A young man before he leaves the shelter of his father's house, and the guard of a tutor, should be fortify'd with resolution, and made acquainted with men, to secure his virtues, lest he should be led into some ruinous course, or fatal precipice, before he is sufficiently acquainted with the dangers of conversation, and his steadiness enough not to yield to every temptation.
A young man before he leaves the shelter of his father's house, and the guard of a tutor, should be fortify'd with resolution, and made acquainted with men, to secure his virtues, lest he should be led into some ruinous course, or fatal precipice, before he is sufficiently acquainted with the dangers of conversation, and his steadiness enough not to yield to every temptation.john locke
Most of us stand poised at the edge of brilliance, haunted by the knowledge of our proximity, yet still demonstrably on the wrong side of the line, our dealings with reality undermined by a range of minor yet critical psychological flaws (a little too much optimism, an unprocessed rebelliousness, a fatal impatience or sentimentality). We are like an exquisite high-speed aircraft which for lack of a tiny part is left stranded beside the runway, rendered slower than a tractor or bicycle.Alain de Botton
Man is naturally self-centered and he is inclined to regard expediency as the supreme standard for what is right and wrong. However, we must not convert an inclination into an axiom that just as man's perceptions cannot operate outside time and space, so his motivations cannot operate outside expediency; that man can never transcend his own self. The most fatal trap into which thinking may fall is the equation of existence and expediency.abraham joshua heschel
Dissimulation in youth is the forerunner of perfidy in old age; its first appearance is the fatal omen of growing depravity and future shame.Hugh Blair, p. 242. (Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895))
Man is his own star, and the soul that can Render an honest and a perfect man Commands all light, all influence, all fate. Nothing to him falls early, or too late. Our acts our angels are, or good or ill, Our fatal shadows that walk by us still.Epilogue. Compare: "Every man hath a good and a bad angel attending on him in particular all his life long", Robert Burton, Anatomy of Melancholy, part i. sect. 2, memb. 1, subsect. 2.
In the social equation, the value of a single life is nil; in the cosmic equation, it is infinite... Not only communism, but any political movement which implicitly relies on purely utilitarian ethics, must become a victim to the same fatal error. It is a fallacy as naïve as a mathematical teaser, and yet its consequences lead straight to Goya's Disasters, to the reign of the guillotine, the torture chambers of the Inquisition, or the cellars of the Lubianka.Arthur Koestler
The decadent writer writes shamelessly of himself, convinced that his life is special enough to impress those who have ... made miserable by frankness , his handsome condescension , his elitism, and his perfect lack of candor were fatal gifts, ...The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, in The Devil's Advocates: Decadence in Modern Literature, p.52
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