exploring self-realization, sacred personhood, and full humanity
"Reverence for life affords me my fundamental principle of morality; namely, that good consists in maintaining, assisting, and enhancing life, and that to destroy, to harm, or to hinder life is evil." Albert Schweitzer
Mortimer Adler's Syntopicon Essay: Good and Evil
Editor's 1-Minute Essay: Good and Evil
Word Gems topic: Satan
Editor's Essay: The Nature Of Evil
An advanced Spirit Guide, on the other side for 3500 years, comments on the question: Is there such a thing as a highly-evolved, evil spirit-entity, one whose might and power could rival the forces of Good and even threaten an invasion of Summerland?
Attorney Adrian Smith: how Post-Modernism, one of the most pernicious cults, erodes personal liberties and undermines the West’s heritage of the rule of law
“Whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, takes off your relish for spiritual things, whatever increases the authority of the body over the mind, that thing is [evil] to you, however innocent it may seem in itself.” Susana Wesley, mother of John Wesley
meeting the heart of darkness
From the mid-1950s, when television was new, I have a memory of a public-service cartoon designed to promote driver-safety. As I recall, an adult driver was featured behind the wheel, but then, suffering provocation from the short-comings of another driver, began to morph into a little child with fit-throwing antics…
Today we call it road-rage. It’s a temporary insanity. We find ourselves overtaken by dark forces normally held at bay. Grown men and women, even those highly educated, normally of professional demeanor, might be overcome by base passion, now suddenly breathing out threatenings and slaughter.
I’ve witnessed, within myself, this temptation toward violence many times, and it’s always very disconcerting. We might imagine ourselves to be, in the main, “cool, calm, and collected,” but then someone cuts us off and we're tempted toward violence; or worse.
I always remember one notable incident. I happened to be in Minneapolis at the time. Unfamiliar with the city, searching for my exit, I may have been driving a little too slowly, and a driver cuts ahead of me, and as he does, flips me the bird. It's a good thing I didn't have a ready means of retaliation.
The road-rage phenomenon is useful to us as it unmasks what we normally hide; reveals, to our own selves, just how fragile the veneer of “polite civilization” can be. But the trouble is more than this, and more dangerous.
In my “spirituality 1-minute essay,” I contend that a foundational basis of becoming the elusive “good person” is not that of immersing oneself in charitable works. Outward activity, by itself, won’t change a thing. We need to first address what’s boiling and churning down below.
And what is the essential essence of the mayhem carefully concealed? Well, it’s complicated because there are two parts to us, a “true self” – which is whole and complete, needing nothing – and a “false self” which is quite dysfunctional. This latter energy lives on a precarious psychological level of “I don’t have enough, because I am not enough.”
feel the raw sense of inner neediness
Again, the road-rage dynamic can be a great teacher. It helps us because it reveals what’s behind the mask of the “false self.” Next time this madness overtakes, catch yourself and say, “Can you feel the inner neediness now? - the raging insanity of ‘I am not enough’?”
When you do feel it, don’t be frightened. Don’t run and hide, attempting to quickly reposition the mask. Stay with the feeling, the insight into essential essence. "Relax into the resistance." Shine a mental spotlight on it. Flood it with consciousness.
To witness and inspect, unadulterated, unveiled, the inner workings of the dysfunctional ego is a tremendous step forward in one’s evolution. This clear-sightedness becomes the basis of both increased sentience and true spirituality.
The best advice on this subject comes from Eckhart Tolle. You'll want to study his books.
Here’s what will happen. As we grow in consciousness, as we engage in various helpful practices, such as “conscious breathing,” which will aid one to “remain present” to one's “true self,” we'll begin to become aware of the “inner neediness” - not just in dramatic instances of road-rage, but in its more subtle forms, daily leading and overtaking us, beclouding our thinking and the "better angels of our nature," as Lincoln used the phrase.
Why should we become aware of the "inner neediness," this "heart of darkness" with its macabre machinations? Awareness causes the insanity of the "false self" to shrink. It cannot survive the light of consciousness and will begin to shrivel as we allow the "true self" to lead our lives.
Every human being, if we are to evolve spiritually, must take this journey to the center of being, this "long dark night of the soul."
Professor Philip G. Zimbardo and The Stanford Prison Experiment
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU PUT GOOD PEOPLE IN AN EVIL PLACE? DOES HUMANITY WIN OVER EVIL, OR DOES EVIL TRIUMPH? THESE ARE SOME OF THE QUESTIONS WE POSED IN THIS DRAMATIC SIMULATION OF PRISON LIFE CONDUCTED IN 1971 AT STANFORD UNIVERSITY.
"How we went about testing these questions and what we found may astound you. Our planned two-week investigation into the psychology of prison life had to be ended after only six days because of what the situation was doing to the college students who participated. In only a few days, our guards became sadistic and our prisoners became depressed and showed signs of extreme stress. Please read the story of what happened and what it tells us about the nature of human nature." Professor Philip G. Zimbardo
Author Unknown: “I know what goes through the mind of a good man, what must go through the mind of a scoundrel.” Editor’s note: I still recall, during my first days at university a long time ago, discovering this quotation, and the impact it had on me; the source escapes me now. However, I noted a similar saying in Durants’ Lessons Of History: Joseph de Maistre: “I do not know what the heart of a rascal may be; I know what is in the heart of an honest man; it is horrible.”
J. Robert Oppenheimer, physicist, The Manhattan Project: “When we deny the EVIL within ourselves, we dehumanize ourselves, and we deprive ourselves not only of our own destiny but of any possibility of dealing with the EVIL of others.”
Percy Bysshe Shelley, Prometheus Unbound: “All spirits are enslaved which serve things evil.”
Eric Hoffer, The Passionate State of Mind: "The lust for power is not rooted in strength but in weakness... When the weak want to give an impression of strength they hint menacingly at their capacity for evil. It is by its promise of a sense of power that evil often attracts the weak."
Rollo May, Power and Innocence: "Deeds of violence in our society are performed largely by those trying to establish their self-esteem, to defend their self-image, and to demonstrate that they, too, are significant... Violence arises not out of superfluity of power, but out of powerlessness."
Fr. O'Flaherty to Kappler, The Scarlet And The Black: "When it comes down to it, a bullet is the only argument you’ve got."
Dorothe Deluzy: "We believe at once in evil, we only believe in good upon reflection. Is this not sad?"
John Steinbeck: "It has always seemed strange to me...The things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second."
when all of your secrets are found out
The Minneapolis Police Department has distinguished itself, for all time, as an icon of murderous brutality. We’ve all heard of the George Floyd barbarity. I for one was not surprised.
Some years ago, during my time of searching for a teaching position, I found myself temporarily living in the north section of Minneapolis. I’d purchased a used car and had enlisted the services of a backyard mechanic to make repairs. At about 7 PM, needing some parts for the work, he headed out to an auto store. I went along for the ride. As it happened, he exceeded the speed limit, or some misdemeanor, and we were pulled over by a couple of squad cars.
Now, none of this should have risen to the level of memorable noteworthy, these things happen all the time; however, what ensued next would rank among the more disturbing incidents of my life.
Most, or many, police officers in the United States would handle this as a routine incident, offering detached professionalism, no emotion involved, and no big deal. But this was not the case with the five men-in-blue from the cars with the flashing lights.
I think the best way of describing what happened is that I felt like I’d suddenly been transported back to high school: the jocks run the locker room and they puff their chests out in a territorial dance to let you know who’s in charge.
These officers, so-called public servants, charged with a sacred trust of maintaining law and order, conducted themselves as goons and bullies. They were the cool ones smirking, they were virtually high-fiving each other, they were the disdainful haughty with guns on their hips. They were actually making fun of us, insulting us.
I just stood there, leaning against the car, not saying anything, not reacting. Well, my refusal to signal any intimidation or to be impressed with their buffoonery just made them angry. And now they berated me for not saying anything – as if I had a duty to speak, or to validate their tin-star hegemony.
This kind of incident you don’t quickly forget. And when I heard about the George Floyd murder, I was not surprised.
There has been, or is, a depraved culture within the Minneapolis Police Department which enshrines as normal the abuse of citizens, makes them pawns and playthings of power-hungry thugs in blue uniforms. And it was just a matter of time before the right situation would unmask this poisonous and hubristic gangsterism for all the nation to see.
But let me offer a word of mitigation. Often in my articles I underscore the harsh reality that any human being – this means you and me -- if sufficiently blinded and unenlightened, if led by the false self, if the inner neediness runs amok without checks-and-balances, then anyone might find oneself tempted toward, or even committing, any atrocity of history.
Most people don’t believe this. But then, they’ve not yet “gone within” to meet, up close, the hideous visage of the heart of darkness.
When we do, whether in this life or the next, as Sting set to music, it will be a time when "all of your secrets are found out."
Augustine, The Confessions: "From whence is evil? ... as yet I knew not that evil was nothing but a privation of good, until at last a thing ceases altogether to be."
Blaise Pascal: "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction."
Albert Einstein: "The real problem is in the hearts and minds of men. It is easier to denature plutonium than to denature the evil spirit of man."
Robert J. Little: "A seared conscience is one whose warning voice has been suppressed and perverted habitually, so that eventually instead of serving as a guide, it only confirms the person in his premeditatedly evil course."
William Golding, The Lord of the Flies: Jack’s face swam near him. “And you shut up! Who are you, anyway? Sitting there telling people what to do. You can’t hunt, you can’t sing –” “I’m chief. I was chosen.” “Why should choosing make any difference? Just giving orders that don’t make any sense –”
it's not the color of skin, but the heart of darkness
Ken Burns’ Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery, the search for the fabled Northwest Passage, is one of my very favorite documentaries. It’s really thrilling, with the four dozen adventurers, to trudge up the Missouri, against the current, sometimes literally getting out and pulling the boats, all the way to Helena, Montana, where the great watery path finally divides itself into competing rivulets, revealing its origins in hidden mountain springs.
Along the way, the two famous captains encountered many Native American tribes. Some of these were the “bullies in the neighborhood,” brutalizing, grossly violating, and lording it over other tribes: not only were other men killed, with their scalps paraded as trophies, but women were stolen as prized plunder, now to live out their lives as non-entity sex-slaves and beasts of burden.
This all changed in a moment in 1804. Lewis and Clark, as part of their mission, announced to all they met that there was “a new kid in town” who would overturn old power structures and bring a new pecking order to the warring tribal factions.
Fast-forward 200 years. There are unscrupulous politicians today, in a page written by Marx, ever setting one societal group against another, attempting to buy votes by currying favor with that one at the expense of that other. And they want to apologize for what the Evil White Males have done in history. And it’s true, there’s a lot of apology to go around, that any now-enlightened person might tender.
However, to suggest that white males somehow are more evil than other two-legged creatures is just vote-buying propaganda. The issue of brutality, pillaging, and atrocity, is not a “white” problem, as such, but a “human” problem. Every person, led by the “false self,” if unimpeded, if not constrained by a sturdy rule of law, will sink as low as necessary, do whatever it takes, to appease the inner chantings of “I don’t have enough” because “I am not enough.”
What the Whites did to the Reds, or the Blacks, or any other color that got in their way, is unforgivable; but, within the abused groups, and every group of every nation in history, we will find reports aplenty of intra-group barbarity -- just ask Will Durant in his "Story Of Civilization."
The Whites weren’t more evil – they just had better technology, so it was hard to stop them. And to frame the issue in terms of one group being more evil than another is not only a new form of racism but an utter sophistic misconstruing of the universal problem of “the heart of darkness” among all peoples.
Editor’s note: As I recount on the “Reading” page, I lived on “the reservation” as a teacher for a time. And I will tell you for a fact, from first-hand experience, that, within that little insulated microcosm, the Native “elites” took advantage of, made merchandize of, their less-educated brethren, just the way, in principle, their bellicose forebears had done it prior to 1804. They intentionally and purposefully kept their fellows dependent and ginned-up against the Whites, to control them via a spirit of envy and victimhood -- as much as they could get away with, as far as the law allowed, and then some.
European slave-traders were aided and abetted by warlike African tribes, which possessed large numbers of Black African slaves, their own countrymen and women.
We don’t hear much about this from the vote-buying demagogues who want to portray slavery as an inherently White infraction. Do some research, for example, on the Imbangala or Nyamwezi African tribes who plundered their own racial brethren, enslaving them, and, at times, sold them for profit to the slave-trading Whites.
Editor’s note: Blacks enslaving Blacks, not only a matter of historical record but, according to current Black sources, continues to be practiced in Africa even today. Further, this intra-racial slavery is also referred to in popular-culture media such as the movie “Amistad.”
The issue of slavery, so common in history among virtually all peoples, is what the dysfunctional ego will allow itself if granted sufficient power and control over any who get in its way.
In 1787, a young Englishman, William Wilberforce, became aware of the atrocities of the African slave trade. So moved was he that, against all odds, against powerful political and economic interests, often working alone, he began to wage war on this barbarity. Very slowly, by inches, as prosecuting attorney for the truth, he would turn public opinion against the great inhumanism. Finally, after decades of crusade, during which he was constantly attacked, threatened, and vilified by the privileged "deep state," Parliament, reflecting the will of the people, set as law The Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 which abolished slavery throughout the British Empire. See Wilberforce’s inspiring story in the motion picture, Amazing Grace.
Editor’s note: A great-great grandson of the great, great man, Father Gerard Wilberforce, states, “I am often asked what would be the campaigns Wilberforce would be fighting if he were alive [today] … at the top of the list would be the issue of abortion.” The historical ironies and echoes of the slavery-abortion connection sickens us. Recently, a top US government official stated at a press conference that, if Roe vs. Wade were overturned, the national economy would be adversely affected. We not only gasp at the putridly mercenary reasoning but remind ourselves that this was the same venal argument made in pre-Civil War days concerning the freeing of Blacks.
the problem of slavery is not centered in, not the product of, one specific "evil" race but is part of the unenlightened human condition at large
It’s become fashionable today, within certain circles, to excoriate the “evil white male” – but only among those seeking for totalitarian control. Promoting enmity and class warfare, setting group against group, is the ploy of those who would install themselves as savior of societal chaos.
These vote-buyers would have you believe that slavery was invented by the “evil while male,” conveniently forgetting that, throughout history, all racial groups have engaged in the practice of slavery – vis-à-vis other groups and also within their own group.
How terribly ironic that the person who virtually single-handedly achieved the outlawing of the African slave trade is revealed as one of those “evil white males.” It is an unconscionable travesty of justice to fail to honor William Wilberforce as the man who signaled the beginning of the end of the great barbarity.
Editor’s note: Recently, I watched a movie on the life of Malcolm X. He was an angry young man, but justifiably so. None should blame him for not winning a Miss Congeniality Award. As the movie progressed, I grew to admire him more and more as he courageously stood up for the divine rights of his people. If director Spike Lee offered accurate portrayal, then it seems that, in latter years, just before he was killed, Malcolm began to soften his stance on the “evil white male” and took a more universalist approach toward the nature of evil in the world. Incredibly ironic, however, is how he died. It seems that Malcolm had grown too popular and was now a threat to the once-mentoring religious Dear Leader. They sought to kill Malcolm, and apparently it was they who brought him down. We have spoken of the universal problem of slavery, of violence and oppression, which respects no racial divide. How tragic that Malcolm himself would become an example, a victim, of blacks enslaving and brutalizing fellow blacks. It should also be pointed out that the religious Dear Leader, having used his influence to sexually exploit his young secretaries, justified his actions by comparing himself to Old Testament prophets who had many wives and concubines. This is an old and well-worn pretext. The Dear Leader of the old church, attended by Adrian Smith and myself in our younger years, was also involved in sexual misconduct, as were others in the hierarchy, and, from the pulpit, I still recall, the same Old Testament defenses being made. It's had a long run. Read about the spirit of fundamentalism/cultism extant in all true-believer societies. Malcolm learned of this too late.
the US Founding Fathers, with their emphasis on personal liberties, are attacked by totalitarians because they're a threat to power-and-control schemes
Thomas Sowell, an incredibly wise black man, is a voice of reason cutting through totalitarian propaganda: Slavery, for thousands of years, has been the norm, in every age, in every society, of this perverted world: whites have enslaved whites, reds have enslaved reds, yellows have enslaved yellows, blacks have enslaved blacks – and do so, even today, in Africa.
In the movie Spiderman: Homecoming we find a group of high school students touring the Washington Monument.
Someone says, “Oh, we can’t go in there, it was probably constructed with slave labor.” Well, that's pretty stupid, what an air-head comment - what a victim of Dear Leader propaganda. Because, as we peel back the layers of deception, bamboozling, fraud, hokum, and flimflam of sanitized views of how society works, we quickly discover that virtually everything we see around us, the entire world civilization, issues as a product of greed, vested interests, half-truths, injustice, brutality, despotism - every shade of diminution of human rights.
there are all kinds of slavery, all kinds of oppression, doing very well in the world today
Think of Big Pharma, uninterested in any healthcare solution which cannot be sold in a bottle. They spend huge amounts in political lobbying efforts that natural remedies be made illegal. It's all about money and corporate profits, not saving lives.
Think of Big Energy, the polluting fossil fuels, not only poisoning the environment but buying up patents for alternative ways of delivering energy, only to shelve and bury the information.
Think of Big Religion, with its anti-humanistic, cultish and guilt-laced doctrines of you're no good, God could never love you, you were born in sin and cursed, your only job is to pay-pray-obey.
Think of Big Tech, and the trashing of privacy rights. See how they tag and flag, watch and surveil, collect data on you, merchandise the details of your life, invade your right to be anonymous.
Think of Big Science, its smug claim that you're nothing but a machine, just a collection of sub-atomic particles in deterministic dance, there's no free will, no virtues of love, joy, peace, no real consciousness and intelligence, the universe and your life have no meaning.
Think of Big Food, the polluting and genetic engineering, the coating with pesticides, of the food supply, leading to various health issues for the population.
As we investigate every aspect of commerce, politics, education, technology, religion, science, we find oppression, greed, fraud, deception, hoodwinking, "how can we fool'em today," a trampling of human rights.
I speak of this here as it’s become fashionable, by socialists, by totalitarians, to suggest another gross prevarication that the US Founding Fathers were uniquely evil, requiring that we put away all that they stood for – in favor of a new utopia, led by the totalitarians, of course.
The US Founding Fathers were not perfect. And some of them, especially from the South, sought to protect their region’s economic interest in slave labor. And there were slaves in the North, as well, but not to the same extent. All this acknowledged, it was the way things were done; all over the world, in every society, and for thousands of years, this was business as usual.
'all men are created equal'
Editor's note: Have you noticed that, what used to be a rarity, today, we often hear of SWAT teams breaking down doors to enforce Dear Leader's will. National security, of course.
Editor’s note: The proclamation of every oppressive Ministry of Truth, the threadbare pretext for trampling upon personal liberties, the age-old cry of the totalitarian: “national security,” “for the people,” "censor misinformation to protect”
Some of the Founders, however, had had enough of despotism, of buying-and-selling people like animals, and desired to create a new world of freedom for everyone, even for the slaves. In all of history, this had never been attempted; not even in ancient Greece where the “rule of law” was invented, as slaves were very common there.
Nevertheless, to change all of society, in one stroke, one generation, was asking too much of egoic human nature, and so compromises, by the best of the Founders, were grudgingly allowed. The most enlightened of them didn’t get everything they wanted. Imperfect as it was, it was a start, a political birth of freedom, never before seen in the chronicles of the world, in terms of declaring and enshrining human rights.
our problem is, this world is the only one we have right now
We have to live in this world, for now; though a better one is coming. For the moment, however, we might have to own a polluting car or ride in a polluting jet; but we don’t have to like it, and we wish for better days to come.
And we might buy a bottle of pills, or take some chemical treatment, even though we wish for more natural, more healthful, solutions to disease.
And we buy things at the grocery store that we know are laced with artificial components, and some of it is genetically altered. We have all kinds of ailments which our population never had a hundred years ago. Where have these diseases and disabilities come from? We don’t like any of this, but our resources are limited, and we try to choose the most healthful options we can.
We use cellphones, we use search engines, which spy on us, track us. We hate this "big brother" shadow in our lives, but, for now, we have to go along with it, until we can do better.
And some of the products we buy in the big "box stores" were made by virtual slave labor in third-world countries. Some of the immature students, with mush for brains and no sense of history, complaining about the Washington Monument, might have been wearing items, t-shirts or track shoes, or with gizmos in their backpacks, produced by the abused and exploited masses on the other side of the world.
Where is the outrage over this kind of slavery? - happening here, right now! not 250 years ago! Why are these products purchased, produced by the sweat and oppression of a neo-slavery.
We do all these things, and more, but it doesn't mean we're cheerleaders for all this rubbish, it doesn't mean that we're proactively complicit with the evil on planet Earth. This despotic world is the only one we can live in right now, so, unless we're going to hide in a cave somewhere, we do our best.
And so it was for some, not all, the most enlightened, of the Founding Fathers. They hated slavery. They didn't like what was happening. They wanted everyone to have a good life, personal freedoms. And just as we, in our day, cannot rid ourselves of the oppressive mega-institutions, they couldn’t abolish slavery in their day; and, in some cases, if they owned or inherited slaves, the best temporary solution - with society arrayed against you, with no schools or job opportunities open to any freed blacks - might simply have been that of allowing it and treating humanely all those in their household.
To suggest that we cannot tour the Washington Monument because slaves might have contributed labor is not only narrow-minded but Orwellian thought-control, a propaganda effort by totalitarians.
The Founders are big targets by those with despotic intent because the writings of the Founders, the best of them, represent some of the highest expression of human rights in the history of the world. And this is exactly what totalitarians are rabid to expunge, on their way to world power-and-control.
the 'misinformation' attack
As a final note, let me draw attention to a particularly offensive term in current use by totalitarians – it’s “misinformation.” This word serves as prelude to censorship, to shutting down and stifling debate. If you can't answer a charge in an open forum, with other opinions to hone, then you call it "misinformation."
