It may help to understand human affairs to be clear that most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused, not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, but by people being fundamentally people.
Adam was but human—this explains it all. He did not want the apple for the apple's sake, he wanted it only because it was forbidden. The mistake was in not forbidding the serpent; then he would have eaten the serpent.
Children understood at a very young age that doing nothing was an expression of power. Doing nothing was a choice swollen with omnipotence. It was, in fact, godly.And this, she now realized, was the reason why the gods did nothing. Proof of their omniscience. After all, to act was to announce awful limitations, for it revealed that chance acted first, the accidents were just that--events beyond the will of the gods--and all they could do in answer was to attempt to remedy the consequences, to alter natural ends. To act, then, was an admission of fallibility.
Know then thyself, presume not God to scan,The proper study of mankind is Man.Placed on this isthmus of a middle state,A being darkly wise and rudely great:With too much knowledge for the Sceptic side,With too much weakness for the Stoic's pride,He hangs between, in doubt to act or rest;In doubt to deem himself a God or Beast;In doubt his mind or body to prefer;Born but to die, and reas'ning but to err;Alike in ignorance, his reason such,Whether he thinks too little or too much;Chaos of thought and passion, all confused;Still by himself abused or disabused;Created half to rise, and half to fall;Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all;Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurl'd;The glory, jest, and riddle of the world!Go, wondrous creature! mount where science guides,Go, measure earth, weigh air, and state the tides;Instruct the planets in what orbs to run,Correct old time, and regulate the sun;Go, soar with Plato to th’ empyreal sphere,To the first good, first perfect, and first fair;Or tread the mazy round his followers trod,And quitting sense call imitating God;As Eastern priests in giddy circles run,And turn their heads to imitate the sun.Go, teach Eternal Wisdom how to rule—Then drop into thyself, and be a fool!
You make all kinds of mistakes, but as long as you are generous and true and also fierce, you cannot hurt the world or even seriously distress her.
When two men of science disagree, they do not invoke the secular arm; they wait for further evidence to decide the issue, because, as men of science, they know that neither is infallible. But when two theologians differ, since there is no criteria to which either can appeal, there is nothing for it but mutual hatred and an open or covert appeal to force.
The first step to empathy and compassion is realising the similarities between yourself and those that are suffering, the first step to forgiveness is realising that we're all human and we all share the same capacity for fallibility and foible, the first step to growth is to recognise the value of things that are outside your current mental frameworks so that you can grow into them.
Our memory has no guarantees at all, and yet we bow more often than is objectively justified to the compulsion to believe what it says.
A visitor asked Lincoln what good news he could take home from an audience with the august executive. The president spun a story about a machine that baffled a chess champion by beating him thrice. The stunned champ cried while inspecting the machine, There's a man in there!Lincoln's good news, he confided from the heights of leadership, was that there was in fact a man in there.
Embracing human frailty, fallibility, and heartbreaking aloneness is crucial for any person seeking to attain self-actualization and self-realization.
If God wants something from me, he would tell me. He wouldn't leave someone else to do this, as if an infinite being were short on time. And he would certainly not leave fallible, sinful humans to deliver an endless plethora of confused and contradictory messages. God would deliver the message himself, directly, to each and every one of us, and with such clarity as the most brilliant being in the universe could accomplish. We would all hear him out and shout Eureka! So obvious and well-demonstrated would his message be. It would be spoken to each of us in exactly those terms we would understand. And we would all agree on what that message was.
A man carries within him the germ of his most exceptional action; and if we wise people make eminent fools of ourselves on any particular occasion, we must endure the legitimate conclusion that we carry a few grains of folly to our ounce of wisdom.
as Schulz himself has pointed out, Snoopy is capable of being 'one of the meanest' members of the entire Peanuts cast ... he is lazy, he is a 'chow-hound' without parallel, he is bitingly sarcastic, he is frequently a coward, and he often becomes quite weary of being what he is basically -- a dog. He is, in other words, a fairly drawn caricature for what is probably the typical Christian.
The trait [Morey] looked for was awareness that they were seeking answers to questions with no certain answers--that they were inherently fallible. I always ask them, 'Who did you miss?' he said. Which future superstar had they written off, or which future bust had they fallen in love with? If they don't give me a good one, I'm like, 'Fuck 'em.
We were young and thought we were invincible and we threw ourselves into the gears of history and it ground us up.
Even as to himself, a man cannot pretend to know what he is in himself from the knowledge he has by internal sensation. For as he does not as it were create himself, and does not come by the conception of himself a priori but empirically, it naturally follows that he can obtain his knowledge even of himself only by the inner sense, and consequently only through the appearances of his nature and the way in which his consciousness is affected. At the same time, beyond these characteristics of his own subject, made up of mere appearances, he must necessarily suppose something else as their basis, namely, his ego, whatever its characteristics in itself may be... Now man really finds in himself a faculty by which he distinguishes himself from everything else, even from himself as affected by objects, and that is reason. This being pure spontaneity is even elevated above the understanding. For although the latter is a spontaneity and does not, like sense, merely contain intuitions that arise when we are affected by things (and are therefore passive), yet it cannot produce from its activity any other conceptions than those which merely serve to bring the intuitions of sense under rules, and thereby to unite them in one consciousness, and without this use of the sensibility it could not think at all; whereas, on the contrary, reason shows so pure a spontaneity in the case of what I call ideas [Ideal Conceptions] that it thereby far transcends everything that the sensibility can give it, and exhibits its most important function in distinguishing the world of sense from that of understanding, and thereby prescribing the limits of the understanding itself.
Theories cannot claim to be indestructible. They are only the plough which the ploughman uses to draw his furrow and which he has every right to discard for another one, of improved design, after the harvest. To be this ploughman, to see my labours result in the furtherance of scientific progress, was the height of my ambition, and now the Swedish Academy of Sciences has come, at this harvest, to add the most brilliant of crowns.
Crucial decisions are made, today as thousands of years ago, in terms of the intuitive guesses and preferences of a few men in positions of authority...[it is] quite likely that the fate of entire societies may be sealed by a series of avoidable mistakes committed by their leaders.
The scientists have given [modern man] the impression that there is nothing he cannot know, and false propagandists have told him that there is nothing he cannot have.