Quotes About Ethics and Morality

Give to every human being every right that you claim for yourself.
Robert Ingersoll

Ask yourself not if this or that is expedient, but if it is right.
Alan Paton

It is important that people know what you stand for.  It’s equally important that they know what you won’t stand for.
Mary Waldrop

A [television] viewer who skips the advertising is the moral equivalent of a shoplifter.
Nicholas Jackson

She wears her morals like a loose garment.
Langston Hughes

When morality comes up against profit, it is seldom that profit loses.
Shirley Chisholm

I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality.  This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

When you punish someone, you pay for it later.  There was a time when pickpockets were publicly hanged, but other pickpockets took advantage of the large crowds attracted to the execution to ply their trade.
J. Hopps Baker

Art, like morality, consists in drawing the line somewhere.
G. K. Chesterton

For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
Matthew 16:26

Indifference, to me, is the epitome of evil.
Elie Wiesel

I would prefer even to fail with honor than win by cheating.

No man is justified in doing evil on the grounds of expedience.
Theodore Roosevelt

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

Those who corrupt the public mind are just as evil as those who steal from the public.
Adlai E. Stevenson

Right is right, even if everyone is against it; and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it.
William Penn

Men are more often bribed by their loyalties and ambitions than by money.
Robert H. Jackson

I can only say that, while my own opinions as to ethics do not satisfy me, other people’s satisfy me even less.
Bertrand Russell

Standards are always out of date.  That is what makes them standards.
Alan Bennett

Expedients are for the hour, but principles are for the ages.
Henry Ward Beecher

There is only one morality, as there is only one geometry.

Everybody has a little bit of Watergate in him.
Billy Graham

The moral sense, or conscience, is as much a part of man as his leg or his arm.
Thomas Jefferson

When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.
Edmund Burke

Man is an animal with primary instincts of survival.  Consequently, his ingenuity has developed first and his soul afterward.  Thus the progress of science is far ahead of man’s ethical behavior.
Charlie Chaplin

A moral being is one who is capable of reflecting on his past actions and their motives—of approving of some and disapproving of others.
Charles Darwin

The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that’s the essence of inhumanity.
George Bernard Shaw

Morals are an acquirement—like music, like a foreign language, like piety, poker, paralysis—no man is born with them.
Mark Twain

Say what you want about the Ten Commandments, you must always come back to the pleasant fact that there are only ten of them.
H. L. Mencken

The moral sense enables one to perceive morality—and avoid it.  The immoral sense enables one to perceive immorality and enjoy it.
Mark Twain

An Englishman thinks he is moral when he is only uncomfortable.
George Bernard Shaw

Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo.
H. G. Wells

A hand on your c*** is more moral—and more fun—than a finger on the trigger.
Lawrence Lipton

I know what I have done, and Your Honor knows what I have done. . . . Somewhere between my ambitions and my ideals, I lost my ethical compass.
Jeb Magruder

I would rather be the man who bought the Brooklyn Bridge than the man who sold it.
Will Rogers

The coming together of two laudable movements—death with dignity and cost containment—concerns me. . . . Patients have a right to die.  But do they have a duty to die?
Mark Siegler

I wish Bill [Schroeder, artificial-heart recipient] had written down on the consent form at what point he would want to say, “Stop this, I’ve had enough.”
Margaret Schroeder

The use of fetuses as organ and tissue donors is a ticking time bomb of bioethics.
Arthur Caplan

I think that very soon the right to die will become the duty to die.
Cecily Saunders

All’s fair in love and war.
Francis Edward Smedley



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