Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest Quotes

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Quote Author Cited
It is the function of vice to keep virtue within reasonable bounds. Samuel Butler
Politics have no relation to morals. Niccolo Machiavelli
When there is a lack of honor in government, the morals of the whole people are poisoned. Herbert Hoover
A lie which is half a truth is ever the blackest of lies. Alfred Lord Tennyson
All universal moral principles are idle fancies. Marquis de Sade
Conscience has no more to do with gallantry than it has with politics. Richard Brinsley Sheridan
Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it. George Haven Putnam
A man should be upright, not be kept upright. Marcus Aurelius
There is no man more dangerous, in a position of power, than he who refuses to accept as a working truth the idea that all a man does should make for rightness and soundness, that even the fixing of a tariff rate must be moral. Ida Tarbell
The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience. Harper Lee
Abhorrence of apartheid is a moral attitude, not a policy. Edward Heath
Great and good are seldom the same man. Winston Churchill
Leave undone whatever you hesitate to do. Kenko Yoshida
When morality comes up against profit, it is seldom that profit loses. Shirley Chisholm
Good government is the outcome of private virtue. John Jay Chapman
What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others. Confucius
Pretexts are not wanting when one wishes to use them. Carlo Goldoni
In politics nothing is contemptible. Benjamin Disraeli
It is necessary to make virtue fashionable. Jose Marti
Every man, in his own opinion, forms an exception to the ordinary rules of morality. William Hazlitt
The best liar is he who makes the smallest amount of lying go the longest way. Samuel Butler
I like the English. They have the most rigid code of immorality in the world. Malcolm Bradbury
The last temptation is the greatest treason: to do the right deed for the wrong reason. T. S. Eliot
Wisdom is knowing what to do next; virtue is doing it. David Starr Jordan
There are no morals in politics; there is only expedience. A scoundrel may be of use to us just because he is a scoundrel. Vladimir Lenin
Men must turn square corners when they deal with the Government. Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
The difference between a moral man and a man of honor is that the latter regrets a discreditable act, even when it has worked and he has not been caught. H. L. Mencken
We must never lose sight of the fact that the law has a moral foundation, and we must never fail to ask ourselves not only what the law is, but what the law should be. Anthony Kennedy
We know no spectacle so ridiculous as the British public in one of its periodical fits of morality. Thomas Babington Macaulay
There is a higher law than the Constitution. William H. Seward
The highest proof of virtue is to possess boundless power without abusing it. Thomas Babington Macaulay
When your conscience says law is immoral, don't follow it. Jack Kevorkian
Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on offices, a rottenness begins in his conduct. Thomas Jefferson
The surest way to remain poor is to be an honest man. Napoleon Bonaparte
The highest possible stage in moral culture is when we recognize that we ought to control our thoughts. Charles Darwin
So near is falsehood to truth that a wise man would do well not to trust himself on the narrow edge. Marcus Tullius Cicero
Don't let yesterday use up too much of today. Will Rogers
Never let your sense of morals get in the way of doing what's right. Isaac Asimov
Confidence in others' honesty is no light testimony of one's own integrity. Michel de Montaigne
Honesty is the best policy. Benjamin Franklin
We live, not as we wish to, but as we can. Menander
Character is destiny. Heraclitus
Candor is a proof of both a just frame of mind, and of a good tone of breeding. It is a quality that belongs equally to the honest man and to the gentleman. James F. Cooper
Success is the sole earthly judge of right and wrong. Adolf Hitler
There is no moral precept that does not have something inconvenient about it. Denis Diderot
Talent is a gift that brings with it an obligation to serve the world, and not ourselves, for it is not of our making. Jose Marti
The public weal requires that men should betray, and lie, and massacre. Michel de Montaigne
Condemn none: if you can stretch out a helping hand, do so. If you cannot, fold your hands, bless your brothers, and let them go their own way. Swami Vivekananda
Where the roots of private virtue are diseased, the fruit of public probity cannot but be corrupt. Felix Adler
We are not angels. Nor are we the devils you have made us out to be. Slobodan Milosevic
A man without ethics is a wild beast loosed upon this world. Albert Camus
When you betray somebody else, you also betray yourself. Isaac Bashevis Singer
The best plan is to profit by the folly of others. Pliny the Elder
What is the difference between unethical and ethical advertising? Unethical advertising uses falsehoods to deceive the public; ethical advertising uses truth to deceive the public. Vilhjalmur Stefansson
Most people sell their souls, and live with a good conscience on the proceeds. Logan Pearsall Smith
America is never wholly herself unless she is engaged in high moral principle. We as a people have such a purpose today. It is to make kinder the face of the nation and gentler the face of the world. George H. W. Bush
It is too difficult to think nobly when one thinks only of earning a living. Jean-Jacques Rousseau
It is an open question whether any behavior based on fear of eternal punishment can be regarded as ethical or should be regarded as merely cowardly. Margaret Mead
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. Edmund Burke
An honest man is always a child. Socrates
A harmful truth is better than a useful lie. Thomas Mann
We may draw good out of evil; we must not do evil, that good may come. Maria Weston Chapman
Not wishing to be disturbed over moral issues of the political economy, Americans cling to the notion that the government is a sort of automatic machine, regulated by the balancing of competing interests. C. Wright Mills
Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people whom we personally dislike. Oscar Wilde
You do what you think is right and let the law catch up. Thurgood Marshall
We are really living in a culturally, post-Christian nation. The fundamental norms Christians have long been able to depend upon no longer exist. Rod Dreher
Young people are told that they are standing up for Christ and resisting America's sexualized culture by claiming virginity as a countercultural, radical stance. Amy DeRogatis
Die fearlessly at the hands of your neighbors without fighting back to shame Muslims by your moral example.. Mohandas K. Gandhi
Moral teaching should always be used as a gift and not a cudgel.... It is important that we all be able to share our moral viewpoints without hurting each other. That is what is wrong with political discourse today. Arthur C. Brooks
Sometimes you have to strike a deal with the Mafia. But remember, the Mafia is not Mother Theresa. We must always keep that in mind. Ari Shavit
... advancing against disease, hunger and poverty ... are ... the moral purpose of American influence. George W. Bush
Reg meetings – dirty tricks dept. use of power of WH more ruthlessly in deadly battle – use all weapons. H. R. Haldeman
No man has the right to initiate the use of physical force against others. Ayn Rand
Of all forms of prestige, moral prestige is the most valuable, and no statesman should forget that one of the chief elements of British power is the moral weight that is behind it. William Edward Hartpole Lecky
The liberal is in fact appeasing his own conscience… Being white, he possesses the natural passport to the exclusive pool of white privilege… Yet, since he identifies with the blacks, he moves around his white circles…with a lighter load, feeing he is not like the rest. However, at the back of his mind is the constant reminder that he is quite comfortable as things stand… Although he does not vote for the Nationalists…he feels secure under the protection offered by the Nationalists and subconsciously shuns the idea of change. Steven Biko
South African ministers are anxious to deal out fair treatment, but are hampered by public opinion…and a degree of racial prejudice of which they themselves, as individuals, are largely free. Robert Offley Ashburton Crewe-Milnes; Lord Crewe
There is always the danger that increased personal independence will decrease the social capacity of an individual. In making him more self-reliant, it may make him more self-sufficient.... It often makes an individual so insensitive in his relations to others as to develop an illusion of being really able to stand and act alone -- an unnamed form of insanity which is responsible for a large part of the remedial suffering of the world John Dewey
I think the Right has made a serious mistake in adopting a moral-values strategy, because they’re winning in the short run. But in the long run, they’re going to lose this debate because they won’t be able to restrict it to two issues (abortion & gay marriage). Once you open that door to a values conversation, it’s going to undercut a right-wing economic agenda, which values wealth over work and favors the rich over the poor, or resorts to war as the first resort and not the last. Jim Wallis
You only get to know someone after a huge exchange of blows. Chinese Proverb
The best thing we can do for other people is by example and not by preaching George F. Kennan
These end of life decisions are so difficult and so personal that government ought to stay out of it. Vic Snyder
It is urgently necessary that we recognize our own limitations as a moral and ideological force among the Asiatic peoples. Our political philosophy and our patterns for living have very little applicability to masses of people in Asia. They may be all right for us, with our highly developed political traditions running back into the centuries and with our peculiarly favorable geographic position; but they are simply not practical or helpful, today, for most of the people in Asia. George F. Kennan
There is nothing specific we have to believe in order to have moral and spiritual lives. Sam Harris
There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written or badly written. Oscar Wilde
Conscience? Great souls do not worry themselves with such little details Aaron Burr
One day we might find ourselves making an alliance with the Greeks. Kemal Ataturk
Skullcaps, fezes, turbans – it all costs money which goes to foreigners. We will become civilized…We will march forward…Civilization is a fearful fire which consumes those who ignore it. Kemal Ataturk
The hat is the common headgear of the Turkish people, and the government forbids habits to the contrary. Turkey
Hypocrites and frauds of old used to drink a thousand times more, secretly in hovels as they indulged in all sorts of nastiness. I am not a fraud. I drink in my nation’s honor. Kemal Ataturk
We have defined decency down. Daniel P. Moynihan
The Department of Justice should never be reduced to a political arm of the White House. Patrick Leahy
There have been 2000 Americans who have served in Congress. The people who serve in Congress are no better nor no worse than those in any other American institution. Louis Stokes
They shall not reveal any parts of their bodies, except that which is necessary. Muhammad
Judge Taney can do many things, but he cannot…change the essential nature of things—making evil good, and good, evil. Frederick Douglass
At the time the Constitution was adopted, the plain unmistakable spirit of that age, towards slavery, was hostility to the principle, and toleration, only by necessity. Abraham Lincoln
Moral change still depends on the individual and not on the passage of any law. Eleanor Roosevelt
Governments acting in a crisis are guided by questions of expediency, and moral considerations are given very little weight, and that America is no different from any other nation in this respect. Leo Szilard
People in Washington do things that they shouldn’t do because they owe somebody. Art Buchwald
There are things a man must not do to save a nation. Murray Kempton
The question is, do corporate executives, provided they stay within the law, have responsibilities in their business activities other than to make as much money for their stockholders as possible? And my answer to that is, no they do not. Milton Friedman
A lack of moral clarity is also the tragedy that has befallen efforts to advance peace and security in the world. Promoting peace and security is fundamentally connected to promoting freedom and democracy. Natan Sharansky
The character of every act depends upon the circumstances in which it is done. Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
He who helps the guilty, shares the crime. Publius Syrus
People all over the world are today questioning matters that only a few generations ago were generally seen as "just the way things are.” Riane Eisler
There can be no fundamental distinction between what is morally right and what is politically right. Martin Buber
For you, O Italy, hatred of the French, under whatever standard or mask they present themselves, must be the single and fundamental basis of your political existence. Vittorio Alfieri
If this trade --- slavery --- admits of a moral or a rational justification, every crime, even the most atrocious, may be justified. John Wesley
That which we call sin in others, we call experiment in ourselves. Ralph Waldo Emerson
In order to obtain and hold power a man must love it. Thus the effort to get it is not likely to be coupled with goodness, but with the opposite qualities of pride, craft and cruelty. Leo Tolstoy
Moral crusade: Public activity undertaken by middle-aged men who are cheating on their wives or diddling little boys. Moral crusades are particularly popular among those seeking power for their own personal pleasure, politicians who can't think of anything useful to do with their mandates, and religious professionals suffering from a personal inability to communicate with their god. John Ralston Saul
If right were really right it would differ so clearly from not right that there would be no need for argument. Zhuangzi
The most important thing to do in your life, is to not interfere with somebody else's life Frank Zappa
There are deeds, crimes that may be forgiven. But this is not one of them. Walt Whitman
… the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either – but right through every human heart – and through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years. And even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained. And even in the best of all hearts, there remains…an unuprooted small corner of evil. Since then I have come to understand the truth of all the religions of the world: They struggle with the evil inside a human being (inside every human being). It is impossible to expel evil from the world in its entirety, but it is possible to constrict it within each person. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin? Book of Proverbs; Solomon
The just man walks in his integrity Book of Proverbs; Solomon
All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes. Book of Proverbs; Solomon
Every way of a man is right in his own eyes Book of Proverbs; Solomon
One lesson of history is that moral force counts. Nicholas Kristof
The political is the moral and the moral is the political. Ben Stein
The extent to which ethics leads or lags the scientific juggernaut will now be measured in the specific policy decisions our democratic political systems produce. Hugh Heclo
Where there is politics or economics, there is no morality Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel
No human being or society ... ever did or ever will come to much unless their conduct was governed and guided by the love of some ethical ideal Thomas Huxley
As long as dishonorable success outranks honest effort—as long as society bows and cringes before the great thieves, there will be little ones enough to fill the jails. Robert G. Ingersoll
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
If everyone were clothed with integrity, if every heart were just, frank, and kindly, the other virtues would be well-nigh useless, since their chief purpose is to make us bear with patience the injustice of our fellows. Jean Molière
The human spirit is not dead. It lives on in secret.... It has come to believe that compassion, in which all ethics must take root, can only attain its full breadth and depth if it embraces all living creatures and does not limit itself to mankind Albert Schweitzer
The moral fiber of the American people is beset by rot and decay Barry Goldwater
The world is beginning to doubt the moral basis for our War on Terrorism. Colin Powell
The legal profession is overrun with money-makers, who regard it only as a business by which money is made, with little or no thought of the quality of the means used. We greatly need many more lawyers who regard the profession as a ministry in the temple of Justice... John B. Winslow
Pluralism is political polytheism…. a unitary society cannot assimilate a welter of competing, incommensurate moral claims. Gary North
Laws control the lesser man. Right conduct controls the greater one. Chinese Proverb
In civilized life, law floats in a sea of ethics. Each is indispensable to civilization. Without law, we should be at the mercy of the least scrupulous; without ethics, law could not exist. Earl Warren
I was just visited by a constituent of mine who runs a company that provides services that your agency might use and I would like someone to meet and tell them if there are any opportunities for them. I personally do not know the quality of their work, and I of course do not want any special favor or consideration for them. I have told them that I will only help them identify Federal opportunities but to win any work they must be the best company and the low bidder. Paul H. Douglas
Right and wrong implies some standard... some truth... something non-negotiable. And this is a negotiable world. Everything is up for debate today. There's your truth and her truth and my truth. And what's true for me today might not be true for me tomorrow. Before we know it, we are so far down the road that where we are in no way resembles where we were not so long ago. Scott Wilder
When a soldier goes to war he has to have a moral justification for killing the other side. Stephen Mansfield
Mankind's salvation lies exclusively in everyone's making everything his business, in the people of the East being anything but indifferent to what is thought in the West, and in the people of the West being anything but indifferent to what happens in the East. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Elites always tell poor people, “Work hard and play by the rules.” Liza Featherstone
I am genuinely independent of the big monied men in all matters where I think the interests of the public are concerned, and probably I am the first President of recent times of whom this could be truthfully said.... But where I do not grant any favors to these big monied men which I do not think the country requires that they should have, it is out of the question for me to expect them to grant favors to me in return... The sum of this is that I can make no private or special appeals to them, and I am at my wits' end how to proceed. Theodore Roosevelt
An owner’s right to exclude others from his property is the means by which he can avoid “bads” from happening: events that will lower the value of his property. By means of an unceasing flood of redistributive legislation, the democratic state has worked relentlessly not only to strip its citizens of all arms (weapons) but also to strip domestic property owners of their right of exclusion, thereby robbing them of much of their personal and physical protection. Hans-Hermann Hoppe
There never was an anti-slavery movement until white Christians—Englishmen and Americans—created one. David Horowitz
When the principle that force is right is become the principle of the nation itself, they would not permit an honest minister, were accident to bring such a one into power, to relax their system of lawless piracy. Thomas Jefferson
I think we might well ask: How does one destroy his enemy by becoming like him? Thomas P. Gill
The most respected men have no scruples about drinking wine, nor the women about fornicating: the women take two husbands, the men drink to inebriation…The native population is dark in color, their language horrible. Muqaddasi
Where are no whole truths; all truths are half-truths. It is trying to treat them as whole truths that plays the devil. Alfred North Whitehead
One must be especially wary of an Administration that seems to feel that what it judges to be a good end, always justifies any means. Robert Byrd
If you do not accept the yoke of the Church and the King of Spain, I will make war on you everywhere in every way that I can. The death and destruction will be your fault. Francisco Pizarro
A kiss without a moustache, they said then, is like an egg without salt; I will add to it: and it is like Good without Evil. Jean-Paul Sartre
Doubt is our product, since it is the best means of competing with the body of fact that exists on the mind of the general public. James Inhofe; Brown & Williamson
Duty remains even when harm arises not from malevolence but from religious conviction or local custom or ordinary boneheadedness. What is the key is the well being of the victim not the motive of the perpetrator… I’d feel no better about your burning me at the stake out of deep spiritual yearning than I would because you were just having a bad day . Randy Cohen
In the absence of their superior's adherence to the law, honorable men either speak up or get out Lowell P. Weicker Jr.
