Values And Ethics Quotes

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Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.
C.S. Lewis
It is not always the same thing to be a good man and a good citizen.
Aristotle (Selected Writings From The Nicomachean Ethics And Politics)
One must shed the bad taste of wanting to agree with many. "Good" is no longer good when one's neighbor mouths it. And how should there be a "common good"! The term contradicts itself: whatever can be common always has little value. In the end it must be as it is and always has been: great things remain for the great, abysses for the profound, nuances and shudders for the refined, and, in brief, all that is rare for the rare.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Beyond Good and Evil)
To recognize untruth as a condition of life--that certainly means resisting accustomed value feelings in a dangerous way; and a philosophy that risks this would by that token alone place itself beyond good and evil.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Beyond Good and Evil)
The scholar does not consider gold and jade to be precious treasures, but loyalty and good faith.
Confucius (The Ethics of Confucius)
True freedom is not advanced in the permissive society, which confuses freedom with license to do anything whatever and which in the name of freedom proclaims a kind of general amorality. It is a caricature of freedom to claim that people are free to organize their lives with no reference to moral values, and to say that society does not have to ensure the protection and advancement of ethical values. Such an attitude is destructive of freedom and peace.
Pope John Paul II
The only ethical principle which has made science possible is that the truth shall be told all the time. If we do not penalize false statements made in error, we open up the way for false statements by intention. And a false statement of fact, made deliberately, is the most serious crime a scientist can commit.
Dorothy L. Sayers (Gaudy Night (Lord Peter Wimsey, #10))
Feminism expects a man to be ethical, emotionally present, and accountable to his values in his actions with women — as well as with other men. Feminism loves men enough to expect them to act more honorably and actually believes them capable of doing so.
Michael S. Kimmel
The president is a nationalist, which is not at all the same thing as a patriot. A nationalist encourages us to be our worst, and then tells us that we are the best. A nationalist, 'although endlessly brooding on power, victory, defeat, revenge,' wrote Orwell, tends to be 'uninterested in what happens in the real world.' Nationalism is relativist, since the only truth is the resentment we feel when we contemplate others. As the novelist Danilo Kiš put it, nationalism 'has no universal values, aesthetic or ethical.' A patriot, by contrast, wants the nation to live up to its ideals, which means asking us to be our best selves. A patriot must be concerned with the real world, which is the only place where his country can be loved and sustained. A patriot has universal values, standards by which he judges his nation, always wishing it well—and wishing that it would do better.
Timothy Snyder (On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century)
You know yourself what you are worth in your own eyes; and at what price you will sell yourself. For men sell themselves at various prices. This is why, when Florus was deliberating whether he should appear at Nero's shows, taking part in the performance himself, Agrippinus replied, 'Appear by all means.' And when Florus inquired, 'But why do not you appear?' he answered, 'Because I do not even consider the question.' For the man who has once stooped to consider such questions, and to reckon up the value of external things, is not far from forgetting what manner of man he is.
Epictetus (The Golden Sayings of Epictetus)
Spirituality is not primarily about values and ethics, not about exhortations to do right or live well. The spiritual traditions are primarily about reality...an effort to penetrate the illusions of the external world and to name its underlying truth.
Parker J. Palmer
There's nothing of any importance in life - except how well you do your work. Nothing. Only that. Whatever else you are, will come from that. It's the only measure of human value. All the codes of ethics they'll try to ram down your throat are just so much paper money put out by swindlers to fleece people of their virtues. The code of competence is the only system of morality that's on a gold standard.
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
Religion, declares the modern man, is consciousness of our highest social values. Nothing could be further from the truth. True religion is a profound uneasiness about our highest social values.
Reinhold Niebuhr (Beyond Tragedy: Essays on the Christian Interpretation of History)
What you feed your soul is what you harvest with your actions.
Shannon L. Alder
As it was, we always misunderstood ourselves and rarely understood others. Experience was of no ethical value. It was merely the name men gave to their mistakes.
Oscar Wilde
Because like all whores you value propriety. You are creature of capitalism, the ethics of which are so totally corrupt and hypocritical that your beauty is no more than the beauty of gold, which is to say false and cold and useless.
E.L. Doctorow (Ragtime)
Speak with caution. Even if someone forgives harsh words you've spoken, they may be too hurt to ever forget them. Don't leave a legacy of pain and regret of things you never should have said.
Germany Kent
Work hard, do your best, live the truth, trust yourself, have some fun...and you'll have no regrets.
Byrd Baggett
Science fiction is held in low regard as a branch of literature, and perhaps it deserves this critical contempt. But if we view it as a kind of sociology of the future, rather than as literature, science fiction has immense value as a mind-stretching force for the creation of the habit of anticipation. Our children should be studying Arthur C. Clarke, William Tenn, Robert Heinlein, Ray Bradbury and Robert Sheckley, not because these writers can tell them about rocket ships and time machines but, more important, because they can lead young minds through an imaginative exploration of the jungle of political, social, psychological, and ethical issues that will confront these children as adults.
Alvin Toffler (Future Shock)
Big Data processes codify the past. They do not invent the future. Doing that requires moral imagination, and that’s something only humans can provide. We have to explicitly embed better values into our algorithms, creating Big Data models that follow our ethical lead. Sometimes that will mean putting fairness ahead of profit.
Cathy O'Neil (Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy)
Freedom is the source from which all significations and all values spring. It is the original condition of all justification of existence.
Simone de Beauvoir (The Ethics of Ambiguity)
The words consent of the governed have become an empty phrase. Our textbooks on political science and economics are obsolete. Our nation has been hijacked by oligarchs, corporations, and a narrow, selfish, political, and economic elite, a small and privileged group that governs, and often steals, on behalf of moneyed interests. This elite, in the name of patriotism and democracy, in the name of all the values that were once part of the American system and defined the Protestant work ethic, has systematically destroyed our manufacturing sector, looted the treasury, corrupted our democracy, and trashed the financial system. During this plundering we remained passive, mesmerized by the enticing shadows on the wall, assured our tickets to success, prosperity, and happiness were waiting around the corner.
