„Our civilization is first and foremost a civilization of means; in the reality of modern life, the means, it would seem, are more important than the ends.“

—  Jacques Ellul, libro The Technological Society

Origine: The Technological Society (1954), p. 19

Jacques Ellul photo
Jacques Ellul6
sociologo e teologo francese 1912 - 1994

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„Political nationalism has become, for the European of our age the most important thing in the world, more important than civilization, humanity, decency, kindness, pity, more important than life itself.“

—  Norman Angell British politician 1872 - 1967

The Unseen Assassins https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.216538/page/n49 (1932), p. 48; in later variants, "pity" was misquoted as "piety" in the Naval War College Review, Vol. 10 (1957), p. 27, and some internet citations have compressed "has become, for the European of our age" to read "has become for our age".

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„The layman always means, when he says "reality" that he is speaking of something self-evidently known; whereas to me it seems the most important and exceedingly difficult task of our time is to work on the construction of a new idea of reality.“

—  Wolfgang Pauli Austrian physicist, Nobel prize winner 1900 - 1958

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„Life's missed opportunities, at the end, may seem more poignant to us than those we embraced — because in our imagination they have a perfection that reality can never rival.“

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„The antithesis between the Christian life and the life of bourgeois respectability is at an end. The Christian life comes to mean nothing more than living in the world and as the world“

—  Dietrich Bonhoeffer German Lutheran pastor, theologian, dissident anti-Nazi 1906 - 1945

translated as The Cost of Discipleship (1959), p. 51.
Discipleship (1937), Costly Grace
Contesto: The antithesis between the Christian life and the life of bourgeois respectability is at an end. The Christian life comes to mean nothing more than living in the world and as the world, in being no different from the world, in fact, in being prohibited from being different from the world for the sake of grace. The upshot of it all is that my only duty as a Christian is to leave the world for an hour or so on a Sunday morning and go to church to be assured that my sins are all forgiven. I need no longer try to follow Christ, for cheap grace, the bitterest foe of discipleship, which true discipleship must loathe and detest, has freed me from that.

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„It would seem that the full meaning of the word marriage can never be known by those who, at their first outspring into life, are surrounded by all that money can give.“

—  Anthony Trollope English novelist (1815-1882) 1815 - 1882

The Bertrams (1859), Ch. 30
Contesto: It would seem that the full meaning of the word marriage can never be known by those who, at their first outspring into life, are surrounded by all that money can give. It requires the single sitting-room, the single fire, the necessary little efforts of self-devotion, the inward declaration that some struggle shall be made for that other one.

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„In its broad sense, civilization means not only comfort in daily necessities but also the refining of knowledge and the cultivation of virtue so as to elevate human life to a higher plane“

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Bunmeiron no Gairyaku [An Outline of a Theory of civilization] (1875).
Contesto: In its broad sense, civilization means not only comfort in daily necessities but also the refining of knowledge and the cultivation of virtue so as to elevate human life to a higher plane... It refers to the attainment of both material well-being and the elevation of the human spirit, [but] since what produces man’s well-being and refinement is knowledge and virtue, civilization ultimately means the progress of man’s knowledge and virtue.

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