Convention

The spontaneity of slaps is sincerity, whereas the ceremonial of caresses is largely convention.

Beliefs, desires, and intentions are a condition of language, but language is also a condition for them. On the other hand, being able to attribute beliefs and desires to a creature is certainly a condition of sharing a convention with that creature; while, if I am right... convention is not a condition of language. I suggest, then, that philosopher who make convention a necessary element in language have the matter backwards. The truth is rather that language is a condition for having conventions.

The most shocking fact about war is that its victims and its instruments are individual human beings, and that these individual beings are condemned by the monstrous convention of politics to murder or be murdered in quarrels not their own.

Custom and convention govern human activities.

The diploma gives society a phantom guarantee and its holders phantom rights. The holder of a diploma passes officially for possessing knowledge... comes to believe tht society owes him something. Never has a convention been created which is more unfortunate, for every one - the state, the individual (and, in particular, culture).

This is the essence of the problem faced by evolutionists wanting to engage ethical questions. The evolutionary humanist is pressed to an inescapable conclusion: There are no absolute moral standards, and morality is merely the result of an interplay between evolution, tradition, and social convention, which can be altered, updated, and changed depending on the situation... diminished responsibility.

If morality be regarded as a mere convention, and God as the projection of men’s hopes and fears, then the way is open for the false religions which relieve the maimed will of the many from the burden of decision.

The opened mind can be relaxed and playful. It is filled with curiosity and wonder. There is something childlike about it. It loves to get off the beaten track, to explore paths that are not the ones taken by social convention.

Nietzsche’s approach developed eventually into a program for radically questioning all the foundations of Western thought. We are slaves to convention, he says - we base our whole lives on attitudes and ideas whose premises, if we ever get round to actually examining them, we reject. This makes ours an inauthentic way of living, a dead way of living. We must re-evaluate our values in the light of what we honestly do believe and feel.

The family requires the most delicate mixture of nature and convention, of human and divine, to subsist and perform its function. Its base is merely bodily reproduction, but its purpose is the formation of civilized human beings.

Conventional people are roused to fury by departure from convention, largely because they regard such departures as a criticism of themselves. They will pardon much unconventionality in a man who has enough jollity and friendliness to make it clear, even to the stupidest, that he is not engaged in criticizing them.

Only life can satisfy the demands of life... Don’t be afraid of yourself, live your individuality to the full - but for the good of others. Don’t copy others in order to buy fellowship, or make convention your law instead of living the righteousness.

Time doesn't exist; what we refer to as "past" and "future" have no reality except in our own mental constructs. The idea of time is a convention of thought and language, a social agreement; in truth, we only have this moment.

We can do nothing at all. Jefferson foresaw the eventual degradation of our system and he suggested that we hold a constitutional convention once a generation. But neither the rulers nor their hapless critics will allow such a thing.

Convention and nature are generally at variance with one another.

To renounce liberty is to renounce being a man, to surrender the rights of humanity and even its duties. For him who renounces everything no indemnity is possible. Such a renunciation is incompatible with man's nature; to remove all liberty from his will is to remove all morality from his acts. Finally, it is an empty and contradictory convention that sets up, on the one side, absolute authority, and, on the other, unlimited obedience.

From whatever aspect we regard the question, the right of slavery is null and void, not only as being illegitimate, but also because it is absurd and meaningless. The words slave and right contradict each other, and are mutually exclusive. It will always be equally foolish for a man to say to a man or to a people: “I make with you a convention wholly at your expense and wholly to my advantage; I shall keep it as long as I like, and you will keep it as long as I like.”

From whatever aspect we regard the question, the right of slavery is null and void, not only as being illegitimate, but also because it is absurd and meaningless. The words slave and right contradict each other, and are mutually exclusive. It will always be equally foolish for a man to say to a man or to a people: “I make with you a convention wholly at your expense and wholly to my advantage; I shall keep it as long as I like, and you will keep it as long as I like.”

The disruptive powers of excessive national fecundity may have played a greater part in bursting the bonds of convention than either the power of ideas or the errors of autocracy.

A political convention is not a place where you can come away with any trace of faith in human nature.