Refuse Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 746 quotes )
That the Sadian fantasy situates itself better in the bearers of Christian ethics than elsewhere is what our structural landmarks allow us to grasp easily. But that Sade, himself, refuses to be my neighbor, is what needs to be recalled, not in order to refuse it to him in return, but in order to recognize the meaning of this refusal. We believe that Sade is not close enough to his own wickedness to recognize his neighbor in it. A trait which he shares with many, and notably with Freud. For such is indeed the sole motive of the recoil of beings, sometimes forewarned, before the Christian commandment. For Sade, we see the test of this, crucial in our eyes, in his refusal of the death penalty, which history, if not logic, would suffice to show is one of the corollaries of Charity.
I like grit, I like love and death, I'm tired of irony. ... A lot of good fiction is sentimental. ... The novelist who refuses sentiment refuses the full spectrum of human behavior, and then he just dries up. ... I would rather give full vent to all human loves and disappointments, and take a chance on being corny, than die a smartass.
As a cloud crosses the sun, silence falls on London; and falls on the mind. Effort ceases. Time flaps on the mast. There we stop; there we stand. Rigid, the skeleton of habit alone upholds the human frame. Where there is nothing, Peter Walsh said to himself; feeling hollowed out, utterly empty within. Clarissa refused me, he thought. He stood there thinking, Clarissa refused me.
If the demand for self-knowledge is willed by fate and is refused, this negative attitude may end in real death. The demand would not have come to this person had he still been able to strike out on some promising by-path. But he is caught in a blind alley from which only self-knowledge can extricate him. If he refuses this then no other way is left open to him. Usually he is not conscious of his situation, either, and the more unconscious he is the more he is at the mercy of unforeseen dangers: he cannot get out of the way of a car quickly enough, in climbing a mountain he misses his foothold somewhere, out skiing he thinks he can negotiate a tricky slope, and in an illness he suddenly loses the courage to live. The unconscious has a thousand ways of snuffing out a meaningless existence with surprising swiftness.
Look for some peace organization to join. It will look small at first, and pitiful and helpless, but that’s how movements start. That’s how the movement against the Vietnam War started. It started with handfuls of people who thought they were helpless, thought they were powerless. But remember, this power of the people on top depends on the obedience of the people below. When people stop obeying, they have no power. When workers go on strike, huge corporations lose their power. When consumers boycott, huge business establishments have to give in. When soldiers refuse to fight, as so many soldiers did in Vietnam, so many deserters, so many fraggings, acts of violence by enlisted men against officers in Vietnam, B-52 pilots refusing to fly bombing missions anymore, war can’t go on. When enough soldiers refuse, the government has to decide we can’t continue. So, yes, people have the power. If they begin to organize, if they protest, if they create a strong enough movement, they can change things.
Extreme intelligence is accused of being as foolish as extreme lack of it; only moderation is good. The majority have laid this down and attack anyone who deviates from it towards any extreme whatever. I am not going to be awkward, I readily consent to being put in the middle and refuse to be at the bottom end, not because it is the bottom but because it is the end, for I should refuse just as much to be put at the top. It is deserting humanity to desert the middle way. The greatness of the human soul lies in knowing how to keep this course; greatness does not mean going outside it, but rather keeping within it.
Well, do you do that consciously?" Daily Alice asked, only partly of Cloud. "Do what?" Cloud said. "Grow up? No. Well. In a sense. You see it's inevitable, or refuse to. You greet it or don't -- take it in trade, maybe, for all you're going to lose anyway. Or you can refuse, and have what you've got to lose snatched from you, and never take payment -- never see a trade is possible.
Those who refuse His mercy satisfy His justice in another way. Without His mercy, they cannot love Him. Without love for Him they cannot be 'justified' or 'made just'. That is to say: they cannot conform to Him Who is love. Those who have not received His mercy are in a state of injustice with regard to Him. It is their own injustice that is condemned by His justice. And in what does their injustice consist? In the refusal of His mercy. We come, in the end, to this basic paradox: that we owe it to God to receive from Him the mercy that is offered to us in Christ, and that to refuse this mercy is the summation of our 'injustice'. Clearly, then, only the mercy of God can make us just, in this supernatural sense, since the primary demand of God's justice upon us is that we receive His mercy.
We could say that the human race is a great coauthorship in which we are collaborating with God and nature in the making of ourselves and one another. From this there is no escape. We may collaborate either well or poorly or we may refuse to collaborate, but even to refuse to collaborate is to exert an influence and to affect the quality of the product. This is only a way of saying that by ourselves we have no meaning and no dignity; by ourselves we are outside the human definition, outside our identity.
In a language as idiomatically stressed as English, opportunities for misreadings are bound to arise. By a mere backward movement of stress, a verb can become a noun, an act a thing. To refuse, to insist on saying no to what you believe is wrong, becomes at a stroke refuse, an insurmountable pile of garbage.
Unlike any other creature on this planet, human beings can learn and understand without having experienced. They can think themselves into other people? places. Of course, this is a power like my brand of fictional magic that is morally neutral. One might use such a power to manipulate or control, just as much as to understand or sympathize. And many prefer not to exercise their imaginations at all. They choose to remain comfortably within the bounds of their own experience, never troubling to wonder how it would feel to have been born other than they are. They can refuse to hear screams or peer inside cages. They can close their hearts and minds to any suffering that does not touch them personally. They can refuse to know. I might be tempted to envy people who can live that way, except that I do not think that they have any fewer nightmares than I do.
Colorful demonstrations and weekend marches are vital but alone are not powerful enough to stop wars. Wars will be stopped only when soldiers refuse to fight, when workers refuse to load weapons onto ships and aircraft, when people boycott the economic outposts of Empire that are strung across the globe.