Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Presumption

"Faith without evidence is, properly, not faith, but prejudice or presumption; faith beyond evidence is superstition, and faith contrary to evidence is either insanity or willful perversity of mind." - Arthur Aughey

"Weakness, fear, melancholy, together with ignorance, are the true sources of superstition. Hope, pride, presumption, a warm indignation, together with ignorance, are the true sources of enthusiasm." - David Hume

"Guilt is a poor, helpless, dependent being. Without the alliance of able, diligent, and let me add, fortunate fraud, it is inevitably undone. If the guilty culprit be obstinately silent, it forms a deadly presumption against him; if he speaks, talking tends only to his discovery, and his very defense often furnishes the materials for his conviction." -

"When pride and presumption walk before, shame and loss follow very closely." - Louis XIV, aka Louis the Great or Sun King NULL

"It is not wisdom but ignorance that teaches men presumption. Genius may sometimes be arrogant, but nothing is so diffident as knowledge." - Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton, fully Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, Lord Lytton

"During the first period of a man's life the greatest danger is: not to take the risk. When once the risk has really been taken, then the greatest danger is to risk too much. By not risking at first one turns aside and serves trivialities; in the second case, by risking too much, one turns aside to the fantastic, and perhaps to presumption." - Søren Kierkegaard, fully Søren Aabye Kierkegaard

"It takes a lot of self-love and presumption to have such esteem for one’s own opinions that to establish them one must overthrow the public peace and introduce so many inevitable evils, and such a horrible corruption of morals, as civil wars and political changes bring with them in a matter of such weight - and introduce them into one’s own country." - Michel de Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

"Every age and generation must be as free to act for itself in all cases as the ages and generations which preceded it. The vanity and presumption of governing beyond the grave is the most ridiculous and insolent of all tyrannies." - Thomas Paine

"In human hearts what bolder thoughts can rise than man’s presumption on to-morrow’s dawn? Where is to-morrow?" - Edward Young

"We cross our bridges when we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and a presumption that once our eyes watered." - Tom Stoppard, fully Sir Tom Stoppard, born Tomáš Straüssler

"Conversation is the music of the mind, an intellectual orchestra, where all the instruments should bear a part, but where none should play together. Each of the performers should have a just appreciation of his own powers, otherwise an unskillful novice who might usurp the first fiddle, would infallibly get into a scrape. To prevent these mistakes, a good master of the band will be very particular in the assortment of the performers; if too dissimilar, there will be no harmony, if too few, there will be no variety; and, if too numerous, there will be no order, for the presumption of one prater, might silence the eloquence of a Burke, or the wit of a Sheridan, as a single kettle-drum would drown the finest solo of a Gionowich or a Jordini." - Charles Caleb Colton

"Life imposes selfish interests and subjective views on every inhabitant of earth: and in hugging these interests and these views the man hugs what he initially assumes to be the truth, a sort of antecedent hatred of it as contrary to presumption, is interwoven into the very fabric of thought." - George Santayana

"That which is the result of habit affords no presumption of being intrinsically good." - John Stuart Mill

"Guilt is a poor, helpless, dependent being. Without the alliance of able, diligent, and let me add, fortunate fraud, it is inevitably undone. If the guilty culprit be obstinately silent, it forms a deadly presumption against him; if he speaks, talking tends only to his discovery, and his very defense often furnishes the materials for his conviction." - Junius, psyeudonym of unknown English Political Writer NULL

"The presumption of innocence is not just a legal concept. In commonplace terms, it rests on that generosity of spirit which assumes the best, not the worst, of the stranger." - Kingman Brewster, Jr.

"Set imagined it was to please, but it was to astonish God that he painted. His presumption and arrogance were pronounced and dangerous, for they would certainly lead to the Sin of Despair, thence to death and nothingness. Bent said so, half in jest, only half. Rather, as Set himself said on occasion, he painted in vain, in order to relieve the terrible boredom of God. He expounded: God's boredom is infinite. Surely we humans, even with our etiquette and our institutions and our mothers-in-law, ceased to amuse Him many ages ago. What sustains Him is the satisfaction, far deeper than we can know, of having created a few incomparables - landscapes, waters, birds and beasts. He takes particular pride in the stars, and it pleases Him to breathe havoc upon the oceans. He sighs to the music of the desert at dawn. The eagle and the whale give Him still to ponder and admire. And so must he grieve for the mastodon and the archaeopteryx. And the bear - ah! He used both hands when he made the bear. Imagine a bear proceeding from the hands of God!" - N. Scott Momaday, fully Navarre Scott Momaday

