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Interesting quotes

On topics: Violence, Wisdom & Youth

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Violence & non-violence:

bullet Anon - Jain proverb: "Non-violence ' in thought, word and deed ' is the highest form of religion."
bullet Thomas Edison: "Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages."
bullet Mahatma Gandhi:
bullet "An eye for an eye and the whole world goes blind."
bullet "What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy?"
bullet Sam Harris: "Religious violence still plagues our world because our religions are intrinsically hostile to one another. Where they appear otherwise, it is because secular knowledge and secular interests have restrained the most lethal improprieties of faith. If religious war is ever to become unthinkable for us, in the way that slavery and cannibalism seem poised to, it will be a matter of our having dispensed with the dogma of faith. [Harris is the author of "The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason"]
bullet Dr. David Liepert, author of "Muslim, Christian and Jew." All of us think that our religion is 'good' and that those in apparent (and often politically motivated) opposition to it are 'bad.' But the real truth is that all of our religions are equally guilty of being used to promote violence, and-thanks to centuries of political manipulation that have distorted the way we read our holy books -- all of us are equally guilty of not following what our religions really say. ..."
bullet Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: "The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it...Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate....Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
bullet Michael Newdow: "People don't simply wake up one day and commit genocide. They start by setting themselves apart from others, diminishing the stature of those adhering to dissenting beliefs in small, insidious steps. They begin by saying, 'We're the righteous, and we'll tolerate those others.' And as the toleration diminishes over time, the inevitable harms are overlooked. It is for that reason that James Madison wisely wrote that 'it is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties'." 1
bullet Reinhold Niebuhr: "The chief source of man's inhumanity to man seems to be the tribal limits of his sense of obligation to other men."

Bertrand Russell:

  • "The reformative effect of punishment is a belief that dies hard, chiefly, I think, because it is so gratifying to our sadistic impulses."

  • "War does not determine who is right, only who is left."
bullet H.R.H. Prince El Hassan bin Talal: "Throughout history, religious differences have divided men and women from their neighbors and have served as justification for some of humankind's bloodiest conflicts. In the modern world, it has become clear that people of all religions must bridge these differences and work together, to ensure our survival and realize the vision of peace that all faiths share."

Voltaire: "As long as people believe in absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities."


bullet Anon: "A Native American elder once described his own inner struggles in this manner: 'Inside of me there are two dogs. One of the dogs is mean and evil. The other dog is good. The mean dog fights the good dog all the time.' When asked which dog wins, he reflected for a moment and replied, 'The one I feed the most'."
bullet Anon: "There is an Indian belief that everyone is in a house of four rooms: A physical, a mental, an emotional and a spiritual room. Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time, but unless we go into every room everyday, even if only to keep it aired, we are not complete."
bullet Albert Einstein: "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed."
bullet Mahatma Gandhi: "Whenever you are in doubt, or when the self becomes too much with you, apply the following test. Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest woman whom you have seen and ask yourself if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to her. Will she gain anything by it? Will it restore her to a control over her own life and destiny? In other words, will it lead to swaraj for the hungry and spiritually starving millions? Then you will find your doubts and yourself melting away."
bullet Bertrand Russell: "The problem with the wise is they are so filled with doubts while the dull are so certain."
bullet Solomon Ibn Gabirol: "In seeking wisdom the first step is silence, the second: listening, the third: remembering, the fourth: practicing, the fifth: teaching others."
bullet Johnathan Swift: "Vision is the art of seeing things invisible."
bullet Eleanor Roosevelt: "Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people."
bullet Mark Twain: (Samuel Clemens): "All generalizations, including this one, are false."
bullet Woodrow Wilson: "One cool judgment is worth a thousand hasty councils. The thing is to supply light and not heat."


bullet Boy Scouts of America: membership form: "The Boy Scouts of America maintain that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing his obligation to God."
bullet Editorial, New York Times: 1993-DEC-12: "...Any organization could profit from a 10-year-old member with enough strength of character to refuse to swear falsely." (This was in response to the Boy Scouts' refusal of membership to Mark Welsh, who would not sign a religious oath that went against his beliefs.)


  1. Michael Newdow, "Judge Roy Moore Deserves Jail. How is this in any way different from David Koresh's refusal to abide by the commands of the federal agents in Waco?,", 2003-AUG, at:

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Copyright 1996 to 2011 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
Copyrights for the individual quotations are held by their creator
Last updated: 2011-MAR-29
Compiled by: B.A. Robinson

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