"We are all full of weakness and errors,
let us mutually pardon each other our follies.
It is the first law of nature."
[François Marie Arouet] (1694-1778) French Enlightenment writer, historian, and philosopher
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Reader comments about this quote:
This humbleness displayed by one of the great thinkers of the past would become us very well, too.
 -- Anne, Hamburg     
    (-; I like it ;-) I don't believe that it is the first law of nature but it is a non-dispensable principle of any benevolent law abiding society.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    0 for 3 today.
     -- Justin, Elkland     
    Some pardon is necessary, I can't go whole hog on this quote. I like it that Mike seems to like "law abiding society" but he hates law enforcement. As you know Mike I seldom comprehend you. Allowing for some doubt and leaway for errror and pardon is necessary.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
    To forgive the follies of the Bush administration and the Obama misfits strains me to no end. If Pelosi and the gang where where they ought to be, they would all need a "pardon".
     -- jim k, Austin,Tx     
    Great quote among civilized peoples. But I will pardon nothing from communists who wish me to be part of the ant hill mentality.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    To further explain my comment: "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;" (Matt 5:44) It is up to me, if there be malice in my heart, to forgive. I believe the quote's use of the term pardon was meant to mean forgive not the legal / justice use of the term. There is a huge difference between forgiving and at justice pardoning. I can love someone in jail that has wronged or, have no malice towards someone I am defending myself against (such as the statist theocracy that is now infesting this land, another foreign despot, or a criminal act) Personally, I'm on the path of what should be while that little carnal man inside is screaming "let me out, let me out !" ;-)
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Another really good one -- worthy of being added to my own quote list.
     -- Laura, NYC     
    What the hell are you talking about America is closer to communism than any other industrial nation - you have sold your soul to the devil and become wage slaves; you are manipulated so easily by the media; you wave the flag with hate in your heart; your discourse is unethical and malicious; you allow religion into politics; you allow our nation to be taken over by corporations, crooked politicians, and the military industrial complex; you have forgotten what this nation was founded on; you committed genocide to get what you want and then turn around and kick out the people you stole the land from; you lack any compassion; and, the list goes on. Yes - you are doomed. Our system has run it course and there is no light (yet) at the end of the tunnel. How can you forgive a nation that killed a million people when they knew they were about to surrender. The karma is coming back to haunt the American nation. The first law of Nature is to survive - nature knows nothing about pardon or forgiveness. The thought is good but has little relevance in a world of greed and survival. Yes, I'll forgive you minor stuff but if you dare touch my loved one forgiveness isn't an option. What creates wars and misery is not revenge but greed and power hungry megalomaniacs. Revenge, forgiveness, and pardon, is only a very small part of our daily lives so to that I will agree with Voltaire on that, but, not with the big picture, that's a different animal.
     -- RBESRQ     
    Robert, well said. Your comment addressed the more broad sentiment of most individuals and, certain aspects of justice' eternal mandates. At least one exception, 'Our' (my and your - individually) system, that of individual sovereignty, expressed in a representative republic, has not run its course but, has been replaced with despotism's compelled compliance, license, victimless crimes, larceny with impunity and a whole host of other criminal activities. Different religions, philosophies, and persuasions all come to the same observed conclusion using different ideology of terms.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
     -- Abigail, Newport      
    RBESRQ, for what it is worth, I liked your response and agree with you. There are unforgivable crimes, and better to carry the grudge. The wound must still smart in order to protect one against a faulty memory.
     -- Judith, New Mexico     
     -- Wayne, Naples      
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