The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for among old parchments or musty records. They are written, as with a sunbeam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the divinity itself; and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power. ~ Alexander Hamilton (born 11 January 1755)
Has it been found that bodies of men act with more rectitude or greater disinterestedness than individuals? The contrary of this has been inferred by all accurate observers of the conduct of mankind; and the inference is founded upon obvious reasons. Regard to reputation has a less active influence, when the infamy of a bad action is to be divided among a number than when it is to fall singly upon one. A spirit of faction, which is apt to mingle its poison in the deliberations of all bodies of men, will often hurry the persons of whom they are composed into improprieties and excesses, for which they would blush in a private capacity. ~ Alexander Hamilton
I do indeed disbelieve that we or any other mortal men can attain on a given day to absolutely incorrigible and unimprovable truth about such matters of fact as those with which religions deal. But I reject this dogmatic ideal not out of a perverse delight in intellectual instability. I am no lover of disorder and doubt as such. Rather do I fear to lose truth by this pretension to possess it already wholly. ~ William James (born 11 January 1842)
I should esteem it the extreme of imprudence to prolong the precarious state of our national affairs, and to expose the union to the jeopardy of successive experiments, in the chimerical pursuit of a perfect plan. I never expect to see a perfect work from imperfect man. The result of the deliberations of all collective bodies must necessarily be a compound as well of the errors and prejudices, as of the good sense and wisdom of the individuals of whom they are composed. ~ Alexander Hamilton
Men often oppose a thing, merely because they have had no agency in planning it, or because it may have been planned by those whom they dislike. But if they have been consulted, and have happened to disapprove, opposition then becomes, in their estimation, an indispensable duty of self-love. They seem to think themselves bound in honor, and by all the motives of personal infallibility, to defeat the success of what has been resolved upon contrary to their sentiments.
2 because a system of checking upon man's excesses is important. The institution of government should therefore rectify and prevent the damage of justice, furthermore constraining those who are intent on harming the government, its ideals, or being governed by their own principles not dictated by the sanctions of law. Zarbon 18:06, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
The history of human conduct does not warrant that exalted opinion of human virtue which would make it wise in a nation to commit interests of so delicate and momentous a kind as those which concern its intercourse with the rest of the world to the sole disposal of a magistrate, created and circumstanced, as would be a President of the United States. ~ Alexander Hamilton (born January 11, 1755 or 1757)
The normal process of life contains moments as bad as any of those which insane melancholy is filled with, moments in which radical evil gets its innings and takes its solid turn. The lunatic's visions of horror are all drawn from the material of daily fact. ~ William James
Man's chief difference from the brutes lies in the exuberant excess of his subjective propensities — his preeminence over them simply and solely in the number and in the fantastic and unnecessary character of his wants, physical, moral, aesthetic, and intellectual. Had his whole life not been a quest for the superfluous, he would never have established himself as inexpugnably as he has done in the necessary. ~ William James
0 Kalki 14:11, 6 January 2009 (UTC) obscure statement by an obscure author. I might rank it a 1 if a page for the author could be justified, but I see no strong reason for one, nor for this quote as a quote of the day.
There are two ways of constructing a software design: One way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies, and the other way is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies. The first method is far more difficult. It demands the same skill, devotion, insight, and even inspiration as the discovery of the simple physical laws which underlie the complex phenomena of nature. ~ C. A. R. Hoare (date of birth)
4 Ningauble 17:20, 29 October 2008 (UTC) (I would also approve using this without the final sentence.)
I have thought it my duty to exhibit things as they are, not as they ought to be. ~ Alexander Hamilton (born January 11)
3 because to be frank and blatant is sometimes the best course of action. Zarbon 04:56, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
3 Kalki 14:11, 6 January 2009 (UTC) with a lean toward 4; despite the major importance of some sense of the need for things to be better, one should not shrink from confronting many forms of existing error, deficiency and stupidity for what they are, including those which primarily or relentlessly focus upon the emphasis of the undesirable aspects of things and people which do have good qualities, and can be improved.
Government implies the power of making laws. It is essential to the idea of a law, that it be attended with a sanction; or, in other words, a penalty or punishment for disobedience. ~ Alexander Hamilton (born January 11)
3 because without some form of punishment, there would be anarchy. Zarbon 04:56, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
2 Kalki 14:11, 6 January 2009 (UTC) Not all use the term anarchy simply as a pejorative implying violent oppressive struggles for power. It is used in reference to such thinkers as Leo Tolstoy and others in a ways signifying far more reasonable, moderate, patient struggles for consensus and towards wisdom, and away from far too great a reliance upon the rule of power and laws born of personal or partisan will for power, in favor of those habits and customs which can be established through a far more fundamental and personally transcendent will for Truth and Grace. ~ Kalki 14:11, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
The greatest problem is not how to continue but how to exalt our existence. The call for a life beyond the grave is presumptuous, if there is no cry for eternal life prior to our descending to the grave. Eternity is not perpetual future but perpetual presence. He has planted in us the seed of eternal life. The world to come is not only a hereafter but also a here-now.
One must forget many clichés in order to behold a single image. Insight is the beginning of perceptions to come rather than the extension of perceptions gone by. Conventional seeing, operating as it does with patterns and coherences, is a way of seeing the present in the past tense. Insight is an attempt to think in the present. … insight is knowledge at first sight.
The time for the kingdom may be far off, but the task is plain: to retain our share in God in spite of peril and contempt. There is a war to wage against the vulgar, the glorification of the absurd, a war that is incessant, universal. Loyal to the presence of the ultimate in the common, we may be able to make it clear that man is more than man, that in doing the finite he may perceive the infinite.
Reality is not exhausted by knowledge. Inaccessible to research are the ultimate facts. All scientific conclusions are based on axioms, all reasoning depends ultimately upon faith. Faith is virgin thinking, preceding all transcendent knowledge. To believe is to abide at the extremities of spirit.
Only those who are spiritually imitators, only people who are afraid to be grateful and too weak to be loyal, have nothing but the present moment. The mark of nobility is inherited possession. To a noble person it is a holy joy to remember, an overwhelming thrill to be grateful, while to a person whose character is neither rich nor strong, gratitude is a most painful sensation. The secret of wisdom is never to get lost in a momentary mood or passion, never to forget a friendship over a momentary grievance, never to lose sight of the lasting values over a transitory episode.
Not the individual man nor a single generation by its own power can erect the bridge that leads to God. Faith is the achievement of many generations, and effort accumulated over many centuries. … There is a collective memory of God in the human spirit, and it is this memory which is the main source of our faith.
He whose soul is charged with awareness of God earns his inner livelihood by a passionate desire to pour his life into the eternal wells of love. … We do not live for our own sake. Life would be preposterous if not for the love it confers.
Faith implies no denial of evil, no disregard of danger, no whitewashing of the abominable. He whose heart is given to faith is mindful of the obstructive and awry, of the sinister and pernicious. It is God's strange dominion over both good and evil on which he relies. … Faith is not a mechanical insurance but a dynamic, personal act, flowing between the heart of man and the love of God.