When totalitarians fear that their malfeasance might be exposed, they’re quick to label any opposition as “misinformation.” Think about what this really means. To declare any point of knowledge as “misinformation” would require a super-human, a divine-like grasp of all facts. See my articles on “Quantum Mechanics” and the history of science, and you will discover many examples of new theories and concepts, later proven to be correct, but originally denied by the establishment as heresy, error, and “misinformation.”
"Is your position so weak that it cannot withstand debate?”
Star Trek: Next Generation, season three
episode #50, “The Ensigns Of Command” (1989)
“I called this meeting to replace the android’s misinformation.”
Data: “I wish to speak.”
“No, leave now.”
Data: “Is your position so weak that it cannot withstand debate?”
Let's understand this: When you hear someone spewing sophistry of "misinformation" and the need to censor, we can be certain that a totalitarian is speaking.
the essence of the US Constitution has been mimicked by virtually all countries of the West; if it weren’t for the Founders, the entire world today - what we call 'the free world' - would be far less free, and this fact is not lost upon totalitarians wishing to take us back to a darker autocratic time of history which denied human rights
Only a self-appointed “Infallible Dear Leader” would speak of "misinformation," an attempt to censor and assert a high-handed authoritarianism. Totalitarians care nothing for truth and progress but only to maintain their grip of power-and-control on the world. This is all very Orwellian.
the new 'book burners'
All this "misinformation" charge becomes neo "book burning" - concerning any idea which contradicts the totalitarian narrative. Think of the last time in history, in the twentieth century, that book-burning was considered right and proper, was given Dear Leader's approval.
Everyone should be allowed to speak; no one, no self-appointed Infallible Dear Leader of Truth, has the right to censor anything; or, as Abraham Lincoln said, to rule over another without that person's consent.
Only in an open forum of freely-flowing ideas can we determine what's right and wrong. Only thinking minds in dialectic dynamic, only in the purging fires of a rigorous induction, might we come closer to, and discover the nature of reality - but never by a heavy-handed process of inquisition, book-burning, and censorship.
John Stuart Mill on the censorship of "misinformation":
“If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.”
“The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.”
“We can never be sure that the opinion we are endeavoring to stifle is a false opinion; and if we were sure, stifling it would be an evil still.”
“...there ought to exist the fullest liberty of professing and discussing, as a matter of ethical conviction, any doctrine, however immoral it may be considered.”
Editor’s note: Freedoms might erode by inches, but the effect of censorship and the diminishment of free speech is cumulative over time, leading to a generalized disrespect for human dignity. In the end, unless checked, it will result in what we've seen throughout history - in this:
Joyce Cary: "For good and evil, man is a free creative spirit. This produces the very queer world we live in, a world in continuous creation and therefore continuous change and insecurity."
Kenneth Clark, Civilisation: The [18th-century] men who met each other in the salons of Madame du Deffand and Madame Geofrin were engaged on a great work -- an encyclopedia or Dictionnaire Raisonne des Sciences, des Arts et des Metiers. It was intended to advance mankind by conquering ignorance... But authoritarian governments don't like dictionaries. They live by lies and bamboozling abstractions, and can't afford to have words accurately defined. The Encyclopedia was twice suppressed.
Blaise Pascal: I have discovered that all human evil comes from this, man's being unable to sit still and quiet in a room alone.
Albert Einstein: The horrifying deterioration in the ethical life of people today stems from the mechanization and dehumanization of our lives - a disastrous by-product of the scientific mentality. We are guilty. Man grows colder than the planet he inhabits.
J. C. Hare: "A man prone to suspect evil is mostly looking in his neighbor for what he sees in himself. As to the pure all things are pure, even so to the impure all things are impure."
George Gilder: "The wealth of America is not an inventory of goods; it is an organic, living entity, a fragile pulsing fabric of ideas, expectations, loyalties, moral commitments, visions. To vivisect it for redistribution would eventually kill it... Owners are besieged on all sides by aspiring spenders - debauchers of wealth and purveyors of poverty in the name of charity, idealism, envy, or social change... Greed is an appetite for unneeded and unearned wealth and power. The truly greedy seek comfort and security first. They seek goods and clout they have not earned. Because the best and safest way to gain unearned pay is to get the state to take it from others, greed leads, as by an invisible hand, toward ever more government action - to socialism, not capitalism."
Martin Luther King, Jr.: "The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes ... Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."
Carl Jung, BBC interview, 1959: "We need more understanding of human nature, because the only real danger that exists is man himself ... We know nothing of man, far too little. His psyche should be studied because we are the origin of all coming evil."
Joseph Conrad: "The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary, men alone are quite capable of every wickedness."
Claudius, I, Claudius: "Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out."
Hans Christian Andersen, The Ugly Duckling: "So it went on from day to day till it got worse and worse. The poor duckling was driven about by every one; even his brothers and sisters were unkind to him, and would say, 'Ah, you ugly creature, I wish the cat would get you,' and his mother said she wished he had never been born. The ducks pecked him, the chickens beat him, and the girl who fed the poultry kicked him with her feet. So at last he ran away, frightening the little birds in the hedge as he flew over the palings."
Junius: "The lives of the best of us are spent in choosing between evils."
Buddha: "All that we are is the result of what we have thought. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him."
Francois De La Rochefoucauld: "There is hardly a man clever enough to recognize the full extent of the evil he does."
James Fenimore Cooper: "It is a governing principle of nature, that the agency which can produce most good, when perverted from its proper aim, is most productive of evil. It behooves the well-intentioned, therefore, vigorously to watch the tendency of even their most highly prized institutions, since that which was established in the interests of the right, may so easily become the agent of the wrong."
Ralph Waldo Emerson: "What is life but the angle of vision? A man is measured by the angle at which he looks at objects. What is life but what a man is thinking of all day? This is his fate."
Aldous Huxley: "The effects which follow too constant and intense a concentration upon evil are always disastrous. Those who crusade, not for God in themselves, but against the devil in others, never succeed in making the world better, but leave it either as it was, or sometimes even perceptibly worse than it was, before the crusade began. By thinking primarily of evil we tend, however excellent our intentions, to create occasions for evil to manifest itself."
Henry David Thoreau: "There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root."
Eric Hoffer: "You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you."
President Ronald Reagan, speech to the National Association of Evangelicals, March 8, 1983: "Let us beware that while they [Soviet rulers] preach the supremacy of the state, declare its omnipotence over individual man, and predict its eventual domination over all the peoples of the earth, they are the focus of evil in the modern world.... I urge you to beware the temptation ... to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of any evil empire, to simply call the arms race a giant misunderstanding and thereby remove yourself from the struggle between right and wrong, good and evil."
Adolf Hitler: "The great strength of a totalitarian state is that it forces those who fear it to imitate it... I am liberating man from the degrading chimera known as 'conscience'... Success is the sole earthly judge of right and wrong... The victor will never be asked if he told the truth."
Niccolo Machiavelli: "... the end justifies the means."
Martin Niemoeller: "In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up."
C. S. Lewis, Screwtape Letters: "The greatest evil is not done in those sordid dens of evil that Dickens loved to paint … but is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clean, carpeted, warmed, well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voices."
Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: "If evil has any reality – and it is relative, not an absolute reality – this is its definition: complete identification with the forms – physical forms, thought forms, emotional forms."
Albert Einstein: "A human being is part of a whole, called by us the Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest - a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."
Martin Luther King, Stride Toward Freedom: "He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it."
Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago: "If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"
Mohandas Gandhi, Non-Violence in Peace and War: "Must I do all the evil I can before I learn to shun it? Is it not enough to know the evil to shun it? If not, we should be sincere enough to admit that we love evil too well to give it up."
Susana Wesley, mother of John Wesley: “Whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, takes off your relish for spiritual things, whatever increases the authority of the body over the mind, that thing is [evil] to you, however innocent it may seem in itself.”
Thomas Hardy: "A resolution to avoid an evil is seldom framed till the evil is so far advanced as to make avoidance impossible."
Charles W. Chestnutt: "Those that set in motion the forces of evil cannot always control them afterwards."
Mohammed: "To overcome evil with good is good, to resist evil by evil is evil."
William Golding, The Lord of the Flies: “Shut up,” said Ralph absently. He lifted the conch. “Seems to me we ought to have a chief to decide things.” “A chief! A chief!” “I ought to be chief,” said Jack with simple arrogance, “because I’m chapter chorister and head boy. I can sing C sharp.”
C.S. Lewis, Why Does Evil Exist? "It was of no interest to God to create a species consisting of virtuous automata, for the 'virtue' of automata who can do no other than they do is a courtesy title only; it is analogous to the 'virtue' of the stone that rolls downhill or of the water that freezes at 32 degrees. To what end, it may be asked, should God create such creatures? That He might be praised by them? But automatic praise is a mere succession of noises. That He might love them? But they are essentially unloveable; you cannot love puppets. And so God gave man free will that he might increase in virtue by his own efforts and become, a free moral being, a worthy object of God's love. Freedom entails freedom to go wrong: man did, in fact, go wrong, misusing God's gift and doing evil. Pain is a by-product of evil; and so pain came into the world as a result of man's misuse of God's gift of free will."
Dietrich Bonhoeffer: "There is nothing quite so terrible as evil masquerading as virtue."
Herman Melville, Moby Dick: Ahab, after convincing his crew to pursue the white whale: "'Twas not so hard a task. I thought to find one stubborn, at the least; but my one cogged circle fits into all their various wheels, and they revolve. Or, if you will, like so many ant-hills of powder, they all stand before me; and I their match. Oh, hard! that to fire others, the match itself must needs be wasting! What I've dared, I've willed; and what I've willed, I'll do! They think me mad -- Starbuck does; but I'm demoniac, I am madness maddened! That wild madness that's only calm to comprehend itself! The prophecy was that I would be dismembered; and -- Aye! I lost this leg. I now prophesy that I will dismember my dismemberer."
David Westin, October 23, 2001: ABC News President David Westin caused a stir at Columbia University when he was asked whether he thought the Pentagon was a legitimate military target. Westin replied, "I actually don't have an opinion on that, and it's important I not have an opinion on that as I sit here in my capacity right now. As a journalist, I feel strongly that's something that I should not be taking a position on." Westin later apologized for the remarks, saying, "I was wrong. Under any interpretation, the attack on the Pentagon was criminal and entirely without justification. I apologize for any harm that my misstatement may have caused." Tony Snow: "Westin responded not once, but twice, that he could not render a verdict on the Pentagon as a target. Now, that was just plain dumb. Reporters have to make judgments with every story they cover, beginning with the choice of which fact is the most important and which sources matter. Only an imbecile would turn off his moral filters in order to cover breaking news - especially stories that involve mass murder. Westin wants passionless automatons. While I'm happy to let such contraptions wash my car, I don't want them bringing me news"; Wesley Pruden: "Of course, David Westin is not a journalist at all. He never has been, not even a television journalist, and as anyone at ABC News could tell you, he wouldn't know how to get off his ample capacity to cover a grass fire. He's a lawyer, not a journalist, which is a very different kind of public enemy. He probably thinks this is the way celebrity journalists are supposed to talk, remembering how Peter Jennings and Mike Wallace, on a similar occasion a decade ago, insisted that if they were accompanying enemy soldiers and learned of an imminent attack on American positions they wouldn't warn the Americans even if they could. The code of journalists is a strict one."
Desmahis: "We cannot do evil to others without doing it to ourselves."
Emerson: "Every evil to which we do not succumb is a benefactor. As the Sandwich Islander believes that the strength and valor of the enemy he kills passes into himself, so we gain the strength of the temptation we resist."
Southey: "As sure as God is good, so surely there is no such thing as necessary evil."
Chapin: "In the history of man it has been very generally the case that when evils have grown insufferable they have touched the point of cure."
Channing: "Even in evil, that dark cloud which hands over the creation, we discern rays of light and hope, and gradually come to see, in suffering and temptation, proofs and instruments of the sublimest purposes of wisdom and love."
Adlai E. Stevenson: "Those who corrupt the public mind are just as evil as those who steal from the public purse."
W. H. Auden: "Good can imagine Evil; but Evil cannot imagine Good."
Edmund Burke: "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
Mother Teresa: "If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other."
Francois De La Rochefoucauld: "We often do good in order that we may do evil with impunity."
Henry David Thoreau: "He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it."
Buddha: "It is a man's own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways."
Augustine, The Confessions: "From whence is evil? ... as yet I knew not that evil was nothing but a privation of good... it [is] not any substance ... but the perversion of the will, turned aside from Thee, O God."
Mark Twain: "Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody."
John 3:19-21, NIV: "This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."
Leo Rosten: "I learned that it is the weak who are cruel, and that gentleness is to be expected only from the strong."
Dick Morris, March 13, 2002: "In Europe, it's not cool to get hot and bothered about [9-11]. It violates the cafe-sophistication which insists, in a cloud of cigarette smoke, on seeing a world with all shades of gray, rather than one polarized by good and evil. Ennui is in. Energetic, righteous indignation is for the immature. You know, like Americans."
Sir Oliver Lodge, Raymond: "The power of evil may here and there get the upper hand: although it must ultimately lead to suicidal destructive failure, for evil is pregnant with calamity."
Saddam Hussein, 11-7-02, on the impending and threatening U.N. vote: Reuters: "In Baghdad, Saddam urged the world to take a 'just' position to stop the United States and Britain from achieving their 'evil' schemes in the resolution on arms inspections. He said Washington and London were 'exerting pressure on the Security Council to take resolutions that contradict international law and the United Nations Charter. If these two American and British administrations are able to achieve their wishes, the world would return to a new law, which is the law of evil based on power and opportunity rather than the law of love and justice."
Don Feder: "The Lord of The Rings (books and movies), and especially The Return of the King, is about the struggle of good and evil – a dark lord of supernatural malevolence intent on crushing free will and enslaving humanity, a ring of power which corrupts those who possess it and therefore must be destroyed, courageous warriors, a wise and benevolent wizard, and ordinary folk who – through their sacrifices – rise to heroic heights. It’s a morality tale especially suited to our times. Like the inhabitants of Middle Earth, we too confront a spreading shadow ('One ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them, in the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.') Our Shadow isn’t the Dark Lord Sauron, but an equally demonic force variously designated terrorism, fanaticism or Islamicism. It is anti-Western, anti-human rights and (ultimately) anti-humanity. The struggle against this Dark Lord has also shown us unparalleled heroism by ordinary people – firefighters and police, soldiers and citizens. (One thinks of the noble Todd Beamer of 'Let’s roll' fame.) ... Tolkien believed that the only way to combat this slide to technological barbarism is for people to rediscover their essence – to know that each of us has a divine spark within, to understand that history isn’t shaped by relentless forces but is the product of individuals with a vision (angelic or demonic), and that we are not "mere cogs in the vast machine of modern industrial society" but sub-creators, whose works can reflect the glory of the ultimate Creator. As the wizard Gandalf proclaims when he confronts the monstrous Balrog in Moria: I am a servant of the Secret Fire!"
Thomas Reed, Speaker of the House, 1886: "One of the greatest delusions in the world is the hope that the evils in this world are to be cured by legislation."
John Muir: "Most people are on the world, not in it -- have no conscious sympathy or relationship to anything about them -- undiffused, separate, and rigidly alone like marbles of polished stone, touching, but separate."
Charles Spurgeon: "Beware of no one more than of yourself; we carry our worst enemies within us."
George Steiner: "We know that a man can read Goethe or Rilke in the evening, that he can play Bach or Schubert, and go to his day's work at Auschwitz in the morning."
Martin Luther King, Jr.: "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."
Albert Schweitzer: "Reverence for life affords me my fundamental principle of morality, namely that good consists in maintaining, assisting, and enhancing life, and that to destroy, to harm, or to hinder life is evil."
Friedrich Nietzsche: "What is evil? Whatever springs from weakness."
Ayn Rand: "Why do they always teach us that it's easy and evil to do what we want and that we need discipline to restrain ourselves? It's the hardest thing in the world to do what we want. And it takes the greatest kind of courage. I mean, what we really want."
Sophocles: "All concerns of men go wrong when they wish to cure evil with evil… The soul that has conceived one wickedness can nurse no good thereafter."
W.H. Auden: "Evil is unspectacular and always human and shares our bed and eats at our own table."
Mother Abigail Freemantle, The Stand: [her last words] "Be true. STAND!"
Hannah Arendt, to Gershom Scholem, regarding the Eichmann trial: "It is indeed my opinion now that evil is never radical, that it is only extreme, and that it possesses neither depth nor any demonic dimension. It can overgrow and lay waste the whole world precisely because it spreads like a fungus on the surface… the banality of evil."
Abigail Adams, First Lady of the United States, 1797-1801: "These are times in which a genius would wish to live. It is not in the still calm of life, or the repose of a pacific station, that great characters are formed... The habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties. All history will convince you of this, and that wisdom and penetration are the fruit of experience, not the lessons of retirement and leisure. Great necessities call out great virtues."
Lance Morrow, Time, Feb 24, 2003: "President Bush uses the word in an in-your-face, born-again manner that takes its resonance from a long Judeo-Christian tradition that sees radical evil embodied in heroically diabolical figures. This personalized evil is the kind that is insinuated by the sauntering Tempter in the first scene of the Book of Job, when God and Satan speculate like racing touts about whether Job can go a mile and a quarter on a muddy track. In Bush's usage, evil has the perverse prestige of Milton’s defiant Lucifer. Evil emanates, implicitly, from a devilish intelligence with horns and a tail, an absolutely malevolent personality, God's rival in the cosmos, condemned to lose the fight (eventually) but powerful in the world."
William James: "There is but one cause of human failure. And that is man's lack of faith in his true Self."
Abigail Adams, July 1784: Travelling by carriage to London, the future First Lady witnessed a robbery, the 20-year-old perpetrator captured: "...and we saw the poor wretch gastly and horible, brought along on foot, his horse rode by a person who took him." Put-off by the dark spirit of the attending British mob, Abigail's merciful heart responded: "Tho every robber may deserve Death, yet to exult over the wretched is what our Country is not accustomed to. Long may it be free of such villainies and long may it preserve a commisiration for the wretched."
Eckhart Tolle, The Power Of Now: "Accept whatever comes to you woven in the pattern of your destiny, for what could more aptly fit your needs?" This was written 2000 years ago by Marcus Aurelius, one of those exceedingly rare humans who possessed worldly power as well as wisdom. It seems that most people need to experience a great deal of suffering before they will relinquish resistance and accept - before they will forgive. As soon as they do, one of the greatest miracles happens: the awakening of Being-consciousness through what appears as evil, the transmutation of suffering into inner peace. The ultimate effect of all the evil and suffering in the world is that it will force humans into realizing who they are beyond name and form. Thus, what we perceive as evil from our limited perspective is actually part of the higher good that has no opposite. This, however, does not become true for you except through forgiveness. Until that happens, evil has not been redeemed and therefore remains evil. Through forgiveness, which essentially means recognizing the insubstantiality of the past and allowing the present moment to be as it is, the miracle of transformation happens not only within but also without. A silent space of intense presence arises both in you and around you. Whoever or whatever enters that field of consciousness will be affected by it, sometimes visibly and immediately, sometimes at deeper levels with visible changes appearing at a later time. You dissolve discord, heal pain, dispel unconsciousness — without doing anything — simply by being and holding that frequency of intense presence."
Kurt Leege, Counterpunch, Nov. 22, 2002: "'Evil' has been forefront in current affairs during the last year. Al Queda is 'evil'. Saddam Hussein is 'evil'. We fight an 'evil axis'. This is not new. The so-called fight for 'justice' has been vetted throughout centuries within lexicon of 'good' and 'evil'. This is the appropriate lexicon, however, we seem to have forgotten the meaning of 'evil', and with it the nature of justice. As a character on Star Trek once noted 'truth is in the eye of the beholder'. I find this to be a common trait amongst those over-determined words that inform the meaning, purpose and conduct of our lives. Not the least of these is 'evil'. In its earliest uses, evil [ubilo(z)] simply means 'overstepping one's limit'. It specifies no specific crime, no proscriptive way of being. In that superficial sense, we can understand the perspectival nature of the term. America can rightly see those who stub the toe of its interests as evil, and the converse--those oppressed by perceived American imperialism rightly believe us to be evil. It is an equal opportunity word--it has no interest, no fixed set of prosciptions. Thus, evil is also in the 'eye of the beholder'. Unfortunately for those lost to history, the idea this word conveys does have a specific historical referent and a meaning deeper than the implications of its opportunistic employment. The first and most eloquent equation of 'stepping beyond one's limit' and 'evil' rests in Pre-Socratic Greek religion; and it is an idea that would shame both modern moralists and imperialists. The solution of this equation is moira. This word is commonly translated as 'fate' or 'destiny', but its meaning within Greek religion, and ultimately the 'democratic' miracle of Athens, is far deeper. Moira as traced through the early poets and philosophers rests on two precepts: Limit and equality. Each being has its specific share constituting its limit, but each share is also equal to all others--limit itself is the very equality of beings. As opposed to a Post-Socratic idea of 'limit' as that life which falls within a proscribed set of predetermined social or moral relations, 'limit' in its original sense means acting with reference to the equality of beings. This is the notion that was birthed by Athenian democracy, nursed by 16th century humanism, and came of age with the struggle for human rights. 'Evil', according to this definition, is simply acting against the equality of beings. The Greeks had another positive word to describe this 'acting toward the equality of beings'. It became the founding principle of Athenian 'democracy': isonomia. Literally, equality before the law, isonomia resembles the constitutional precept of 'equal protection under the law'. However, it has greater reach. On the one hand, 'before the law' implies a spatial relationship. We are 'before' the law, as if it were an edifice. The 'law', in this sense, is not understood as a bunch of fleeting ideas imposed upon us by the whims of legislators, but the edifice of the public itself. Being 'before the law' is being in the living presence of the public, the 'we'. On the other hand [and in a more primordial sense], 'before the law' has a temporal meaning--there are principles prior to the 'law' in its spatial [public] sense upon which that law is based and by which the law comes to exist. The law has both a ground and a becoming--a ground in what is prior to law and a becoming in its being taken into the realm of the public, changing, growing and reflecting what the public is. For the Greeks, equality predominates both senses of 'before the law'. We are 'equal before the law' in that equality precedes law and equality is what the law achieves through the public. Throughout all Greek literature prior to Plato one can trace this radical sense of equality as being the essential 'trust' of being. In all cases, breaking this 'trust' required the ministrations of 'justice'. Justice itself was the curative realignment to equality. Those who trampled upon the basic equality of another [even the gods] would be brought back to the order of equality by justice. Justice was not retribution, punishment, or revenge, but rather a rectification, a refashioning of the basic equality of beings. We often forget that our own iconography has this vision of justice at its roots: the blindfolded Athena with a balance on her arm. In this image, we see justice as the process by which equality comes to be. Contrast this with the ideas of 'evil' and 'justice' as they are commonly parceled out today and we find two angry, displaced children cut off from their history. For most in America 'evil' is an action perceived to be against our personal or collective interest and 'justice' means the elimination of that threat [be it through death or imprisonment]. People around the world wonder why we Americans fail to understand the causes of anti-Americanism or in the more extreme case, terrorism. It is precisely because in common parlance, we have lost our historical footing when it comes to routine interpretation of ethical norms. If we don't reattach ourselves to history, we may yet lose a great deal more than we did on September 11."
