Morality Quotes


The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.

Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault. Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope. They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty. There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.

Books    Morality    Reading    Writing

It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.

Double standards    Ethics    Governments    Humor    Irony    Killing    Law    Mankind    Morality    Murder    Nationalism    Nations    War

It's discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit.

Blithe Spirit

Noël Coward

Blithe Spirit
Deceit    Honesty    Hypocrisy    Morality    Shock    Top 8

Compassion is the basis of morality.

Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people we personally dislike.

An Ideal Husband

Oscar Wilde

An Ideal Husband

I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.

Freedom    Law    Morality    Rules

Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.

Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life so. Aim above morality. Be not simply good, be good for something.

Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo.

There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book.
Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.

Books    Dramatist    Morality    Novelist    Poet

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

In a word, I was too cowardly to do what I knew to be right, as I had been too cowardly to avoid doing what I knew to be wrong.

I stopped believing there was a power of good and a power of evil that were outside us. And I came to believe that good and evil are names for what people do, not for what they are.

Das Bernstein-Teleskop

Philip Pullman (Author)

Das Bernstein-Teleskop

Your conscience is the measure of the honesty of your selfishness.
Listen to it carefully.

A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite. And to act so is immoral.

To educate a person in the mind but not in morals is to educate a menace to society.

The assumption that animals are without rights and the illusion that our treatment of them has no moral significance is a positively outrageous example of Western crudity and barbarity. Universal compassion is the only guarantee of morality.

The Basis of Morality

Arthur Schopenhauer

The Basis of Morality

Those who are easily shocked should be shocked more often.

He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.

So far, about morals, I know only that what is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after.

Death in the Afternoon

Ernest Hemingway

Death in the Afternoon

This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.

Brain    Ethics    Inspirational    Kindness    Life    Morality    Philosophy    Simple    Temple

Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation: they are for such moments as this, when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigour ... If at my convenience I might break them, what would be their worth?

Jane Eyre

Charlotte Brontë Brontë

Jane Eyre
Body    Doctrine    Ethics    Law    Morality    Principles    Religion    Soul    Steadfastness    Temptation

Right is right even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it.

Am I a good person? Deep down, do I even really want to be a good person, or do I only want to seem like a good person so that people (including myself) will approve of me? Is there a difference? How do I ever actually know whether I'm bullshitting myself, morally speaking?

Consider the Lobster

David Foster Wallace

Consider the Lobster

A quiet conscience makes one strong!

We keep on being told that religion, whatever its imperfections, at least instills morality. On every side, there is conclusive evidence that the contrary is the case and that faith causes people to be more mean, more selfish, and perhaps above all, more stupid.

Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere.

Orthodoxy

G.K. Chesterton

Orthodoxy

And yet another moral occurs to me now: Make love when you can. It's good for you.

Mother Night

Kurt Vonnegut

Mother Night
Humor    Love    Morality    Sex

Certainly the most destructive vice if you like, that a person can have. More than pride, which is supposedly the number one of the cardinal sins - is self pity. Self pity is the worst possible emotion anyone can have. And the most destructive. It is, to slightly paraphrase what Wilde said about hatred, and I think actually hatred's a subset of self pity and not the other way around - ' It destroys everything around it, except itself '.
Self pity will destroy relationships, it'll destroy anything that's good, it will fulfill all the prophecies it makes and leave only itself. And it's so simple to imagine that one is hard done by, and that things are unfair, and that one is underappreciated, and that if only one had had a chance at this, only one had had a chance at that, things would have gone better, you would be happier if only this, that one is unlucky. All those things. And some of them may well even be true. But, to pity oneself as a result of them is to do oneself an enormous disservice.
I think it's one of things we find unattractive about the american culture, a culture which I find mostly, extremely attractive, and I like americans and I love being in america. But, just occasionally there will be some example of the absolutely ravening self pity that they are capable of, and you see it in their talk shows. It's an appalling spectacle, and it's so self destructive. I almost once wanted to publish a self help book saying 'How To Be Happy by Stephen Fry : Guaranteed success'. And people buy this huge book and it's all blank pages, and the first page would just say - ' Stop Feeling Sorry For Yourself - And you will be happy '. Use the rest of the book to write down your interesting thoughts and drawings, and that's what the book would be, and it would be true. And it sounds like 'Oh that's so simple', because it's not simple to stop feeling sorry for yourself, it's bloody hard. Because we do feel sorry for ourselves, it's what Genesis is all about.

Respect for ourselves guides our morals; respect for others guides our manners

I am a humanist, which means, in part, that I have tried to behave decently without expectations of rewards or punishments after I am dead.

