The fable runs that the gods mix our pains and pleasure in one cup, and thus mingle for us the adulterate immortality which we alone are permitted here to enjoy. Voluptuous raptures, could we prolong these at pleasure, would dissipate and dissolve us. A sip is the most that mortals are permitted from any goblet of delight.
Amos Bronson Alcott
How strange it was, I thought, that when the tiny though thousandfold beauties of the Earth disappeared and the immeasurable beauty of outer space rose in the distant quiet splendor of light, man and the greatest number of other creatures were supposed to be asleep! Was it because we were only permitted to catch a fleeting glimpse of those great bodies and then only in the mysterious time of a dream world, those great bodies about which man had only the slightest knowledge but perhaps one day would be permitted to examine more closely? Or was it permitted for the great majority of people to gaze at the starry firmament only in brief, sleepless moments so that the splendor wouldn't become mundane, so that the greatness wouldn't be diminished?
They ask you what is permitted for them. Say, "Permitted for you are all good things, including what trained dogs and falcons catch for you." You train them according to what Allah has taught you. So eat from what they catch for you, and pronounce Allah's name over it. And fear Allah. Allah is Swift in reckoning.
The truth is, of course, that the curtness of the Ten Commandments is an evidence, not of the gloom and narrowness of a religion, but, on the contrary, of its liberality and humanity. It is shorter to state the things forbidden than the things permitted; precisely because most things are permitted, and only a few things are forbidden.
Gilbert K. Chesterton
Literature cannot develop between the categories "permitted""""not permitted""""this you can and that you can't." Literature that is not the air of its contemporary society, that dares not warn in time against threatening moral and social dangers, such literature does not deserve the name of literature; it is only a facade. Such literature loses the confidence of its own people, and its published works are used as waste paper instead of being read. -Letter to the Fourth National Congress of Soviet Writers
The government can back up its tastes and beliefs with the police power. That is why it cannot be permitted tastes and beliefs. Most emphatically, it cannot be permitted to define one group as being privileged over another group of people. It was wrong in the days of Jim Crow; it is wrong in the days of affirmative action.
Charles A. Murray
To avoid causing terror to living beings, let the disciple refrain from eating meat... the food of the wise is that which is consumed by the sadhus [holymen]; it does not consist of meat... There may be some foolish people in the future who will say that I permitted meat-eating and that I partook of meat myself, but... meat-eating I have not permitted to anyone, I do not permit, I will not permit meat-eating in any form, in any manner and in any place; it is unconditionally prohibited for all.
Monopolies are not justified by theory; they should be permitted only when justified by facts. If there is no solid basis for extending a certain monopoly protection, then we should not extend that protection. This does not mean that every copyright must prove its value initially. That would be a far too cumbersome system of control. But it does mean that every system or category of copyright or patent should prove its worth. Before the monopoly should be permitted, there must be reason to believe it will do some good -- for society, and not just for monopoly holders.
Christianity has ever been the enemy of human love; it has forever cursed and expelled and crucified the one passion which sweetens and smiles on human life, which makes the desert blossom as the rose, and which glorifies the common things and common ways of earth. It made of this, the angel of life, a shape of sin and darkness ... Even in the unions which it reluctantly permitted, it degraded and dwarfed the passion which it could not entirely exclude, and permitted it coarsely to exist for the mere necessity of procreation.
The existentialist, on the contrary, finds it extremely embarrassing that God does not exist, for there disappears with Him all possibility of finding values in an intelligible heaven. There can no longer be any good a priori, since there is no infinite and perfect consciousness to think it. It is nowhere written that 'the good' exists, that one must be honest or must not lie, since we are now upon the plane where there are only men. Dostoevsky once wrote: 'If God did not exist, everything would be permitted'; and that, for existentialism, is the starting point. Everything is indeed permitted if God does not exist, and man is in consequence forlorn, for he cannot find anything to depend upon either within or outside himself. He discovers forthwith, that he is without excuse.
What makes us the strongest tribe on the continent is the fact that a group that opposes these values-a group that would have mankind remain in the new dark ages-is permitted to grow, permitted to exist... and, after it becomes a violent terrorist organization, is allowed to live on it own lands, taken out of the lands of those it has attacked and continues to attack!" He had to stop speaking then-the applause was louder than even his amplified voice. "They expect that fear will drive us to become like them... closed-minded, blind, angry. Our society will remain open and free so long as I am standing upright, " he continued, once the applause died down.
There's one other thing I'd like to remind you of, my dear. There've been many times when you've sworn to me that after all that life has dealt you, it was no longer possible for you to believe in anything. I replied that both life and my studies had led me to the same conclusion. I asked you, 'What is a person permitted, once he's realized that truth is unattainable and consequently doesn't exist for him?' Do you remember your answer?" "I do, ibn Sabbah. I said something like this: 'If a person realized that everything people call happiness, love and joy was just a miscalculation based on a false premise, he'd feel a horrible emptiness inside. The only thing that could rouse him from his paralysis would be to gamble with his own face and the face of others. The person capable of that would be permitted anything.