„Religion and natural science are fighting a joint battle in an incessant, never relaxing crusade against scepticism and against dogmatism, against disbelief and against superstition, and the rallying cry in this crusade has always been, and always will be: "On to God!"“

—  Max Planck
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Max Planck1
1858 - 1947

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„Not even the gods fight against necessity.“

—  Simonides of Ceos Ancient Greek musician and poet -556 - -468 a.C.
Quoted by Plato in the dialogue Protagoras, 345d http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0177%3Atext%3DProt.%3Asection%3D345d (Simonides Fr. 37.1.27 ff.). Variant translations: The gods do not fight against necessity. Not even the gods war against necessity. I praise and love all men who do no sin willingly; but with necessity even the gods do not contend.

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„It is harder to fight against pleasure than against anger.“

—  Heraclitus pre-Socratic Greek philosopher -535 - -475 a.C.
As quoted by Aristotle in Nicomachean Ethics, Book II (1105a)


„I heard them cry — the peacocks.
Was it a cry against the twilight
Or against the leaves themselves“

—  Wallace Stevens American poet 1879 - 1955
Context: I heard them cry — the peacocks. Was it a cry against the twilight Or against the leaves themselves Turning in the wind, Turning as the flames Turned in the fire, Turning as the tails of the peacocks Turned in the loud fire, Loud as the hemlocks Full of the cry of the peacocks? Or was it a cry against the hemlocks? "Domination of Black"

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„In this so-called age of technicians, the only battles we know how to fight are battles against windmills.“

—  Simone Weil French philosopher, Christian mystic, and social activist 1909 - 1943
Context: There is no area in our minds reserved for superstition, such as the Greeks had in their mythology; and superstition, under cover of an abstract vocabulary, has revenged itself by invading the entire realm of thought. Our science is like a store filled with the most subtle intellectual devices for solving the most complex problems, and yet we are almost incapable of applying the elementary principles of rational thought. In every sphere, we seem to have lost the very elements of intelligence: the ideas of limit, measure, degree, proportion, relation, comparison, contingency, interdependence, interrelation of means and ends. To keep to the social level, our political universe is peopled exclusively by myths and monsters; all it contains is absolutes and abstract entities. This is illustrated by all the words of our political and social vocabulary: nation, security, capitalism, communism, fascism, order, authority, property, democracy. We never use them in phrases such as: There is democracy to the extent that... or: There is capitalism in so far as... The use of expressions like "to the extent that" is beyond our intellectual capacity. Each of these words seems to represent for us an absolute reality, unaffected by conditions, or an absolute objective, independent of methods of action, or an absolute evil; and at the same time we make all these words mean, successively or simultaneously, anything whatsoever. Our lives are lived, in actual fact, among changing, varying realities, subject to the casual play of external necessities, and modifying themselves according to specific conditions within specific limits; and yet we act and strive and sacrifice ourselves and others by reference to fixed and isolated abstractions which cannot possibly be related either to one another or to any concrete facts. In this so-called age of technicians, the only battles we know how to fight are battles against windmills. p. 222

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„You are either with us or you are against us in the fight against terror.“

—  George W. Bush 43rd President of the United States 1946
Press conference http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2001/11/20011106-4.html, with President Jacques Chirac of France. (November 6, 2001)

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