High birth is an accident, not a virtue. Pietro Metastasio
You can’t set aside … values in the name of political expediency. Lindsey Graham
Violent People: Are they the cause of violence or are their genes? James D. Watson
We oppose the immoral practice of embryonic stem cell research. It is fraught with ethical problems. Any good that may come from this avenue of research will be forever morally tainted .... adult stem cell research is the only life-affirming stem cell research. Barrett Duke
Listen or your tongue will keep you deaf. Anonymous
No man should be a judge in his own case. Anonymous
One does evil enough when one does nothing good. Anonymous
The lawless in spirit soon become the lawless in practice. Anonymous
Conscience: something that feels terrible when everything else feels well. Anonymous
Do not return evil to your adversary; requite with kindness the one who does evil to you, maintain justice for your enemy, be friendly to your enemy. Anonymous
He that resolves to deal with none but honest men must leave off dealing. Anonymous
He who thinks that anything can be accomplished with money will himself likely to do anything for money. Anonymous
Law-makers should not be law-breakers. Anonymous
Many things lawful are not expedient. Anonymous
Moral victories don't count. Anonymous
You are not to do evil that good may come of it. Non faciat malum, ut inde veniat bonum. Anonymous
Only lie about the future. Anonymous
Vice often rides triumphant in Virtue's chariot. Anonymous
A contribution of $2,500 is not going to buy the reputation and decisions of an elected official. Robert Abrams
It is a very great misfortune that persons employed in the most important Departments should ... have separate interests from the publick whom they profess to serve. Abigail Adams
Nothing [is] more uncertain than the moral sensitivities of a political body. Henry Adams
When a majority could benefit only its enemies by telling the truth, history shows that honorable men often preferred to tell what is untrue. Henry Adams
Government of the people, by the people, for the benefit of the Senators. Henry Adams
Society is immoral and immortal; it can afford to commit any kind of folly, and indulge in any kind of vice; it cannot be killed and the fragments that survive can always laugh at the dead. Henry Adams
[Thomas Jefferson is:] ... a slur upon the moral government of the world. John Quincy Adams
In politics as in private life, [Henry] Clay is essentially a gamester, and, with a vigorous intellect, an ardent spirit, a handsome elocution, though with a mind very defective in elementary knowledge, and a very undigested system of ethics, he has all the qualities which belong to that class of human characters. John Quincy Adams
Commenting on President James Monroe's reluctance to deal with corruption:] He rather turns his eye from misconduct, and betrays a sensation of pain when it is presented directly to him. John Quincy Adams
Slavery establishes false estimates of virtue and vice. John Quincy Adams
The right must ... yield to the expedient. John Quincy Adams
Saving lives is the top morality. Mohammed Akhter
I will assist you in your amour if your mistress be to be gained either by presents or persuasions; but we must use no other means, because she is free-born. Alexander III
The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who in time of great moral crises maintain their neutrality. Dante Alighieri
Nobody has a more sacred obligation to obey the law than those who make the law. Jean Anouilh
Because of the diverse conditions of humans, it happens that some acts are virtuous to some individuals … while the same acts are immoral for others … Thomas Aquinas
The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never made up their minds to be either good or evil. Hannah Arendt
Most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil Hannah Arendt
All virtue is summed up by just dealing. Aristotle
In a pluralistic society, no group, no matter how numerous or powerful, has a right to prescribe a set of beliefs or a code of ethics for all. Arthur James Armstrong
It contains a misleading impression, not a lie. I was being economical with the truth. Robert Temple Armstrong
No morality can be founded on authority, even if the authority were divine. Alfred Jules Ayer
I suppose we should all sing "Bail to the Chief. Howard Baker
When someone disagrees with you on a moral point you assume that he is one step behind in his thinking, and he assumes that he has gone one step ahead. Tom Stoppard
It has always been desirable to tell the truth, but seldom if ever necessary. Arthur Balfour
I am not one of those senators who feel it is necessary for the Senate to pass a resolution binding the membership to be honorable men. If I thought it was necessary to pass a resolution to make us honorable, I would not want to be a member of this body. Alben W. Barkley
Capitalism is based on a kind of inherited moral climate. Robert Bartley
We are now facing a problem more of ethics than of physics. Bernard Baruch
... a very foolish lapse of judgement on my part. Stanley G. Bedford
You're either in a conflict or you're not in a conflict. Griffin Bell
Ethics is a fluid term ...It's the standards by which a civilized society lives. Robert S. Bennett
If you want young people to take right and wrong seriously, you must put them in the presence of people who take right and wrong seriously. William Bennett
It is our character that supports the promise of our future—far more than particular government programs or policies. William Bennett
It is the greatest good to the greatest number which is the measure of right and wrong. Jeremy Bentham
Truth is the cry of all, but the game of the few. George Berkeley
Principles are not less sacred because their duration cannot be guaranteed. Isaiah Berlin
I have never regarded politics as an arena of morals. It is the arena of interests. Aneurin Bevan
I would not hold that we must judge by the favorable or adverse result alone whether an undertaking was just or unjust. Theodore Beza
Anything done [in politics] is all right unless you get caught. Theodore G. Bilbo
We can only judge what is right and proper by our own standards of right and wrong, which differs widely from the whites if I have been properly informed. The whites may do wrong all their lives, and then if they are sorry for it when they die, all is well, but with us it is different. We must continue to do good throughout our lives ... If the Great Spirit wished us to believe and do as the whites, He could easily change our opinions so that we could see, think, and act as they do... I believe that every man must make his own path. Black Hawk
It's easy to get into the grey zone [of ethics]. Sherwood Boehlert
Truth has a way of shifting under pressure. Curtis Bok
… a model of political virtues and moral enlightenment unique in the history of mankind. Simon Bolivar
When statesmen forsake their own private conscience for the sake of their public duties, they lead their country by a short route to chaos. Robert Bolt
There is no more harm in adultery than in rubbing one's hands together. Boniface VIII
We’re not defined simply by the laws we pass, but by the example we set. David Bonior
The foundation upon which democracy rests is faith in the moral instincts of the people. Its ballot boxes, the franchise, its laws, and constitutions are but the outward manifestations of the deeper and more essential thing—a continuing trust in the moral purposes of the average man and woman. William E. Borah
The choice of "fundamental values" by the [Supreme] Court cannot be justified. Where constitutional materials do not clearly specify the value to be preferred, there is no principled way to prefer any claimed human value to any other. The judge must stick close to the text and history, and their fair implications, and not construct any new rights. Robert Bork
[The apparent extensive sinning] is not more evils in this kind, nor nothing near so many by proportion, as in other places; but they are here more discovered and seen, and made publick by due search, inquisition, and due punishment; for the churches looke narrowly to their members, and the magistrates over all, more strictly than in other places. William Bradford
Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. Omar N. Bradley
Despotism, be it financial or political, is vulnerable, unless it is believed to rest upon a moral sanction. Louis D. Brandeis
Self-respect and prosperity are the most effective guardian of morals. Louis D. Brandeis
A government job is an occasion for public service, not special privilege. The undivided loyalty to the public interest required of the governorship makes it inappropriate to keep the profusion of gifts that arrive every day at this office. Edmund G. Brown Jr.
[Commenting on America:] In no other country is the ideal side of public life so ignored by the mass and repudiated by its leaders. James Bryce
Public virtue is the vital spirit of republics, and history proves that when this has decayed and the love of money has usurped its place, although the forms of the free government may remain for a season, the substance has departed forever. James Buchanan
Sanctions are a very un-Christian weapon. Pat Buchanan
Traditional values is the last trump card the Republican party possesses. Pat Buchanan
When hope is taken away from the people moral degeneration follows swiftly after. Pearl S. Buck
A man's virtue is best secured by shame, and best improved by emulation in the society of virtuous men. Edmund Burke
When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle. Edmund Burke
[He was] Resolved to die in the last dyke of prevarication. Edmund Burke
We are all responsible for our actions and our failures to act. George W. Bush
I will do anything to get re-elected. George W. Bush
When government tries to serve as a parent or teacher or a moral guide, individuals may be tempted to discard their own sense of responsibility, to argue that only government must help people in need. If we've learned anything in the past quarter century, it is that we cannot federalize virtue. George W. Bush
The foundations of morality are like all other foundations: If you dig too much about them, the superstructure will come tumbling down. Samuel Butler
You, too, Brutus my son! Et tu, Brute fili. Julius Caesar
The people wish to be deceived; let them be deceived. Alfonso Carafa
If the moral and physical fiber of its manhood and its womanhood is not a state concern, the question is, what is? Benjamin N. Cardozo
A trustee is held to something stricter than the morals of the market place. Not honesty alone, but the punctilio of an honor the most sensitive, is then the standard. Benjamin N. Cardozo
A man who dies … rich, lies disgraced. Andrew Carnegie
I'll never tell a lie. I'll never make a misleading statement. Jimmy Carter
I have looked on a lot of women with lust. I've committed adultery in my heart many times. God recognizes I will do this and forgives me. Jimmy Carter
Since the state is a community of human beings it is as truly subject to the moral law as any private society. Catholic Association for International Peace
It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle or a rich man to enter the kingdom of Heaven, than for a politician to lay aside disguise. James Caulfield, 1st Earl of Charlemont
He is only honest who is not discovered. Susanna Centilivre
A private sin is not so prejudicial in the world as public indecency. Miguel de Cervantes
If you do what's right, it's going to work out in the end successfully. John Chafee
Some things are easier to legalize than to make legitimate. Nicolas Chamfort
Principles and rules are binding, but when they come into conflict they must be balanced. James Childress
It is right and honorable to use any means to kill Indians that would kill [white] women and children … damn any man who is sympathy with Indians. John M. Chivington
The courage of New England was the courage of conscience. Rufus Choate
Courage is the most important of the virtues because it is the one that makes all the others possible. Winston Churchill
The flame of Christian ethics is still our highest guide. Winston Churchill
Sometimes we have an objective reality that tells you you shouldn’t do what you want to do. Henry Cisneros
As an institution becomes less and less democratic, the obligation to abide by its decisions diminishes. Randy Cohen
The assumption has to be that members of Congress are, like eunuchs in a harem, physically incapable of a conflict of interest. Richard Cohen
They [corporations] cannot commit treason, nor be outlawed, nor excommunicated, for they have no souls. Edward Coke
Fraud and deceit abound in these days more than in former times. Edward Coke
I've been investigated by the best, and there's nothing there. Tony Coleho
When all run by common consent into vice, none appear to do so. Charles Caleb Colton
The word—right—should be excluded from political language, as the word—cause—from the language of philosophy. Both are theological and metaphysical conceptions; and the former is as immoral and subversive as the latter is unmeaning and sophistical. Auguste Comte
All men are born good. Kung Fu-tse; Confucius
If the official is himself upright, the people will play their roles without orders. If he is not upright, even under orders the people will be disobedient. Confucius; Kung Fu-tse
All a man can betray is his conscience. Joseph Conrad
Character is the only secure foundation of the state. Calvin Coolidge
Great men are almost always bad men. John Emerich Edward Dalberg; Lord Acton
It has been my philosophy all my life that good government is good politics. Richard Joseph Daley
I give special consideration to everybody. Alphonse D'Amato
A conscientious man ought not to regard what may happen to him in this world. Thomas Deacon
When you have a president who in my opinion has cheated on his wife, he will cheat on the American people. Thomas D. DeLay
Circumstances are beyond the control of man; but his conduct is in his own power. Benjamin Disraeli
A first principle of Anglo-American jurisprudence is that the ends do not justify the means. William O. Douglas
It is not morality that makes Jews bad, but the Jews make bad morality.... Morals and religion are the products of race. Karl Dühring
I have learned that a clear conscience, or a legal opinion, does not make you ethically bullet proof. David Durenburger
A good cause can become bad if we fight for it with means that are indiscriminatingly murderous. Freeman Dyson
Are we entitled to make an exception for a poet and still shoot the others? Feliks Dzerzhinski
Be not righteous overmuch. Book of Ecclesiastes
What man's mind can create, man's character can control. Thomas A. Edison
People say I've had brushes with the law . That's not true. I've had brushes with overzealous prosecutors. Edwin W. Edwards
And I think after the history of this first term is written and you look back, you're going to see that compared to other administrations or by any other standard you'd want to apply, that it has been an extraordinarily clean, corruption-free administration because the President [Nixon] insists on that. John D. Ehrlichman
Whosoever fails to take small matters seriously in the spirit of truth, cannot be trusted in greater affairs. Albert Einstein
What we call “morals” is simply blind obedience to words of command. Havelock Ellis
There is within man an ethical feeling ... telling us that in our economic life as well as elsewhere we must seek to promote the welfare of our neighbor and brother. Richard T. Ely
The doctrine of laissez faire is unsafe in politics and unsound in morals. Richard T. Ely
Most of the great results of history are brought about by discreditable means. Ralph Waldo Emerson
Union is a delectable thing, and so is wealth, and so is life, but they may all cost too much, if they cost honour. Ralph Waldo Emerson
Our citizens do not know whom to believe, and many of them have concluded that all the processes of government have become so compromised that honest government has been rendered impossible. Samuel J. Ervin Jr.
