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Reinhold Niebuhr Quotes
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Reinhold Niebuhr Quote: “The prophet himself stands under the judgment which he preaches. If he does not know that, he is a false prophet.”
Reinhold Niebuhr Quote: “History is a realm in which human freedom and natural necessity are curiously intermingled.”
Reinhold Niebuhr Quote: “The dimension of depth in the consciousness of religion creates the tension between what is and what ought to be. It bends the bow from which every arrow of moral action flies.”
Reinhold Niebuhr Quote: “The essence of man is his freedom. Sin is committed in that freedom. Sin can therefore not be attributed to a defect in his essence. It can only be understood as a self-contradiction, made possible by the fact of his freedom but not following necessarily from it.”
Reinhold Niebuhr Quote: “All social cooperation on a larger scale than the most intimate social group requires a measure of coercion.”
Reinhold Niebuhr Quote: “Religion is so frequently a source of confusion in political life, and so frequently dangerous to democracy, precisely because it introduces absolutes into the realm of relative values.”
Reinhold Niebuhr Quote: “Faith is the final triumph over incongruity, the final assertion of the meaningfulness of existence.”
Reinhold Niebuhr Quote: “What is funny about us is precisely that we take ourselves too seriously.”
Reinhold Niebuhr Quote: “The mastery of nature is vainly believed to be an adequate substitute for self mastery.”
Reinhold Niebuhr Quote: “Better not read books in which you make acquaintance of the devil.”
Reinhold Niebuhr Quote: “The more complex the world situation becomes, the more scientific and rational analysis you have to have, the less you can do with simple good will and sentiment.”
Reinhold Niebuhr Quote: “To the end of history, social orders will probably destroy themselves in an effort to prove they are indestructible.”
Reinhold Niebuhr Quote: “Every experience proves that the real problem of our existence lies in the fact that we ought to love one another, but do not.”
Reinhold Niebuhr Quote: “I thank heaven I have often had it in my power to give help and relief, and this is still my greatest pleasure. If I could choose my sphere of action now, it would be that of the most simple and direct efforts of this kind.”
Reinhold Niebuhr Quote: “Men have never been individually self-sufficient.”
Reinhold Niebuhr Quote: “Since the survival impulse in nature is transmuted into two different and contradictory spiritualized forms, which we may briefly designate as the will-to-live-truly and the will-to-power, man is at variance with himself. The power of the second impulse places him more fundamentally in conflict with his fellowman than democratic liberalism realizes.”
Reinhold Niebuhr Quote: “We have previously suggested that philanthropy combines genuine pity with the display of power and that the latter element explains why the powerful are more inclined to be generous than to grant social justice.”
Reinhold Niebuhr Quote: “The significance of the law of love is precisely that it is not just another law, but a law which transcends all law.”
Reinhold Niebuhr Quote: “The tendency to claim God as an ally for our partisan value and ends is the source of all religious fanaticism.”
Reinhold Niebuhr Quote: “Civilization depends upon the vigorous pursuit of the highest values by people who are intelligent enough to know that their values are qualified by their interests and corrupted by their prejudices.”
Reinhold Niebuhr Quote: “It is significant that it is as difficult to get charity out of piety as to get reasonableness out of rationalism.”
Reinhold Niebuhr Quote: “Evil is not to be traced back to the individual but to the collective behavior of humanity.”
Reinhold Niebuhr Quote: “Our age knows nothing but reaction, and leaps from one extreme to another.”
Reinhold Niebuhr Quote: “We don’t properly discriminate. We never discriminate properly when we’re dealing with another group and one of the big problems about religion is that religious people don’t know that they are probably as flagrant in these misjudgments as irreligious people.”
Reinhold Niebuhr Quote: “Man is both strong and weak, both free and bound, both blind and far-seeing. He stands at the juncture of nature and spirit; and is involved in both freedom and necessity.”
Reinhold Niebuhr Quote: “As racial, economic and national groups, they take for themselves, whatever their power can command.”