Wikipedia: "The modern English word "evil" (Old English yfel) and its cognates such as the German Übel are widely considered to come from a Proto-Germanic reconstructed form ubilaz, comparable to the Hittite huwapp- ultimately from the Proto-Indo-European form wap- and suffixed zero-grade form up-elo. Other later Germanic forms include Middle English evel, ifel, ufel, Old Frisian evel (adjective and noun), Old Saxon ubil, Old High German ubil, and Gothic ubils. The root meaning is of obscure origin though shown to be akin to modern English "over" and modern German über (OE ofer) and "up" (OE up, upp) with the basic idea of transgressing."
Fanny Kemble: “The whole gamut of good and evil is in every human being, certain notes, from stronger original quality or most frequent use, appearing to form the whole character; but they are only the tones most often heard. The whole scale is in every soul, and the notes most seldom heard will on rare occasions make themselves audible.”
Mother Teresa: "Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty."
taking pleasure in the pain of others
an excerpt from Dr. Frankl's concentration camp memoirs:
First, among the guards there were some sadists, sadists in
the purest clinical sense.
Second, these sadists were always selected when a really
severe detachment of guards was needed.
There was great joy at our work site when we had per-
mission to warm ourselves for a few minutes (after two
hours of work in the bitter frost) in front of a little stove
which was fed with twigs and scraps of wood. But there were
always some foremen who found a great pleasure in taking
this comfort from us. How clearly their faces reflected this
pleasure when they not only forbade us to stand there but
turned over the stove and dumped its lovely fire into the
snow! When the SS took a dislike to a person, there was
always some special man in their ranks known to have a
passion for, and to be highly specialized in, sadistic torture,
to whom the unfortunate prisoner was sent.
Third, the feelings of the majority of the guards had
been dulled by the number of years in which, in ever-
increasing doses, they had witnessed the brutal methods of
the camp. These morally and mentally hardened men at
least refused to take active part in sadistic measures. But
they did not prevent others from carrying them out.
Fourth, it must be stated that even among the guards
there were some who took pity on us. I shall only mention
the commander of the camp from which I was liberated. It
was found after the liberation — only the camp doctor, a
prisoner himself, had known of it previously — that this man
had paid no small sum of money from his own pocket in
order to purchase medicines for his prisoners from the near-
est market town. But the senior camp warden, a prisoner
himself, was harder than any of the SS guards. He beat the
other prisoners at every slightest opportunity, while the
camp commander, to my knowledge, never once lifted his
hand against any of us.
It is apparent that the mere knowledge that a man was
either a camp guard or a prisoner tells us almost nothing.
Human kindness can be found in all groups, even those
which as a whole it would be easy to condemn. The
boundaries between groups overlapped and we must not try
to simplify matters by saying that these men were angels
and those were devils. Certainly, it was a considerable
achievement for a guard or foreman to be kind to the pris-
oners in spite of all the camp's influences, and, on the other
hand, the baseness of a prisoner who treated his own com-
panions badly was exceptionally contemptible.
Obviously the prisoners found the lack of character in such men especially upsetting, while they were profoundly moved by the
smallest kindness received from any of the guards. I re-
member how one day a foreman secretly gave me a piece of
bread which I knew he must have saved from his breakfast
ration. It was far more than the small piece of bread which
moved me to tears at that time. It was the human "some-
thing" which this man also gave to me — the word and look
which accompanied the gift.
life in a concentration camp tore open the human soul and exposed its depths
From all this we may learn that there are two races of
men in this world, but only these two — the "race" of the
decent man and the "race" of the indecent man. Both are
found everywhere; they penetrate into all groups of society.
No group consists entirely of decent or indecent people. In
this sense, no group is of "pure race" — and therefore one
occasionally found a decent fellow among the camp guards.
Life in a concentration camp tore open the human soul
and exposed its depths. Is it surprising that in those depths
we again found only human qualities which in their very
nature were a mixture of good and evil? The rift dividing
good from evil, which goes through all human beings,
reaches into the lowest depths and becomes apparent even
on the bottom of the abyss which is laid open by the con-
Bill Savoie: "Buddhism has a completely satisfying answer to evil and sin. The Buddhist approach would be to question your 'desire' to be without sin or evil, to look at the question itself. Why would you limit your life? To trap you into an experience that western language finds difficult to say directly. To direct your search to the real truth. Here our normal 'logical' English language just breaks down. What is this 'illogical' experience that is not linear and deductive? The answer is, there is, in fact, a life that can be experienced outside of the level of thinking. I call that the essential teaching of Buddhism... For the past few years my personal definition of sin has been 'confusing one person for another.' When we speak to an older male it would be a "sin" to confuse them with our father. Each of us is unique and should not be confused with others. Unfortunately almost no one ever gets it... In the Aramaic Language and culture that Jesus taught in, the terms for "sin" and "evil" were archery terms. When the archer shot at the target and missed the scorekeeper yelled the Aramaic word for sin. It meant that you were off the mark, take another shot. The concept of sin was to be positive mental feedback. Sin is when you are operating from inaccurate information and thus a perceptual mis-take. When you become conscious and aware if the results of your inaccuracy you have the option to reconsider what you have learned and do as they do in Hollywood, "do another take." By the way, where the arrow fell when it missed the target was referred to as evil."
Evil according to the dictionary: "Having qualities tending to injury and mischief; having a nature or properties which tend to badness; mischievous; not good; worthless or deleterious; poor; as, an evil beast; and evil plant; an evil crop. Having or exhibiting bad moral qualities; morally corrupt; wicked; wrong; vicious; as, evil conduct, thoughts, heart, words, and the like. Producing or threatening sorrow, distress, injury, or calamity; unpropitious; calamitous; as, evil tidings; evil arrows; evil days. Anything which impairs the happiness of a being or deprives a being of any good; anything which causes suffering of any kind to sentient beings; injury; mischief; harm; opposed to good. Moral badness, or the deviation of a moral being from the principles of virtue imposed by conscience, or by the will of the Supreme Being, or by the principles of a lawful human authority; disposition to do wrong; moral offence; wickedness; depravity. In an evil manner; not well; ill; badly; unhappily; injuriously; unkindly; morally objectionable behavior. The quality of being morally wrong in principle or practice. That which causes harm or destruction or misfortune; having or exerting a malignant influence; having the nature of vice."
Morten Berthelsen, March 16, 2010: Danish artist dresses her baby as Hitler, exploring the meaning of evil. "We all have evil within us. Even small children are evil towards each other," Danish-Norwegian artist Nina Maria Kleivan tells Haaretz as she explains why she chose to dress up her baby daughter as the most evil historical figures of the 20th century. "Even my daughter could end up ruling Denmark with an iron fist. The possibility is still there. You never know." In the controversial photo-series "Potency," Kleivan's daughter Faustina, then a few months old, depicts such infamous personalities as Joseph Stalin, Benito Mussolini, Saddam Hussein, Ayatollah Khomeini, Chairman Mao, Idi Amin, Augusto Pinochet, Slobodan Milosevic, and Adolf Hitler. The aim is to illustrate just one thing: We all begin life the same. We all have every opportunity ahead of us. To do good, or inexplicable evil. "You need to be conscious that your actions have consequences that impact on your fellow human beings. The people I let my daughter portray didn't give a damn about the human cost, the casualties, their thoughts caused," Kleivan says. "The responsibility is yours alone. You can't throw it away - as a parent, as human beings - and say that you just followed orders." When Kleivan gave birth to Faustina, her second child, serious pelvic joint pain kept her in hospital for two months, then captive at home in a wheelchair for another four months. Bored out her mind and incapable of accessing her studio, she found a canvas in her newborn daughter. She began sewing small costumes using items at hand, dressing her child up as the worst dictators of recent history, and photographing the results. First was Stalin; Hitler was the last. When her husband saw the swastika armband lying on the desk, he cracked. "'I'm aware that you're an artist, but this is wrong,' he told me. I've pondered that a lot myself: Could I really do this? I agree it's on the verge, especially Hitler, whom I and most others view as the incarnation of evil. He and Stalin were the hardest to do. It hurt." And not for nothing. Kleivan was raised by a father in the Norwegian resistance movement who had been captive in a German prison camp. "I grew up with a tremendous hatred towards the Germans," Kleivan says, reminiscing about how she would, as a child, carry a note in her pocket with the name of her father's prison guard, so that when the day came, she could identify him and kill him. "Even though my father stressed that you shouldn't hate anyone, not least the Germans. Hatred is a dead end." Kleivan's art brims with references to World War II, often incorporating power and powerlessness, victims and culprits, innocence and guilt. Even so, none of her works have caused as much stir as this, and it's all because of one particular image. "Nobody reacts to any picture other than the one of 'mini-Hitler'. Even though my generation doesn't speak out about the war, silently our cultural circle sees Hitler as evil incarnate." But the reactions have been far from silent in Denmark, Sweden, Italy and Germany, where the exhibition has been shown. Especially when Kleivan's Jewish aunt stumbled across the exhibit in an art gallery in Sweden. "Most of her family disappeared in the German camps, I felt so bad telling her it was my work, because she didn't know, and was sickened by it. But this is not a deliberate provocation, it calls for reflection. Even though comical, you're not supposed to only laugh at these pictures. You need to contemplate them, ponder where this evil comes from." Right now, Kleivan is doing a piece on Stalin's favorite movie, a "silly, inane comedy." "When all you see is a picture, Stalin could've been anyone's kind grandfather. You can't see the millions of people on his conscience or what a paranoid, dreadful human being he was." Whether or not evil is inherent or generated mostly by environment, it lays dormant in even the smallest creature. Faustina is now 11 years old and shows a remarkable talent for playing the violin. Who knew? A doctor specializing in psychopathy penned a text to accompany a Kleivan exhibition in Stockholm, describing what evil was, its occurrence in men and women (men are more prone to it, apparently) and how it affects us all. Later, he wrote Kleivan that he had been discussing with colleagues whether or not her daughter would sustain long-term mental damage from being dressed up as these modern psychopaths. She wouldn't, they had decided. At the end of the missive he added a post script, perhaps as a potential future disclaimer, "Nevertheless, I recommend you save this letter." See the page for the baby photos: http://youbentmywookie.com/wtf/nina-maria-kleivans-potency-exploring-the-meaning-of-evil-8468
Anne Rice: "Evil is a point of view."
Eric Hoffer: "All [corrupted] leaders strive to turn their followers into children... The frustrated follow a leader less because of their faith that he is leading them to a promised land than because of their immediate feeling that he is leading them away from their unwanted selves. Surrender to a leader is not a means to an end but a fulfillment. Whither they are led is of secondary importance."
Albert Camus, The Plague: "The evil that is in the world almost always comes of ignorance, and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence if they lack understanding."
Charles Baudelaire: "Evil is done without effort, naturally, it is the working of fate; good is always the product of an art."
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.: “There is no reason why good cannot triumph as often as evil. The triumph of anything is a matter of organization. If there are such things as angels, I hope that they are organized along the lines of the Mafia.
William Golding, The Lord of the Flies: “I’m warning you. I’m going to get angry. D’you see? You’re not wanted. Understand? We are going to have fun on this island. Understand? We are going to have fun on this island! So don’t try it on, my poor misguided boy, or else–” Simon found he was looking into a vast mouth. There was blackness within, a blackness that spread. “–Or else,” said the Lord of the Flies, “we shall do you, see? Roger and Maurice and Robert and Bill and Piggy and Ralph. Do you. See?”
Friedrich Nietzsche: “Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And when you look long into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you.”
Sigmund Freud: “No one who, like me, conjures up the most evil of those half-tamed demons that inhabit the human breast, and seeks to wrestle with them, can expect to come through the struggle unscathed.”
Theodor Adorno: “The creed of evil has been, since the beginnings of highly industrialized society, not only a precursor of barbarism but a mask of good. The worth of the latter was transferred to the evil that drew to itself all the hatred and resentment of an order which drummed good into its adherents so that it could with impunity be evil.”
Ayn Rand: “The spread of evil is the symptom of a vacuum. Whenever evil wins, it is only by default: by the moral failure of those who evade the fact that there can be no compromise on basic principles.”
Anne Rice: “Evil is always possible. And goodness is eternally difficult.”
Rod Serling (1967): “I happen to think that the singular evil of our time is prejudice. It is from this evil that all other evils grow and multiply. In almost everything I've written there is a thread of this: a man's seemingly palpable need to dislike someone other than himself.”
Juvenal: “No one becomes depraved all at once.”
Jake Thoene: "Apathy and evil. The two work hand in hand. They are the same, really.... Evil wills it. Apathy allows it. Evil hates the innocent and the defenseless most of all. Apathy doesn't care as long as it's not personally inconvenienced."
Ernest Hemmingway: “All things truly wicked start from an innocence.”
Max Born: “The belief that there is only one truth and that oneself is in possession of it seems to me the deepest root of all evil that is in the world.”
James Curwood: “In every man's heart there is a devil, but we do not know the man as bad until the devil is roused.”
Thomas Hardy: “A resolution to avoid an evil is seldom framed till the evil is so far advanced as to make avoidance impossible.”
Henry Ford: “What we call evil, it seems to me, is simply ignorance bumping its head in the dark.”
Hans Christian Andersen, The Ugly Duckling: "You are exceedingly ugly," said the wild ducks, "but that will not matter if you do not want to marry one of our family."
Anatole France: “Nature, in her indifference, makes no distinction between good and evil.”
George Washington: “It is much easier at all times to prevent an evil than to rectify mistakes.”
Oliver Goldsmith: "Don't let us make imaginary evils, when you know we have so many real ones to encounter."
August Strindberg: "Now I know the full power of evil. It makes ugliness seem beautiful and goodness seem ugly and weak."
Confucius: "The small man thinks that small acts of goodness are of no benefit, and does not do them; and that small deeds of evil do no harm, and does not refrain from them. Hence, his wickedness becomes so great that it cannot be concealed, and his guilt so great that it cannot be pardoned."
Pierrre Corneille: "All evils are equal when they are extreme."
Laurell K. Hamilton: “Why was so much evil pleasant, pretty on the outside, like poisoned candy?”
J. K. Rowling: “Those who choose not to empathize enable real monsters, for without ever committing an act of outright evil ourselves we collude with it through our apathy.”
Henry Ward Beecher: “Love is the medicine of all moral evil. By it the world is to be cured of sin.”
Garrison Keillor: “Evil lurks in the heart of man, and anonymity tends to bring it out. Internet flamers would never say the jagged things they do if they had to sign their names.”
Benjamin Whichcote: “In many cases, it is very hard to fix the bounds of Good and Evil, because these part, as Day and Night, which are separated by Twilight.”
E.H. Chapin: “The way to overcome evil is to love something that is good.”
George Elliot: “There is no sort of wrong deed of which a man can bear the punishment alone: you can't isolate yourself, and say that the evil which is in you shall not spread. Men's lives are as thoroughly blended with each other as the air they breathe: evil spreads as necessarily as disease.”
Arthur Byron Cover: “Do not be dismayed to learn there is a bit of the devil in you. There is a bit of the devil in us all.”
E.H. Chapin: “In some way the secret vice exhales its poison; and the evil passion, however cunningly masked, stains through to the surface.”
E.H. Chapin: “All evil, in fact the very existence of evil, is inexplicable until we refer to the paternity of God. It hangs a huge blot in the universe until the orb of divine love rises behind it. In that apposition we detect its meaning. It appears to us but a finite shadow as it passes across the disc of infinite light.”
Henry Ward Beecher: “The most hateful evil in the world is the evil that dresses itself in such a way that men cannot hate it. The men that make wickedness beautiful are the most utterly to be hated.”
Leonardo Da Vinci: “Not to punish evil is equivalent to authorizing it.”
Daniel Handler: “People aren't either wicked or noble. They're like chef's salads, with good things and bad things chopped and mixed together in vinaigrette of confusion and conflict.”
Garrison Keillor: “The term "evil powers" is one you hear only in the church, or in Marvel comic books, or Republican speeches.”
Henry Ward Beecher: “Like the emery and sand with which we scour off rude surfaces, evil and trouble in this world are but instruments. And they are in the hands of God.”
Reuen Thomas: “No man is permanently and fixedly evil, until he is willingly evil.”
Charles Caleb Colton: “A society composed of none but the wicked could not exist; it contains within itself the seeds of its own destruction, and without a flood, would be swept away from the earth by the deluge of its own iniquity.”
Austin O’Malley: “An evil thought in a soul is like a water-rat swimming in a pond at evening: the rat destroys the iridescent reflection of heaven in the water.”
Chanakya: “We return evil for evil, in which there is no sin, for it is necessary to pay a wicked man in his own coin.”
Charles Caleb Colton: “Is the Deity able to prevent evil, but not willing, where is his benevolence; is he willing, but not able, where is his power; is he both able and willing, whence then is evil?”
Austin O’Malley: “The hardest fact in the world to accept is the inevitable mixture of evil with good in all things.”
Norman MacDonald: “Do not imagine that the good you intend will balance the evil you perform.”
Edward Counsel: “The defenders of evil deeds deserve the same punishment as the doers.”
Norman MacDonald: “All men are more wicked in thought than action.”
Charles Caleb Colton: “Evils in the journey of life are like the hills which alarm travellers upon their road; they both appear great at a distance, but when we approach them we find that they are far less insurmountable than we had conceived.”
Glen Bateman, The Stand: “And all this time we were afraid of you! We thought you were really something. But you’re nothing more than that little roach doing your little roach-errands.”
Randall Flagg and Nadine Cross, The Stand: “I’ll give you anything you want, Nadine!” “Can you give me Larry?”
Norman MacDonald: “A great cause of evil in the world is that men seldom think themselves criminal if they offer the same injustice to others that has been successfully practiced on themselves.”
Edward Counsel: “Evils which we think ended are often displaced by worse ones.”
Charles Caleb Colton: “There is this of good in real evils: they deliver us, while they last, from the petty despotism of all that were imaginary.”
Gautama Buddha: “To cease from evil, to do good, and to purify the mind yourself, this is the teaching of all the Buddhas.”
Benjamin Whichcote: “The more you are offended at your evil thoughts, the less they are yours.”
Anne Enright: “I do not believe in evil. I believe that we are human and fallible, that we make things and spoil them in an ordinary way.”
Benjamin Whichcote: “Where Evil is returned for Evil, the first offender thinks himself excused, because the other is as faulty as he.”
Dust Devil, the movie (1992): “There is no good or evil, only spirit and matter; only movement toward the light, and away from it.”
David Quatermain: “Anyone who has killed love within himself is capable of doing evil.”
Mohinder Suresh, Heroes: “To fight evil, one must know evil. One must journey back through time, and find that fork in the road where heroes turn one way and villains turn another.”
John Stewart, Justice League: "In brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight. Let those who worship evil's might, beware my power, Green Lantern's Light!"
Mr. Spock, Star Trek: "Evil does seek to maintain power by suppressing the truth… Without followers, evil cannot spread."
Dr. Fate: "One thing I've learned from centuries of combat is that no matter how thoroughly you think you exterminate the evil, it comes creeping back like a cockroach."
Davy Crockett, The Alamo (1960): "That's what's important, to feel useful in this old world, to hit a lick against what's wrong for what's right even though you get walloped for saying that word. Now I may sound like a Bible beater yelling up a revival at a river crossing camp meeting, but that don't change the truth none. There's right and there's wrong. You got to do one or the other. You do the one and you're living. You do the other and you may be walking around, but you're dead as a beaver hat."
T.S. Eliot: "So far as we are human, what we do must be either evil or good: so far as we do evil or good, we are human: and it is better, in a paradoxical way, to do evil than to do nothing: at least we exist."
Lord Acton: "The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the party that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections."
Saint Ambrose: "There is nothing evil save that which perverts the mind and shackles the conscience."
Jean Anouilh: "All evil comes from the old. They grow fat on ideas and young men die of them."
Saint Augustine: "The greatest evil is physical pain."
Alain Badiou: "Evil is the interruption of a truth by the pressure of particular or individual interests."
Charles Baudelaire: "Evil is done without effort, naturally, it is the working of fate; good is always the product of an art."
Eckhart Tolle: "Is suffering really necessary? Yes and no. If you had not suffered as you have, there would be no depth to you, no humility, no compassion... True salvation is freedom from negativity, and above all from past and future as a psychological need."
William Blake: "Active Evil is better than Passive Good."
Charles Van Doren, speaking at a memorial service for Mortimer Adler, 2001: "I remember the first seminar we led together, nearly forty years ago. The text was Plato's dialogue, The Sophist. I had read it twice or three times and struggled to get the point. It could not be what it seemed to be. But Mortimer helped us all to understand: The true sophist, Plato is saying, cannot be trapped - if he is willing to say anything whatsoever to win the argument. If he wants to win at all costs and does not care what is true, and if he is adept at fending off the truth when it is presented, the sophist will triumph, and you will fail."
