„Death in anonymity is the ultimate insult to human dignity.“

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Emma Goldman photo

„Its first ethical precept is the identity of means used and aims sought. The ultimate end of all revolutionary social change is to establish the sanctity of human life, the dignity of man, the right of every human being to liberty and wellbeing.“

— Emma Goldman anarchist known for her political activism, writing, and speeches 1869 - 1940
Context: Its first ethical precept is the identity of means used and aims sought. The ultimate end of all revolutionary social change is to establish the sanctity of human life, the dignity of man, the right of every human being to liberty and wellbeing. Unless this be the essential aim of revolution, violent social changes would have no justification. For external social alterations can be, and have been, accomplished by the normal processes of evolution. Revolution, on the contrary, signifies not mere external change, but internal, basic, fundamental change. That internal change of concepts and ideas, permeating ever-larger social strata, finally culminates in the violent upheaval known as revolution.

„But there is no meaning, no dignity, no fulfillment, in the death of a child.“

— Walter M. Miller, Jr. American fiction writer 1923 - 1996
Context: There is a difference between tragedy and blind brutal calamity. Tragedy has meaning, and there is dignity in it. Tragedy stands with its shoulders stiff and proud. But there is no meaning, no dignity, no fulfillment, in the death of a child. "The Will" (1953)

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„Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.“

— Steven Weinberg American theoretical physicist 1933
Address at the Conference on Cosmic Design, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington, D.C. (April 1999) This comment is modified in a later article derived from these talks:

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Germaine Greer photo

„Such art reinforces human dignity.“

— Germaine Greer Australian feminist author 1939
Context: Great art, for those who insist upon this rather philistine concept (as if un-great art were unworthy of even their most casual and ill-informed attention), makes us stand back and admire. It rushes upon us pell-mell like the work of Rubens or Tintoretto or Delacroix, or towers above us. There is of course another aesthetic: the art of a Vermeer or a Braque seeks not to amaze and appal but to invite the observer to come closer, to close with the painting, peer into it, become intimate with it. Such art reinforces human dignity. Chapter V: Dimension (p. 105)

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„Just because the shrewdest lie feels itself inwardly annihilated before the simple truth, and because all the dignity and glory of human nature ultimately depend not on shrewdness but on honesty“

— Theodor Mommsen German classical scholar, historian, jurist, journalist, politician, archaeologist and writer 1817 - 1903
Context: The constitutional struggle was at an end; and that it was so, was proclaimed by Marcus Cato when he fell on his sword at Utica. For many years he had been the foremost man in the struggle of the legitimate republic against its oppressors; he had continued it, long after he had ceased to cherish any hope of victory. But now the struggle itself had become impossible; the republic which Marcus Brutus had founded was dead and never to be revived; what were the republicans now to do on the earth? The treasure was carried off, the sentinels were thereby relieved; who could blame them if they departed? There was more nobility, and above all more judgment, in the death of Cato than there had been in his life. Cato was anything but a great man; but with all that short-sightedness, that perversity, that dry prolixity, and those spurious phrases which have stamped him, for his own and for all time, as the ideal of unreflecting republicanism and the favourite of all who make it their hobby, he was yet the only man who honourably and courageously championed in the last struggle the great system doomed to destruction. Just because the shrewdest lie feels itself inwardly annihilated before the simple truth, and because all the dignity and glory of human nature ultimately depend not on shrewdness but on honesty, Cato has played a greater part in history than many men far superior to him in intellect. It only heightens the deep and tragic significance of his death that he was himself a fool; in truth it is just because Don Quixote is a fool that he is a tragic figure. It is an affecting fact, that on that world-stage, on which so many great and wise men had moved and acted, the fool was destined to give the epilogue. He too died not in vain. It was a fearfully striking protest of the republic against the monarchy, that the last republican went as the first monarch came—a protest which tore asunder like gossamer all that so-called constitutional character with which Caesar invested his monarchy, and exposed in all its hypocritical falsehood the shibboleth of the reconciliation of all parties, under the aegis of which despotism grew up. The unrelenting warfare which the ghost of the legitimate republic waged for centuries, from Cassius and Brutus down to Thrasea and Tacitus, nay, even far later, against the Caesarian monarchy—a warfare of plots and of literature— was the legacy which the dying Cato bequeathed to his enemies. This republican opposition derived from Cato its whole attitude— stately, transcendental in its rhetoric, pretentiously rigid, hopeless, and faithful to death; and accordingly it began even immediately after his death to revere as a saint the man who in his lifetime was not unfrequently its laughing-stock and its scandal. But the greatest of these marks of respect was the involuntary homage which Caesar rendered to him, when he made an exception to the contemptuous clemency with which he was wont to treat his opponents, Pompeians as well as republicans, in the case of Cato alone, and pursued him even beyond the grave with that energetic hatred which practical statesmen are wont to feel towards antagonists opposing them from a region of ideas which they regard as equally dangerous and impracticable. Vol.4. Part 2. The End of the Republic and it's correspondence with the death of Cato.

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„Same-sex marriage, by any name, civil union or otherwise, is the ultimate smashed-mouth in-your-face insult to God Almighty“

— Fred Phelps American pastor and activist 1929 - 2014
Context: Same-sex marriage, by any name, civil union or otherwise, is the ultimate smashed-mouth in-your-face insult to God Almighty, and you think He's going to let England and America and the rest of this evil world get by with it? God Almighty has not joined fags in holy wedlock. God no longer keeps America safe. America is doomed. We're getting the pants beat off of us, in Iraq, in Afghanistan. God is now America's terrorist, that's who Bush is fighting, that's the terrorist that he best be afraid of. You tweaked His nose, you jackass, you tweaked His nose! God put it in your wicked heart to start that war. That's the message we've got at the funerals of these dead soldiers. God duped you into starting a war, so He could punish you. And any preacher preaching it any other way is a lying hell-bound false prophet. So almost eighteen months now and the siege has got people eating their babies, and their small children, and each other! You're going to eat your babies! God Himself duped Bush into a no-win war, and He did that by the technique of putting a lying spirit in the mouth of all his trusted advisers, to punish America. O'Connor, Geoffrey (Director) and Theroux, Louis (Writer). (April 1, 2007). The Most Hated Family in America http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1000764/.

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„That is the ultimate power, to stare death in the face and be unafraid.“

— Orson Scott Card American science fiction novelist 1951
Chapter 11 “Flood” (p. 214).

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George W. Bush photo

„Universal human dignity, that unites our country.“

— George W. Bush 43rd President of the United States 1946

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Hannah Arendt photo

„The concentration camps, by making death itself anonymous (making it impossible to find out whether a prisoner is dead or alive), robbed death of its meaning as the end of a fulfilled life.“

— Hannah Arendt Jewish-American political theorist 1906 - 1975
Context: The concentration camps, by making death itself anonymous (making it impossible to find out whether a prisoner is dead or alive), robbed death of its meaning as the end of a fulfilled life. In a sense they took away the individual’s own death, proving that henceforth nothing belonged to him and he belonged to no one. His death merely set a seal on the fact that he had never existed. Part 3, Ch. 12, § 3.

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