Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes


"We enter our studies, and enjoy a society which we alone can bring together. We raise no jealousy by conversing with one in preference to another; we give no offense to the most illustrious by questioning him as long as we will, and leaving him as abruptly. Diversity of opinion raises no tumult in our presence: each interlocutor stands before us, speaks or is silence, and we adjourn or decide the business at our leisure." - Walter Savage Landor

"A conscience void of offense, before God and man, is an inheritance for eternity." - Daniel Webster

"Reprimand not a child immediately on the offense. Wait till the irritation has been replaced by serenity." - Moses Hasid

"To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary; they must never be disproportioned to the offense, and they must be certain." - William Gilmore Simms

"Real goodness does not attach itself merely to this life - it points to another world. Political or professional reputation cannot last forever, but a conscience void of offense before God and man is an inheritance for eternity." - Daniel Webster

"You tell us that baptism is absolutely necessary to go to heaven. If there were a man so good that he had never offended God, and if he died without baptism, would he go to hell, never having given any offense to God? If he goes to hell, then God must not love all good people, since He throws one into the fire. You teach us that God existed before the creation of heaven and earth. If He did, where did He live, since there was neither heaven nor earth? You say that the angels were created n the beginning of the world, and that those who disobeyed were cast into hell. How can that be so, since you say the angels sinned before earth’s creation, and hell is in the depths of the earth? You declare that those who go to hell do not come out of it, and yet you relate stories of the damned who have appeared in the world - how is that to be understood. Ah, how I would like to kill devils, since they do so much harm! But if they are made like men and some are even among men, do they still feel the fire of hell? Why is it that they do not repent for having offended God? If they did repent, would not God be merciful to them? If Our Lord has suffered for all sinners, why do not they receive pardon from him? You say that the virgin, mother of Jesus Christ, is not God, and that she has never offended God. You also say that her Son has redeemed all men, and atoned for all; but if she has done nothing wrong, her son could not redeem her nor atone for her." - Young “Savage” Seminarians NULL

"Life as a sum of ends has a right against abstract right. If for example it is only by stealing bread that the wolf can be kept from the door, the action is of course an encroachment on someone’s property, but it would be wrong to treat this action as an ordinary theft. To refuse to allow a man in jeopardy of his life to take such steps for self-preservation would be to stigmatize him as without rights, and since he would be deprived of his life, his freedom would be annulled altogether. Many diverse details have a bearing on the preservation of life, and when we have our eyes on the future we have to engage ourselves in these details. But the only thing that is necessary is to live now, the future is not absolute but ever exposed to accident. Hence it is only the necessity of the immediate present which can justify a wrong action, because not to do the action would in turn be to cause not to do the action would in turn be to commit an offense, indeed the most wrong of all offenses, namely the complete destruction of the embodiment of freedom." - Georg Hegel, fully Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

"Since trifles make the sum of human things, and half our misery from our foibles springs; since life’s best joys consist in peace and ease, and few can save or serve, but all may please; Oh! let th’ ungentle spirit learn from hence a small unkindness is a great offense, large bounties to restore we wish in vain, but all may shun the guilt of giving pain." - Hannah More

"When a child can be brought to tears, not from fear of punishment, but from repentance for his offense, he needs no chastisement. When the tears begin to flow from grief at one’s own conduct, be sure there is an angel nestling in the bosom." - Horace Mann

"To establish the principles of the Declaration of Independence, we are going to need to go outside the law, to stop obeying the laws that demand killing or that allocate wealth the way it has been done, or that put people in jail for petty technical offense and keep other people out of jail for enormous crimes." - Howard Zinn

"There are some duties we owe even to those who have wronged us. There is, after all, a limit to retribution and punishment. Or rather, may I say that it is enough to get a wrong-doer to repent of his misdeed, so that he may not repeat the offense, and also a means of deterring others from doing wrong." - Cicero, fully Marcus Tullius Cicero, anglicized as Tully NULL