Chris Hedges (Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle)
I find something repulsive about the idea of vicarious redemption. I would not throw my numberless sins onto a scapegoat and expect them to pass from me; we rightly sneer at the barbaric societies that practice this unpleasantness in its literal form. There's no moral value in the vicarious gesture anyway. As Thomas Paine pointed out, you may if you wish take on a another man's debt, or even to take his place in prison. That would be self-sacrificing. But you may not assume his actual crimes as if they were your own; for one thing you did not commit them and might have died rather than do so; for another this impossible action would rob him of individual responsibility. So the whole apparatus of absolution and forgiveness strikes me as positively immoral, while the concept of revealed truth degrades the concept of free intelligence by purportedly relieving us of the hard task of working out the ethical principles for ourselves.
Christopher Hitchens (Letters to a Young Contrarian)
To be clear, Goodreads staff have not been deleting any posts. A value we've always had here is that we don't censor content (unless it's against our policies - eg porn, etc). [April 1, 2013]
Otis Y. Chandler
Every man is worth just so much as the things about which he busies himself.
Marcus Aurelius (The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius)
Because here's something else that's weird but true: in the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship--be it JC or Allah, be it YHWH or the Wiccan Mother Goddess, or the Four Noble Truths, or some inviolable set of ethical principles--is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough. It's the truth. Worship your body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly. And when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally grieve you. On one level, we all know this stuff already. It's been codified as myths, proverbs, clichés, epigrams, parables; the skeleton of every great story. The whole trick is keeping the truth up front in daily consciousness. Worship power, you will end up feeling weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to numb you to your own fear. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart, you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out. But the insidious thing about these forms of worship is not that they're evil or sinful, it's that they're unconscious. They are default settings. They're the kind of worship you just gradually slip into, day after day, getting more and more selective about what you see and how you measure value without ever being fully aware that that's what you're doing.
David Foster Wallace (This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life)
The inmost significance of the exaggerated value which is set upon hard work appears to be this: man seems to mistrust everything that is effortless; he can only enjoy, with a good conscience, what he has acquired with toil and trouble; he refused to have anything as a gift.
Josef Pieper (Leisure: The Basis of Culture)
Ethical leaders choose a higher loyalty to those core values over their own personal gain.
James Comey (A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership)
The value judgments we make determine our actions, and upon their validity rests our mental health and happiness.
Erich Fromm (Man for Himself: An Inquiry Into the Psychology of Ethics)
I was raised thinking that moral and ethical standards are universals that apply equally to everyone. And these values aren't easily compatible with the kind of religion that posits a Creator. To my way of thinking, an omnipotent being who sets up a universe in which thinking beings proliferate, grow old, and die (usually in agony, alone, and in fear) is a cosmic sadist.
Charles Stross (The Fuller Memorandum (Laundry Files #3))
It has drowned the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervour, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of Philistine sentimentalism, in the icy water of egotistical calculation. It has resolved personal worth into exchange value, and in place of numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms, it has set up that single, unconscionable freedom -- free trade. In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation.
Karl Marx (The Communist Manifesto)
A value is like a fax machine: it’s not much use if you’re the only one who has one.
Kwame Anthony Appiah (The Ethics of Identity)
Experience was of no ethical value. It was merely the name men gave to their mistakes.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
No matter what type of leader you are or how widespread your influence, you face personal temptations, challenges, and stresses. And only a foundation of character will sustain you and your leadership.
Myles Munroe (The Power of Character in Leadership: How Values, Morals, Ethics, and Principles Affect Leaders)
When you devalue ethics and morals by proclaiming that our attitude toward them should be casual or lenient, you can't be surprised by a rising generation who then behaves disrespectfully, treating life, people, and choices as if they possess little value or worth.  For whether or not that was the intention, society has taught them to believe thusly.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, and Grumblings for Every Day of the Year)
...my classical values make me advocate the triplet of erudition, elegance, and courage; against modernity's phoniness, nerdiness, and philistinism...many philistines reduce my ideas to an opposition of technology when in fact I am opposing the naive blindness to it's side affects - the fragility criterion. I'd rather be unconditional about ethical and conditional about technology than the the reverse.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms)
True morals are a priceless thing that possesses the highest value and can never be bought or sold at any cost.
Abigail Landsbrook
What separates people who made their dreams come true is not setting goals to achieve a life the way they expect it to be, but how they expect to be, in order to achieve it.
Shannon L. Alder
. . . [Nietzsche] had the good manners to despise Christianity, in large part, for what it actually was--above all, for its devotion to an ethics of compassion--rather than allow himself the soothing, self-righteous fantasy that Christianity’s history had been nothing but an interminable pageant of violence, tyranny, and sexual neurosis. He may have hated many Christians for their hypocrisy, but he hated Christianity itself principally on account of its enfeebling solicitude for the weak, the outcast, the infirm, and the diseased; and, because he was conscious of the historical contingency of all cultural values, he never deluded himself that humanity could do away with Christian faith while simply retaining Christian morality in some diluted form, such as liberal social conscience or innate human sympathy.
David Bentley Hart (Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies)
Perhaps too much value is assigned to memory, not enough to thinking. Remembering is an ethical act, has ethical value in and of itself. Memory is, achingly, the only relation we can have with the dead.
Susan Sontag (Regarding the Pain of Others)
In order to live, man must act; in order to act, he must make choices; in order to make choices, he must define a code of values; in order to define a code of values, he must know what he is and where he is – i.e. he must know his own nature (including his means of knowledge) and the nature of the universe in which he acts – i.e. he needs metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, which means: philosophy. He cannot escape from this need; his only alternative is whether the philosophy guiding him is to be chosen by his mind or by chance.
Ayn Rand
That we are not totally transformed, that we can turn away, turn the page, switch the channel, does not impugn the ethical value of an assault by images. It is not a defect that we are not seared, that we do not suffer enough, when we see these images. Neither is the photograph supposed to repair our ignorance about the history and causes of the suffering it picks out and frames. Such images cannot be more than an invitation to pay attention, to reflect, to learn, to examine the rationalizations for mass suffering offered by established powers. Who caused what the picture shows? Who is responsible? Is it excusable? Was it inevitable? Is there some state of affairs which we have accepted up to now that ought to be challenged? All this, with the understanding that moral indignation, like compassion, cannot dictate a course of action.
