philosopher
In Plato, Apology, sec. 29 [tr. Jowett (1894)]
Added on 21-Aug-14 | Last updated 21-Aug-14
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If you mean to make your side of the argument appear plausible, do not prejudice the people against what you think truth by your passionate manner of defending it.

James Burgh (1714-1775) British politician and writer
The Dignity of Human Nature, Sec. 5 “Miscellaneous Thoughts on Prudence in Conversation” (1754)
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Added on 21-Aug-14 | Last updated 21-Aug-14
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Passionate expression and vehement assertion are no arguments, unless it be of the weakness of the cause that is defended by them, or of the man that defends it.

William Chillingworth (1602-1644) English churchman and theologian
(Attributed)
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Quoted in The Parliamentary History of England, Vol. 15, 29 George II, "Debate on a Motion for a Vote of Censor on the Treaties with Russia and Hesse Cassel (1755)" (1813)
Added on 21-Mar-14 | Last updated 21-Mar-14
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Any sufficiently advanced prejudicial piety is indistinguishable from hatred.

George Wiman (contemp.) American blogger, computer technician
Wiman’s Theological Variant on Clarke’s Law, Stupid Evil Bastard, “A Christian asks, ‘I’m the bad guy? How did that happen?'”, Comment (3 May 2009)

Full text. See Clarke.
Added on 19-Apr-10 | Last updated 19-May-15
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Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) Irish poet and dramatist
“The Second Coming,” l.1-8 (1920)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 2-Nov-17
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