A benevolent malefactor, merciful, gentle, helpful, clement, a convict, returning good for evil, giving back pardon for hatred, preferring pity to vengeance, preferring to ruin himself rather than to ruin his enemy, saving him who had smitten him, kneeling on the heights of virtue, more nearly akin to an angel than to a man. Javert was constrained to admit to himself that this monster existed. Things could not go on in this manner.
Deep attention, the cognitive style traditionally associated with the humanities, is characterized by concentrating on a single object for long periods (say, a novel by Dickens), ignoring outside stimuli while so engaged, preferring a single information stream, and having a high tolerance for long focus times. Hyper attention is characterized by switching focus rapidly among different tasks, preferring multiple information streams, seeking a high level of stimulation, and having a low tolerance for boredom.
N. Katherine Hayles
According to Buddhism, each person is a Buddha who has forgotten their original nature. If we in the pampered West, having grown up with so many advantages, could not claim our own health and our agency, preferring to see ourselves as helpless victims, then who would do it? Who would take responsibility for the world?
SOCRATES: Perhaps we may be wrong; if so, you in your wisdom should convince us that we are mistaken in preferring justice to injustice. THRASYMACHUS: And how am I to convince you, he said, if you are not already convinced by what I have just said; what more can I do for you? Would you have me put the proof bodily into your souls?
If there were a reason for preferring the Christian religion to natural religion, it would be because the former offers us, on the nature of God and man, enlightenment that the latter lacks. Now, this is not at all the case; for Christianity, instead of clarifying, gives rise to an infinite multitude of obscurities and difficulties.
Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; / Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; / Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; / Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.
Fame is an empty noise. Let us put our ears to the centuries that have gone: we no longer hear anything; those who, at another time, shall walk among our urns, shall hear no more. The good - that is what we must pursue, whatever the price, preferring the title of a dead hero to that of a living coward.
Louis Antoine de Saint-Just
Human beings, when confronted with the strange and inexplicable, have an immediate instinct to get back to the accustomed and the normal. We do not hug our miracles close; we put them hastily away, preferring the commonplace to live with it. It is as if some compulsive hand wipes clean the wall on which the handwriting appeared.
I didn't write my speech until the night before, and even then I refused to write it out like I would say it, preferring to keep cribbed notes I could come back to if necessary. I wanted this to feel like a conversation because it was what I wanted to say that mattered, not how it looked on paper.
I sometimes forget that life is fragile. The fact that I have more time to dream my dreams and take my ease is no reason at all to disregard the moment I'm in by preferring to be somewhere else. I have to remind myself that wherever I am. . . fast lane or slow lane, in traffic or out of traffic, racing or resting . . . God is there. He is in me, abiding in me, thus making it possible for me to be all there, myself.
A great nation is not saved by wars, it is saved by acts without external picturesqueness; by speaking, writing, voting reasonably; by smiting corruption swiftly; by good temper between parties; by the people knowing true men when they see them, and preferring them as leaders to rabid partisans and empty quacks.
He who knows only his own side of the case (argument) knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion
John Stuart Mill
Homosexuality was invented by a straight world dealing with its own bisexuality. But finding this difficult, and preferring not toadmit it, it invented a pariah state, a leper colony for the incorrigible whose very existence, when tolerated openly, was admonition to all. We queers keep everyone straight as whores keep matrons virtuous.
Valor consists in the power of self-recovery, so that a man cannot have his flank turned, cannot be out-generalled, but put him where you will, he stands. This can only be by his preferring truth to his past apprehension of truth; and his alert acceptance of it, from whatever quarter; the intrepid conviction that his laws, his relations to society, his Christianity, his world may at any time be superseded and decease.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
how wearisom Eternity so spent in worship paid To whom we hate. Let us not then pursue By force impossible, by leave obtain'd Unacceptable, though in Heav'n, our state Of splendid vassalage, but rather seek Our own good from our selves, and from our own Live to our selves, though in this vast recess, Free, and to none accountable, preferring Hard liberty before the easie yoke Of servile Pomp
I have what I call an iron prescription that helps me keep sane when I naturally drift toward preferring one ideology over another and that is: I say that I'm not entitled to have an opinion on this subject unless I can state the arguments against my position better than the people who support it. I think only when I've reached that state am I qualified to speak. This business of not drifting into extreme ideology is a very, very important thing in life
The First Amendment...does not say that in every respect there shall be a separation of Church and State....Otherwise the state and religion would be aliens to each other - hostile, suspicious, and even unfriendly....The state may not establish a 'religion of secularism' in the sense of affirmatively opposing or showing hostility to religion, thus preferring those who believe in no religion over those who do believe.