Martin Van Buren: "No evil can result from its inhibition more pernicious than its toleration."
Jack Bauer's 24
"remind her of the things she used to love"
In season 2, episode 14, Jack and Kate are interrogating her sister, Marie. The latter has had a busy day. She has shot her fiance - on their wedding day, no less; murdered two others; aided foreign terrorists with a nuclear bomb; and, just before her arrest, was about to kill her own sibling, Kate.
Marie, having been indoctrinated with hate-ideology, mouths fanatical slogans such as "people need to die for things to change." She knows where the bomb is, and Jack needs that information. He strategizes with Kate on how they might break through the heavy miasma of rage enveloping this wretched and lost creature. Jack strikes upon a way for Kate to convince her sister to cooperate: "remind her of the things she used to love."
Samuel Butler: "Evil is like water, it abounds, is cheap, soon fouls, but runs itself clear of taint."
Eric Butterworth: "Evil, and evil spirits, devils and devil possession, are the outgrowth of man's inadequate consciousness of God. We must avoid thinking of evil as a thing in itself; a force that works against man or, against God, if you will."
Giraldus Cambrensis: "Evil borders upon good, and vices are confounded with virtues; as the report of good qualities is delightful to a well-disposed mind, so the relation of the contrary should not be offensive."
Franz Kafka: "Evil is whatever distracts."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: "Evil is only good perverted."
John Henry Newman: "Evil has no substance of its own, but is only the defect, excess, perversion, or corruption of that which has substance."
Blaise Pascal: "Evil is easy, and has infinite forms."
Rabindranath Tagore: "The question why there is evil in existence is the same as why there is imperfection... But this is the real question we ought to ask: Is this imperfection the final truth, is evil absolute and ultimate?"
D.H. Lawrence: "This is the very worst wickedness, that we refuse to acknowledge the passionate evil that is in us. This makes us secret and rotten."
Agatha Christie: "Evil hiding among us is an ancient theme."
John Philpot Curran: "Evil prospers when good men do nothing."
Charles Krauthammer on President Obama's Speech, April 13, 2011: "It was a disgrace. I rarely heard a speech by a president so shallow, so hyper-partisan, and so intellectually dishonest." House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan: "His speech was excessively partisan, dramatically inaccurate... Last year, in the absence of a serious budget, the President created a Fiscal Commission. He then ignored its recommendations and omitted any of its major proposals from his budget, and now he wants to delegate leadership to yet another commission to solve a problem he refuses to confront ... this President’s policies are committing our children to a diminished future."
Henry Hazlitt, Economics In One Lesson: "While certain public policies would in the long run benefit everybody, other policies would benefit one group only at the expense of all other groups. The group that would benefit by such policies ... will argue for them plausibly and persistently. It will hire the best buyable minds to devote their whole time to presenting its case. And it will finally either convince the general public that its case is sound, or so befuddle it that clear thinking on the subject becomes next to impossible. In addition to these endless pleadings of self-interest, there is a second main factor that spawns new economic fallacies every day. This is the persistent tendency of men to see only the immediate effects of a given policy, or its effects only on a special group, and to neglect to inquire what the long-run effects of that policy will be not only on that special group but on all groups. It is the fallacy of overlooking secondary consequences.In this lies almost the whole difference between good economics and bad."
Denis Diderot: "Evil always turns up in this world through some genius or other."
George Eliot: "No evil dooms us hopelessly except the evil we love, and desire to continue in, and make no effort to escape from."
Matthew Fox: ?Evil is the shadow of angel. Just as there are angels of light, support, guidance, healing and defense, so we have experiences of shadow angels. And we have names for them: racism, sexism, homophobia are all demons - but they're not out there."
Mohandas Gandhi: "Evil is good or truth misplaced."
Edward II: "Evil be to him who evil thinks."
James L. Farmer, Jr.: "Evil societies always kill their consciences."
Tom Brown, Jr.: "Evil can be a teacher, if you look at the wisdom of its negative power."
Buddha: "There has to be evil so that good can prove its purity above it."
Publius Cornelius Tacitus: "The principle office of history I take to be this: to prevent virtuous actions from being forgotten, and that evil words and deeds should fear an infamous reputation with posterity."
Buddha: "A good friend who points out mistakes and imperfections and rebukes evil is to be respected as if he reveals a secret of hidden treasure."
Father Robert Hugh Benson: "All such terrestrial disasters appertain to the Earth people and to them alone, and they have their causes either through the functioning of natural forces or through the evil ways of man upon earth. They are not the will of God ... That, my good friend, is the one true and safe rule which you can apply to all events and circumstances that you will encounter during the term of an earthly life."
Thomas Jefferson: "Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day."
Robert F. Kenedy: "What is objectionable, what is dangerous, about extremists is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents."
Seneca: "It is extreme evil to depart from the company of the living before you die."
Maria Montessori: "The task of the educator lies in seeing that the child does not confound good with immobility and evil with activity."
(Reuters) May 2, 2011: "The U.S. special forces team that hunted down Osama bin Laden was under orders to kill the al Qaeda mastermind, not capture him, a U.S. national security official told Reuters. "This was a kill operation," the official said, making clear there was no desire to try to capture bin Laden alive in Pakistan."
Marcus Aurelius: "Nothing is evil which is according to nature."
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley: "No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness."
Orison Sweet Marden: "Whatever our creed, we feel that no good deed can by any possibility go unrewarded, no evil deed unpunished."
John F. Kennedy. "In politics you have no friends, only allies."
Plato: "Ignorance of all things is an evil neither terrible nor excessive, nor yet the greatest of all; but great cleverness and much learning, if they be accompanied by a bad training, are a much greater misfortune."
Albert Einstein: "The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."
Albert Einstein: "I do not believe in the God of theology who rewards good and punishes evil."
Martin Luther King, Jr.: "Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world that we must love our enemies - or else? The chain reaction of evil - hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars - must be broken, or else we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation."
Martin Luther King, Jr.: "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. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies."
Mohandas Gandhi: "I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent."
Mohandas Gandhi: "I have also seen children successfully surmounting the effects of an evil inheritance. That is due to purity being an inherent attribute of the soul."
Mohandas Gandhi: "Capital as such is not evil; it is its wrong use that is evil. Capital in some form or other will always be needed."
Mohandas Gandhi: "Non-cooperation with evil is as much a duty as is cooperation with good."
Mohandas Gandhi: "Man's nature is not essentially evil. Brute nature has been known to yield to the influence of love. You must never despair of human nature."
Buddha: "When one has the feeling of dislike for evil, when one feels tranquil, one finds pleasure in listening to good teachings; when one has these feelings and appreciates them, one is free of fear."
Mark Twain: "Work is a necessary evil to be avoided."
Mark Twain: The lack of money is the root of all evil.
William Shakespeare: The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.
George Carlin: May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house.
Aristotle: Fear is pain arising from the anticipation of evil.
Aristotle: The generality of men are naturally apt to be swayed by fear rather than reverence, and to refrain from evil rather because of the punishment that it brings than because of its own foulness.
Eckhart Tolle: Evil is an extreme manifestation of human unconsciousness.
Aristotle: No notice is taken of a little evil, but when it increases it strikes the eye.
Socrates: False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil.
Socrates: One who is injured ought not to return the injury, for on no account can it be right to do an injustice; and it is not right to return an injury, or to do evil to any man, however much we have suffered from him.
Plato: No evil can happen to a good man, either in life or after death.
Plato: To prefer evil to good is not in human nature; and when a man is compelled to choose one of two evils, no one will choose the greater when he might have the less.
Plato: Knowledge becomes evil if the aim be not virtuous.
Plato: No one knows whether death, which people fear to be the greatest evil, may not be the greatest good.
Jim Morrison: Violence isn't always evil. What's evil is the infatuation with violence.
Theodore Roosevelt: No man is justified in doing evil on the ground of expedience.
Friedrich Nietzsche: 'Evil men have no songs.' How is it that the Russians have songs?
Friedrich Nietzsche: Whatever is done for love always occurs beyond good and evil.
Friedrich Nietzsche: In the last analysis, even the best man is evil: in the last analysis, even the best woman is bad.
Friedrich Nietzsche: Whoever has witnessed another's ideal becomes his inexorable judge and as it were his evil conscience.
Voltaire: I know many books which have bored their readers, but I know of none which has done real evil.
Lao Tzu: I do not concern myself with gods and spirits, either good or evil, nor do I serve any.
George Washington: The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good.
Ralph Waldo Emerson: The wave of evil washes all our institutions alike.
Niccolo Machiavelli: Hatred is gained as much by good works as by evil.
Hans Christian Andersen, The Ugly Duckling: Now the tom cat was the master of the house, and the hen was mistress, and they always said, "We and the world," for they believed themselves to be half the world, and the better half too.
Niccolo Machiavelli: It is necessary for him who lays out a state and arranges laws for it to presuppose that all men are evil and that they are always going to act according to the wickedness of their spirits whenever they have free scope.
Henry David Thoreau: It is best to avoid the beginnings of evil.
Sigmund Freud: Obviously one must hold oneself responsible for the evil impulses of one's dreams. In what other way can one deal with them? Unless the content of the dream rightly understood is inspired by alien spirits, it is part of my own being.
Carl Jung, Psychology and Alchemy, 1953: The conscious mind allows itself to be trained like a parrot, but the unconscious does not - which is why St. Augustine thanked God for not making him responsible for his dreams.
Carl Jung, The Meaning of Psychology for Modern Man, 1934: The dream is the small hidden door in the deepest and most intimate sanctum of the soul, which opens into that primeval cosmic night that was soul long before there was a conscious ego and will be soul far beyond what a conscious ego could ever reach.
Thomas Paine: Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.
Marcus Aurelius: Life is neither good or evil, but only a place for good and evil.
Saint Augustine: The confession of evil works is the first beginning of good works.
Saint Augustine: There is no possible source of evil except good.
Saint Augustine: He that is kind is free, though he is a slave; he that is evil is a slave, though he be a king.
Saint Augustine: God judged it better to bring good out of evil than to suffer no evil to exist.
Ayn Rand: So you think that money is the root of all evil. Have you ever asked what is the root of all money?
Ayn Rand: Run for your life from any man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper's bell of an approaching looter.
Ayn Rand: There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil.
Ayn Rand: Evil requires the sanction of the victim.
Soren Kierkegaard: Boredom is the root of all evil - the despairing refusal to be oneself. Since boredom advances and boredom is the root of all evil, no wonder, then, that the world goes backwards, that evil spreads. This can be traced back to the very beginning of the world. The gods were bored; therefore they created human beings… Strange that boredom, in itself, so staid and stolid should have such power to set in motion. The influence it exerts is altogether magical, except that it is not the influence of attraction, but of repulsion.
H. L. Mencken: A Sunday school is a prison in which children do penance for the evil conscience of their parents.
H. L. Mencken: I believe that all government is evil, and that trying to improve it is largely a waste of time.
Epictetus: There is nothing good or evil save in the will.
Epictetus: If evil be spoken of you and it be true, correct yourself, if it be a lie, laugh at it.
Epictetus: Whenever you are angry, be assured that it is not only a present evil, but that you have increased a habit.
Albert Camus: To assert in any case that a man must be absolutely cut off from society because he is absolutely evil amounts to saying that society is absolutely good, and no-one in his right mind will believe this today.
Albert Camus: Virtue cannot separate itself from reality without becoming a principle of evil.
George Orwell: Mankind is not likely to salvage civilization unless he can evolve a system of good and evil which is independent of heaven and hell.
George Orwell: War is evil, but it is often the lesser evil.
Carl Jung: The man who promises everything is sure to fulfill nothing, and everyone who promises too much is in danger of using evil means in order to carry out his promises, and is already on the road to perdition.
Carl Jung: It is a fact that cannot be denied: the wickedness of others becomes our own wickedness because it kindles something evil in our own hearts.
Carl Jung: Understanding does not cure evil, but it is a definite help, inasmuch as one can cope with a comprehensible darkness.
Carl Jung, The Psychology of the Unconscious, 1943: Where love rules, there is no will to power; and where power predominates, there love is lacking. The one is the shadow of the other.
Carl Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, 1962: As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.
Carl Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, 1962: The pendulum of the mind oscillates between sense and nonsense, not between right and wrong.
Carl Jung, Two Essays on Analytical Psychology: New Paths in Psychology, 1912: If people can be educated to see the lowly side of their own natures, it may be hoped that they will also learn to understand and to love their fellow men better. A little less hypocrisy and a little more tolerance towards oneself can only have good results in respect for our neighbor; for we are all too prone to transfer to our fellows the injustice and violence we inflict upon our own natures.
Margaret Thatcher: I am in politics because of the conflict between good and evil, and I believe that in the end good will triumph.
Blaise Pascal: Truly it is an evil to be full of faults; but it is a still greater evil to be full of them and to be unwilling to recognize them, since that is to add the further fault of a voluntary illusion.
Lord Byron: Where there is mystery, it is generally suspected there must also be evil.
Stephen King: It's better to be good than evil, but one achieves goodness at a terrific cost.
Victor Hugo: The omnipotence of evil has never resulted in anything but fruitless efforts. Our thoughts always escape from whoever tries to smother them.
Victor Hugo: Evil. Mistrust those who rejoice at it even more than those who do it.
Jerry Garcia: Constantly choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil.
Jean-Paul Sartre: Evil is the product of the ability of humans to make abstract that which is concrete.
Charles Darwin: It is a cursed evil to any man to become as absorbed in any subject as I am in mine.
Michelangelo: I live in sin, to kill myself I live; no longer my life my own, but sin's; my good is given to me by heaven, my evil by myself, by my free will, of which I am deprived.
Pope John Paul II: Young people are threatened... by the evil use of advertising techniques that stimulate the natural inclination to avoid hard work by promising the immediate satisfaction of every desire.
Francis Bacon: The momentous thing in human life is the art of winning the soul to good or evil.
Immanuel Kant: The only objects of practical reason are therefore those of good and evil. For by the former is meant an object necessarily desired according to a principle of reason; by the latter one necessarily shunned, also according to a principle of reason.
Immanuel Kant: Even philosophers will praise war as ennobling mankind, forgetting the Greek who said: 'War is bad in that it begets more evil than it kills.'
Ovid: An evil life is a kind of death.
Ovid: All things can corrupt when minds are prone to evil.
Robert Kennedy: I believe that, as long as there is plenty, poverty is evil.
Lucius Annaeus Seneca: Shall I tell you what the real evil is? To cringe to the things that are called evils, to surrender to them our freedom, in defiance of which we ought to face any suffering.
Lucius Annaeus Seneca: Nothing is so wretched or foolish as to anticipate misfortunes. What madness is it to be expecting evil before it comes.
Lucius Annaeus Seneca: No evil propensity of the human heart is so powerful that it may not be subdued by discipline.
Thomas Aquinas: Good can exist without evil, whereas evil cannot exist without good.
Thomas Aquinas: Every judgement of conscience, be it right or wrong, be it about things evil in themselves or morally indifferent, is obligatory, in such wise that he who acts against his conscience always sins.
Swami Vivekananda: If money help a man to do good to others, it is of some value; but if not, it is simply a mass of evil, and the sooner it is got rid of, the better.
Elie Wiesel: Indifference, to me, is the epitome of evil.
Margaret Mead: It may be necessary temporarily to accept a lesser evil, but one must never label a necessary evil as good.
Charles Spurgeon: A vigorous temper is not altogether an evil. Men who are easy as an old shoe are generally of little worth.
True Lies (1994), Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis
"Have you ever killed anyone?!"
"Yeah, but, dey were all bad!"
Martin Luther King, Jr.: We shall have to repent in this generation, not so much for the evil deeds of the wicked people, but for the appalling silence of the good people
Epicurus: If God listened to the prayers of men, all men would quickly have perished: for they are forever praying for evil against one another.
Marcus Tullius Cicero: If you pursue good with labor, the labor passes away but the good remains; if you pursue evil with pleasure, the pleasure passes away and the evil remains.
Marcus Tullius Cicero: The function of wisdom is to discriminate between good and evil.
Bertrand Russell: Those who forget good and evil and seek only to know the facts are more likely to achieve good than those who view the world through the distorting medium of their own desires.
Douglas MacArthur: Always there has been some terrible evil at home or some monstrous foreign power that was going to gobble us up if we did not blindly rally behind it.
J. K. Rowling: There is no good or evil: only power and those too weak to seek it.
Henry Miller: The new always carries with it the sense of violation, of sacrilege. What is dead is sacred; what is new, that is different, is evil, dangerous, or subversive.
Henry Miller: Example moves the world more than doctrine. The great exemplars are the poets of action, and it makes little difference whether they be forces for good or forces for evil.
Mother Teresa: May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others. May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content with yourself just the way you are. Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us.
Henry Miller: Analysis brings no curative powers in its train; it merely makes us conscious of the existence of an evil, which, oddly enough, is consciousness.
William Wordsworth: One impulse from a vernal wood May teach you more of man, Of moral evil and of good, Than all the sages can.
Samuel Johnson: All the arguments which are brought to represent poverty as no evil show it evidently to be a great evil.
Robert Oppenheimer, Supervising Physicist, Manhattan Project: "Now I am become Death [Shiva], the destroyer of worlds" - 16 July, 1945 at 0529 HRS, in the Jornada del Muerto Desert near the Trinity site in the White Sands Missile Range, quoting from the Bhagavad-Gita upon witnessing first atomic detonation by mankind.
Abigail Adams, 1775: I am more and more convinced that Man is a dangerous creature, and that power whether vested in many or a few is ever grasping, and like the grave cries give, give. The great fish swallow up the small, and he who is most strenuous for the Rights of the people, when vested with power, is as eager after the prerogatives of Government. You tell me of degrees of perfection to which Humane Nature is capable of arriving, and I believe it, but at the same time lament that our admiration should arise from the scarcity of the instances.
St. Paul, Galatians 5:19 - 21: It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on. (The Message translation)
Abraham Lincoln: Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.
Denis Diderot: There is only one step from fanaticism to barbarism.
Jean Jacques Rousseau: Although modesty is natural to man, it is not natural to children. Modesty only begins with the knowledge of evil.
Edmund Burke: One that confounds good and evil is an enemy to good.
Richard Dawkins: The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.
Albert Einstein: The human mind is not capable of grasping the Universe. We are like a little child entering a huge library. The walls are covered to the ceilings with books in many different tongues. The child knows that someone must have written these books. It does not know who or how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. But the child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books - a mysterious order which it does not comprehend, but only dimly suspects.
Albert Einstein: The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed... The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.
Reinhold Niebuhr: Evil is not to be traced back to the individual but to the collective behavior of humanity.
Edward Abbey: Our 'neoconservatives' are neither new nor conservative, but old as Bablyon and evil as Hell.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: However things may seem, no evil thing is success and no good thing is failure.
Franz Kafka: There is nothing besides a spiritual world; what we call the world of the senses is the Evil in the spiritual world, and what we call Evil is only the necessity of a moment in our eternal evolution.
Franz Kafka: The mediation by the serpent was necessary. Evil can seduce man, but cannot become man.
Jonathan Swift: It is impossible that anything so natural, so necessary, and so universal as death, should ever have been designed by providence as an evil to mankind.
Emo Philips: The way I understand it, the Russians are sort of a combination of evil and incompetence... sort of like the Post Office with tanks.
Baltasar Gracian: Never open the door to a lesser evil, for other and greater ones invariably slink in after it.
Baltasar Gracian: Friendship multiplies the good of life and divides the evil.
Baltasar Gracian: Evil report carries further than any applause.
Aesop: Destroy the seed of evil, or it will grow up to your ruin.
Calvin Coolidge: Little progress can be made by merely attempting to repress what is evil. Our great hope lies in developing what is good.
Giacomo Casanova: I will begin with this confession: whatever I have done in the course of my life, whether it be good or evil, has been done freely; I am a free agent.
Giacomo Casanova: My success and my misfortunes, the bright and the dark days I have gone through, everything has proved to me that in this world, either physical or moral, good comes out of evil just as well as evil comes out of good.
Jimmy Carter: War may sometimes be a necessary evil. But no matter how necessary, it is always an evil, never a good. We will not learn how to live together in peace by killing each other's children.
Norman Mailer: What characterizes a member of a minority group is that he is forced to see himself as both exceptional and insignificant, marvelous and awful, good and evil.
Marie Curie: I am one of those who think like Nobel, that humanity will draw more good than evil from new discoveries.
Robert Louis Stevenson: All human beings are commingled out of good and evil.
Richard P. Feynman: Scientific views end in awe and mystery, lost at the edge in uncertainty, but they appear to be so deep and so impressive that the theory that it is all arranged as a stage for God to watch man's struggle for good and evil seems inadequate.
Maxwell Anderson: "The story ... must be a conflict, and specifically, a conflict between the forces of good and evil within a single person."
John Steinbeck, East of Eden: A child may ask, 'What is the world's story about?' And a grown man or woman may wonder, 'What way will the world go? How does it end and, while we're at it, what's the story about?' I believe that there is one story in the world, and only one, that has frightened and inspired us, so that we live in a Pearl White serial [actress, Perils Of Pauline] of continuing thought and wonder. Humans are caught - in their lives, in their thoughts, in their hungers and ambitions, in their avarice and cruelty, and in their kindness and generosity too - in a net of good and evil. I think this is the only story we have and that it occurs on all levels of feeling and intelligence. Virtue and vice were warp and woof of our first consciousness, and they will be the fabric of our last, and this despite any changes we may impose on river and mountain, on economy and manners. There is no other story. A man, after he has brushed off the dust and chips of his life, will have only the hard, clean questions: Was it good or was it evil? Have I done well - or ill? ... And in our time, when a man dies - if he has had wealth and influence and power and all the vestments that arouse envy, and after the living take stock of the dead man's property and his eminence and works and monuments - the question is still there: Was his life good or was it evil? - which is another way of putting Croesus's question. Envies are gone, and the measuring stick is: 'Was he loved or was he hated? Is his death felt as a loss or does a kind of joy come from it?'... In uncertainty I am certain that underneath their topmost layers of frailty men want to be good and want to be loved. Indeed, most of their vices are attempted short cuts to love. When a man comes to die, no matter what his talents and influence and genius, if he dies unloved his life must be a failure to him and his dying a cold horror. It seems to me that if you or I must choose between two courses of thought or action, we should remember our dying and try to live that our death brings no pleasure to the world. We have only one story. All novels, all poetry, are built on the never-ending contest in ourselves of good and evil. And it occurs to me that evil must constantly respawn, while good, while virtue, is immortal. Vice has always a new fresh young face, while virtue is venerable as nothing else in the world is.
