Have no fear of robbers or murderers. They are external dangers, petty dangers. We should fear ourselves. Prejudices are the real robbers; vices the real murderers. The great dangers are within us. Why worry about what threatens our heads or our purses? Let us think instead of what threatens our souls.
To cleave wood is a common every-day business, and yet it has its dangers; so then, reader, there are dangers connected with your calling and daily life which it will be well for you to be aware of. Your occupation may be as humble as log splitting, and yet the devil can tempt you in it. Nowhere is he safe who thinks himself so.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
As soon as a man and woman of almost any age are alone together within four walls it is assumed that anything may happen. Spontaneous combustion, instant fornication, triumph of the senses. What possibilities men and women must see in each other to infer such dangers. Or, believing in the dangers, how often they must think about the possibilities.
The Emperor, you see, protects... He protects mankind, through the Legions, through the Martial corps, through the war machines of the Mechanicum. He understands the dangers. The inconsistencies. He uses you, and all the instruments like you, to protect us from harm. To protect our physical bodies from murder and damage, to protect our minds from madness, to protect our souls... There are insane dangers in the cosmos, dangers that mankind is fundamentally unable to comprehend, let alone survive. So he protects us. There are truths out there that would drive us mad by one fleeting glimpse of them. So he chooses not to share them with us. That's why he made you... Remember, Garviel. The Emperor is our truth and out light. If we trust in him, he will protect.
Many myths and religions have some kind of threat of retribution from their god or gods, and their doctrines warn of the dangers of doing various forbidden things. Why? Because memes involving danger are the ones we pay attention to! As oral traditions developed, our brains were set up to amplify the dangers and give them greater significance than the rest.
We must never fear robbers or murderers. They are dangers from outside, small dangers. It is ourselves we have to fear. Prejudice is the real robber, vice the real murderer. Why should we be troubled by a threat to our person or our pocket? What we have to beware of is the threat to our souls'.
We tend to think of dangers and uncertainties as anomalies in the continuum of life, or irruptions of unpredictable forces into a largely predictable world. I suggest the contrary: that dangers and uncertainties are an inescapable dimension of life. In fact, as we shall come to understand, they make life matter. They define what it means to be human.
Whether or not one believes in the accelerating dangers of the climate crisis, the end of fossil fuels, or the permanent annihilation of species of plants, insects and animals that essentially cover our ass by maintaining an inconceivably complex environment in which we have the freedom and responsibility to do pretty much whatever we'd like, it's not too difficult to at least perceive the dangers of heightened tensions between cultures that now, for the first time, have the power to annihilate each other or the entire planet.
Whatever may be the immediate gains and losses, the dangers to our safety arising from political suppression are always greater than the dangers to that safety arising from political freedom. Suppression is always foolish. Freedom is always wise. That is the faith, the experimental faith, by which we Americans have undertaken to live.
Much has seen said of the wisdom of old age. Old age is wise, I grant, for itself, but not wise for the community. It is wise in declining new enterprises, for it has not the power nor the time to execute them; wise in shrinking from difficulty, for it has not the strength to overcome it; wise in avoiding danger, for it lacks the faculty of ready and swift action, by which dangers are parried and converted into advantages. But this is not wisdom for mankind at large, by whom new enterprises must be undertaken, dangers met, and difficulties surmounted.
William C. Bryant
The very word "secrecy" is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it. Even today, there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even today, there is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it.
John F. Kennedy
Any man living in complete luxury and security who chooses to write a play or a novel which causes a flutter and exchange of compliments in Chelsea and Chiswick and a faint thrill in Streatham and Surbiton, is described as "daring, " though nobody on earth knows what danger it is that he dares. I speak, of course, of terrestrial dangers; or the only sort of dangers he believes in. To be extravagantly flattered by everybody he considers enlightened, and rather feebly rebuked by everybody he considers dated and dead, does not seem so appalling a peril that a man should be stared at as a heroic warrior and militant martyr because he has had the strength to endure it.
If you walked into your local convenience store and bought a package of cigars, you would notice that it carries a label warning of the potential dangers of cigar smoke. Yet research suggests that cigar smoking poses a hazard only to moderate to heavy cigar smokers, who comprise less than 1 percent of the adult population. More than 97 percent of American adults, however, eat animal foods, and despite much research demonstrating the connection between the consumption of animal products and disease, we are not warned of these dangers.
Increasingly, our leaders must deal with dangers that threaten the entire world, where an understanding of those dangers and the possible solutions depends on a good grasp of science. The ozone layer, the greenhouse effect, acid rain, questions of diet and heredity. All require scientific literacy. Can Americans choose the proper leaders and support the proper programs if they themselves are scientifically illiterate? The whole premise of democracy is that it is safe to leave important questions to the court of public opinion-but is it safe to leave them to the court of public ignorance?
And an even worse example, I think, than the cheapening of the word CHARITY is the new newspaper cheapening of the word COURAGE. Any man living in complete luxury and security who chooses to write a play or a novel which causes a flutter and exchange of compliments in Chelsea and Chiswick and a faint thrill in Streatham and Surbiton, is described as "daring, " though nobody on earth knows what danger it is that he dares. I speak, of course, of terrestrial dangers; or the only sort of dangers he believes in. To be extravagantly flattered by everybody he considers enlightened, and rather feebly rebuked by everybody he considers dated and dead, does not seem so appalling a peril that a man should be stared at as a heroic warrior and militant martyr because he has had the strength to endure it.
Boys [should be] inured from childhood to trifling risks and slight dangers of every possible description, such as tumbling into ponds and off of trees, etc., in order to strengthen their nervous system... They ought to practice leaping off heights into deep water. They ought never to hesitate to cross a stream over a narrow unsafe plank for fear of a ducking. They ought never to decline to climb up a tree, to pull fruit merely because there is a possibility of their falling off and breaking their necks. I firmly believe that boys were intended to encounter all kinds of risks, in order to prepare them to meet and grapple with risks and dangers incident to man's career with cool, cautious self-possession...