The unique ability of humans to imagine gives enormous power to idealism, an imagining of a better state of things not yet in existence. That power has been misused to send young men to war. But the power of idealism can also be used to attain justice, to end the massive violence of war.
The world will never have lasting peace so long as men reserve for war the finest human qualities. Peace, no less than war, requires idealism and self-sacrifice and a righteous and dynamic faith.
With his discovery of the discrepancy between thinking and being, Freud not only undermined the Western tradition of idealism in its philosophical and popular forms, he also made a far-reaching discovery in the field of ethics. Until Freud, sincerity could be defined as saying what one believed. Since Freud this is no longer a sufficient definition. The difference between what I say and what I believe assumes a new dimension, namely that of my unconscious belief or my unconscious striving...Since Freud, the sentence I meant well has lost its function as an excuse.
Idealism and metaphysics are the easiest things in the world, because people can talk as much nonsense as they like without basing it on objective reality or having it tested against reality. Materialism and dialectics, on the other hand, need effort. They must be based on and tested by objective reality. Unless one makes the effort one is liable to slip into idealism and metaphysics.
Life is stronger than death… Life without idealism is empty indeed.
Nothing matters more to the future of this Nation than insuring that our young men and women learn to believe in themselves and believe in their dreams, and that they develop this capacity-that you develop this capacity, so that you keep it all of your lives.... I believe one of America's most priceless assets is the idealism which motivates the young people of America. My generation has invested all that it has, not only its love but its hope and faith, in yours.
Plausible as the idea of the United States of Europe as a peace arrangement may seem to some at first glance, it has on closer examination not the least thing in common with the method of thought and the standpoint of social democracy . . . At the present stage of development of the world market and of world economy, the conception of Europe as an isolated economic unit is a sterile concoction of the brain. Europe no more forms a special unit within world economy than does Asia or America.
The whole idea of god is absurd. If anything, '2001' shows that what some people call 'god' is simply an acceptable term for their ignorance. What they don't understand, they call 'god' -Stanley Kubrick, interview, 1963
Awareness | Capacity | Consciousness | Death | Existence | Experience | Faith | Idealism | Indifference | Joy | Life | Life | Man | Meaning | Pain | Purpose | Purpose | Sense | Soul | Universe | Wonder | Awareness | Child |
Take a stress pill and think things over-- HAL in 2001
Awareness | Capacity | Consciousness | Death | Existence | Experience | Faith | Idealism | Indifference | Joy | Life | Life | Man | Meaning | Pain | Purpose | Purpose | Sense | Soul | Universe | Wonder | Worth | Awareness | Child |
It's not the critic who counts. Not the man who points out how the doer of deeds might have done them better. Instead, the credit belongs to the man in the arena whose face is marred by sweat and blood and tears.
Practical equality of opportunity for all citizens, when we achieve it, will have two great results. First, every man will have a fair chance to make of himself all that in him lies; to reach the highest point to which his capacities, unassisted by special privilege of his own and unhampered by the special privilege of others, can carry him, and to get for himself and his family substantially what he has earned. Second, equality of opportunity means that the commonwealth will get from every citizen the highest service of which he is capable. No man who carries the burden of the special privileges of another can give to the commonwealth that service to which it is fairly entitled.
Am I not arrogant too? Am I not unreasonable, unfair, demanding, suspicious and often quite arbitrary in my dealings with others? The point is not just “who is right” but “judge not” and “forgive one another” and “bear one another’s burdens”. This by no means implies passive obsequiousness and blind obedience, but a willingness to listen, to be patient. This is our task.
Sometimes, of a spring evening, Papa would hear that distant honking that always makes his scalp tingle, and we would all rush out to see the geese, in lines of hundreds, steer up from the southwest, turn over the barn as over a landmark, and head into the north. Or on autumn nights of sudden cold that set the ewes breeding in the orchard, Papa would call you out of the house to stand with him in the now celebrated pumpkin patch and watch the northern lights flicker in electric clouds on the horizon, mount, die down, fade and mount again till they filled the whole northern sky with ghostly light in motion. Thus, as children, you experienced two of the most important things men ever know--the wonder of life and the wonder of the universe, the wonder of life within the wonder of the universe. More importantly, you knew them not from books, not from lectures, but simply from living among them. Most important, you knew them with reverence and awe--that reverence and awe that has died out of the modern world and has been replaced by man's monkeylike amazement at the cleverness of his own inventive brain.