In truth, man is not made to be trusted for life if secured against all liability to account.

Is it the less dishonest to do what is wrong, because not expressly prohibited by written law? Let us hope our moral principles are not yet in that stage of degeneracy.

It is not to the moderation and justice of others we are to trust for fair and equal access to market without productions, or for our due share in the transportation of them; but to our own means of independence, and the firm will to use them.

May [the Declaration of Independence] be to the world, what I believe it will be (to some parts sooner, to others later, but finally to all), the signal of arousing men to burst the chains under which monkish ignorance and superstition had persuaded them to bind themselves, and to assume the blessings and security of self-government. That form which we have substituted, restores the free right to the unbounded exercise of reason and freedom of opinion. All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man.

The Christian god can easily be pictured as virtually the same god as the many ancient gods of past civilizations. The Christian god is a three headed monster cruel vengeful and capricious. If one wishes to know more of this raging three headed beast like god one only needs to look at the caliber of people who say they serve him. They are always of two classes fools and hypocrites.

The concentrating [all the powers of government, legislative, executive and judiciary] in the same hands is precisely the definition of despotic government. It will be no alleviation that these powers will be exercised by a plurality of hands, and not by a single one.

They might need a preparatory discourse on the text of 'prove all things, hold fast that which is good,' in order to unlearn the lesson that reason is an unlawful guide in religion. They might startle on being first awaked from the dreams of the night, but they would rub their eyes at once, and look the spectres boldly in the face.

Distance in a straight line has no mystery. The mystery is in the sphere.

Everything healthy, everything certain, everything holy, if we can find such things, they all need to be emphasized and articulated. For this it is necessary that there be communication between the hearts and minds of men, communication and not the noise of slogans or the repetition of clichés. Communication is becoming more and more difficult, and… speech is in danger of perishing or being perverted in the amplified noise of beasts…. There is, it seems to me, every reason why we should attempt to cry out to one another and comfort one another, in so far as this may be possible, with the truth of Christ and also with the truth of humanism and reason. For faith cannot not be preserved if … man is destroyed: that is to say if his humanity is utterly debased and mechanized, while he himself remains on earth as the instrument of enormous and unidentified forces like those which press us inexorably to the brink of cataclysms.

Our thought should not merely be an answer to what someone else has just said. Or what someone else might have said. Our interior world must be more than an echo of the words of someone else. There is no point in being a moon to somebody else's sun, still less is there any justification for our being moons of one another, and hence darkness to one another, not one of us being a true sun.

The reductionist program that dominates current work in the philosophy of mind is completely misguided, because it is based on a groundless assumption that a particular conception of objective reality is exhaustive of what there is. Eventually, I believe, current attempts to understand the mind by analogy with man-made computers that can perform superbly some of the same external tasks as conscious beings will be recognized as a gigantic waste of time. The true principles underlying the mind will be discovered, if at all, only by a more direct approach. But merely to deny the possibility of psychophysical reduction does not end the problem. There is still a question about how we are to conceive of the inclusion of subjective mental processes in the world as it really is. And there is the question of whether they can be in some other way objective understood. Physicalism, though unacceptable, has behind it a broader impulse to which it gives distorted and ultimately self-defeating expression. That is the impulse to find a way of thinking about the world as it is, so that everything in it, not just atoms and planets, can be regarded as real in the same way: not just an aspect of the world as it appears to us, but something that is really there. I think part of the explanation of the modern weakness for physicalist reduction is that a less impoverished and reductive idea of objectivity has not been available to fill out the project of constructing an overall picture of the world. The objectivity of physics was viable: it continued to yield progressively more understanding through successive application to those properties of the physical world that earlier applications had discovered.

To make sense of interpersonal compensation it is not necessary to invoke the silly idea of a social entity, thus establishing an analogy with intrapersonal compensation. All one needs is the belief, shared by most people, that it is better for each of 10 people to receive a benefit than for one person to receive it, worse for 10 people to be harmed than for one person to be similarly harmed, better for one person to benefit greatly than for another to benefit slightly, and so forth.

A man is not primarily a witness against something. That is only incidental to the fact that he is a witness for something. A witness, in the sense that I am using the word, is a man whose life and faith are so completely one that when the challenge comes to step out and testify for his faith, he does so, disregarding all risks, accepting all consequences.

It is an inevitable defect, that bureaucrats will care more for routine than for results.

In a free society the state does not administer the affairs of men. It administers justice among men who conduct their own affairs.

It was in the recognition that there is in each man a final essence, that is to say an immortal soul, which only God can judge, that a limit was set upon the dominion of men over men.

The smashing of idols is in itself such a preoccupation that it is almost impossible for the iconoclast to look clearly into a future when there will not be many idols left to smash.

We could lose, and I think we need to face that. I was speaking in Nebraska the other day and a very intelligent man came up afterward and said in a very kind and intelligent way, Of course you know you may be fighting a losing battle. And I answered, I’ve known for 30 years that I may be fighting a losing battle. The question to me is not whether I’m going to win or not, but whether I’m going to fight or not.

The history of the American Negro is the history of this strife, -- this longing to attain self-conscious manhood, to merge his double self into a better and truer self. In this merging he wishes neither of the older selves to be lost... He simply wishes to make it possible for a man to be both a Negro and an American...

Almost all Europe, for many centuries, was inundated with blood, which was shed at the direct instigation or with the full approval of the ecclesiastical authorities.