Zitate von Felix Adler

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Felix Adler

Geburtstag: 13. August 1851
Todesdatum: 24. April 1933

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Felix Adler war ein US-amerikanischer Philosoph deutsch-jüdischer Herkunft. Er war Professor für hebräische und orientalische Literatur an der Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.

Er wurde als Sohn des Alzeyer Rabbiners Dr. Samuel Adler geboren, der 1857 mit ihm nach Amerika auswanderte. Felix Adler studierte an der Columbia University, kehrte nach Deutschland zurück und promovierte an der Universität Heidelberg. 1874 ging er wieder in die USA, wo er für zwei Jahre als Professor für hebräische und orientalische Literatur an der Cornell University tätig war.

1876 gründete Adler in New York die für einen säkularen Humanismus eintretende „Society for Ethical Culture“, deren moralischer und geistiger Führer er bis zu seinem Tod blieb. Adler fand Anhänger für seine Ideen zunächst in vielen Staaten der USA, bald aber auch in einigen europäischen Staaten. Ein wichtiger Vertreter dieser Anschauungen im deutschen Sprachraum war der im Anschluss an Ludwig Feuerbach wirkende Wiener Philosophieprofessor Friedrich Jodl als Mitbegründer und Vorstand der „Deutschen Gesellschaft für Ethische Kultur“. Das Bestreben dieser Gesellschaften wird als ethische Bewegung bezeichnet.

Von 1902 bis 1918 war Adler Professor für „Politische und Soziale Ethik“ an der Columbia University. Er war auch Gründer von The Ethical Record und The International Journal of Ethics , rief 1900 den New York Philosophy Club ins Leben und war ab 1928 bis zu seinem Tod Präsident der American Philosophical Association.

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Zitate Felix Adler

„There is no difference in the law. But so long have they quarreled concerning the origin of law that the law itself has fallen more and more into abeyance.“

— Felix Adler
Context: The Hebrew prophets said of old, to serve Jehovah is to make your hearts pure and your hands clean from corruption, to help the suffering, to raise the oppressed. Jesus of Nazareth said that he came to comfort the weary and heavy laden. The Philosopher affirms that the true service of religion is the unselfish service of the common weal. There is no difference among them all. There is no difference in the law. But so long have they quarreled concerning the origin of law that the law itself has fallen more and more into abeyance. For indeed, as it is easier to say. "I do not believe," and have done with it, so also it is easier to say, "I believe," and thus to bribe one's way into heaven, as it were, than to fulfill nobly our human duties with all the daily struggle and sacrifice which they involve.

„Here are two kinds of light, the light on the hither side of the darkness and the light beyond the darkness.“

— Felix Adler
Context: Here are two kinds of light, the light on the hither side of the darkness and the light beyond the darkness. We must press on through the darkness and the terror of it if we would reach the holier light beyond. We are here — no matter who put us here, or how we came here — to fulfil a task. We cannot afford to go of our own volition until the last item of our duty is discharged. Section 1 : The Meaning of Life

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„Religion is not necessarily allied with dogma, a new kind of faith is possible, based not upon legend and tradition, not upon the authority of any book, but upon the moral nature of man.“

— Felix Adler
Context: To those who are longing for a higher life, who deeply feel the need of religious satisfactions, we suggest that there is a way in which the demands of the head and the heart may be reconciled. Religion is not necessarily allied with dogma, a new kind of faith is possible, based not upon legend and tradition, not upon the authority of any book, but upon the moral nature of man.

