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Clarence Darrow

In the great flood of human life that is spawned upon the earth, it is not often that a man is born.
Clarence Darrow life
Liberty is the most jealous and exacting mistress that can beguile the brain and soul of man. She will have nothing from him who will not give her all. She knows that his pretended love serves but to betray. But when once the fierce heat of her quenchless, lustrous eyes has burned into the victim's heart, he will know no other smile but hers.
Clarence Darrow love
With all their faults, trade-unions have done more for humanity than any other organization of men that ever existed. They have done more for decency, for honesty, for education, for the betterment of the race, for the developing of character in man, than any other association of men.
Clarence Darrow education
The objector and the rebel who raises his voice against what he believes to be the injustice of the present and the wrongs of the past is the one who hunches the world along.
Clarence Darrow world
You can only protect your liberties in this world by protecting the other man's freedom. You can only be free if I am free.
Clarence Darrow freedom
The Constitution is a delusion and a snare if the weakest and humblest man in the land cannot be defended in his right to speak and his right to think as much as the strongest in the land.
Clarence Darrow man
I do not consider it an insult, but rather a compliment to be called an agnostic. I do not pretend to know where many ignorant men are sure — that is all that agnosticism means.
Clarence Darrow men
All men do the best they can. But none meet life honestly and few heroically.
Clarence Darrow life
The purpose of life is living. Men and women should get the most they can out of their lives. The smallest, tiniest intellect may be quite as valuable to society as the largest. It may be still more valuable to itself: it may have all the capacity for enjoyment that the wisest has. The purpose of man is like the purpose of the pollywog — to wriggle along as far as he can without dying; or to hang on until death takes him.
Clarence Darrow life
I don't believe in God because I don't believe in .
Clarence Darrow believe
There is no such thing as justice — in or out of court.
Clarence Darrow justice
Chase after the truth like all hell and you’ll free yourself, even though you never touch its coat tails.
Clarence Darrow truth
I feel as I always have, that the earth is the home and the only home of man, and I am convinced that whatever he is to get out of his existence he must get while he is here.
Clarence Darrow art
I am an Agnostic because I am not afraid to think. I am not afraid of any god in the universe who would send me or any other man or woman to hell. If there were such a being, he would not be a god; he would be a devil.
Clarence Darrow god
Do you, good people, believe that Adam and Eve were created in the Garden of Eden and that they were forbidden to eat from the tree of knowledge? I do. The church has always been afraid of that tree. It still is afraid of knowledge. Some of you say religion makes people happy. So does laughing gas. So does whiskey. I believe in the brain of man. I'm not worried about my soul.
Clarence Darrow religion
was the greatest man who ever came out of Plymouth Corner, Vermont.
Clarence Darrow man
When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President. I’m beginning to believe it.
Clarence Darrow believe
History repeats itself. That's one of the things wrong with history.
Clarence Darrow history
I have suffered from being misunderstood, but I would have suffered a hell of a lot more if I had been understood.
Clarence Darrow hell
As long as the world shall last, there will be wrongs, and if no man objected and no man rebelled, those wrongs would last forever.
Clarence Darrow world
Hell, that's why they make erasers.
Clarence Darrow hell
Whenwas born there was really but one church which, of course, was ignorant, tyrannical and barbarous in the extreme. All creeds are alike, and whenever there is but one, and the rulers honestly believe in that one, they are bound to be ignorant, barbarous and cruel. All sorts of heresies were punishable by death. If anyone dared to write a pamphlet or book that questioned any part of the accepted faith, the book was at once consigned to flames and the author was lucky if he did not meet the same fate. Religion was not maintained by the precepts of the priest, but by the prison, the torture chamber and the fagot. Everyone believed; no one questioned. The religious creeds, while strict and barbarous, did not interfere with the personal conduct of any of the rulers. They were left free to act as they pleased, so long as they professed to believe in the prevailing faith.
Clarence Darrow death
Had the modern professors of eugenics had power in France in 1694, they probably would not have permitted such a child to have been born. Their scientific knowledge would have shown conclusively that no person of value could have come from the union of his father and mother. In those days, nature had not been instructed by the professors of eugenics and so Voltaire was born.