Reinhold Niebuhr Quote: “Despotism, which we regard with abhorrence, is rather too plausible in decaying feudal, agrarian, pastoral societies. That’s why we must expect to have many a defeat before we’ll have an ultimate victory in this contest with Communism.”
Reinhold Niebuhr Quote: “The recalcitrant forces in the historical drama have a power and persistence beyond our reckoning.”
Reinhold Niebuhr Quote: “We have, on the whole, more liberty and less equality than Russia has. Russia has less liberty and more equality. Whether democracy should be defined primarily in terms of liberty or equality is a source of unending debate.”
Reinhold Niebuhr Quote: “Family life is too intimate to be preserved by the spirit of justice. It can be sustained by a spirit of love which goes beyond justice.”
Reinhold Niebuhr Quote: “Perhaps the most significant moral characteristic of a nation is its hypocrisy.”
Reinhold Niebuhr Quote: “Reason tends to check selfish impulses and to grant the satisfaction of legitimate impulses in others.”
Reinhold Niebuhr Quote: “The whole art of politics consists in directing rationally the irrationalities of men.”
Reinhold Niebuhr Quote: “There is no cure for the pride of a virtuous nation but pure religion.”
Reinhold Niebuhr Quote: “It is the evil in man that makes democracy necessary, and man’s belief in justice that makes democracy possible.”
Reinhold Niebuhr Quote: “A republic properly understood is a sovereignty of justice, in contradistinction to a sovereignty of will.”
Reinhold Niebuhr Quote: “If we survive danger it steels our courage more than anything else.”
Reinhold Niebuhr Quote: “Our dreams of a pure virtue are dissolved in a situation in which it is possible to exercise the virtue of responsibility toward a community of nations only by courting the prospective guilt of the atomic bomb.”
Reinhold Niebuhr Quote: “Religion, declares the modern man, is consciousness of our highest social values. Nothing could be further from the truth. True religion is a profound uneasiness about our highest social values.”
Reinhold Niebuhr Quote: “Even as rigorous a determinist as Karl Marx, who at times described the social behaviour of the bourgeoisie in terms which suggested a problem in social physics, could subject it at other times to a withering scorn which only the presupposition of moral responsibility could justify.”
Reinhold Niebuhr Quote: “There are historic situations in which refusal to defend the inheritance of a civilization, however imperfect, against tyranny and aggression may result in consequences even worse than war.”
Reinhold Niebuhr Quote: “A wise architect observed that you could break the laws of architectural art provided you had mastered them first. That would apply to religion as well as to art. Ignorance of the past does not guarantee freedom from its imperfections.”
Reinhold Niebuhr Quote: “I think I should know how to educate a boy, but not a girl; I should be in danger of making her too learned.”
Reinhold Niebuhr Quote: “I think there ought to be a club in which preachers and journalists could come together and have the sentimentalism of the one matched with the cynicism of the other. That ought to bring them pretty close to the truth.”
Reinhold Niebuhr Quote: “To be religious is not to feel, but to be.”
Reinhold Niebuhr Quote: “There is no deeper pathos in the spiritual life of man than the cruelty of righteous people. If any one idea dominates the teachings of Jesus, it is his opposition to the self-righteousness of the righteous.”
Reinhold Niebuhr Quote: “Democracies are indeed slow to make war, but once embarked upon a martial venture are equally slow to make peace and reluctant to make a tolerable, rather than a vindictive, peace.”
Reinhold Niebuhr Quote: “It is my strong conviction that a realist conception of human nature should be made a servant of an ethic of progressive justice and should not be made into a bastion of conservatism, particularly a conservatism which defends unjust privileges.”
Reinhold Niebuhr Quote: “For man as an historical creature has desires of indeterminate dimensions.”
Reinhold Niebuhr Quote: “All men are naturally included to obscure the morally ambiguous element in their political cause by investing it with religious sanctity.”
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