„The condition of all progress is experience. We go wrong a thousand times before we find the right path.“

— Felix Adler
Context: The condition of all progress is experience. We go wrong a thousand times before we find the right path. We struggle, and grope, and hurt ourselves until we learn the use of things, and this is true of things spiritual as well as of material things. Pain is unavoidable, but it acquires a new and higher meaning when we perceive that it is the price humanity must pay for an invaluable good. Section 8 : Suffering and Consolation

„Man is like a tree, with the mighty trunk of intellect, the spreading branches of imagination, and the roots of the lower instincts that bind him to the earth. The moral life, however, is the fruit he bears; in it his true nature is revealed.“

— Felix Adler
Context: Man is like a tree, with the mighty trunk of intellect, the spreading branches of imagination, and the roots of the lower instincts that bind him to the earth. The moral life, however, is the fruit he bears; in it his true nature is revealed. It is the prerogative of man that he need not blindly follow the law of his natural being, but is himself the author of a higher moral law, and creates it even in acting it out. Section 6 : Higher Life

„When the light of the sun shines through a prism it is broken into beautiful colours, and when the prism is shattered, still the light remains.“

— Felix Adler
Context: When the light of the sun shines through a prism it is broken into beautiful colours, and when the prism is shattered, still the light remains. So does the life of life shine resplendent in the forms of our friends, and so, when their forms are broken, still their life remains; and in that life we are united with them; for the life of their life is also our life, and we are one with them by ties indissoluble. Section 8 : Suffering and Consolation

„Throw yourself into the stream of the world's good tendency and you will feel the force of the current and the direction in which it is setting.“

— Felix Adler
Context: It is not possible to enter into the nature of the Good by standing aloof from it — by merely speculating upon it. Act the Good, and you will believe in it. Throw yourself into the stream of the world's good tendency and you will feel the force of the current and the direction in which it is setting. The conviction that the world is moving toward great ends of progress will come surely to him who is himself engaged in the work of progress. By ceaseless efforts to live the good life we maintain our moral sanity. Not from without, but from within, flow the divine waters that renew the soul.

„The moral law is the expression of our inmost nature, and when we live in consonance with it we feel that we are living out our true being.“

— Felix Adler
Context: An ideal is a port toward which we resolve to steer. We may not reach it. The mere fact that our goal is definitely located does not suffice to conduct us thither. But surely we shall thus stand a better chance of making port in the end than if we drift about aimlessly, the sport of winds and tides, without having decided in our own minds in what direction we ought to bend our course. The moral law is the expression of our inmost nature, and when we live in consonance with it we feel that we are living out our true being. Section 6 : Higher Life

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„Theologians often say that faith must come first, and that morality must be deduced from faith. We say that morality must come first, and faith, to those whose nature fits them to entertain it, will come out of the experience of a deepened moral life as its richest, choicest fruit.“

— Felix Adler
Context: Theologians often say that faith must come first, and that morality must be deduced from faith. We say that morality must come first, and faith, to those whose nature fits them to entertain it, will come out of the experience of a deepened moral life as its richest, choicest fruit. Precisely because moral culture is the aim, we cannot be content merely to lift the mass of mankind above the grosser forms of evil. We must try to advance the cause of humanity by developing in ourselves, as well as in others, a higher type of manhood and womanhood than the past has known. To aid in the evolution of a new conscience, to inject living streams of moral force into the dry veins of materialistic communities is our aim. We seek to come into touch with the ultimate power in things, the ultimate peace in things, which yet, in any literal sense, we know well that we cannot know. We seek to become morally certain — that is, certain for moral purposes — of what is beyond the reach of demonstration. But our moral optimism must include the darkest facts that pessimism can point to, include them and transcend them. Section 9 : Ethical Outlook

„The freedom of thought is a sacred right of every individual man, and diversity will continue to increase with the progress, refinement, and differentiation of the human intellect.“

— Felix Adler
Context: The freedom of thought is a sacred right of every individual man, and diversity will continue to increase with the progress, refinement, and differentiation of the human intellect. But if difference be inevitable, nay, welcome in thought, there is a sphere in which unanimity and fellowship are above all things needful. Believe or disbelieve as ye list — we shall at all times respect every honest conviction. But be one with us where there is nothing to divide — in action. Diversity in the creed, unanimity in the deed! This is that practical religion from which none dissents. This is that platform broad enough and solid enough to receive the worshipper and the "infidel." This is that common ground where we may all grasp hands as brothers, united in mankind's common cause.

