Moral - Quotes

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The religious reply to the moral sceptic`s question, `Why should I behave in such-and-such a way?` is simply `Because God requires it of you.` But this is merely a polite way of saying, `Because you`ll be punished if you don`t. [...] But a threat is never a logical justification for acting one way rather than another. If there exists a deity with the punitive vengefulness of the Judaeo-Christian variety, then it might be prudent to obey it, and thus avoid the flames of hell; but the threat of punishment is not a principled reason for obedience.

A. C. Grayling

The great moral questions of the present age are those about human rights, war, poverty, the vast disparities between rich and poor, the fact that somewhere in the third world a child dies every two and a half seconds because of starvation or remediable disease. The churches` obsessions over pre-marital sex and whether divorced couples can remarry in church appears contemptible in the light of this mountain of human suffering and need. By distracting attention from what really counts, and focusing it on the minor and anyway futile attempt to get people to conduct their personal lives only in ways the church permits, harm is done to the cause of good in the world.

A. C. Grayling

If love [...] is the reason for being moral, what relevance does the existence or non-existence of a deity have? Why can we not be prompted to the ethical life by our own charitable feelings? The existence of a god adds nothing to our moral situation, other than an invisible policeman who sees what we do (even in privacy and under cover of night), and a threat of post-mortem terrors if we misbehave. Such additions are hardly an enrichment of the moral life, since the underpinning they offer consists of fear and threats of punishment: which is exactly what, among other things, the moral life seeks to free us from.

A. C. Grayling

Faith is an unclassified cognitive illness disguised as a moral virtue.

Peter Boghossian

Only atheists can be moral. If you`re doing it for reward or to avoid punishment, it`s not morality.

Penn Jillette

Most of the biggest catastrophes that we've witnessed rarely come from information that is secret or hidden. It comes from information that is freely available and out there, but that we are willfully blind to, because we can't handle, don't want to handle, the conflict that it provokes. But when we dare to break that silence, or when we dare to see, and we create conflict, we enable ourselves and the people around us to do our very best thinking.
Open information is fantastic, open networks are essential. But the truth won't set us free until we develop the skills and the habit and the talent and the moral courage to use it. Openness isn't the end. It's the beginning.

Margaret Heffernan

The final purpose of art is to intensify, even, if necessary, to exacerbate, the moral consciousness of people.

Norman Mailer

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To understand our civilisation, one must appreciate that the extended order resulted not from human design or intention but spontaneously: it arose from unintentionally conforming to certain traditional and largely moral practices, many of which men tend to dislike, whose significance they usually fail to understand, whose validity they cannot prove, and which have nonetheless fairly rapidly spread by means of an evolutionary selection - the comparative increase of population and wealth - of those groups that happened to follow them.

Friedrich Hayek

People believe in God because we are pattern-seeking, storytelling, mythmaking, religious, moral animals.

Michael Shermer

Music is a moral law. It gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness, gaiety and life to everything. It is the essence of order, and leads to all that is good, just, and beautiful, of which it is the invisible, but nevertheless dazzling, passionate, and eternal form.

Plato

Moral wounds have this peculiarity, - they may be hidden, but they never close; always painful, always ready to bleed when touched, they remain fresh and open in the heart.

Alexandre Dumas

About morals, I know only that what is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after.

Ernest Hemingway

Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life so. Aim above morality. Be not simply good, be good for something.

Henry David Thoreau

There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.

Oscar Wilde

Wisdom, compassion and courage - these are the three universally recognized moral qualities of man.

Confucius

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