"When any one has offended me, I try to raise my soul so high that the offense cannot reach it." - René Descartes

"One of the first laws against air pollution came in 1300 when King Edward I decreed the death penalty for burning of coal. At least one execution for that offense is recorded. But economics triumphed over health considerations, and air pollution became an appalling problem in England." - Glen Therodorei Seaborg

"To take offense is to give offense." - Helen Schucman, born Helen Cohn

"It is an inherent weakness of religion not to take offense at the segregation of God, to forget that the true sanctuary has no walls... It has often done more to canonize prejudices than to wrestle for truth; to petrify the sacred than to sanctify the secular. Yet the task of religion is to be a challenge to the stabilization of values." - Abraham Joshua Heschel

"That is the eternal folly of man. To be chasing after the sweet flesh, without realising that it is simply a pretty cover for the bones. Worm food. At night, you're rubbing against worm food. No offense meant." - Neil Gaiman, fully Neil Richard Gaiman

"The best way to put the shortcomings of society, and, indeed, the whole of mankind, in their proper place is to joke about them. Joking allows you to avoid compromising yourself; it's a proof of your superiority over … the things you're poking fun at, without causing any offense to anyone except people who are surly or uncouth." - Nicolas Chamfort,fully Sébastien-Roch Nicolas De Chamfort, also spelled Nicholas

"Incidentally, there's a balanced position that all of America's presidential candidates could take on the controversial abortion issue. If they want votes they shouldn't campaign to make abortion illegal or legal. They should campaign to make it retroactive. If a kid reaches 25 and he or she is still jobless, feckless, and sitting around Starbucks acting like a — no offense — European, then whack." - P. J. O'Rourke

"To make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone. [Bucky’s Vision]" - Buckminster Fuller, fully Richard Buckminster "Bucky" Fuller

"The brotherhood of the community is indeed the ground in which the individual is ethically realized. But the community is the frustration as well as the realization of individual life. Its collective egotism is an offense to his conscience; its institutional injustices negate the ideal of justice; and such brotherhood as it achieves is limited by ethnic and geographic boundaries. Historical communities are, in short, more deeply involved in nature and time than the individual." - Reinhold Niebuhr, fully Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr

"Whenever anyone has offended me, I try to raise my soul so high that the offense cannot reach it." - René Descartes

"I cannot think of the results of your labors without shame at the little we do." - Saint Vincent de Paul

"Practice humility and patience." - Saint Vincent de Paul

"If Galileo had said in verse that the world moved, the inquisition might have let him alone." - Thomas Hardy

"Only the liberation of the natural capacity for love in human beings can master their sadistic destructiveness." - Wilhelm Reich

"Modern reality has got such a hold on us that... when we attempt to reconstruct the ancient days in our thoughts...the minor events of our lives tear us away from our meditations, and... thrust us back into our personal [problems]" - Vincent van Gogh, fully Vincent Willem van Gogh

"I am looking for the novelists whose writing is an extension of their intellect rather than an extension of their neurosis." - Tom Robbins, fully Thomas Eugene "Tom" Robbins

"All's oblique; there's nothing level in our cursed natures but direct villainy. Therefore be abhorred all feasts, societies, and throngs of men!" -

"O my lord, Press not a falling man too far! 'Tis virtue His faults lie open to the laws; let them, Not you, correct him." -

"O, my sweet sir, news fitting to the night, black, fearful, comfortless, and horrible." -

"The doctrine of man as creator, as I can easily show to such as can think philosophically, necessarily leads to an assumption of a greater creative force immanent in nature. . . . Human life, weak as it is, shadowlike as undoubtedly it is, fleet-footed as it is, gains strength in the thought that the All-life lives and supports the individual life, which is not wiped away as the little ripplets are in the broader stream." - Emil G. Hirsch, fully Emil Gustav Hirsch