Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Morality

"There is no greatness that does not rest on true morality." - Berthold Auerbach

"Morality may consist solely in the courage of making a choice." - Léon Blum, fully André Léon Blum

"Morality is the vestibule of religion." - Edwin Hubbell Chapin

"At all times throughout the world tribes have supplanted other tribes; and as morality is one important element in their success, the standard of morality and the number of well-endowed men will thus rise and increase." - Charles Darwin, fully Charles Robert Darwin

"To do good in return for evil, to love your enemy, is a height of morality to which it may be doubted whether the social instincts would, by themselves, have ever led us." - Charles Darwin, fully Charles Robert Darwin

"Morality regulates the acts of man as a private individual; honor, his acts as a public man." - Esteban Echevernia

"Piety and morality are but the same spirit differently manifested. Piety is religion with its face toward God; morality is religion with its face toward the world." - Tyron Edwards

"God is that indefinable something which we all feel but which we do not know. To me God is truth and love, God is ethics and morality, god is fearlessness, God is the source of light and life and yet He is above and beyond all these. God is conscience. he is even the atheism of the atheist." -

"Morality is contraband in war." -

"The seven sins of the world. Wealth without work. Pleasure without conscience. Knowledge without character. Commerce without morality. Science without humanity. Worship without sacrifice. Politics without principle." -

"In judging character, too often we mistake rigidity for morality." - John P. Grier

"What is called affluence - the consequence of the type of rapid economic development which occurred from about the middle of the nineteenth century - is in a real sense an abundance not just of serious problems which machines cannot solve, but of hopeless poverty: the physical insecurity, personal unhappiness, the intensified morality, the sense of being dwarfed by vast and uncontrollable physical, mechanical and corporate structures, the hatred and contempt of other peoples, the lack of opportunity for contemplation, the loss of community life." - Charles Richard Hensman

"Disbelief in futurity loosens in a great measure the ties of morality, and may be for that reason pernicious to the peace of civil society." - David Hume

"Morality is determined by sentiment. It defines virtue to be whatever mental action or quality gives to a spectator the pleasing sentiment of approbation; and vice the contrary." - David Hume

"Morals excite passions, and produce or prevent actions. Reason of itself is utterly impotent in this particular. The rules of morality, therefore, are not conclusions of our reason." - David Hume

"I never did, or countenanced, in public life, a single act inconsistent with the strictest good faith; having never believed there was one code of morality for a public, and another for a private man." - Thomas Jefferson

"Don’t be too hasty... to trust or to admire the teachers of morality: they discourse like angels, but they live like men." -

"The morality of an action depends upon the motive from which we act." -

"Morality cannot be legislated, but behavior can be regulated. Judicial decrees may not change the heart, but they can restrain the heartless." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Nominally a great age of scientific inquiry, ours has actually become an age of superstition about the infallibility of science; of almost mystical faith in its nonmystical methods; above all... of external verities; of traffic-cop morality and rabbit-test truth." - Louis Kronenberger

"There is nothing so bad but it can masquerade as moral... The whole speculation about morality is an effort to find a way of living which men who live it will instinctively feel is good." - Walter Lippmann

"Morality is not an imposition removed from life and reason; it is a compendium of the minimum of sacrifices necessary for man to live in company with other men, without suffering too much or causing others to suffer." - Gina Lombroso, fully Gina Elena Zefora Lombroso

"The two essential factors of progress: morality and knowledge." - Luigi Luzzatti

"Science does not make us happy; the highest morality alone is capable of conferring true happiness upon us." - Samuel David Luzzatto, aka by acronym of SHaDaL or SHeDaL

"Real security... is to be found in its benevolent morality, in its exquisite adaption to the human heart, in the facility with which its scheme accommodates itself to the capacity of every human intellect, in the consolation which it bears to every house of mourning, in the light with which it brightens the great mystery of the grave." -

"Science by itself has no moral dimension. But it does seek to establish truth. And upon this truth morality can be built." - William H. Masters

"We should never create by law what can be accomplished by morality." - Baron de Montesquieu, fully Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu

"All naturalism in morality, that is all healthy morality, is dominated by an instinct of life - some commandment of life is fulfilled through a certain canon of ‘shall’ and ‘shall not’, some hindrance and hostile element on life’s road is thereby removed. Anti-natural morality, that is virtually every morality that has hitherto been taught, reverenced and preached, turns on the contrary precisely against the instincts of life - it is a now secret, now loud and impudent condemnation of these instincts. By saying ‘God sees into the heart’ it denies the deepest and the highest desires of life and takes God for the enemy of life." -

