Morality

No moral system can rest solely on authority. ~ Alfred Jules Ayer

Morality is the differentiation of intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are "good" (or right) and those that are "bad" (or wrong).

QuotesEdit

Socrates taught that true felicity is not to be derived from external possessions, but from wisdom, which consists in the knowledge and practice of virtue… ~ William Enfield
Opinions alter, manners change, creeds rise and fall, but the moral law is written on the tablets of eternity. ~ James Anthony Froude
If your morals make you dreary, depend upon it they are wrong. I do not say "give them up," for they may be all you have; but conceal them like a vice, lest they should spoil the lives of better and simpler people. ~ Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Our world hinges on moral foundations. God has made it so. God has made the universe to be based on a moral law. So long as man disobeys it he is revolting against God. That's what we need in the world today: people who will stand for right and goodness. It's not enough to know the intricacies of zoology and biology, but we must know the intricacies of law. It is not enough to know that two and two makes four, but we've got to know somehow that it's right to be honest and just with our brothers. It's not enough to know all about our philosophical and mathematical disciplines, but we've got to know the simple disciplines of being honest and loving and just with all humanity. If we don't learn it, we will destroy ourselves by the misuse of our own powers.
  • He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous, Both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD
  • Proverbs 17:15
  • Morality is character and conduct such as is required by the circle or community in which the man's life happens to be placed. It shows how much good men require of us.
  • Morality's not practical. Morality's a gesture. A complicated gesture learnt from books.
  • All systems of morality are fine. The gospel alone has exhibited a complete assemblage of the principles of morality, divested of all absurdity. It is not composed, like your creed, of a few common-place sentences put into bad verse. Do you wish to see that which is really sublime? Repeat the Lord's Prayer.
    • Napoleon Bonaparte, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 419.
  • Of all the systems of morality, ancient or modern which have come under my observation, none appears to me so pure as that of Jesus.
  • The moral and religious system which Jesus Christ transmitted to us is the best the world has ever seen, or can see.
  • There are two principles of established acceptance in morals; first, that self-interest is the mainspring of all of our actions, and secondly, that utility is the test of their value.
  • The system of morality which Socrates made it the business of his life to teach was raised upon the firm basis of religion. The first principles of virtuous conduct which are common to all mankind are, according to this excellent moralist, laws of God; and the conclusive argument by which he supports this opinion is, that no man departs from these principles with impunity.
  • Socrates taught that true felicity is not to be derived from external possessions, but from wisdom, which consists in the knowledge and practice of virtue; that the cultivation of virtuous manners is necessarily attended with pleasure as well as profit; that the honest man alone is happy; and that it is absurd to attempt to separate things which are in nature so closely united as virtue and interest.
  • It is the dutiful disposition of each person to spread morality outside of himself to the best of his ability and knowledge, i.e., to see to it that everyone has the same disposition he has ... It follows from this that the overall end of the moral community as a whole is to produce unanimity concerning matters of morality.
    • Johann Gottlieb Fichte, in The System of Ethics : According to the Principles of the Wissenschaftslehre (2005), p. 329.
  • Morality rests upon a sense of obligation; and obligation has no meaning except as implying a Divine command, without which it would cease to be.
    • James Anthony Froude, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 419.
  • Opinions alter, manners change, creeds rise and fall, but the moral law is written on the tablets of eternity. For every false word or unrighteous deed, for cruelty and oppression, for lust or vanity, the price has to be paid at last.
    • James Anthony Froude, in the lecture "The Science of History" (5 February 1864); published in Representative Essays (1885) by George Haven Putnam, p. 274; John Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton quoted the first sentence of this an address of 1895, and this has often been misattributed to him.
  • 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.
  • So far, about morals, I know only that what is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after.
  • This Court does not sit as a Court of morality, to inflict punishment against those who offend against the social law.
    • Sir F. H. Jeune, Evans v. Evans (1899), L. R. Prob. Div. [1899], p. 202; reported in James William Norton-Kyshe, Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 178.
  • You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.
    • Jesus Christ, in Luke 16:15
  • Morality is a venereal disease. Its primary stage is called virtue; its secondary stage, boredom; its tertiary stage, syphilis.
    • Karl Kraus, "The Riehl Case" in Die Fackel; also in Karl Kraus (1971) by Harry Zohn, p. 47.
  • Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!
    • Isaiah 5:20
  • Morality without religion is only a kind of dead reckoning, — an endeavor to find our place on a cloudy sea by measuring the distance we have run, but without any observation of the heavenly bodies.
  • Whatever is contrary, bonos mores est decorum, the principles of our law prohibit, and the King's Court, as the general censor and guardian of the public manners, is bound to restrain and punish.
    • Lord Mansfield, Jones v. Randall (1774), Lofft. 386; reported in James William Norton-Kyshe, Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 177.
  • The reason why no mention is made in our ancient books of uses, is, because men were then of better Consciences than now they are, so as the feoffees did not give occasion to their feoffors to bring subpoenas to compell them to perform the trusts reposed in them.
    • Manwood, J., Brett's Case (1583), 2 Leonard's Rep. 15; reported in James William Norton-Kyshe, Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 177.
  • Morality is the theory that every human act must be either right or wrong, and that 99% of them are wrong.
  • Bad company ruins good morals.
  • I say quite deliberately that the Christian religion, as organized in its churches, has been and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world.
  • My thesis is that morality exists outside the human mind in the sense of being not just a trait of individual humans, but a human trait; that is, a human universal.
  • If your morals make you dreary, depend upon it they are wrong. I do not say "give them up," for they may be all you have; but conceal them like a vice, lest they should spoil the lives of better and simpler people.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical QuotationsEdit

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. ?.

  • Kant, as we all know, compared moral law to the starry heavens, and found them both sublime. On the naturalistic hypothesis we should rather compare it to the protective blotches on a beetle's back, and find them both ingenious.
    • Arthur J. Balfour, Foundations of Belief.
  • No mere man since the Fall, is able in this life perfectly to keep the Commandments.
    • Book of Common Prayer, Shorter Catechism.
  • The Bearings of this observation lays in the application on it.
    • Dickens, Dombey and Son, Chapter XXIII.
  • The moral system of the universe is like a document written in alternate ciphers, which change from line to line.
    • Froude, Short Studies on Great Subjects. Calvinism.
  • Morality, when vigorously alive, sees farther than intellect, and provides unconsciously for intellectual difficulties.
    • Froude, Short Studies on Great Subjects. Divus Cæsar.
  • Dr. Johnson's morality was as English an article as a beefsteak.
  • Turning the other cheek is a kind of moral jiu-jitsu.
  • We know no spectacle so ridiculous as the British public in one of its periodical fits of morality.
    • Macaulay, On Moore's Life of Lord Byron (1830).
  • I find the doctors and the sages
    Have differ'd in all climes and ages,
    And two in fifty scarce agree
    On what is pure morality.
    • Moore, Morality.

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

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Last modified on 13 April 2014, at 20:26