Evil

No man, perhaps, is so wicked as to commit evil for its own sake. Evil is generally committed under the hope of some advantage the pursuit of virtue seldom obtains. Yet the most successful result of the most virtuous heroism is never without its alloy.

Goodness without wisdom always accomplishes evil.

When a miser contents himself with giving nothing, and saving what he has got, and is in others respects guilty of no injustice, he is, perhaps, of all bad men the least injurious to society; the evil he does is properly nothing more than the omission of the good he might do. If, of all the vices, avarice is the most generally detested, it is the effect of an avidity common to all men; it is because men hate those from whom they can expect nothing. The greedy misers rail at sordid misers.

We ought always to deal justly, not only with those who are just to us, but likewise to those who endeavor to injure us; and this, for fear lest by rendering them evil for evil, we should fall into the same vice.

Moral philosophy is nothing else but the science of what is good and evil in the conversation and society of mankind. God and evil are names that signify our appetites and aversions, which in different tempers, customs and doctrines of men are different.

To forgive sin is not an act of injustice, though the punishment have been threatened. Even amongst men, though the promise of good bind the promiser; yet threats, that is to say, promises of evil, bind them not; much less shall they bind God, who is infinitely more merciful than men.

The human species... capacity for good is infinite, since they can, they desire, make room within themselves for divine Reality. But at the same time their capacity for evil is, not indeed infinite (since evil is always ultimately self-destructive and therefore temporary), but uniquely great. Hell is total separation from God, and the devil is the will to that separation... To be diabolic on the grand scale, one must, like Milton’s Satan, exhibit in a high degree all the moral virtues, except only charity and wisdom.

Unrestrained and indiscriminate talk is morally evil and spiritually dangerous.

What we do depends in large measure upon what we think, and if what we do it evil, there is good empirical reason for supposing that our thought patterns are inadequate to material, mental or spiritual reality.

We are spinning our own fates, good or evil, never to be undone. Every smallest stroke of virtue leaves its ever-so-little scar.

Fear, either as a principle or a motive, is the beginning of all evil.

In morals, what begins in fear usually ends in wickedness; in religion, what begins in fear usually ends in fanaticism. Fear, either as a principle or a motive, is the beginning of all evil.

Fear is implanted in us as a preservative from evil; but its duty, like that of other passions, is not to overbear reason, but to assist it; nor should it be suffered to tyrannize in the imagination, to raise phantoms of horror, or to beset life with supernumerary distresses.

The great movers of the human mind are the desire of good, and the fear of evil.

The two great movers of the human mind are the desire of good, and the fear of evil.

We deem those happy who, from the experience of life, have learned to bear its ills, without being overcome by them. A father may turn his back on his child, brothers and sisters may become inveterate enemies, husbands may desert their wives, wives their husbands. But a mother’s love endures through all; in good repute, in bad repute, in the face of the world’s condemnation, a mother still loves on and still hopes that her child may turn from his evil ways, and repent; still she remembers the infant smiles that once filled her bosom with rapture, the merry laugh, the joyful shout of his childhood, the opening promise of his youth; and she can never be brought to think him all unworthy.

We cannot freely and wisely choose the right way for ourselves unless we know both good and evil.

A man can look upon his life and accept it as good or evil; it is far, far harder for him to confess that it has been unimportant in the sum of things.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction... The chain reaction of evil - hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars - must be broken or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.