May 5

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Quotes of the day from previous years:

Everything in the universe relates to the number 5, one way or another, given enough ingenuity on the part of the interpreter. ~ Principia Discordia, "The Law of Fives"
Democracy is the destiny of humanity; freedom its indestructible arm. ~ Benito Juárez (Cinco de Mayo, and 05-05-05)
Once you label me you negate me. ~ Søren Kierkegaard (born 5 May 1813)
I see it all perfectly; there are two possible situations — one can either do this or that. My honest opinion and my friendly advice is this: do it or do not do it — you will regret both. ~ Søren Kierkegaard, Either/Or
If I have ventured wrongly, very well, life then helps me with its penalty. But if I haven't ventured at all, who helps me then? ~ Søren Kierkegaard (born 5 May 1813)
Is it an excellence in your love that it can love only the extraordinary, the rare? If it were love’s merit to love the extraordinary, then God would be — if I dare say so — perplexed, for to Him the extraordinary does not exist at all. The merit of being able to love only the extraordinary is therefore more like an accusation, not against the extraordinary nor against love, but against the love which can love only the extraordinary. Perfection in the object is not perfection in the love. Erotic love is determined by the object; friendship is determined by the object; only love of one’s neighbor is determined by love. Therefore genuine love is recognizable by this, that its object is without any of the more definite qualifications of difference, which means that this love is recognizable only by love. ~ Søren Kierkegaard
Do not interrupt the flight of your soul; do not distress what is best in you; do not enfeeble your spirit with half wishes and half thoughts. Ask yourself and keep on asking until you find the answer, for one may have known something many times, acknowledged it; one may have willed something many times, attempted it — and yet, only the deep inner motion, only the heart's indescribable emotion, only that will convince you that what you have acknowledged belongs to you, that no power can take it from you — for only the truth that builds up is truth for you. ~ Søren Kierkegaard in Either/Or
Men make their own history, but they do not make it just as they please; they do not make it under circumstances chosen by themselves, but under circumstances directly encountered, given and transmitted from the past. ~ Karl Marx (born 5 May 1818)
You cannot get the truth by capturing it, only by its capturing you. ~ Søren Kierkegaard
Sin is in itself separation from the good, but despair over sin is separation a second time.
~ Søren Kierkegaard ~
Printer's ink has been running a race against gunpowder these many, many years. Ink is handicapped, in a way, because you can blow up a man with gunpowder in half a second, while it may take twenty years to blow him up with a book. But the gunpowder destroys itself along with its victim, while a book can keep on exploding for centuries.
~ Christopher Morley ~
Contrary to what the politicians and religious leaders would like us to believe, the world won’t be made safer by creating barriers between people. Cries of “They’re evil, let’s get ‘em” or “The infidels must die” sound frightening, but they’re desperately empty of argument and understanding. They’re the rallying cries of prejudice, the call to arms of those who find it easier to hate than admit they might be not be right about everything.
Armageddon is not around the corner. This is only what the people of violence want us to believe. The complexity and diversity of the world is the hope for the future.
~ Michael Palin ~
It is the duty of the human understanding to understand that there are things which it cannot understand, and what those things are. Human understanding has vulgarly occupied itself with nothing but understanding, but if it would only take the trouble to understand itself at the same time it would simply have to posit the paradox.
~ Søren Kierkegaard ~
~ Guardians of the Galaxy ~
Nature has pointed out a mixed kind of life as most suitable to the human race, and secretly admonished them to allow none of these biases to draw too much, so as to incapacitate them for other occupations and entertainments. Indulge your passion for science, says she, but let your science be human, and such as may have a direct reference to action and society. Abstruse thought and profound researches I prohibit, and will severely punish, by the pensive melancholy which they introduce, by the endless uncertainty in which they involve you, and by the cold reception which your pretended discoveries shall meet with, when communicated. Be a philosopher; but, amidst all your philosophy, be still a man.
~ David Hume ~
To God, world history is the royal stage where he, not accidentally but essentially, is the only spectator, because he is the only one who can be that. Admission to this theater is not open to any existing spirit. If he fancies himself a spectator there, he is simply forgetting that he himself is supposed to be the actor in that little theater and is to leave it to that royal spectator and poet how he wants to use him in that royal drama, The Drama or Dramas. This applies to the living, and only they can be told how they ought to live; and only by understanding for oneself can one be lead to reconstruct a dead person’s life, if it must be done at all and if there is time for it. But it is indeed upsidedown, instead of learning by living one’s own life, to have the dead live again, then to go on wanting to learn from the dead, whom one regards as never having lived, how one ought — indeed, it is unbelievable how upside-down it is — to live — if one is already dead.
~ Søren Kierkegaard ~
~ Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Philosophical Fragments ~
There is within us a moral instinct which forbids us to rejoice at the death of even an enemy.
~ Henryk Sienkiewicz ~
The presence of irony does not necessarily mean that the earnestness is excluded. Only assistant professors assume that.
~ Søren Kierkegaard ~
~ Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Philosophical Fragments ~
Putin wanted to wipe Ukraine from the map. He will clearly not succeed. On the contrary: Ukraine has risen up in unity. And it is his own country, Russia, he is sinking. … We want Ukraine to win this war. But we also want to set the conditions for Ukraine's success in the aftermath of the war. The first step is immediate relief. … But then, in a second phase, there is the wider reconstruction effort. The scale of destruction is staggering. Hospitals and schools, houses, roads, bridges, railroads, theatres and factories — so much has to be rebuilt. … Europe has a very special responsibility towards Ukraine. With our support, Ukrainians can rebuild their country for the next generation. … This will bring the stability and certainty needed to make Ukraine an attractive destination for foreign direct investment. And eventually, it will pave the way for Ukraine's future inside the European Union.
Slava Ukraini and long live Europe.
~ Ursula von der Leyen ~
A man who leaves memoirs, whether well or badly written, provided they be sincere, renders a service to future psychologists and writers, giving them not only a faithful picture, but likewise human documents that may be relied upon.
~ Henryk Sienkiewicz ~
Faith is believing what you know ain't so.
~ Mark Twain ~
~ Following the Equator ~

