Many / One

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The Great Ideas, A Syntopicon, vol. 1
Mortimer J. Adler, editor

1 "Being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions." John Locke (1629-1695)

2 "The good of nothing less than the whole collectively or of all distributively can be taken as the common or general good."

3 "The ultimate measure of justice in all human institutions and acts, as well as in the characters of men, is not itself a man-made standard, but rather a natural principle of justice, holding for all men at all times everywhere."

4 "As God is the supernatural efficient cause of all created things, so God is also the supernatural final cause – the end or ultimate good toward which all creatures tend." Baruch Spinoza

5 "Nothing is future to God. Everything that has ever happened or ever will is simultaneously together in the eternal present of the divine vision."

6 "The absolute good is, as in the 'Divine Comedy', the final cause or ultimate end of the motions of the universe. It is 'the Alpha and Omega', Dante says, 'of every scripture that Love reads to me.'"

7 "Spinoza defines God as 'Being absolutely infinite, that is to say, substance consisting of infinite attributes, each one of which expresses eternal and infinite essence."

8 "Providence connects each one with its proper order." Boethius, quoted by Thomas Aquinas

9 "Man's nature as a social being tends to make him feel it one of his natural wants that there should be harmony between his feelings and aims and those of his fellow-creatures."

10 "God…is intimately present to our minds, producing in them all that variety of ideas or sensations which continually affect us." George Berkeley (1685-1753), 'The Principles of Human Knowledge'

11 "Only God, only an infinite being, can satisfy man's infinite craving for all the good there is."

12 "The moral law is universally and equally binding on all persons….the moral law commands us to respect the dignity of the human person, ourselves and others alike,"

13 "If we attentively consider the constant regularity, order, and concatenation of natural things, the surprising magnificence, beauty, and perfection of the larger, and the exquisite contrivance of the smaller parts of the creation, together with the exact harmony and correspondence of the whole,….I say if we consider all these things, and at the same time attend to the meaning and import of the attributes, one, eternal, infinitely wise, good, and perfect, we shall clearly perceive that they belong to the Spirit who 'works all in all', and 'by whom all things consist.'" George Berkeley (1685-1745), 'The Principles of Human Knowledge'

14 "Justice is esential to the very life and health of the soul."

15 "Whatever exists...has some share in the effulgent beauty of the One."

16 "In Aristotle's cosmology, the circular motions of the celestial spheres, and through them all other cycles of natural change, are sustained eternally by the prime mover, which moves all things by the attraction of its perfect being."

17 "Whatever the soul possesses, to that she comes bearing life." Socrates, quoted in Plato's 'Phaedo'

18 "The ancients did not doubt that men could choose and, through choice, exercise some control over the disposition of their lives. Tacitus, for example…claims that 'the wisest of the ancients leave us the capacity of choosing our life."

19 "The ancient philosophers, constrained as it were by the truth, when they asserted an infinite principle, asserted likewise that there was only one such principle." Thomas Aquinas

20 "A natural teleology seems to imply that every natural thing is governed by an indwelling form working toward a definite end, and that the whole of nature exhibits the working out of a divine plan or design."

21 "The divine being is all being simultaneously." Thomas Aquinas

22 "Love is all opposites – the only reality."

23 "God is sovranly [sovereignly] present through all. We cannot think of something of God here and something else there,…there is an instantaneous presence everywhere….everything therefore [is] fully held by the divine." Plotinus

24 "In the view of Nicolas of Cusa, the mystery of God's infinity is best expressed by affirming that in God all contradictions are somehow reconciled."

25 "Immortality is, in a way, enjoyed in this life, for it is a present participation in eternity through the mind's knowledge of God."

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite