Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Diversity

"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." - Walter Savage Landor

"The meaning of life lies in the oneness of all creation, which combines supreme diversity with supreme interdependence... We are one with creation in time and space." -

"If only man could be induced to laugh more they might hate less, and find more serenity here on earth. If they cannot worship together, or accept the same laws, or tolerate the wonderful diversity of thought and behavior and physique with which they have been blessed, at least they can laugh together." - Madame de Motteville, Françoise Bertaut de Motteville

"Man gains freedom only through the use of his highest faculties. Materialism makes him more and more a slave to the forces of the phenomenal world... Our present-day materialism points in this direction - that is, in the direction of the enslavement of man by mechanisation and by its direct results, by state organisations, uniformity, the sacrifice of independent intelligence, the sweeping away of individual differences, local customs, local diversity, and all the infinite branchings of humanity that enrich life... Man is made free by ‘truth’. The truth spoken here is equated with mind. This kind of truth begins with self-knowledge." - Maurice Nicoll

"We call the intention good which is right in itself, but the action is good, not because it contains within it some good, but because it issues from a good intention. The same act may be done by the same man at different times. According to the diversity of his intention, however, this act may be at one time good, at another bad." -

"I am not struck so much by the diversity of testimony as by the many-sidedness of truth." - Stanley Baldwin, 1st Earl of Bewdley

"Science is the attempt to make the chaotic diversity of our sense-experience correspond to a logically uniform system of thought." - Albert Einstein

"When power leads man toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the areas of men's concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his experience. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses. For art establishes the basic human truths which must serve as the touchstones of our judgment. The artist... faithful to his personal vision of reality, becomes the last champion of the individual mind and sensibility against an intrusive society and an offensive state." - John F. Kennedy, fully John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy

"There never was in the world two opinions alike, no more than two hairs, or two grains; the most universal quality is diversity." - Michel de Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

"There never were, in the world, two opinions alike, no more than two hairs, or two grains; the most universal quality is diversity." - Michel de Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

"Our purpose is to live in harmony with those cycles [birth, growth, death and regeneration] to develop our peculiar organs of consciousness and creativity to add to the beauty, love, humor, diversity and general interest of the world." - Starhawk, born Miriam Simos NULL

"In fact we say that an intention is good, that is, right in itself, but that an action does not bear any good in itself but proceeds from a good intention. Whence when the same thing is done by the same man at different times, by the diversity of his intention, however, his action is now said to be good, now bad." - Peter Abelard, Latin: Petrus Abaelardus or Abailard; French: Pierre Abélard

"Just as life is defined as biological change and death as its lack, so meaning in life is characterized by the application of stable patterns to changing circumstances and the replacing of old patterns of understanding with new and exploratory ones. Meaning is found in the losing of it, the searching after it, and in the finding of it again. The meaning in your life is in flux and is to be found in the flux (the flow) of meaning, which is therefore itself a source of meaning in your life. All this does require, however, the developing of a tolerance for ambiguity, of a willingness to accept the inevitability of change and the precariousness of your present vision, and of an openness to the unending richness of your experience of the world in its manifold variety and diversity." - Robert E. Carter, fully Robert Edgar Carter

"Human diversity makes tolerance more than a virtue; it makes it a requirement for survival." - René Dubos, fully René Jules Dubos

"Communities, like individuals, love and cherish their individuality… When unity is evolved out of diversity, then there is a real and abiding national progress." - Manhar-ul-Haque NULL

"Human diversity makes tolerance more than a virtue; it makes it a requirement for survival." -

"Will it ever be possible to assess the ongoing loss of biological diversity? I cannot imagine a scientific problem of greater immediate importance to humanity." -

"What is always needed in the appreciation of art, or life, is the larger perspective. Connections made, or at least attempted, where none existed before, the straining to encompass in one’s glance at the varied world the common thread, the unifying theme through immense diversity, a fearlessness of growth, of search, of looking, that enlarges the private and public world. And yet, in our particular society, it is the narrowed and narrowing view of life that often wins." - Alice Walker, fully Alice Malsenior Walker

"Giving much thought to the future is vain. Only one task is worthy of the doing and that is to express the Here and Now. And to express means building, out of the infinite diversity of the Here and Now, a visage dominating it. It means shaping silence out of stones. Any other claim is but an ado of words that weave the wind." - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

"Lines converging from the base of a pyramid start from infinite points of diversity. The nearer the apex the closer they come to one another until at the summit they reach the point of unity. So it is that religions at the base exhibit irreconcilable differences and conflicts. But as they approach sight of the spiritual light of their origin, they, like converging lines within a pyramid, draw close to one another until the supernal vision at the apex submerges all differences into unity." - Arthur W Osborn