Susan Sontag (Regarding the Pain of Others)
Children are no longer being parented, but are raised. Thats why they don't have morals, ethics,humanity and manners, because their parents neglected them. We now live in a society that doesnt care about right or wrong.
De philosopher DJ Kyos
Science lacks something very important that religion provides: a moral code. Survival of the fittest is a scientific fact, but it is a cruel ethic; the way of beasts, not a civilized society. Laws can only take us so far, and they must be based upon something—a shared moral code that rises from something. As that moral foundation recedes, so will society’s values.
A.G. Riddle (The Atlantis Gene (The Origin Mystery, #1))
The values most important to us are always the most easily exploitable.
A.J. Darkholme (Rise of the Morningstar (The Morningstar Chronicles, #1))
Without ethics, a human race falls to inhumanity. Ethics determines your real value in this world and the hereafter.
Nazim Ambalath
All the social ills that law presumes to correct exist because people are not free to learn and grow.
Jeremy Locke (The End of All Evil)
The fact that you are feeling unhappy does not entitle you to inflict your bad mood on others.
Joseph Telushkin (The Book of Jewish Values: A Day-by-Day Guide to Ethical Living)
The other great heritage is Christian ethics—the basis of action on love, the brotherhood of all men, the value of the individual, the humility of the spirit. These two heritages are logically, thoroughly consistent.
Richard P. Feynman (The Meaning of It All: Thoughts of a Citizen-Scientist: Thoughts of a Citizen-Scientist)
The New Age movement, for all the validity of its protest and the value of some of its recommendations, is in truth a very old blind alley. There is a very long history to remind us of what happens when nature is our ultimate point of reference . . . . Nature knows no ethics. There is no right and wrong in nature; the controlling realities are power and fertility.
Lesslie Newbigin (Truth to Tell: The Gospel as Public Truth)
The core symbols we use for God represent what we take to be the highest good....These symbols or images shape our worldview, our ethical system, and our social practice--how we relate to one another. For instance, [Elizabeth A.] Johnson suggests that if a religion speaks about God as warrior, using militaristic language such as how "he crushes his enemies" and summoning people to become soldiers in God's army, then the people tend to become militaristic and aggressive. Likewise, if the key symbol of God is that of a male king (without any balancing feminine imagery), we become a culture that values and enthrones men and masculinity.
Sue Monk Kidd (The Dance of the Dissident Daughter: A Woman's Journey from Christian Tradition to the Sacred Feminine)
First of all, you must never speak of anything by its name -- in that country. So, if you see a tree on a mountain, it will be better to say 'Look at the green on the high'; for that's how they talk -- in that country. And whatever you do, you must find a false reason for doing it -- in that country. If you rob a man, you must say it is to help and protect him: that's the ethics -- of that country. And everything of value has no value at all -- in that country. You must be perfectly commonplace if you want to be a genius -- in that country. And everything you like you must pretend not to like; and anything that is there you must pretend is not there -- in that country. And you must always say that you are sacrificing yourself in the cause of religion, and morality, and humanity, and liberty, and progress, when you want to cheat your neighbour -- in that country." Good heavens!" cried Iliel, 'are we going to England?
Aleister Crowley (Moonchild)
Experience was of no ethical value. It was merely the name men gave to their mistakes. Moralists had, as a rule, regarded it as a mode of warning, had claimed for it a certain ethical efficacy in the formation of character, had praised it as something that taught us what to follow and showed us what to avoid. But there was no motive power in experience. It was as little of an active cause as conscience itself. All that it really demonstrated was that our future would be the same as our past, and that the sin we had done once, and with loathing, we would do many times, and with joy.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
World can run without money and currencies but not without business and trade.
Amit Kalantri (Wealth of Words)
A world without esoteric knowledge is a poorer place and we as a humanity pay the price for the loss of its principles.
Belsebuub
...fiction is as useful as truth, for giving us matter, upon which to exercise the judgment of value.
George Edward Moore (Principia Ethica (Philosophical Classics))
Self-serving biases and self-centered agendas are cotton jammed in the ears of our conscience. Even if truth shouts, we can’t hear it.
Craig D. Lounsbrough
all people are Nazis; for the animals it is an eternal Treblinka
Isaac Bashevis Singer
The commandment, 'Love thy neighbour as thyself', is the strongest defence against human aggressiveness and an excellent example of the unpsychological [expectations] of the cultural super-ego. The commandment is impossible to fulfil; such an enormous inflation of love can only lower its value, not get rid of the difficulty. Civilization pays no attention to all this; it merely admonishes us that the harder it is to obey the precept the more meritorious it is to do so. But anyone who follows such a precept in present-day civilization only puts himself at a disadvantage vis-a-vis the person who disregards it. What a potent obstacle to civilization aggressiveness must be, if the defence against it can cause as much unhappiness as aggressiveness itself! 'Natural' ethics, as it is called, has nothing to offer here except the narcissistic satisfaction of being able to think oneself better than others. At this point the ethics based on religion introduces its promises of a better after-life. But so long as virtue is not rewarded here on earth, ethics will, I fancy, preach in vain. I too think it quite certain that a real change in the relations of human beings to possessions would be of more help in this direction than any ethical commands; but the recognition of this fact among socialists has been obscured and made useless for practical purposes by a fresh idealistic misconception of human nature.
Sigmund Freud (Civilization and Its Discontents)
Since the branch of philosophy on which we are at present engaged differs from the others in not being a subject of merely intellectual interest — I mean we are not concerned to know what goodness essentially is, but how we are to become good men, for this alone gives the study its practical value — we must apply our minds to the solution of the problems of conduct.
