Every manwho has seen the world knowsthat nothing is so useless as a general maxim.1st Baron
Ich solle niemals anders verfahren, als so, dass ich auch wollen k o« nne, meine Maxime solle ein allgemeines Gesetz werden. I ought never to act except in such a way that I can also will that my maxim should become a universal law.Immanuel Kant
There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.john adams
There is ... a clever maxim which bears upon what I was saying to you some little while ago, and that is, that unless wicked ideas take root in a naturally depraved mind, human nature, in a [[right] and wholesome state, revolts at crime. Still, from an artificial civilisation have originated wants, vices, and false tastes, which occasionally become so powerful as to stifle within us all good feelings, and ultimately to lead us into guilt and wickedness...alexandre dumas
Settle it therefore in your minds, as a maxim never to be effaced or forgotten, that atheism is an inhuman, bloody, ferocious system, equally hostile to every useful restraint and to every virtuous affection; that, leaving nothing above us to excite awe, nor round us to awaken tenderness, it wages war with heaven and with earth: its first object is to dethrone God, its next to destroy man.robert hall
There is a maxim about the universe which I always tell my students: That which is not explicitly forbidden is guaranteed to occur.lawrence m. krauss
It was a maxim of Pythagoras that the two most excellent things for man were to speak the truth, and to render benefits to each other.Joseph Dame Weeks, History of the Knights of Pythias, with an Account of the Life and Times of Damon and Pythias (1874) Note: The bolded portion of this has sometimes been presented as a quote of Pythagoras, but has not been found in this form in any existing translations of his statements.
In short, let it be your maxim through life, to know all you can know, yourself; and never to trust implicitly to the informations of others.stanhope, philip, 4th earl of chesterfield
It is a maxim universally agreed upon in agriculture, that nothing must be done too late; and again, that everything must be done at its proper season; while there is a third precept which reminds us that opportunities lost can never be regained.Book XVIII, sec. 44. (Naturalis Historia)
As to the doctrine of the Circles it may briefly be summed up in a single maxim, "Attend to your Configuration." Whether political, ecclesiastical, or moral, all their teaching has for its object the improvement of individual and collective Configuration with special reference of course to the Configuration of the Circles, to which all other objects are subordinated. It is the merit of the Circles that they have effectually suppressed those ancient heresies which led men to waste energy and sympathy in the vain belief that conduct depends upon will, effort, training, encouragement, praise, or anything else but Configuration.edwin abbot
May it please your honor, I shall never pay a dollar of your unjust penalty. All the stock in trade I possess is a $10,000 debt, incurred by publishing my paper The Revolution four years ago, the sole object of which was to educate all women to do precisely as I have done, rebel against your man-made, unjust, unconstitutional forms of law, that tax, fine, imprison and hang women, while they deny them the right of representation in the government; and I shall work on with might and main to pay every dollar of that honest debt, but not a penny shall go to this unjust claim. And I shall earnestly and persistently continue to urge all women to the practical recognition of the old revolutionary maxim, that "Resistance to tyranny is obedience to God."susan b. anthony
Might the simple maxim, that honesty is the best policy be laid to heart! Might a sense of the true aims of life elevate the tone of politics and trade, till public and private honor become identical!margaret fuller
I believe the British government forms the best model the world ever produced, and such has been its progress in the minds of the many, that this truth gradually gains ground. This government has for its object public strength and individual security . It is said with us to be unattainable. All communities divide themselves into the few and the many. The first are the rich and well born, the other the mass of the people. The voice of the people has been said to be the voice of God; and however generally this maxim has been quoted and believed, it is not true in fact. The people are turbulent and changing; they seldom judge or determine right. Give therefore to the first class a distinct, permanent share in the government. They will check the unsteadiness of the second, and as they cannot receive any advantage by a change, they therefore will ever maintain good government. Can a democratic assembly, who annually revolve in the mass of the people, be supposed steadily to pursue the public good?Alexander Hamilton