The most arbitrary powers in history always hid under the claim of some impersonal logic—God, the laws of nature, the laws of the market—and they always overlooked the backlash when morally intolerable discrepancies became glaringly visible. Yaron Ezrahi
Evil societies always try to kill their consciences. James Farmer
Whenever morality is based on theology, whenever right is made dependent on divine authority, the most immoral, unjust, infamous things can be justified and established. Ludwig Andreas von Feuerbach
What was right yesterday can't be wrong today. Klaus Filbinger
In this cold and ruthless city [Washington DC] the center of hypocrisy is Capitol Hill Newt Gingrich
The history of governments is one of the most immoral parts of human history. William E. Gladstone
All men are fallible; no man can be justified in setting up his judgment as a standard for others. We have no infallible judge of controversies; each man in his own apprehension is right in his decisions; and we can find no satisfactory mode of adjusting their jarring pretensions. William Godwin
Important is not what is right, but what wins. Joseph Goebbels
It is safe to say that no other superstition is so detrimental to growth, so enervating and paralyzing to the minds and hearts of the people, as the superstition of Morality. Emma Goldman
We are not far from the kind of moral decay that has brought on the fall of other nations and peoples. Barry Goldwater
[Lyndon Johnson was] the epitome of the unprincipled politician. Barry Goldwater
No matter what you do, be honest. That sticks out in Washington. Barry Goldwater
the most dishonest individual I ever met in my life. Barry Goldwater
We can be lied to only so many times. The best thing that he [President Nixon] can do for the country is to get the hell out of the White House and get out this afternoon. Barry Goldwater
Morality is a social necessity Gora; Shri Goparaju Ramachandra
Each man must grant himself … the morality that suits him. Remy de Gourmont
I would never stultify my opinion for the sake of a little security. Ulysses S. Grant
Constituent demands must take a back seat to the safety of ... constituents as a whole. Edwin J. Gray
The perception of the right of every man to do pretty much as he pleases…. [which will produce] a general profligacy and corruption such as this country has never known. Horace Greeley
Nature has no principles. She furnishes us with no reason to believe that human life is to be respected. Nature, in her indifference, makes no distinction between good and evil. Anatole France; Jacques Anatole Francois Thibault
If we're not careful, to be in public life, you're going to have to be the product of a virgin birth. Martin Franks
I begin by taking. I shall find scholars afterwards to demonstrate my perfect right. Frederick II
If you want to ... make money in the private sector, you should stay out of the political arena. If you want to go into the political arena, then you should stay out of doing business with the government. Stanley M. Friedman
There is perhaps no phenomenon which contains so much destructive feeling as “moral indignation,” which permits envy or hate to be acted out under the guise of virtue. Erich Fromm
He that resolves to deal with none but honest men, must leave off dealing. Thomas Fuller
It is difficult but not impossible to conduct strictly honest business. What is true is that honesty is incompatible with the amassing of a large fortune. Mohandas K. Gandhi
Fair means alone can produce fair results. Mohandas K. Gandhi
It is difficult but not impossible to conduct strictly honest business. What is true is that honesty is incompatible with the amassing of a large fortune. Mohandas K. Gandhi
Men say that I am a saint losing myself in politics. The fact is that I am a politician trying my hardest to be a saint. Mohandas K. Gandhi
I have observed that voluntary workers are apt to behave as if they are not bound to render a detailed account of the business or monies with which they are entrusted because, like Caesar's wife, they are above suspicion. This is sheer nonsense. Mohandas K. Gandhi
It was an act of both conscience and cowardice. Leonard Garment
I am not worth it [the high salary] as John Garner, and any value I have attained as Vice President of the United States is not for sale. John Nance Garner
Political action is not moral action, any more than a box on the ear is an argument. William Lloyd Garrison
I would rather risk my Crown than do what I think personally disgraceful ... it is impossible that the nation shall not stand by me; if they will not, they shall have another King. George III
Lying was a way of life. The solution to the problem is ultrasimple: tell the truth, no matter how painful. A. Ernest Fitzgerald
That was wrong. It was a mistake in judgment on my part. [Through a plea bargain, he received probation for the felony count as was thus able to maintain his seat in the legislature. Charles E. Flaherty
Eating people is wrong Michael Flanders
Let's face it, the thing was a fund-raising appeal and with a fund-raising appeal, you always fire for effect. You always exaggerate a bit. Daniel E. Flemming
It may well be true that, as a former cabinet member, I had better access than some. Carla Hills
Propaganda must not serve the truth, especially insofar as it might bring out something favorable to the opponent.... The victor will never be asked if he told the truth. Adolf Hitler
... a step in the direction of tyranny. Donald Hodel
The paranoid spokesman sees the fate of conspiracy in apocalyptic terms—he traffics in the birth and death of whole worlds, whole political orders, whole systems of human values. He is always manning the barricades of civilization. He constantly lives at a turning point. Like religious millenialists he expresses the anxiety of those who are living through the last days…. Since what is at stake is always a conflict between absolute good and absolute evil, what is necessary is not compromise but the will to fight things out to a finish. Since the enemy is thought of as being totally evil and totally unappeasable, he must be totally eliminated—if not from the world, at least from the theatre of operations to which the paranoid directs his attention. This demand for total triumph leads to the formulation of hopelessly unrealistic goals, and since these goals are not even remotely attainable, failure constantly heightens the paranoid’s sense of frustration. Even partial success leaves him with the same feeling of powerlessness with which he began, and this in turn only strengthens his awareness of the vast and terrifying quality of the enemy he opposes. Richard Hofstadter
Our system of morals is a body of imperfect social generalizations expressed in terms of emotion. Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
Ronald Reagan is not a typical politician because he doesn't know how to lie, cheat, and steal. He's always had an agent for that. Bob Hope
Conscience is the highest of all Courts. Victor Hugo
No one may do evil that good may come. Ward Hunt
The quality of moral behaviour varies in inverse ratio to the number of human beings involved. Aldous Huxley
The foundation of morality is to have done, once and for all, with lying. Thomas Huxley
All politics is an extension of ethics ... We cannot leave out conscience at the caucus room door. Henry Hyde
Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) told an AP reporter that he doesn’t mind queers, but he does mind queers having sex (which is a cool distinction) – and then complained that he wasn’t being given the right to say what he wanted about what those cute nasty gay boys do. Penn Jillette
It is the human being that was elected to bring values to the world. Ifa
The Decalogue and the Golden Rule have no place in a political campaign. The commander who lost the battle through the activity of his moral nature would be the derision and jest of history. John James Ingalls
There is something wrong in a government where they who do the most have the least. There is something wrong when honesty wears a rag, and rascality a robe; when the loving, the tender, eat a crust, while the infamous sit at banquets. Robert G. Ingersoll
That which is morally wrong will never be politically right. Jesse Jackson
… the moral equivalent of war Henry James
The Moral Equivalent of War William James
Whenever you do a thing, tho' it can never be known but to yourself, ask yourself how you would act were all the world looking at you and act accordingly. Thomas Jefferson
Conscience is known to be adequate in individuals; in large numbers little is to be expected of it. Thomas Jefferson
My observations do not enable me to say I think integrity the characteristic of wealth ... The decisions of the people in a body, will be more honest and more disinterested than those of wealthy men. Thomas Jefferson
Evil does not grow out of the soil, nor does mischief spring from the ground. Only man is born to do mischief, just as sparks fly upward. Book of Job
You try to force me to do a dishonorable act, contrary to the law as I see it, and against my conscience, and rather than do your bidding I'll suffer my right arm torn from the socket.... I regard you as a damn villain, and get out of my office, or, damn you, I'll kick you out. Andrew Johnson
The commerce in sexual stimulation and auto-eroticism, for its own sake, unrelated to marriage, procreation, or familial relations is an evil, an obscenity... detrimental to the health and morality of the state William Pryor Jr.
Extremism in the pursuit of the presidency is an unpardonable vice. Lyndon B. Johnson
This is the danger, when vice becomes a precedent. Ben Jonson
In those days [after Samson's death] there was no king in Israel, but every man did what was right in his own eyes. Book of Judges
Honesty is praised and starved. Decimus Junius Juvenal
We know of no spectacle so ridiculous as the British public in one of its periodical fits of morality. Thomas Babington Macaulay
A prudent ruler cannot and should not observe faith [keep his promises] when such observance is to his disadvantage. Niccolo Machiavelli
Because just as good morals, if they are to be maintained, have need of the laws, so the laws, if they are to be observed, have need of good morals. Niccolo Machiavelli
The prince must not mind incurring the scandal of those vices without which it would be difficult to save the state. Niccolo Machiavelli
Murder is not absolved of immortality by committing murder. Murder is absolved of immorality by bringing men to think that murder is not evil. This only the perversion of the mind can bring about. And the perversion of the mind is only possible when those who should be heard in its defense are silent. Archibald MacLeish
Railways are my politics. Allan MacNab
No government any more than an individual will long be respected, without being truly respectable. James Madison
There is no maxim ... which is more liable to be misapplied ... than the current one that the interest of the majority is the political standard of right and wrong. James Madison
The decent moderation of today will be the least of human things tomorrow. At the time of the Spanish Inquisition, the opinion of good sense and of the good medium was certainly that people ought not to burn too large a number of heretics; extreme and unreasonable opinion obviously demanded that they should burn none at all. Maurice Maeterlinck
I had believed it [organizing the Watergate break-in] was wrong but believed that the greater good was in serving the President. Jeb Stuart Magruder
[We Democrats] see nothing wrong in the rule that to the victors belong the spoils. William L. Marcy
When virtue is banished, ambition invades the minds of those who are disposed to receive it, and avarice possesses the whole community. Charles de Montesquieu
I fear … that morals do not of necessity advance hand in hand with the sciences. Thomas Jefferson
The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest. Thomas Jefferson
The wealth acquired by speculation and plunder, is fugacious in its nature, and fills society with the spirit of gambling. Thomas Jefferson
In friendships, you expect total trust; in business you expect some dishonesty. But in politics, you not only expect distortion as a way of life but accept it with pleasure. Jackie Mason
I am responsible but not guilty! Emilio E. Massera
What has a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Book of Matthew
Governments almost never act with moral clarity and for very good reason. They are dealing with competing interests. Jessica Tuchman Matthews
If you've been around for thirty years posing moral judgments on politics and society, you've got to take a stand. You can't go waving your wooden sword forever. Eugene McCarthy
I note your refusal to give us answers to our questions. Your insistence is extremely revealing. It would seem that the last man in the world who would try to protect and hide the facts about one of his top officer's [William Bundy] association with, and contributions to, a convicted traitor [Alger Hiss] would be the head of the CIA.... That the matter cannot and will not rest here is, of course, obvious. Joseph R. McCarthy
Who are your friends and supporters and how do they influence you? That's part of public concern about character. Karen McCarthy
In politics ... retreat is honorable if dictated by military considerations and shameful if even suggested for ethical reasons. Mary McCarthy
I never place myself mentally in the position of compromising principle and conscience. But there are times when I might harmonize differences in order to make progress, or maintain unity. John McCormack
Truth is a habit of integrity—not a strategy of politics. George McGovern
[Richard Nixon was:] The greatest moral leader of the last third of this century. John McLaughlin
Be sensible, that is, cease to be honest. Thomas Francis Meagher
Conscience is the inner voice that warns us that someone may be looking. H. L. Mencken
Time is a great legalizer, even in the field of morals. H. L. Mencken
I am going to leave this car as property of the nation. But meanwhile I shall use it myself. Carlos Menem
Cannibalism is horrible, but still, for the moment, we have to pretend not to see it. Michaux
… the great vitality and durability of institutions which place right on the side of might John Stuart Mill
There are certain things, when you get into public office, that you just should not do. James Miller
Character is what you are in the dark. Dwight L. Moody
If the end does not justify the means, what does? Robert Moses
When I became press secretary my father sent me a telegram and said, "Tell the truth if you can and if you can't tell the truth, don't tell a lie." That became very difficult to do. Bill Moyers
Connect liberty with knowledge and both with morality. Thomas Muir
Even the best-intentioned of great men need a few scoundrels around them; there are some things you cannot ask an honest man to do. Jean de la Bruyere
There are times when lying is the most sacred of duties. Eugene Labiche
I did not wish to bribe myself. William Lamb Melbourne
If you are a model to the Empire, then constant virtue will not be wanting [to the people]. Lao Tzu
Truth purchases hatred. Veritas odium parit. Latin Proverb
Medicine is a noble art. We must preserve our moral purity. Le Huu Trac; Hai Thuong Lan Ong; Lan Ong
