Peter A. Schey

peter@peterschey.com
pschey@centerforhumanrights.org

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Please feel free to e-mail me quotes on these subjects: peter@peterschey.com


SOCIAL JUSTICE, DISSENT, PATRIOTISM, ETHICS


Archibald Macleish:

The dissenter is every human being at those moments of his life when he resigns momentarily from the herd and thinks for himself.


Frederick Douglass:

Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.


Mark Twain, Education and Citizenship speech, 5/14/1908

Patriotism is usually the refuge of the scoundrel. He is the man who talks the loudest.-


J. William Fulbright:

In a democracy, dissent is an act of faith.


Edward Abbey

A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.


Gandhi

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.


Alexander Solzhenitsyn:

Justice is conscience, not a personal conscience but the conscience of the whole of humanity. Those who clearly recognize the voice of their own conscience usually recognize also the voice of justice.


Ralph Waldo Emerson:

Thought is the blossom; language the bud; action the fruit behind it.


Albert Einstein:

A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death


Albert Schweitzer Civilization and Ethics, 1949:

Ethics, too, are nothing but reverence for life. This is what gives me the fundamental principle of morality, namely, that good consists in maintaining, promoting, and enhancing life, and that destroying, injuring, and limiting life are evil.


Thornton Wilder

Money is like manure; it's not worth a thing unless it's spread around encouraging young things to grow.

from "The Matchmaker"


HH the Dalai Lama:

Consider the following. We humans are social beings. We come into the world as the result of others' actions. We survive here in dependence on others. Whether we like it or not, there is hardly a moment of our lives when we do not benefit from others' activities. For this reason it is hardly surprising that most of our happiness arises in the context of our relationships with others. Nor is it so remarkable that our greatest joy should come when we are motivated by concern for others. But that is not all. We find that not only do altruistic actions bring about happiness but they also lessen our experience of suffering. Here I am not suggesting that the individual whose actions are motivated by the wish to bring others' happiness necessarily meets with less misfortune than the one who does not. Sickness, old age, mishaps of one sort or another are the same for us all. But the sufferings which undermine our internal peace anxiety, doubt, disappointment these things are definitely less. In our concern for others, we worry less about ourselves. When we worry less about ourselves an experience of our own suffering is less intense.

What does this tell us? Firstly, because our every action has a universal dimension, a potential impact on others' happiness, ethics are necessary as a means to ensure that we do not harm others. Secondly, it tells us that genuine happiness consists in those spiritual qualities of love, compassion, patience, tolerance and forgiveness and so on. For it is these which provide both for our happiness and others' happiness.

Ethics for a New Millennium, by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama


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