„In a State or Assemblage of People that live together in a Community, where there are Laws, Liberty can only consist in doing that which every One ought to do, and not to be constrained to do that which One ought not to do.“

Item 37
Proposals for a New Law Code (1768)

Adopted from Wikiquote. Last update June 3, 2021. History
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Catherine the Great29
Empress of Russia 1729 - 1796

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Thomas Jefferson photo

„That one hundred and fifty lawyers should do business together ought not to be expected.“

—  Thomas Jefferson 3rd President of the United States of America 1743 - 1826

On the U.S. Congress, in his Autobiography (6 January 1821)
1820s

Catherine the Great photo

„That government only can be pronounced consistent with the design of all government, which allows to the governed the liberty of doing what, consistently with the general good, they may desire to do, and which only forbids their doing the contrary. Liberty does not exclude restraint; it only excludes unreasonable restraint.“

—  James Burgh, book Political Disquisitions

Political Disquisitions (1774)
Context: That government only can be pronounced consistent with the design of all government, which allows to the governed the liberty of doing what, consistently with the general good, they may desire to do, and which only forbids their doing the contrary. Liberty does not exclude restraint; it only excludes unreasonable restraint. To determine precisely how far personal liberty is compatible with the general good, and of the propriety of social conduct in all cases, is a matter of great extent, and demands the united wisdom of a whole people. And the consent of the whole people, as far as it can be obtained, is indispensably necessary to every law, by which the whole people are to be bound; else the whole people are enslaved to the one, or the few, who frame the laws for them.

Marcus Aurelius photo
Eric Hoffer photo

„Our doubts about ourselves cannot be banished except by working at that which is the one and only thing we know we ought to do.“

—  Eric Hoffer American philosopher 1898 - 1983

Entry (1955)
Context: Our doubts about ourselves cannot be banished except by working at that which is the one and only thing we know we ought to do. Other people's assertions cannot silence the howling dirge within us. It is our talents rusting unused within us that secrete the poison of self-doubt into our bloodstream.

William Brett, 1st Viscount Esher photo
William Carey (missionary) photo

„Many can do nothing but pray, and prayer is perhaps the only thing in which Christians of all denominations can cordially, and unreservedly unite; but in this we may all be one, and in this the strictest unanimity ought to prevail.“

—  William Carey (missionary) English Baptist missionary and a Particular Baptist minister 1761 - 1834

Sect. V : An Enquiry into the Duty of Christians in general, and what Means ought to be used, in order to promote this Work.
An Enquiry into the Obligations of Christians (1792)
Context: Many can do nothing but pray, and prayer is perhaps the only thing in which Christians of all denominations can cordially, and unreservedly unite; but in this we may all be one, and in this the strictest unanimity ought to prevail. Were the whole body thus animated by one soul, with what pleasure would Christians attend on all the duties of religion, and with what delight would their ministers attend on all the business of their calling.
We must not be contented however with praying, without exerting ourselves in the use of means for the obtaining of those things we pray for. Were the children of light, but as wise in their generation as the children of this world, they would stretch every nerve to gain so glorious a prize, nor ever imagine that it was to be obtained in any other way.

Edmund Burke photo
Abraham Lincoln photo

„The legitimate object of government, is to do for a community of people, whatever they need to have done, but can not do, at all, or can not, so well do, for themselves - in their separate, and individual capacities. In all that the people can individually do as well for themselves, government ought not to interfere.“

—  Abraham Lincoln 16th President of the United States 1809 - 1865

Fragment on Government http://quod.lib.umich.edu/l/lincoln/lincoln2/1:261?rgn=div1;view=fulltext (1 July 1854?) in "The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln", ed. Roy P. Basler, Vol. 2, pp. 220-221
1850s
Context: The legitimate object of government, is to do for a community of people, whatever they need to have done, but can not do, at all, or can not, so well do, for themselves - in their separate, and individual capacities. In all that the people can individually do as well for themselves, government ought not to interfere. The desirable things which the individuals of a people can not do, or can not well do, for themselves, fall into two classes: those which have relation to wrongs, and those which have not. Each of these branch off into an infinite variety of subdivisions. The first - that in relation to wrongs - embraces all crimes, misdemeanors, and nonperformance of contracts. The other embraces all which, in its nature, and without wrong, requires combined action, as public roads and highways, public schools, charities, pauperism, orphanage, estates of the deceased, and the machinery of government itself. From this it appears that if all men were just, there still would be some, though not so much, need for government.

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Pythagoras photo

„Do not even think of doing what ought not to be done.“

—  Pythagoras ancient Greek mathematician and philosopher -585 - -495 BC

"Pythagorean Ethical Sentences From Stobæus" (1904)
Florilegium

Miguel de Unamuno photo

„To all this, someone is sure to object that life ought to subject itself to reason, to which we will reply that nobody ought to do what he is unable to do, and life cannot subject itself to reason.“

—  Miguel de Unamuno 19th-20th century Spanish writer and philosopher 1864 - 1936

The Tragic Sense of Life (1913), VI : In the Depths of the Abyss
Context: To all this, someone is sure to object that life ought to subject itself to reason, to which we will reply that nobody ought to do what he is unable to do, and life cannot subject itself to reason. "Ought, therefore can," some Kantian will retort. To which we shall demur: "Cannot, therefore ought not." And life cannot submit itself to reason, because the end of life is living and not understanding.

Maximilien Robespierre photo

„Democracy is a state in which the sovereign people, guided by laws which are its own work, does for itself all that it can do properly, and through delegates all that it cannot do for itself.“

—  Maximilien Robespierre French revolutionary lawyer and politician 1758 - 1794

"On the Principles of Political Morality that Should Guide the National Convention in the Domestic Administration of the Republic" (5 February 1784/18 Ploviôse Year 2)

Edmund Burke photo

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