Moderation in the pursuit of truth is no virtue. Vigilance in the defense of public ethics is no vice. James Madison Leach
I cannot consent to receive pay for services I do not render. Robert E. Lee
I should be trading on the blood of my men. Robert E. Lee
[Objecting to administration policies:] Truth is on the scaffold, wrong is on the throne. William Lemke
We should work for material progress and at the same time ethical progress. Li Peng
Our polity has fallen down a dark hole into a place that is far from the vision and values of those who founded this democracy. Joseph I. Lieberman
Do you take the President of the United States to he a commission broker? You have come to the wrong place, and for you and every one who comes for such purposes, there is the door! Abraham Lincoln
If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong. Abraham Lincoln
There are few things wholly evil, or wholly good. Almost every thing, especially of government policy, is an inseparable compound of the two. Abraham Lincoln
You cannot institute any equality between right and wrong. Abraham Lincoln
If the national government falls into the hands of sufficiently unprincipled men, they can do terrible things before any one can stop them. Walter Lippmann
... sufficient conscience to bother him, but not sufficient to keep him straight. David Lloyd George
What I've had to do is divide my time between black churches and white garden clubs. I want to be Atlanta's mayor, but I would also like to be Georgia's governor or senator. I can't be that without white support. Michael L. Lomax
The basis of effective government is public confidence. John F. Kennedy
Theories—principles—by them if men do not live, by them men are, at least, stirred into life, at the sight of something more noble than themselves. Charles Kingsley
Moral claims can be asserted as a national prerogative only at the cost of long-term domestic and international support. Henry A. Kissinger
Between knowing and not knowing is not wanting to know. Charles Krauthammer
If we insist that public life be reserved for those whose personal history is pristine, we are not going to get paragons of virtue running our affairs. We will get the very rich, who will contract out the messy things in life: the very dull, who have nothing to hide and nothing to show: and the very devious, expert at covering their tracks and ambitious enough to risk their discovery. Charles Krauthammer
It is perhaps being economical with the truth. Robert Temple Armstrong
What is the cause of the great overflow of Vice in this age Thomas Beard
Falsehood and delusion are allowed in no case whatsoever. But, as in the exercise of all the virtues, there is an economy of truth. Edmund Burke
It is foolish, generally speaking, for a philosopher to set fire to another philosopher in Smithfield Market because they do not agree in their theory of the universe. That was done very frequently in the last decadence of the Middle Ages. Gilbert K. Chesterton
All the officials responsible for giving ethical advice to the emperor were chased away. Chinese Proverb
He who governs by his moral excellence may be compared to the Pole star which abides in its place while all other stars bow towards it. Chinese Proverb
No social system, however, elevates "Goodness" to a deciding principle, whether the realm be art, politics, or economics. Tyler Cowen
Religion to me really means ethical systems. Michael Crichton
With a good [political] system, even evil men cannot do evil. Deng Xiaoping
There has been a very great alteration among the youth of the town, with respect to reveling, frolicking, profane and unclean conversation, and lewd songs: instances of fornication have been very rare: there has also been a great alteration amongst both old and young with respect to tavern-haunting. Jonathan Edwards
There is honour even among thieves. English Proverb or Saying
Live so that your friends can defend you, but never have to Arnold H. Glasow
A more beautiful or precious morsel of ethics I have never seen Thomas Jefferson
Of all the systems of morality, ancient or modern, which have come under my observation, none appear to me so pure as that of Jesus Thomas Jefferson
This [human cloning] is an unethical human experiment on the child to be. It is a major step in the conversion of procreation to manufacture. Leon Kass
One stumble is enough to deface the character of an honorable life. Roger L'Estrange
As regards the inferred premise that there is an absolute and invariable moral code by which the men of all ages and of all degrees of civilization are to be tried and convicted or acquitted, a very slender acquaintance with the history of ethics would appear sufficient to establish its fallacy. It would be overbold to suggest that morals are purely conventional and arbitrary, yet anthropological research has shown that there is scarce a sin condemned in the Decalogue which has not been or may not now be regarded rather as a virtue, or at least as an allowable practice, at some time or place among a portion of mankind Henry Charles Lea
People have different concepts of the good life, and any attempt to impose one favored view will be contentious. Loren E. Lomasky
Do not do unto others what would not be good for yourself. Adarbad Mahraspandan
As to polygamy, I charge it to be … evil—a scarlet whore! John Alexander McCLernand
It is just a matter of simple justice…. It was the right thing to do. James E. McGreavy
Whenever you travel over your lands, permit not the servants, neither your own, nor a stranger's, to do any damage in the villages, or in the fields, that they may not curse you. Wheresoever you go, and wherever you stay, give the destitute to eat and to drink. Above all honor the stranger, whencesoever he may come, whether he be a commoner, a nobleman or an ambassador Vladimir Monomakh; Vladimir II
I did not allow the mighty to distress the common peasant or the poverty-stricken widow Vladimir Monomakh; Vladimir II
An evil remains an evil whether practiced by white against black or black against white. Robert Mugabe
Why should I not be able to do what is right and natural and kill those who commit such an abomination? (Inter-racial marriage) William Pierce; Andrew Macdonald
The more men value money the less they value virtue. Plato
[On the Vietnam War:] I leave all morality up to you clergymen. Dean Rusk
It’s almost impossible to imagine a society saying, “It’s all right use embryonic stem cells to save your dying dog, but it’s not okay to use them to save your dying child.”… America’s love affair with animals will slowly but inevitably undermine the religious, moral, and ethical arguments against genome-based therapies for people. Healthier cats and dogs will generate an irresistible demand for healthier children and adults. Michael Schrage
Sometimes ‘tis necessary to be cruel in order to be kind. William Shakespeare
They [Standard Oil] had never played fair, and that ruined their greatness for me … the open disregard of decent ethical business practices by capitalists. Ida Tarbell
One cannot but regret the deliberate absence of every transcendental moral reference in governing the so-called developed society. John Paul II; Giovanni Battista Montini
Why should ethical decisions as personal as those involved in reproduction and medical care be decided by democratic vote? Ronald Bailey
In the contemporary world, state is normally secular and not bound by any religious commitments. Its co-operation with the Church is limited to several areas and based on mutual non-interference into each other's affairs. However, the state is aware as a rule that earthly well-being is unthinkable without respect for certain moral norms — the norms which are also essential for the eternal salvation of man Russian Orthodox Church
Shall this harbor of Yankee democracy be burned? George Cockburn
This president has used the pardon power more sparingly than any other president in 100 years. Margaret Love
I don’t think the pardon power should only be available to the people who are prominent and well connected…. It should be available to people in trailer parks also. Margaret Love
All the enemies upon the face of the earth may roar and exert all their power to bring about my death, but they can accomplish nothing, unless some who are among us and enjoy our society, have been with us in our councils, participated in our confidence, taken us by the hand, called us brother, saluted us with a kiss, join with our enemies, turn our virtues into faults, and, by falsehood and deceit, stir up their wrath and indignation against us, and bring their united vengeance upon our heads. . . . We have a Judas in our midst. Joseph Smith, Jr.
Consort with all the peoples, kindreds and religions of the world with the utmost truthfulness, uprightness, faithfulness, kindliness, good-will and friendliness Effendi Abbas; Abdul Baha
What everyone knows" is the line between us and them. Lawrence Lessig
Abuse is no argument against proper use Ancient Roman Proverb
Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Walk beside me that we may be as one. Ute Indian Tribe
A good chief gives, he does not take. Mohawk Indian Tribe
One finger cannot lift a pebble. Hopi Indian Tribe
A book is only dangerous when it unmasks something that many people want hidden or it brings to the forefront an issue that many want marginalized. Dinesh D'Souza
There is nothing heavier than compassion. Not even one's own pain weighs so heavy as the pain one feels with someone, for someone, a pain intensified by the imagination and prolonged by a hundred echoes. Milan Kundera
Saying is one thing and doing is another. Michel de Montaigne
It's better to act and to regret / Than to regret not to have acted Mellin de Saint-Gelais
Ethics is not a job that anyone turns to naturally, but every public agency has to have it. Stephanie Tubbs Jones
People hold elected officials to a higher ethical standard than most others. Stephanie Tubbs Jones
The end must justify the means. Matthew Prior
Are we disposed to be of the number of those, who having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it might cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it Patrick Henry
The patent office decided that genes can be patented. This is a fundamental error that looks more and more absurd over time…. Gene patenting is completely contrary to the public interest. Michael Crichton
Be not intimidated... nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberties by any pretense of politeness, delicacy, or decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery and cowardice John Adams
Tell the truth and run. Yugoslavia Proverb
Do not be idolatrous about or bound to any doctrine, theory, or ideology, even Buddhist ones. All systems of thought are guiding means; they are not absolute truth. Thich Nhat Hanh
Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education. However, through compassionate dialogue, help others renounce fanaticism and narrowness. Thich Nhat Hanh
Do not utter words that can create discord and cause the community to break. Thich Nhat Hanh
Be satisfied with needs instead of wants. Lakota Indian Proverb
People are all alike in their promises. It is only in their deeds that they are different. Jean Molière
The healing of a nation is a slow process that requires patience. It begins with truth telling, the confession of wrong-doing, the genuine respect for forgiveness and the willingness to accept the consequences of one's actions. Petero Mataca
We cannot point to a single definitive solution of any one of the problems that confront us — political, economic, social or moral, that is, having to do with the conduct of life. We are still beginners, and for that reason may hope to improve. Peter Medawar
The entire Japanese population is a proper military target…. "For us, there are no civilians in Japan United States Army
Responsibility is the product of definite social arrangements. Charles Frankel
The instinctive need to be the member of a closely knit group fighting for common ideals may grow so strong that it becomes inessential what these ideals are Konrad Lorenz
An oath is the liar's retreat. Behind it falsehood puts on the robes of truth. The perjurer delights in swearing, for the act invests him with the appearance of honesty. An oath makes the tongue of vice as pure as the lips of virtue. It gives a rogue the weapon of the gentleman. It permits guilt to wear the dress of innocence. The man who is willing to tell the truth feels that his honesty is impeached when asked to take an oath Lemuel K. Washburn
The Capitol Building should have a sign saying, “Warning!! You are now Entering an Ethics-Free Zone!” Margaret Carlson
In a partnership, it is good to have two partners who have complementary means of action, under the assumption that these two partners sufficiently talk to each other to find out what they want to do together Guenter Burghardt
We're so used to thinking in the short term, and the minute you speak in more long-term language then you tend to get dismissed as utopian and so on. We have a real problem here in making long-term thinking respectable Elise Boulding
One who deserteth the Means, deserteth the Ends Thomas Hobbes
If you're not engaged in challenging the lies of the system, what's the good of living in this society? Tariq Ali
Civil Propriety is the Curse, is manifest thus, Those that Buy and Sell Land, and are landlords, have got it either by Oppression, or Murther, or Theft; and all landlords lives in the breach of the Seventh and Eighth Commandements, Thous shalt not steal, nor kill. Gerrard Winstanley
In our culture, the people who have the most respect are not those who have the most material possessions or those who have accomplished the most. It is the people who have helped others the most. Wilma Mankiller
Honesty may not be the best policy, but it is worth trying once in a while Richard Nixon
It's not enough to have a skill. Not enough to have read all the books or know all the facts. Values are what really matter Tim Russert
Never let your fame outshine your truth. American Indian proverb
Regardless of the eventual shape of the evolved discourse and policy on reparations, there are five essential aspects which must be addressed and included in any meaningful and moral approach to reparations. They are public admission, public apology, public recognition, compensation, and institutional preventive measures against the recurrence of holocaust and other similar forms of massive destruction of human life, human culture and human possibility. Maulana Karenga
What, pray, does it profit a man to teach others, and to be prating always about virtue, in high-sounding words, if he fails to give heed to his own instructions? Francesco Petrarca
Do not repeat calumny, neither hear it. It is the way of expression of the hot-bellied Report a thing observed, not heard. If it is negligible, do not say anything Ptah-Hotep
If You are a man of trust, sent by one great man to another, be exact when he sends You. Give his message as he said it. Guard against slanderous speech, which embroils one great with another. Ptah-Hotep
The urgent moral priority of our time is to dismantle the warfare state, disarm the nukes, roll back the empire from every corner of the globe. We want to live in a country even a crazy man can head and not have it be dangerous for us or the world. Lew Rockwell; Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr.
