Quotes About Ethics

Quotes tagged as "ethics" (showing 31-60 of 865)
Friedrich Nietzsche
“One must shed the bad taste of wanting to agree with many. "Good" is no longer good when one's neighbor mouths it. And how should there be a "common good"! The term contradicts itself: whatever can be common always has little value. In the end it must be as it is and always has been: great things remain for the great, abysses for the profound, nuances and shudders for the refined, and, in brief, all that is rare for the rare.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil

Adam Smith
“The great source of both the misery and disorders of human life, seems to arise from over-rating the difference between one permanent situation and another. Avarice over-rates the difference between poverty and riches: ambition, that between a private and a public station: vain-glory, that between obscurity and extensive reputation. The person under the influence of any of those extravagant passions, is not only miserable in his actual situation, but is often disposed to disturb the peace of society, in order to arrive at that which he so foolishly admires. The slightest observation, however, might satisfy him, that, in all the ordinary situations of human life, a well-disposed mind may be equally calm, equally cheerful, and equally contented. Some of those situations may, no doubt, deserve to be preferred to others: but none of them can deserve to be pursued with that passionate ardour which drives us to violate the rules either of prudence or of justice; or to corrupt the future tranquillity of our minds, either by shame from the remembrance of our own folly, or by remorse from the horror of our own injustice.”
Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments

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

Ralph Waldo Emerson
“You have just dined, and however scrupulously the slaughterhouse is concealed in the graceful distance of miles, there is complicity.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ursula K. Le Guin
“The law of evolution is that the strongest survives!' 'Yes, and the strongest, in the existence of any social species, are those who are most social. In human terms, most ethical...There is no strength to be gained from hurting one another. Only weakness.”
Ursula K. Le Guin

H.L. Mencken
“Conscience is the inner voice that warns us somebody may be looking.”
H.L. Mencken, A Mencken Chrestomathy

Erich Fromm
“It is naively assumed that the fact that the majority of people share certain ideas and feelings proves the validity of these ideas and feelings. Nothing could be further from the truth. Consensual validation as such has no bearing on reason or mental health.”
Erich Fromm

John Stuart Mill
“War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth a war, is much worse. When a people are used as mere human instruments for firing cannon or thrusting bayonets, in the service and for the selfish purposes of a master, such war degrades a people. A war to protect other human beings against tyrannical injustice; a war to give victory to their own ideas of right and good, and which is their own war, carried on for an honest purpose by their free choice, — is often the means of their regeneration. A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. As long as justice and injustice have not terminated their ever-renewing fight for ascendancy in the affairs of mankind, human beings must be willing, when need is, to do battle for the one against the other.”
John Stuart Mill, Principles of Political Economy

Donald Van de Mark
“Not only is there often a right and wrong, but what goes around does come around, Karma exists, chickens do come home to roost, and as my mother, Phyllis, liked to say, “There is always a day of reckoning.” The good among the great understand that every choice we make adds to the strength or weakness of our spirits—ourselves, or to use an old fashioned word for the same idea, our souls. That is every human’s life work: to construct an identity bit by bit, to walk a path step by step, to live a life that is worthy of something higher, lighter, more fulfilling, and maybe even everlasting.”
Donald Van de Mark, The Good Among the Great: 19 Traits of the Most Admirable, Creative, and Joyous People

Ursula K. Le Guin
“For we each of us deserve everything, every luxury that was ever piled in the tombs of the dead kings, and we each of us deserve nothing, not a mouthful of bread in hunger. Have we not eaten while another starved? Will you punish us for that? Will you reward us for the virtue of starving while others ate? No man earns punishment, no man earns reward. Free your mind of the idea of deserving, the idea of earning, and you will begin to be able to think.”
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed

Eddie Izzard
“But with dogs, we do have "bad dog." Bad dog exists. "Bad dog! Bad dog! Stole a biscuit, bad dog!" The dog is saying, "Who are you to judge me? You human beings who’ve had genocide, war against people of different creeds, colors, religions, and I stole a biscuit?! Is that a crime? People of the world!"
"Well, if you put it that way, I think you’ve got a point. Have another biscuit, sorry.”
Eddie Izzard, Glorious

Friedrich Nietzsche
“I obviously do everything to be "hard to understand" myself”
Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil

Jeremy Bentham
“Create all the happiness you are able to create; remove all the misery you are able to remove. Every day will allow you, --will invite you to add something to the pleasure of others, --or to diminish something of their pains.”
Jeremy Bentham

George Bernard Shaw
“While we ourselves are the living graves of murdered beasts, how can we expect any ideal conditions on this earth?”
George Bernard Shaw

Christopher Moore
“You're trying to be tricky. What's morality?"
"It's the difference between what's right and what you can rationalize."
"Must be a human thing."
"Exactly.”
Christopher Moore

Fulton J. Sheen
“Too many people get credit for being good, when they are only being passive. They are too often praised for being broadminded when they are so broadminded they can never make up their minds about anything.”
Fulton J. Sheen

Jostein Gaarder
“Acting responsibly is not a matter of strengthening our reason but of deepening our feelings for the welfare of others.”
Jostein Gaarder, Sophie's World

Thomas Hardy
“We colour and mould according to the wants within us whatever our eyes bring in.”
Thomas Hardy, Far from the Madding Crowd

Darynda Jones
“You still owe me a million dollars." I'd presented him with a bill for proving his innocence and getting him freed from prison. He had yet to pay. Couldn't imagine why.