William O. Douglas
Part came from Lane, and part from D.H. Lawrence; Gide, though I didn't know it then, gave part. They taught me to express my deep abhorrence If I caught anyone preferring Art To Life and Love and being Pure-in-heart. I lived with crooks but seldom was molested; The Pure-in-heart can never be arrested.
If the essence of cynicism consists in preferring nature to art, virtue to beauty and science; in not bothering about the letter of things -- to which the Stoic strictly adheres -- but in looking up to the spirit of things; in absolute contempt of all economic values and political splendor, and in courageous defence of the rights of independent freedom; then Christianity would be nothing but universal cynicism.
Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel
I persist in preferring philosophers to rabbis priests imams ayatollahs and mullahs. Rather than trust their theological hocus-pocus I prefer to draw on alternatives to the dominant philosophical historiography: the laughers materialists radicals cynics hedonists atheists sensualists voluptuaries. They know that there is only one world and that promotion of an afterlife deprives us of the enjoyment and benefit of the only one there is. A genuinely deadly sin.
Our forefather Adam... used his freedom to turn toward what was worse and to direct his desire away from what had been permitted to what was forbidden. It was in his power 'to be united to the Lord and become one spirit with God...' (I Cor. 6:15). But Adam was deceived and chose to cut himself off voluntarily from God's happy end for him, preferring by his own free choice to be drawn down to the earth (cf. Gen. 2:17) than to become God by grace.
Maximus the Confessor
Even today, some opt for the comforts of mystification, preferring to believe that the wonders of the ancient world were built by Atlanteans, gods, or space travelers, instead of by thousands toiling in the sun. Such thinking robs our forerunners of their due, and us of their experience. Because then one can believe whatever one likes about the past - without having to confront the bones, potsherds, and inscriptions which tell us that people all over the world, time and again, have made similar advances and mistakes.
When we think of [John F. Kennedy], he is without a hat, standing in the wind and weather. He was impatient of topcoats and hats, preferring to be exposed, and he was young enough and tough enough to enjoy the cold and the wind of those times.... It can be said of him, as of few men in a like position, that he did not fear the weather, and did not trim his sails, but instead challenged the wind itself, to improve its direction and to cause it to blow more softly and more kindly over the world and its people.
E. B. White
So, preferring death to capture, I accomplished the most astonishing deeds, and which, more then once, showed me that the too great care we take of our bodies is the only obstacle to the sucess of those projects which require rapid decision, and vigorous and determined execution. In reality, when you have once devoted your life to your enterprises, you are no longer the equal of other men, or, rather, other men are no longer your equals, and whosoever has taken this resolution, feels his strength and resources doubled.
The enjoyments of elegant life you early chose to abandon, preferring to wander for many successive years over the rudest portions of Europe and Asia-regions new to Science-in the hope, happily realized, of winning new truths. By a rare union of favourable circumstances, and of personal qualifications equally rare, you have thus been enabled to become the recognized Interpreter and Historian (not without illustrious aid) of the Silurian Period.
John Jeremiah Bigsby
Both Marx and Nietzsche understood that moral outrage is the last resort of the powerless. That is why Marx refused to issue moral condemnations of capitalism, preferring instead to lay out, calmly and ruthlessly, his reasons for believing that it is destined to be replaced by socialism. And that is why Nietzsche mocks Christianity for portraying its crucified Saviour as bait wriggling on a hook to catch unsuspecting souls.
Robert Paul Wolff
My noble father, I do perceive here a divided duty. To you I am bound for life and education. My life and education both do learn me How to respect you. You are the lord of my duty, I am hitherto your daughter. But here's my husband, And so much duty as my mother showed To you, preferring you before her father, So much I challenge that I may profess Due to the Moor my lord.
We have to avoid the spiritual sickness of a self-referentia l church. It's true that when you get out into the street, as happens to every man and woman, there can be accidents. However, if the church remains closed in on itself, self-referentia l, it gets old. Between a church that suffers accidents in the street, and a church that's sick because it's self-referentia l, I have no doubts about preferring the former.