Aristotle
For a considerable portion of humanity today, it is possible and indeed likely that one's neighbor, one's colleague, or one's employer will have a different mother tongue, eat different food, and follow a different religion than oneself. It is a matter of great urgency, therefore, that we find ways to cooperate with one another in a spirit of mutual acceptance and respect. In such a world, I feel, it is vital for us to find genuinely sustainable and universal approach to ethics, inner values, and personal integrity-an approach that can transcend religious, cultural, and racial differences and appeal to people at a sustainable, universal approach is what I call the project of secular ethics. All religions, therefore, to some extent, ground the cultivation of inner values and ethical awareness in some kind of metaphysical (that is, not empirically demonstrable) understanding of the world and of life after death. And just as the doctrine of divine judgment underlies ethical teachings in many theistic religions, so too does the doctrine of karma and future lives in non-theistic religions. As I see it, spirituality has two dimensions. The first dimension, that of basic spiritual well-being-by which I mean inner mental and emotional strength and balance-does not depend on religion but comes from our innate human nature as beings with a natural disposition toward compassion, kindness, and caring for others. The second dimension is what may be considered religion-based spirituality, which is acquired from our upbringing and culture and is tied to particular beliefs and practices. The difference between the two is something like the difference between water and tea. On this understanding, ethics consists less of rules to be obeyed than of principles for inner self-regulation to promote those aspects of our nature which we recognize as conducive to our own well-being and that of others. It is by moving beyond narrow self-interest that we find meaning, purpose, and satisfaction in life.
Dalai Lama XIV (Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World)
The argument has long been made that we humans are by nature compassionate and empathic despite the occasional streak of meanness, but torrents of bad news throughout history have contradicted that claim, and little sound science has backed it. But try this thought experiment. Imagine the number of opportunities people around the world today might have to commit an antisocial act, from rape or murder to simple rudeness and dishonesty. Make that number the bottom of a fraction. Now for the top value you put the number of such antisocial acts that will actually occur today. That ratio of potential to enacted meanness holds at close to zero any day of the year. And if for the top value you put the number of benevolent acts performed in a given day, the ratio of kindness to cruelty will always be positive. (The news, however, comes to us as though that ratio was reversed.) Harvard's Jerome Kagan proposes this mental exercise to make a simple point about human nature: the sum total of goodness vastly outweighs that of meanness. 'Although humans inherit a biological bias that permits them to feel anger, jealousy, selfishness and envy, and to be rude, aggressive or violent,' Kagan notes, 'they inherit an even stronger biological bias for kindness, compassion, cooperation, love and nurture – especially toward those in need.' This inbuilt ethical sense, he adds, 'is a biological feature of our species.
Daniel Goleman (Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships)
[W]hat counts as ‘realistic’, what seems possible at any point in the social field, is defined by a series of political determinations. An ideological position can never be really successful until it is naturalized, and it cannot be naturalized while it is still thought of as a value rather than a fact. Accordingly, neoliberalism has sought to eliminate the very category of value in the ethical sense. Over the past thirty years, capitalist realism has successfully installed a ‘business ontology’ in which it is simply obvious that everything in society, including healthcare and education, should be run as a business. … [E]mancipatory politics must always destroy the appearance of a ‘natural order’, must reveal what is presented as necessary and inevitable to be a mere contingency, just as it must make what was previously deemed to be impossible seem attainable.
Mark Fisher (Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative?)
The maker of kitsch does not create inferior art, he is not an incompetent or a bungler, he cannot be evaluated by aesthetic standards; rather, he is ethically depraved, a criminal willing radical evil. And since it is radical evil that is manifest here, evil per se, forming the absolute negative pole of every value-system, kitsch will always be evil, not just kitsch in art, but kitsch in every value-system that is not an imitation system.
Hermann Broch
The Good of the People was a laudable enough goal, but in denying a man’s soul, an enduring part of his being, Marxism stripped away the foundation of human dignity and individual value. It also cast aside the objective measure of justice and ethics which, he decided, was the principal legacy of religion to civilized life.
Tom Clancy (The Hunt for Red October (Jack Ryan #3; Jack Ryan Universe #4))
Genuine freedom is not based upon the negative psychology of release. Its roots are in positive acts of dedication to ends and values. Freedom presupposes the autonomous existence of values which men wish to be free to follow and measure up to.
Robert A. Nisbet (The Quest For Community: A Study In The Ethics Of Order And Freedom (Ics Series In Self Governance))
My own concern is primarily the terror and violence carried out by my own state, for two reasons. For one thing, because it happens to be the larger component of international violence. But also for a much more important reason than that; namely, I can do something about it. So even if the U.S. was responsible for 2 percent of the violence in the world instead of the majority of it, it would be that 2 percent I would be primarily responsible for. And that is a simple ethical judgment. That is, the ethical value of one's actions depends on their anticipated and predictable consequences. It is very easy to denounce the atrocities of someone else. That has about as much ethical value as denouncing atrocities that took place in the 18th century.
Noam Chomsky
Truth is its own defense, therefore if something can’t speak for itself, it’s not truth.
Craig D. Lounsbrough
What is good is also divine. Queer as it sounds, that sums up my ethics. Only something supernatural can express the Supernatural.
Ludwig Wittgenstein (Culture and Value)
The notion that human life has greater value than any other form of life is both unjustifiable and arrogant.
Wei Wu Wei
Ethics might be optional, but the consequences are not.
Craig D. Lounsbrough
We know enough to know that all of this is not quite right. And we know enough to know that settling for what’s not quite right is quite wrong.
Craig D. Lounsbrough
Scientific theories never dictate human values, but they can often cast new light on ethical issues. From a sexual selection viewpoint, moral philosophy and political theory have mostly been attempts to shift male human sexual competitiveness from physical violence to the peaceful accumulation of wealth and status. The rights to life, liberty, and property are cultural inventions that function, in part, to keep males from killing and stealing from one another while they compete to attract sexual partners.
Geoffrey Miller (The Mating Mind: How Sexual Choice Shaped the Evolution of Human Nature)
Arguments for preservation based on the beauty of wilderness are sometimes treated as if they were of little weight because they are "merely aesthetic". That is a mistake. We go to great lengths to preserve the artistic treasures of earlier human civilisations. It is difficult to imagine any economic gain that we would be prepared to accept as adequate compensation for, for instance, the destruction of the paintings in the Louvre. How should we compare the aesthetic value of wilderness with that of the paintings in the Louvre? Here, perhaps, judgment does become inescapably subjective; so I shall report my own experiences. I have looked at the paintings in the Louvre, and in many of the other great galleries of Europe and the United States. I think I have a reasonable sense of appreciation of the fine arts; yet I have not had, in any museum, experiences that have filled my aesthetic senses in the way that they are filled when I walk in a natural setting and pause to survey the view from a rocky peak overlooking a forested valley, or by a stream tumbling over moss-covered boulders set amongst tall tree-ferns, growing in the shade of the forest canopy, I do not think I am alone in this; for many people, wilderness is the source of the greatest feelings of aesthetic appreciation, rising to an almost mystical intensity.
