Last modified on 19 May 2014, at 11:00

May 20

Quotes of the day from previous years:

2004
No theory, no ready-made system, no book that has ever been written will save the world. I cleave to no system. I am a true seeker. ~ Mikhail Bakunin
2005
If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind. ~ John Stuart Mill (born 20 May 1806)
2006
Love is like some fresh spring, first a stream and then a river, changing its aspect and its nature as it flows to plunge itself in some boundless ocean, where restricted natures only find monotony, but where great souls are engulfed in endless contemplation. ~ Honoré de Balzac (born 20 May 1799)
2007
The prevailing tendency to regard all the marked distinctions of human character as innate, and in the main indelible, and to ignore the irresistible proofs that by far the greater part of those differences, whether between individuals, races, or sexes, are such as not only might but naturally would be produced by differences in circumstances, is one of the chief hindrances to the rational treatment of great social questions, and one of the greatest stumbling blocks to human improvement. ~ John Stuart Mill
2008
The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error. ~ John Stuart Mill
2009
However unwillingly a person who has a strong opinion may admit the possibility that his opinion may be false, he ought to be moved by the consideration that, however true it may be, if it is not fully, frequently, and fearlessly discussed, it will be held as a dead dogma, not a living truth. ~ John Stuart Mill
2010
The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinions of others, to do so would be wise, or even right. These are good reasons for remonstrating with him, or reasoning with him, or persuading him or entreating him, but not for compelling him, or visiting him with any evil, in case he do otherwise. ~ John Stuart Mill
2011
Kindness is not without its rocks ahead. People are apt to put it down to an easy temper and seldom recognize it as the secret striving of a generous nature; whilst, on the other hand, the ill-natured get credit for all the evil they refrain from. ~ Honoré de Balzac
2012
To saunter is to enjoy life; it is to indulge the flight of fancy; it is to enjoy the sublime pictures of misery, of love, of joy, of gracious or grotesque physiognomies; it is to pierce with a glance the abysses of a thousand existences; for the young it is to desire all, and to possess all; for the old it is to live the life of the youthful, and to share their passions.
~ Honoré de Balzac ~
2013
Love has its own instinct, finding the way to the heart, as the feeblest insect finds the way to its flower, with a will which nothing can dismay nor turn aside.
~ Honoré de Balzac ~
2014
There is a revolution coming. It will not be like revolutions of the past. It will originate with the individual and with culture, and it will change the political structure only as its final act. It will not require violence to succeed, and it cannot be successfully resisted by violence. It is now spreading with amazing rapidity, and already our laws, institutions and social structure are changing in consequence. It promises a higher reason, a more human community, and a new and liberated individual. Its ultimate creation will be a new and enduring wholeness and beauty — a renewed relationship of man to himself, to other men, to society, to nature, and to the land.
This is the revolution of the new generation.
~ Charles A. Reich ~
2015 
Rank or add further suggestions…

Quotes by people born this day, already used as QOTD:

  • Truth gains more even by the errors of one who, with due study and preparation, thinks for himself, than by the true opinions of those who only hold them because they do not suffer themselves to think. ~ John Stuart Mill

Ranking system:

4 : Excellent - should definitely be used.
3 : Very Good - strong desire to see it used.
2 : Good - some desire to see it used.
1 : Acceptable - but with no particular desire to see it used.
0 : Not acceptable - not appropriate for use as a quote of the day.


SuggestionsEdit

Ages are no more infallible than individuals; every age having held many opinions which subsequent ages have deemed not only false but absurd; and it is as certain that many opinions now general will be rejected by future ages, as it is that many, once general, are rejected by the present. ~ John Stuart Mill

  • 3 Kalki 08:48, 19 May 2007 (UTC) with a very strong lean toward 4.
  • 3 InvisibleSun 09:02, 19 May 2007 (UTC)
  • 1 Zarbon 05:29, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

When an opinion is true, it may be extinguished once, twice, or many times, but in the course of ages there will generally be found persons to rediscover it, until some one of its reappearances falls on a time when from favourable circumstances it escapes persecution until it has made such head as to withstand all subsequent attempts to suppress it. ~ John Stuart Mill

  • 3 Kalki 08:48, 19 May 2007 (UTC) with a very strong lean toward 4.
  • 3 InvisibleSun 09:02, 19 May 2007 (UTC)
  • 1 Zarbon 05:29, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

