The pressure to make public retractions of past statements - there's something medieval about it. What does it mean, anyway, to 'retract' what you've said? How can anyone state categorically that a thought he once had is no longer valid? In modern times an idea can be refuted, yes, but not retracted.
Roger Daltrey had been expelled for smoking, but was still impudently showing up on campus to visit his various cronies. I'd first met him after he won a playground fight with a Chinese boy. I thought his tactics were dirty and when I shouted as much, he came over and forced me to retract.
I while yet a youth wrote in a quite large volume three books of magical things, which I called De occulta philosophia, in which whatever was then erroneous because of my curious youth, now, more cautious, I wish to retract by this recantation, for formerly I spent much time and goods on these vanities.
When you're in doubt about the future and you're in doubt about how solid this thing is that you're laying your life and your soul on the line for, you will probably retract into yourself a little bit and think, No, there's only so much I can give to something that everyone doesn't believe in. There's been chipping away, people have been chipping away at it, so it's just you in the spotlight in front of all these people.
She really liked you, Noah, ' 'Yeah, well, maybe I'm just an asshole.' I realize my hand is still in his hair and I retract it quickly. He grabs it, holds it against him. You're not an asshole I'm thinking, but for some reason I can't say it. It would be like admitting something else; like the fact that he's an asshole to every girl who likes him, but never to me. And then I'd have to really think about why that is and that's not something I'll ever be comfortable with at all, even though his eyes are like maps and his words are like anchors and his songs are like personal messages and I love all that. - Chloe
I repeat the declaration made a year ago, that 'while I remain in my present position I shall not attempt to retract or modify the emancipation proclamation, nor shall I return to slavery any person who is free by the terms of that proclamation, or by any of the Acts of Congress.' If the people should, by whatever mode or means, make it an Executive duty to re-enslave such persons, another, and not I, must be their instrument to perform it.
Young men, in the conduct and manage of actions, embrace more than they can hold; stir more than they can quiet; fly to the end, without consideration of the means and degrees; pursue some few principles, which they have chanced upon absurdly; care not to innovate, which draws unknown inconveniences; use extreme remedies at first; and, that which doubleth all errors, will not acknowledge or retract them; like an unready horse, that will neither stop nor turn.
the last decade has seen a powerful counterassault on women's rights, a backlash, an attempt to retract the handful of small and hard-won victories that the feminist movement did manage to win for women. This counterassault is largely insidious: in a kind of pop-culture version of the Big Lie, it stands the truth boldly on its head and proclaims that the very steps that have elevated women's position have actually led to their downfall.
In all determinations of morality, this circumstance of public utility is ever principally in view; and wherever disputes arise, either in philosophy or common life, concerning the bounds of duty, the questions cannot, by any means, be decided with greater certainty, than by ascertaining, on any side, the true interests of mankind. If any false opinion, embraced from appearances, has been found to prevail; as soon as farther experience and sounder reasoning have given us juster notions of human affairs, we retract our first sentiment, and adjust anew the boundaries of moral good and evil.
It's a most peculiar psychology-this business of 'Science is based on faith too, so there!' Typically this is said by people who claim that faith is a good thing. Then why do they say 'Science is based on faith too!' in that angry-triumphal tone, rather than as a compliment? And a rather dangerous compliment to give, one would think, from their perspective. If science is based on 'faith', then science is of the same kind as religion-directly comparable. If science is a religion, it is the religion that heals the sick and reveals the secrets of the stars. It would make sense to say, 'The priests of science can blatantly, publicly, verifiably walk on the Moon as a faith-based miracle, and your priests' faith can't do the same.' Are you sure you wish to go there, oh faithist? Perhaps, on further reflection, you would prefer to retract this whole business of 'Science is a religion too!
He realized that time, clocks ticking, everything is just a human-made concept. That clocks didn't tick back in the times he was seeing now, and he realized that the sun never sets as long as you travel with it, circumnavigating the globe, once every 24 hours. It was a new thought, a new dogma to Jordan, evolving his idea of being more than one at once. It was an idea of being more than one time at once, literally moving along the 4th dimension. Not being pushed to the side, not being pushed up or down, not being pushed inward or outward, but being pushed in one way, without ever moving at all. They were being pushed along the track of time, with no way to go back, with no way to retract and go back to the starting point as they could in any of the three visible dimensions. And it was that thought, Jordan finally realized, that made him exhausted and scared. It was that realization that made Jordan realize that this was the thing Tong was afraid of. That through all his travels on planes and all his moving around the world, he could still go back to Bangkok, he could still go back to the hospital where he was born, but he could never go backward on that track and stand in the same place, only the same location, as where his first day began." -A Spontaneous Existence, Chandler Ivanko
It is important to refuse to be intimidated. That refusal must not be based simply on a calculation of the odds of succeeding. At times, in my case, multiple lawsuits and an ethics charge seemed overwhelming, and the fact that I knew my work to be accurate and responsible was only partial solace. l was well aware that court, like the National Football League, is an arena in which, on any given Sunday, anybody can win. The refusal to be intimidated must come, in the end, not from a sureness of succeeding but from a knowledge of the cost of scurrying for shelter through fake retractions and disowned truths. It is a question, in the end of self-respect. Who among us could, in good faith, ever face a survivor of childhood abuse again were we to run for cover when pressed ourselves? Children are not permitted that choice, and the adults who choose to work with them and with the survivors they become cannot afford to make it. It would be a choice to become. Through betrayal and deceit, that to which we object. Our alternative, then, is not to hide. not to refuse to treat adult survivors, not to refuse to go to court in their defense, not to apologize and retract statements we know are true, but to cultivate endurance and tenacity as carefully as we read the research. Confessions of a Whistle-Blower: Lessons Learned Author: Anna C. Salter. Ethics and Behavior, Volume 8, Issue 2 June 1998
Anna C. Salter
He saw two stars collapse against one another and a nova form; it flared up and then, as he watched, it began to die out. He saw it turn from a furiously blazing ring into a dim core of dead iron and then he saw it cool into darkness. More stars cooled with it; he saw the force of entropy, the method of the Destroyer of Forms, retract the stars into dull reddish coals and then into dust-like silence. A shroud of thermal energy hung uniformly over the world, over this strange and little world for which he had no love or use. It's dying, he realized. The universe. The thermal haze spread on and on until it became only a disturbance, nothing more; the sky glowed weakly with it and then flickered. Even the uniform thermal disbursement was expiring. How strange and goddamn awful, he thought. He got to his feet, moved a step toward the door. And there, on his feet, he died. They found him an hour later. Seth Morley stood with his wife at the far end of the knot of people jammed into the small room and said to himself, "to keep him from helping with the prayer". "The same force that shut down the transmitter, " Ignatz Thugg said. "They knew; they knew if he phrased the prayer it would go through. Even without the relay." He looked gray and frightened. All of them did, Seth Morley noticed. Their faces, in the light of the room, had a leaden, stone-like cast. Like, he thought, thousand-year-old idols. Time, he thought, is shutting down around us. It is as if the future is gone, for all of us.