"By morality the individual is taught to become a function of the herd, and to ascribe to himself value only as a function... Morality is the herd instinct in the individual." -

"To be ashamed of one’s immorality - that is a step on the staircase at whose end one is also ashamed of one’s morality." -

"The People have the right to the Truth as they have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is not right that they be exploited and deceived with false views of life, false characters, false sentiment, false morality, false history, false philosophy, false emotions, false heroism, false notions of self-sacrifice, false views of religion , of duty, of conduct and manners." - Benjamin Franklin "Frank" Norris

"It is not by running hither and thither outside of itself that the soul understands morality and right conduct: it learns them of its own nature, in its contact with itself, in its intellectual grasp of itself, seeing deeply impressed upon it the images of its primal state." - Plotinus NULL

"Morality seeks to restrain the feelings; art seeks to define them by externalizing the, by giving them significant form. Morality has only one aim-the ideal good; art has quite another aim-the objective truth...art never changes." -

"I saw that all beings are fated to happiness: action is not life, but a way of wasting some force, an enervation. Morality is the weakness of the brain.”" - Arthur Rimbaud, fully Jean-Nicolas-Arthur Rimbaud

"To renounce liberty is to renounce being a man, to surrender the rights of humanity and even its duties. For him who renounces everything no indemnity is possible. Such a renunciation is incompatible with man’s nature; to remove all liberty from his will is to remove all morality from his acts." - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

"We have, in fact, two kinds of morality side by side: one which we preach but do not practice, and another which we practice but seldom preach." -

"Without doubt the greatest injury of all was done by basing morals on myth. For, sooner or later, myth is recognized for what it is, and disappears. Then morality loses the foundation on which it has been built." - Lord Samuel, Herbert Louis Samuel, First Viscount Samuel

"Reverence for Life affords me my fundamental principle of morality, namely, that good consists in maintaining, assisting, and enhancing life and that to destroy, to harm, or to hinder life is evil. Affirmation of the world - that is affirmation of the will to live, which appears in phenomenal forms all round me - is only possible for me in that I give myself out for other life." - Albert Schweitzer

"To attain excellence in society, an assemblage of qualification is requisite: disciplined intellect, to think clearly, and to clothe thought with propriety and elegance; knowledge of human nature, to suit subject to character; true politeness, to prevent giving pain; a deep sense of morality, to preserve the dignity of speech; and a spirit of benevolence, to neutralize its asperities, and sanctify its powers." - Lydia Sigourney, fully Lydia Huntley Sigourney, née Lydia Howard Huntley

"Obedience is the primary and irremissible motive and the foundation of all morality." - Pierre-Jules Hetzel, wrote under pen name P. J. Stahl

"Obstacles are necessary companions to expression, and we know that the positive element in language is not in its obstructiveness. Exclusively viewed from the side of the obstacle, nature appears inimical to the idea of morality. But if that were absolutely true, moral life could never come to exists." -

"Of all parts of wisdom, the practice is the best. Socrates was esteemed the wisest man of his time because he turned his acquired knowledge into morality and aimed at goodness more than greatness." - John Tillotson, Archbishop of Canterbury

"Our errors and our controversies, in the sphere of morality, arise sometimes from looking on men as through they could be altogether bad, or altogether good." -

"Morality is religion in practice; religion is morality in principle." - Joseph Wardlaw

"Without some element of objectivity, without any criterion for preferring one scheme of values to another, except the criterion of what looks most attractive to oneself, there cannot in fact be any morality at all." - Mary Warnock, fully Helen Mary Warnock, Baroness Warnock

"Knowledge does not comprise all which is contained in the large term of education. The feelings are to be disciplined; the passions are to be restrained; true and worthy motives are to be inspired; a profound religious feeling is to be instilled, and pure morality inculcated under all circumstances. All this is comprised in education." - Daniel Webster

"Our whole free dynamic society’s future depends upon a continued growth of our sense of responsibility and morality in direct proportion to the increase in our material wealth." - Walter H. Wheeler, Jr.

"The wise men of old have sent most of their morality down to the stream of time in the light skiff of apothegm or epigram; and the proverbs of nations, which embody the common sense of nations, have the brisk concussion of the most sparkling wit." - Edwin Percy Whipple

"The super-businessmen have to a large extent failed to see that the need for morality in the people they practically govern is greater than ever, because social relations are infinitely more delicate and complex in adjustment than heretofore." - James R. Adams