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The spread of civilisation may be likened to a fire; first, a feeble spark, next a flickering flame, then a mighty blaze, ever increasing in speed and power.
It is of first-class importance that our answer to the Riddle of the Sphinx should be in step with how we conduct our civilisation, and this should in turn be in step with the actual workings of living systems.
My own view is that this planet is used as a penal colony, lunatic asylum and dumping ground by a superior civilisation, to get rid of the undesirable and unfit. I can't prove it, but you can't disprove it either.
Environmental activism against the resource industry is widespread all over the world, but at the same time we have to realise that these are basic materials on which civilisation depends. We need to tap natural resources in a sustainable manner.
Winston Churchill aroused this nation in heroic fashion to save civilisation in World War Two. We have everything we need except political will, but political will is a renewable resource.
We face a conflict between civilisation and culture, which used to be on the same side. Civilisation means rational reflection, material wellbeing, individual autonomy and ironic self-doubt; culture means a form of life that is customary, collective, passionate, spontaneous, unreflective and irrational.
You accept that this civilisation could be abolished and life will begin later on after a few thousand years because that is something that has happened in the history of this planet. When you have peace in yourself and accept, then you are calm enough to do something, but if you are carried by despair there is no hope.
Thich Nhat Hanh
I'm considered homophobic and crazy about these things and old fashioned. But I think that the family - father, mother, children - is fundamental to our civilisation.
I love fashion, beauty, glamour. It's the mark of civilisation.
I think it's important to understand that in the big historical context of things, there has been land degradation from civilisation since the beginning of history. I mean, the Rajputana desert in India is a manmade desert caused by overgrazing.
Chinese civilisation is so systematic that wild animals have been abolished on principle.
Civilisations have been destroyed many times, and this civilisation is no different. It can be destroyed. We can think of time in terms of millions of years and life will resume little by little. The cosmos operates for us very urgently, but geological time is different.
Thich Nhat Hanh
As civilisation advances, the deities lessen in number, the divine powers become concentrated more and more in one Being, and God rules over the whole earth, maketh the clouds his chariot, and reigns above the waterfloods as a king.
The basis of drama is... the struggle of the hero towards a specific goal at the end of which he realises that what kept him from it was, in the lesser drama, civilisation and, in the great drama, the discovery of something that he did not set out to discover but which can be seen retrospectively as inevitable.
Civilization has given us enormous successes: going to the moon, technology. But then this is the civilisation that took us to debt, environmental crisis, every single crisis. We need a civilization where we say goodbye to these things.
If you're becoming weary and disillusioned with Australian values, Judeo-Christian values or Western civilisation, I recommend strangers - they're such a glorious, redeeming wilderness to wander into.
No civilisation can claim to have a monopoly on universal values and no one can claim to be always faithful to his own values.
We are a pluralist civilisation because we allow mosques to be built in our countries, and we are not going to stop simply because Christian missionaries are thrown into prison in Kabul. If we did so, we, too, would become Taliban.
The world survived the fall of the Roman empire and will no doubt outlast our own so much more splendid civilisation.
Civilisation, the orderly world in which we live, is frail. We are skating on thin ice. There is a fear of a collective disaster. Terrorism, genocide, flu, tsunamis.
The great changes in civilisation and society have been wrought by deeply held beliefs and passion rather than by a process of rational deduction.
Whether you like it or not, Paris is the beating heart of Western civilisation. It's where it all began and ended.
The penetration of society by the Internet and the penetration of the Internet by society is the best thing that has ever happened to global human civilisation.
If the truth be told, we are a society that is dripping in racism. This is not in the least surprising. For the best part of two centuries, we British ruled the waves, controlled two-fifths of the planet, and believed it was our responsibility to bring civilisation to those who allegedly lacked it.
The world is not going into concentric blocs of power. It is actually going into a diffusion of power with more centres of decision-making than ever in human civilisation. That requires you to place yourself in far more hubs of power than ever before.
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
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