Philip K. Dick
To establish evolutionary interrelatedness invariably requires exhibiting similarities between organisms. Within Darwinism, there's only one way to connect such similarities, and that's through descent with modification driven by the Darwinian mechanism. But within a design-theoretic framework, this possibility, though not precluded, is also not the only game in town. It's possible for descent with modification instead to be driven by telic processes inherent in nature (and thus by a form of design). Alternatively, it's possible that the similarities are not due to descent at all but result from a similarity of conception, just as designed objects like your TV, radio, and computer share common components because designers frequently recycle ideas and parts. Teasing apart the effects of intelligent and natural causation is one of the key questions confronting a design-theoretic research program. Unlike Darwinism, therefore, intelligent design has no immediate and easy answer to the question of common descent. Darwinists necessarily see this as a bad thing and as a regression to ignorance. From the design theorists' perspective, however, frank admissions of ignorance are much to be preferred to overconfident claims to knowledge that in the end cannot be adequately justified. Despite advertisements to the contrary, science is not a juggernaut that relentlessly pushes back the frontiers of knowledge. Rather, science is an interconnected web of theoretical and factual claims about the world that are constantly being revised and for which changes in one portion of the web can induce radical changes in another. In particular, science regularly confronts the problem of having to retract claims that it once confidently asserted.
William A. Dembski
In response to threat and injury, animals, including humans, execute biologically based, non-conscious action patterns that prepare them to meet the threat and defend themselves. The very structure of trauma, including activation, dissociation and freezing are based on the evolution of survival behaviors. When threatened or injured, all animals draw from a "library" of possible responses. We orient, dodge, duck, stiffen, brace, retract, fight, flee, freeze, collapse, etc. All of these coordinated responses are somatically based- they are things that the body does to protect and defend itself. It is when these orienting and defending responses are overwhelmed that we see trauma. The bodies of traumatized people portray "snapshots" of their unsuccessful attempts to defend themselves in the face of threat and injury. Trauma is a highly activated incomplete biological response to threat, frozen in time. For example, when we prepare to fight or to flee, muscles throughout our entire body are tensed in specific patterns of high energy readiness. When we are unable to complete the appropriate actions, we fail to discharge the tremendous energy generated by our survival preparations. This energy becomes fixed in specific patterns of neuromuscular readiness. The person then stays in a state of acute and then chronic arousal and dysfunction in the central nervous system. Traumatized people are not suffering from a disease in the normal sense of the word- they have become stuck in an aroused state. It is difficult if not impossible to function normally under these circumstances.
Peter A. Levine
I have hazarded into a new corner of the world, an unknown spot, a Brigadoon. Before me extends a low hill trembling in yellow brome, and behind the hill, filling the sky, rises an enormous mountain ridge, forested, alive and awesome with brilliant blown lights. I have never seen anything so tremulous and live. Overhead, great strips and chunks of cloud dash to the northwest in a gold rush. At my back the sun is setting- how can I have not noticed before that the sun is setting? My mind has been a blank slab of black asphalt for hours, but that doesn't stop the sun's wild wheel. I set my coffee on the curb; I smell loam on the wind; I pat the puppy; I watch the mountain. Shadows lope along the mountain's rumpled flanks; they elongate like root tips, like lobes of spilling water, faster and faster. A warm purple pigment pools in each ruck and tuck of the rock; it deepens and spreads, boring crevasses, canyons. As the purple vaults and slides, it tricks out the unleafed forest and rumpled rock in gilt, in shape-shifting patches of glow. These gold lights veer and retract, shatter, and glide in a series of dazzling splashes, shrinking, leaking, exploding. The ridge's bosses and hummocks sprout bulging from its sides; the whole mountain looms miles closer; the light warms and reddens; the bare forest folds and pleats itself like living protoplasm before my eyes, like a running chart, a wildly scrawling oscillography on the present moment. The air cools; the puppy's skin is hot. I am more alive than all the world. This is it, I think, this is it, right now, the present, this empty gas station, here, this western wind, this tang of coffee on the tongue, and I am patting the puppy, I am watching the mountain. Version 1 (joy)