Peter Singer (Practical Ethics)
The source of irrational authority, on the other hand, is always power over people. This power can be physical or mental, it can be realistic or only relative in terms of the anxiety and helplessness of the person submitting to this authority. Power on the one side, fear on the other, are always the buttresses on which irrational authority is built. Criticism of the authority is not only required but forbidden. Rational authority is based upon the equality of both authority and subject, which differ only with respect to the degree of knowledge of skill in a praticular field. Irrational authority is by its very nature based on inequality, implying difference in value.
Erich Fromm (Man for Himself: An Inquiry into the Psychology of Ethics)
What makes for a livable world is no idle question. It is not merely a question for philosophers. It is posed in various idioms all the time by people in various walks of life. If that makes them all philosophers, then that is a conclusion I am happy to embrace. It becomes a question for ethics, I think, not only when we ask the personal question, what makes my own life bearable, but when we ask, from a position of power, and from the point of view of distributive justice, what makes, or ought to make, the lives of others bearable? Somewhere in the answer we find ourselves not only committed to a certain view of what life is, and what it should be, but also of what constitutes the human, the distinctively human life, and what does not. There is always a risk of anthropocentrism here if one assumes that the distinctively human life is valuable--or most valuable--or is the only way to think the problem of value. But perhaps to counter that tendency it is necessary to ask both the question of life and the question of the human, and not to let them fully collapse into one another.
Judith Butler
The defense of the Western Canon is in no way a defense of the West or a nationalist enterprise. . . . The greatest enemies of aesthetic and cognitive standards are purported defenders who blather to us about moral and political values in literature. We do not live by the ethics of the Iliad, or by the politics of Plato. Those who teach interpretation have more in common with the Sophists than with Socrates. What can we expect Shakespeare to do for our semiruined society, since the function of Shakespearean drama has so little to do with civic virtue or social justice?
Harold Bloom (The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages)
Life is fundamentally a mental state. We live in a dream world that we create. Whose life is truer, the rational man of action pursuing practical goals of personal happiness and wealth or the philosophic man who lives in a world of theoretical and metaphysical ideas? We ascribe the value quotient to our lives by making decisions that we score as either valid or invalid based upon our personal ethics and how we think and behave.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
I would tell young journalists to be brave and go against the tide. When everyone else is relying on the internet, you should not; when nobody's walking, you should walk; when few people are reading profound books, you should read. ... rather than seeking a plusher life you should pursue some hardship. Eat simple food. When everyone's going for quick results, pursue things of lasting value. Don't follow the crowd; go in the opposite direction. If others are fast, be slow. -- Jin Yongquan
Judy Polumbaum (China Ink: The Changing Face of Chinese Journalism)
ethics is not about platitudes, let alone tautologies, logic or mathematics, but about difficult choices - dilemmas.
Martin Cohen (101 Ethical Dilemmas)
How many times has our conscience firmly prompted us to ‘draw the line,’ and we showed up with an eraser?
Craig D. Lounsbrough
I would rather die by my convictions than die by the culture that defies them.
Craig D. Lounsbrough
Timeless principles never age, and truth is as young as the day it was spoken into existence.
Craig D. Lounsbrough
by identifying his personal ego with the transpersonal in the shape of the collective values, the limited individual loses contact with his own limitations and becomes inhuman.
Erich Neumann (Depth Psychology and a New Ethic)
We work better with authoritative, empathic leaders, and empathic teachers like ourselves, that fit our morals, values, ethics, and principles.
Alexandria Ruffian (INFJ/INFP Personality Type: The Survival Guide to Life)
For the purposes of a pluralist society, the Bible is not about fact. It is about values. If we were a bit more tolerant about allowing the teaching of biblical values as ethics, we’d find far less pressure for the teaching of biblical fables as science.
Charles Krauthammer (Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes, and Politics)
It is ironical that for all the value we give to the rational, life is primarily governed by the irrational. Love is not rational. Sorrow is not rational. Hatred, ambition, rage and greed are irrational. Even ethics, morals and aesthetics are not rational. They depend on values and standards which are ultimately subjective.
Devdutt Pattanaik (Myth = Mithya: A Handbook of Hindu Mythology)
Woman's fear of the female Self, of the experience of the numinous archetypal Feminine, becomes comprehensible when we get a glimpse - or even only a hint – of the profound otherness of female selfhood as contrasted to male selfhood. Precisely that element which, in his fear of the Feminine, the male experiences as the hole, abyss, void, and nothingness turns into something positive for the woman without, however, losing these same characteristics. Here the archetypal Feminine is experienced not as illusion and as maya but rather as unfathomable reality and as life in which above and below, spiritual and physical, are not pitted against each other; reality as eternity is creative and, at the same time, is grounded in primeval nothingness. Hence as daughter the woman experiences herself as belonging to the female spiritual figure Sophia, the highest wisdom, while at the same time she is actualizing her connection with the musty, sultry, bloody depths of swamp-mother Earth. However, in this sort of Self-discovery woman necessarily comes to see herself as different from what presents itself to men -as, for example, spirit and father, but often also as the patriarchal godhead and his ethics. The basic phenomenon - that the human being is born of woman and reared by her during the crucial developmental phases - is expressed in woman as a sense of connectedness with all living things, a sense not yet sufficiently realized, and one that men, and especially the patriarchal male, absolutely lack to the extent women have it. To experience herself as so fundamentally different from the dominant patriarchal values understandably fills the woman with fear until she arrives at that point in her own development where, through experience and love that binds the opposites, she can clearly see the totality of humanity as a unity of masculine and feminine aspects of the Self.
Erich Neumann (The Fear of the Feminine and Other Essays on Feminine Psychology)
[T]hese leaders must not believe they are actually being watched, for their behavior in no way reflects the possible existence of a set of values or ethical laws that supersedes their own dominion.
Arthur C. Clarke (The Garden of Rama (Rama, #3))
Ethics and moralities cover a wide range of values. Such words might sound delightful to someone’s ears or make another feel a sense of peace, yet those are not simple concepts. They come with duties and obligations that could inherently affect entire civilizations.
