There are those who feel an imperative need to believe, for whom the values of a belief are proportionate not to its truth, but to its definiteness. Incapable of either admitting the existence of contrary judgments or of suspending their own, they supply the place of knowledge by turning other men's conjectures into dogmas.
C. E. M. Joad
You can even say that I hated myself at certain periods. I was too fat, or maybe too tall, or maybe just plain too ugly ... you can say my definiteness stems from underlying feelings of insecurity and inferiority. I couldn't conquer these feelings by acting indecisive. I found the only way to get the better of them was by adopting a forceful, concentrated drive.
Worship demands the far distances of God; it protests against the little, the near, the material. It must love but it must look up. It cannot live without the note of spirituality and universality, if not mystery. The ascension, the passing of Christ within the veil, answers this need. So does a full-robed Christianity add to definiteness of knowledge the outreach of imagination and home.
Maltbie Davenport Babcock
Nothing constructive and worthy of man's efforts ever has or ever will be achieved except by that which comes from a positive mental attitude, based on a definiteness of purpose and activated by a burning desire, and acted upon until the burning desire is elevated to the level of applied faith.
Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve. Thoughts are things! And powerful things at that, when mixed with definiteness of purpose, and burning desire, can be translated into riches. Use auto-suggestion, have faith, imagination and overcome fear and time is your opposite player as in checkerboard.
Every art communicates because it expresses. It enables us to share vividly and deeply in meanings... For communication is not announcing things... Communication is the process of creating participation, of making common what had been isolated and singular... the conveyance of meaning gives body and definiteness to the experience of the one who utters as well as to that of those who listen.
In some century to come, when the school children will whistle popular tunes in quarter-tones--when the diatonic scale will be as obsolete as the pentatonic is now--perhaps then these borderland experiences may be both easily expressed and readily recognized. But maybe music was not intended to satisfy the curious definiteness of man. Maybe it is better to hope that music may always be transcendental language in the most extravagant sense
Unless we realize our sins enough to call them by name, it is hardly worth while to say anything about them at all. When we pray for forgiveness, let us say, "my temper," or "untruthfulness," or "pride," "my selfishness, my cowardice, indolence, jealousy, revenge, impurity." To recognize our sins, we must look them in the face and call them by their right names, however hard. Honesty in confession calls for definiteness in confession.
Maltbie Davenport Babcock
I believe that the community's duty to education is, therefore, its paramount moral duty. By law and punishment, by social agitation and discussion, society can regulate and form itself in a more or less haphazard and chance way. But through education society can formulate its own purposes, can organize its own means and resources, and thus shape itself with definiteness and economy in the direction in which it wishes to move.
Those who assert that the mathematical sciences say nothing of the beautiful or the good are in error. For these sciences say and prove a great deal about them; if they do not expressly mention them, but prove attributes which are their results or definitions, it is not true that they tell us nothing about them. The chief forms of beauty are order and symmetry and definiteness, which the mathematical sciences demonstrate in a special degree.
This much I can say with definiteness - namely, that there is no scientific basis for the denial of religion - nor is there in my judgment any excuse for a conflict between science and religion, for their fields are entirely different. Men who know very little of science and men who know very little of religion do indeed get to quarreling, and the onlookers imagine that there is a conflict between science and religion, whereas the conflict is only between two different species of ignorance.
Robert Andrews Millikan
The necessity for struggle is one of the clever devices through which nature forces individuals to expand, develop, progress, and become strong through resistance. . .We are forced to recognize that this great universal necessity for struggle must have a definite and useful purpose. That purpose is to force the individual to sharpen his wits, arouse his enthusiasm, build up his spirit of faith, gain definiteness of purpose, develop his power of will, and inspire his faculty of imagination to give him new uses for old ideas and concepts. . .