Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Consequences

"The fatal fondness of indulging in a spirit of ridicule, and the injurious and irreparable consequences which sometimes attend the too severe reply, can never be condemned with more asperity than it deserves. Not to offend is the first step towards pleasing. To give pain is as much an offence against humanity as against good-breeding, and surely it is as well to abstain from an action because it is sinful, as because it is unpolite." - Hugh Blair

"In short, the actions of man are never free; they are always the necessary consequences of his temperament, of the received ideas, and of the notions, either true or false, which he has formed to himself of happiness." -

"There is no real elevation of mind in a contempt of little things; it is, on the contrary, from too narrow views that we consider those things of little importance which have in fact such extensive consequences." - François Fénelon, fully Francois de Salignac de la Mothe-Fénelon

"All merit ceases the moment we perform an act for the sake of its consequences. Truly, in this respect “we have our reward.”" -

"Men are not blamed for such actions as they perform ignorantly and casually, whatever may be the consequences. Why? but because the principles of these actions are only momentary, and terminate in them alone. Men are less blamed for such actions as they perform hastily and unpremeditatedly than for such as proceed from deliberation. For what reason? but because a hasty temper, though a constant cause or principle in the mind, operates only by intervals, and infects not the whole character. Again, repentance wipes off every crime, if attended with a reformation of life and manners. How is this to be accounted for? but by asserting that actions render a person criminal merely a they are proofs of criminal principles in the mind." - David Hume

"Self-knowledge leading to self-hatred and humility, is the condition of the love and knowledge of God. Spiritual exercises that make use of distractions have this great merit, that they increase self-knowledge. Every soul that approaches God must be aware of who and what it is. To practice a form of mental or vocal prayer that is, so to speak, above one’s moral station is to act a lie: and the consequences of such lying are wrong notions about God, idolatrous worship of private and unrealistic phantasies and (for lack of the humility of self-knowledge) spiritual pride." - Aldous Leonard Huxley

"Be willing to have it so. Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune." - William James

"Since human beings have a moral conscience, a spiritual self and a physical self, we can choose among various options. And we are responsible for the consequences of our choices. We can put the common interests of humankind above the conflicts of ideological, racial, religious and national groups. We can bring together thought and feeling, politics and moral values, women and men, the underprivileged and the privileged.... The essence of life is to search for happiness. To realize this end, we must become one with the human family, one with the universe... We should live as if we were to die today. We should die as if we live forever." - Petra Kelly, fully Petra Karin Kelley

"Thinkers are scarce as gold; but he whose thoughts embrace all his subject, and who pursues it uninterruptedly and fearless of consequences, is a diamond of enormous size." - Johann Kaspar Lavater

"You will be able to overcome desires without excessive difficulty when you become aware of their illusory nature. The pleasure of eating, for example, is really of very short duration. You feel the pleasure for only the short amount of time the food is in your mouth. As soon as you have swallowed the food, it is already forgotten... All physical pleasures are similar. Give the matter sufficient thought and you will realize that even the illusory good lasts only a short time. On the other hand, the negative consequences of physical pleasures can be severe and long lasting. A thinking person will definitely not want to place himself in a situation fraught with dangers for momentary pleasures. By habitually thinking about this truth, one will gradually be able to free himself from the prison of foolishly pursuing physical pleasures." - Moshe Chayim Luzzatto, also Moses Hayyim Luzzato, known by Hebrew acronym RaMCHal

"On the one hand, we may tell the truth, regardless of consequences, and on the other hand we may mellow it and sophisticate it to make it humane and tolerable." - H. L. Mencken, fully Henry Louis Mencken

"Vices are often hid under the name of virtue, and the practice of them followed by the worst consequences. I have seen ladies indulge their own ill-humor by being very rude and impertinent, and think they deserve approbation by saying, “I love to speak the truth.”" - Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

"Marriage is not a union merely between two creatures - it is a union between two spirits; and the intention of that bond is to perfect the nature of both, by supplementing their deficiencies with the force of contrast, giving to each sex those excellencies in which it is naturally deficient; to the one, strength of character and firmness of moral will; to the other, sympathy, meekness, tenderness; and just so solemn and glorious as these ends are for which the union was intended, just so terrible are the consequences if it be perverted and abused; for there is no earthly relationship which has so much power to ennoble and exalt." -

"Guilt, though it may attain temporal splendor, can never confer real happiness; the evil consequences of our crimes long survive their commission, and, like the ghosts of the murdered, forever haunt the steps of the malefactor; while the paths of virtue, though seldom those of worldly greatness, are always those of pleasantness and peace." -

"We shall seek the truth and endure the consequences." - Charles Seymour

"It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities." - Josiah Stamp, fully Sir Josiah Stamp, 1st Baron Stamp of Shortlands

"Ideology is not the product of thought; it is the habit or the ritual of showing respect for certain formulas to which, for various reasons having to do with emotional safety, we have every strong ties of whose meaning and consequences in actuality we have no clear understanding." - Lionel Trilling

"Duty is above all consequences, and often, at a crisis of difficulty, commands us to throw them overboard. It commands us to look neither to the right, nor to the left, but straight onward. Hence every act of duty is an act of faith. It is performed in the assurance that God will take care of the consequences, and will so order the course of the world, that, whatever the immediate results may be, His word shall not return to Him void." -

"Every serious-minded person knows that a large part of the effort required in moral discipline consists in the courage needed to acknowledge the unpleasant consequences of one's past and present acts." - John Dewey

"Intelligence is not something possessed once for all. It is in constant process of forming, and its retention requires constant alertness in observing consequences, an open-minded will to learn and courage in re-adjustment." - John Dewey

