This is the beginning of a social movement in fact and not in pronouncements. We seek our basic, God - given rights as human beings...We shall do it without violence because it is our destiny. To the growers and to all who oppose us, we say the words of Benito Juarez: 'Respect for another's right is the meaning of peace.'
Nothing could be more absurd than moral lessons at such a moment! Oh, self-satisfied people: with what proud self-satisfaction such babblers are ready to utter their pronouncements! If they only knew to what degree I myself understand all the loathsomeness of my present condition, they wouldn't have the heart to teach me.
For most countries, serving the UN's objectives has never seemed worth even the smallest of risks. Member nations do not want a large, reputable, strong and independent United Nations, no matter their hypocritical pronouncements otherwise. What they want is a weak, beholden, indebted scapegoat of an organization, which they can blame for their failures or steal victories from.
So many things which once had distressed or revolted him - the speeches and pronouncements of the learned, their assertions and their prohibitions, their refusal to allow the universe to move - all seemed to him now merely ridiculous, non-existent, compared with the majestic reality, the flood of energy, which now revealed itself to him: omnipresent, unalterable in its truth, relentless in its development, untouchable in its serenity, maternal and unfailing in its protectiveness.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Roman Catholics utter their Papal edicts, Protestants quote their Bible, Fundamentalists declare their orthodox theological dogmas, and we are all expected to renounce private reflection and peacefully acquiesce to these pronouncements. And the result is that the dignity of the person is violated by such oppressive, intelligence-smothering forms of communication.
Robert H. Schuller
I chiefly concern myself with those who seldom get a hearing, & I don't feel it is incumbent on me to balance their voices with the well-crafted apologetics of the powerful. The powerful are generally excellently served by the mainstream media or propaganda organs. The powerful should be quoted, yes, but to measure their pronouncements against the truth, not to obscure it.
How to teach again what has been taught correctly it incorrectly 1000 thousand times, throughout the millenniums of mankind's prudent folly? That is the hero's ultimate difficult task. How to render back into light-world language the speech-defying pronouncements of the dark? Many failures attest to the difficulties of this life-affirmative threshold.
Our amended Constitution is the lodestar for our aspirations. Like every text worth reading, it is not crystalline. The phrasing is broad and the limitations of its provisions are not clearly marked. Its majestic generalities and ennobling pronouncements are both luminous and obscure. This ambiguity of course calls forth interpretation, the interaction of reader and text. The encounter with the Constitutional text has been, in many senses, my life's work.
William J. Brennan
Theology is just not important in Judaism, or in any other religion, really. There's no orthodoxy, as you have it in the Catholic Church. No complicated creeds to which everybody must subscribe. No infallible pronouncements by a pope. Nobody can tell Jews what to believe. Within reason, you can believe what you like... We have orthopraxy instead of orthodoxy. Right practice rather then right belief. That's all. You Christians make such a fuss about theology, but it's not important in the way you think. It's just poetry, really, ways of talking about the inexpressible.
Even a cursory reading of the book of Ecclesiastes shows that culture is a stationary bike that each generation climbs on in hopes of getting somewhere only to die and fall off so that the new young stud can take his turn peddling and, like a fool, make pronouncements about his progress. We would be wise to see postmodernity as simply the new guy on the old bike and not mistake cultural change for kingdom progress.
The view that the truth is one and undivided, and the same for all men everywhere at all times, whether one finds it in the pronouncements of sacred books, traditional wisdom, the authority of churches, democratic majorities, observation and experiment conducted by qualified experts, or the convictions of simple folks uncorrupted by civilisation-this view, in one form or another, is central to western thought, which stems from Plato and his disciples.
Agnosticism is a perfectly respectable and tenable philosophical position; it is not dogmatic and makes no pronouncements about the ultimate truths of the universe. It remains open to evidence and persuasion; lacking faith, it nevertheless does not deride faith. Atheism, on the other hand, is as unyielding and dogmatic about religious belief as true believers are about heathens. It tries to use reason to demolish a structure that is not built upon reason.
Sydney J. Harris
So is language change progress or degeneration? It is neither, of course. To assert that language change is for the better or worse requires some measure of what "good" or "bad" language is, and the issue of language change needn't come into question here. But no coherent criterion has ever been given: upon examination, the pronouncements of the self-appointed pundits are always a mix of cultural biases, half-understandings of languages, and an obvious compulsion for telling people what to do.
In order to get the things I want, it helps me to pretend I'm a figure in a daytime drama, a schemer. Soap opera characters make emphatic pronouncements. They ball up their fists and state their goals out loud. 'I will destroy Buchanan Enterprises,' they say. 'Phoebe Wallingford will pay for what she's done to our family.' Walking home with the back half of the twelve-foot ladder, I turned to look in the direction of Hugh's loft. 'You will be mine,' I commanded.
Well into the 19th century there were pronouncements from just about every branch of science and medicine that reading, writing, and thinking were dangerous for women. Articles in the Lancet declared that women's brains would burst and their uteruses atrophy if they engaged in any form of rigorous thinking. The famous physician J.D. Kellogg insisted that novel reading was the greatest cause of uterine disease among young women and urged parents to protect their daughters from the dreaded consequences of print.