Clarence Darrow knowledge
Even Voltaire's father could not make a lawyer out of a genius. To be a good lawyer, one must have a mind and a disposition to venerate the past; a respect for precedents; a belief in the wisdom and the sanctity of the dead. Voltaire had genius, imagination, feeling, and poetry, and these gifts always have been, and always will be, incompatible with the practice of law.
Clarence Darrow wisdom
The usual is always mediocre. When nature takes it into her head to make a man, she fits him with her own equipment and educates him in her own school.
Clarence Darrow nature
Whatever else he was during his life, he was never dull, and the world forgives almost anything but stupidity.
Clarence Darrow life
Voltaire was not the first or last man to convert a prison into a hall of fame. A prison is confining to the body, but whether it affects the mind, depends entirely upon the mind. It was while in prison that he changed his name from the one his father gave him — Arouet — to the one he has made famous throughout all time — Voltaire. He said, "I was very unlucky under my first name. I want to see if this one will succeed any better."
Clarence Darrow time
Pensions are the favors of the powerful, and dangerous to any great intellect. It is only here and there down throughout the ages that a Voltaire is born who does not fall a victim to their blandishments.
Clarence Darrow power
Much of his work he did while confined to his bed. He was always an invalid, always obliged to take great care of himself, living constantly with death just before him, never idle a moment for fear his work would not be done. Probably no man ever lived who assailed the Church and the State with the same wit and keenness that was always at Voltaire's command; and yet in spite of this he managed to live comfortably, accumulate riches and die in peace.
Clarence Darrow death
No iconoclast can possibly escape the severest criticism. If he is poor he is against existing things because he cannot succeed. If he is rich, he is not faithful to his ideals. The world always demands of a prophet a double standard. He must live a life consistent with his dreams, and at the same time must obey the conventions of the world. He cannot be judged either by one or the other, but must be judged by both.
Clarence Darrow life
The truth is always modern and there never comes a time when it is safe to give it voice.
Clarence Darrow truth
There are two things that kill a genius — a fatal disease and contentment. When a man is contented he goes to sleep. Voltaire had no chance to be contented, and so he wrote eternally and unceasingly, more than any other man in the history of the world.
Clarence Darrow history
In Geneva lived . He too was a rebel, mighty in war. Voltaire was keener, wittier, deeper, greater. Rousseau was more fiery, emotional, passionate. Both were really warriors in the same great cause. From their different places, three miles apart, both sent forth their thunderbolts to wake a sleeping world. When the world awakened and shook itself, churches, thrones, institutions, laws, and customs were buried in the wreck. Some charged the wreck to Voltaire, some to Rousseau.
Clarence Darrow war
No doubt there is much immature talking and hasty writing and will always be where liberty of speech and press prevails. The political, religious, and social views of any age and even of the most radical members of society, were born, long before their time. Those who invented the alphabet and the printing press are indirectly responsible for much of the violence of a changing social state; but in the same way, they are responsible for the progress of the world, for the enlightenment, for the civilization, and for all that makes the present better than the past.
Clarence Darrow writing
Valiantly he fought on every intellectual battlefield. True he bowed and dodged and lied over and over again, that he still might live and work. Many of his admirers cannot forgive this in the great Voltaire. Rather they would have had him, likeand , remain steadfast to his faith while his living body was consumed with flames. But, Voltaire was Voltaire, Bruno was Bruno, and Servetus was Servetus. It is not for the world to judge, but to crown them all alike. Each and all lived out their own being, did their work in their own way, and carried a reluctant, stupid humanity to greater possibilities and grander heights.
