Moral law

The moral law is written on the tablets of eternity. For every false word or unrighteous deed, for cruelty and oppression, for lust or vanity, the price has to be paid at last.

It was the deep belief of the founders of the republic could succeed only with virtuous citizens. Only if there was a moral law within would citizens be able to maintain a free government.

In the past we have admitted the right of the individual to injure the future of the Republic for his own present profit. In fact there has been a good deal of a demand for unrestricted individualism, for the right of the individual to injure the future of all of us for his own temporary and immediate profit. The time has come for a change. As a people we have the right and the duty, second to moral law, of requiring and doing justice, to protect ourselves and our children against the wasteful development of our natural resources, whether that waste is caused by the actual destruction of such resources or by making them impossible of development hereafter.

On a non-theistic view of the Universe...the moral law cannot well be thought of as having any actual existence. The objective validity of the moral law can indeed be and no doubt is asserted, believed in and acted upon without reference to any theological creed; but it cannot be defended or fully justified without the presupposition of Theism.

But each one of us is guilty insofar as he remained inactive. The guilt of passivity is different. Impotence excuses; no moral law demands a spectacular death. Plato already deemed it a matter of course to go into hiding in desperate times of calamity, and to survive. But passivity knows itself morally guilty of every failure, every neglect to act whenever possible, to shield the imperiled, to relieve wrong, to countervail. Impotent submission always left a margin of activity which, though not without risk, could still be cautiously effective. Its anxious omission weighs upon the individual as moral guilt. Blindness for the misfortune of others, lack of imagination of the heart, inner differences toward the witnessed evil--that is moral guilt.

The understanding can conceive the whole world, and paint in itself the invisible pictures of all things. It is capable of apprehending and discoursing of things superior to its own nature. It is suited to all objects, as the eye to all colors, or the ear to all sounds. How great is the memory to retain such varieties, such diversities! The will also can accommodate other things to itself. It invents arts for the use of man; prescribes rules for the government of states; ransacks the bowels of nature; makes endless conclusions, and steps in reasoning from one thing to another, for the knowledge of truth. It can contemplate and form notions of things higher than the world.

It [space travel] will free man from his remaining chains, the chains of gravity which still tie him to this planet. It will open to him the gates of heaven.

Politic man ordained imagination as the fateful sin. Grandmother and her basketful of pears must be the crux for our compendia.

An optimist is a person who sees only the lights in the picture, whereas a pessimist sees only the shadows. An idealist, however, is one who sees the light and the shadows, but in addition sees something else: the possibility of changing the picture, of making the lights prevail over the shadows.