Human nature

You have not converted a man, because you have silenced him... The small reform may become the enemy of the great one... The most frightful idea that has ever corroded human nature-the idea of eternal punishment.

Exceptional abilities develop most fully in cultures that prize them... no aspect of human nature is immune to social influence.

Human nature is so constructed that it gives affection most readily to those who seem least to demand it.

To attain excellence in society, an assemblage of qualification is requisite: disciplined intellect, to think clearly, and to clothe thought with propriety and elegance; knowledge of human nature, to suit subject to character; true politeness, to prevent giving pain; a deep sense of morality, to preserve the dignity of speech; and a spirit of benevolence, to neutralize its asperities, and sanctify its powers.

With the gain of knowledge, connect the habit of imparting it. This increases mental wealth by putting it in circulation; and it enhances the value of our knowledge to ourselves, not only in its depth, confirmation and readiness for use, but in that acquaintance with human nature, that self-command, and that reaction of moral training upon ourselves, which are above all price.

Good character is human nature in its best form. It is moral order embodied in the individual. Men of character are not only the conscience of society, but in every well governed state they are its best motive power; for it is moral qualities which, in the main, rule the world.

Prejudices may be intense, but their lives are limited. To discover when they are dead and to bury them, is an important matter, and no unseemly tears should be shed at their funerals... Human nature is so constituted, that all see, and judge better, in the affairs of other men, than in their own.

Even granting the author [Rutherford]... his main principle, ‘That every man’s own happiness is the ultimate end, which nature and reason teach him to pursue’, why may not nature and reason teach him, too, to have some desire to see others happy as well as himself, or give him some delight in doing what seems fit and right, if these things do not interfere with his own happiness?... Why may he not, with the pursuit of that end, join some other pursuits not inconsistent with it, instead of transforming every benevolent affection, every moral view, into self-interest? This surely neither does honour to religion, nor justice to human nature.

One of the greatest pains to human nature is the pain of a new idea.

One of the greatest pains to human nature is the pain of a new idea.

Man have long begun to suspect that civilization's repression of our primitive impulses has somehow warped what are potentially the most productive forces in human nature. We are increasingly disturbed by the thought that society's passion for obedience and conformity may have overreached itself, causing us to lose in individual happiness perhaps as much as we have gained in group activity.

There is no problem of human nature which is insoluble.

There do remain dispersed in the soil of human nature divers seeds of goodness, of benignity, of ingenuity, which being cherished, excited, and quickened by good culture, do by common experience thrust out flowers very lovely, and yield fruits very pleasant of virtue and goodness.

In so complex a thing as human nature, we must consider it is hard to find rules without exception.

He who knows no hardships will know no hardihood. He who faces no calamity will need no courage. Mysterious though it is, the characteristics in human nature which we love best grow in the soil with strong mixture of troubles.

It is human nature to think wisely and act foolishly.

It is part of human nature to think wise things and do ridiculous ones.

Slavery is an atrocious debasement of human nature.

The most beautiful as well as the most ugly inclinations of man are not part of a fixed and biologically given human nature, but result from the social process which creates man.

To ask for overt renunciation of a cherished doctrine is to expect too much of human nature. Men do not repudiate the doctrines and dogma to which they have sworn their loyalty. Instead they rationalize, revise, and reinterpret them to meet new needs and new circumstances, all the while protesting that their heresy is the purest orthodoxy.