Piety Quotes

Quotes tagged as "piety" (showing 1-30 of 52)
Baruch Spinoza
“Those who wish to seek out the cause of miracles and to understand the things of nature as philosophers, and not to stare at them in astonishment like fools, are soon considered heretical and impious, and proclaimed as such by those whom the mob adores as the interpreters of nature and the gods. For these men know that, once ignorance is put aside, that wonderment would be taken away, which is the only means by which their authority is preserved.”
Baruch Spinoza, Ethics

Robert A. Heinlein
“Goodness without wisdom always accomplishes evil.”
Robert A. Heinlein

George Santayana
“My atheism, like that of Spinoza, is true piety towards the universe and denies only gods fashioned by men in their own image, to be servants of their human interests.”
George Santayana, Soliloquies in England & Later Soliloquies

Noam Chomsky
“Since Jimmy Carter, religious fundamentalists play a major role in elections. He was the first president who made a point of exhibiting himself as a born again Christian. That sparked a little light in the minds of political campaign managers: Pretend to be a religious fanatic and you can pick up a third of the vote right away. Nobody asked whether Lyndon Johnson went to church every day. Bill Clinton is probably about as religious as I am, meaning zero, but his managers made a point of making sure that every Sunday morning he was in the Baptist church singing hymns.”
Noam Chomsky

Jorge Luis Borges
“He was very religious; he believed that he had a secret pact with God which exempted him from doing good in exchange for prayers and piety.”
Jorge Luis Borges, The Aleph and Other Stories

Gerhard O. Forde
“As sinners we are like addicts - addicted to ourselves and our own projects. The theology of glory simply seeks to give those projects eternal legitimacy. The remedy for the theology of glory, therefore, cannot be encouragement and positive thinking, but rather the end of the addictive desire. Luther says it directly: "The remedy for curing desire does not lie in satisfying it, but in extinguishing it." So we are back to the cross, the radical intervention, end of the life of the old and the beginning of the new.

Since the theology of glory is like addiction and not abstract doctrine, it is a temptation over which we have no control in and of ourselves, and from which we must be saved. As with the addict, mere exhortation and optimistic encouragement will do no good. It may be intended to build up character and self-esteem, but when the addict realizes the impossibility of quitting, self-esteem degenerates all the more. The alcoholic will only take to drinking in secret, trying to put on the facade of sobriety. As theologians of glory we do much the same. We put on a facade of religious propriety and piety and try to hide or explain away or coddle our sins....

As with the addict there has to be an intervention, an act from without. In treatment of alcoholics some would speak of the necessity of 'bottoming out,' reaching the absolute bottom where one can no longer escape the need for help. Then it is finally evident that the desire can never be satisfied, but must be extinguished. In matters of faith, the preaching of the cross is analogous to that intervention. It is an act of God, entirely from without. It does not come to feed the religious desires of the Old Adam and Eve but to extinguish them. They are crucified with Christ to be made new.”
Gerhard O. Forde, On Being a Theologian of the Cross: Reflections on Luther's Heidelberg Disputation, 1518

Francis Bacon
“Atheism leaves a man to sense, to philosophy, to natural piety, to laws, to reputation; all which may be guides to an outward moral virtue, though religion were not; but superstition dismounts all these, and erecteth an absolute monarchy in the minds of men. Therefore atheism did never perturb states; for it makes men wary of themselves, as looking no further: and we see the times inclined to atheism (as the time of Augustus Cæsar) were civil times. But superstition hath been the confusion of many states, and bringeth in a new primum mobile, that ravisheth all the spheres of government. The master of superstition is the people; and in all superstition wise men follow fools; and arguments are fitted to practice, in a reversed order.”
Francis Bacon

Shannon L. Alder
“I am not perfect, but if I looked perfect to everyone I must have been rocking imperfect perfectly to a few imperfect souls that seek imperfection vs. perfection, in an imperfect world where God asks us to seek perfection for our imperfect souls.”
Shannon L. Alder

E.M. Bounds
“Short devotions are the bane of deep piety. Calmness, grasp, strength, are never the companions of hurry.”
E.M. Bounds, Power Through Prayer

Stephen Batchelor
“[Mindfulness] is not concerned with anything transcendent or divine. It serves as an antidote to theism, a cure for sentimental piety, a scalpel for excising the tumor of metaphysical belief. (130)”
Stephen Batchelor, Confession of a Buddhist Atheist

Tom Robbins
“Very well. He'd lighten up. As a matter of fact, he felt as light as the bubbly froth that flew from the lips of the waves. Whatever else his long, unprecedented life might have been, it had been fun. Fun! If others should find that appraisal shallow, frivolous, so be it. To him, it seemed now to largely have been some form of play. And he vowed that in the future he would strive to keep that sense of play more in mind, for he'd grown convinced that play--more than piety, more than charity or vigilance--was what allowed human beings to transcend evil.”
Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume

Christopher Hitchens
“The forces of piety have always and everywhere been the sworn enemy of the open mind and the open book.”
Christopher Hitchens, Letters to a Young Contrarian

Frank McCourt
“Limerick gained a reputation for piety, but we knew it was only the rain.”
Frank McCourt, Angela's Ashes

Christopher Hitchens
“I, for example, recently finished writing an article about the latest wave of “home-grown” Islamic suicide-murderers. It was impossible not to notice one thing that their profiles and Web sites had in common. All of them complained about the impossibility of finding a woman, or sometimes a woman of sufficient piety. Meanwhile their public propaganda was hot with disgust and indignation at the phenomenon of female inchastity. The connection between repression and orgasmically violent action appeared woefully evident.”
Christopher Hitchens, Civilization and Its Discontents