Dean Koontz: We are coming out of a century that was taught that one way of looking at the world, that one form of behavior, is as valid as another. The idea of true evil has been blown away… I think the world is full of evil people. I think in some ways we're in more danger now than before.
Sophocles: Evil gains work their punishment… To live without evil belongs only to the gods… For those whose wit becomes the mother of villainy, those it educates to be evil in all things… Evil counsel travels fast… There is no greater evil for men than the constraint of fortune… No one who errs unwillingly is evil… There is no greater evil than anarchy.
John Ruskin: You may either win your peace or buy it: win it, by resistance to evil; buy it, by compromise with evil.
Percy Bysshe Shelley: Government is an evil; it is only the thoughtlessness and vices of men that make it a necessary evil. When all men are good and wise, government will of itself decay.
Andre Gide: Work and struggle and never accept an evil that you can change.
Francois de La Rochefoucauld: There are heroes in evil as well as in good… No man is clever enough to know all the evil he does… Nothing is so contagious as example; and we never do any great good or evil which does not produce its like.
Horace Mann: Much that we call evil is really good in disguises; and we should not quarrel rashly with adversities not yet understood, nor overlook the mercies often bound up in them.
Silver Birch: Now you should have the faith that all things work wisely and well and that, if you put yourselves in tune with the laws of the Great Spirit, then you must reap the operation of those laws. You can all banish from your minds the thought that anything that is unenlightened - or, as you would say, evil - can ever touch you. You live and move under the protection of the Great Spirit and His laws. If there is no evil in your hearts, then only good can reach you, for only good can dwell where goodness reigns. None but the servants of the Great Spirit come into your presence from my world. You need have no fears. The power which envelops you, the power which supports and seeks to guide you and inspire you, is the power that emanates from the Great spirit of all. That power can sustain you in all your trials and difficulties. That power can change your storms into sunshine, and bring you out of the darkness of despair into the light of knowledge. Your feet are set on pathways of progress. There is no need for fear.
Horace Mann: If evil is inevitable, how are the wicked accountable? Nay, why do we call men wicked at all? Evil is inevitable, but is also remediable… Evil and good are God's right hand and left.
William S. Burroughs: The face of evil is always the face of total need.
W. Somerset Maugham: 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.
Aleister Crowley: The pious pretense that evil does not exist only makes it vague, enormous and menacing.
Vladimir Lenin: Despair is typical of those who do not understand the causes of evil, see no way out, and are incapable of struggle. The modern industrial proletariat does not belong to the category of such classes.
Maria Montessori: The first idea the child must acquire is that of the difference between good and evil.
Charles Baudelaire: We are all born marked for evil.
Euripides: I would prefer as friend a good man ignorant than one more clever who is evil too.
Charles Baudelaire: The unique and supreme voluptuousness of love lies in the certainty of committing evil. And men and women know from birth that in evil is found all sensual delight.
John Stuart Mill: A person may cause evil to others not only by his actions but by his inaction, and in either case he is justly accountable to them for the injury.
John Stuart Mill: We can never be sure that the opinion we are endeavouring to stifle is a false opinion; and even if we were sure, stifling it would be an evil still.
John Stuart Mill: The most cogent reason for restricting the interference of government is the great evil of adding unnecessarily to its power.
Hannah Arendt: The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.
Eckhart Tolle: What you react to in others, you strengthen in yourself.
Hannah Arendt: Only crime and the criminal, it is true, confront us with the perplexity of radical evil; but only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core.
Herodotus: The only good is knowledge, and the only evil is ignorance.
John Maynard Keynes: It is ideas, not vested interests, which are dangerous for good or evil.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley: Every political good carried to the extreme must be productive of evil.
Jean Baudrillard: The world is not dialectical - it is sworn to extremes, not to equilibrium; sworn to radical antagonism, not to reconciliation or synthesis. This is also the principle of evil.
Ted Nugent: The war is coming to the streets of America and if you are not keeping and bearing and practicing with your arms then you will be helpless and you will be the victim of evil… War is good when good survives and evil is crushed. If you don't crush evil then evil will get you.
Homer: Two urns on Jove's high throne have ever stood, the source of evil one, and one of good; from thence the cup of mortal man he fills, blessings to these, to those distributes ills; to most he mingles both.
Agatha Christie: Evil is not something superhuman, it's something less than human.
Simone Weil: Evil, when we are in its power, is not felt as evil, but as a necessity, even a duty.
Simone Weil: Evil being the root of mystery, pain is the root of knowledge.
George Santayana: The existence of any evil anywhere at any time absolutely ruins a total optimism.
Maimonides: One should see the world, and see himself as a scale with an equal balance of good and evil. When he does one good deed the scale is tipped to the good - he and the world is saved. When he does one evil deed the scale is tipped to the bad - he and the world is destroyed.
Simone de Beauvoir: Art is an attempt to integrate evil.
W. Edwards Deming, business consultant, credited with masterminding the rise of modern industrial Japan, offered principles for transforming business effectiveness. These points which emphasize quality, cooperation, employee training, management honesty and openness, long-term commitments, and shunning quick profits were first presented in his book Out of the Crisis; for example: Improve constantly and forever the system of production and service, to improve quality and productivity, and thus constantly decrease costs. Institute training on the job. Drive out fear, so that everyone may work effectively for the company. Break down barriers between departments. Eliminate slogans, exhortations, and targets for the work force asking for zero defects and new levels of productivity. Such exhortations only create adversarial relationships, as the bulk of the causes of low quality and low productivity belong to the system and thus lie beyond the power of the work force. Remove barriers that rob the hourly worker of his right to pride of workmanship. The responsibility of supervisors must be changed from sheer numbers to quality. Institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement. The Seven Deadly Diseases include: Emphasis on short-term profits. Placing blame on workforces who are only responsible for 15% of mistakes where the system desired by management is responsible for 85% of the unintended consequences.
Louisa May Alcott: Money is the root of all evil, and yet it is such a useful root that we cannot get on without it any more than we can without potatoes.
Dr. Viktor Frankl, Man's Search For Meaning: A human being is a deciding being... Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom... Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way... When we are no longer able to change a situation - we are challenged to change ourselves.
Plutarch: The omission of good is no less reprehensible than the commission of evil.
Aeschylus: If a man suffers ill, let it be without shame; for this is the only profit when we are dead. You will never say a good word about deeds that are evil and disgraceful… To be free from evil thoughts is God's best gift.
William Penn: A good End cannot sanctify evil Means; nor must we ever do Evil, that Good may come of it.
Mencius: Evil exists to glorify the good. Evil is negative good. It is a relative term. Evil can be transmuted into good. What is evil to one at one time, becomes good at another time to somebody else.
Mencius: Mankind fears an evil man but heaven does not.
President Kennedy, his "Secret Societies" speech, April 27, 1961: We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far out weigh the dangers which are sited to justify them. Even today there is little value in opposing the threat of an enclosed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even today there is little value in ensuring the survival of our nation, if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment... For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that rely primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence. On infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations.
John Calvin: Augustine does not disagree with this when he teaches that it is a faculty of the reason and the will to choose good with the assistance of grace; evil, when grace is absent.
Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach: Little evil would be done in the world if evil never could be done in the name of good.
M. Scott Peck: The whole course of human history may depend on a change of heart in one solitary and even humble individual - for it is in the solitary mind and soul of the individual that the battle between good and evil is waged and ultimately won or lost.
Herodotus: Civil strife is as much a greater evil than a concerted war effort as war itself is worse than peace.
E. M. Forster: Only a writer who has the sense of evil can make goodness readable.
Benjamin Banneker: Evil communication corrupts good manners. I hope to live to hear that good communication corrects bad manners.
Pythagoras: There is a good principle which created order, light, and man, and an evil principle which created chaos, darkness, and woman.
Pythagoras: The most momentous thing in human life is the art of winning the soul to good or evil.
Henry Ward Beecher: The humblest individual exerts some influence, either for good or evil, upon others.
Iris Murdoch: Only lies and evil come from letting people off.
Samuel Butler: There is such a thing as doing good that evil may come.
Xun Zi: When you locate good in yourself, approve of it with determination. When you locate evil in yourself, despise it as something detestable. Human nature is evil, and goodness is caused by intentional activity.
Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: War is a mind-set, and all action that comes out of such a mind-set will either strengthen the enemy, the perceived evil, or, if the war is won, will create a new enemy, a new evil equal to and often worse than the one that was defeated. There is a deep interrelatedness between your state of consciousness and external reality. When you are in the grip of a mind-set such as "war," your perceptions become extremely selective as well as distorted. In other words, you will see only what you want to see and then misinterpret it. You can imagine what kind of action comes out of such a delusional system. Or instead of imagining it, watch the news on TV tonight.
Desiderius Erasmus: Nature, more of a stepmother than a mother in several ways, has sown a seed of evil in the hearts of mortals, especially in the more thoughtful men, which makes them dissatisfied with their own lot and envious of anothers.
A Course In Miracles: What could you want forgiveness cannot give? Do you want peace? Forgiveness offers it. Do you want happiness, a quiet mind, a certainty of purpose, and a sense of worth and beauty that transcends the world? Do you want care and safety, and the warmth of sure protection always? Do you want a quietness that cannot be disturbed, a gentleness that never can be hurt, a deep, abiding comfort, and a rest so perfect it can never be upset? All this forgiveness offers you, and more. It sparkles on your eyes as you awake, and gives you joy with which to meet the day. It soothes your forehead while you sleep, and rests upon your eyelids so you see no dreams of fear and evil, malice and attack. And when you wake again, it offers you another day of happiness and peace. All this forgiveness offers you, and more.
"My life for you! My life for you!"
Stephen King, The Stand:
Lloyd Henreid: Flagg wants to see you.
Trashcan Man: My life for him. Yes, my life for him!
Rat Man: Dude's crazy.
Lloyd Henreid: Like we're not?
Glen Bateman: Show me a man or a woman alone, and I'll show you a saint. Give me two, and they'll fall in love. Give me three, and they'll invent the charming thing we call 'society'. Give me four, and they'll build a pyramid. Give me five, and they'll make one an outcast. Give me six, and they'll reinvent prejudice. Give me seven, and in seven years they'll reinvent warfare. Man may have been made in the image of God, but human society was made in the image of His opposite number, and is always trying to get back home.
Jay Leno: Al Jazeera aired a new tape of Osama bin Laden. It was the usual stuff, he called Bush evil, the Great Satan, called him a war monger. Basically, the same thing you heard at last night's Democratic debate.
Alain Badiou: Evil is the moment when I lack the strength to be true to the Good that compels me. Evil is the interruption of a truth by the pressure of particular or individual interests.
Joseph Conrad: The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.
Baruch Spinoza: If men were born free, they would, so long as they remained free, form no conception of good and evil.
Protagoras: No intelligent man believes that anybody ever willingly errs or willingly does base and evil deeds; they are well aware that all who do base and evil things to them unwillingly.
Milan Kundera: Those who consider the Devil to be a partisan of Evil and angels to be warriors for Good accept the demagogy of the angels. Things are clearly more complicated.
Douglas Horton: Conscience is the window of our spirit, evil is the curtain.
Sylvester Stallone: I tend to think of action movies as exuberant morality plays in which good triumphs over evil.
Jorge Luis Borges: One concept corrupts and confuses the others. I am not speaking of the Evil whose limited sphere is ethics; I am speaking of the infinite.
Swami Sivananda: Desire is poverty. Desire is the greatest impurity of the mind. Desire is the motive force for action. Desire in the mind is the real impurity. Even a spark of desire is a very great evil.
George Whitefield: The great and important duty which is incumbent on Christians, is to guard against all appearance of evil; to watch against the first risings in the heart to evil; and to have a guard upon our actions, that they may not be sinful, or so much as seem to be so.
Lucretius: So potent was religion in persuading to evil deeds.
Graham Greene: Point me out the happy man and I will point you out either egotism, selfishness, evil - or else an absolute ignorance.
Pearl S. Buck: Race prejudice is not only a shadow over the colored it is a shadow over all of us, and the shadow is darkest over those who feel it least and allow its evil effects to go on… When good people in any country cease their vigilance and struggle, then evil men prevail.
Lord Acton: Property is not the sacred right. When a rich man becomes poor it is a misfortune, it is not a moral evil. When a poor man becomes destitute, it is a moral evil, teeming with consequences and injurious to society and morality.
Lord Acton: The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather of that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections.
Gilbert Parker: He knew the lie of silence to be as evil as the lie of speech.
Paul Gauguin: Life has no meaning unless one lives it with a will, at least to the limit of one's will. Virtue, good, evil are nothing but words, unless one takes them apart in order to build something with them; they do not win their true meaning until one knows how to apply them.
Emile M. Cioran: Man must vanquish himself, must do himself violence, in order to perform the slightest action untainted by evil.
Emile M. Cioran: In every man sleeps a prophet, and when he wakes there is a little more evil in the world.
Bodhidharma: Neither gods nor men can foresee when an evil deed will bear its fruit.
Bodhidharma: According to the Sutras, evil deeds result in hardships and good deeds result in blessings.
Bodhidharma: Buddha means awareness, the awareness of body and mind that prevents evil from arising in either.
Rutherford B. Hayes: In avoiding the appearance of evil, I am not sure but I have sometimes unnecessarily deprived myself and others of innocent enjoyments.
Tony Blair: We, therefore, here in Britain stand shoulder to shoulder with our American friends in this hour of tragedy, and we, like them, will not rest until this evil is driven from our world.
Ayn Rand: The evil of the world is made possible by nothing but the sanction you give it.
Euripides: I know indeed what evil I intend to do, but stronger than all my afterthoughts is my fury, fury that brings upon mortals the greatest evils.
Evelyn Underhill: Every minute you are thinking of evil, you might have been thinking of good instead. Refuse to pander to a morbid interest in your own misdeeds. Pick yourself up, be sorry, shake yourself, and go on again.
Fyodor Dostoevsky: Nothing is easier than to denounce the evildoer; nothing is more difficult than to understand him.
Gloria Steinem: Evil is obvious only in retrospect.
Hesiod: Do not seek evil gains; evil gains are the equivalent of disaster.
Hesiod: He harms himself who does harm to another, and the evil plan is most harmful to the planner.
Hesiod: Often an entire city has suffered because of an evil man.
Homer: Evil deeds do not prosper; the slow man catches up with the swift.
King Edward III (1312 - 1377), Motto of the order of the Garter: Evil to him who evil thinks.
Leigh Hunt: Whenever evil befalls us, we ought to ask ourselves, after the first suffering, how we can turn it into good. So shall we take occasion, from one bitter root, to raise perhaps many flowers.
Mary Renault: It is bitter to lose a friend to evil, before one loses him to death.
Ovid: All things may corrupt when minds are prone to evil.
Ralph Waldo Emerson: Every sweet has its sour; every evil its good.
Sophocles: The end excuses any evil.
Thomas Kempis: Of two evils we must always choose the least.
Titus Maccius Plautus: The evil that we know is best.
John Berger: Nothing in the nature around us is evil. This needs to be repeated since one of the human ways of talking oneself into inhuman acts is to cite the supposed cruelty of nature.
G.K. Chesterton: Men do not differ much about what things they will call evils; they differ enormously about what evils they will call excusable.
C.S. Lewis: Badness is only spoiled goodness.
Douglas Adams: Man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much - the wheel, New York, wars, and so on, whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely the dolphins believed themselves to be more intelligent than man for precisely the same reasons.
Edmund Burke: Whilst men are linked together, they easily and speedily communicate the alarm of any evil design. They are enabled to fathom it with common counsel, and to oppose it with united strength. Whereas, when they lie dispersed, without concert, order, or discipline, communication is uncertain, counsel difficult, and resistance impracticable. Where men are not acquainted with each other’s principles, nor experienced in each other’s talents, nor at all practised in their mutual habitudes and dispositions by joint efforts in business; no personal confidence, no friendship, no common interest, subsisting among them; it is evidently impossible that they can act a public part with uniformity, perseverance, or efficacy. In a connection, the most inconsiderable man, by adding to the weight of the whole, has his value, and his use; out of it, the greatest talents are wholly unserviceable to the public. No man, who is not inflamed by vain-glory into enthusiasm, can flatter himself that his single, unsupported, desultory, unsystematic endeavours, are of power to defeat the subtle designs and united cabals of ambitious citizens. When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.
Herodotus: It is better by noble boldness to run the risk of being subject to half of the evils we antipicate than to remain in cowardly listlessness for fear of what might happen.
John Christian Bovee: It is some compensation for great evils that they enforce great lessons.
Marquis De Sade: Evil is a mortal entity and not a created one, an eternal entity and not a perisable entity: it existed before the world; it constituted the monstrous, the execrable being who was also to fashion such a hideous world. It will hence exist after the creatures which people this world.
Marquis de Vauvenargues: The wicked are always suprised to find that the good can be clever.
Milton Stewart: Evil will forever reign over good, for the peccable, weak souls of today's youth are far more intelligent than any of us will ever be.
Oscar Wilde: The only difference between saints and sinners is that every saint has a past while every sinner has a future.
Roberto Rossellini: I am not a pessimist; to perceive evil where it exists is, in my opinion, a form of optimism.
Titus Livy: The best known evil is the most tolerable.
William James: The world is all the richer for having a devil in it, so long as we keep our foot upon his neck.
Albert Einstein: He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, senseless brutality, deplorable patriotism, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be part of so base an action! It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.
J. B. Stoner, Aryan Nations: We had lost the fight for the preservation of the white race until God himself intervened in earthly affairs with AIDS to rescue and preserve the white race that he had created.... I praise God all the time for AIDS.
Tertullian: Woman, thou shouldst ever be clothed in rags and in mourning, appearing only as a penitent, drowned in tears, and expiating thus the sin of having caused the fall of the human race. Woman thou art the gate of the devil. It is thou who hast corrupted those whom Satan dare not attack face to face.
Will Rogers: You can't say civilization don't advance... in every war they kill you in a new way.
Ernest Hemingway: Some people show evil as a great racehorse shows breeding. They have the dignity of a hard chancre.
Unknown: Evil spelled backward is live; lived & devil; but, God is dog read backwards.
Ethiopian Proverb: Evil enters like a needle and spreads like an oak tree.
Kathleen Raine: I couldn't claim that I have never felt the urge to explore evil, but when you descend into hell you have to be very careful.
Jean Jacques Rousseau: Our greatest evils flow from ourselves. -
Logan Pearsall Smith: Only among people who think no evil can Evil monstrously flourish.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon: Of two evils, choose neither.
Hannah Arendt: The trouble with Eichmann was precisely that so many were like him, and that the many were neither perverted nor sadistic, that they were, and still are, terribly and terrifyingly normal. From the viewpoint of our legal institutions and of our moral standards of judgment, this normality was much more terrifying than all the atrocities put together.
Bischer: Those that are evil have not only the good against them, but also the bad.
Maria Weston Chapman: We may draw good out of evil; we must not do evil that good may come.
George Eliot: One soweth and another reapeth is a verity that applies to evil as well as good.
William James: There can be no existence of evil as a force to the healthy-minded individual.
Isidore Ducasse Lautreamont: It is a power stronger than will. Could a stone escape from the laws of gravity? Impossible, impossible! for evil to form an alliance with good.
Brian Masters: Evil is something you recognize immediately you see it: It works through charm.
Patrick Mcgoohan: But what is the greatest evil? If you are going to epitomize evil, what is it? Is it the bomb? The greatest evil that one has to fight constantly, every minute of the day until one dies, is the worse part of oneself.
Gabriel Riqueti Mirabeau: Nothing baffles the schemes of evil people so much as the calm composure of great souls.
Plato, The Republic: Until philosophers are kings, or the kings and princes of this world have the spirit and power of philosophy, and political greatness and wisdom meet in one, and those commoner natures who pursue either to the exclusion of the other are compelled to stand aside, cities will never have rest from their evils - no, nor the human race, as I believe - and then only will this our State have a possibility of life and behold the light of day.
Albert Camus, The Plague: The evil that is in the world always comes of ignorance, and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence, if they lack understanding. On the whole men are more good than bad; that, however, isn't the real point. But they are more or less ignorant, and it is this that we call vice or virtue; the most incorrigible vice being that of an ignorance which fancies it knows everything and therefore claims for itself the right to kill. There can be no true goodness, nor true love, without the utmost clear-sightedness.
George Bernard Shaw: You cannot have power for good without having power for evil too. Even mother's milk nourishes murderers as well as heroes.
Barack Obama: Evil does exist in the world. A non-violent movement could not have halted Hitler's armies. Negotiations cannot convince al Qaeda's leaders to lay down their arms. To say that force may sometimes be necessary is not a call to cynicism - it is a recognition of history; the imperfections of man and the limits of reason.
Charles Baudelaire: To be mean is never excusable, but there is some virtue in knowing that one is; the unforgivable vice is to do harm out of stupidity.
Herbert Spencer: We too often forget that not only is there "a soul of goodness in things evil," but very generally also, a soul of truth in things erroneous.
Gregory Maquire: One never learns how the witch became wicked, or whether that was the right choice for her - is it ever the right choice? Does the devil ever struggle to be good again, or if so is he not a devil?
Francis Bacon: A man that hath no virtue in himself ever envieth virtue in others. For men's minds will either feed upon their own good or upon others' evil.
