October 16, 2009

“The moral equivalent of war”


“What we now need to discover in the social realm is the moral equivalent of war; something heroic that will speak to man as universally as war does, and yet will be as compatible with their spiritual selves as war has proved to be incompatible.”
       William James (1842-1910)
       American psychologist and philosopher
       The Will to Believe (1897)


“Remember...how Jimmy Carter asked Americans to respond to a mere rise in the price of crude oil with ‘the moral equivalent of war’? What were we supposed to do, shame the gas attendant to death?”
       P.J. O'Rourke (b. 1947)
       American journalist, author and political satirist
       All the Trouble in the World (1994)


“The bombers of Manhattan represent fascism with an Islamic face, and there's no point in any euphemism about it...Loose talk about chickens coming home to roost is the moral equivalent of the hateful garbage emitted by Falwell and Robertson, and exhibits about the same intellectual content.”
       Christopher Hitchens (b. 1949)
       British-born American journalist and social critic
       Talking about people who tried to justify the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks
       In his column in The Nation, Oct. 8, 2001


“This is the moral equivalent of an abusive guy who puts his wife in the hospital and then gets mad at the doctors who can’t send her home as soon as they had hoped.”
       Howard Dean (b. 1948)
       Democratic Party leader
       Talking about Republicans who attack President Barack Obama's economic stimulus plan
       July 29, 2009, on MSNBC's Countdown show

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