Hussam Atef Elkhatib (Moralities for Life: Thoughts and Behaviors Justified)
We all appreciate in others the inner qualities of kindness, patience, tolerance, forgiveness, and generosity, and in the same way we are all averse to displays of greed, malice, hatred, and bigotry. The first beneficiaries of such a strengthening our inner values will, no doubt, be ourselves. Our inner lives are something we ignore at our own peril, and many of the greatest problems we face in today's world are the result of such neglect. When a system is sound, its effectiveness depends on the way it is used. So long as people give priority to material values, then injustice, corruption, inequity, intolerance, and greed-all the outward manifestations of neglect of inner values-will persist.
Dalai Lama XIV (Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World)
Survival of the fittest is a scientific fact, but it is a cruel ethic; the way of beasts, not a civilized society. Laws can only take us so far, and they must be based upon something—a shared moral code that rises from something. As that moral foundation recedes, so will society’s values.
A.G. Riddle (The Atlantis Gene (The Origin Mystery, #1))
The truth about idiocy... is that it is at once an ethical and cognitive failure... The Greek idios means 'private,' and idiotes means a private person, as opposed to a person in their public role... This still comes across in the related English words 'idiomatic' and 'idiosyncratic,' which similarly suggest self-enclosure... At the bottom, the idiot is a solipsist.
Matthew B. Crawford (Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work)
Inciting women to rebel against the divine laws of Islam.’ This became the accusation that was leveled against me whenever I wrote or did anything to defend the rights of women against the injustices widespread in society. It followed me wherever I went, step by step, moved through the corridors of government administrations year after year, irrespective of who came to power, or of the regime that presided over the destinies of our people. It was only years later that I began to realized that the men and women who posed as the defenders of Islamic morality and values were most often the ones who were undermining the real ethics and moral principles of society.
Nawal El Saadawi (Walking through Fire: The Later Years of Nawal El Saadawi, In Her Own Words)
It's not about taking a stand, for anyone can do that.  Rather, it's about taking a stand for the right reasons, and taking a stand against taking a stand when they're not. And that’s where more of us need to learn to stand.
Craig D. Lounsbrough
My lessons weren’t specific to business, but they were fundamental values—integrity, humility, responsibility, work ethic, entrepreneurship, a thirst for knowledge, the desire to make a contribution, and concern for others—that profoundly influenced the way I do business and live my life to this day.
Charles G. Koch (Good Profit: How Creating Value for Others Built One of the World's Most Successful Companies)
I value ethical standards, of course. But in a culture like ours – which devalues or dismisses the reality and power of the inner life – ethics too often becomes an external code of conduct, an objective set of rules we are told to follow, a moral exoskeleton we put on hoping to prop ourselves up. The problem with exoskeletons is simple: we can slip them off as easily as we can don them.
Parker J. Palmer
We have power as consumers. We can exercise that power all the time by not choosing to invest time, energy or funds to support the production of mass media images that do not reflect life-enhancing values, that undermine a love ethic.
bell hooks (All About Love: New Visions)
The intellect, like all cultural values, has created an aristocracy based on the possession of rational culture and independent of all personal ethical qualities of man. The aristocracy of intellect is hence an unbrotherly aristocracy.
Max Weber
Added to all this was the emergence of a new set of social values—call it the Protestant ethic—that encouraged the prosperous to equate wealth with virtue and to regard the destitute as responsible for (even predestined to) their predicament.
G.J. Meyer (The Tudors: The Complete Story of England's Most Notorious Dynasty)
After the sureties of youth there sets in a period of intense and intolerable complexity. With the soda-jerker this period is so short as to be almost negligible. Men higher in the scale hold out longer in the attempt to preserve the ultimate niceties of relationship, to retain "impractical" ideas of integrity. But by the late twenties the business has grown too intricate, and what has hitherto been imminent and confusing has become gradually remote and dim. Routine comes down like twilight on a harsh landscape, softening it until it is tolerable. The complexity is too subtle, too varied; the values are changing utterly with each lesion of vitality; it has begun to appear that we can learn nothing from the past with which to face the future - so we cease to be impulsive, convincible men, interested in what is ethically true by fine margins, we substitute rules of conduct for rules of integrity, we value safety above romance, we become, quite unconsciously, pragmatic. It is left to the few to be persistently concerned with the nuances of relationships - and even this few only in certain hours especially set aside for the task.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Beautiful and Damned)
the abandonment of a belief in objective values can cause, at least temporarily, a decay of subjective concern and sense of purpose. That it does so is evidence that the people in whom this reaction occurs have been tending to objectify their concerns and purposes, have been giving them a fictitious external authority. A claim to objectivity has been so strongly associated with their subjective concerns and purposes that the collapse of the former seems to undermine the latter as well.
John Leslie Mackie (Ethics: Inventing Right and Wrong)
A God out there and values out there, if they existed, would be utterly useless and unintelligible to us. There is nothing to be gained by nostalgia for the old objectivism, which was in any case used only to justify arrogance, tyranny, and cruelty. People [forget] ... how utterly hateful the old pre-humanitarianism world was.
Don Cupitt (Crisis Of Moral Authority)
The ethics of reverence for life makes no distinction between higher and lower, more precious and less precious lives. It has good reasons for this omission. For what are we doing, when we establish hard and fast gradations in value between living organisms, but judging them in relation to ourselves, by whether they seem to stand closer to us or farther from us. This is a wholly subjective standard. How can we know what importance other living organisms have in themselves and in terms of the universe?
Albert Schweitzer
All of us, all human beings, are basically inclined or disposes toward what we perceive to be good. Whatever we do, we do because we think it will be of some benefit. At the same time, we all appreciate the kindness of others. We are all, by nature, oriented toward the basic human values of love and compassion. We all prefer the love of others to their hatred. We all prefer others' generosity to their meanness. And who among us does not prefer tolerance, respect, and forgiveness of out failings to bigotry, disrespect, and resentment?
Dalai Lama XIV (Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World)
There are already plenty of people who will take a firm stand on the need to be competely impartial between right and wrong.
