Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Weapons

"The dream, which fulfills its wishes by following the short regressive path, has thereby simply preserved for us a specimen of the primary method of operation of the psychic apparatus, which has been abandoned as inappropriate. What once prevailed in the waking state, when our psychic life was still young and inefficient, seems to have been banished into our nocturnal life; just as we still find in the nursery those discarded primitive weapons of adult humanity, the bow and arrow." - Sigmund Freud, born Sigismund Schlomo Freud

"Today, every inhabitant of this planet must contemplate the day when it may no longer be habitable. Every man, woman and child lives under a nuclear sword of Damocles, hanging by the slenderest of threads, capable of being cut at any moment by accident, miscalculation or madness. The weapons of war must be abolished before they abolish us." - John F. Kennedy, fully John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy

"A sneer is the weapon of the weak. Like other devil’s weapons, it is always cunningly ready to our hand, and there is more poison in the handle than in the point." - James Russell Lowell

"May those who represent advanced views bear in mind that true wisdom is always joined with mildness, that malice never converts the erring but strengthens him in his attitude, and that it is very unfitting to combat error (so long as this does not assume the aspect of injustice) with the weapons of hatred." - Gabriel Riesser

"Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present." - Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

"I use the Scriptures, not as an arsenal to be resorted to only for arms and weapons, but as a matchless temple, where I delight to contemplate the beauty, the symmetry, and the magnificence of the structure, and to increase my awe and excite my devotion to the Deity there preached and adored." - Robert Boyle

"With monstrous weapons man already has, humanity is in danger of being trapped in this world by its moral adolescents. Our knowledge of science has already outstripped our capacity to control it. We have many men of science, too few men of God." -

"Power is so characteristically calm that calmness in itself has the aspect of power, and forbearance implies strength. The orator who is known to have at his command all the weapons of invective is most formidable when most courteous." - Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton, fully Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, Lord Lytton

"Despite the dazzling successes of modern technology and the unprecedented power of modern military systems, they suffer from a common and catastrophic fault. While providing us with a bountiful supply of food, with great industrial plants, with high-speed transportation, and with military weapons of unprecedented power, they threaten our very survival." - Barry Commoner

"Ideas are indeed the most dangerous weapons in the world. Our ideas of freedom are the most powerful political weapons man has ever forged." -

"We are the standard-bearers in the only really authentic revolution, the democratic revolution against tyrannies. Our strength is not to be measured by our military capacity alone, by our industry, or by our technology. We will be remembered, not for the power of our weapons, but for the power of our compassion, our dedication to human welfare." - Hubert Humphrey, fully Hubert Horatio Humphrey

"Suspicion on one side breeds suspicion on the other, and new weapons beget counterweapons." - John F. Kennedy, fully John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy

"I have become convinced that there is a definite relationship between medical science and religious faith and that God has given us both as weapons against disease." - Robert C. Peale

"To administer medicine to diseases which have already developed and thereby suppress bodily chaos which has already occurred is comparable to the behavior of those who would begin to dig a well after they have grown thirsty, or those who would begin to cast weapons after they have engaged in battle." - Yellow Emperor's Canon of Internal Medicine NULL

"Fools with bookish knowledge, are children with edged weapons, they hurt themselves, and put others in pain. The half-learned is more dangerous than the simpleton." - Johann Georg Ritter von Zimmermann

"Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present." -

"The ancient theory of the just war breaks down when victory is impossible, when the weapons are so undiscriminating as to destroy both sides." - Christian Century Editorial NULL

"The source of peace is within us; so also the source of war. And the real enemy is within us, and not outside. The source of war is not the existence of nuclear weapons or other arms. It is the minds of human beings who decide to push the button and to use those arms out of hatred, anger or greed." - Dalai Lama, born Tenzin Gyatso NULL

"The more prohibitions you have, the less virtuous people will be. The more weapons you have, the less secure the people will be. The more subsidies you have, the less self-reliant people will be." - Lao Tzu, ne Li Urh, also Laotse, Lao Tse, Lao Tse, Lao Zi, Laozi, Lao Zi, La-tsze

"Weapons are tools of fear; a decent man will avoid them except in the direst necessity and, if compelled, will use them only with the utmost restraint. Peace is the highest value." - Lao Tzu, ne Li Urh, also Laotse, Lao Tse, Lao Tse, Lao Zi, Laozi, Lao Zi, La-tsze

"We are in the grip of a scientific materialism, caught in a vicious cycle where our security today seems to depend on regimentation and weapons which will ruin us tomorrow… the intellectual achievements of great scientists are being perverted by the material exploitation of industry and war…I have lived to experience the early results of scientific materialism… have watched pride of workmanship leave and human character decline as efficiency of production lines increased… I have seen the science I worshipped and the aircraft I loved destroying the civilization I expected them to save." -