"Minds have forms because, although they are changing streams of consciousness, they exhibit the paradox of unity in diversity which is the characteristic of all wholes. Forms are aspects of consciousness and precede tangible and so-called substantial expression. The universe as a totality, comprising forms and their integration into wholes in infinite diversity, is an expression of Life universal in graded series on various levels. Every particular form-expression “creates” its own time-space. Substance and tangibility have no reality apart from sensory apprehension." - Arthur W Osborn

"If we cannot now end our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity." -

"When power leads people towards arrogance, poetry reminds them of their limitations. When power narrows the areas of people's concern, poetry reminds them of the richness and diversity of their existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses. For art establishes the basic human truths which must serve as the touchstone of our judgment." -

"Even though you are designated in terms of different religions, yet you presuppose in all of this diversity one religion which you call wisdom." - Nicholas of Cusa, also Nicholas of Kues and Nicolaus Cusanus NULL

"Humanity will one day find that it is not a diversity of creeds but the very same creed which is everywhere proposed. There can not be but one wisdom. Humans must therefore all agree that there is but one most imple wisdom whose power is infinite. And everyone in explaining the intensity of this beauty must discover that it is a supreme and terrible beauty." - Nicholas of Cusa, also Nicholas of Kues and Nicolaus Cusanus NULL

"Diversity of worship has divided the human race into seventy-two nations. From among all their dogmas, I have selected one, Divine Love." - Omar Khayyám

"The plague of mankind is the fear and rejection of diversity: monotheism, monarchy, monogamy and, in our age, mono-medicine. The belief that there is only one right way to live only one right way to regulate religious, political, sexual, medical affairs is the root cause of the greatest threat to man: members of his own species, bent on ensuring his salvation, security, and sanity." - Thomas Szasz, fully Thomas Stephen Szasz

"Will it ever be possible to assess the ongoing loss of biological diversity? I cannot imagine a scientific problem of greater immediate importance to humanity." -

"The freedom of thought is a sacred right of every individual man, and diversity will continue to increase with the progress, refinement, and differentiation of the human intellect. " - Felix Adler

"We do not discuss the anatomical, physiological, and mental characteristics of man considered as an individual; but we are interested in the diversity of these traits in groups of men found in different geographical areas and in different social classes. " - Franz Boas, fully Franz Uri Boas

"The principle of maximum diversity says that the laws of nature, and the initial conditions at the beginning of time, are such as to make the universe as interesting as possible. As a result, life is possible but not too easy. Maximum diversity often leads to maximum stress. In the end we survive, but only by the skin of our teeth. This is the confession of faith of a scientific heretic. Perhaps I may claim as evidence for progress in religion the fact that we no longer burn heretics." - Freeman John Dyson

"We do not ask for what useful purpose the birds do sing, for song is their pleasure since they were created for singing. Similarly, we ought not to ask why the human mind troubles to fathom the secrets of the heavens. The diversity of the phenomena of nature is so great and the treasures hidden in the heavens so rich precisely in order that the human mind shall never be lacking in fresh nourishment." - Johannes Kepler

"A democracy is more than a form of government; it is primarily a mode of associated living, of conjoint communicated experience. The extension in space of the number of individuals who participate in an interest so that each has to refer his own action to that of others, and to consider the action of others to give point and direction to his own, is equivalent to the breaking down of those barriers of class, race, and national territory which kept men from realizing the full import of their activity. These more numerous and more varied points of contact denote a greater diversity of stimuli to which an individual has to respond; they consequently put a premium on variation in action. They secure a liberation of powers which remain suppressed as long as the incitations to action are partial, as they must be in a group which in its exclusiveness shuts out many interests." - John Dewey

"It’s absurd and anti-life to be part of a system that compels you to sit in confinement with people of exactly the same age and social class. That system effectively cuts you off from the immense diversity of life and the synergy of variety; indeed it cuts you off from your own past and future, sealing you in a continuous present much the same way television does." - John Taylor Gatto

"Tolerance, inter-cultural dialogue and respect for diversity are more essential than ever in a world where peoples are becoming more and more closely interconnected." - Kofi Annan, fully Kofi Atta Annan

"In Africa where so many different kinds of political, social and economic conditions exist it is not an easy task to generalise on political and socio-economic patterns. Remnants of communalism and feudalism still remain and in parts of the continent ways of life have changed very little from traditional times. In other areas a high level of industrialization and urbanization has been achieved. Yet in spite of Africa's socioeconomic and political diversity it is possible to discern certain common political, social and economic conditions and problems. These derive from traditional past, common aspirations, and from shared experience under imperialism, colonialism and neocolonialism. There is no part of the continent which has not known oppression and exploitation, and no part which remains outside the processes of the African Revolution." - Kwame Nkrumah

