Necessity

The two great gods, Persuasion and Necessity.

Relaxation is a physical and moral necessity.

Democracy is not just a counting up of votes – it is a counting up of actions. Without those on the bottom acting out there desires for justice – as the government acts out its needs, and those with power and privilege act out theirs – the scales of democracy will be off. That is why civil disobedience is not just to be tolerated – if we are to have a truly democratic society it is a necessity.

Philosophy must then assume that no real contradiction will be found between freedom and physical necessity of the same human actions, for it cannot give up the conception of nature any more than that of freedom.

Duty is the necessity of acting out of respect for the law... An action from duty must eliminate entirely the influence of inclinations and thus every object of the will.

[Existence has] neither cause nor reason nor necessity.

Where there is much desire to learn, there of necessity will be much arguing, much writing, many opinions; for opinion in good men is but knowledge in the making.

God made thee perfect, not immutable; and good he made thee, but to persevere he left it in thy power, ordained thy will by nature free, not over-rul’d by Fate inextricable, or strict necessity; our voluntarie service he requires, not our necessitated, such with him findes no acceptance, nor can find, for how can hearts, not free, be tri’d whether they serve willing or not, who will but what they must by Destinie, and can no other choose?

Change occurs when there is a confluence of both changing values and economic necessity, not before.

Justice is a name for certain moral requirements, which, regarded collectively, stand higher in the scale of social utility, and are therefore of more paramount obligation, than any others; though particular cases may occur in which some other social duty is so important, as to overrule any one of the general maxims of justice. Thus, to save a life, it may not only be allowable, but a duty, to steal, or take by force, the necessary food or medicine, or to kidnap, and compel to officiate, the only qualified medical practitioner. In such cases, as we do not call anything justice which is not a virtue, we usually say, not that justice must give way to some other moral principle, but that what is just in ordinary case is, by reason of that other principle, not just in the particular case. By this useful accommodation of language, the character of indefeasibility attributed to justice is kept up, and we are saved from the necessity of maintaining that there can be laudable injustice.

Our actions follow from our characters [but] we are exactly as capable of making our own character, if we will, as other are of making it for us. The free will doctrine, by keeping in view precisely that portion of the truth which the word “necessity” [“determinism”] puts out of sight, namely the power of the mind to cooperate in the formation of its own character, has given its adherents a practical feeling much nearer to the truth than has generally (I believe) existed in the minds of the determinists.

The true virtue of human beings is fitness to live together as equals; claiming nothing for themselves but what they as freely concede to everyone else; regarding command of any kind as an exceptional necessity, and in all cases a temporary one.

Fate and necessity are unconquerable.

The typical American believes that no necessity of the soul is free and that thee are precious few, if any, which cannot be bought.

To doubt everything and to believe everything are two equally convenient solutions; both free us from the necessity of reflection.

Necessity is blind until it becomes conscious. Freedom is the consciousness of necessity.

The wise are instructed by reason; ordinary minds, by experience; the stupid, by necessity; and brutes by instinct.

The quality of strength lined with tenderness is an unbeatable combination, as are intelligence and necessity when unblunted by formal education.

Democracy, it must be emphasized, is a practical necessity and not just a philosophic value.

But repression is not the way to virtue. When people restrain themselves out of fear, their lives are by necessity diminished. They become rigid and defensive, and their self stops growing. Only through freely chosen discipline can life be enjoyed, and still kept within the bounds of reason. If a person learns to control his instinctual desires, not because he has to, but because he wants to, he can enjoy himself without becoming addicted.