Many / One

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

1 "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."

2 "Human kingdoms are established by divine providence." St. Augustine

3 "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,"

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

5 "Man dies in the flesh to be reborn in the spirit. Man, composite of soul and body, perishes as do all things which are subject to dissolution; but the soul itself, a simple spiritual substance, is immortal, living on after its union with the body is dissolved."

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

7 "Charity, according to its very nature, causes peace; for love is a unitive force." Thomas Aquinas

8 "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.'"

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

10 "From self-evident propositions, by necessary consequences, as incontestible as those in mathematics, the measures of right and wrong might be made out, to any one that will apply himself with the same indifferency and attention to the one as he does to the other of these sciences." John Locke (1629-1695)

11 "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."

12 "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'

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

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

15 "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

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

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

18 "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

19 "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."

20 "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

21 "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."

22 "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."

23 "In the realm of Being, the trace of The One establishes reality: existence is a trace of The One." Plotinus

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

25 "Although the essences or forms of things are many, yet the truth of the divine intellect is one." Thomas Aquinas

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite