The Japanese were masters at using classical conditioning with their soldiers. Early in World War II, Chinese prisoners were placed in a ditch on their knees with their hands bound behind them. And one by one, a select few Japanese soldiers would go into the ditch and bayonet "their" prisoner to death. This is a horrific way to kill another human being. Up on the bank, countless other young soldiers would cheer them on in their violence. Comparatively few soldiers actually killed in these situations, but by making the others watch and cheer, the Japanese were able to use these kinds of atrocities to classically condition a very large audience to associate pleasure with human death and suffering. Immediately afterwards, the soldiers who had been spectators were treated to sake, the best meal they had had in months, and to so-called comfort girls. The result? They learned to associate committing violent acts with pleasure.
Perhaps the day will come when all the things bestowed upon mankind for its benefit and liberation will become corrupted into their very antithesis. Mankind, instead of assuring its members their legitimate rights of development ... will serve them the tear-drenched bread of slaves and the worm-wood of bitterness.... At such time, science, too, will become solely destructive ... will frantically blind itself with its own brightness ....Mankind will vainly exhaust its strength in a blind upsurge of uncurbed desires.
Biographies of great, but especially of good men, are most instructive and useful as helps, guides, and incentives to others. Some of the best are almost equivalent to gospels - teaching high living, high thinking, and energetic actions for their own and the world's good.
The biggest obstacle to changing ourselves is discouragement.
But I must admit I didn´t like that idea; do the same thing as everyone else. Eating to live, living to eat - that had been the nightmare of my adolescence. If it meant going back to that, if would be just as well to turn on the gas at once. But I suppose everyone thinks of things like that: let´s turn on the gas at once. And you don´t turn it on.
Geologists have not been slow to admit that they were in error in assuming that they had an eternity of past time for the evolution of the earth's history. They have frankly acknowledged the validity of the physical arguments which go to place more or less definite limits to the antiquity of the earth. They were, on the whole, disposed to acquiesce in the allowance of 100 millions of years granted to them by Lord Kelvin, for the transaction of the whole of the long cycles of geological history. But the physicists have been insatiable and inexorable. As remorseless as Lear's daughters, they have cut down their grant of years by successive slices, until some of them have brought the number to something less than ten millions. In vain have the geologists protested that there must somewhere be a flaw in a line of argument which tends to results so entirely at variance with the strong evidence for a higher antiquity, furnished not only by the geological record, but by the existing races of plants and animals. They have insisted that this evidence is not mere theory or imagination, but is drawn from a multitude of facts which become hopelessly unintelligible unless sufficient time is admitted for the evolution of geological history. They have not been able to disapprove the arguments of the physicists, but they have contended that the physicists have simply ignored the geological arguments as of no account in the discussion.
The divine Instructor is trustworthy, adorned as He is with three of the fairest ornament-knowledge, benevolence, and authority of utterance: with knowledge, for He is the paternal wisdom: 'All Wisdom is from the Lord, and with Him for evermore;' with authority of utterance, for He is God and Creator: 'For all things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made;' and with benevolence, for He alone gave Himself a sacrifice for us.
Much can be done by law towards putting women on a footing of complete and entire equal rights with man - including the right to vote, the right to hold and use property, and the right to enter any profession she desires on the same terms as the man... Women should have free access to every field of labor which they care to enter, and when their work is as valuable as that of a man it should be paid as highly.
We know that self-government is difficult. We know that no people needs such high traits of character as that people which seeks to govern its affairs aright through the freely expressed will of the freemen who compose it. But we have faith that we shall not prove false to the memories of the men of the mighty past. They did their work, they left us the splendid heritage we now enjoy. We in our turn have an assured confidence that we shall be able to leave this heritage unwasted and enlarged to our children and our children's children. To do so we must show, not merely in great crises, but in the everyday affairs of life, the qualities of practical intelligence, of courage, of hardihood, and endurance, and above all the power of devotion to a lofty ideal, which made great the men who founded this Republic in the days of Washington, which made great the men who preserved this Republic in the days of Abraham Lincoln.
There is no good reason why we should fear the future, but there is every reason why we should face it seriously, neither hiding from ourselves the gravity of the problems before us nor fearing to approach these problems with the unbending, unflinching purpose to solve them aright.