"Consequences are unpitying. Our deeds carry their terrible consequences, quiet apart form any fluctuations that went before - consequences that are hardly ever confined to ourselves." - George Eliot, pen name of Mary Ann or Marian Evans

"Do your duty, and don’t swerve from it. Do that which your conscience tells you to be right, and leave the consequences to God." - Benjamin R. Haydon

"Science is the knowledge of consequences, and dependence of one fact upon another." - Thomas Hobbes

"You cannot extend the mastery of the government over the daily working life of a people without at the same time making it the master of the people’s souls and thoughts. Every expansion of government in business means that government in order to protect itself from the political consequences of its errors and wrongs is driven irresistibly without peace to greater and greater control of the nation’s press and platform. Free speech does not live many hours after free industry and free commerce die." - Herbert Hoover, fully Herbert Clark Hoover

"Those who are unacquainted with the world take pleasure in the intimacy of great men; those who are wiser dread the consequences." - Horace, full name Quintus Horatius Flaccus NULL

"Quarrel not at all. No man resolved to make the most of himself can spare time for personal contention. Still less can he afford to take all the consequences, including vitiating of his temper, and the loss of self control." - Abraham Lincoln

"The least and most imperceptible impressions received in our infancy have consequences very important, and of a long duration. It is with these first impressions, as with a river whose waters we can easily turn, by different canals, in quite opposite courses, so that from the insensible directions the stream receives at its source, it takes different directions, and at last arrives at places far distant from each other; and with the same facility we may, I think, turn the minds of children to what direction we please." - John Locke

"No one should make a statement like "youth is the happiest time of life" without being prepared to accept its intellectual consequences." - William Lyon Phelps

"Eventually, everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences." - Robert Louis Stevenson, fully Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson

"A democracy can obtain truth only as the result of experience; and many nations may perish while they are awaiting the consequences of their errors." - Alexis de Tocqueville, fully Alexis-Charles-Henri Clérel de Tocqueville

"Karma is a multidimensional complex of forces beyond any simple explanation. Karma is action. An action has consequences. Our identity comes from past actions, which create memories. Those memories create desires, which give rise to new choices and new actions." - Carol Adrienne

"How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it." -

"Ideas have consequences. If human life is not sacred, it is expendable. It we are mere brutes, then we can be bred for better pedigree like any dog… The eugenic idea is that we do not want to allow “defective stock” to be bred. Today we abort millions of children, often on the basis of a “high risk” of some disorder." - Joe Boot

"Ideas or hypotheses are tested by the consequences which they produce when they are acted upon." - John Dewey

"The occasions to which the concept of the just war can be rightly applied have become highly restricted. A war to “defend the victims of wanton aggression” where the demands of justice join the demands of order, is today the clearer case of a just war… The concept of a just war does not provide moral justification for initiating a war of incalculable consequences to end such oppression." - Angus Dun and Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr

"In everything, consider the consequences." -

"Our pursuit of knowledge involves exploring the consequences of our initial assumptions, both our conceptual assumptions and empirical ones" - Patrick Grim

"Responsibility, not to a superior, but to one’s conscience, the awareness of a duty not exacted by compulsion, the necessity to decide which of the things one values are to be sacrificed to others, and to beat the consequences of one’s own decision, are the very essence of any morals which deserve the name." - F. A. Hayek, fully Friedrich August Hayek or von Hayek

"Politics is, among other things, the art of anticipating consequences." - Irving Howe

"There is a magic power in your own hands. Take your vital decisions – they may be grave and momentous and far-reaching in their consequences. Think a hundred times before you take any decision, but once a decision is taken, stand by it as one man." - Fatima Jinna, also known as Madr-e-Millat, mother of the nation

"Honor isn't about making the right choices. It's about dealing with the consequences." - Midori Koto

"It is not enough for the whole oikoumene, both Rome and the World Council of Churches, to address fine speeches to the `outer world,’ to society at large, and `inside’ between the Churches, merely to set up everlasting mixed commissions, arrange polite mutual visits, indulge in endless academic dialogue without practical consequences. There must be genuine, increasing integration of the different Churches." -

"Only by being permitted to experience the consequences of his actions will the child acquire a sense of responsibility; and within the limits marked by the demands of his safety this must be done. From such training we can expect many benefits to the person, one of which will certainly be the development of a natural rather than an imposed control over [himself]." - Robert M. Linder, fully Robert Mitchell Linder

"Stories have to have an equivalent “moral physics,” which indicates what consequences attach to actions, who is rewarded, who is punished, how fair the world is." - Janet H. Murray

"Errors and exaggerations do not matter. What matters is boldness in thinking with a; strong-pitched voice, in speaking out about things as one feels them in the moment of speaking; in having the temerity to proclaim what one believes to be true without fear of the consequences. If one were to await the possession of the absolute truth, one must be either a fool or a mute. If the creative impulse were muted, the world would then be stayed on its march." - José Clemente Orozco

"According to the Buddha the will is free, effort is worth while, man makes his own fate, deeds have consequences, knowledge is possible, the body is not the real self, and death is not its end." - James Bisset Pratt

"If there is any purpose or direction in the evolution of culture, it has to do with bringing people under the control of more and more of the consequences of behavior." - B. F. Skinner, fully Burrhus Frederic "B.F." Skinner

"The only true way to make the mass of mankind see the beauty of justice is by showing to them in pretty plain terms the consequences of injustice." - Sydney Smith

"Judgment is the ability to think of many matters at once, in their interdependence, their related importance, and their consequences." -

"Renunciation of world politics offers no protection from its consequences." - Oswald Spengler, fully Oswald Manuel Arnold Gottfried Spengler