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33 of 6,095 quotations related to Ethics

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Arendt, Hannah
The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be either good or evil.

attributed
Ball, Hugo
Everywhere, the ethical predicament of our time imposes itself with an urgency which suggests that even the question 'Have we anything to eat?' will be answered not in material but in ethical terms.

Barzun, Jacques
Ethics must be seen to be believed.

1991 - from Begin Here
Burke, Edmund
There is no safety for honest men but by believing all possible evil of evil men.

1790 - from Reflections on the Revolution in France
By hating vices too much, they come to love men too little.

1790 - from Reflections on the Revolution in France
Chapin, Edwin Hubbel
Neutral men are the devil's allies.

Coolidge, Calvin
The right thing to do never requires any subterfuge, it is always simple and direct.

Dole, Robert
Those who cultivate moral confusion for profit should understand this: we will name their names and shame them as they deserve to be shamed.

Edman, Raymond
Evangelical faith without Christian ethics is a travesty on the gospel.

Gore, Al
 Any government official who ... lies to the United States Congress will be fired immediately.

Jun. 29, 1997 - from a report in the Seattle Times



 My first pledge will be to restore integrity to the White House. And I'll fire anyone who has lied to the American people or the United States Congress.

Feb. 02, 1988 - during a presidential debate
 I will say that I think that the ethical standards established in this White House have been the highest in the history of the White House.

Oct. 13, 1996 - during an appearance on Meet the Press
Gough, Russell
Being ethical is never just a matter of being a good rule-follower. It's exceedingly more than that. Rules and laws by their very nature usually prescribe, at best, only minimum standards of ethical behaviour.

1997 - from Character is Destiny : The Value of Personal Ethics in Everyday Life
While I must have the character to play by the rules, I must also have the character to do the right thing when the rules don't help. If I want to have the character to strive for ethical excellence, then I must have the character to draw the line when there is no line drawn.

1997 - from Character is Destiny : The Value of Personal Ethics in Everyday Life
Kozol, Jonathon
I believe the questions that we should be asking about justice and injustice in America are not chiefly programmatic, technical or scientific. They are theological.

Jun. 1995 - from a speech
Lippmann, Walter
He has honor if he holds himself to an ideal of conduct though it is inconvenient, unprofitable or dangerous to do so.

1929 - from A Preface to Morals
MacIntyre, Alasdair
There is a fundamental contrast between man as he happens to be and man as he could be if he realized his essential nature. ... The precepts which enjoin the various virtues and prohibit the vices instruct us how to move from potentiality to act, how to realize our true nature, and to reach our true end. To defy them will be to be frustrated and incomplete, to fail to achieve that good of rational happiness which it is peculiarly ours as a species to pursue.

1981 - from After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory
Madison, James
To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without virtue in the people is a chimerical idea.

quoted by William Simon in "Why America Needs Religion", a Heritage Foundation lecture
Nietzsche, Friederich
If there is nothing to morality but expressions of will, my morality can only be what my will creates.

Paine, Thomas
Character is much easier kept than recovered.

1776 - from The American Crisis



Rand, Ayn
Every aspect of Western culture needs a new code of ethics - a rational ethics - as a precondition of rebirth.

Reed, Lawrence
The first casualty when the ethical core of society evaporates is freedom. Law (government) fills the void -- directing by threat of force those aspects of life that formerly were governed by our ethical standards.

Nov. 7, 2000 - from "As Values Collapse, Government Grows", published by the Mackinac Center
Rochefoucauld, François
Our virtues are most frequently but vices in disguise.

1665 - from Reflections: Sentences and Moral Maxims
Saul, John Ralston  
The abolition of hell has created major problems in the maintaining of a general ethical standard.

1995 - from The Doubter's Companion
Skousen, Mark
Every time we pass another law or regulation, every time we raise taxes, every time we go to war, we are admitting failure of individuals to govern themselves. When we persuade citizens to do the right thing, we can claim victory. But when we force people to do the right thing, we have failed.

Solzhenitsyn, Alexander
In our country the lie has become not just a moral category but a pillar of the State.

Thatcher, Margaret
Choice is the essence of ethics. If there were no choice there would be no ethics, no good, no evil. Good and evil only have meaning in so far as man is free to choose.

1977 - quoted in As I Said to Denis: The Margaret Thatcher Book of Quotations, edited by Iain Dale
Unknown
One does evil enough when one does nothing good.

German proverb
Warren, Earl
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.

Nov. 11, 1962 - from a speech at the Jewish Theological Seminary
Society would come to grief without Ethics, which is unenforceable in the courts, and cannot be made a part of the Law. ... Not only does Law in civilized society presuppose ethical commitment; it presupposes the existence of a broad area of human conduct controlled only by ethical norms and not subject to Law at all. There is thus a Law beyond the Law, as binding on those of us who cherish our institutions as the Law itself, although there is no human power to enforce it.

Nov. 11, 1962 - from a speech at the Jewish Theological Seminary



Washington, George
I hope I shall always possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain (what I consider the most enviable of all titles) the character of an Honest Man.

Aug. 28, 1788 - from a letter to Alexander Hamilton
Labour to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire - conscience.

from one of his schoolboy notebooks
Widdecombe, Ann
Today the only thing which is not tolerated is intolerance.

1998 - from the introduction to the Inner Temple Year Book