The inclinations of men differ according to their varied dispositions; and each one in his calling has his particular end in view. Some aim at gain, some at glory, some at the public weal. Samuel de Champlain
If I work 60 hours a week, for example, and I make much more money than someone who works 40 hours a week, is my standard of living higher? I suppose it depends on your values. If I do not have time, because I work 60 hours a week, to spend time with my children, I may not consider myself to have a high standard of living. Karen Selick
People should be judged by the principles they espouse and the principles they betray. Shashi Tharoor
We corrupt the word of truth, and mix ... our doctrine with what is common and cheap... in order to turn the adulteration to our profit, and accommodate ourselves to those who meet us, and curry favor with everyone, becoming ventriloquists and chatterers, who serve their own pleasures by words uttered from the earth, and sinking into the earth, and, to gain the special good will of the multitude Gregory of Nazianzus
What is seen being done by the many soon obtains the force of custom; while the affairs of men have scarcely ever been so well regulated that the better things pleased the majority. Therefore, the private vices of the many have often caused public error, or rather a general agreement on vices, which these good men now want to make law… John Calvin
Ethics and Washington DC. Are they mutually exclusive? Keith Obermann
Men condemne the same things in others, which they approve in themselves; on the other side, they publickly commend what they privately condemne; Thomas Hobbes
Morals are in all countries the result of legislation and government. Denis Diderot
it is no easy task to find the middle. Aristotle
We have no ground of quarrel with these people. Their interests are our own, and those of the entire civilized world will be best served by close and friendly co-operation between us. …. We and the Germans are blood-kindred and, as Herr Hitler remarked to me, our nations have fought each other only once - though in many campaigns they have been faithful allies. The German Chancellor repeatedly expressed in our conversation his desire for a complete Anglo-German understanding, which he regards as a sure road to peace.... Harold Harmsworth
A man is not honest simply because he never had a chance to steal Jewish Proverb
It is by doing good that we become good. Jean Jacques Rousseau
It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. J. K. Rowling
The right things to do are those that keep our violence in abeyance; the wrong things are those that bring it to the fore. Robert J. Sawyer
We must wait for the slow progress of moral causes Daniel Webster
The money changers have fled from their high seats in the temple of our civilization. We may now restore that temple to the ancient truths. The measure of the restoration lies in the extent to which we apply social values more noble than mere monetary profit. Franklin D. Roosevelt
He who holds the ladder is as bad as the thief. German Proverb
A man is not honest simply because he never had a chance to steal Jewish Proverb
Federal Authority against Polygamic Theocracy. James Bedell McKean
One of the most difficult and embarrassing, questions of political morality is the extent and limits of the, right of those who have first taken possession of the, unoccupied portion of the earth's surface to exclude the, remainder of mankind from inhabiting it. John Stuart Mill
These days to be great is to exceed on prosperity; greatness today has nothing to do with moral magnanimity. Cornel West
Mississippi Appendectomy Anonymous
The secret value of a conscience, that approves its own action, is lessened somewhat each time that it receives the reward of fame by displaying its deeds. Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius
We are living in a sanctimonious age. Linda Greenhouse
You treat everyone with respect even though you don’t know them and even though you do not agree with them. Michelle Obama
The question with me is, not whether you have a right to render your people miserable, but whether it is not your interest to make them happy. It is not what a lawyer tells me I may do, but what humanity, reason, and justice tell me I ought to do. Is a politic act the worse for being a generous one? Is no concession proper but that which is made from your want of right to keep what you grant? Edmund Burke
To whom can I speak today? There are no righteous men. The land is surrendered to criminals. Anonymous
It is not necessary to have an entire certainty in regard to considerable goods and evils; mere possibility, and much more so probability, is sufficient to induce a reasonable person to deprive himself of some trifling good, and even to suffer some slight evil, with a design of acquiring a far greater good, and avoiding a more troublesome evil. Jean-Jacques Burlamaqui
I cannot do what you have asked me to do. Hasan Mazhar
If this is the vaunted superiority our Government and the purity of our elective institutions, I do not think we have so much to be proud of, and morality and religion are of little use if they cannot teach us to discern the difference between right and wrong. Louisa Catherine Johnson Adams
I cannot receive pay for services I do not render. Robert E. Lee
I am convinced that everyone can develop a good heart and sense of responsibility with or without religion. Tenzin Gyatso; Dalai Lama
The worst government is the most moral. H. L. Mencken
This could never be a crime in any society which deems itself enlightened. Jack Kevorkian
A superior man thinks of what is right. A small man thinks of profit. Confucius
The death of dogma is the birth of morality. Immanuel Kant
Basic moral values must therefore first be internalized in the hearts and minds of its people before we can hope to enforce legislation reflecting these values Taito Waradi
The man, who in a fit of melancholy, kills himself today, would have wished to live had he waited a week. Voltaire
The IDF and its soldiers are obligated to protect human dignity. Every human being is of value regardless of his or her origin, religion, nationality, gender, status or position. Israel
Every crime, even the most atrocious, may be justified. John Wesley
In the social equation, the value of a single life is nil; in the cosmic equation, it is infinite... Not only communism, but any political movement which implicitly relies on purely utilitarian ethics, must become a victim to the same fatal error. It is a fallacy as naïve as a mathematical teaser, and yet its consequences lead straight to Goya's Disasters, to the reign of the guillotine, the torture chambers of the Inquisition, or the cellars of the Lubianka. Arthur Koestler
Do not to your neighbor what you would take ill from him. Pittacus of Mytilene
It is impossible to deny that dishonest men often grow rich and famous, becoming powerful in their parish or in parliament. Their portraits grace shop windows; and they live and die respected. This success is theirs; yet it is not the success which a noble soul will envy. George Henry Lewes
Not in vain is Ireland pouring itself all over the earth. Divine Providence has a mission for her children to fulfill; though a mission unrecognized by political economists. There is ever a moral balance preserved in the universe, like the vibrations of the pendulum. The Irish, with their glowing hearts and reverent credulity, are needed in this cold age of intellect and skepticism. Lydia M. Child
I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year's fashions. Lillian Hellman
I made a serious mistake. I should not have been in the company of any woman, not my wife. Gary Hart
In place of a pay raise, we're going to enact legislation that will provide every senator and member of Congress at all times with an accountant and a clergyman. Tom Harkin
It is easy to sacrifice the substantial interests of society by a strict adherence to ordinary rules. Alexander Hamilton
We suppose mankind more honest than they are. Alexander Hamilton
What would Jesus have done in precisely similar situations? John P. Hale
It was the same thing as going into a business community and interesting the leading business men by giving them shares. Oakes Ames
No government has a legitimate right to do what is not for the welfare of the governed. Thomas Jefferson
If you teach your boy that it is right to buy a vote, it is an easy step for him to learn to use money to bribe or corrupt officials or trustees of any class. If you teach your boy that it is right to steal votes, it is an easy step for him to believe that it is right to steal whatever he may need or greatly desire. The results of such an influence will enter every branch of society, it will reach your bank cashiers, and affect positions of trust in every department; it will ultimately enter your courts, and affect the administrations of justice. John Knox
Of God and Evil, there is nothing simply and absolutely so; nor any common Rule of Good and Evil, to be taken from the nature of the objects themselves. Thomas Hobbes
This Court always had disavowed the right to intrude its judgment upon questions of policy or morals Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of great moral crisis maintain their neutrality John F. Kennedy
I didn't lie. I only didn't elaborate on every detail of the truth. Ferenc Gyurcsany
Government legitimacy depends on a public perception of fairness. Lawrence Summers
America's conscience is bankrupt. She lost all conscience a long time ago. Uncle Sam has no conscience. Malcolm X
Conscience has no more to do with gallantry than it has with politics Richard Brinsley Sheridan
Premarital sex is as bad as heroin addiction. Eric J. Keroack
To be good is noble but to show others how to be good is nobler. Mark Twain
It is possible that the distinction between moral relativism and moral absolutism has sometimes been blurred because an excessively consistent practice of either leads to the same practical result — ruthlessness in political life. Richard Hofstadter
I bought abandon dear And sold all piety for pleasure. My own free spirit I have followed, And never will I give up lust. Abu Nuwas
I have not much faith in "good government." What we need is the development of the individual. Louis D. Brandeis
Unworthy of civilized powers. William Calhoun
Although the world has undergone many changes, both good and bad, in the past century, change need not imply the loss of traditional values. Nor is progress another word for moral decay. It is not development and progress which jeopardize values and morality but rather the absence of a strong and secure moral foundation developed first and foremost in the family. Surely, it is possible for one to enjoy the conveniences of modern life-airplanes and automobiles, computers and cell phones, microwaves and VCRs-without losing one's sense of values. When we love God, love our families, we can enjoy life without betraying the practices of decency, without abandoning the traditions of our cultures. Jehan Sedat
I should have done violence to my convictions of duty, had I not made use of all the lawful means in my power to liberate those people, and assist them to become men and women, rather than leave them in the condition of chattels personal. Thomas Garrett
Might a sense of the true aims of life elevate the tone of politics and trade, till public and private honor become identical! Margaret Fuller
The ideologue says “whatever is right works.” The pragmatist says “whatever works is right.” Mark Shields
It seems to me that the Pope's son, the Cardinal, is not in a condition for me to give him my daughter to wife. Make a cardinal who can marry and take off the hat, and then I will give him my daughter. Frederick IV
In relations with other nations, there is neither right nor wrong; there is only strength and weakness. Roman Dmowski
Virtue cannot dwell with wealth either in a city or in a house. Diogenes
If you are to be kept right, you must possess either good friends or red-hot enemies. The one will warn you, the other will expose you. Diogenes
The progress made in refinement of manners and morals seems to have gone on simultaneously with the improvement in arts, manufactures and commerce. It moved slowly at first, but has been constantly increasing in velocity…. we are a much better people than we were then, better instructed, more sincere and kind-hearted, less gross and brutal, and have fewer of the concomitant vices of a less civilized state. Francis Place
None of us believe that in order to run a business, you have to leave your humanity at home. Ben Cohen
Next to the sin of murder comes the sin of sexual impurity. Spencer W. Kimball
Love people, not things; use things, not people. Spencer W. Kimball
it is the personal and individual thing which is done by one human being for another that is the most valuable assistance which can be rendered in time of trouble. Better not only for the one who receives, but a thousand times happier for the one who gives. Eleanor Roosevelt
God doesn’t want me to do this, so I can’t do what God doesn’t want me to do Rose Marie Belforti
If we leave our values at the door, we give up some of the moral glue that has held our country together Barack Obama
And thought the nation ne'er would thrive Till all the whores were burnt alive. Matthew Prior
Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities Voltaire; Francois-Marie
Each man is worth more than the whole of humanity, nor will it do to sacrifice each to all save in so far as all sacrifice themselves to each. Miguel de Unamuno
Being against evil doesn't make you good. Ernest Hemingway
All things truly wicked start from an innocence. Ernest Hemingway
In political matters it is very hard for a man in office to be purer than his neighbours, — and, when he is so, he becomes troublesome. Anthony Trollope
Let a man be of what side he may in politics, — unless he be much more of a partisan than a patriot, — he will think it well that there should be some equity of division in the bestowal of crumbs of comfort. Anthony Trollope
… moral ideas are not fixed. The attitude of public opinion towards slavery was completely changed in twenty or thirty years. Arnold J. Toynbee
The way to fame goes through the palaces, the way to happiness does through the markets, the way to virtue goes through the deserts. Chinese Proverb
The vocation of every man and woman is to serve other people. Leo Tolstoy
When I observe that there are different ways of surveying, my employer commonly asks which will give him the most land, not which is most correct. Henry David Thoreau
When you are about to badger the weak, Then imagine yourself before a more powerful man. Thiruvalluvar
… the public has come to accept torture as a legitimate instrument of government, something that the Founding Fathers would have been aghast at. Andrew Sullivan
One evades discussion of serious issues by the simple device of passing them off as value problems, whereas, to say the least, many of these conflicts arose out of man’s very agreement regarding values. Leo Strauss
Those in middling circumstances, have less temptation—they are inclined by habit and the company with whom they associate, to set bounds to their passions and appetites—if this is not sufficient, the want of means to gratify them will be a restraint—they are obliged to employ their time in their respective callings—hence less substantial yeomanry of the country are more temperate, or better morals and less ambition than the great. Melancthon Smith
Thus in a civil State or Publick, we see that a virtuous Administration, and an equal and just Distribution of Rewards and Punishments, is of the highest service; not only by restraining the Vicious, and forcing them to act usefully to Society; but by making Virtue to be apparently the Interest of every-one, so as to remove all Prejudices against it, create a fair reception for it, and lead men into that path which afterwards they cannot easily quit. Earl of Shaftesbury; Anthony Ashley
In some countries the effort to debate and legislate the social and ethical implications of the new biological and genetic technologies often precedes their application. This observation confirms the realization by the public that biotechnological applications will interfere with all the basic and profound value systems considered by every human being Calum MacKellar
If we did find that (most) mathematically gifted people possessed a special gene, would implanting such a gene in our children ever be justified? If certain traits are objectively superior to others, should we not promote active potentials to acquire such traits? The difficulty in answering this question lies in the fact that we live in a pluralist society. If people were to disagree about the ranking of certain characteristics, how would we decide which ranking is the correct one? It may be true that some characteristics are objectively superior to others (or better before God). And it may be true that many people would be capable of picking out a few such superior qualities. But who is to be appointed supreme judge? Agneta Sutton
In the multicultural West, our values are that we have no values: we accord all values equal value Mark Steyn
Compassion towards the wicked – is cruelty to all beings. Maimonides
A lawyer's either a social engineer or he's a parasite on society. Charles Hamilton Houston
We value virtue but do not discuss it. The honest bookkeeper, the faithful wife, the earnest scholar get little of our attention compared to the embezzler, the tramp, the cheat. John Steinbeck
Thus by survival of the fittest, the militant type of society becomes characterized by profound confidence in the governing power, joined with a loyalty causing submission to it in all matters whatever Herbert Spencer
… what is true for me may be blasphemy for others. Gerry Spence
If we learn from those only, of whose lives and opinions we altogether approve, we shall have to turn from many of the highest and profoundest minds. John Lancaster Spalding
… what is white to one person may be gray to another. Gene Spafford
Truly, to tell lies is not honorable; But when the truth entails tremendous ruin, To speak dishonorably is pardonable. Sophocles
What many people call sin is not sin; I do many things to break down superstition, and I will break it down. Joseph Smith, Jr.