What all this tells me is that a large proportion of the people in positions of power across Australia - politicians and media pundits included - just don't consider the beating down of women to be of any consequence. Half the time they won't even acknowledge it, let alone take a stand against it, preferring instead to gaslight women and pretend it's all in their head. Are these the kinds of people we want making decisions for us? The ones who think mockery about women's genitals is bad when it targets no one in particular, but OK when it targets the Prime Minister?
Lionel was filled with awful remorse. He asked where had Thomas been last seen, and the boy told him he was headed for the church. Lionel nodded and went home to fetch his shotgun. Throughout the crisis he had done no violence, preferring to preach the sanity of pacifism to the flock. This was different. This was a requirement of the father to the son. He prayed over the shotgun while Darla wailed with the children in the living room. He got in his truck and drove to the church. - From "The South Fork Penance
L. Joseph Shosty
On scientific grounds this big bang assumption is much less the palatable of the two. For it is an irrational process that cannot be described in scientific terms. . . . On philosophical grounds too I cannot see any good reason for preferring the big bang idea. Indeed it seems to me in the philosophical sense to be a distinctly unsatisfactory notion, since it puts the basic assumption out of sight where it can never be challenged by a direct appeal to observation.
[In the Royal Society, there] has been, a constant Resolution, to reject all the amplifications, digressions, and swellings of style: to return back to the primitive purity, and shortness, when men deliver'd so many things, almost in an equal number of words. They have exacted from all their members, a close, naked, natural way of speaking; positive expressions; clear senses; a native easiness: bringing all things as near the Mathematical plainness, as they can: and preferring the language of Artizans, Countrymen, and Merchants, before that, of Wits, or Scholars.
Yes, I share your concern: how to program well -though a teachable topic- is hardly taught. The situation is similar to that in mathematics, where the explicit curriculum is confined to mathematical results; how to do mathematics is something the student must absorb by osmosis, so to speak. One reason for preferring symbol-manipulating, calculating arguments is that their design is much better teachable than the design of verbal/pictorial arguments. Large-scale introduction of courses on such calculational methodology, however, would encounter unsurmoutable political problems.
When all that says 'it is good' has been debunked, what says 'I want' remains. (...) The Conditioners, therefore, must come to be motivated simply by their own pleasure. (...) My point is that those who stand outside all judgements of value cannot have any ground for preferring one of their own impulses to another except the emotional strength of that impulse. (...) I am very doubtful myself whether the benevolent impulses, stripped of that preference and encouragement which the Tao teaches us to give them and left to their merely natural strength and frequency as psychological events, will have much influence. I am very doubtful whether history shows us one example of a man who, having stepped outside traditional morality and attained power, has used that power benevolently.
I admit at the beginning that 'popular religion, ' 'demotic religion, ' the pieties of the common folk, tends to sink to the lowest common denominator, be it in syncretizing saints with old, half-forgotten pagan godlings, or in preferring the nasal whine and the revivalist shoutin' to solid sense and learning, regarding intellect as positively inimical to the workings of the Holy Ghost. But it is in American religious life, especially Protestant American religious life, that things bottom out completely.
Markham Shaw Pyle
When man subverted order he did a great deal more than merely fall away from the rationality of his nature, diminish his own humanity, which is all that he does in Aristostle's ethics, nor he did merely compromise his destiny by an error, as it happens in the Plathonic myths; he brought disorder into the divine order, and presents the unhappy spectacle of a being in revolt against Being. [... ] Every time a man sins he renews this act of revolt and prefers himself to God; in thus preferring himself, he separates himself from God; and in separating himself, he deprives himself of the sole end in which he can find beatitude and by that very fact condemns himself to misery.
Both died, ignored by most; they neither sought nor found public favour, for high roads never lead there. Laurent and Gerhardt never left such roads, were never tempted to peruse those easy successes which, for strongly marked characters, offer neither allure nor gain. Their passion was for the search for truth; and, preferring their independence to their advancement, their convictions to their interests, they placed their love for science above that of their worldly goods; indeed above that for life itself, for death was the reward for their pains. Rare example of abnegation, sublime poverty that deserves the name nobility, glorious death that France must not forget!