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

  • When one has once fully entered the realm of love, the world — no matter how imperfect — becomes rich and beautiful, it consists solely of opportunities for love. ~ Søren Kierkegaard, The Works of Love

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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.
An averaging of the rankings provided to each suggestion produces it’s general ranking in considerations for selection of Quote of the Day. The selections made are usually chosen from the top ranked options existing on the page, but the provision of highly ranked late additions, especially in regard to special events (most commonly in regard to the deaths of famous people, or other major social or physical occurrences), always remain an option for final selections.
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Out of love, God becomes man. He says: "See, here is what it is to be a human being. -- Søren Kierkegaard, The Sickness unto Death

  • 3 Aphaia 09:12, 4 May 2007 (UTC)
  • 3 InvisibleSun 11:27, 4 May 2007 (UTC)
  • 3 Kalki 15:26, 4 May 2007 (UTC) with a lean toward 4.
  • 1 Zarbon 04:56, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced. -- Søren Kierkegaard

  • 3 Aphaia 09:12, 4 May 2007 (UTC)
  • Comment: I'm in the middle of finding sources for the unsourced quotes on the Kierkegaard page. This unsourced quote is one of a number of variants, including "Life is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived," "Life is not mystery to be solved, but a reality to be experienced", and all the other permutations of the same. Although the quote is most frequently attributed to Kierkegaard, I haven't yet found a source for it and would hesitate to recommend it unless it was sourced. Other people are also attributed with the quote: one of them, J.J. van der Leeuw, is the only person so far to whom I can trace it, as seen here in a book dated 1928. - InvisibleSun 11:27, 4 May 2007 (UTC)
  • I HOPE it originated with Kierkegaard, because it is so widely attributed I used a variant of it already: "Life is a mystery to be lived, not a problem to be solved" on 17 August 2004. ~ Kalki 15:26, 4 May 2007 (UTC)
  • 2 Zarbon 04:56, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it. --Karl Marx, "Theses on Feuerbach". (also born on May 5)

  • 3 Aphaia 09:12, 4 May 2007 (UTC)
  • 3 InvisibleSun 11:27, 4 May 2007 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 23:32, 4 May 2009 (UTC) * 3 Kalki 15:26, 4 May 2007 (UTC) with a lean toward 3 or even 4.
  • 2 Zarbon 04:56, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

History is not like some individual person, which uses men to achieve its ends. History is nothing but the actions of men in pursuit of their ends. ~ Karl Marx (born May 5, 1818)

  • 3 InvisibleSun 11:27, 4 May 2007 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 23:32, 4 May 2009 (UTC) * 3 Kalki 15:26, 4 May 2007 (UTC)
  • 3 Aphaia 16:06, 4 May 2007 (UTC)
  • 2 Zarbon 04:56, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Think of the 40 years of confrontation. What is it we gained?...The old style has exposed itself: it is fruitless. ~ Sergei Akhromeyev (born May 5)

  • 3 Zarbon 06:37, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
    • Source: The New York Times, "Mr. Darman's Sermon" July 29, 1989
  • 1 This is an unsourced quote. It is also not clear what it refers to: the Cold War, presumably, but a reader shouldn't have to guess at this meaning out of context. - InvisibleSun 08:10, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 1 Kalki 12:50, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

Poor nations which loves more freedom than motherland. ~ Henryk Sienkiewicz

  • 3 Zarbon 06:01, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
  • 0 Kalki 12:50, 3 May 2009 (UTC) this is seems to be a very poor translation of an unsourced statement.

It is subjectivity that Christianity is concerned with, and it is only in subjectivity that its truth exists, if it exists at all; objectively, Christianity has no existence. ~ Søren Kierkegaard in Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Philosophical Fragments

  • 3 Kalki 21:34, 4 May 2009 (UTC) 4 Kalki 22:44, 3 May 2009 (UTC) with a very strong lean toward 4; this is both perplexing and startling to the casual thinker, and profound in its implications as to the actual reality of Love, Truth, the Beauty that arises through both, and all the subjective emotions, which do not "exist" at all merely "objectively" and cannot, any more than Life itself can, or Awareness itself can, or Reality itself can. I would prefer the statement far more strongly if the more general term "Religion" were used, but in quoting Kierkegaard, he generally used the more specific though still diversely understood term "Christianity."
  • 3 InvisibleSun 23:05, 4 May 2009 (UTC)