This disposition to admire, and almost to worship, the rich and powerful, and to despise or, at least, neglect persons of poor and mean conditions, though necessary both to establish and to maintain the distinction of ranks and the order of society, is, at the same time, the great and most universal cause of the corruption of our moral sentiments. Adam Smith
All for ourselves, and nothing for other people, seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind. Adam Smith
We are responsible not only for what we do but also for what we could have prevented. Peter Singer
Our moral virtues benefit mainly other people; intellectual virtues, on the other hand, benefit primarily ourselves; therefore the former make us universally popular, the latter unpopular. Arthur Schopenhauer
Compassion is the basis of all morality. Arthur Schopenhauer
Technical problems can be remediated. A dishonest corporate culture is much harder to fix. Bruce Schneier
Some of the defendants say that dictatorship can be good if there is a good dictator. But I say that a man cannot stay good if he becomes a dictator. Authoritarianism is a system that destroys man's morality. If you take a saint and give him power, he will change into a Hitler or a devil. Baldur Benedikt von Schirach
The memory of war weighs undiminished upon the people's minds. That is because deeper than material wounds, moral wounds are smarting, inflicted by the so-called peace treaties. ... Material loss can be made up through renewed labor, but the moral wrong which has been inflicted upon the conquered peoples, in the peace dictates, leaves a burning scar on the people's conscience. ... Hjalmar Schacht
… we must regard all the changes which tend toward the uplift and survival of the human race as moral. Margaret Sanger
The conscience is the best and most impartial judge that a righteous man has. Jose de San Martin
Since it is necessary to have enemies, let us endeavor to have those who do us honor. Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve
Renegade scientists and totalitarian loonies are not the folks most likely to abuse genetic engineering. You and I are--not because we are bad but because we want to do good. In a world dominated by competition, parents understandably want to give their kids every advantage. ... The most likely way for eugenics to enter into our lives is through the front door as nervous parents ... will fall over one another to be first to give Junior a better set of genes. Arthur Caplan
People ask, 'Is the science going to run ahead of the ethics?' I don't think that's always the problem. I think it's that the science runs ahead of the politics. Bioethics can alert people to something coming down the road, but it doesn't mean policy and politicians are going to pay attention. They tend to respond when there's an immediate crisis. The job of the ethicist, in some ways, is to warn or be prophetic. You can yell loudly, but you can't necessarily get everybody to leave the cinema, so to speak. Arthur Caplan
The Human Genome Project alone is the Full Employment Act for bioethicists. Arthur Caplan
All attempts to adapt our ethical code to our situation in the technological age have failed. Max Born
Moral certainty is never more than probability. Cesare Beccaria
The end must justify the means. Matthew Prior
We were not born critical of existing society. There was a moment in our lives (or a month, or a year) when certain facts appeared before us, startled us, and then caused us to question beliefs that were strongly fixed in our consciousness-embedded there by years of family prejudices, orthodox schooling, imbibing of newspapers, radio, and television. Howard Zinn
Many people will automatically develop a sort of selective morality. They will have one set of ethics—the one they were taught as children and been used to all their lives—for judging their selves and their friends. They will have another, and a much lower one, for the President of the United States. Margaret Halsey
We don't take over the means of those whom we abhor. Lee H. Hamilton
We may pretend that we're basically moral people who make mistakes, but the whole of history proves otherwise. Terry Hands
There are seven sins in the world: Wealth without work, Pleasure without conscience, Knowledge without character, Commerce without morality, Science without humanity, Worship without sacrifice, and politics without principle. Mohandas K. Gandhi
Civilization depends on morality. Ralph Waldo Emerson
it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God Book of Matthew
The negro is no model of virtue or manliness. He loves idleness, he has little conception of right and wrong, and he is improvident to the last degree of childishness. He is a creature,--as some of our own people will do well to keep carefully in mind,--he is a creature just forcibly released from slavery. The havoc of war has filled his heart with confused longings, and his ears with confused sounds of rights and privileges: it must be the nation's duty, for it cannot be left wholly to his late master, to help him to a clear understanding of these rights and privileges, and also to lay upon him a knowledge of his responsibilities. He is anxious to learn, and is very tractable in respect to minor matters; but we shall need almost infinite patience with him, for he comes very slowly to moral comprehensions. Sidney Andrews
Since the cosmic process of evolution is amoral, there is no guarantee that good will win out over evil, that human society will thrive rather than fail. Thomas Huxley
The Spanish Inquisition sought to avoid direct responsibility for the burning of heretics by handing them over to the secular arm; to burn them itself, it piously explained, would be wholly inconsistent with its Christian principles. Few of us would allow the Inquisition thus easily to wipe its hands clean of bloodshed; it knew quite well what would happen. Equally, where the technological application of scientific discoveries is clear and obvious — as when a scientist works on nerve gases — he cannot properly claim that such applications are "none of his business," merely on the ground that it is the military forces, not scientists, who use the gases to disable or kill. John Passmore
We ought never to do wrong when anyone is looking. Mark Twain
Why should we put up with the present evils in our society? As opposed to the society we are visualizing, the present one can be described as a diseased one. …. Of course, the disease did not appear like a bolt from the blue, either yesterday, or last year. It is the result of factors that have deep roots and long lives. These consist of privations, discriminations oppressions, bigotries, hatreds, and hostilities; poverty, ignorance, hunger, and illiteracy. Each and all of these have been left to us as an evil heritage from the past. The fundamental difference between our situation today and that of our forefathers is that now knowledge has enabled us to realize that these evils are neither natural nor inevitable in the same way as we have found that cholera or the bubonic plague are not necessary calamities. Mohammed Reza Pahlavi
For the things we [scientists] are working on no amount of protesting or fiddling with politics will save our souls. The accident that we worked out this terrible thing [nuclear weapons] should not give us the responsibility of having a voice in how it is to be used. The responsibility must in the end be shifted to the people as a whole and that can only be done by making the facts known. Edward Teller
Although I was aware they were illegal. We had become somewhat inured to using some activities that would help us in accomplishing what we thought was a legitimate cause Jeb Stuart Magruder
We ought to see clearly that the end does justify the means Charles Wagner
Ethical and legal are not synonyms. ; Randy Cohen
The hardest thing in life is to know when to hold fast to one’s principles and when it is acceptable to bend them. Bernhard Schlink
That’s the trouble with inquisitors and censors. They become fascinated by what they deplore. Maureen Dowd
To the moralist, prostitution does not consist so much in the fact that the woman sells her body, but rather that she sells it out of wedlock. Emma Goldman
Pleasure's a sin, and sometimes sin's a pleasure. Lord George Gordon
The political and commercial morals of the United States are not merely food for laughter, they are an entire banquet. Mark Twain
No matter how healthy a man's morals may be when he enters the White House, he comes out again with a pock-marked soul. Mark Twain
There is Moral Sense, and there is an Immoral Sense. History shows us that the Moral Sense enables us to perceive morality and how to avoid it, and that the Immoral Sense enables up to perceive immorality and how to enjoy it. Mark Twain
Nature knows no indecencies; man invents them. Mark Twain
The blunting effects of slavery upon the slaveholder's moral perceptions are known and conceded the world over; and a privileged class, an aristocracy, is but a band of slaveholders under another name. Mark Twain
Get the formalities right, never mind about the moralities. Mark Twain
Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied, And vice sometime's by action dignified William Shakespeare
It has now become the doctrine of a large class of politicians that political honesty is unnecessary, slow, subversive of a man's interests, and incompatible with quick onward movement. Anthony Trollope
What we call real estate--the solid ground to build a house on--is the broad foundation on which nearly all the guilt of this world rests. Nathaniel Hawthorne
Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last. Charlotte Bronte
This above all,--to thine own self be true; and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man. William Shakespeare
… vices are sometimes only virtues carried to excess! Charles Dickens
… he knew the lie of silence to be as evil as the lie of speech. Gilbert Parker
The world prefers decorum to honesty. George Meredith
There is nothing namable but that some men will undertake to do it for pay. Herman Melville
I am a citizen of the world, and I have met, in my time, with so many different sorts of virtue, that I am puzzled, in my old age, to say which is the right sort and which is the wrong Wilkie Collins
All ethics so far evolved rest upon a single premise: that the individual is a member of a community of interdependent parts. . . The land ethic simply enlarges the boundaries of the community to include soils, waters, plants, and animals, or collectively: the land. Aldo Leopold
Vices are those acts by which a man harms himself or his property. Crimes are those acts by which one man harms the person or property of another. Vices are simply the errors which a man makes in his search after his own happiness. Unlike crimes, they imply no malice toward others, and no interference with their persons or property. In vices, the very essence of crime—that is, the design to injure the person or property of another—is wanting. It is a maxim of the law that there can be no crime without criminal intent; that is, without the intent to invade the person or property of another. But no one ever practices a vice with any such criminal intent. He practices his vice for his own happiness solely, and not from any malice toward others. Unless this clear distinction between vices and crimes be made and recognized by the laws, there can be on earth no such thing as individual right, liberty, or property, and the corresponding coequal rights of another man to the control of his own person and property Lysander Spooner
Truth is a habit of integrity, not a strategy of politics. George McGovern
What good would politics be, if it didn’t give everyone the opportunity to make moral compromises? Thomas Mann
Many a dormant moral issue is brought to life by economic pressure. Lewis F. Korns
There is no such thing as wise regulation of a generally acknowledged evil. Lewis F. Korns
Our profession is the chastest of all; even the shadow of a fault tarnishes the luster of our finest achievements. George Washington
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. Bertrand Russell
The peculiar importance attached, at present, to adultery is quite irrational... Moral rules ought not to be such as to make instinctive happiness impossible Bertrand Russell
Sometimes great injustices may be inflicted on the minority when the majority is in the pursuit of a great and just cause. Paul Robeson
Necessity is the most powerful divinity the world knows--it is the result of physical forces set in operation by ethical forces. Jose Rizal
We must live for the future of the human race, and not for our own comfort or success. Hyman Rickover
We may employ artifice to deceive a rival, anything against our enemies. Armand Jean du Plessis; Cardinal
Religious belief prevented the growth of a sense of realism. But atheism at once makes man realistic and alive to the needs of morality. Gora; Goparaju Ramachandra
When the common good of a society is regarded as something apart from and superior to the individual good of its members, it means that the good of some men takes precedence over the good of others, with those others consigned to the status of sacrificial animals. Ayn Rand
The evil of the world is made possible by nothing but the sanction you give it. Ayn Rand
I swear by my life, and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine. Ayn Rand
All, or the greatest part of men that have aspired to riches or power, have attained thereunto either by force or fraud, and what they have by craft or cruelty gained, to cover the foulness of their fact, they call purchase, as a name more honest. Howsoever, he that for want of will or wit useth not those means, must rest in servitude and poverty. Walter Raleigh
Many on the right confuse the "is" of globalization with the "ought" of simply accepting all its effects. They preach a political quietism that is really just a cloak for greed. Bob Rae
… knowledge without conscience is but the ruin of the soul Francois Rabelais
Whereas religions may serve a benign purpose by letting many people feel comfortable with the level of morality they themselves can attain, no religion holds its members to the high standards of moral responsibility that the secular world of science and medicine does! Daniel Dennett
… what our national experience has made plain is this, that to remain in a continually exalted moral condition is not human nature. That has happened which was prophesied: we have gone down hill from the Revolution until now; we are absorbed in "mere money-getting. Voltairine de Cleyre
The paramount question of the day is not political, is not religious, but is economic. The crying-out demand of today is for a circle of principles that shall forever make it impossible for one man to control another by controlling the means of his existence. Voltairine de Cleyre
… keeper of the national conscience Anthony Lewis
Christian ethics are seldom found save in the philosophy of some unbeliever. Heywood Broun
We try to make virtues out of the faults we have no wish to correct. Francois de La Rochefoucauld
There is one thing that is only good, namely, knowledge; and one only evil, namely, ignorance. Socrates
The road to Hades is the easiest to travel. Bion of Borysthenes
A moral consideration of the utmost importance for us: We must respect individual differences, yet we must coordinate, work together, and act as one…. Mutual commitment to ideals -- yes; the stifling of all dissenting notions -- no. Norman Lamm
The morality of a [political] party must grow out of the conscience and the participation of the voters. Eleanor Roosevelt
Morality is the object of government. Ralph Waldo Emerson
Perish the colonies, rather than a principle! Antoine Barnave
No one can escape the influence of a prevailing ideology. Ludwig von Mises
Hitler and his clique conquered Germany by brutal violence, by murder and crime. But the doctrines of Nazism had got hold of the German mind long before then. Persuasion, not violence, had converted the immense majority of the nation to the tenets of militant nationalism. If Hitler had not succeeded in winning the race for dictatorship, somebody else would have won it. Ludwig von Mises
There is no such thing as a just and fair method of exercising the tremendous power that interventionism puts into the hands of the legislature and the executive. Ludwig von Mises
… everyone is convinced that all sexual wrongs represent a symptom of decadence peculiar to our age. Ludwig von Mises
It cannot be denied that Fascism and similar movements aiming at the establishment of dictatorships are full of the best intentions and that their intervention has, for the moment, saved European civilization. The merit that Fascism has thereby won for itself will live on eternally in history. But though its policy has brought salvation for the moment, it is not of the kind which could promise continued success Ludwig von Mises
It is impossible for me, with any agreement to my sense of propriety, to accept any sort of compensation for services which I may endeavor to do upon a public account. Edmund Burke
Nothing deters a good man from what honor requires of him Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Action is the right outlet of emotion. Henry Ward Beecher
If someone has been paying you or employing you, it is very difficult to blow the whistle. It offends our sense of loyalty. George Loewenstein
History has put America in a position where its national security depends on its further moral growth. Robert Wright
Because of our sin, we as individuals and as a nation continue to experience a decline in moral values and beliefs. Our sinful behavior has resulted in increasing rates of unmarried adolescent and adult sexual activity, the birth of children to unwed mothers, the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and decreasing marital fidelity. These are all signs of the decline of our culture. National Association of Evangelicals
Six "social sins" which Jesus bore on the Cross: Religious bigotry, the combination of graft and political power, the corruption of justice, the mob spirit and mob action, militarism, and class contempt. Walter Rauschenbusch
No government or social system is so evil that its people must be considered as lacking in virtue. John F. Kennedy
Anybody who covers Washington and Wall Street knows that there is an awesome amount of self-dealing, most of it perfectly legal. David Brooks
A senator should be held to a higher standard than Joe Six-Pack. Robert Byrd
I don’t really think that as a society we want to confer blessings on generations after generations who contribute nothing to society simply because somebody in the far distant past happened to amass a great sum of wealth. Warren Buffett
