Madmen... do not appear to me to have lost the faculty of reasoning, but having joined together some ideas very wrongly, they mistake them for truths; and they err as men do that argue right from wrong principles. For, by the violence of their imaginations, having taken their fancies for realities, they make right deductions from them.
You’re not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or who says it.
What keeps persons down in the world, besides lack of capacity, is not a philosophical contempt of riches or honors, but thoughtlessness and improvidence, a love of sluggish torpor, and of present gratification. It is not from preferring virtue to wealth - the goods of the mind to those of fortune - that they take no thought for the morrow; but from want of forethought and stern self-command. The restless, ambitious man too often directs these qualities to an unworthy object; the contented man is generally deficient in the qualities themselves. The one is a stream that flows too often in a wrong channel, and needs to have its course altered, the other is a stagnant pool.
Every duty brings its peculiar delight, every denial its appropriate compensation, every thought its recompense, every love its elysium, every cross its crown; pay goes with performance as effect with cause. Meanness overreaches itself; vice vitiates whoever indulges it; the wicked wrong their own souls; generosity greatens; virtue exalts; charity transfigures; and holiness is the essence of angelhood. God does not require us to live on credit; he pays us what we earn as we earn it, good or evil, heaven or hell, according to our choice.
One will seldom go wrong if one attributes extreme actions to vanity, average ones to habit, and petty ones to fear.
Suspicion breeds rivals for herself... The suspicious man condemns the good faith of all... Suspicion is an unspoken wrong to tested worth.
Speak the truth by all means; be bold and fearless in your rebuke of error, and in your keener rebuke of wrong doing; but be human, and loving, and gentle, and brotherly the while.
Remorse is the consciousness of doing wrong with no sense of love; penitence the same consciousness with the feeling of sorrow and tenderness added.
Responsibility is measured, not by the amount of injury resulting from wrong action, but by the distinctness with which conscience has the opportunity of distinguishing between the right and the wrong.
When the truth is in your way, you are on the wrong road.
Self-expression can be wrong as well as right... When self-expression is identified with irrational surrender to lower instincts, it ends by making the person a slave to those passions. Self-denial is not a renunciation of freedom; it is rather the taming of what is savage and base in our nature for what is higher and better. It is a release from imprisonment by our lusts and passions.
We are wrong to fear superiority of mind and soul; this superiority is very moral, for understanding everything makes a person tolerant and the capacity to feel deeply inspires great goodness.
He who thinks no man above him but for his virtue, and none below him but for his vice, can never be obsequious or assuming in a wrong place, but will frequently emulate men in rank below him, and pity those above him.
Man’s actions proceed from his innate character and the motives acting upon him. What is conscience and the perception of right and wrong in actions that follows from the consciousness of freedom? That is a question for ethics.
Better is the wrong with sincerity, than the right with falsehood.
The fact that man knows right from wrong proves his intellectual superiority to the other creatures; but the fact that he can do wrong proves his moral inferiority to any creature that cannot.
If we work upon marble, it will perish; if we work upon bronze, time will efface it; if we build temples, they will crumble into dust; but if we work upon immortal souls, if we imbue them with just principles of action, with fear of wrong and love of right, we engrave on those tables something which no time can obliterate, and which will brighten and brighten through all eternity.
Every man has a right to his opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts.
The ideas of the average decently informed person are so warped, and of perspective, and ignorant, and entirely perverse and wrong and crude, on nearly every moral subject, that the task of discussing anything with him seriously and fully and to the end is simply appalling.
Unhappiness indicates wrong thinking; just as ill health indicates bad regimen.