Clarence Darrow faith
Every government on earth is the personification of violence and force, and yet the doctine of non-resistance is as old as human thought - even more than this, the instinct is as old as life upon the earth. p. 12
Clarence Darrow life
That men should ‘turn the other cheek,’ should ‘love their enemies,’ should ‘resist not evil,’ has ever seemed fine to teach to children, to preach on Sundays, to round a period in a senseless oratorical flight; but it has been taken for granted that these sentiments cannot furnish the real foundation for strong characters or great states. p. 13
Clarence Darrow love
The nation that would to-day disarm its soldiers and turn its people to the paths of peace would accomplish more to its building up than by all the war taxes wrong from its hostile and unwilling serfs. p. 27
Clarence Darrow war
To disband the armies and destroy the forts, to diffuse love and brotherhood, and peace and justice in the place of war and strife, could tend only to the buidling up of character, the elevation of the soul, and the strenght and well-being of the state. p. 39
Clarence Darrow love
No nation can be really great that is held together by Gatling guns, and no true loyalty can be induced and kept through fear. p. 40
Clarence Darrow fear
An agnostic is a doubter. The word is generally applied to those who doubt the verity of accepted religious creeds of faiths. Everyone is an agnostic as to the beliefs or creeds they do not accept. Catholics are agnostic to the Protestant creeds, and the Protestants are agnostic to the Catholic creed. Any one who thinks is an agnostic about something, otherwise he must believe that he is possessed of all knowledge. And the proper place for such a person is in the madhouse or the home for the feeble-minded. In a popular way, in the western world, an agnostic is one who doubts or disbelieves the main tenets of the Christian faith.
Clarence Darrow faith
To say that God made the universe gives us no explanation of the beginnings of things. If we are told that God made the universe, the question immediately arises: Who made God? Did he always exist, or was there some power back of that? Did he create matter out of nothing, or is his existence coextensive with matter? The problem is still there. What is the origin of it all? If, on the other hand, one says that the universe was not made by God, that it always existed, he has the same difficulty to confront. To say that the universe was here last year, or millions of years ago, does not explain its origin. This is still a mystery. As to the question of the origin of things, man can only wonder and doubt and guess.
Clarence Darrow power
Many Christians base the belief of a soul and God upon the Bible. Strictly speaking, there is no such book. To make the Bible, sixty-six books are bound into one volume. These books are written by many people at different times, and no one knows the time or the identity of any author. Some of the books were written by several authors at various times. These books contain all sorts of contradictory concepts of life and morals and the origin of things. Between the first and the last nearly a thousand years intervened, a longer time than has passed since the discovery of America by Columbus.
Clarence Darrow life
One believes in the truthfulness of a man because of his long experience with the man, and because the man has always told a consistent story. But no man has told so consistent a story as nature.
Clarence Darrow truth
Can any rational person believe that the Bible is anything but a human document? We now know pretty well where the various books came from, and about when they were written. We know that they were written by human beings who had no knowledge of science, little knowledge of life, and were influenced by the barbarous morality of primitive times, and were grossly ignorant of most things that men know today.
Clarence Darrow life
Can anyone with intelligence really believe that a child born today should be doomed because the snake tempted Eve and Eve tempted Adam? To believe that is not God-worship; it is devil-worship. Can anyone call this scheme of creation and damnation moral? It defies every principle of morality, as man conceives morality. Can anyone believe today that the whole world was destroyed by flood, save only Noah and his family and a male and female of each species of animal that entered the Ark? There are almost a million species of insects alone. How did Noah match these up and make sure of getting male and female to reproduce life in the world after the flood had spent its force? And why should all the lower animals have been destroyed? Were they included in the sinning of man? This is a story which could not beguile a fairly bright child of five years of age today.
Clarence Darrow life
What of the tale of Balaam's ass speaking to him, probably in Hebrew? Is it true, or is it a fable? Many asses have spoken, and doubtless some in Hebrew, but they have not been that breed of asses. Is salvation to depend on a belief in a monstrosity like this?
Clarence Darrow belief
When every event was a miracle, when there was no order or system or law, there was no occasion for studying any subject, or being interested in anything excepting a religion which took care of the soul. As man doubted the primitive conceptions about religion, and no longer accepted the literal, miraculous teachings of ancient books, he set himself to understand nature. We no longer cure disease by casting out devils.
Clarence Darrow religion
The fear of God is not the beginning of wisdom. The fear of God is the death of wisdom. Skepticism and doubt lead to study and investigation, and investigation is the beginning of wisdom.