"Yeah, I was hoping we could work that out."

"The interest alone is going to kill you."

"What do you charge?"

"Three hundred eighty-seven percent."

"Is that ethical?"

"It's as ethical as my dating the son of Satan.”
Darynda Jones, Fifth Grave Past the Light

“I have something that I call my Golden Rule. It goes something like this: 'Do unto others twenty-five percent better than you expect them to do unto you.' … The twenty-five percent is for error.”
Linus Pauling

Jonathan Safran Foer
“Humans are the only animals that have children on purpose, keep in touch (or don't), care about birthdays, waste and lose time, brush their teeth, feel nostalgia, scrub stains, have religions and political parties and laws, wear keepsakes, apologize years after an offense, whisper, fear themselves, interpret dreams, hide their genitalia, shave, bury time capsules, and can choose not to eat something for reasons of conscience. The justifications for eating animals and for not eating them are often identical: we are not them.”
Jonathan Safran Foer, Eating Animals

Michael Pollan
“Were the walls of our meat industry to become transparent, literally or even figuratively, we would not long continue to raise, kill, and eat animals the way we do.”
Michael Pollan, The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals

Jeremy Bentham
“The day may come when the rest of animal creation may acquire those rights which never could have been withholden from them but by the hand of tyranny. The French have already discovered that the blackness of the skin is no reason why a human being should be abandoned without redress to the caprice of a tormentor. It may one day come to be recognized that the number of legs, the villosity of the skin, or the termination of the os sacrum are reasons equally insufficient for abandoning a sensitive being to the same fate. What else is it that should trace the insuperable line? Is it the faculty of reason, or perhaps the faculty of discourse? But a full-grown horse or dog is beyond comparison a more rational, as well as a more conversable animal, than an infant of a day or a week or even a month old. But suppose they were otherwise, what would it avail? The question is not, Can they reason? nor Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?”
Jeremy Bentham, The Principles of Morals and Legislation

Karen Armstrong
“Religion is not about accepting twenty impossible propositions before breakfast, but about doing things that change you. It is a moral aesthetic, an ethical alchemy. If you behave in a certain way, you will be transformed. The myths and laws of religion are not true because they they conform to some metaphysical, scientific or historical reality but because they are life enhancing. They tell you how human nature functions, but you will not discover their truth unless you apply these myths and doctrines to your own life and put them into practice.”
Karen Armstrong, The Spiral Staircase: My Climb Out of Darkness

Epictetus
“You know yourself what you are worth in your own eyes; and at what price you will sell yourself. For men sell themselves at various prices. This is why, when Florus was deliberating whether he should appear at Nero's shows, taking part in the performance himself, Agrippinus replied, 'Appear by all means.' And when Florus inquired, 'But why do not you appear?' he answered, 'Because I do not even consider the question.' For the man who has once stooped to consider such questions, and to reckon up the value of external things, is not far from forgetting what manner of man he is.”
Epictetus, The Golden Sayings of Epictetus

John Stuart Mill
“The object of this Essay is to assert one very simple principle, as entitled to govern absolutely the dealings of society with the individual in the way of compulsion and control, whether the means used be physical force in the form of legal penalties, or the moral coercion of public opinion. That principle is, that the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinions of others, to do so would be wise, or even right. These are good reasons for remonstrating with him, or reasoning with him, or persuading him, or entreating him, but not for compelling him, or visiting him with any evil, in case he do otherwise. To justify that, the conduct from which it is desired to deter him must be calculated to produce evil to someone else. The only part of the conduct of any one, for which he is amenable to society, is that which concerns others. In the part which merely concerns himself, his independence is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.”
John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

Friedrich Nietzsche
“It is a self-deception of philosophers and moralists to imagine that they escape decadence by opposing it. That is beyond their will; and, however little they acknowledge it, one later discovers that they were among the most powerful promoters of decadence.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Will to Power

John Stuart Mill
“I will call no being good who is not what I mean when I apply that epithet to my fellow creatures; and if such a creature can sentence me to hell for not so calling him, to hell I will go .”
John Stuart Mill, An examination of Sir William Hamilton's philosophy, and of the principal philosophical questions discussed in his writings

Sam Harris
“What we do in every other area of our lives (other than religion), is, rather than respect somebody's beliefs, we evaluate their reasons.”
Sam Harris

Alexander Pushkin
“اذا وقعت مذكراتي هذه بين يدي شاب فليتذكر أن أحسن التغييرات وأبقاها هي التي ترجع الى تحسن  الأخلاق والعادات لا الى هزة عنيفة أو ثورة جامحة.”
Alexander Pushkin, The Captain's Daughter

All Quotes | My Quotes | Add A Quote


Browse By Tag

More...