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"Voters, activists, and political leaders of the present day are in the position of medieval doctors. They hold simple, pre-scientific theories about the workings of society and the causes of social problems, from which they derive a variety of remedies – almost all of which prove either ineffectual or harmful. Society is a complex mechanism whose repair, if possible at all, would require a precise and detailed understanding of a kind that no one today possesses."

— Michael Huemer

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"Man cannot remake himself without suffering, for he is both the marble and the sculptor."

— Dr. Alexis Carrel

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"Some good must come by clinging to the right. Conscience is a man’s compass, and though the needle sometimes deviates, though one often perceives irregularities in directing one’s course by it, still one must try to follow its direction."

— Vincent van Gogh

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"If you keep your sword drawn and wield it about then no one will dare approach you and you will have no allies. But if you never draw it, it will dull and rust and people will assume that you are feeble."

— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

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"Dependence breeds hatred. Only free men can afford to be benevolent. Only free men can love and respect one another.
[…]
What greater wealth is there than to own your life and to spend it on growing? Every living thing must grow. It can’t stand still. It must grow or perish."

— Ayn Rand

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"Rationality is man’s basic virtue, the source of all his other virtues."

— Ayn Rand

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"A warrior is worthless unless he rises above others and stands strong in the midst of a storm."

— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

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"A man can be himself only so long as he is alone; and if he does not love solitude, he will not love freedom; for it is only when he is alone that he is really free.
[…]
Almost all of our sorrows spring out of our relations with other people. There is no more mistaken path to happiness than worldliness.
[…]
It is difficult to find happiness within oneself, but it is impossible to find it anywhere else.
[…]
Great men are like eagles, and build their nest on some lofty solitude.
[…]
Rascals are always sociable, and the chief sign that a man has any nobility in his character is the little pleasure he takes in others company."

— Schopenhauer

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"To be independent of public opinion is the first formal condition of achieving anything great."

— Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

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"I feel a certain calm. There is safety in the midst of danger. What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?
[…]
When we are working at a difficult task and strive after a good thing, we are fighting a righteous battle, the direct reward of which is that we are kept from much evil. As we advance in life it becomes more and more difficult, but in fighting the difficulties the inmost strength of the heart is developed."

— Vincent van Gogh

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"For he that does good, having the unlimited power to do evil, deserves praise not only for the good which he performs, but for the evil which he forbears."

— Sir Walter Scott

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"Truth often suffers more by the heat of its defenders than from the arguments of its opposers."

— William Penn

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"Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol, morphine or idealism."

— Carl Jung

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"Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.
[…]
Scholars are those who have read in books, but thinkers, men of genius, world-enlighteners, and reformers of the human race are those who have read directly in the book of the world."

— Schopenhauer

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"Be fearful only of thyself, and stand in awe of none more than thine own conscience."

— Robert Burton