Martin Cohen (101 Ethical Dilemmas)
Living by a love ethic we learn to value loyalty and a commitment to sustained bonds over material advancement.
bell hooks (All About Love: New Visions)
There's nothing wrong with asking your partner to take time to show you why you're valued.
Franklin Veaux (More Than Two: A Practical Guide to Ethical Polyamory)
If truth and moral values are relative, one cannot claim that certain human rights are universally applicable to all cultures and all people.
Stephen McAndrew (Why It Doesn't Matter What You Believe If It's Not True: Is There Absolute Truth?)
The psychological analysis of any normal development will make it clear that, if he is to grow up, it is not merely unavoidable but actually essential that the individual should do and assimilate a certain amount of evil, and that he should be able to overcome the conflicts involved in this process. The achievement of independence involves the capacity of the ego not only to adopt the values of the collective but often also to secure the fulfilment of those needs of the individual which run counter to collective values – and this entails doing evil.
Erich Neumann (Depth Psychology and a New Ethic)
Education that gives priority to measurement rather than values, to efficiency rather than conscience, to information rather than ethics, provides no barrier to barbarity and violence. The Holocaust was perpetrated by a society of the most disciplined, highly educated people on earth.
Dee Hock (Autobiography of a Restless Mind: Reflections on the Human Condition)
The value of our exegesis and hermeneutics will be tested by their capacity to produce persons and communities whose character is commensurate with Jesus Christ and thereby pleasing to God.22
Richard B. Hays (The Moral Vision of the New Testament: Community, Cross, New CreationA Contemporary Introduction to New Testament Ethic)
Whatever our way out of this mess, one thing is certain. This degree of inequality, this withdrawal of opportunity, this cold denial of basic needs, this endorsement of pointless suffering—by no American value is this situation justified. No moral code or ethical principle, no piece of scripture or holy teaching, can be summoned to defend what we have allowed our country to become.
Matthew Desmond (Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City)
But we can’t make policies based on religion when religion means different things to different people. Which leaves science. The science of reproduction is what it is. Conception is conception. You can decide the ethical value that has for you, based on your own relationship with God…but the policies around basic human rights with regard to reproduction shouldn’t be up for interpretation.
Jodi Picoult (A Spark of Light)
Remembering is an ethical act, has ethical value in and of itself. Memory is, achingly, the only relation we can have with the dead. So the belief that remembering is an ethical act is deep in our natures as humans, who know we are going to die, and who mourn those who in the normal course of things die before us—grandparents, parents, teachers, and older friends. Heartlessness and amnesia seem to go together. But history gives contradictory signals about the value of remembering in the much longer span of a collective history. There is simply too much injustice in the world. And too much remembering (of ancient grievances: Serbs, Irish) embitters. To make peace is to forget. To reconcile, it is necessary that memory be faulty and limited. If the goal is having some space in which to live one’s own life, then it is desirable that the account of specific injustices dissolve into a more general understanding that human beings everywhere do terrible things to one another. *   *   * P
Susan Sontag (Regarding the Pain of Others)
Modern societies accepted the treasures and the power offered them by science. But they have not accepted - they have scarcely even heard - its profounder message: the defining of a new and unique source of truth, and the demand for a thorough revision of ethical premises, for a complete break with the animist tradition, the definitive abandonment of the 'old covenant', the necessity of forging a new one. Armed with all the powers, enjoying all the riches they owe to science, our societies are still trying to live by and to teach systems of values already blasted at the root by science itself.
Jacques Monod
The source of a Christian ethic is not the reality of one’s own self, not the reality of the world, nor is it the reality of norms and values. It is the reality of God that is revealed in Jesus Christ.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Ethics (Works, Vol 6))
Remember, as you look at yourself, to look kindly, and also remember that you are not balancing a checkbook: anything you see that you don’t like, or that you want to change, is not a debit that you subtract from your virtues. When you learn to reflect on your strengths, it becomes easier to look at your weaknesses with acceptance and compassion. Keep your virtues at their full value and cherish them.
Dossie Easton (The Ethical Slut: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships, and Other Freedoms in Sex and Love)
We must recognize the fact that philosophy at the present time is entirely at an impasse concerning the problem of the origin of values. This theoretical failure is reflected in the practical antinomy between submission and rebellion that infects the daily concerns of education, politics, and ethics. If no decision can be made at this level, we must retrace our steps, extricate ourselves from the impasse, and try to gain access, by means of a nonethical approach, to the problem of autonomy and obedience.
Paul Ricœur (The Conflict of Interpretations)
In Shivaite tradition, the god's companions are described as a troupe of freakish, adventurous, delinquent and wild young people, who prowl in the night, shouting in the storm, singing, dancing and ceaselessly playing outrageous tricks on sages and gods. They are called Ganas, the "Vagabonds", corresponding to the Cretan Korybantes and the Celtic Korrigans (fairies' sons). Like the Sileni and Satyrs, some of them have goats' or birds' feet. The Ganas mock the rules of ethics and social order. They personify the joy of living, courage and imagination, which are all youthful values. They live in harmony with nature and oppose the destructive ambition of the city and the deceitful moralism which both hides and expresses it. These delinquents of heaven are always there to restore true values and to assist the "god-mad" who are persecuted and mocked by the powerful. They personify everything which is feared by and displeases bourgeois society, and which is contrary to the good morale of a well-policed city and its palliative concepts.
Alain Daniélou (Gods of Love and Ecstasy: The Traditions of Shiva and Dionysus)
This primary question of life organization is immensely important. If making money is the main goal, a person can often forget what his or her true interests are or how he or she wants to deserve recognition from others. It is much more difficult to add on other values to a life that started out with just making money in mind than it is to make some personally interesting endeavor financially possible or even profitable.
Pekka Himanen (The Hacker Ethic: A Radical Approach to the Philosophy of Business)
There is a word that comes to my mind when I think about our company and our people. That word is 'love.' I love Starbucks because everything we've tried to do is steeped in humanity. Respect and dignity. Passion and laughter. Compassion, community, and responsibility. Authenticity. These are Starbucks' touchstones, the source of our pride. Valuing personal connections at a time when so many people sit alone in front of screens; aspiring to build human relationships in an age when so many issues polarize so many; and acting ethically, even if it costs more, when corners are routinely cut--these are honorable pursuits, at the core of what we set out to be.
