The perfection of our union, especially our commitment to equality of opportunity, has been a story of constant striving to live up to our Founding principles. This is what Abraham Lincoln meant when he said, 'In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free - honorable alike in what we give, and what we preserve. '
It is better that great peoples should seek out glory, or even vanity, in their deeds, than that they should remain indifferent. For even if they are not incited to act upon virtuous principles, at least there is the saving grace that they will do things they might not have done had not vanity prompted their actions.
Monotheistic religions in the West have tended to conflate having a general orientation in life, having a specific theory of the world, having a sense of the positive meaningfulness of one's existence, and having a fixed set of rules for behavior, but these elements are in principle separable. . . . The "metaphysical need,". . . both Marx and Nietzsche held, is a historical phenomenon that arises under determinate circumstances, and could be expected to disappear under other circumstances that we could relatively easily envisage.