"Ability doth hit the mark where presumption over-shooteth and diffidence falleth short." - Nicholas of Cusa, also Nicholas of Kues and Nicolaus Cusanus NULL

"A careless man who will soon die but there is no presumption of has suddenly starts to set things in order. His life changes. He arranges his papers. He rises early, goes to bed early. With his sinful life is the past. His environment is happy. And it seems his cruel death all the more unjust." - Raymond Radiguet

"Explaining is a difficult art. You can explain something so that your reader understands the words; and you can explain something so that the reader feels it in the marrow of his bones. To do the latter, it sometimes isn't enough to lay the evidence before the reader in a dispassionate way. You have to become an advocate and use the tricks of the advocate's trade. This book is not a dispassionate scientific treatise. Other books on Darwinism are, and many of them are excellent and informative and should be read in conjunction with this one. Far from being dispassionate, it has to be confessed that in parts this book is written with a passion which, in a professional scientific journal, might excite comment. Certainly it seeks to inform, but it also seeks to persuade and even - one can specify aims without presumption - to inspire. I want to inspire the reader with a vision of our own existence as, on the face of it, a spine-chilling mystery; and simultaneously to convey the full excitement of the fact that it is a mystery with an elegant solution which is within our grasp. More, I want to persuade the reader, not just that the Darwinian world-view happens to be true, but that it is the only known theory that could, in principle, solve the mystery of our existence. This makes it a doubly satisfying theory. A good case can be made that Darwinism is true, not just on this planet but all over the universe, wherever life may be found." - Richard Dawkins

"There is something infantile in the presumption that somebody else has a responsibility to give your life meaning and point" - Richard Dawkins

"Someone who knows enough to become the owner of a tree, and gives thanks to you for the benefits it brings him, is in a better state, even if ignorant of its height in feet and the extent of its spread, than another who measures and counts all its branches but neither owns it nor knows its creator nor loves him." - Saint Augustine, aka Augustine of Hippo, St. Austin, Bishop of Hippo NULL

"If the love of God is in your heart, you will understand that to suffer for God is a joy to which all earthly pleasures are not be to compared." - Ignatius Loyola, aka Saint Ignatius of Loyola

"Hence is the ground for the immutability of God. As he is incapable of changing his resolves, because of his infinite wisdom, so he is incapable of being forced to any change, because of his infinite power. Being almighty, he can be no more changed from power to weakness, than, being all-wise, he can be changed from wisdom to folly, or, being omniscient, from knowledge to ignorance. He cannot be altered in his purposes, because of his wisdom; nor in the manner and method of his actions, because of his infinite strength. Men, indeed, when their designs are laid deepest and their purposes stand firmest, yet are forced to stand still, or change the manner of the execution of their resolves, by reason of some outward accidents that obstruct them in their course; for, having not wisdom to foresee future hindrances, they have not power to prevent them, or strength to remove them, when they unexpectedly interpose themselves between their desire and performance; but no created power has strength enough to be a bar against God. By the same act of his will that he resolves a thing, he can puff away any impediments that seem to rise up against him. He that wants no means to effect his purposes cannot be checked by anything that riseth up to stand in his way; heaven, earth, sea, the deepest places are too weak to resist his will." - Stephen Charnock

"Two vectors shape the world - technology and globalization. The first helps determine human preferences; the second, economic realities. Regardless of how much preferences evolve and diverge, they also gradually converge and form markets where economies of scale lead to reduction of costs and prices." - Theodore Levitt

"Expense of time is the most costly of all expenses." - Theophrastus NULL

"One may define flattery as a base companionship which is most advantageous to the flatterer." - Theophrastus NULL

"Appetite with an opinion of attaining is called hope; the same without such opinion despair." - Thomas Hobbes

"Were I to commence my administration again, the first question I would ask respecting a candidate would be, Does he use ardent spirits?" - Thomas Jefferson

"Religion has never, in any period, sustained itself except by the instrumentality of the tongue of fire. Only where some men, more or less imbued with this primitive power, have spoken the words of the Lord, not with " the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth," have sinners been converted, and saints prompted to a saintlier life." - William Arthur

"Our two greatest problems are gravity and paper work. We can lick gravity, but sometimes the paperwork is overwhelming." - Wernher von Braun, fully Wernher Magnus Maximilian, Freiherr von Braun

"There are many who do not know they are fascists but will find it out when the time comes." - Ernest Hemingway, fully Ernest Miller Hemingway