I believe that to have interfered as I have done—in behalf of His despised poor, was not wrong, but right. John Brown
Less than one half-day’s cost of this war would pay for all the slaves in Delaware, at four hundred dollars per head?—that eighty-seven days cost of this war would pay for all in Delaware, Maryland, District of Columbia, Kentucky, and Missouri at the same price? Abraham Lincoln
Ethical issues are not always obvious and they never go away. Michelle King; Robert
We are now going through a period of demolition. In morals, in social life, in politics, in medicine, and in religion there is a universal upturning of foundations. But the day of reconstruction seems to be looming, and now the grand question is: Are there any sure and universal principles that will evolve a harmonious system in which we shall all agree? Catharine Beecher
It is the essence of responsibility to put the public good ahead of personal gain. Robert Kennedy
Nothing is more certain than that a general profligacy and corruption of manners make a people ripe for destruction. A good form of government may hold the rotten materials together for some time, but beyond a certain pitch, even the best constitution will be ineffectual, and slavery must ensue. John Witherspoon
I think that it is morally wrong to be an economic determinist. Robert Reich
If you really want to help your country, sometimes you have to make uncomfortable decisions. Anthony Horowitz
The whole issue of race and discrimination is a moral issue. John F. Kennedy
It was a morally representative act. Helms withheld the information because it would have cost him his job. John Moss Whitten
The issue is not whether there are serious moral and practical costs to employing torture—of course there are for torture is evil. That is precisely why the choice of whether employ it to avert a greater evil is a tragic one. Jerome Slater
The ends do not justify the means. The means are the ends. Gloria Steinem
The ends do not always justify the means William Sloane Coffin
By exercising our moral leadership, we can transform a generation of potential enemies into a generation of friends. John Edwards
He’s on our side and that’s all that matters. Besides, one needn’t ask him to one’s club. Allen Dulles
Evil or atrocity often explodes from a furnace built from the steady accretion of small, unchallenged wrong. Neil Shea
I don’t care how honest a man is. If he is timid, he is no good. Theodore Roosevelt
The criminal law tries to define moral standards. Eliot Spitzer
If we are not anti-China, are we still human? Ai Weiwei
Power shifts your thinking from what is right and wrong to what is necessary Bill Moyers
A nonjudgmental stance toward values lies at the heart of market reasoning, and explains much of the appeal. But our reluctance to engage in moral and spiritual argument, together with our embrace of markets, has extracted a heavy price; it has drained the public discourse of moral and civic energy, and contributed to the technocratic, managerial politics afflicting many societies today. Michael Sandel
More than Iran’s enemies need artillery, guns, and so forth, they need to spread cultural values that lead to moral corruption …. I recently read in the news that a senior official in an important American political center said “Instead of bombs, send them miniskirts”. He is right. If they arouse unrestrained mixing of men and women, and if they lead youth to behavior to which they are naturally inclined by instincts, there will no longer be any need for artillery and guns against that nation. Ruhollah Khomeini
It is my moral duty as an Israeli to recognize Lydda and help the Palestinians to overcome it. Avi Shavitt
I didn't accept it. I received it. Richard V. Allen
It's an old Washington tradition to dodge and weave when you're under interrogation. William Colby
It is not true that people of high principle are ill-suited for politics. Vaclav Havel
Technical problems can be remediated. A dishonest corporate culture is much harder to fix. Bruce Schneier
In contriving any system of government, and fixing the several checks and controls of the constitution, every man ought to be supposed a knave, and to have no other end, in all his actions, than private interest. David Hume
Among well-bred people a mutual deference is affected, contempt for others is disguised; authority concealed; attention given to each in his turn; and an easy stream of conversation maintained without vehemence, without interruption, without eagerness for victory, and without any airs of superiority David Hume
The ages of greatest public spirit are not always eminent for private virtue. David Hume
The moral spectacle of capitalism still offends, as does American capitalism's implacable insistence that the market determine value even in the political, intellectual, and artistic spheres. William Pfaff
In order to rule the world, our wise forefathers created civilization based on ritual, moral values, and education. Li Zicheng
American experimentation on humans continued during the Cold War in violation of the Nuremberg Code. Annie Jacobsen
Stealing from capitalism is not like stealing out of our own pockets. Marx and Lenin have taught us that anything is ethical, so long as it is in the interest of the proletarian class and its world revolution. Nicolae Ceausescu
Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing. John Stuart Mill
No man who believes that all is for the best in this suffering world can keep his ethical values unimpaired, since he is always having to find excuses for pain and misery. Bertrand Russell
If you're born in capitalist America, racist America, fascist America, then you're born in sin. But if you're born in socialism, you're not born in sin. Jim Jones
In our zeal to kill the enemy, we internally debated the definition of torture. We held individuals at Guantanamo for years without due process. We inexplicably turned a blind eye to torture and executions by the Iraqi government. And we stomached countless other acts in the name of our war on terror. Bradley Edward Manning
I initially agreed with these methods and chose to volunteer to help defend my country. It was not until I was in Iraq and reading secret military reports on a daily basis that I started to question the morality of what we were doing. It was at this time I realized that (in) our efforts to meet the risk posed to us by the enemy, we have forgotten our humanity. We consciously elected to devalue human life both in Iraq and Afghanistan. When we engaged those that we perceived were the enemy, we sometimes killed innocent civilians. Whenever we killed innocent civilians, instead of accepting responsibility for our conduct, we elected to hide behind the veil of national security and classified information in order to avoid any public accountability. Bradley Edward Manning
… looking and not seeing things was a great sin. Ernest Hemingway
Voter suppression is wrong even if it’s not racist. Any legislation that exists for the sole purpose of making it more difficult for an otherwise eligible person to vote is unethical. It’s straightforward cheating. Chuck Klosterman
Opinions alter, manners change, creeds rise and fall, but the moral law is written on the tablets of eternity. James Anthony Froude
To tell a man it is his duty to submit his judgment to the judgment of the church, is like telling a wife it is her duty to love her husband — a thing easy to say, but meaning simply nothing. Affection must be won, not commanded. James Anthony Froude
Why is it thought so very wicked to be an unbeliever? Rather, why is it assumed that no one can have difficulties unless he be wicked? …. Genuine belief ended with persecution. As soon as it was felt that to punish a man for maintaining an independent opinion was shocking and unjust, so soon a doubt had entered whether the faith established was unquestionably true. James Anthony Froude
Show me if I am wrong. It is easy to be mistaken. But do not tell me it is wicked of me to have thought all this, for it is not — I am certain it is not James Anthony Froude
For Israel there is tension between our values and the brutal reality [of the Middle East] Ari Shavit
Not just whether but how we find our way truly matters. Ira Katznelson
The people who generated great personal wealth in the process of creating this mess [the Great Recession]—bankers and financiers who invented products like mortgage-backed securities and credit default swaps—are now actively eschewing any responsibility for that problem by blaming the state for their mistakes. Mark Blyth
Existing [biological ethical] standards, in some cases regulated by government agencies in the United States and other developed countries, were a generation old and therefore outdated. Craig Venter
The Allied cause [in WWII] was morally compromised by the need to enlist the service of Joseph Stalin’s tyranny in order to defeat the forces of Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, and Hideki Tojo. Max Hastings
If a person is gay and accepts the Lord, who am I to judge them. Pope Francis I
We ought never to do wrong when people are looking. Mark Twain
Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest. Mark Twain
If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything. Mark Twain
The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed incessantly … We have to find a new balance otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and the fragrance of the Gospel. Pope Francis I
Social conservatives [are] nostalgic for a time when the government dictated whom you could live with or sleep with. But the rejection of moral codes is no more a rejection of morality than the rejection of speech codes is a rejection of free speech. Our morality laws are falling, and we are a better nation for it. Jonathan Turley
There is a difference … between the demise of morality laws and the demise of morality Jonathan Turley
It is not a single moral voice that is heard today but a chorus of voices. Each speaks to its own values but joins around a common article of faith: the belief that morality is better left to parents than to politicians. Jonathan Turley
One of my main intentions was to destroy the legend of the greatness of evil, of the demonic force. Hannah Arendt
We’re not here to bring politics to our morality, but to bring morality to our politics. Robert Moses
I suggest that what has happened to the white Southerner is in some ways much worse than what has happened to the Negroes there ... One has to assume that he is a man like me, but he does not know what drives him to use the club, to menace with a gun, and to use a cattle prod against a woman's breasts ... Their moral lives have been destroyed by a plague called color. James Baldwin
When you cut through the noise, what’s really at stake is how we remain true to who we really are in a world that is remaking itself at dizzying speed. Barack Obama
Woman must have room and scope to devise a morality which does not disqualify her from excellence.. Germaine Greer
Laws are often made to express collective ethical principles, to establish a climate of opinion … Donald Sassoon
The means you use must be as pure as the ends you seek. Martin Luther King Jr.
Government by kings was first introduced into the world by the Heathens, from whom the Children of Israel copied the custom. It was the most prosperous invention the Devil ever set on foot for the promotion of idolatry Thomas Paine
The law "thou shalt not kill" has thus come to prevail among the individuals of a civilized state. It does not prevail among nations because our national mind still finds advantage in killing men of other nations and is heedless of the disadvantages to ourselves. Robert Morss Lovett
If it is held to be morally wrong and anti-social for one man to possess huge estates, which he may develop or not as he chooses, while hundreds of others nearby are relegated to landlessness, why should one people acquire, by similar accident of birth or achievement, a claim to an inordinate share of the good things of life and a right to exclude from them other less fortunate peoples, white, black, or yellow? Archibald Cary Coolidge
What is morality in any given time or place? It is what the majority then and there happen to like, and immorality is what they dislike. Alfred North Whitehead
I was not very wise to the ways of the world and did not realize this was wrong. Jim Thorpe
Sometimes great injustices may be inflicted on the minority when the majority is in the pursuit of a great and just cause. Paul Robeson
The greatest tragedy in mankind's entire history may be the hijacking of morality by religion Arthur C. Clarkee
We should not be simply fighting evil in the name of good, but struggling against the certainties of people who claim always to know where good and evil are to be found. Tzvetan Todorov
Errors of knowledge are not breaches of morality; no proper moral code can demand infallibility or omniscience. Ayn Rand
Observe, in politics, that the term extremism has become a synonym of "evil," regardless of the content of the issue (the evil is not what you are extreme about, but that you are "extreme"— Ayn Rand
When men hire themselves out to shoot other men to order, asking nothing about the justice of their cause, I don’t care if they are shot themselves. Herbert Spencer
If there is one thing that our role models in this election have taught us, it's that omitting important information is completely different from lying. Scott Adams
In relations with other nations, there is neither right nor wrong; there is only strength and weakness. Roman Demoski
Society doesn't have values. People have values. Milton Friedman
There's a gigantic gray area between good moral behavior and outright felonious activities. I call that the Weasel Zone and it's where most of life happens. Scott Adams
God always punishes the tormentors of his Chosen People, the Jews …. No Roman Catholic approves of the persecutions of Jews in Germany Michael von Faulhaber
Opinions upon moral questions are more often the expression of strongly felt expediency than of careful ethical reasoning Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess Salisbury
… it would be perfectly right for anyone to interfere with you so far as to free those you wilfully and wickedly hold in bondage. John Brown
Morality knows nothing of geographical boundaries, or distinctions of race. Herbert Spencer
We respect law, when the law respects our needs. Whenever legality clashes with morality, legality should be opposed and morality should be upheld. Goparaju Ramachandra Rao
Because morality is a social necessity, the moment faith in God is banished, man's gaze turns from god to man and he becomes socially conscious. Religious belief prevented the growth of a sense of realism. But atheism at once makes man realistic and alive to the needs of morality. Atheism alone is the surest way to morality. Goparaju Ramachandra Rao
In our great cities there is plainly in evidence much wealth contrasted with much poverty and some of the wealth has been acquired or is used in a manner for which there is no moral justification. Theodore Roosevelt
No man ought to be condemned for exhorting people to pursue justice in a certain line, though he may foresee that in the pursuit of that justice the opposition given to those who are proceeding in a just course may produce collision, and that collision lead to the commission of crime; but our duty, as I conceive, is to seek for the injustice, and there to impute the crime… It is to that injustice, and not to those who pursue a just course for the attainment of a right end, that the guilt is to be ascribed. James Warren Doyle
The slaughter was continued all that day and the next, which extraordinary severity, I presume, was used to discourage others from making opposition. And truly I believe that this bitterness will save much effusion of blood. I am persuaded that this is a righteous judgment of God upon those barbarous wretches, who have imbrued their hands in so much innocent blood, and that it will tend to prevent the effusion of blood for the future which are the satisfactory grounds for such actions.] Edmund Ludlow
The coalition of conscience Walter Reuther
An ethic is not international until it is internationally acknowledged and practiced as the rule, exceptions to which are visited with disgrace if not with punishment. Lawrence Pearsall Jacks
Our preachers talk glibly of "introducing the Christian spirit into international relations. Do they realize what that involves? Do they realize that the introduction of the Christian spirit into international relations is impossible without the willingness of all nations to sacrifice their national interests for the sake of international interests of greater importance? …. Are they prepared to go to their government with that demand, or to fight the next election on that basis? If not, let them talk no more of introducing the Christian spirit into international relations. Lawrence Pearsall Jacks
One of the most disconcerting phenomena of these times is the disparity between the enormous amount of idealist propaganda that goes on from pulpit, platform and press, and the inconsiderable effect that it seems to produce in the actual conduct of men and of nations. Lawrence Pearsall Jacks
Better that the nation grow poor for a cause we can honor, than grow rich for an end that is unknown. Lawrence Pearsall Jacks
To inject morality into politics, is, I have said, and I repeat, the watchword of all our efforts. Edouard Herriot
Our ethical values point one way, towards intergenerational responsibility, but our political system points another, towards the short-term horizon of the next election. We should consider introducing agents who can vote in a far-seeing and impartial way. Thomas Wells
The majority has no right to do wrong. Eamon de Valera
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. Robert A. Heinlein
We were at war and it was necessary and right for us to make [atomic] bombs. J. Robert Oppenheimer
The situation that exists among nations in their relations to one another is such that it tempts even those who ordinarily come far short of cynicism to say that there is no connection between ethics and international relations. John Dewey
It is the aim of public life to arrange that all forms of power are entrusted, so far as possible, to men who effectively consent to be bound by the obligation towards all human beings which lies upon everyone, and who understand the obligation. Simone Weil
