"For the "superior morality" of which we hear so much, we too would desire to be thankful: at the same time, it were but blindnessto deny that this "superior morality" is properly rather an "inferior criminality" produced not by greater love of Virtue, but by greater perfection of Police; and of that far subtler and stronger Police, called Public Opinion."
"I care not for the theoretical symmetry and impregnable logic of your moral code, I care not for the hoary respectability and traditional mysticisms of your theological institutions, I care not for the beauty and solemnity of your rituals and religious ceremonies, I care not even for the reasonableness and unimpeachable fairness of your social ethics,--if it does not turn out better, nobler, truer, men and women,--if it does not add to the world's stock of valuable souls,--if it does not give us a sounder, healthier, more reliable product from this great factory of men--I will have none of it."
"To-day ... when material prosperity and well earned ease and luxury are assured facts from a national standpoint, woman's work andwoman's influence are needed as never before; needed to bring a heart power into this money getting, dollar-worshipping civilization; needed to bring a moral force into the utilitarian motives and interests of the time; needed to stand for God and Home and Native Land versus gain and greed and grasping selfishness."
"Manners would be the standards of conduct that prevail in a group, large or small, and hence they would change from group to groupand year to year. Morals would be defined as the standards that determine the relations of individuals with other individuals, one with one--a child with each of its parents, a husband with his wife, a rich man with a poor man (not the rich and the poor)--and also the relations of any man with himself, his destiny, and his God. They are answers found by individuals to the old problems of faith, hope, charity or love, art, duty, submission to one's fate ... and hence they are relatively universal; they can be illustrated from the lives of any individuals, in any place, at any time since the beginning of time."
"When we start deceiving ourselves into thinking not that we want something or need something, not that it is a pragmatic necessityfor us to have it, but that it is a moral imperative that we have it, then is when we join the fashionable madmen, and then is when the thin whine of hysteria is heard in the land, and then is when we are in bad trouble."
"I wish I could take back some of the things I said and some of the things I did. But in the bigger picture, I don't feel that it was violent and terrible. I feel like it was primarily--obviously not completely--moral, based on a vision that the government should be better, and that people could be better, and that democracy should be real."
"... goodness is of a modest nature, easily discouraged, and when much elbowed in early life by unabashed vices, is apt to retire into extreme privacy, so that it is more easily believed in by those who construct a selfish old gentleman theoretically, than by those who form the narrower judgments based on his personal acquaintance."