„The world is dark around us and the prospect seems deepening in gloom. and yet there is light ahead.“

— Felix Adler
Context: The world is dark around us and the prospect seems deepening in gloom. and yet there is light ahead. On the volume of the past in starry characters it is written — the starry legend greets us shining through the misty vistas of the future — that the great and noble shall not perish from among the sons of men, that the truth will triumph in the end, and that even the humblest of her servants may in this become the instrument of unending good. We are aiding in laying the foundations of a mighty edifice, whose completion shall not be seen in our day, no, nor in centuries upon centuries after us. But happy are we, indeed, if we can contribute even the least towards so high a consummation. The time calls for action. Up, then, and let us do our part faithfully and well. And oh, friends, our children's children will hold our memories dearer for the work which we begin this hour.

„There is a difficulty in the way of teaching the higher life, due to the fact that only those who have begun to lead it can understand the meaning of it.“

— Felix Adler
Context: There is a difficulty in the way of teaching the higher life, due to the fact that only those who have begun to lead it can understand the meaning of it. Nevertheless, all men can be induced to begin to lead it. Though they seem blind, their eyes can be opened so as to see. Deep down in every human heart is the seed of a diviner life, which only needs the quickening influence of right conditions to germinate. Section 6 : Higher Life

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„Theories of what is true have their day. They come and go, leave their deposit in the common stock of knowledge, and are supplanted by other more convincing theories.“

— Felix Adler
Context: Theories of what is true have their day. They come and go, leave their deposit in the common stock of knowledge, and are supplanted by other more convincing theories. The thinkers and investigators of the world are pledged to no special theory, but feel themselves free to search for the greater truth beyond the utmost limits of present knowledge. So likewise in the field of moral truth, it is our hope, that men in proportion as they grow more enlightened, will learn to hold their theories and their creeds more loosely, and will none the less, nay, rather all the more be devoted to the supreme end of practical righteousness to which all theories and creeds must be kept subservient. There are two purposes then which we have in view: To secure in the moral and religious life perfect intellectual liberty, and at the same time to secure concert in action. There shall be no shackles upon the mind, no fetters imposed in early youth which the growing man or woman may feel prevented from shaking off, no barrier set up which daring thought may not transcend. And on the other hand there shall be unity of effort, the unity that comes of an end supremely prized and loved, the unity of earnest, morally aspiring persons, engaged in the conflict with moral evil. Ch. 10

„The rose Religion grows on a thorn-bush, and we must not be afraid to have our fingers lacerated by the thorns if we would pluck the rose.“

— Felix Adler
Context: By what sort of experience are we led to the conviction that spirit exists? On the whole, by searching, painful experience. The rose Religion grows on a thorn-bush, and we must not be afraid to have our fingers lacerated by the thorns if we would pluck the rose. Section 7 : Spiritual Progress

„We should teach our children nothing which they shall ever need to unlearn“

— Felix Adler
Context: We should teach our children nothing which they shall ever need to unlearn; we should strive to transmit to them the best possessions, the truest thought, the noblest sentiments of the age in which we live. Section 9 : Ethical Outlook

„It is not possible to enter into the nature of the Good by standing aloof from it — by merely speculating upon it.“

— Felix Adler
Context: It is not possible to enter into the nature of the Good by standing aloof from it — by merely speculating upon it. Act the Good, and you will believe in it. Throw yourself into the stream of the world's good tendency and you will feel the force of the current and the direction in which it is setting. The conviction that the world is moving toward great ends of progress will come surely to him who is himself engaged in the work of progress. By ceaseless efforts to live the good life we maintain our moral sanity. Not from without, but from within, flow the divine waters that renew the soul.

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