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Category: Augustine of Hippo

This well belongs to all the people

“However great and important the virtues may be, we know well enough that they are not common property, but the property of each individual man. Truth and wisdom are common to all, and all wise men are also happy by cleaving to truth.  But one man does not become happy by another’s happiness. If one man seeks to attain happiness by imitating another, he seeks his happiness where he sees the other found his, that is to say in unchangeable and common truth. No one is made prudent by the prudence of another, or courageous by his courage, or temperate by his temperance, or just by his justice. A man is made virtuous by regulating his soul according to the rules and guiding lights of the virtues which dwell indestructibly in the truth and wisdom that are the common property of all.” – Augustine of Hippo, On Free Will (trans. Burleigh)

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“Caution is the best guard of tranquility. It is the most difficult thing in the world not to be upset when opinions which we hold, and to which we have given a too ready and too willful approval, are shattered by contrary arguments and are, as it were, weapons torn from our hands. It is a good thing to give in calmly to arguments that are well considered and grasped, just as it is dangerous to hold as known what in fact we do not know. We should be on our guard lest, when things are frequently undermined which we assumed would stand firm and abide, we fall into such hatred or fear of reason that we think we cannot trust even the most clearly manifest truth.” – Augustine of Hippo, The Teacher (trans. Burleigh)

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