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Quotations about Morality

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NOTE:  Some of the quotes on this page were submitted to me by visitors, and not all have been verified for original source or wording. I'm working hard to confirm everything, but in the meantime please be aware of the possibility for errors.  —ღ Terri, March 2021

Doing good isn't black and white. And the shades of gray are unsettling. ~The Resident, "Burn It All Down," 2020, written by Tianna Majumdar-Langham, Chris Bessounian, & Daniela Lamas  [S3, E20, Marshall Winthrop —tg]

Morality is the best of all devices for leading mankind by the nose. ~Friedrich Nietzsche, The Antichrist

Morality is a private and costly luxury. ~Henry B. Adams, The Education of Henry Adams

Without doubt half the ethical rules they din into our ears are designed to keep us at work. ~Llewelyn Powys

Do not do an immoral thing for moral reasons. ~Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure, 1875

Conventionality is not morality. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1903, George Horace Lorimer, editor

The laws of conscience, which we pretend to be derived from nature, proceed from custom. ~Michel de Montaigne, translated

Our morality seems to be only a check on the ultimate domination of force, just as our politeness is a check on the impulse of every pig to put his feet in the trough. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Children lack morality, but they also lack fake morality. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1963

We have 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

What we call "morals" is simply blind obedience to words of command. ~Havelock Ellis

The world of empirical morality consists for the most part of nothing but ill will and envy. ~Goethe

There is no moral precept that does not have something inconvenient about it. ~Denis Diderot

The Seven Deadly Sins are a litany of victimless crimes, compiled to distract attention from the bloody felonies of the righteous. ~Robert Brault,

It is with flowers, as with moral qualities: the bright-coloured are sometimes poisonous; but, I believe, never the sweet-smelling. ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827

Morality comes with the sad wisdom of age, when the sense of curiosity has withered. ~Graham Greene

Why should moral distinction be made between death by the spirochete and death by the streptococcus? ~Martin H. Fischer (1879–1962)  [Spirochete because of its association with syphilis. —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

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, Dialogues, 1941 August 30th

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