The judiciary of the United States is the subtle corps of sappers and miners constantly working under ground to undermine the foundations of our confederated fabric. They are construing our constitution from a co-ordination of a general and special government to a general and supreme one alone. This will lay all things at their feet, and they are too well versed in English law to forget the maxim, boni judicis est ampliare juris-dictionem. We shall see if they are bold enough to take the daring stride their five lawyers have lately taken. If they do, then, with the editor of our book, in his address to the public, I will say, that "against this every man should raise his voice," and more, should uplift his arm. Who wrote this admirable address? Sound, luminous, strong, not a word too much, nor one which can be changed but for the worse. That pen should go on, lay bare these wounds of our constitution, expose the decisions seriatim, and arouse, as it is able, the attention of the nation to these bold speculators on its patience. Having found, from experience, that impeachment is an impracticable thing, a mere scare-crow, they consider themselves secure for life; they sculk from responsibility to public opinion, the only remaining hold on them, under a practice first introduced into England by Lord Mansfield. An opinion is huddled up in conclave, perhaps by a majority of one, delivered as if unanimous, and with the silent acquiescence of lazy or timid associates, by a crafty chief judge, who sophisticates the law to his mind, by the turn of his own reasoningthomas jefferson
Th. Jefferson returns his thanks to Dr. De La Motta for the eloquent discourse on the Consecration of the Synagogue of Savannah, which he has been so kind as to send him. It excites in him the gratifying reflection that his country has been the first to prove to the world two truths, the most salutary to human society, that man can govern himself, and that religious freedom is the most effectual anodyne against religious dissension: the maxim of civil government being reversed in that of religion, where its true form is "divided we stand, united, we fall."thomas jefferson
I believe it is an established maxim in morals that he who makes an assertion without knowing whether it is true or false, is guilty of falsehood; and the accidental truth of the assertion, does not justify or excuse him.Abraham Lincoln
In time of actual war, great discretionary powers are constantly given to the Executive Magistrate. Constant apprehension of War, has the same tendency to render the head too large for the body. A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence against foreign danger have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people.james madison
John Major: What I don't understand, Michael, is why such a complete wimp like me keeps winning everything. Michael Brunson: You've said it, you said precisely that. Major: I suppose Gus will tell me off for saying that, won't you Gus? Brunson: No, no, no ... it's a fair point. The trouble is that people are not perceiving you as winning. Major: Oh, I know ... why not? Because ... Brunson: Because rotten sods like me, I suppose, don't get the message clear [laughs]. Major: No, no, no. I wasn't going to say that - well partly that, yes, partly because of S-H-one-Ts like you, yes, that's perfectly right. But also because those people who are opposing our European policy have said the way to oppose the Government on the European policy is to attack me personally. The Labour Party started before the last election. It has been picked up and it is just one of these fashionable things that slips into the Parliamentary system and it is an easy way to proceed. Brunson: But I mean you ... has been overshadowed ... my point is there, not just the fact that you have been overshadowed by Maastricht and people don't ... Major: The real problem is this ... Brunson: But you've also had all the other problems on top - the Mellors, the Mates ... and it's like a blanket - you use the phrase 'masking tape' but I mean that's it, isn't it? Major: Even, even, even, as an ex-whip I can't stop people sleeping with other people if they ought not, and various things like that. But the real problem is ... Brunson: I've heard other people in the Cabinet say 'Why the hell didn't he get rid of Mates on Day One?' Mates was a fly, you could have swatted him away. Major: Yeah, well, they did not say that at the time, I have to tell you. And I can tell you what they would have said if I had. They'd have said 'This man was being set up. He was trying to do his job for his constituent. He had done nothing improper, as the Cabinet Secretary told me. It was an act of gross injustice to have got rid of him'. Nobody knew what I knew at the time. But the real problem is that one has a tiny majority. Don't overlook that. I could have all these clever and decisive things that people wanted me to do and I would have split the Conservative Party into smithereens. And you would have said, Aren't you a ham-fisted leader? You've broken up the Conservative Party. Brunson: No, well would you? If people come along and ... Major: Most people in the Cabinet, if you ask them sensibly, would tell you that, yes. Don't underestimate the bitterness of European policy until it is settled - It is settled now. Brunson: Three of them - perhaps we had better not mention open names in this room - perhaps the three of them would have - if you'd done certain things, they would have come along and said, 'Prime Minister, we resign'. So you say 'Fine, you resign'. Major: We all know which three that is. Now think that through. Think it through from my perspective. You are Prime Minister. You have got a majority of 18. You have got a party still harking back