Felix Adler (August 13, 1851 – April 24, 1933) was a German American
professor of political and social ethics, rationalist, popular lecturer,
religious leader and social reformer who founded the Ethical Culture
here for full Wikipedia article)
An anxious unrest, a fierce craving desire for gain has taken possession
of the commercial world, and in instances no longer rare the most
precious and permanent goods of human life have been madly sacrificed in
the interests of momentary enrichment.
By ceaseless efforts to live the good life we maintain our moral sanity.
Not from without, but from within, flow the divine waters that renew the
In a country of such recent civilization as ours, whose almost limitless
treasures of material wealth invite the risks of capital and the
industry of labor, it is but natural that material interests should
absorb the attention of the people to a degree elsewhere unknown.
It has been said that the modern world is divided between the hot and
hasty pursuit of affairs in the hours of labor, and the no less eager
chase of pleasure in the hours of leisure. But even our pleasures are
calculated and business like. We measure our enjoyments by the sum
expended. Our salons are often little better than bazaars of fashion.
It may be impossible for a man by merely willing it to add wings to his
body, but it is possible for any man, by merely willing it, to add wings
to his soul. This perennial miracle of the moral nature is capable of
happening at any time.
Let us found religion upon a basis of perfect intellectual honesty.
Religion, if it is to mean anything at all, must stand for the highest
truth. How then can the cause of truth be served by the sacrifice, more
or less disguised, of one's intellectual convictions?
Love is the expansion of two natures in such fashion that each include
the other, each is enriched by the other.
Love of country is like love of woman- he loves her best who seeks to
bestow on her the highest good.
Man is like a tree, with the mighty trunk of intellect, the spreading
branches of imagination, and the roots of the lower instincts that bind
him to the earth. The moral life, however, is the fruit he bears; in it
his true nature is revealed.
No religion can long continue to maintain its purity when the church
becomes the subservient vassal of the state.
Simplicity should not be identified with bareness.
The condition of all progress is experience. We go wrong a thousand
times before we find the right path.
The family is the school of duties- founded on love.
The freedom of thought is a sacred right of every individual man, and
diversity will continue to increase with the progress, refinement, and
differentiation of the human intellect.
The hero is one who kindles a great light in the world, who sets up
blazing torches in the dark streets of life for men to see by.
The moral improvement of the nations and their individual components has
not kept pace with the march of intellect and the advance of industry.
The office of the public teacher is an unenviable and thankless one.
The past speaks to us in a thousand voices, warning and comforting,
animating and stirring to action.
The right for the right's sake is the motto which everyone should take
for his own life.
The Supreme Ethical Rule: Act So As To Elicit the Best In Others and
Thereby In Thy Self.
The symbols of religion are ciphers of which the key is to be found in
moral experience. It is in vain we pore over the ciphers unless we
possess the key.
The vice that underlies all vices is that we are held cheap by others,
and far worse, that in our innermost soul we think cheaply of ourselves.
The world is dark around us and the prospect seems deepening in gloom.
and yet there is light ahead
Theories of what is true have their day. They come and go, leave their
deposit in the common stock of knowledge, and are supplanted by other
more convincing theories.
There is a great and crying evil in modern society. It is want of
purpose. It is that narrowness of vision which shuts out the wider
vistas of the soul. It is the absence of those sublime emotions which,
wherever they arise, do not fall to exalt and consecrate existence.
There may be, and there ought to be, progress in the moral sphere. The
moral truths which we have inherited from the past need to be expanded
We have already transgressed the limit of safety, and the present
disorders of our time are but precursors of other and imminent dangers.
We should teach our children nothing which they shall ever need to
unlearn; we should strive to transmit to them the best possessions, the
truest thought, the noblest sentiments of the age in which we live.
When the light of the sun shines through a prism it is broken into
beautiful colours, and when the prism is shattered, still the light
Where the roots of private virtue are diseased, the fruit of public
probity cannot but be corrupt.
(August 13 is also the birthday of Alfred
Quotes of the day
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