While every one well knows himself to be fallible, few think it necessary to take any precautions against their own fallibility, or admit the supposition that any opinion, of which they feel very certain, may be one of the examples of the error to which they acknowledge themselves to be liable. ~ John Stuart Mill


Many false opinions may be exchanged for true ones, without in the least altering the habits of mind of which false opinions are made. ~ John Stuart Mill

  • 3 InvisibleSun 09:02, 19 May 2007 (UTC)
  • 3 Kalki 09:26, 19 May 2007 (UTC) with a lean toward 4.
  • 1 Zarbon 05:29, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
  • 3 Aphaia 10:40, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

There is something great and terrible about suicide. ~ Honoré de Balzac

  • 3 because in death comes the terror and the tragedy, but in accepting and approaching the demise comes a grandeur of sort. The moments can be described as terrible and great all at the same time. It's one of the major reasons why I love many of the characters I love, because their demise, whether in suicide or homicide, is made magnificently brilliant, a concoction of emotion and sheer bitter power expressed through final moments. Zarbon 00:03, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 InvisibleSun 06:19, 18 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 1 Kalki 00:18, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 1 Without context, it is meaningless and even sounds offensive POV. As a widow of suicidal dead husband, I feel quite disgusted. --Aphaia 10:40, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

We have no solution, you shall continue to live like dogs, and whoever wishes may leave, and we will see where this process leads. ~ Moshe Dayan (born May 20)

  • 3 because the truth is sometimes the best remedy. Zarbon 04:56, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 0 See the discussion page for Dayan about this continually disputed quote. It was moved from Attributed to Sourced by an editor in March 2008. It will likely be moved, deleted and restored many more times. Even without its doubtful verification, I wouldn't be inclined to vote for it. InvisibleSun 06:19, 18 May 2008 (UTC)
    • Source: Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel, and the Palestinians - Page 561 - Noam Chomsky - Political Science - 1999
    • Comment: Now it is sourced so you can repeat your vote. Zarbon 21:37, 18 May 2008 (UTC)
  • This, however, is the very source that's endlessly disputed; see the discussion page on Dayan for the reasons. Even if there were more of an agreement on the source, I would end up giving it a 1. InvisibleSun 02:21, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 1 Kalki 00:18, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 1 Aphaia 10:40, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

I know of nothing more exciting than war. ~ Moshe Dayan

OR

War is the most exciting and dramatic thing in life. In fighting to the death you feel terribly relaxed when you manage to come through. ~ Moshe Dayan

  • 2 and I agree with Dayan here. The amount of excitement is unparalleled, regardless of all the horrid pain and suffering, it is true that war is never ever dull. Zarbon 04:56, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 0 This is an Unsourced quote. InvisibleSun 06:19, 18 May 2008 (UTC)
    • SOURCE: The Book of Military Quotations - Peter G. Tsouras - Reference - 2005 - Page 477
    • Comment: Now it is sourced so you can repeat your vote. Zarbon 21:37, 18 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Then it's a 2 for the second version. InvisibleSun 02:21, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 1 Kalki 00:18, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Love makes us almost sacred in our own eyes; it is the life of another that we revere within us; then and so begins for us the cruelest trouble of all. ~ Honoré de Balzac

  • 3 InvisibleSun 06:19, 18 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 1 Zarbon 21:37, 18 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki (talk · contributions) 08:28, 30 April 2010 (UTC) * 3 Kalki 00:18, 19 May 2008 (UTC) I do like this one, but it was only a borderline 3 for me, and I actually would prefer that it be extended, to read:
A penniless man who has no ties to bind him is master of himself at any rate, but a luckless wretch who is in love no longer belongs to himself, and may not take his own life. Love makes us almost sacred in our own eyes; it is the life of another that we revere within us; then and so begins for us the cruelest trouble of all.
  • 4 Aphaia 10:40, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Our heart is a treasury; if you pour out all its wealth at once, you are bankrupt. We show no more mercy to the affection that reveals its utmost extent than we do to another kind of prodigal who has not a penny left. ~ Honoré de Balzac


The best state for human nature is that in which, while no one is poor, no one desires to be richer, nor has any reason to fear being thrust back by the efforts of others to push themselves forward.
~ John Stuart Mill ~

Let not any one pacify his conscience by the delusion that he can do no harm if he takes no part, and forms no opinion. Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing. He is not a good man who, without a protest, allows wrong to be committed in his name, and with the means which he helps to supply, because he will not trouble himself to use his mind on the subject.
~ John Stuart Mill ~