It's your world, but I make my way in it. At fifteen, no, I couldn't stand up to you. The age of illusions, when we know nothing, we hope for everything; we're wandering in a mist... And the half of the world that's never had any use for us, suddenly is besieging us. You need us, you adore us, you're suffering for us. You want everything-except to know what we think. You look deep in our eyes-and put your hand up our dress. You call us, "Pretty thing." That confuses us. The most beautiful woman, the highest ranked, lives half dazzled by constant attention, half stifled by obvious contempt. We think all we're good for is pleasing you-till one day, long acquaintance with you dispels the last mist. In a clear light, we suddenly see you as you are-and generally we start preferring ourselves. At thirty, I could finally say no-or really say yes. That's when you begin backing away from us. Now I'm full-grown. I pursue my happiness the same as any man.
Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais
He shut the door, and stood looking across the room at her. 'Cressy, what did you mean when you told that harridan that your affections were engaged?' The colour deepened a little in her cheeks, but she replied lightly: 'Well, she talked so much like someone in a bad play that I became carried away myself! Besides, I had to say something to convince her! I could see she didn't quite believe me when I said I wasn't going to marry your brother.' He let his breath go in a long sigh, and walked forward, setting his hands on her shoulders, and saying: 'You don't know how much I have wanted to tell you the truth! Cressy, my dear one, forgive me! I've treated you abominably, and I love you so much!' Miss Stavely, who had developed an interest in the top button of his coat, looked shyly up at this. 'Do you, Kit?' she asked. 'Truly?' Mr Fancot, preferring actions to words, said nothing whatsoever in answer to this, but took her in his arms and kissed her. Miss Stavely, who had previously thought him unfailingly gentle and courteous, perceived, in the light of this novel experience, that she had been mistaken: there was nothing gentle about Mr Fancot's crushing embrace; and his behaviour in paying no heed at all to her faint protest could only be described as extremely uncivil. She was wholly unused to such treatment, and she had a strong suspicion that her grandmother would condemn her conduct in submitting to it, but as Mr Fancot seemed to be dead to all sense and propriety it was clearly useless to argue with him.
Every culture has its southerners - people who work as little as they can, preferring to dance, drink, sing brawl, kill their unfaithful spouses; who have livelier gestures, more lustrous eyes, more colorful garments, more fancifully decorated vehicles, a wonderful sense of rhythm, and charm, charm, charm; unambitious, no, lazy, ignorant, superstitious, uninhibited people, never on time, conspicuously poorer (how could it be otherwise, say the northerners); who for all their poverty and squalor lead enviable lives - envied, that is, by work-driven, sensually inhibted, less corruptly governed northerners. We are superior to them, say the northerners, clearly superior. We do not shirk our duties or tell lies as a matter of course, we work hard, we are punctual, we keep reliable accounts. But they have more fun than we do... They caution[ed] themselves as people do who know they are part of a superior culture: we mustn't let ourselves go, mustn't descend to the level of the... jungle, street, bush, bog, hills, outback (take your pick). For if you start dancing on tables, fanning yourself, feeling sleepy when you pick up a book, developing a sense of rhythm, making love whenever you feel like it - then you know. The south has got you.
You desire to LIVE "according to Nature"? Oh, you noble Stoics, what fraud of words! Imagine to yourselves a being like Nature, boundlessly extravagant, boundlessly indifferent, without purpose or consideration, without pity or justice, at once fruitful and barren and uncertain: imagine to yourselves INDIFFERENCE as a power-how COULD you live in accordance with such indifference? To live-is not that just endeavouring to be otherwise than this Nature? Is not living valuing, preferring, being unjust, being limited, endeavouring to be different? And granted that your imperative, "living according to Nature, " means actually the same as "living according to life"-how could you do DIFFERENTLY? Why should you make a principle out of what you yourselves are, and must be? In reality, however, it is quite otherwise with you: while you pretend to read with rapture the canon of your law in Nature, you want something quite the contrary, you extraordinary stage-players and self-deluders! In your pride you wish to dictate your morals and ideals to Nature, to Nature herself, and to incorporate them therein; you insist that it shall be Nature "according to the Stoa, " and would like everything to be made after your own image, as a vast, eternal glorification and generalism of Stoicism! With all your love for truth, you have forced yourselves so long, so persistently, and with such hypnotic rigidity to see Nature FALSELY, that is to say, Stoically, that you are no longer able to see it otherwise-and to crown all, some unfathomable superciliousness gives you the Bedlamite hope that BECAUSE you are able to tyrannize over yourselves-Stoicism is self-tyranny-Nature will also allow herself to be tyrannized over: is not the Stoic a PART of Nature?... But this is an old and everlasting story: what happened in old times with the Stoics still happens today, as soon as ever a philosophy begins to believe in itself. It always creates the world in its own image; it cannot do otherwise; philosophy is this tyrannical impulse itself, the most spiritual Will to Power, the will to "creation of the world, " the will to the causa prima.
