consequences

It is not true that the relations between the sexes are of the same order with the rest of man’s instincts. They have social consequences which place them in a class apart.

Love is but a prelude to life, an overture in which the theme of the impending work is exquisitely hinted at, but which remains nevertheless only a symbol and a promise. What is to follow, if all goes well, begins presently to appear. Passion settles down into possession, courtship into partnership, pleasure into habit. A child, half mystery and half plaything, comes to show us what we have done and to make its consequences perpetual. We see that by indulging our inclination we have woven about us a net from which we cannot escape: our choices, bearing fruit, begin to manifest our destiny. That life which once seemed to spread out infinitely before us is narrowed to one mortal career. We learn that in morals the infinite is a chimera, and that in accomplishing anything definite a man renounces everything else. He sails henceforth for one point of the compass.

Everyone will experience the consequences of his own acts. If his acts are right, he will get good consequences; if they are not, he will suffer for it.

History is not, of course, a cookbook offering pretested recipes. It teaches by analogy, not by maxims. It can illuminate the consequences of actions in comparable situations, yet each generation must discover for itself what situations are in fact comparable.

[Central Intelligence Agency] analysts were only too aware that no one has ever been penalized for not having foreseen an opportunity, but that many careers have been blighted for not predicting a risk. Therefore the intelligence community has always been tempted to forecast dire consequences for any conceivable course of action, an attitude that encourages paralysis rather than adventurism.

Leaders are responsible not for running public opinion polls but for the consequences of their action.

Mankind will never know what it was spared because of the risks avoided or because of actions taken that averted awful consequences – if only because once thwarted the consequences can never be proved.

It is an undoubted fact that an overwhelming majority of religious persecutors have been men of the purest intentions, of the most admirable and unsullied morals… Such men as these are not bad, they are only ignorant; ignorant of the nature of truth, ignorant of the consequences of their own acts.

It is the function of parents to see that their children habitually experience the true consequences of their conduct.

What action would promote happiness of a rational being is completely insoluble, and consequently no imperative respect it is possible which should, in the strict sense, command to do what makes happy; because happiness is not an ideal of reason but of imagination, resting solely on empirical grounds, and it is vain to expect that these should define an action by which one could attain the totality of a series of consequences which is really endless.

More consequences for thought and action follow from the affirmation or denial of God than from answering any other question.

Our actions are our own; their consequences belong to Heaven.

People who have no strong belief in a life after this one will create a society fixated on short-term results, without much thought for the consequences of their actions.

A just war is in the long run far better for a nation’s soul than the most prosperous peace obtained by acquiescence toward wrong or injustice. Moreover, though it is criminal for a nation not to prepare for war, so that it may escape the dreadful consequences of being defeated in war, it must always be remembered that even to be defeated in war is far better than never to have fought at all.

Logical consequences are the scarecrows of fools and the beacons of wise men.

In short, the actions of man are never free; they are always the necessary consequences of his temperament, of the received ideas, and of the notions, either true or false, which he has formed to himself of happiness.

Forget about the consequences of failure. Failure is only a temporary change in direction to set you straight for your next success.

I believe that we are solely responsible for our choices, and we have to accept the consequences of every deed, word, and thought throughout our lifetime.

Temperament refers to the mode of reaction and is constitutional and not changeable; character is essentially formed by a person’s experiences, especially of those in early life, and changeable, to some extent, by insights and new kinds of experiences. If a person has a choleric temperament, for instance, his mode of reaction is "quick and strong.” But what he is quick or strong about depends on his kind of relatedness, his character. If he is a productive, just, loving person he will react quickly and strongly when he loves, when he is enraged by injustice, and when he is impressed by a new idea. If he is a destructive or sadistic character, he will be quick and strong in his destructiveness or in his cruelty. The confusion between temperament and character has had serious consequences for ethical theory. Preferences with regard to differences in temperament are mere matters of subjective taste. But differences in character are ethically of the most fundamental importance.

By alienation is meant a mode of experience in which the person experiences himself as an alien. He has become, one might say, estranged from himself. He does not experience himself as the center of his world, as the creator of his own acts — but his acts and their consequences have become his masters, whom he obeys, or whom he may even worship. The alienated person is out of touch with himself as he is out of touch with any other person. He, like the others, are experienced as things are experienced; with the senses and with common sense, but at the same time without being related to oneself and to the world outside positively.