Friedrich Schleiermacher
“Belief must be something different from a mixture of opinions about God and the world, and of precepts for one life or for two. Piety cannot be an instinct craving for a mess of metaphysical and ethical crumbs.”
Friedrich Schleiermacher, On Religion: Speeches to Its Cultured Despisers

“The hermit keeps a window open onto the sky, without which the world would perish from suffocation, ugliness and boredom. He is the only one, along with the poet, who still speaks the language of the beyond, who makes existence sacred, who gives life this verticality without which humanity is buffeted about beneath itself. He is a rampart against the assaults of mediocrity, nastiness, hatred that is intolerant of its opposite. He is this force, made out of weakness, that warms the atmosphere, melts the winter of the world. For men turned toward secondary things, his presence recalls the existence of the essential things: the order of the world, knowledge, the priority of salvation and the adoration of the Supreme, by imitating the sunflower whose heliotropism has much to teach us, who never turns away from the trisolar brightness. Model and prototype, the hermit represents, in a chaotic and dehumanized world, a final landmark, an ultimate axis for reference. He allows man to remain standing by recalling the Absolute; when deprived of the Totality, man becomes totalitarian by compensation.”
Jean Biès

Idries Shah
“Saying of the Prophet
Humility
Humility and courtesy are themselves a part of piety.”
Idries Shah, Caravan of Dreams

Natsume Sōseki
“My love for her was close to piety. You may think it strange that I should use this word, with its religious connotation, to describe my feeling towards a woman. But even now I believe—and I believe it very strongly—that true love is not so far removed from religious faith.”
Natsume Sōseki, Kokoro

Bernard Lewis
“It is often said that Islam is an egalitarian religion. There is much truth in this assertion. If we compare Islam at the time of its advent with the societies that surrounded it—the stratified feudalism of Iran and the caste system of India to the east, the privileged aristocracies of both Byzantine and Latin Europe to the west—the Islamic dispensation does indeed bring a message of equality. Not only does Islam not endorse such systems of social differentiation; it explicitly and resolutely rejects them. The actions and utterances of the Prophet, the honored precedents of the early rulers of Islam as preserved by tradition, are overwhelmingly against privilege by descent, by birth, by status, by wealth, or even by race, and insist that rank and honor are determined only by piety and merit in Islam.”
Bernard Lewis

Richie Norton
“To be humble is to be teachable. Meek, not weak. The most humble people are the most aggressive leaders. Aggressive because to be truly taught, is to sincerely do. To lead. To start. To achieve. Willingly and urgently doing the work to make change.”
Richie Norton

Austin Phelps
“The consciousness of Divine friendship in devotion, so far from being impaired, is deepened by holy veneration. The purest and most lasting human friendships are permeated with an element of reverence; much more this friendship of a man with God.”
Austin Phelps, The Still Hour or Communion With God

“إِنَّهُ مَنْ يَتَّقِ وَيَصْبِرْ فَإِنَّ اللهَ لَا يُضِيعُ أَجْرَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ”
كلام الله

C.J. Sansom
“However much one lacks piety, the atmosphere in a graveyard encourages quiet reflection.”
C.J. Sansom

Aravind Adiga
“The two of them kept an eye open for every tree or temple we passed by, and turned to me for a reaction of piety which I gave them, of course, and with growing elaborateness: first just touching my eye, then my neck, then my clavicle, and even my nipples.
  
They were convinced I was the most religious servant on earth.”
Aravind Adiga, The White Tiger

Hal Duncan
“All prejudice presents itself as piety, propriety.”
Hal Duncan, Rhapsody: Notes on Strange Fictions

“What weighs us down is not gravity! A little force of kindness can decelerate depravity.”
Igbinovia Ixrael Lee

Gabriel Chevallier
“The Curé Noive had a sister who acted as his housekeeper, a lady with a moustache, whose piety was astringent, and who fostered a splenetic God in a heart which was outraged at anything gracious, tender, or lovable that life might offer. There are such cross-grained natures, made spiteful and furious by anything that looks like happiness.”
Gabriel Chevallier, Clochemerle Babylon

Georges Rodenbach
“Is not piety itself passion, but passion ennobled, sanctified? The whole of the Catholic liturgy, with its scenery and props, of which every one is an inspired invention, is enough to satisfy those suffering the obscure torments of a conflict between the ideal and sensuality.”
Georges Rodenbach, Hans Cadzand's Vocation & Other Stories

Jonathan Riley-Smith
“Solemn three-day fasts, which were instituted by Adhemar of Le Puy, were decreed after an earthquake which took place on 30 December 1097, before the battle of Antioch on 28 June 1098, before an ordeal undergone by Peter Bartholomew on 8 April 1099 and before the procession round Jerusalem on 8 July 1099. These fasts certainly made an impression on the crusaders; they could hardly have failed to have done so, since they can only have made their hunger worse. It was reported that during their fast at Antioch Turks came up to walls with loaves of white bread, with which they tempted and mocked the starving men within. The achievement of the crusaders becomes even more remarkable — in fact it is quite incredible - when one considers that soldiers already weakened by starvation, who certainly appreciated die importance of taking food before battle since they took care to give their horses extra rations, deliberately fasted before their more important engagements. One wonders how they managed to fight at all.”
Jonathan Riley-Smith, The First Crusade and the Idea of Crusading

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