to a golden age that never was but is now invented. And you have three rightwing members of the Cabinet actually resigned. What happens in the parliamentary party? Brunson: They create a lot of fuss but you have probably got three damn good ministers in the Cabinet to replace them. Major: Oh, I can bring in other people into the Cabinet, that is right, but where do you think most of this poison has come from? It is coming from the dispossessed and the never-possessed. You and I can both think of ex-ministers who are going around causing all sorts of trouble. Would you like three more of the bastards out there? What's the Lyndon Johnson, er, maxim? Brunson: If you've got them by the balls their hearts and minds will follow. Major: No, that's not what I had in mind, though it's pretty good.john major
Advocates of capitalism are very apt to appeal to the sacred principles of liberty, which are embodied in one maxim: The fortunate must not be restrained in the exercise of tyranny over the unfortunate.bertrand russell
The supreme maxim in scientific philosophising is this: wherever possible, logical constructions are to be substituted for inferred entities.bertrand russell
That it is better 100 guilty Persons should escape than that one innocent Person should suffer, is a maxim that has been long and generally approved; never, that I know of, controverted.Benjamin Franklin
I don't enquire after your Affairs-- --so whatever happens, I wash my hands on't---- It hath always been my Maxim, that one Friend should assist another-- --But if you please----I'll take one of the Scarfs home with me. 'Tis always good to have something in Hand.john gay
Though it is not always of necessity, nor perhaps here, to go upon the original foundation of a right of law, yet I will beg leave to observe, when we apply the maxim, that every man's house is his castle, we mean not to persuade the inhabiter of a poor hut, that it is provided with draw-bridges or portcullises, but only that it is under such sufficient protection as may provide for his security in a more pleasant, or perhaps, a better way that it is fortified by the law.Lord Mansfield, Lee v. Gansell (1774), Lofft. 378.
The well-known maxim that you must not, when you have the choice, elect to use your property so as to cause injury to your neighbour.1Brett, M.R., Whalley v. Lancashire, &c. Rail. Co. (1884), 13 L: R. Q. B. D. 137. 1 The maxim is Sic utere tuo vt alienum non ladat, 9 Rep. 59. See Br, Leg. Max., tith ed., 347.
The Court is not bound to a strictness at once harsh and pedantic in the application of statutes. The law permits the qualification implied in the ancient maxim, de minimis non curat lex. Where there are irregularities of very slight consequence, it does not intend that the infliction of penalties should be inflexibly severe. If the deviation were a mere trifle, which, if continued in practice, would weigh little or nothing on the public interest, it might properly be overlooked.Sir W. Scott, "The Reward" (1820), 2 Dods. Adm. R. 269, 270.
You will remember that Christ said, "Judge not lest ye be judged." That principle I do not think you would find was popular in the law courts of Christian countries. I have known in my time quite a number of judges who were very earnest Christians, and none of them felt that they were acting contrary to Christian principles in what they did. Then Christ says, "Give to him that asketh of thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away." That is a very good principle... Then there is one other maxim of Christ which I think has a great deal in it, but I do not find that it is very popular among some of our Christian friends. He says, "If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that which thou hast, and give to the poor." That is a very excellent maxim, but, as I say, it is not much practised. All these, I think, are good maxims, although they are a little difficult to live up to. I do not profess to live up to them myself; but then, after all, it is not quite the same thing as for a Christian.Bertrand Russell, Why I am not a Christian (1927), "The Character of Christ"
It is a maxim of old that among themselves all things are common to friends.Terence, Adelphoe (The Brothers), Act V, scene 3, line 18 (803).
A certain maxim of Logic which I have called Pragmatism has recommended itself to me for diverse reasons and on sundry considerations.Charles Sanders Peirce (1903) Pragmatism and Pragmaticism. Lecture I : Pragmatism : The Normative Sciences, CP 5.14
The maxim of buying nothing without the money in our pocket to pay for it, would make of our country one of the happiest upon earth. Experience during the war proved this; as I think every man will remember that under all the privations it obliged him to submit to during that period he slept sounder, and awaked happier than he can do now. Desperate of finding relief from a free course of justice, I look forward to the abolition of all credit as the only other remedy which can take place.Thomas Jefferson, letter to Alexander Donald, July 28, 1787. — The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, ed. Julian P. Boyd, vol. 11, p. 633 (1955).
We are firm believers in the maxim that, for all right judgment of any man or thing, it is useful, nay, essential, to see his good qualities before pronouncing on his bad.Thomas Carlyle, Essays, Goethe.