Torture

This world, sir, is very clearly a place of torment and penance, a place where the fool flourishes and the good and wise are hated and persecuted, a place where men and women torture one another in the name of love; where children are scourged and enslaved in the name of parental duty and education; where the weak in body are poisoned and mutilated in the name of healing.

Doubtless criticism was originally benignant, pointing out the beauties of a work rather than its defects. The passions of men have made it malignant, as the bad heart of Procrustes turned the bed, the symbol of repose, into an instrument of torture.

Wild animals never kill for sport. Man is the only one to whom the torture and death of his fellow creatures is amusing in itself.

Hell is not torture; hell is an empty heart.

There is torture of mind as well as body; the will is as much affected by fear as by force. And there comes a point where this Court should not be ignorant as judges of what we know as men.

Imagine that you are creating a fabric of human destiny with the object of making men happy in the end, giving them peace and rest at last. Imagine that you are doing this but that it is essential and inevitable to torture to death only one tiny creature…. in order to found that edifice on its unavenged tears. Would you consent to be the architect on those conditions?

It is inexcusable for scientists to torture animals; let them make their experiments on journalists and politicians.

If I were not an atheist, I would believe in a God who would choose to save people on the basis of the totality of their lives and not the pattern of their words. I think he would prefer an honest and righteous atheist to a TV preacher whose every word is God, God, God, and whose every deed is foul, foul, foul. I would also want a God who would not allow a Hell. Infinite torture can only be a punishment for infinite evil, and I don't believe that infinite evil can be said to exist even in the case of Hitler. Besides, if most human governments are civilized enough to try to eliminate torture and outlaw cruel and unusual punishments, can we expect anything less of an all-merciful God? I feel that if there were an afterlife, punishment for evil would be reasonable and of a fixed term. And I feel that the longest and worst punishment should be reserved for those who slandered God by inventing Hell.

Wild animals never kill for sport. Man is the only one to whom the torture and death of his fellow creatures is amusing in itself.

I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration, I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person is humanized or de-humanized. If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.

The torture of a bad conscience is the hell of a living soul.

Death is a personal matter, arousing sorrow, despair, fervor, or dry-hearted philosophy. Funerals, on the other hand, are social functions. Imagine going to a funeral without first polishing the automobile. Imagine standing at a graveside not dressed in your best dark suit and your best black shoes, polished delightfully. Imagine sending flowers to a funeral with no attached card to prove you had done the correct thing. In no social institution is the codified ritual of behavior more rigid than in funerals. Imagine the indignation if the minister altered his sermon or experimented with facial expression. Consider the shock if, at the funeral parlors, any chairs were used but those little folding yellow torture chairs with the hard seats. No, dying, a man may be loved, hated, mourned, missed; but once dead he becomes the chief ornament of a complicated and formal social celebration.

Less than fifteen per cent of the people do any original thinking on any subject... The greatest torture in the world for most people is to think.

My heart was fashioned to be susceptible of love and sympathy, and when wrenched by misery to vice and hatred, it did not endure the violence of the change without torture such as you cannot even imagine.

In judging myself I shall try to be as harsh as truth, as I want others also to be. Measuring myself by that standard I must exclaim with Surdas: ' Where is there a wretch So wicked and loathsome as I? I have forsaken my Maker, So faithless have I been.' For it is an unbroken torture to me that I am still so far from him, who, as I fully know, governs every breath of my life, and whose offspring I am. I know that it is the evil passions within that keep me so far from Him, and yet I cannot get away from them.

You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind.

How can one be compelled to accept slavery? I simply refuse to do the master's bidding. He may torture me, break my bones to atoms and even kill me. He will then have my dead body, not my obedience. Ultimately, therefore, it is I who am the victor and not he, for he has failed in getting me to do what he wanted done.

Above all though we are responsible for rein-countering at least once in every incarnation the soul mate who sure to cross our path. Even if it is only for a matter of moments, because those moments bring with them a love so intense that it justifies the rest of our days... We can also allow our soul mate to pass us by, without accepting him or her or even noticing. Then we will need another incarnation in order to find that soul mate and because of our selfishness, we will be condemned to the worst torture human kind ever invented for itself, loneliness.

You would not easily guess All the modes of distress Which torture the tenants of earth; And the various evils, Which like so many devils, Attend the poor souls from their birth.

We have always liked to think ourselves less savage than the other animals. To say that people are "humane" is to say that they are kind; to say that they are "beastly," "brutal," or simply that they behave "like animals" is to suggest that they are cruel and nasty. We rarely stop to consider that the animal who kills with the least reason to do so is the human animal. We think of lions and wolves as savage because they kill; but they must kill, or starve. Humans kill other animals for sport, to satisfy their curiosity, to beautify their bodies, and to please their palates. Human beings also kill members of their own species for greed or power. Moreover, human beings are not content with mere killing. Throughout history they have shown a tendency to torment and torture both their fellow human beings and their fellow animals before putting them to death. No other animal shows much interest in doing this.