Abraham Lincoln, House of Representatives (20 June 1848): The true rule, in determining to embrace, or reject any thing, is not whether it have any evil in it; but whether it have more of evil, than of good. There are few things wholly evil, or wholly good. Almost everything, especially of governmental policy, is an inseparable compound of the two; so that our best judgment of the preponderance between them is continually demanded.
Marlon Brando: I don't see anybody as evil. When you start seeing people as evil, you're in trouble. The thing that's going to save us is understanding. The inspection of the mind of Eichmann or Himmler ... Just to dispense with them as evil is not enough, because it doesn't bring you understanding. You have to see them for what they are. You have to examine John Wayne. He's not a bad person. Who among us is going to say he's a bad man? He feels justified for what he does. The damage that he does, he doesn't consider damage, he thinks it's an honest presentation of the facts.
Jawaharlal Nehru: Evil unchecked grows; evil tolerated poisons the whole system.
Robert Heinlein: But goodness alone is never enough. A hard cold wisdom is required, too, for goodness to accomplish good. Goodness without wisdom invariably accomplishes evil.
Virgil: Yield not to evils, but attack all the more boldly.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, By inferno's Light:
Kira: That's what's so frightening. People can find a way to justify any action, no matter how evil.
Ziyal: You think my father's evil?
Kira: I think... You can't judge people by what they think or say, only by what they do.
Mohandas Gandhi: When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it...always.
Friedrich Nietzsche: Man is the cruelest animal.
Philip Pullman, The Amber Spyglass: I told him I was going to betray you, and betray Lyra, and he believed me because I was corrupt and full of wickedness; he looked so deep I felt sure he'd see the truth. But I lied too well. I was lying with every nerve and fiber and everything I'd ever done...I wanted him to find no good in me, and he didn't. There is none.
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings: It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule.
Jasper Fforde, The Eyre Affair: I'm not mad. I'm just, well, differently moralled, that's all… True and baseless evil is as rare as the purest good; and we all know how rare that is
Sherrilyn Kenyon, Phantom in the Night: I learned the bad guys are not always bad, the good guys are not always good, and to quote Captain Barbossa, the parameters are like rules, mostly guidelines. And that it takes a little bit of bad boy to fight the evil in the world.
Eckhart Tolle: Humanity is now faced with a stark choice: Evolve or die. … If the structures of the human mind remain unchanged, we will always end up re-creating the same world, the same evils, the same dysfunction.
Paulo Coelho, The Devil and Miss Prym: So you see, Good and Evil have the same face; it all depends on when they cross the path of each individual human being.
Richard Adams, Watership Down: Animals don't behave like men, he said. If they have to fight, they fight; and if they have to kill they kill. But they don't sit down and set their wits to work to devise ways of spoiling other creatures' lives and hurting them. They have dignity and animality.
Napoleon Bonaparte: Never ascribe to malice that which can adequately be explained by incompetence.
Yahoo! Answers: How does the Devil get inside you, and how can you get him out? Best answer: You must allow him into your life. You then will have to reject him and allow JESUS in.
Father Robert Hugh Benson: The Church teaches that no matter what sins a person has committed, no matter how evil a life a man has led, God has infinite mercy and will forgive the truly contrite through the merits of the great soul whom the earth knows as Jesus. Indeed, so immense are the powers accredited to Jesus, not only to achieve man's 'salvation' upon earth but in his advocacy at the High Court of Heaven that these suppositions form the termination of every official prayer that is uttered publicly, or printed in the books for personal devotions. These peculiar terminations have seemed to take upon themselves a talismanic value, a magical power which most assuredly they do not, and cannot, possess. As an article of prayer they are completely worthless.
Flannery O'Connor: There is something in us, as storytellers and as listeners to stories, that demands the redemptive act, that demands that what falls at least be offered the chance to be restored. The reader of today looks for this motion, and rightly so, but what he has forgotten is the cost of it. His sense of evil is diluted or lacking altogether, and so he has forgotten the price of restoration. When he reads a novel, he wants either his sense tormented or his spirits raised. He wants to be transported, instantly, either to mock damnation or a mock innocence.
Mother Teresa: At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done. We will be judged by "I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in."
Paulo Coelho, The Devil and Miss Prym: In the beginning there was only a small amount of injustice abroad in the world, but everyone who came afterwards added their portion, always thinking it was very small and unimportant, and look where we have ended up today.
Isaac Asimov: All evil is good become cancerous.
Jim Morrison: The world we suggest is a new wild west. A sensuous evil world. Strange and haunting, the path of the sun…"
Patricia Briggs, Raven's Shadow: Evil must always be fought.
Evelyn Waugh: There's only one great evil in the world today. Despair.
Daniel Webster: The proper function of a government is to make it easy for the people to do good, and difficult for them to do evil.
Erich Fromm: There is nothing inhuman, evil, or irrational which does not give some comfort, provided it is shared by a group.
Martin Luther: All the cunning of the devil is exercised in trying to tear us away from the word.
St. Paul, Eph. 6:12: For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Alberto Manguel: Evil requires no reason.
Albert Einstein: The release of atomic energy has not created a new problem. It has merely made more urgent the necessity of solving an existing one.
Octave Mirbeau: While I was an honorable man in her eyes, she did not love me. But the minute she understood what I was, when she breathed the true and foul odor of my soul, love was born in her - for she does love me! Well, well! There is nothing real, then, except evil.
Keith Ablow: The roots of any evil deed can be traced to the perpetrator's refusal to experience pain.
Keith Ablow: The bad things don't seem to happen to bad people. That's because they already did. There's no original evil left in the world.
Terry Darlington: All that evil requires is an absence of virtue, where somebody didn't make a stand.
Laurell K. Hamilton: Neither love nor evil conquers all, but evil cheats more.
Margaret Atwood: Stupidity is the same as evil if you judge by the results.
Jim Butcher, Proven Guilty: You know how confusing the whole good-evil concept is for me.
Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead: There must have been a moment, at the beginning, were we could have said - no. But somehow we missed it.
Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged: The man who refuses to judge, who neither agrees nor disagrees, who declares that there are no absolutes and believes that he escapes responsibility, is the man responsible for all the blood that is now spilled in the world. Reality is an absolute, existence is an absolute, a speck of dust is an absolute and so is a human life. Whether you live or die is an absolute. Whether you have a piece of bread or not, is an absolute. Whether you eat your bread or see it vanish into a looter's stomach, is an absolute.
Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged: There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil. The man who is wrong still retains some respect for truth, if only by accepting the responsibility of choice. But the man in the middle is the knave who blanks out the truth in order to pretend that no choice or values exist, who is willing to sit out the course of any battle, willing to cash in on the blood of the innocent or to crawl on his belly to the guilty, who dispenses justice by condemning both the robber and the robbed to jail, who solves conflicts by ordering the thinker and the fool to meet each other halfway. In any compromise between food and poison, it is only death that can win. In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit. In that transfusion of blood which drains the good to feed the evil, the compromise is the transmitting rubber tube. Indecisiveness.
Anne Rice: And what constitutes evil, real evil, is the taking of a single human life. Whether a man would die tomorrow or the day after or eventually, it doesn't matter. Because if God does not exist, then life, every second of it, is all we have.
Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged: Learn to distinguish the difference between errors of knowledge and breaches of morality. An error of knowledge is not a moral flaw, provided you are willing to correct it; only a mystic would judge human beings by the standard of an impossible, automatic omniscience. But a breach of morality is the conscious choice of an action you know to be evil, or a willful evasion of knowledge, a suspension of sight and of thought. That which you do not know, is not a moral charge against you; but that which you refuse to know, is an account of infamy growing in your soul. Make every allowance for errors of knowledge; do not forgive or accept any break of morality.
Ursula K. Le Guin: It is very hard for evil to take hold of the unconsenting soul.
Leo Tolstoy: I simply want to live; to cause no evil to anyone but myself.
Flannery O'Connor: Most of us have learned to be dispassionate about evil, to look it in the face and find, as often as not, our own grinning reflections with which we do not argue, but good is another matter. Few have stared at that long enough to accept that its face too is grotesque, that in us the good is something under construction. The modes of evil usually receive worthy expression. The modes of good have to be satisfied with a cliche or a smoothing down that will soften their real look.
Fathers Prokurat and Golitzin: Augustine maintained that everyone descended from Adam inherited the personal judgment decreed for that forefather. Everyone is born guilty of the original sin. Second, so corrupted is the 'damned mass' of the human race that its members no longer have the power to avoid sin. … Thus, without true freedom to act, third, all are utterly dependent on the free gift of divine mercy. Fourth, that mercy, completely gratuitous as it consequently must be, is not obliged to save all or any. Those whom God does choose to save are completely his to choose, and that choice has been established in the divine counsel before the world. Thus, fifth, those whom he has chosen and those whom he has not are so designated from before their birth, predestined.
Father Robert Hugh Benson: [Regarding] the Prince of Evil, no, he simply does not exist. Every inch of the dark realms has been surveyed by beings of the highest realms, and they have so far failed to discover this personage. Not that they set out for that purpose! The knowledge that all such high beings possess tells them that there is no such person as the devil.
Pedro Calderón de la Barca: In this treacherous world, Nothing is the truth nor a lie. Everything depends on the color Of the crystal through which one sees it.
Michel Houellebecq, The Elementary Particles: Love binds, and it binds forever. Good binds while evil unravels. Separation is another word for evil; it is also another word for deceit.
Silver Birch: Life is always a polarity. If there were no darkness there would be no light. If there were no trouble there could never be any peace. If the sun always shone you would not appreciate it. You have to learn sometimes through conditions that seem a nuisance. One day you will look back and say, "We learned our best lessons not when the sun was shining, but when the storm was at its greatest, when the thunder roared, the lightning flashed, the clouds obscured the sun and all seemed dark and hopeless". It is only when the soul is in adversity that some of its greatest possibilities can be realized… If you knock on a door and it does not open, do not push. If you push the door gently and it opens, that is for you.
Brent Weeks: My question is, do you believe in an evil possessed of its own purity? or does every act intend some good?
Oma de Sala: Judge yourself by the intentions of your actions and by the strength with which you faced the challenges which stood in your way. The universe is vast and we are so small. There is really only one thing we can ever truly control--whether we are good or evil.
Joseph R. Fornieri, The Lincoln Forum, Lincoln Revisited (2007): Fornieri, in this collection of Lincoln essays, helps us to understand Judge Douglas’ central undergirding platform, the doctrine of “popular sovereignty,” which would allow new territories to extend or deny the institution of slavery. This precept of self-determinism is “perfectly logical,” responded Lincoln, “if there is no difference between hogs and negroes… [but the question is] whether a negro is not or is a man. If he is not a man … he who is a man may, as a matter of self-government, do just as he pleases with him. But if the negro is a man [shall he not] also govern himself? When the white man governs himself that is self-government; but when he governs himself, and also governs another man [without that other man’s consent], that is more than self-government – that is despotism.” Lincoln went on to explain how the European “Divine Right of Kings,” something from which we had recently extricated ourselves, employed, in principle, this same notion of privileged and superior certain ones ruling over a lesser class of beings. All of this violated the “ancient faith,” a term by which Lincoln referred to the precepts of the Declaration of Independence, the moral foundation of the nation, in its statements that “all men are created equal.” “No man,” Lincoln asserted, “is good enough to govern another man, without that other’s consent. I say this is the leading principle -- the sheet anchor of American republicanism.” Douglas weakly responded with a claim that God had placed Adam and Eve in the garden and had told them to make their choice – exalting “choice” as a universal trump card. Lincoln bashed this sophistry with “God did not place good and evil before man, telling him to make his choice. On the contrary, he did tell him there was one tree, of the fruit of which, he should not eat, upon the pain of certain death.” Fornieri, speaking even more plainly: “If taken to its logical conclusion, Douglas’ reading of the Bible would obliterate any firm basis for moral judgments by making them entirely relative to personal choice.” Lincoln then goes further and eviscerates notions of choice and prattle of self-government as nothing more than an undisguised policy of “self-interest” masquerading as morality. Lincoln began speaking of these issues with earnest in 1854, after the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act. His continued insightful commentary culminated in the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858. Judge Douglas won the Illinois senate seat in ’58 – but Mr. Lincoln, his punch-and-jab speeches gaining the respect of some and the attention of all, found himself catapulted to the Presidency only two years later.
12 Angry Men, the movie, Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, E. G. Marshall, Jack Klugman: This 1957 classic, low-budget but so-very-high impact, filmed in glorious back-and-white and within the cramped confines of a 16' x 24' jury room, may just be my all-time favorite movie. You will be overwhelmed by the quiet power of one man, refusing to be intimidated, who stands before another eleven and, one-by-one, wins them all over to his point of view.
I change my vote to “not guilty.”
You heard me… I’ve had enough!
Whadyya mean, you’ve had enough – that’s no answer!
Hey, listen! You just take care of yourself, huh, ya know?
He’s right! That’s not an answer. What kind of a man are you? You have sat here and voted “guilty” with everyone else because there are some baseball tickets burning a hole in your pocket – and now you’ve changed your vote because you say you’re sick of all the talking here?
Hey, listen, buddy! …
Who tells you that you have the right to play like this with a man’s life? Don’t you care…
Now wait a minute… you can’t talk like that to me!
I can talk like that to you! If you want to vote “not guilty” then do it because you are convinced the man is “not guilty” -- not because you have had enough! And if you think he is guilty then vote that way! Or don’t you have the guts to do what you think is right?
Now, listen …
Guilty or not guilty!?
I told ya – not guilty!
Look, I don’t haff'tah…
You do have to! Say it! Why?
I don’t … ahhhhh … think he’s guilty!
(the questioner walks off in disgust)
Dr. Bill Bennett, President Reagan's Secretary of Education, author of The Death of Outrage: Social regression and decadence are glaringly obvious in the current presidential administration. Now, whenever I make a comment these days criticizing Bill Clinton, someone inevitably asks, 'Aren't you casting stones?' It shows how far we've fallen that calling for the President of the United States to account for charges of adultery, lying to the public, perjury, and obstruction of justice is regarded as akin to stoning ... The problem is not with those who are withholding judgment until all the facts are in, but with the increasing number of people who want to avoid judgment altogether... We are hesitant to impose upon ourselves a common moral code because we want our own exemptions.
Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf: The German people have no idea of the extent to which they have to be gulled in order to be led ... The size of the lie is a definite factor in causing it to be believed, for the vast masses of the nation are in the depths of their hearts more easily deceived than they are consciously and intentionally bad. The primitive simplicity of their minds renders them a more easy prey to a big lie than a small one, for they themselves often tell little lies but would be ashamed to tell a big one ... All propaganda must be so popular and on such an intellectual level, that even the most stupid of those towards whom it is directed will understand it. Therefore, the intellectual level of the propaganda must be lower the larger the number of people who are to be influenced by it ... Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way around, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise.
Paul Johnson, Modern Times: Hitler's artistic approach was absolutely central to his success. Lenin's religious-type fanaticism would never have worked in Germany. The Germans were the best-educated nation in the world. To conquer their minds was very difficult. Their hearts, their sensibilities, were easier targets ... In a rare moment of frankness, Lenin once said that only a country like Russia could have [been] captured so easily ... as he took it. Germany was a different proposition. It could not be raped. It had to be seduced.
Paul Johnson, A New Deuteronomy: When we are dealing with concepts like freedom and equality, it is essential to use words accurately and in good faith... beware of those who seek to win an argument at the expense of the language. For the fact that they do is proof positive that their argument is false, and proof presumptive that they know it is. A man who deliberately inflicts violence on the language will almost certainly inflict violence on human beings if he acquires the power. Those who treasure the meaning of words will treasure truth, and those who bend words to their purposes are very likely in pursuit of anti-social ones.
St. John, Revelation: "And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth ...[which had the appearance of] a lamb [but] spoke as a dragon... and deceives them that dwell on the earth" (chapter 13, verses 11, 14).
George Orwell, 1984: "If the Party could thrust its hand into the past and say ... it never happened ... [then] where did that knowledge exist?... if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed -- if all records told the same lie -- then the lie passed into history and became truth. Who controls the past, ran the Party slogan, controls the future: who controls the present controls the past... 'Reality control,' they called it ... "Winston sank ... into the labyrinthine world of doublethink. To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which canceled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget, whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly forget it again... "It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words... Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thought-crime literally impossible ... The Revolution will be complete when the language is perfect... "It was necessary ... to rewrite a paragraph of Big Brother's speech in such a way as to make him predict the thing that had actually happened... This day-to-day falsification of the past, carried out by the Ministry of Truth, is as necessary to the stability of the regime as the work of repression and espionage carried out by the Ministry of Love.
Dave Wolverton: Never concede to evil…. When we concede to evil, even in a small way, we feed it, and it grows stronger.
Friedrich Nietzsche: What is done out of love always takes place beyond good and evil.
D.H. Lawrence: Human desire is the criterion of all truth and all good. Truth does not lie beyond humanity, but is one of the products of the human mind and feeling. There is really nothing to fear. The motive of fear in religion is base.
Robert Smythe Hichens: For great changes in the human mind are terrible. As we realize them we realize the limitless possibilities of sinister deeds that lie hidden in every human being. A little child that loves a doll can become an old, crafty, secret murderer. How horrible! And perhaps it is still more horrible to think that, while the human envelope remains totally unchanged, every word of the letter within may become altered, and a message of peace fade into a sentence of death.
Michael Ventura: Good is not the opposite of evil, joy is the opposite of evil.
Mudimbe: A liberation movement is doomed once it stops to haggle over nuances of good and evil.
Sidney Howard: Questions of absolute good and evil are much better not opened to public debate these days, when so few people are sure of their absolutes.
Anne Bishop: We are what we are. Nothing more, nothing less. There is good and evil among every kind of people. It's the evil among us who rule now.
Anne Rice: A perfectly evil Devil makes even less sense than a perfect God.
Molly Ivins: I believe that ignorance is the root of all evil. And that no one knows the truth.
Lao-Tzu: When people see some things as beautiful, other things become ugly. When people see some things as good, other things become bad.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either - but right through every human heart - and through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years. And even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained. And even in the best of all hearts, there remains ... an unuprooted small corner of evil. Since then I have come to understand the truth of all the religions of the world: They struggle with the evil inside a human being (inside every human being). It is impossible to expel evil from the world in its entirety, but it is possible to constrict it within each person.
Christopher Golden: I find it most remarkable that we who are so intimately involved in the battle between good and evil are even more involved with the shades of gray in between them.
William Peter Blatty: God never talks. But the devil keeps advertising, Father. The devil does a lot of commercials.
George Burns: Money is the root of all evil.' Then we hear, 'A fool and his money are soon parted.' What are they talking about? If money is so evil, shouldn't it be, 'A wise man and his money are soon parted'? And another thing, how does a fool get money in the first place? I know some fools who have a lot of money, but they won't tell me how they got it, and I won't tell them.
Remy de Gourmont: Demons are like obedient dogs; they come when they are called.
Julius Lester: Goodness was not a trait you acquired; it was a value you practiced when you were on the verge of doing evil.
Robert Baer: It seems to me it's always the evil we refuse to see that does us the greatest harm.
John G. Hartung: There is a difference between what is wrong and what is evil. Evil is committed when clarity is taken away from what is clearly wrong, allowing wrong to be seen as less wrong, excusable, right, or an obligatory commandment of the Lord God Almighty. Evil is bad sold as good, wrong sold as right, injustice sold as justice. Like the coat of a virus, a thin veil of right can disguise enormous wrong and confer an ability to infect others.
William Peter Blatty: As far as God goes, I am a nonbeliever. Still am. But when it comes to a devil, well, that's something else.
Jens Bjørneboe: They were handsome, proper and normal family fathers who built the concentration camps and whipped the prisoners to death. And who was Nietzsche? A narcotized syphilitic.
George Bernard Shaw: Native American elder once described his own inner struggles in this manner: Inside of me there are two dogs. One of the dogs is mean and evil. The other dog is good. The mean dog fights the good dog all the time. When asked which dog wins, he reflected for a moment and replied, The one I feed the most.
J.K. Rowling: It was important, Dumbledore said, to fight and fight again, and keep fighting, for only then could evil be kept at bay, though never quite eradicated.
Father Robert Hugh Benson: The most that the average man can do upon earth is to hope for the best, to hope that perhaps things may not be so terrible for him in the afterlife as he has been led to believe. He has no certainty of it, and the Church would say that he has no right to assume anything ... For no one is more presumptuous than the Theologian, who, knowing little or nothing of the truth of spiritual matters, professes to know a great deal. Fear is the strongest weapon, the deadliest weapon, in the theological armory. For hundreds of years Orthodoxy has wielded this weapon to inspire fear in the hearts of mankind.
Troy Kennedy Martin: I trust everyone. I just don’t trust the devil inside them.
Paolini: Keep in mind, Eragon, that no one thinks himself a villain, and few make decisions they think are wrong. A person may dislike his choice, but he will stand by it because, even in the worst circumstances, he believes that it was the best option available to him at the time.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand fold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations.
Pierre A.F. Choderlos de Laclos: Humanity is not perfect in any fashion; no more in the case of evil than in that of good. The criminal has his virtues, just as the honest man has his weaknesses.
T.H. White: There is one fairly good reason for fighting - and that is, if the other man starts it. You see, wars are a great wickedness, perhaps the greatest wickedness of a wicked species. They are so wicked that they must not be allowed. When you can be perfectly certain that the other man started them, then is the time when you might have a sort of duty to stop them.
Ayn Rand: In any compromise between food and poison, it is only death that can win. In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit.
Andrew Sullivan: Monsters remain human beings. In fact, to reduce them to a subhuman level is to exonerate them of their acts of terrorism and mass murder - just as animals are not deemed morally responsible for killing. Insisting on the humanity of terrorists is, in fact, critical to maintaining their profound responsibility for the evil they commit. And, if they are human, then they must necessarily not be treated in an inhuman fashion. You cannot lower the moral baseline of a terrorist to the subhuman without betraying a fundamental value.
