We have had more brilliant Presidents than Cleveland, and one or two who were considerably more profound, but we have never had one, at least since Washington, whose fundamental character was solider and more admirable.
One of the presidents we could have done without.... There are some things I admire about Tyler, but there were also plenty of things that weren't so admirable.... The reason I have a certain amount of grudging respect for John Tyler is that he knew his own mind and stuck to his decisions.
Still, even the most admirable of atheists is nothing more than a moral parasite, living his life based on borrowed ethics. This is why, when pressed, the atheist will often attempt to hide his lack of conviction in his own beliefs behind some poorly formulated utilitarianism, or argue that he acts out of altruistic self-interest. But this is only post-facto rationalization, not reason or rational behavior.
Is it stupidity or is it moral cowardice which leads men to continue professing a creed that makes self-sacrifice a cardinal principle, while they urge the sacrificing of others, even to the death, when they trespass against us? Is it blindness, or is it an insance inconsistency, which makes them regard as most admirable the bearing of evil for the benefit of others, while they lavish admiration on those who, out of revenge, inflict great evils in return for small ones suffered? Surely our barbarian code of right needs revision, and our barbarian standard of honour should be somewhat changed.
A Fox entered the house of an actor and, rummaging through all his properties, came upon a Mask, an admirable imitation of a human head. He placed his paws on it and said, "What a beautiful head! Yet it is of no value, as it entirely lacks brains."
There are countless books written on self-defense. Not all are non- sensical, but many are. Nathaniel Cooke has clearly thought a great deal about the subject and distilled its essence in a way that is wholly admirable.
[There are m]oral precepts that we consider really important, such as 'don't pick your nose' or 'don't eat peas with a knife'. There may, for ought I know, be admirable reasons for eating peas with a knife, but . . . early persuasion has made me completely incapable of appreciating them.