We enter our studies, and enjoy a society which we alone can bring together. We raise no jealousy by conversing with one in preference to another; we give no offense to the most illustrious by questioning him as long as we will, and leaving him as abruptly. Diversity of opinion raises no tumult in our presence: each interlocutor stands before us, speaks or is silence, and we adjourn or decide the business at our leisure.
Real goodness does not attach itself merely to this life - it points to another world. Political or professional reputation cannot last forever, but a conscience void of offense before God and man is an inheritance for eternity.
You tell us that baptism is absolutely necessary to go to heaven. If there were a man so good that he had never offended God, and if he died without baptism, would he go to hell, never having given any offense to God? If he goes to hell, then God must not love all good people, since He throws one into the fire. You teach us that God existed before the creation of heaven and earth. If He did, where did He live, since there was neither heaven nor earth? You say that the angels were created n the beginning of the world, and that those who disobeyed were cast into hell. How can that be so, since you say the angels sinned before earth’s creation, and hell is in the depths of the earth? You declare that those who go to hell do not come out of it, and yet you relate stories of the damned who have appeared in the world - how is that to be understood. Ah, how I would like to kill devils, since they do so much harm! But if they are made like men and some are even among men, do they still feel the fire of hell? Why is it that they do not repent for having offended God? If they did repent, would not God be merciful to them? If Our Lord has suffered for all sinners, why do not they receive pardon from him? You say that the virgin, mother of Jesus Christ, is not God, and that she has never offended God. You also say that her Son has redeemed all men, and atoned for all; but if she has done nothing wrong, her son could not redeem her nor atone for her.
To establish the principles of the Declaration of Independence, we are going to need to go outside the law, to stop obeying the laws that demand killing or that allocate wealth the way it has been done, or that put people in jail for petty technical offense and keep other people out of jail for enormous crimes.
One of the first laws against air pollution came in 1300 when King Edward I decreed the death penalty for burning of coal. At least one execution for that offense is recorded. But economics triumphed over health considerations, and air pollution became an appalling problem in England.
It is an inherent weakness of religion not to take offense at the segregation of God, to forget that the true sanctuary has no walls... It has often done more to canonize prejudices than to wrestle for truth; to petrify the sacred than to sanctify the secular. Yet the task of religion is to be a challenge to the stabilization of values.
The best way to put the shortcomings of society, and, indeed, the whole of mankind, in their proper place is to joke about them. Joking allows you to avoid compromising yourself; it's a proof of your superiority over … the things you're poking fun at, without causing any offense to anyone except people who are surly or uncouth.
Incidentally, there's a balanced position that all of America's presidential candidates could take on the controversial abortion issue. If they want votes they shouldn't campaign to make abortion illegal or legal. They should campaign to make it retroactive. If a kid reaches 25 and he or she is still jobless, feckless, and sitting around Starbucks acting like a — no offense — European, then whack.
To make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone. [Bucky’s Vision]
The brotherhood of the community is indeed the ground in which the individual is ethically realized. But the community is the frustration as well as the realization of individual life. Its collective egotism is an offense to his conscience; its institutional injustices negate the ideal of justice; and such brotherhood as it achieves is limited by ethnic and geographic boundaries. Historical communities are, in short, more deeply involved in nature and time than the individual.