Thursday, November 24, 2005

Do Not Laugh at Them, Do Not Weep at Them, Do Not Hate Them…

Today is the birthday of Baruch Spinoza, one of whose maxims should be heeded by European hand-wringers more often:
Do not weep; do not wax indignant. Understand.
(Of course, the Euros have quite a lot of practice with this, where bloody dictators and autocrats are concerned; it is where Americans come in that they invariably laugh, weep, and/or hate.) The Dutch philosopher (1632-1677) also said that
I have striven not to laugh at human actions, not to weep at them, nor to hate them, but to understand them.

The world would be happier if men had the same capacity to be silent that they have to speak.

Happiness is a virtue, not its reward.

Peace is not an absence of war, it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice.

If men were born free, they would, so long as they remained free, form no conception of good and evil.

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