"This is the crux of the moral pessimists: if they really wanted to promote their neighbor's redemption, then they would have to resolve themselves to spoiling existence for him, and thus to being his misfortune; out of pity, they would have to--become evil!"
"The enjoyment that all morality has given us to now and that it continues to give us--and so, what has kept it going up to now--lies in everyone's right, without lengthy investigation, to praise and blame. And who could endure life without praising and blaming!"
"This is the great truth life has to teach us ... that gratification of our individual desires and expression of our personal preferences without consideration for their effect upon others brings in the end nothing but ruin and devastation."
"...men's double standard of sex morals, whereby the victims of their lust are counted as outcasts, while the men themselves escapeall social censure, really applies to morals in all departments of life. Men make the moral code and they expect women to accept it. They have decided that it is entirely right and proper for men to fight for their liberties and their rights, but that it is not right and proper for women to fight for theirs."
"Thus all our dignity lies in thought. Through it we must raise ourselves, and not through space or time, which we cannot fill. Letus endeavor, then, to think well: this is the mainspring of morality."
"True eloquence makes light of eloquence, true morality makes light of morality; that is to say, the morality of the judgment, which has no rules, makes light of the morality of the intellect.... To make light of philosophy is to be a true philosopher."
"... life is moral responsibility. Life is several other things, we do not deny. It is beauty, it is joy, it is tragedy, it is comedy, it is psychical and physical pleasure, it is the interplay of a thousand rude or delicate motions and emotions, it is the grimmest and the merriest motley of phantasmagoria that could appeal to the gravest or the maddest brush ever put to palette; but it is steadily and sturdily and always moral responsibility."
"... the Department of Justice is committed to asking one central question of everything we do: What is the right thing to do? Nowthat can produce debate, and I want it to be spirited debate. I want the lawyers of America to be able to call me and tell me: Janet, have you lost your mind?"
"'Tis certain that Morality is an indispensable Requisite of true Religion, and there can be none without it. But it would become the Pride and Ignorance of Pagans only, to magnify it, as the Whole of what is necessary."
"Morality for the novelist is expressed not so much in the choice of subject matter as in the plot of the narrative, which is perhaps why in our morally bewildered time novelists have often been timid about plot."
"Sovereignty is easily preserved by the very arts by which it was originally created. When, however, energy has given place to indifference, and temperance and justice to passion and arrogance, then as the morals change so changes fortune."