"But the value of religion exceeds the individual. Not only every man has its own religion but the religion requires its validity for larger community, for nation, race ... Since god reigns equally over all countries of the world, the whole world with all its treasures and horrors is subdued to him ... Therefore the cultivation (Pflege) of religion leads its confessors to an extensive bond and puts them before the task to acquaint (verständigen) themselves mutually about their belief and to give it a common expression. This is, however, attainable only by giving certain outer form to the contents of religion which fits by its illustrative power for this mutual acquaintance. Under the conditions of great diversity of nations and their living conditions it is only natural that those forms are largely different in indiviudal parts of the world and that therefore during the times a very great number of religions has appeared. All the religions have, however, a common natural assumption (nächstliegende Annahme), that god can be imagined as a person (Persönlichkeit), or at least as similar to man ... Every religion has its own mythology and its specific rite ... For formation of religious cult follow from this certain symbols which are suitable to influence imagination of wide circles of people (weiter Kreise im Volke), so that they awaken in them interests in religious questions and enabled them certain understanding of god. " - Max Planck, fully Max Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck

"We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color." - Maya Angelou, born Marguerite Annie Johnson

"A society that puts equality - in the sense of equality of outcome - ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality or freedom. The use of force to achieve equality will destroy freedom. On the other hand, a society that puts freedom first will, as a happy by-product, end up with both greater freedom and greater equality. Freedom means diversity but also mobility. It preserves the opportunity for today's less well off to become tomorrow's rich, and in the process, enables almost everyone, from top to bottom, to enjoy a richer and fuller life." - Milton Friedman, fully John Milton Friedman

"In nature there is a fundamental unity running through all the diversity we see about us. Religions are given to mankind so as to accelerate the process of realisation of fundamental unity. " - Mahatma Gandhi, fully Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, aka Bapu

"The ecological principle of unity in diversity grades into a richly mediated social principle; hence my use of the term social ecology." - Murray Bookchin

"We call the intention good which is right in itself, but the action is good, not because it contains within it some good, but because it issues from a good intention. The same act may be done by the same man at different times. According to the diversity of his intention, however, this act may be at one time good, at another bad." - Peter Abelard, Latin: Petrus Abaelardus or Abailard; French: Pierre Abélard

"We call the intention good which is right in itself, but the action is good, not because it contains within it some good, but because it issues from a good intention. The same act may be done by the same man at different times. According to the diversity of his intention, however, this act may be at one time good, at another bad." - Pierre Abelard, aka Abailard or Abaelard or Habalaarz

"What we have to do... is to find a way to celebrate our diversity and debate our differences without fracturing our communities." - Hillary Rodham Clinton

"I believe natural selection represents a truly hideous sum total of misery. When you look at something like a bounding lion, a sprinting cheetah, and the antelopes they are bounding and sprinting after, you're seeing the end product of a long, vicious arms race. All along the route of that arms race lie the corpses of the antelopes that didn't make it, and the lions and cheetahs that starved to death. So it is a process of vicious misery that has given rise to the immense beauty, elegance, and diversity that we see in the world today. Nature is beautiful. Even a cheetah as a killing machine is beautiful. But the process that gave rise to it is, indeed, nature red in tooth and claw. If nature were kind, she would at least make the minor concession of anaesthetising caterpillars before they are eaten alive from within." - Richard Dawkins

"At an extreme, war has been used as a means to mobilize adaptive work. When Abraham Lincoln went to war with the South, he clearly had no authority, formal or informal, in the eyes of seceding Southerners. Indeed, in ten states he won no popular votes in 1860 because he was not even put on the ballot. He led across the newly formed boundary, challenging Southerners to solve rather than flee from the problems of reconciling differences within a union that their recent forebears had played dominant roles in producing." - Ronald A. Heifetz

"The legends of fieldwork locate all important sites deep in inaccessible jungles inhabited by fierce beasts and restless natives, and surrounded by miasmas of putrefaction and swarms of tsetse flies. (Alternative models include the hundredth dune after the death of all camels, or the thousandth crevasse following the demise of all sled dogs.)" - Stephan Jay Gould

"The world is full of signals that we don't perceive. Tiny creatures live in a different world of unfamiliar forces. Many animals of our scale greatly exceed our range of perception for sensations familiar to us… What an imperceptive lot we are. Surrounded by so much, so fascinating and so real, that we do not see (hear, smell, touch, taste) in nature, yet so gullible and so seduced by claims for novel power that we mistake the tricks of mediocre magicians for glimpses of a psychic world beyond our ken. The paranormal may be a fantasy; it is certainly a haven for charlatans. But parahuman powers of perception lie all about us in birds, bees, and bacteria." - Stephan Jay Gould

"Well evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world's data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts do not go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein's theory of gravitation replaced Newton's, but apples did not suspend themselves in mid-air, pending the outcome. And humans evolved from apelike ancestors whether they did so by Darwin's proposed mechanism or by some other yet to be discovered." - Stephan Jay Gould