The Kennedy Administration's public pronouncements on the matter suggested that the presence of Soviet nuclear missiles in Castro's Cuba would represent an unacceptable strategic threat to the United States. . . . This urgent transformation of Cuba into an important strategic base - by the presence of these large, long-range, and clearly offensive weapons of sudden mass-destruction - constitutes an explicit threat to the peace and security of all the Americas. . . .
John F. Kennedy
a long-term reputation is only at risk when companies engage in vocal launch activities such as PR and building hype. When a product fails to live up to those pronouncements, real long-term damage can happen to a corporate brand. But startups have the advantage of being obscure, having a pathetically small number of customers and not having much exposure. Rather than lamenting them, use these advantages to experiment under the radar and then do a public marketing launch once the product has proved itself with real customers.
For after all, why do we go on fighting? If we die for democracy then we must be one of the democracies. Let the rest fight with us, if that is the case. But the most powerful of them, the only one that could save us, chooses to bide its time. Very good. That is its right. But by so doing, that democracy signifies that we are fighting for ourselves alone. And we go on fighting despite the assurance that we have lost the war. Why, then, do we go on dying? Out of despair? But there is no despair. You know nothing about defeat if you think there is room in it for despair. There is a verity that is higher than the pronouncements of the intelligence. There is a thing which pierces and governs us and which cannot be grasped by the intelligence. A tree has no language. We are a tree. There are truths which are evident, though not to be put into words. I do not die in order to obstruct the path of the invasion, for there is no shelter upon which I can fall back with those I love. I do not die to preserve my honor, since I deny that my honor is at stake, and I challenge the jurisdiction of my judge. Nor do I die out of desperation.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
We modern human beings are looking at life, trying to make some sense of it; observing a 'reality' that often seems to be unfolding in a foreign tongue-only we've all been issued the wrong librettos. For a text, we're given the Bible. Or the Talmud or the Koran. We're given Time magazine, and Reader's Digest, daily papers, and the six o'clock news; we're given schoolbooks, sitcoms, and revisionist histories; we're given psychological counseling, cults, workshops, advertisements, sales pitches, and authoritative pronouncements by pundits, sold-out scientists, political activists, and heads of state. Unfortunately, none of these translations bears more than a faint resemblance to what is transpiring in the true theater of existence, and most of them are dangerously misleading. We're attempting to comprehend the spiraling intricacies of a magnificently complex tragicomedy with librettos that describe the barrom melodramas or kindergarten skits. And when's the last time you heard anybody bitch about it to the management?
I have been accused of a habit of changing my opinions. I am not myself in any degree ashamed of having changed my opinions. What physicist who was already active in 1900 would dream of boasting that his opinions had not changed during the last half century? In science men change their opinions when new knowledge becomes available; but philosophy in the minds of many is assimilated rather to theology than to science. The kind of philosophy that I value and have endeavoured to pursue is scientific, in the sense that there is some definite knowledge to be obtained and that new discoveries can make the admission of former error inevitable to any candid mind. For what I have said, whether early or late, I do not claim the kind of truth which theologians claim for their creeds. I claim only, at best, that the opinion expressed was a sensible one to hold at the time when it was expressed. I should be much surprised if subsequent research did not show that it needed to be modified. I hope, therefore, that whoever uses this dictionary will not suppose the remarks which it quotes to be intended as pontifical pronouncements, but only as the best I could do at the time towards the promotion of clear and accurate thinking. Clarity, above all, has been my aim.
I am not sure whether you could call this abuse, but when I was (long ago) abroad in the world of dry men, I saw parents, usually upscale and educated and talented and functional and white, patient and loving and supportive and concerned and involved in their children's lives, profilgate with compliments and diplomatic with constructive criticism, loquacious in their pronouncements of unconditional love for and approval of their children, conforming to every last jot-tittle in any conceivably definition of a good parent, I saw parent after unimpeachable parent who raised kids who were (a) emotionally retarded or (b) lethally self-indulgent or (c) chronically depressed or (d) borderline psychotic or (e) consumed with narcissistic self-loathing or (f) neurotically driven/addicted or (g) variously psychosomatically Disabled or (h) some conjunctive permutation of (a) ... (g). Why is this. Why do many parents who seem relentlessly bent on producing children who feel they are good persons deserving of love produce children who grow to feel they are hideous persons not deserving of love who just happen to have lucked into having parents so marvelous that the parents love them even though they are hideous? Is it a sign of abuse if a mother produces a child who believes not that he is innately beautiful and lovable and deserving of magnificent maternal treatment but somehow that he is a hideous unlovable child who has somehow lucked in to having a really magnificent mother? Probably not. But could such a mother then really be all that magnificent, if that's the child's view of himself?... I think, Mrs. Starkly, that I am speaking of Mrs. Avril M.-T. Incandenza, although the woman is so multileveled and indictment-proof that it is difficult to feel comfortable with any sort of univocal accusation of anything. Something just was not right, is the only way to put it. Something creepy, even on the culturally stellar surface.
David Foster Wallace