"The powers of this world, founded upon force and forging ever more perfect weapons of death, will always dismiss Him as impossible." - W. G. Peck, fully William George Peck

"The aim and end of war is murder; the weapons employed in war are espionage, treachery and the encouragement of treachery, the ruining of a country, the plundering and robbing of its inhabitants for the maintenance of the army, and trickery and lying which all appear under the heading of the art of war. The military world is characterized by the absence of freedom – in other words, a rigorous discipline – enforced inactivity, ignorance, cruelty, debauchery, and drunkenness." - Leo Tolstoy, aka Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy or Tolstoi

"I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones." - Albert Einstein

"Weapons didn't defeat slavery. Nor did war, nor politics, nor even the Emancipation Proclamation. Slavery fell because it offended the human spirit, broke the human heart, and thus could not stand." - Aaron Freeman

"Nuclear weapons need large facilities, but genetic engineering can be done in a small lab. You can't regulate every lab in the world. The danger is that either by accident or design, we create a virus that destroys us." -

"The art of peace does not rely on weapons or brute force to succeed; instead we put ourselves in tune with the universe, maintain peace in our own realms, nurture life, and prevent death and destruction. The true meaning of the term samurai is one who serves and adheres to the power of love." - Morihei Ueshiba

"No weapons hurt the soul; no fire burns it; no waters moisten it; no wind dries it up. It is imperishable, perpetual, immovable, eternal. Therefore, knowing it thus, you should not grieve." - Bhagavad Gītā, simply known as Gita NULL

"As never before, the essence of war is fire, famine and pestilence. They contribute to its outbreak; they are among its weapons; they become its consequences." - Dwight Eisenhower, fully Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower

"The source of man's creativeness is in his deficiencies; he creates to compensate himself for what he lacks. He became Homo faber - a maker of weapons and tools - to compensate for his lack of specialized organs. He became Homo ludens - a player, tinker, and artist - to compensate for his lack of inborn skills. He became a speaking animal to compensate for his lack of the telepathic faculty by which animals communicate with each other. He became a thinker to compensate for the ineffectualness of his instincts." - Eric Hoffer

"Logic and cold reason are poor weapons to fight fear and distrust. Only faith and generosity can overcome them." - Jawaharlal Nehru

"Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present." -

"With the monstrous weapons man already has, humanity is in danger of being trapped in this world by its moral adolescents. Our knowledge of science has already outstripped our capacity to control it. We have many men of science, too few men of God." -

"Language is the armory of the human mind, and at once contains the trophies of its past, and the weapons of its future conquests." -

"Evil must never be fought with rage or hatred, for that will only make it stronger. You must never fear the evil ones, for your fear will consume and destroy you. Instead, fight the evil spirits with love and compassion, for those are our greatest weapons." - Tom Brown, Jr.

"Bring together all the children of the universe, you will see nothing in them but innocence, gentleness, and fear; were they born wicked, spiteful, and cruel, some signs of it would come from them; as little snakes strive to bite, and little tigers to tear. But nature having been of offensive weapons to man as to pigeons and rabbits, it cannot have given them an instinct to mischief and destruction." - Voltaire, pen name of François-Marie Arouet NULL

"We are in the grip of a scientific materialism, caught in a vicious cycle where our security today seems to depend on regimentation and weapons which will ruin us tomorrow… the intellectual achievements of great scientists are being perverted by the material exploitation of industry and war…I have lived to experience the early results of scientific materialism… have watched pride of workmanship leave and human character decline as efficiency of production lines increased… I have seen the science I worshipped and the aircraft I loved destroying the civilization I expected them to save." - Charles Lindbergh, fully Charles Augustus Lindbergh, nicknamed "Slim,""Lucky Lindy" and "The Lone Eagle"

"The ever more sophisticated weapons piling up in the arsenals of the wealthiest and the mightiest can kill the illiterate, the ill, the poor and the hungry but they cannot kill ignorance, illnesses, poverty or hunger." - Fidel Castro, fully Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz

"I call on all scientists in all countries to cease and desist from work creating, developing, improving and manufacturing further nuclear weapons - and, for that matter, other weapons of potential mass destruction such as chemical and biological weapons. [on the 50th Anniversary of Hiroshima]" - Hans Albrecht Bethe

"For the eyes of the world now look into space, to the moon and to the planets beyond, and we have vowed that we shall not see it governed by a hostile flag of conquest, but by a banner of freedom and peace. We have vowed that we shall not see space filled with weapons of mass destruction, but with instruments of knowledge and understanding." - John F. Kennedy, fully John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy

"Religious discord has lost her sting; the cumbrous weapons of theological warfare are antiquated: the field of politics supplies the alchymists of our times with materials of more fatal explosion, and the butchers of mankind no longer travel to another world for instruments of cruelty and destruction. Our age is too enlightened to contend upon topics, which concern only the interests of eternity; and men who hold in proper contempt all controversies about trifles, except such as inflame their own passions, have made it a common-place censure against your ancestors, that their zeal was enkindled by subjects of trivial importance; and that however aggrieved by the intolerance of others, they were alike intolerant themselves." - John Quincy Adams

"The use of a mere dozen nuclear weapons ... would be a human catastrophe without parallel. ... Because so few weapons can kill so many people, even far-reaching disarmament proposals would leave us implicated in plans for unprecedented slaughter of innocent people. The sole measure that can free us from this burden is abolition." - Jonathan Schell, fully Jonathan Edward Schell

"Above all else, we need a reaffirmation of political commitment at the highest levels to reducing the dangers that arise both from existing nuclear weapons and from further proliferation. " - Kofi Annan, fully Kofi Atta Annan

"Above all else, we need a reaffirmation of political commitment at the highest levels to reducing the dangers that arise both from existing nuclear weapons and from further proliferation." - Kofi Annan, fully Kofi Atta Annan

"It is often said that the invention of terrible weapons of destruction will put an end to war. That is an error. As the means of extermination are improved, the means of reducing men who hold the state conception of life to submission can be improved to correspond. They may slaughter them by thousands, by millions, they may tear them to pieces, still they will march to war like senseless cattle. Some will want beating to make them move, others will be proud to go if they are allowed to wear a scrap of ribbon or gold lace." - Leo Tolstoy, aka Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy or Tolstoi

"We must live in harmony with the Natural World and recognize that excessive exploitation can only lead to our own destruction. We cannot trade the welfare of our future generations for profit now. We must abide by the Natural Law or be victims of its ultimate reality. We must stand together, the four sacred colors of humans, as the one family we are, in the interest of peace. We must abolish nuclear and conventional weapons of war. When warriors are leaders, then you will have war. We must raise leaders of peace. We must unite the religions of the world as the spiritual force strong enough to prevail in peace. It is no longer good enough to cry, "Peace." We must act peace, live peace, and march in peace in alliance with the people of the world. " - Leon Shenendoah, elected Tadodaho, aka Chief Leon Shenendoah

"To illustrate the difference between the innovator and the dull crowd of routinists who cannot even imagine that any improvement is possible, we need only refer to a passage in Engel's most famous book. Here, in 1878, Engels apodictically announced that military weapons are "now so perfected that no further progress of any revolutionizing influence is any longer possible." Henceforth "all further [technological] progress is by and large indifferent for land warfare. The age of evolution is in this regard essentially closed." This complacent conclusion shows in what the achievement of the innovator consists: he accomplishes what other people believe to be unthinkable and unfeasible." - Ludwig von Mises, fully Ludwig Heinrich Edler von Mises

"Books and ideas are the most effective weapons against intolerance and ignorance." - Lyndon Johnson, fully Lyndon Baines Johnson, aka LBJ

"From the cave to the skyscraper, from the club to weapons of mass destruction, from the tautological life of the tribe to the era of globalization, the fictions of literature have multiplied human experiences, preventing us from succumbing to lethargy, self-absorption, resignation. Nothing has sown so much disquiet, so disturbed our imagination and our desires as the life of lies we add, thanks to literature, to the one we have, so we can be protagonists in the great adventures, the great passions real life will never give us. The lies of literature become truths through us, the readers transformed, infected with longings and, through the fault of fiction, permanently questioning a mediocre reality. Sorcery, when literature offers us the hope of having what we do not have, being what we are not, acceding to that impossible existence where like pagan gods we feel mortal and eternal at the same time, that introduces into our spirits non-conformity and rebellion, which are behind all the heroic deeds that have contributed to the reduction of violence in human relationships. Reducing violence, not ending it. Because ours will always be, fortunately, an unfinished story. That is why we have to continue dreaming, reading, and writing, the most effective way we have found to alleviate our mortal condition, to defeat the corrosion of time, and to transform the impossible into possibility." - Mario Vargas Llosa, fully Jorge Mario Pedro Vargas Llosa, 1st Marquis of Vargas Llosa

"The most extravagant idea that can be born in the head of a political thinker is to believe that it suffices for people to enter, weapons in hand, among a foreign people and expect to have its laws and constitution embraced. No one loves armed missionaries; the first lesson of nature and prudence is to repulse them as enemies." - Maximilien Robespierre, fully Maximilien François Marie Isidore de Robespierre