The paramount question of the day is not political, is not religious, but is economic. The crying-out demand of today is for a circle of principles that shall forever make it impossible for one man to control another by controlling the means of his existence. Voltairine de Cleyre
...the common sense of Christendom has always prescribed for national policy principles diametrically opposed to those that are laid down in the Sermon on the Mount. Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess Salisbury
The issue is not that morals be applied to public policy, it's that conservatives bring public policy to spheres of our lives where it should not enter. Barney Frank
Truth stood on one side and Ease on the other; it has often been so. Theodore Parker
It is not enough to show me that a measure is expedient: you must show me also that it is right. Charles Sumner
Little boldness is needed to assail the opinions and practices of notoriously wicked men; but to rebuke great and good men for their conduct, and to impeach their discernment, is the highest effort of moral courage. William Lloyd Garrison
Better to be always in a minority of one with God — branded as madman, incendiary, fanatic, heretic, infidel — frowned upon by "the powers that be," and mobbed by the populace — or consigned ignominiously to the gallows, like him whose "soul is marching on," though his "body lies moldering in the grave," or burnt to ashes at the stake like Wickliffe, or nailed to the cross like him who "gave himself for the world," — in defense of the RIGHT, than like Herod, having the shouts of a multitude crying, "It is the voice of a God, and not of a man!". William Lloyd Garrison
Let Southern oppressors tremble — let their secret abettors tremble — let their Northern apologists tremble — let all the enemies of the persecuted blacks tremble. William Lloyd Garrison
The standard of what offends 'the common conscience of the community' conflicts ... with the command of the First Amendment. ... Certainly that standard would not be an acceptable one if religion, economics, politics or philosophy were involved. How does it become a constitutional standard when literature treating with sex is concerned? Any test that turns on what is offensive to the community's standards is too loose, too capricious, too destructive of freedom of expression to be squared with the First Amendment. Under that test, juries can censor, suppress, and punish what they don't like, provided the matter relates to 'sexual impurity' or has a tendency to 'excite lustful thoughts.' This is community censorship in one of its worst forms... William O. Douglas
The subconscious moral sense or the people has come to a distinct realization of the fact that crimes are possible in what we call high finance as they are in lower quarters. William Allan White
Signs everywhere now show a great moral awakening—the cleaning out of rotten business & still more rotten policies. But we’ve only begun! For the first time, men were questioning the fundamentals of democracy, inquiring whether we truly had self-government in America, or whether it had been corrupted by selfish interests. This questioning came not alone from what one might call the working class, but from middle America as well. Ray Stannard Baker
Morality is not merely different in different communities. Its level is not the same for all the component groups within the same community. Benjamin N. Cardozo
We have reached a crises in the history of this country when no man, however humble his rank or limited his influence, has a right to stand neutral.. Millard Fillmore
Man must assume responsibility for the direction of his life and destiny. Felix Adler
Young girls have been infected by television programs and have become sex addicts…. Young women should not laugh in public. Recep Tayyip Erdogan
America is a republic gradually and surely becoming the supreme moral factor in the world’s progress and the accepted arbiter of the World’s disputes. William Jennings Bryan
The great political questions are in their final analysis great moral questions. William Jennings Bryan
No man could earn a million dollars honestly. William Jennings Bryan
No man can make a million dollars honestly. William Jennings Bryan
We have never stopped sin by passing laws. Dwight D. Eisenhower
One's concern with the ethics of means and ends varies inversely with one's personal interest in the issue ... Any effective means is automatically judged by the opposition as being unethical. Saul Alinsky
Gentlemen, in light of this discussion, I must really leave the room. I can't stay any longer. It wouldn't be proper for me to remain. Gerald R. Ford
I didn't run to be pope. I ran to be mayor. Marion Barry
There are two kinds of truth. There are real truths and there are made up truths. Marion Barry
You can't adopt politics as a profession and remain honest. Louis McHenry Howe
We could keep his body going, but it was trying its hardest to die. Jessica Nutik Zitter
He who speaks the truth must keep one foot in the stirrup. Turkish Proverb
There is a lot of spinning and a lot of lying in our times—in politics, in government, in sports and everywhere. It’s gotten to the point where … you no longer believe the first version of anything. It wasn’t always that way. I guess it started for me with Vietnam, when the establishment felt it had to lie to justify a policy that as it turned out was never going to work. Benjamin C. Bradlee
… how easily moral courage and common decency can be subverted by political expediency. Tom Harkin
If there were no Adam and Eve and we’re all evolved from apelike ancestors and there’s homosexuality in the animal world and if Genesis is mythology, then you can justify any behavior you want. Ken Ham
Euthanasia is a long, smooth-sounding word, and it conceals its danger as long smooth-sounding words do, but the danger is there, nevertheless.. Pearl S. Buck
There is, however, a limit at which forbearance ceases to be a virtue. Edmund Burke
I'm fed up with [Republican] politicians in Washington lecturing the rest of us about family values. Our families have values. But our government doesn’t. Bill Clinton
… would not one tiny crime be wiped out by thousands of good deeds? Fyodor Dostoevsky
War being the greatest of evils, all its accessories necessarily partake of the same character. Herman Melville
It is sometimes necessary to lie damnably in the interest of the country. Hilaire Belloc
How can anyone think so insanely that the human life has the same value and, the same morality, independent of numbers? It is lucid to me that every time a new child is born, the value of every human in the world decreases slightly. It is obvious to me that the morality of the population explosion is wholly unlike than when man was a sparse, noble species in its beginning. Pentti Linkola
A moral issue is always more interesting than a real issue. Elaine May
This question [torture] is not about our enemies; it is about us. We need not risk our national honor to prevail in any war. John McCain
The truth about torture is that when government agents are given a green light to treat other human beings without the most basic respect for their dignity, they will inevitably engage in abuse. Torture transgresses the most basic of moral principles: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. The only way to live with the practice, from the interrogator’s point of view, is to deny the humanity of those being subjected to it. David D. Cole
… whether torture works, a major preoccupation of the Senate report, is the wrong question. The World’s governments did not negotiate a treaty banning it [torture] under all circumstances because it’s ineffective. They did so because it is immoral, inhumane, and unacceptable—even if it works. David D. Cole
At the very least the [Mormon] church should make it clear that religious leaders cannot have sex with young girls just because an angel told them that it was OK to do so. Kristy Money
Get the money out fast and do it honestly. Harry Hopkins
I myself have constantly refused to print anything that might countenance vice or promote immorality, though … I might have gotten much money. Benjamin Franklin
In an age when immense technological advances have created lethal weapons which could be, and are, used by the powerful and the unprincipled to dominate the weak and the helpless, there is a compelling need for a closer relationship between politics and ethics at both the national and international levels…. But as long as there are governments whose authority is founded on coercion rather than on the mandate of the people, and interest groups which place short-term profits above long-term peace and prosperity, concerted international action to protect and promote human rights will remain at best a partially realized struggle. There will continue to be arenas of struggle where victims of oppression have to draw on their own inner resources to defend their inalienable rights as members of the human family. Aung San Suu Kyi
Equality lies only in human moral dignity. Fyodor Dostoevsky
Life in Lubbock, Texax taught me that sex is the most awful and filthy thing on earth, and you should save it for someone you love. Butch Hancock
Georgia would become an oppressive regime, promoting the misery of thousands in Africa by permitting a free people to be sold into perpetual Slavery. James Edward Oglethorpe
Just because you can say things that are uncivil does not mean that your should say things that are uncivil. Andrew Solomon
The man must be a prodigy who can retain his manners and morals undepraved by such circumstances... [Slavery] Thomas Jefferson
The practice of continuing slavery is not right John Woolman
As heathens, the white people had been cruel enough, but as Christians, they were ten times more so. As heathens, they were not quite so audacious as to go and take vessel loads of men, women and children, and in cold blood, through devilishness, throw them into the sea, and murder them in all kind of ways. But being Christians, enlightened and sensible, they are completely prepared for such hellish cruelties. David Walker (abolitionist)
Wars of extermination are demoralizing and wicked. Ulysses S. Grant
[Should we] pry intimately into the lives of an undefended and appallingly damaged group of human beings, an ignorant and helpless rural family, for the purpose of parading the nakedness, disadvantage and humiliation of these lives before another group of human beings, in the name of science, of ‘honest journalism”? James Agee
The act of feeling what you believe other people feel is morally corosive.... If we want to be good and caring people, if we want to make the world a better place , then we are better off withouit empathy. Paul Bloom
History requires us to judge the figures of the past not by our moral standards but by those of the ages in which they lived and worked. Jon Meacham
There are the good and bad and every morrally ambiguous shade in between. Matt Vella
Of neither parties to take no bribe; Of lord nor fellow, whoever he be, Of them thou take no manner of fee; And as a judge stand upright, And then thou dost to both good right And truly do this wheresoever thou goest, Thy worship, thy profit, it shall be most. Freemasonry
Make no 'prentice that is deformed; It is mean, as you may hear That he have all his limbs whole all together; To the craft it were great shame, To make a halt man and a lame, For an imperfect man of such blood Should do the craft but little good. Thus you may know every one, The craft would have a mighty man; A maimed man he hath no might, You must it know long ere night Freemasonry
That no master for favour nor dread, Shall no thief neither clothe nor feed. Thieves he shall harbour never one, Nor him that hath killed a man, Nor the same that hath a feeble name, Lest it would turn the craft to shame. Freemasonry
The twelfth article is of high honesty To every mason wheresoever he be, He shall not his fellows' work deprave, If that he will his honesty save; With honest words he it commend, Freemasonry
Man can, indeed, act contrarily to the decrees of God, as far as they have been written like laws in the minds of ourselves or the prophets, but against that eternal decree of God, which is written in universal nature ... Baruch Spinoza
The American administration demonstrated the belief that the strongest has the right to create evil. Maria Zakharova
Manditory minimums were almost always excessive, and they made me feel unethical, even dirty. Shira Scheindlin
Even if we Moslems believe that we have been the victims of crimes, we should not commit crimes in retaliation. It makes a mockery of our ethical and moral system. Omar Saif Ghobash
Without a clear moral vision, we devolve into moral relativism, and from there, into oblivion. Ben Shapiro
The world does not owe any man a living, but we all owe one another a living. Henry Ford
A known fact may be so unbearable that it is habitually pushed aside and not allowed to enter into logical processes, or on the other hand it may enter into every calculation and yet never be admitted as a fact, even in one’s own mind. George Orwell
You know that book, Everything You Need to Know You Learned in Kindergarten. Donald Trump violates every one of them: Don’t tell lies, don’t make fun of people who are handicapped, don’t be mean – all of them. Bill Maher
I care about the enviornment; I really do. But when you see that money, then you don't care. Becasue your getting the thing you need. Reecca Ten Bear Reed
A free enterprise system that is not underlaid with values is bankrupt. Michael Novak
A perception of a conflict of interest is jsut as bad as a conflict of interest, Eric Swalwell
I talked to 5 Ratary Clubs and they all think this stinks. You can't fire the man who is investigating you Eric Swalwell
Religion and the traditions based on it were once the chief sources for moral confidence and strength. Their influence has faded in the modern world, but the need for a sound base for moral judgments has not. If we cannot look simply to moral guidance firmly founded on religious precepts it is natural and reasonable to turn to history, the record of human experience, as a necessary supplement if not a substitute. Donald Kagan
To the New England mind, roads, schools, clothes, and a clean face were connected as part of the law of order or divine system. Bad roads meant bad morals. The moral of this Virginia road was clear, and the boy fully learned it. Slavery was wicked, and slavery was the cause of this road’s badness which amounted to [a] social crime. Henry Adams
Virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. George Washington
…the doctrine of a supreme, intelligent, wise, almighty sovereign of the universe, which I believe to be the great essential principle of all morality, and consequently of all civilization. John Quincy Adams
Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. John Quincy Adams
The moment we cross over that divide [just before the election making public the secret information that Nixon had been sabotaging Vietnam Peace Talks], we are in a different kind of society. Dean Rusk
We believe that talented people with bad values can do far more damage than virtuous people with lesser talents. Charles Koch
Trying to fight misogyny using juridical moral notions is a bit like trying to fight fire with oxygen. It might work on a small scale — we do manage to blow out matches and candles, after all. But when we try to scale up the strategy, it is liable to backfire. We would be trying to put out a fire while feeding right into it. Kate Manne
Misogyny should be understood as the ‘law enforcement’ branch of a patriarchal order, which has the overall function of policing and enforcing its governing ideology. Sexism wears a lab coat, misogyny goes on witch hunts. . . . Sexism is bookish; misogyny is combative. Sexism has a theory; misogyny wields a cudgel. Kate Manne
The circumstance of superior beauty is thought worthy of attention in the propagation of our horses, dogs, and other domestic animals; why not in that of man? Thomas Jefferson
Indifference to Reality. All nationalists have the power of not seeing resemblances between similar sets of facts. A British Tory will defend self-determination in Europe and oppose it in India with no feeling of inconsistency. Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits, but according to who does them, and there is almost no kind of outrage — torture, the use of hostages, forced labour, mass deportations, imprisonment without trial, forgery, assassination, the bombing of civilians — which does not change its moral colour when it is committed by ‘our’ side. George Orwell
As soon as fear, hatred, jealousy and power worship are involved, the sense of reality becomes unhinged. And ... the sense of right and wrong becomes unhinged also. There is no crime, absolutely none, that cannot be condoned when ‘our’ side commits it. Even if one does not deny that the crime has happened, even if one knows that it is exactly the same crime as one has condemned in some other case, even if one admits in an intellectual sense that it is unjustified — still one cannot feel that it is wrong. Loyalty is involved, and so pity ceases to function. George Orwell
Look at all the guilty pleas and contradictions from there. The White House is full of liars. Jerry Brown
I have not ruled out running for the presidency. I hope some people will run against the President [Donald Trump] in the Republican presidential primary so that Republicans can see what it means to be a decent Republican again. Jeff Flake
This is a perfect illustration of reverse causality. Hamas threatens and harasses Israel, but it is only Israel’s response that warrants close attention and scrutiny. David Harris (protester)
We should exclude murderous atheists, who would pull down Church and state; religion and God; morality and happiness .... When they smile, I see blood trickling down their faces; I see their insidious purposes; I see that the object of all their cajoling is—blood! I now warn my countrymen to beware of these execrable philosophers, whose only object it is to destroy every thing that is good here, and to establish immorality and murder by precept and example. Edmund Burke
[Andrew] Jackson could be woefully wrong, He was an unapologetic defender of slavery and the main architect of Native American Removal. Even before he was President his many Indian wars destroyed much of tribal culture in a headlong grab for land. Jon Meacham
You could have two world leaders that are business partners, It makes it almost impossible to conduct diplomacy in an even handed manner. That does not work. Richard W. Painter
The Newspaper wants me to by neutral with respect to Germany, as if anyone could be neutral in this war. Richard Harding Davis

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