Quotes about wisdom and truth

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„The natural distribution is neither just nor unjust; nor is it unjust that persons are born into society at some particular position. These are simply natural facts. What is just and unjust is the way that institutions deal with these facts.“

—  John Rawls, book A Theory of Justice

Source: A Theory of Justice (1971; 1975; 1999), Chapter II, Section 14, pg. 87-88
Context: Occasionally this reflection is offered as an excuse for ignoring injustice, as if the refusal to acquiesce in injustice is on a par with being unable to accept death. The natural distribution is neither just nor unjust; nor is it unjust that persons are born into society at some particular position. These are simply natural facts. What is just and unjust is the way that institutions deal with these facts.
Context: We may reject the contention that the ordering of institutions is always defective because the distribution of natural talents and the contingencies of social circumstance are unjust, and this injustice must inevitably carry over to human arrangements. Occasionally this reflection is offered as an excuse for ignoring injustice, as if the refusal to acquiesce in injustice is on a par with being unable to accept death. The natural distribution is neither just nor unjust; nor is it unjust that persons are born into society at some particular position. These are simply natural facts. What is just and unjust is the way that institutions deal with these facts. Aristocratic and caste societies are unjust because they make these contingencies the ascriptive basis for belonging to more or less enclosed and privileged social classes. The basic structure of these societies incorporates the arbitrariness found in nature. But there is no necessity for men to resign themselves to these contingencies. The social system is not an unchangeable order beyond human control but a pattern of human action. In justice as fairness men agree to avail themselves of the accidents of nature and social circumstance only when doing so is for the common benefit. The two principles are a fair way of meeting the arbitrariness of fortune; and while no doubt imperfect in other ways, the institutions which satisfy these principles are just.

H. L. A. Hart photo
Sukavich Rangsitpol photo
Michael Parenti photo

„The dirty truth is that the rich are the great cause of poverty.“

—  Michael Parenti American academic 1933

1 POLITICS AND ISSUES, Creating The Poor, p. 21
Dirty truths (1996), first edition

Michael Parenti photo
Michael Parenti photo

„Maintaining silence about a dirty truth is another way of lying, a common practice in high places.“

—  Michael Parenti American academic 1933

2 MEDIA AND CULTURE, The Invisible Bloodbaths, p. 132
Dirty truths (1996), first edition

Michael Parenti photo

„The dirty truth is that many people find fascism to be not particularly horrible.“

—  Michael Parenti American academic 1933

1 POLITICS AND ISSUES, Fascism In a Pinstriped Suit, p. 32
Dirty truths (1996), first edition

Michael Parenti photo

„The media have been tireless in their efforts to suppress the truth about the gangster state.“

—  Michael Parenti American academic 1933

3 CONSPIRACY: PHOBIA AND REALITY, The JFK Assassination I, p. 159
Dirty truths (1996), first edition

„For those who practise tyranny and deprive others of their rights, I will be harsh and stern, but for those who follow the law, I will be most soft and tender.“

—  Umar Second Caliph of Rashidun Caliphate and a companion of Muhammad 585 - 644

As quoted in Al Farooq, Umar (1944) by Muhammad Husayn Haykal, Ch. 5, p. 123

Oprah Winfrey photo

„Your true passion should feel like breathing; it’s that natural.“

—  Oprah Winfrey American businesswoman, talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist 1954

F. H. Bradley photo
Derek Landy photo
Aaron Swartz photo

„The law about what is stealing is very clear. Stealing is taking something away from someone so they cannot use it. There’s no way that making a copy of something is stealing under that definition.“

—  Aaron Swartz computer programmer and internet-political activist 1986 - 2013

UTI interview (2004)
Context: The law about what is stealing is very clear. Stealing is taking something away from someone so they cannot use it. There’s no way that making a copy of something is stealing under that definition.
If you make a copy of something, you’ll be prosecuted for copyright infringement or something similar — not larceny (the legal term for stealing). Stealing, like piracy and intellectual property, is another one of those terms cooked up to make us think of intellectual works the same way we think of physical items. But the two are very different.
You can’t just punish people because they took away a “potential sale”. Earthquakes take away potential sales, as do libraries and rental stores and negative reviews. Competitors also take away potential sales.