Laura Miller: Desire acts as a honey trap to the unwary male, luring him into unworthy and catastrophic enterprises. The beauty of the Narnian witches isn't ancillary to their evil, but integral to it, one of the weapons in their arsenal. Evil must, after all, appear attractive if it's going to be tempting, and from there it's only a small step further to the conclusion that feminine beauty is inherently wicked.
Michael Gruber: The problem with evil people is that they can see only evil in others. It is one of the worst curses of being evil, that you can no longer experience good.
Jim Butcher: Most of the bad guys in the real world don't know that they are bad guys. You don't get a flashing warning sign that you're about to damn yourself. It sneaks up on you when you aren't looking.
Rachel Hawkins: Let's just say you may regret that second piece of cake. Oh my God. Regret cake? Whatever was about to happen must be truly evil.
Jim Butcher: Evil isn’t the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it’s a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference.
Clive Barker: Darkness always had its part to play. Without it, how would we know when we walked in the light? It’s only when its ambitions become too grandiose that it must be opposed, disciplined, sometimes - if necessary - brought down for a time. Then it will rise again, as it must.
Sophocles: If you try to cure evil with evil, you will add more pain to your fate.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust: "Who are you then?" "I am part of that power which eternally wills evil and eternally works good."
Carol Matas: We are alive. We are human, with good and bad in us. That's all we know for sure. We can't create a new species or a new world. That's been done. Now we have to live within those boundaries . What are our choices? We can despair and curse, and change nothing. We can choose evil like our enemies have done and create a world based on hate. Or we can try to make things better.
Tess Gerritsen: Evil doesn't die. It never dies. It just takes on a new face, a new name. Just because we've been touched by it once, it doesn't mean we're immune to ever being hurt again. Lightning can strike twice.
Mikhail Bulgakov: What would your good do if evil didn't exist, and what would the earth look like if all the shadows disappeared?
Sivananda: An evil man is a saint of the future. See good in everything. Destroy the evil-finding quality. Develop the good-finding quality. Rise above good and evil.
Rebecca Manley Pippert: We tend to be taken aback by the thought that God could be angry. How can a deity who is perfect and loving ever be angry? We take pride in our tolerance of the excesses of others. So what is God's problem? But love detests what destroys the beloved. Real love stands against the deception, the lie, the sin that destroys. Nearly a century ago the theologian E.H. Glifford wrote: 'Human love here offers a true analogy: the more a father loves his son, the more he hates in him the drunkard, the liar, the traitor.'... Anger isn't the opposite of love. Hate is, and the final form of hate is indifference... How can a good God forgive bad people without compromising himself? Does he just play fast and loose with the facts? 'Oh, never mind...boys will be boys'. Try telling that to a survivor of the Cambodian 'killing fields' or to someone who lost an entire family in the Holocaust. No. To be truly good one has to be outraged by evil and implacably hostile to injustice.
You're no different than anyone else, are you! All your high talk means nothing! Charity, forgiveness, mercy, it's all lies!
Fr. Hugh O'Flaherty is a Vatican official in 1943-45 who has been hiding downed pilots, escaped prisoners of war, and Italian Resistance families. His diplomatic status in a Catholic country prevents Colonel Kappler from openly arresting him, but O'Flaherty's activities become so large that the Nazis decide to assassinate him the next time he leaves the Vatican. O'Flaherty continues his work in a variety of disguises. Based on a true story. (John Vogel)
[Fr. Hugh O'Flaherty (Gregory Peck) and S.S. Col. Herbert Kappler (Christopher Plummer), by invitation of the latter, meet under cover of darkness at the fabled Coliseum, just before the Allied liberation of Rome.]
Kappler: You’re not afraid that I’ll shoot you? …
O'Flaherty: When it comes down to it, a bullet is the only argument you’ve got.
Kappler: I have my orders. I’m a soldier. I do my duty.
O'Flaherty: You can’t hide behind that, Kappler. Don’t debase the word duty… you think that absolves you of any responsibility? …
Kappler: [After a monologue of Germany’s greatness, he says] The Third Reich is the future!
O'Flaherty: How many murderous dictators have talked that kind of rubbish…
[O'Flaherty begins to walk away]
Kappler: Wait! I know about you! I know all about you. They say that you cannot pass a beggar or a lame dog, but that you see yourself with an obligation to look after anyone in trouble. You help British and Americans, Jews and Arabs, refugees, anyone. It’s part of your faith, isn’t that right?
O'Flaherty: I wouldn’t deny it.
Kappler: Brotherly love and forgiveness, that’s the other half of what you believe, true? Well, I have three more for your mercy wagon – my wife and two children. If the partisans get them, they will be killed.
O'Flaherty: You’re asking me to save your family?!
Kappler: Not me, just my family.
O'Flaherty: They’re just part of you!
Kappler: If you really believe what you preach, you’ll do it.
O'Flaherty: You expect me to help you after all you’ve done! You tortured and butchered my friends … After all you’ve done, you want mercy?! I’ll see you in hell first!!
[O'Flaherty walks away]
Kappler: You’re no different than anyone else, are you! All your high talk means nothing! Charity, forgiveness, mercy, it’s all lies! YOU HEAR ME?! YOU HEAR ME?! IT’S ALL LIES! Don’t you talk to me about God and humanity! I know what humanity is! It’s one-half power, and the will to use it; the other half, cattle to be led. There is no God, no humanity! [shouting] YOU HEAR ME, PRIEST? YOU HEAR ME? PRIEST?! PRIEST?!
[end of scene
Kappler, under Allied guard, to his astonishment, learns that his family had not been harmed and, by unidentified agents, had been safely taken to Switzerland. The S.S. Officer received life imprisonment for war crimes. During the forthcoming long years he would have only one visitor; each month, Fr. O'Flaherty would come to his cell. In 1959, 14 years after the Coliseum incident, Kappler was baptized into the faith of his once-adversary!
Lewis B. Smedes: When we forgive evil we do not excuse it, we do not tolerate it, we do not smother it. We look the evil full in the face, call it what it is, let its horror shock and stun and enrage us, and only then do we forgive it."
Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray: There were moments when he looked on evil simply as a mode through which he could realize his conception of the beautiful.
Gregory Maguire: The real thing about evil, said the Witch at the doorway, isn't any of what you said. You figure out one side of it - the human side, say - and the eternal side goes into shadow. Or vice versa. It's like the old saw: What does a dragon in its shell look like? Well no one can ever tell, for as soon as you break the shell to see, the dragon is no longer in its shell. The real disaster of this inquiry is that it is the nature of evil to be secret.
G.K. Chesterton: Unless a man becomes the enemy of an evil, he will not even become its slave but rather its champion.
Samuel Johnson: Hell is paved with good intentions.
John Patrick Shanley: If I could, Sister James, I would certainly choose to live in innocence. But innocence can only be wisdom in a world without evil. Situations arise and we are confronted with wrongdoing and the need to act.
Christopher Hitchens: As a convinced atheist, I ought to agree with Voltaire that Judaism is not just one more religion, but in its way the root of religious evil. Without the stern, joyless rabbis and their 613 dour prohibitions, we might have avoided the whole nightmare of the Old Testament, and the brutal, crude wrenching of that into prophecy-derived Christianity, and the later plagiarism and mutation of Judaism and Christianity into the various rival forms of Islam.
Frances Bacon: We are much beholden to Machiavelli and others, that write what men do, and not what they ought to do. For it is not possible to join serpentine wisdom with the columbine innocency, except men know exactly all the conditions of the serpent; his baseness and going upon his belly, his volubility and lubricity, his envy and sting, and the rest; that is, all forms and natures of evil. For without this, virtue lieth open and unfenced. Nay, an honest man can do no good upon those that are wicked, to reclaim them, without the help of the knowledge of evil.
Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde: That insurgent horror was knit to him closer than a wife, closer than an eye lay caged in his flesh, where he heard it mutter and felt it struggle to be born; and at every hour of weakness, and in the confidence of slumber, prevailed against him, and deposed him out of life.
John Warwick Montgomery: One of the biggest difficulties in our contemporary society is that we try to locate the evil in somebody else and then we try to get rid of him. The police are pigs or the students are worthless, and so on and so on. The Marxists are the devils or the Republicans are the devils or you name it. We try to isolate the evil and then get rid of it. But the teaching of the Bible is that we are thoroughly entrenched in this ourselves, so we can't toss rocks at someone else; we have to see the extent to which the moral ambiguities fall directly on us. We need forgiveness; and only when we receive it do we have our lives cleaned up so that we can start seeing situations accurately.
Paul Brunton, Spiritual Crisis of Man: The presence of evil in his life provokes him into either overcoming it or yielding to it. If the first, it has led him to work for his own improvement; if the second it has led him to acknowledge his own weakness. Sooner or later, the unpleasant consequences of such weakness will lead him to grapple with it, and develop his power of will...Immediately and directly, it may either strengthen him or weaken him. Ultimately, it can only strengthen him.
Thomas Sowell: "Virtually no idea is too ridiculous to be accepted, even by very intelligent and highly educated people, if it provides a way for them to feel special and important. Some confuse that feeling with idealism."
E.A. Bucchianeri: Faustus, who embraced evil and shunned righteousness, became the foremost symbol of the misuse of free will, that sublime gift from God with its inherent opportunity to choose virtue and reject iniquity. “What shall a man gain if he has the whole world and lose his soul,” (Matt. 16: v. 26) - but for a notorious name, the ethereal shadow of a career, and a brief life of fleeting pleasure with no true peace? This was the blackest and most captivating tragedy of all, few could have remained indifferent to the growing intrigue of this individual who apparently shook hands with the devil and freely chose to descend to the molten, sulphuric chasm of Hell for all eternity for so little in exchange. It is a drama that continues to fascinate today as powerfully as when Faustus first disseminated his infamous card in the Heidelberg locale to the scandal of his generation. In fine, a life of good or evil, the hope of Heaven or the despair of Hell, Faustus stands as a reminder that the choice between these two absolutes also falls to us.
Nicholas Earp (Gene Hackman), Wyatt Earp: You know this land is full of people doing wicked things to each other. I gotta tell you something Wyatt. I told your brothers when they went off to fight, and I suppose the time has come for you. You know I'm a man that believes in the law. After your family, it's about the only thing you've got to believe in. But there are plenty of men who don't care about the law. Men who'll take part in all kinds of viciousness, and don't care who gets hurt. In fact, the more that get hurt the better. When you find yourself in a fight, with such viciousness, hit first if you can, and when you do hit, hit to kill. You'll know. Don't worry. You'll know when it comes to that. The Earps always know.
Abigail Adams, 1777: John Adams wrote to his wife, urging upon the invading British troops, "Contempt, Derision, Hatred and Abhorence"; moreover, for his part, he favored a national motto, "Conquer or die." Abigail, while not naive regarding the war's harsh necessities, responded by focusing on Christian duty: "Let them reproach us ever so much for our kindness and tenderness to those who have fallen into our Hands, I hope it will never provoke us to retaliate their cruelties; let us put it as much as possible out of their power to injure us, but let us keep in mind the precepts of him who hath commanded us to Love our Enemies; and to exercise towards them acts of Humanity, Benevolence and Kindness, even when they despitefully use us." [Editor's note: As I read the words of Abigail Adams, forged, so often, within the context of all manner of human suffering, I clearly sense that I am in the presence of an advanced human spirit. Always clear-eyed and pragmatic, she believed that we must remove an enemy's "power to injure us," but, in so doing, we must never partake of and reflect their dark spirit of hatred.
Hans Christian Andersen, The Ugly Duckling: The duckling thought that others might hold a different opinion on the subject, but the hen would not listen to such doubts. "Can you lay eggs?" she asked. "No." "Then have the goodness to hold your tongue." "Can you raise your back, or purr, or throw out sparks?" said the tom cat. "No." "Then you have no right to express an opinion when sensible people are speaking."
Steve Maraboli: Don’t be disheartened by the forces of evil. Nothing can happen that God hasn’t allowed. Even resistance is all part of grand orchestration. The devil always has you right were God wants you.
Kristin Cast: We all have bad things inside us, and we all choose either to give in to those bad things or to fight them.
Matthew Stover: The dark is generous, and it is patient, and it always wins. It always wins because it is everywhere. It is in the wood that burns in your hearth, and in the kettle on the fire; it is under your chair and under your table and under the sheets on your bed. Walk in the midday sun, and the dark is with you, attached to the soles of your feet. The brightest light casts the darkest shadow.
Margaret Peterson Haddix: Governments will rise, and governments will fall, and man will do evil to man, and all we can do is turn our hearts to good.
Matthew Scully: When you start with a necessary evil, and then over time the necessity passes away, what's left?
Dean Koontz: Darkness dwells within even the best of us. In the worst of us, darkness not only dwells but reins.
Iris Chang: Almost all people have this potential for evil, which would be unleashed only under certain dangerous social circumstances.
Adam Turquine: Evil is not just a theory of paradox, but an actual entity that exists only for itself. From its ether of manifestation that is garlanded in perpetual darkness, it not only influences and seeks the ruination and destruction of everything that resides in our universe, but rushes to embrace its own oblivion as well. To accomplish this, however, it must hide within the shroud of lies and deceit it spins to manipulate the weak-minded as well as those who choose to ally themselves with it for their own personal gain. For evil must rely on the self-serving interests of the arrogant, the lustful, the power-hungry, the hateful, and the greedy to feed and proliferate. This then becomes the condition of evil’s existence: the baneful ideologies of those who wantonly chose to ignore the needs and rights of others, inducing oppression, fear, pain, and even death throughout the cosmos. And by these means, evil seeks to supplant the balance of the universe with its perverse nature. And once all that was good has been extinguished by corruption or annihilation, evil will then turn upon and consume what remains: particularly its immoral servants who have assisted its purpose so well … along with itself. And within that terrible instant of unimaginable exploding quantum fury, it will burn brighter than a trillion galaxies to herald its moment of ultimate triumph. But a moment is all that it shall be. And a micro-second later when the last amber burns and flickers out to the demise of dissolving ash, evil will leave its legacy of a totally devoid universe as its everlasting monument to eternal death.
Rick Yancey: The monstrous act by definition demands a monster.
Anthony Burgess: It is as inhuman to be totally good as it is to be totally evil.
Stephen King: If God rewards us on earth for good deeds - the Old Testament suggests it’s so, and the Puritans certainly believed it - then maybe Satan rewards us for evil ones.
Dr. Loomis, John Carpenter's Halloween: I met him, fifteen years ago. I was told there was nothing left. No reason, no conscience, no understanding; even the most rudimentary sense of life or death, good or evil, right or wrong. I met this six year old child with this blank, pale, emotionless face, and the blackest eyes; the devil's eyes. I spent eight years trying to reach him, and then another seven trying to keep him locked up because I realized what was living behind that boy's eyes was purely and simply…evil.
Tony Hendra: All evil begins with this belief: that another’s existence is less precious than mine.
Heloise to Peter Abelard: First you revealed the persecution you suffered from your teachers, then the supreme treachery of the injury to your body, and then you described the abominable jealousy and violent attacks of your fellow-students, Alberic of Rheims and Lotulf of Lombardy... Then you related the plots against you by your abbot and false brethren, the foul slanders spread against you by those two pseudo-apostles, your rivals [such as the future "saint" and bitter enemy, Bernard of Clairvaux], and the scandal stirred up among many people because you had acted contrary to custom in naming your oratory after the Paraclete. You [fought] the incessant, intolerable persecutions which you still endure at the hands of that cruel tyrant and the evil monks you call your sons, and so brought your sad story to an end... All of us here [at the convent] are driven to despair of your life, and every day we await in fear and trembling the latest rumors of your death.
Adam Turquine: Conflict is created by two conditions: the evil that is sanctioned by the corrupted, and the sacrifice borne by upright men and women who chose to destroy it.
Mikhail Bulgakov: And now tell me, why is it that you use me words "good people" all the time? Do you call everyone that, or what? Everyone, the prisoner replied. There are no evil people in the world.
Nancy E. Turner: I have a deep-down belief that there are folks in the world who are good through and through, and others who came in mean and will go out mean. It's like coffee. Once it's roasted, it all looks brown. Until you pour hot water on it and see what comes out. Folks get into hot water, you see what comes out."
Nwaocha Ogechukwu: No matter how an individual views Satan, whether they believe that he is a real character or that he is just the product of literary scholars and imaginations, no one can deny that each one of us has an aspect of the devil within us. By studying the character and nature of Satan, we learn about ourselves; and the more we know about ourselves, the better we can fight our own personal demons, metaphorical or otherwise, in order to create a better tomorrow.
Stephen A. Diamond, Anger, Madness, and the Daimonic: The Psychological Genesis of Violence, Evil and Creativity: Therefore, it is we who are responsible for much of the evil in the world; and we are each morally required to accept rather than project that ponderous responsibility-lest we prefer instead to wallow in a perennial state of powerless, frustrated, furious, victimhood. For what one possesses the power to bring about, one has also the power to limit, mitigate, counteract, or transmute.
Bede Jarrett: The world needs more anger. The world often continues to allow evil because it isn't angry enough.
Arthur Machen: There are sacraments of evil as well as of good about us, and we live and move to my belief in an unknown world, a place where there are caves and shadows and dwellers in twilight. It is possible that man may sometimes return on the track of evolution, and it is my belief that an awful lore is not yet dead.
Matthew Scully: Reforms will come as all great reforms have always come in ridding us of evils against both man and animal - not as we change our moral principles but as we discern and accept the implications of principles already held.
Prem Prakash: The Yoga of Spiritual Devotion: A Modern Translation of the Narada Bhakti Sutras: The aspirant would do well to avoid those ‘spiritual teachers’ who delight in pointing out the evils of the world. These are immature egos attempting to discard their own negativities by projecting them onto others. The true yogi is one who is like a lion with himself, always striving to eradicate that which shadows his inner light, and like a lamb with others, always striving to see their inner light, no matter how dense may be the clouds that hide it. He is the king of the jungle of his world. He hides from no one and seeks escape from nothing.
Isa. 11: 6-9: The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.
Christopher Hitchens: George Bush made a mistake when he referred to the Saddam Hussein regime as 'evil.' Every liberal and leftist knows how to titter at such black-and-white moral absolutism. What the president should have done, in the unlikely event that he wanted the support of America's peace-mongers, was to describe a confrontation with Saddam as the 'lesser evil.' This is a term the Left can appreciate. Indeed, 'lesser evil' is part of the essential tactical rhetoric of today's Left, and has been deployed to excuse or overlook the sins of liberal Democrats, from President Clinton's bombing of Sudan to Madeleine Albright's veto of an international rescue for Rwanda when she was U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Among those longing for nuance, moral relativism - the willingness to use the term evil, when combined with a willingness to make accommodations with it - is the smart thing: so much more sophisticated than 'cowboy' language.
Thomas Merton: In the use of force, one simplifies the situation by assuming that the evil to be overcome is clear-cut, definite, and irreversible. Hence there remains but one thing: to eliminate it. Any dialogue with the sinner, any question of the irreversibility of his act, only means faltering and failure. Failure to eliminate evil is itself a defeat. Anything that even remotely risks such defeat is in itself capitulation to evil. The irreversibility of evil then reaches out to contaminate even the tolerant thought of the hesitant crusader who, momentarily, doubts the total evil of the enemy he is about to eliminate.
Robin Hanson: We feel a deep pleasure from realizing that we believe something in common with our friends, and different from most people. We feel an even deeper pleasure letting everyone know of this fact. This feeling is EVIL. Learn to see it in yourself, and then learn to be horrified by how thoroughly it can poison your mind. Yes evidence may at times force you to disagree with a majority, and your friends may have correlated exposure to that evidence, but take no pleasure when you and your associates disagree with others; that is the road to rationality ruin.
Ernst Jünger: The struggle for power had reached a new stage; it was fought with scientific formulas. The weapons vanished in the abyss like fleeting images, like pictures one throws into the fire... When new models were displayed to the masses at the great parades on Red Square in Moscow or elsewhere, the crowds stood in reverent silence and then broke into jubilant shouts of triumph... Though the display was continual, in this silence and these shouts something evil, old as time, manifested itself in man, who is an outsmarter and setter of traps. Invisible, Cain and Tubalcain marched past in the parade of phantoms.
Walter de la Mare: I believe in the devil, in the Powers of Darkness, Lawford, as firmly as I believe he and they are powerless – in the long run. They have surrendered their intrinsicality. You can just go through evil, as you can go through a sewer, and come out on the other side. A loathsome process too.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov: You take evil for good. It's a passing crisis. It's the result of your illness, perhaps. You do despise me! It's simply that I don't want to do good, I want to do evil, and it has nothing to do with illness. Why do evil? So that everything will be destroyed. Oh, how nice it would be if everything were destroyed! You know, Alyosha, I sometimes think of doing a lot of harm. I would do it for a long while secretly and then suddenly everyone would find out. Everyone will stand around and point their fingers at me and I will look at them all. That would be awfully nice.
Toba Beta: An evil can only be killed by another kind of evil, because the pure spirit of peace cannot do killing.
Theodore Dalrymple, Our Culture, What's Left of It: The scale of a man's evil is not entirely to be measured by its practical consequences. Men commit evil within the scope available to them.
Gregory Maguire: People who claim they're evil are usually no worse than the rest of us. It's people who claim that they're good, or any way better than the rest of us, that you have to be wary of.
Lauren Kate: Ms. Sophia was evil bananas.
David Wong: Son, the greatest trick the Devil pulled was convincing the world there was only one of him.
Azar Nafisi: ...none of us can avoid being contaminated by the world's evils; it's all a matter of what attitude you take towards them.
Gregory Maguire: Evil is an act, not an appetite. How many haven't wanted to slash the throat of some boor across the dining room table? Present company excepted, of course. Everyone has the appetite. If you give in to it, it, that act is evil. The appetite is normal.
Robert Cormier: Everybody sins, Francis. The terrible thing is that we love our sins. We love the thing that makes us evil.
Matthew Sawyer: One man carries salvation and damnation from the desert.
Azar Nafisi: Once evil is individualized, becoming part of everyday life, the way of resisting it also becomes individual. How does the soul survive? is the essential question. And the response is: through love and imagination.