Ingenious philosophers tell you, perhaps, that the great work of the steam-engine is to create leisure for mankind. Do not believe them: it only creates a vacuum for eager thought to rush in. Even idleness is eager now-eager for amusement; prone to excursion-trains, art museums, periodical literature, and exciting novels; prone even to scientific theorizing and cursory peeps through microscopes. Old Leisure was quite a different personage. He only read one newspaper, innocent of leaders, and was free from that periodicity of sensations which we call post-time. He was a contemplative, rather stout gentleman, of excellent digestion; of quiet perceptions, undiseased by hypothesis; happy in his inability to know the causes of things, preferring the things themselves. He lived chiefly in the country, among pleasant seats and homesteads, and was fond of sauntering by the fruit-tree wall and scenting the apricots when they were warmed by the morning sunshine, or of sheltering himself under the orchard boughs at noon, when the summer pears were falling. He knew nothing of weekday services, and thought none the worse of the Sunday sermon if it allowed him to sleep from the text to the blessing; liking the afternoon service best, because the prayers were the shortest, and not ashamed to say so; for he had an easy, jolly conscience, broad-backed like himself, and able to carry a great deal of beer or port-wine, not being made squeamish by doubts and qualms and lofty aspirations.
Comrade Norman Bethune, a member of the Communist Party of Canada, was around fifty when he was sent by the Communist Parties of Canada and the United States to China; he made light of travelling thousands of miles to help us in our War of Resistance Against Japan. He arrived in Yenan in the spring of last year, went to work in the Wutai Mountains, and to our great sorrow died a martyr at his post. What kind of spirit is this that makes a foreigner selflessly adopt the cause of the Chinese people's liberation as his own? It is the spirit of internationalism, the spirit of communism, from which every Chinese Communist must learn. Leninism teaches that the world revolution can only succeed if the proletariat of the capitalist countries supports the struggle for liberation of the colonial and semi-colonial peoples and if the proletariat of the colonies and semi-colonies supports that of the proletariat of the capitalist countries. Comrade Bethune put this Leninist line into practice. We Chinese Communists must also follow this line in our practice. We must unite with the proletariat of all the capitalist countries, with the proletariat of Japan, Britain, the United States, Germany, Italy and all other capitalist countries, for this is the only way to overthrow imperialism, to liberate our nation and people and to liberate the other nations and peoples of the world. This is our internationalism, the internationalism with which we oppose both narrow nationalism and narrow patriotism. Comrade Bethune's spirit, his utter devotion to others without any thought of self, was shown in his great sense of responsibility in his work and his great warm-heartedness towards all comrades and the people. Every Communist must learn from him. There are not a few people who are irresponsible in their work, preferring the light and shirking the heavy, passing the burdensome tasks on to others and choosing the easy ones for themselves. At every turn they think of themselves before others. When they make some small contribution, they swell with pride and brag about it for fear that others will not know. They feel no warmth towards comrades and the people but are cold, indifferent and apathetic. In truth such people are not Communists, or at least cannot be counted as devoted Communists. No one who returned from the front failed to express admiration for Bethune whenever his name was mentioned, and none remained unmoved by his spirit. In the Shansi-Chahar-Hopei border area, no soldier or civilian was unmoved who had been treated by Dr. Bethune or had seen how he worked. Every Communist must learn this true communist spirit from Comrade Bethune. Comrade Bethune was a doctor, the art of healing was his profession and he was constantly perfecting his skill, which stood very high in the Eighth Route Army's medical service. His example is an excellent lesson for those people who wish to change their work the moment they see something different and for those who despise technical work as of no consequence or as promising no future. Comrade Bethune and I met only once. Afterwards he wrote me many letters. But I was busy, and I wrote him only one letter and do not even know if he ever received it. I am deeply grieved over his death. Now we are all commemorating him, which shows how profoundly his spirit inspires everyone. We must all learn the spirit of absolute selflessness from him. With this spirit everyone can be very useful to the people. A man's ability may be great or small, but if he has this spirit, he is already noble-minded and pure, a man of moral integrity and above vulgar interests, a man who is of value to the people.