Buckminster Fuller photo

„We are in an age that assumes the narrowing trends of specialization to be logical, natural, and desirable. Consequently, society expects all earnestly responsible communication to be crisply brief. . . . In the meantime, humanity has been deprived of comprehensive understanding.“

—  Buckminster Fuller American architect, systems theorist, author, designer, inventor and futurist 1895 - 1983

1970s, Synergetics: Explorations in the Geometry of Thinking (1975), The Wellspring of Reality
Context: We are in an age that assumes the narrowing trends of specialization to be logical, natural, and desirable. Consequently, society expects all earnestly responsible communication to be crisply brief.... In the meantime, humanity has been deprived of comprehensive understanding. Specialization has bred feelings of isolation, futility, and confusion in individuals. It has also resulted in the individual's leaving responsibility for thinking and social action to others. Specialization breeds biases that ultimately aggregate as international and ideological discord, which, in turn, leads to war.

Buckminster Fuller photo

„I am convinced that human continuance depends entirely upon: the intuitive wisdom of each and every individual“

—  Buckminster Fuller American architect, systems theorist, author, designer, inventor and futurist 1895 - 1983

From 1980s onwards, Critical Path (1981)
Context: I am convinced that human continuance depends entirely upon: the intuitive wisdom of each and every individual... the individual's integrity of speaking and acting only on the individual's own within-self-intuited and reasoned initiative... the individual's never joining action with others as motivated only by crowd-engendered-emotionalism, or a sense of the crowd's power to overwhelm, or in fear of holding to the course indicated by one's own intellectual convictions.

Plautus photo

„He gains wisdom in a happy way, who gains it by another’s experience.“

—  Plautus, Mercator

Mercator, Act IV, scene 7, line 40
Mercator (The Merchant)
Original: (la) Feliciter is sapit, qui alieno periculo sapit.

Marilyn vos Savant photo

„To acquire knowledge, one must study; but to acquire wisdom, one must observe.“

—  Marilyn vos Savant US American magazine columnist, author and lecturer 1946

As quoted in Courage: the heart and spirit of every woman : reclaiming the forgotten virtue (2001) by Sandra Ford Walston

Nora Roberts photo
Ali photo

„Endurance is composed of four attributes: eagerness, fear, piety and anticipation (of death). so whoever is eager for Paradise will ignore temptations; whoever fears the fire of Hell will abstain from sins; whoever practices piety will easily bear the difficulties of life and whoever anticipates death will hasten towards good deeds.
Conviction has also four aspects to guard oneself against infatuations of sin; to search for explanation of truth through knowledge; to gain lessons from instructive things and to follow the precedent of the past people, because whoever wants to guard himself against vices and sins will have to search for the true causes of infatuation and the true ways of combating them out and to find those true ways one has to search them with the help of knowledge, whoever gets fully acquainted with various branches of knowledge will take lessons from life and whoever tries to take lessons from life is actually engaged in the study of the causes of rise and fall of previous civilizations.
Justice also has four aspects depth of understanding, profoundness of knowledge, fairness of judgment and dearness of mind; because whoever tries his best to understand a problem will have to study it, whoever has the practice of studying the subject he is to deal with, will develop a clear mind and will always come to correct decisions, whoever tries to achieve all this will have to develop ample patience and forbearance and whoever does this has done justice to the cause of religion and has led a life of good repute and fame.
Jihad is divided into four branches: to persuade people to be obedient to Allah; to prohibit them from sin and vice; to struggle (in the cause of Allah) sincerely and firmly on all occasions and to detest the vicious. Whoever persuades people to obey the orders of Allah provides strength to the believers; whoever dissuades them from vices and sins humiliates the unbelievers; whoever struggles on all occasions discharges all his obligations and whoever detests the vicious only for the sake of Allah, then Allah will take revenge on his enemies and will be pleased with Him on the Day of Judgment.“

—  Ali, book Nahj al-Balagha

Nahj al-Balagha

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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