David Hume: Epicurus' old questions are yet unanswered: Is God willing to prevent evil but not able? Then he is impotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Whence then is evil?
Terry Pratchett: Evil begins when you begin to treat people as things.
Judgement At Nuremberg: Ernst Janning: "Judge Haywood... Those people, those millions of people... I never knew it would come to that. You must believe it, you must believe it!” Judge Dan Haywood: "Herr Janning, it 'came to that' the first time you sentenced a man to death you knew to be innocent."
Lloyd Alexander: Is there worse evil than that which goes in the mask of good?
Rebecca Manley Pippert: If you say there is no such thing as morality in absolute terms, then child abuse is not evil, it just may not happen to be your thing.
Nixon: And I have always maintained what they were doing, what we were all doing, was not criminal. Look, when you're in office, you gotta do a lot of things sometimes that are not always, in the strictest sense of the law, legal, but you do them because they're in the greater interests of the nation!
Frost: Right. Wait, just so I understand correctly, are you really saying that in certain situations, the President can decide whether it's in the best interests of the nation and then do something illegal?
Nixon: I'm saying that when the President does it, that means it's not illegal.
Frost: I'm sorry?
Nixon: That's what I believe. But I realize no one else shares that view.
Frost: So, in that case, will you accept, then, to clear the air once and for all, that you were part of a cover-up and that you did break the law?
Nixon: It's true. I made mistakes, horrendous ones, ones that were not worthy of a president, ones that did not meet the standards of excellence that I always dreamed of as a young boy. But, if you remember, it was a difficult time... But, yes, I will admit there were times I did not fully meet that responsibility and I was involved in a cover-up, as you call it. And for all those mistakes I have a very deep regret. No one can know what it's like to resign the presidency. Now, if you want me to get down on the floor and grovel... No! Never! I still insist they were mistakes of the heart. They were not mistakes of the head... I let them down. I let down my friends, I let down my country, and worst of all I let down our system of government, and the dreams of all those young people that ought to get into government but now they think; 'Oh it's all too corrupt and the rest'. Yeah... I let the American people down. And I'm gonna have to carry that burden with me for the rest of my life. My political life is over.
Sonia Rumzi: Nothing is more egregious than greedy politicians.
Theodor Adorno: Triviality is evil - triviality, that is, in the form of consciousness and mind that adapts itself to the world as it is, that obeys the principle of inertia. And this principle of inertia truly is what is radically evil.
Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: The most racking pangs succeeded: a grinding in the bones, deadly nausea, and a horror of the spirit that cannot be exceeded at the hour of birth or death. Then these agonies began swiftly to subside, and I came to myself as if out of a great sickness. There was something strange in my sensations, something indescribably sweet. I felt younger, lighter, happier in body; within I was conscious of a heady recklessness, a current of disordered sensual images running like a millrace in my fancy, a solution of the bonds of obligation, an unknown but innocent freedom of the soul. I knew myself, at the first breath of this new life, to be more wicked, tenfold more wicked, sold a slave to my original evil and the thought, in that moment, braced and delighted me like wine.
Christopher Hitchens: Well, as Hannah Arendt famously said, there can be a banal aspect to evil. In other words, it doesn't present always. I mean, often what you're meeting is a very mediocre person. But nonetheless, you can get a sort of frisson of wickedness from them. And the best combination of those, I think, I describe him in the book, is/was General Jorge Rafael Videla of Argentina, who I met in the late 1970s when the death squad war was at its height, and his fellow citizens were disappearing off the street all the time. And he was, in some ways, extremely banal. I describe him as looking like a human toothbrush. He was a sort of starch, lean officer with a silly mustache, and a very stupid look to him, but a very fanatical glint as well. And, if I'd tell you why he's now under house arrest in Argentina, you might get a sense of the horror I felt as I was asking him questions about all this. He's in prison in Argentina for selling the children of the rape victims among the private prisoners, who he kept in a personal jail. And I don't know if I've ever met anyone who's done anything as sort of condensedly horrible as that.
Jeff Cooper: The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles.
Satre: Hell is other people.
Pythagoras: There is a good principle which created order, light, and man, and an evil principle which created chaos, darkness and woman.
Augustine: Do not seek to know more than is appropriate.
George Steiner: We no longer believe in hell. We have created it here on earth.
T.S Eliot: The world turns and the world changes, But one thing does not change, However you disguise it, this one thing does not change, The perpetual struggle of good and evil.
Henry James: A ripe unconsciousness of evil is the sweetest sign by which we know him.
Hannah Arendt: Today I think that evil in every instance is only extreme, never radical: it has no depth, and therefore has nothing demonic about it. Evil can lay waste the entire world, like a fungus, growing rampant on the surface.
D. H. Lawrence: Think how difficult it is to know the difference between good and evil! Why sometimes it is evil to be good.
Hans Christian Andersen, The Ugly Duckling: So the duckling sat in a corner, feeling very low spirited, till the sunshine and the fresh air came into the room through the open door, and then he began to feel such a great longing for a swim on the water, that he could not help telling the hen. "What an absurd idea," said the hen. "You have nothing else to do, therefore you have foolish fancies. If you could purr or lay eggs, they would pass away." "But it is so delightful to swim about on the water," said the duckling, "and so refreshing to feel it close over your head, while you dive down to the bottom." "Delightful, indeed!" said the hen, "why you must be crazy! Ask the cat, he is the cleverest animal I know, ask him how he would like to swim about on the water, or to dive under it, for I will not speak of my own opinion; ask our mistress, the old woman- there is no one in the world more clever than she is. Do you think she would like to swim, or to let the water close over her head?" "You don't understand me," said the duckling. "We don't understand you? Who can understand you, I wonder? Do you consider yourself more clever than the cat, or the old woman? I will say nothing of myself. Don't imagine such nonsense, child, and thank your good fortune that you have been received here. Are you not in a warm room, and in society from which you may learn something. But you are a chatterer, and your company is not very agreeable. Believe me, I speak only for your own good. I may tell you unpleasant truths, but that is a proof of my friendship. I advise you, therefore, to lay eggs, and learn to purr as quickly as possible." "I believe I must go out into the world again," said the duckling. "Yes, do," said the hen...
Richard Ellmann: [Wilde] was proposing that good and evil are not what they seem, that moral tags cannot cope with the complexity of behaviour.
William James: The evil facts… are a genuine portion of reality; and they may after all be the best key to life’s significance.
W. H. Auden: I and the world know What every schoolboy learns: Those to whom evil is done Do evil in return.
William James: Evil is a disease.
Phil Pastoret: Hear no evil, see no evil, and speak no evil - and you'll never get a job working for a tabloid.
Oscar Wilde: Hear no evil, speak no evil - and you'll never be invited to a party.
Sacha Baron Cohen: I know this is something of a generalization, but why are skeletons evil?
Aristotle: Evil brings men together.
Friedrich Nietzsche: Hope is the worst of evils, for it prolongs the torment of man.
Chinese Proverb: For the sake of one good action a hundred evil ones should be forgotten.
Will Rogers: Income tax has made liars of more people than the devil.
Dr. Philip Zimbardo, Stanford Prison Experiment: Dehumanization is one of the central processes in the transformation of ordinary, normal people into indifferent or even wanton perpetrators of evil. Dehumanization is like a cortical cataract that clouds one's thinking and fosters the perception that other people are less than human. It makes some people come to see others as enemies deserving of torment, torture and annihilation.
Friedrich Nietzsche: The great epochs of our lives occur when we gain the courage to rechristen what is evil in us as what is best.
Victor Zammit: A.J. Ayer was an atheist. Not just any old atheist - the atheist as far as millions of Britons were concerned. In addition to establishing his reputation as one of the great analytic and rationalist philosophers of the century with such works as Language, Truth and Logic and the later Foundations of Empirical Knowledge, Ayer had spent most of his adult life putting the case very publicly on radio and television, as well as in print, for the non-existence of God. However, when he had a near death experience in 1988 he confided in his doctor ‘I saw a Divine Being. I’m afraid I’m going to have to revise all my various books and opinions.’
Friedrich Nietzsche: What an age experiences as evil is usually an untimely reverberation echoing what was previously experienced as good - the atavism of an older ideal.
the vast confederacy of fools
Prager Zeitung, 28 April 2010, the Czech Republic: "The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president."
Christopher Dawson: As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy.
Steven Weinberg: Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing bad things, but for good people to do bad things, it takes religion.
Khalil Gibran: In battling evil, excess is good; for he who is moderate in announcing the truth is presenting half-truth. He conceals the other half out of fear of the people's wrath.
Silver Birch: All evils are wrong because they are an attempt to frustrate the expression of the Great Spirit within you.
Oscar Wilde: We are each our own devil, and we make this world our hell
Jean de La Fontaine: We believe no evil till the evil's done.
William Hazlitt: To great evils we submit; we resent little provocations.
Marcellinus Ammianus: Wicked acts are accustomed to be done with impunity for the mere desire of occupation.
St. Paul: For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
Nicolas Boileau-Despreaux: Often the fear on one evil leads us into a worse.
Cicero: Every evil in the bud is easily crushed; as it grows older, it becomes stronger.
Talmud: Evil is sweet in the beginning but bitter in the end.
Benjamin Haydon: There surely is in human nature an inherent propensity to extract all the good out of all the evil.
Joseph De Maistre: But evil is wrought by want of thought as well as want of heart! We are tainted by modern philosophy which has taught us that all is good, whereas evil has polluted everything and in a very real sense all is evil, since nothing is in its proper place.
John Milton: What wisdom can there be to choose, what continence to forbear without the knowledge of evil? He that can apprehend and consider vice with all her baits and seeming pleasures, and yet abstain, and yet distinguish, and yet prefer that which is truly better, he is the true wayfaring Christian.
Plato: There must always remain something that is antagonistic to good.
Francis Quarles: Wickedness is its own punishment.
Seneca: 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.
Virgil: Evil is nourished and grows by concealment.
Voltaire: As long as people believe in absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities.
C.J. Weber: What is worse than evil? The inability to bear it.
Simone Weil: Evil is neither suffering nor sin; it is both at the same time, it is something common to them both. For they are linked together; sin makes us suffer and suffering makes us evil, and this indissoluble complex of suffering and sin is the evil in which we are submerged against our will, and to our horror.
Samuel Johnson: The Supreme end of education is expert discernment in all things - the power to tell the good from the bad, the genuine from the counterfeit, and to prefer the good and the genuine to the bad and the counterfeit.
William Shakespeare: The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together.
Ralph Waldo Emerson: The meaning of good and bad, of better and worse, is simply helping or hurting.
Arthur Miller, The Crucible: The parochial snobbery of these [Puritan] people was partly responsible for their failure to convert the Indians. Probably they also preferred to take land from heathens rather than from fellow Christians. At any rate, very few Indians were converted, and the Salem folk believed that the virgin forest was the Devil’s last preserve, his home base and the citadel of his final stand. To the best of their knowledge the American forest was the last place on earth that was not paying homage to God.
Ralph Waldo Emerson: I remember an answer which when quite young I was prompted to make to a valued adviser, who was wont to importune me with the dear old doctrines of the church. On my saying, What have I to do with the sacredness of traditions, if I live wholly from within? my friend suggested, "But these impulses may be from below, not from above." I replied, "They do not seem to me to be such; but if I am the Devil's child, I will live then from the Devil." No law can be sacred to me but that of my nature. Good and bad are but names very readily transferable to that or this; the only right is what is after my constitution, the only wrong what is against it.
Ralph Waldo Emerson: The sun shines and warms and lights us and we have no curiosity to know why this is so; but we ask the reason of all evil, of pain, and hunger, and mosquitoes and silly people.
Buddha, Gautama Siddharta: What is evil? Killing is evil, lying is evil, slandering is evil, abuse is evil, gossip is evil: envy is evil, hatred is evil, to cling to false doctrine is evil; all these things are evil. And what is the root of evil? Desire is the root of evil, illusion is the root of evil.
Dr. Philip G. Zimbardo, The Stanford Prison Experiment: The prisoners even nicknamed the most macho and brutal guard in our study "John Wayne." Later, we learned that the most notorious guard in a Nazi prison near Buchenwald was named "Tom Mix" - the John Wayne of an earlier generation - because of his "Wild West" cowboy macho image in abusing camp inmates. Where had our "John Wayne" learned to become such a guard? How could he and others move so readily into that role? How could intelligent, mentally healthy, "ordinary" men become perpetrators of evil so quickly? These were questions we were forced to ask.
Dr. Philip G. Zimbardo, The Stanford Prison Experiment: One of the major demands of the prisoners at Attica was that they be treated like human beings. After observing our simulated prison for only six days, we could understand how prisons dehumanize people, turning them into objects and instilling in them feelings of hopelessness. And as for guards, we realized how ordinary people could be readily transformed from the good Dr. Jekyll to the evil Mr. Hyde.
Guard Hellmann, The Lucifer Effect: Once you put a uniform on, and are given a role, I mean, a job, saying ‘your job is to keep these people in line,’ then you’re certainly not the same person if you’re in street clothes and in a different role. You really become that person once you put on the khaki uniform, you put on the glasses, you take the nightstick, and you act the part. That’s your costume and you have to act accordingly when you put it on.
Penned on helmet of a U.S. soldier in Vietnam: Kill a Gook For God.
Eric Hoffer, The Passionate State of Mind: Our sense of power is more vivid when we break a man’s spirit than when we win his heart… It is when power is wedded to chronic fear that it becomes formidable.
Albert Bandura: Our ability to selectively engage and disengage our moral standards … helps explain how people can be barbarically cruel in one moment and compassionate the next.
Dr. Philip G. Zimbardo, The Stanford Prison Experiment: In Nazi Germany, many ordinary people did not dissent to the ongoing atrocities because few other people resisted. Similarly, in the Stanford Prison Experiment, the subjects who were randomly assigned as guards gradually adopted the behavior of cruel and demanding prison guards because that became the behavioral norm in an alien situation.
C. S. Lewis. The Inner Ring: I believe that in all men's lives at certain periods, and in many men's lives at all periods between infancy and extreme old age, one of the most dominant elements is the desire to be inside the local Ring and the terror of being left outside.... Of all the passions the passion for the Inner Ring is most skilful in making a man who is not yet a very bad man do very bad things… To nine out of ten of you the choice which could lead to scoundrelism will come, when it does come, in no very dramatic colors.... Obviously bad men, obviously threatening or bribing, will almost certainly not appear. Over a drink or a cup of coffee, disguised as a triviality and sandwiched between two jokes, from the lips of a man, or woman, whom you have recently been getting to know rather better and whom you hope to know better still - just at the moment when you are most anxious not to appear crude, or naive or a prig - the hint will come. It will be the hint of something, which is not quite in accordance with the technical rules of fair play, something that the public, the ignorant, romantic public, would never understand. Something which even the outsiders in your own profession are apt to make a fuss about, but something, says your new friend, which "we" - and at the word "we" you try not to blush for mere pleasure - something "we always do." And you will be drawn in, if you are drawn in, not by desire for gain or ease, but simply because at that moment, when the cup was so near your lips, you cannot bear to be thrust back again into the cold outer world. It would be so terrible to see the other man's face--that genial, confidential, delightfully sophisticated face--turn suddenly cold and contemptuous, to know that you had been tried for the Inner Ring and rejected. And then, if you are drawn in, next week it will be something a little further from the rules, and next year something further still, but all in the jolliest, friendliest spirit. It may end in a crash, a scandal, and penal servitude: it may end in millions, a peerage and giving the prizes at your old school. But you will be a scoundrel.
C. P. Snow, Either-Or: When you think of the long and gloomy history of man, you will find more hideous crimes have been committed in the name of obedience than have been committed in the name of rebellion.
Shakespeare, The Winter's Tale: Sure, this robe of mine doth change my disposition.
Schlesinger Independent Commission Report: The landmark Stanford study provides a cautionary tale for all military detention operations... Psychologists have attempted to understand how and why individuals and groups who usually act humanely can sometimes act otherwise in certain circumstances.
Ohio Penitentiary inmate: I was recently released from solitary confinement after being held therein for thirty-seven months. The silence system was imposed upon me and if I even whispered to the man in the next cell resulted in being beaten by guards, sprayed with chemical mace, black jacked, stomped, and thrown into a strip cell naked to sleep on a concrete floor without bedding, covering, wash basin, or even a toilet... I know that thieves must be punished, and I don't justify stealing even though I am a thief myself. But now I don't think I will be a thief when I am released. No, I am not rehabilitated either. It is just that I no longer think of becoming wealthy or stealing. I now only think of killing - killing those who have beaten me and treated me as if I were a dog. I hope and pray for the sake of my own soul and future life of freedom that I am able to overcome the bitterness and hatred which eats daily at my soul. But I know to overcome it will not be easy.
Wayne Dyer: To sit in judgment of those things which you perceive to be wrong or imperfect is to be one more person who is part of judgment, evil or imperfection.
Cicero: It is as hard for the good to suspect evil, as it is for the bad to suspect good.
Henry Fielding: The business of obscuring language is a mask behind which stands the much bigger business of plunder.
Immanuel Kant: He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.
Pope Leo XIII: Inequality of rights and power proceeds from the very Author of nature.
Martin Luther: An earthly kingdom cannot exist without inequality of persons. Some must be free, some serfs.
Friedrich Nietzche: A prince never lacks legitimate reasons to break his promises.
Friedrich Nietzche: Distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful.
William Shakespeare: The devil is a gentleman.
Emile Zola: When truth is buried underground, it grows, it chokes, it gathers such an explosive force that on the day it bursts out, it blows up everything with it.
Charles Dickens: Some of the craftiest scoundrels that ever walked this earth . . . will gravely jot down in diaries the events of every day, and keep a regular debtor and creditor account with heaven, which shall always show a floating balance in their own favour.
J.R.R. Tolkien: And it is not always good to be healed in body. Nor is it always evil to die in battle, even in bitter pain. Were I permitted, in this dark hour I would choose the latter.
Casey Stengal: The key to being a good manager is keeping the people who hate me away from those who are still undecided.
Howard Aiken: Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.
Thomas Hood: But evil is wrought by want of thought as well as want of heart!
Eckhart Tolle, The Power Of Now: Do you truly know what is positive and what is negative? Do you have the total picture? There have been many people for whom limitation, failure, loss, illness, or pain in whatever form turned out to be their greatest teacher. It taught them to let go of false self-images and superficial ego-dictated goals and desires. It gave them depth, humility, and compassion. It made them more real. Whenever anything negative happens to you, there is a deep lesson concealed within it, although you may not see it at the time. Even a brief illness or an accident can show you what is real and unreal in your life, what ultimately matters and what doesn't. Seen from a higher perspective, conditions are always positive. To be more precise: they are neither positive nor negative. They are as they are. And when you live in complete acceptance of what is - which is the only sane way to live - there is no "good" or "bad" in your life anymore. There is only a higher good - which includes the "bad." Seen from the perspective of the [egoic] mind, however, there is good-bad, like-dislike, love-hate. Hence, in the Book of Genesis, it is said that Adam and Eve were no longer allowed to dwell in "paradise" when they "ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil."
Revelation 19: 20, NIV: But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.
Eckhart Tolle: Happiness depends on conditions being perceived as positive; inner peace does not... Ultimately what we perceive as evil arises out of the ignorance of who you are, which is ultimately the ignorance of not knowing God.
Meg Warden: In believing we could separate, we imagined a world of separation on a grand scale. In this illusory world, we are born as individual bodies and we experience death. Instead of the joy of absolute oneness with God/Love, we live in a world of duality. It is the opposite of the infinite perfection that God created. It is a world of light and dark, good and evil, and time and space. Instead of knowing our infinite spiritual being, we form limited concepts of ourselves and suffer loss and lack. We are afraid and we attack each other and ourselves. We struggle through life, feeling inadequate and never finding the satisfaction we seek.
A Course In Miracles: All things are lessons God would have me learn.
Benjamin Franklin, Autobiography: It was about this time I conceiv'd the bold and arduous project of arriving at moral perfection. I wish'd to live without committing any fault at any time... As I knew, or thought I knew, what was right and wrong, I did not see why I might not always do the one and avoid the other. But I soon found I had undertaken a task of more difficulty than I had imagined. While my care was employ'd in guarding against one fault, I was often surprised by another; habit took the advantage of inattention; inclination was sometimes too strong for reason. I concluded, at length, that the mere speculative conviction that it was our interest to be completely virtuous, was not sufficient to prevent our slipping… These names of virtues, with their precepts, were:
TEMPERANCE. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
SILENCE. Speak not but what may benefit ... avoid trifling conversation.
ORDER. Let all your things have their places...
RESOLUTION. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail...
FRUGALITY. Make no expense but to do good ... waste nothing.
INDUSTRY. Lose no time ... employ'd in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
SINCERITY. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly...
JUSTICE. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
MODERATION. Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
CLEANLINESS. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.
TRANQUILLITY. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
CHASTITY. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dulness, weakness...
HUMILITY. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.
My intention being to acquire the habitude of all these virtues … to fix it on one of them at a time; and, when I should be master of that, then to proceed to another … I made a little book … I might mark, by a little black spot, every fault I found upon examination to have been committed respecting that virtue upon that day... I was surpris'd to find myself so much fuller of faults than I had imagined; but I had the satisfaction of seeing them diminish… like the man who, in buying an ax of a smith [who]consented to grind it bright for him if he would turn the wheel; he turn'd, while the smith press'd the broad face of the ax hard and heavily on the stone, which made the turning of it very fatiguing. The man came every now and then from the wheel to see how the work went on, and at length would take his ax as it was, without farther grinding. "No," said the smith, "turn on, turn on; we shall have it bright by-and-by; as yet, it is only speckled." "Yes," said the man, "but I think I like a speckled ax best." And I believe this may have been the case with many, who, having, for want of some such means as I employ'd, found the difficulty of obtaining good and breaking bad habits in other points of vice and virtue, have given up the struggle, and concluded that "a speckled ax was best"…