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Gizmotude Quotation Archives


Good and Evil

When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I've never tried before. ~~ Mae West

Most of the evils of life arise from man's being unable to sit still in a room. ~~ Blaise Pascal

I hope you have not been leading a double life, pretending to be wicked, and being really good all the time. ~~ Oscar Wilde

He that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils, for time is the greatest innovator. ~~ Francis Bacon

Every political good carried to the extreme must be productive of evil. ~~ Mary Wollstonecraft

The Devil himself had probably re-designed Hell in the light of information he had gained from observing airport layouts. ~~ Anthony Price

We know nothing of tomorrow; our business is to be good and happy today. ~~ Sydney Smith

Even good men like to make the public stare. ~~ George Noel Gordon, Lord Byron

I love tranquil solitude

And such society

As is quiet, wise, and good. ~~ Percy Bysshe Shelley

Good friends are good for your health. ~~ Dr. Irwin Sarason

The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own. ~~ Benjamin Disraeli

Evil be to him who evil thinks. ~~ Unattributed

Gossip needn't be false to be evil -- there's a lot of truth that shouldn't be passed around. ~~ Frank A. Clark

My daddy is a movie actor, and sometimes he plays the good guy, and sometimes he plays the lawyer. ~~ Malcolm Ford

The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness. ~~ Joseph Conrad

No man is justified in doing evil on the ground of expediency. ~~ Theodore Roosevelt

The parent who could see his boy as he really is, would shake his head and say: Willie is no good; I'll sell him. ~~ Stephen Butler Leacock

To be willing to suffer in order to create is one thing; to realize that one's creation necessitates one's suffering, that suffering is one of the greatest of God's gifts, is almost to reach a mystical solution of the problem of evil. ~~ J. W. N. Sullivan

Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all -- the apathy of human beings. ~~ Helen Keller

The devil is easy to identify. He appears when you're terribly tired and makes a very reasonable request which you know you shouldn't grant. ~~ Fiorello La Guardia

The greatest of all perplexities in theology has been to reconcile the infinite goodness of God with his omnipotence. Nothing puts a greater strain upon the faith of the common man than the existence of utterly irrational suffering in the universe. ~~ Walter Lippmann

Take therefore no thought for the morrow; for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. ~~ Jesus Christ

There are bad people who would be less dangerous if they were quite devoid of goodness. ~~ Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Look now how mortals are blaming the gods, for they say that evils come from us, but in fact they themselves have woes beyond their share because of their own follies. ~~ Homer

False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil. ~~ Plato

It is with government as with medicine, its only business is the choice of evils. Every law is an evil, for every law is an infraction of liberty. ~~ Jeremy Bentham

Educate the heart -- educate the heart. Let us have good men. ~~ Hiram Powers

When you choose the lesser of two evils, always remember that it is still an evil. ~~ Max Lerner

If you have been tempted into evil, fly from it. It is not falling into the water, but lying in it, that drowns. ~~ Unattributed

Never anticipate evils; or, because you cannot have things exactly as you wish, make them out worse than they are, through mere spite and willfulness. ~~ William Hazlitt

We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. ~~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

We must not indulge in unfavorable views of mankind, since by doing it we make bad men believe they are no worse than others, and we teach the good that they are good in vain. ~~ Walter Savage Landor

He who would do good to another must do it in minute particulars.

General good is the plea of the scoundrel, hypocrite, and flatterer. ~~ William Blake

It has been said that the love of money is the root of all evil. The want of money is so quite as truly. ~~ Samuel Butler

There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. ~~ William Shakespeare

Most people sell their souls and live with a good conscience on the proceeds. ~~ Logan Pearsall Smith

'Tis known by the name of perseverance in a good cause, -- and of obstinacy in a bad one. ~~ Laurence Stern

I and the public know

What all schoolchildren learn,

Those to whom evil is done

Do evil in return. ~~ W. H. Auden (see Said Who below quotes)

No people do so much harm as those who go about doing good. ~~ Bishop Mandell Creighton

When you put down the good things you ought to have done, and leave out the bad things you did do -- that's Memoirs. ~~ Will Rogers

The infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists. That is why they invented Hell. ~~ Bertrand Russell

Better fare hard with good men than feast it with bad. ~~ Thomas Fuller

The greatest evil which fortune can inflict on men is to endow them with small talents and great ambitions. ~~ Vauvenargues

Out of bad. That's what good comes out of. Because you can't make it out of anything else. You didn't know that, did you? ~~ All the King's Men (film, 1949)

Mistrust the man who finds everything good, the man who finds everything evil and still more the man who is indifferent to everything. ~~ Johann K. Lavater

Philosophy triumphs easily over past evils and future evils; but present evils triumph over it. ~~ Francois, Duc de La Rochefoucauld

Educate your children to self-control, to the habit of holding passion and prejudice and evil tendencies to an upright and reasoning will, and you have done much to abolish misery from their future lives and crimes to society. ~~ Daniel Webster

The world is as good as you are. You've got to learn to like yourself first. I'm a little screwed up, but I'm beautiful. ~~ Steve McQueen

The most important evils that mankind have to consider are those which they inflict upon each other through stupidity or malevolence or both. ~~ Bertrand Russell

No evil is without its compensation. The less money, the less trouble; the less favor, the less envy. Even in those cases which put us out of wits, it is not the loss itself, but the estimate of the loss that troubles us. ~~ Seneca

Men are not only bad from good motives, but also often good from bad motives. ~~ G. K. Chesterton

When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers … we are ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations. ~~ Alexander I. Solzhenitsyn

Only the young die good. ~~ Oliver Herford

There is a difference between imitating a good man and counterfeiting him. ~~ Benjamin Franklin

How much pain they have cost us, the evils which have never happened. ~~ Thomas Jefferson

We are told that when Jehovah created the world he saw that it was good; what would he say now? ~~ George Bernard Shaw

Of two evils choose the prettier. ~~ Carolyn Wells

Suffering! … We owe to it all that is good in us, all that gives value to life; we owe to it pity, we owe to it courage, we owe to it all the virtues. ~~ Anatole France

What a strange illusion it is to suppose that beauty is goodness. ~~ Leo Tolstoy

There are two things for which animals are to be envied: they know nothing of future evils, or of what people say about them. ~~ Voltaire

Guilty! Guilty! My evil self is at that door -- and I have no power to stop it! ~~ Forbidden Planet (film, 1956)

Goodness is uneventful. It does not flash, it glows. ~~ David Grayson

It may be a sin to think evil of people, but it is seldom a mistake. ~~ H. L. Mencken

On the whole, human beings want to be good, but not too good, and not quite all the time. ~~ George Orwell

Love of God is not always the same as love of good. ~~ Hermann Hesse

What greater evil could you wish a miser, than long life? ~~ Publilius Syrus

All outward forms of religion are almost useless, and are the causes of endless strife … Believe there is a great power silently working all things for good, behave yourself, and never mind the rest. ~~ Beatrix Potter

There is no explanation for evil. It must be looked upon as a necessary part of the order of the universe. To ignore it is childish; to bewail it senseless. ~~ W. Somerset Maugham

We are here on earth to do good to others. What the others are here for, I do not know. ~~ W. H. Auden

Being too good is apt to be uninteresting. ~~ Harry S Truman

The worst evil of disregard for some law is that it destroys respect for all law. ~~ Herbert Clark Hoover

I am often troubled as I try hard here to create a new sense of common purpose ... that sometimes we forget that we are all in this because we are seeking a good that helps all Americans. ~~ William Jefferson Clinton

Everyone knows the harm the bad do, but who knows the mischief done by the good? ~~ William Makepeace Thackeray

If by the time we are 60 we haven't learned what a knot of paradox and contradiction life is, and how exquisitely the good and bad are mingled in every action we take … we haven't grown old to much purpose. ~~ John Cowper Powys

People are not essentially good, the sun doesn’t shine all the time, the deserving are rarely rewarded, and most of the power is in the hands of the wrong people … I can't change it and neither can you. ~~ Donald G. Smith

When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad, and that is my religion. ~~ Abraham Lincoln