What have I always believed?
That on the whole, and by and large, if a man lived properly, not according to what any priests said, but according to what seemed decent and honest inside, then it would, at the end, more or less, turn out all right.

Small Gods

Terry Pratchett

Small Gods
Belief    Decency    Honesty    Morality    Religion

The acceptance of oneself is the essence of the whole moral problem and the epitome of a whole outlook on life. That I feed the hungry, that I forgive an insult, that I love my enemy in the name of Christ -- all these are undoubtedly great virtues. What I do unto the least of my brethren, that I do unto Christ. But what if I should discover that the least among them all, the poorest of all the beggars, the most impudent of all the offenders, the very enemy himself -- that these are within me, and that I myself stand in need of the alms of my own kindness -- that I myself am the enemy who must be loved -- what then? As a rule, the Christian's attitude is then reversed; there is no longer any question of love or long-suffering; we say to the brother within us "Raca," and condemn and rage against ourselves. We hide it from the world; we refuse to admit ever having met this least among the lowly in ourselves.

People who try hard to do the right thing always seem mad.

The Stand

Stephen King

The Stand

Do not act as if you were going to live ten thousand years. Death hangs over you. While you live, while it is in your power, be good.

About once or twice every month I engage in public debates with those whose pressing need it is to woo and to win the approval of supernatural beings. Very often, when I give my view that there is no supernatural dimension, and certainly not one that is only or especially available to the faithful, and that the natural world is wonderful enough—and even miraculous enough if you insist—I attract pitying looks and anxious questions. How, in that case, I am asked, do I find meaning and purpose in life? How does a mere and gross materialist, with no expectation of a life to come, decide what, if anything, is worth caring about?
Depending on my mood, I sometimes but not always refrain from pointing out what a breathtakingly insulting and patronizing question this is. (It is on a par with the equally subtle inquiry: Since you don't believe in our god, what stops you from stealing and lying and raping and killing to your heart's content?) Just as the answer to the latter question is: self-respect and the desire for the respect of others—while in the meantime it is precisely those who think they have divine permission who are truly capable of any atrocity—so the answer to the first question falls into two parts. A life that partakes even a little of friendship, love, irony, humor, parenthood, literature, and music, and the chance to take part in battles for the liberation of others cannot be called 'meaningless' except if the person living it is also an existentialist and elects to call it so. It could be that all existence is a pointless joke, but it is not in fact possible to live one's everyday life as if this were so. Whereas if one sought to define meaninglessness and futility, the idea that a human life should be expended in the guilty, fearful, self-obsessed propitiation of supernatural nonentities… but there, there. Enough.

He who joyfully marches to music rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, senseless brutality, deplorable love-of-country stance and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be part of so base an action! It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.

A good act does not wash out the bad, nor a bad act the good. Each should have its own reward.

A Clash of Kings

George R.R. Martin

A Clash of Kings

Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last.

Jane Eyre

Charlotte Brontë Brontë

Jane Eyre
Dissent    Life    Morality    Religion

Conventionality is not morality.

Jane Eyre

Charlotte Brontë Brontë

Jane Eyre

War doesn't negate decency. It demands it, even more than in times of peace." - Baba

The Kite Runner

Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner

Whatever is my right as a man is also the right of another; and it becomes my duty to guarantee as well as to possess.

Rights of Man

Thomas Paine

Rights of Man

This is my doctrine: Give every other human being every right you claim for yourself.

Just because I do not accept the teachings of the devotaries does not mean I've discarded a belief in right and wrong."
"But the
Almighty
determines what is right!"
"Must someone, some unseen
thing
, declare what is right for it to
be
right? I believe that my own morality -- which answers only to my heart -- is more sure and true than the morality of those who do right only because they fear retribution.

The Way of Kings

Brandon Sanderson

The Way of Kings
Altruism    Belief    Ethics    Heart    Humanism    Morality    Punishment    Religion    Retribution    Right    Wrong

In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand fold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations.

The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956

Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn

The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I'll meet you there.

Imaginary evil is romantic and varied; real evil is gloomy, monotonous, barren, boring. Imaginary good is boring; real good is always new, marvelous, intoxicating.

Ethics    Evil    Good    Morality    Reality

Somebody once said that in looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if you don’t have the first, the other two will kill you. You think about it; it’s true. If you hire somebody without [integrity], you really want them to be dumb and lazy.

Do you really mean to tell me the only reason you try to be good is to gain God's approval and reward, or to avoid his disapproval and punishment? That's not morality, that's just sucking up, apple-polishing, looking over your shoulder at the great surveillance camera in the sky, or the still small wiretap inside your head, monitoring your every move, even your every base though.

The God Delusion

Richard Dawkins

The God Delusion
God    Morality    Morals

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