Clarence Darrow wisdom
Autobiography is never entirely true. No one can get the right perspective on himself. Every fact is colored by imagination and dream. The young look forth across the sea to a mirage of fairylands filled with hidden treasures; the aged turn to the fading past, and through the mist and haze that veils once familiar scenes, bygone events assume weird and fanciful proportions.
Clarence Darrow imagination
One cannot live through a long stretch of years without forming some philosophy of life. As one journeys along he gains experiences and even some ideas. Accumulated opinions and philosophy may be more important to others than the bare facts about how he lived, so my ambition is not so much to relate the occurrences as to record the ideas that life has forced me to accept; and, after all, thoughts, impressions and feelings are really life itself. I should like to think that these reflections might make existence a trifle easier for some of those who may chance to read this story.
Clarence Darrow life
Ancestors do not mean so much. The rebel who succeeds generally makes it easier for the posterity that follows him; so these descendants are usually contented and smug and soft. Rebels are made from life, not ancestors.
Clarence Darrow life
I have always felt that doubt was the beginning of wisdom, and the fear of God was the end of wisdom.
Clarence Darrow wisdom
Every instinct that is found in any man is in all men. The strength of the emotion may not be so overpowering, the barriers against possession not so insurmountable, the urge to accomplish the desire less keen. With some, inhibitions and urges may be neutralized by other tendencies. But with every being the primal emotions are there. All men have an emotion to kill; when they strongly dislike some one they involuntarily wish he was dead. I have never killed any one, but I have read some obituary notices with great satisfaction.
Clarence Darrow power
I had grown tired of standing in the lean and lonely front line facing the greatest enemy that ever confronted man — public opinion.
Clarence Darrow man
I was truly sorry for Mr. Bryan. But I consoled myself by thinking of the years through which he had busied himself tormenting intelligent professors with impudent questions about their faith, and seeking to arouse the ignoramuses and bigots to drive them out of their positions.
Clarence Darrow faith
History repeats itself, and that's one of the things that's wrong with history.
Clarence Darrow history
I am an agnostic; I do not pretend to know what many ignorant men are sure of.
Clarence Darrow men
True patriotism hates injustice in its own land more than anywhere else.
Clarence Darrow hate
I do not consider it an insult, but rather a compliment to be called an agnostic. I do not pretend to know where many ignorant men are sure - that is all that agnosticism means.
Clarence Darrow men
The only real lawyers are trial lawyers, and trial lawyers try cases to juries.
Clarence Darrow law
You can only protect your liberties in this world by protecting the other man's freedom.
Clarence Darrow freedom
Lost causes are the only ones worth fighting for.
Clarence Darrow fight
The first half of our lives are ruined by our parents and the second half by our children.
Clarence Darrow children
Justice has nothing to do with what goes on in a courtroom; Justice is what comes out of a courtroom.
Clarence Darrow wit
The trouble with law is lawyers.
Clarence Darrow law
I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.
Clarence Darrow man
When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm beginning to believe it.
Clarence Darrow believe
Calvin Coolidge was the greatest man who ever came out of Plymouth Corner, Vermont.
Clarence Darrow man
Chase after the truth like all hell and you'll free yourself, even though you never touch its coat tails.
Clarence Darrow truth
The best that we can do is to be kindly and helpful toward our friends and fellow passengers who are clinging to the same speck of dirt while we are drifting side by side to our common doom.
Clarence Darrow war
The world is made up for the most part of morons and natural tyrants, sure of themselves, strong in their own opinions, never doubting anything.
Clarence Darrow art
I never wanted to see anybody die, but there are a few obituary notices I have read with pleasure.
Clarence Darrow body
The pursuit of truth will set you free; even if you never catch up with it.
Clarence Darrow truth
No other offense has ever been visited with such severe penalties as seeking to help the oppressed.
Clarence Darrow help
I don't like spinach, and I'm glad I don't, because if I liked it I'd eat it, and I just hate it.
Clarence Darrow hate
The law does not pretend to punish everything that is dishonest. That would seriously interfere with business.
Clarence Darrow business
To think is to differ.
Clarence Darrow think
Just think of the tragedy of teaching children not to doubt.
Clarence Darrow children
History repeats itself, and thats one of the things thats wrong with history.
Clarence Darrow history

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