Howard Schultz (Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul)
No matter where you go, there’s always something to deal with; if it’s not greed, it’s lust, or envy, or pride, or something else. You just have to live your life so uncorrupted that it offsets the corruption as much as possible.
A.J. Darkholme (Rise of the Morningstar (The Morningstar Chronicles, #1))
There are few people who are mature enough to uphold moral and ethical values; who have a remarkable character; who are honest and sincere; who cultivate and harbor loyalty, devotion and dedication by rendering a striking admiration.
Sandeep N. Tripathi
Ultimately, the source of our problems lies at the level of the individual. If people lack moral values and integrity, no system of laws and regulations will be adequate. So long as people give priority to material values, then injustice, corruption, inequity, intolerance, and greed—all the outward manifestations of neglect of inner values—will persist.
Dalai Lama XIV (Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World)
One way to distinguish philosophy from other disciplines is to see that the problems posed by philosophy are distinct from those of other disciplines. 카톡【AKR331】텔레【RDH705】위커【SPR705】라인【98K33】 Even until the 18th century, mathematics and physics were perceived as natural philosophy rather than philosophy and independent science. 수면제,무조건 피하지 마라… 복용법 지키면 먹는데 도움이 되는 수면제 졸피뎀 스틸녹스 복용방법 제품정보 소개해드리겠습니다 정품수면제 추천해드릴테니 위 카톡 텔레 라인등으로 추가해서 구입문의주세요 The inherent problems of philosophy can be summed up by the four questions of Manuel Kant as an 18th century philosopher. What do I know ?: The main problem of epistemology. How is the external object recognized? Is the external thing real? Is there a real existence that exists independently of human perception ability? How can human perception respond to reality in "out there"? How is awareness formed? What are the criteria by which one consciousness can be true? And how can we acquire knowledge from true awareness? On the other hand, the problem posed by metaphysics can not be solved by most human recognition methods. Does God exist? Does the beginning and end of the universe exist? Is time and space continuous? 수면제는 불면증 초기에 일주일에 3일 이상 잠을 제대로 못자 피로와 스트레스가 심하다면 불면증이라고 생각하고 수면제를 복용을 고려해봐야한다 What should I do?: Ethics major problems. Is there a difference between right and wrong? If so, how can we prove it? In real situations, how do we apply theoretical ideas to right and wrong? What do I want?: The main problem of art philosophy (aesthetics). What kind of pleasure does art give to humans? What is beauty? Where is the value of a work of art? What is human ?: The main problem of social philosophy. How does man make society? How is the state established and how does it operate?
One way to distinguish philosophy from other disciplines is to see that the problems posed by philos
The deflation, or flattening out, of values in Modern art does not necessarily indicate an ethical nihilism. Quite the contrary; in opening our eyes to the rejected elements of existence, art may lead us to a more complete and less artificial celebration of the world.
William Barrett (Irrational Man: A Study in Existential Philosophy)
It would be an undoubted advantage if we were to leave God out altogether and honestly admit the purely human origin of all the regulations and precepts of civilization. Along with their pretended sanctity, these commandments and laws would lose their rigidity and unchangeableness as well. People could understand that they are made, not so much to rule them as, on the contrary, to serve their interests; and they would adopt a more friendly attitude to them, and instead of aiming at their abolition, would aim only at their improvement.
Sigmund Freud (The Future of an Illusion)
The opposition’s means, used against us, are always immoral and our means are always ethical and rooted in the highest of human values. George Bernard Shaw, in Man and Superman, pointed out the variations in ethical definitions by virtue of where you stand. Mendoza said to Tanner, “I am a brigand; I live by robbing the rich.” Tanner replied, “I am a gentleman; I live by robbing the poor. Shake hands.” The
Saul D. Alinsky (Rules for Radicals)
Man has rights because they are natural rights. They are grounded in the nature of man: the individual's capacity for conscious choice, the necessity for him to use his mind and energy to adopt goals and values, to find out about the world, to pursue his ends in order to survive and prosper, his capacity and need to communicate and interact with other human beings and to participate in the division of labor.
Murray N. Rothbard
There's a saying that you can't put a price on a human life, but that saying is a lie because we have. We have, and it's so much lower than you would think. Yes, human life has its price like anything else, and will continue to do so for as long as it doubles as a commodity.
Nenia Campbell (Cease and Desist (The IMA, #4))
Many conflict-resolution professionals stress the value of curiosity, accompanied by active listening. Many conflicts can be avoided or de-escalated if the parties involved are willing to set aside their prejudgments—and the intense feelings connected to them—and ask a question. And then be curious about the actual answer. Not just any question, though. The question should be genuine and open-ended, a serious request for more information about another person's feelings, intentions or motivations. It should not be a choice between predefined alternatives, or an accusation followed by a demand for a response. It should be, as much as possible, unburdened from what you think will be the answer. That means being curious about what it really is.
Eve Rickert (More Than Two: A Practical Guide to Ethical Polyamory)
You know, kid, ethics isn't about choosing between right and wrong; it's about choosing between grey and grey. It's about choosing between two equally desirable but mutually exclusive courses of action. Freedom or security? Courage or comfort? Self-examination or blissful happiness? Column A or Column B?
Will Ferguson (Happiness)
When we commit daily to offering our love, living in integrity, truth and values, we are more easily in tune to live our purpose …. We live our ethical life in all aspects; family, friends and business. Our spirit and body are always with us. In IHood, we choose to honor spiritual behavior over that of our body.
Jill Little (IHood: Our GPS for Living)
Many young people are morally at sea. They resent the ethical demands of "society" as infringements of their personal freedom. They believe that their rights as individuals include the right to "create their own values," but they cannot explain what that means, aside from the right to do as they please. They cannot seem to grasp the idea that "values" imply some principle of moral obligation. They insist that they owe nothing to "society"--an abstraction that dominates their attempts to think about social and moral issues. If they con-form to social expectations, it is only because conformity offers the line of least resistance.
Christopher Lasch (The Revolt of the Elites and the Betrayal of Democracy)
A man goes to a foreign country and kills somebody who's not aggressing against him; in a Hawaiian shirt he's a criminal, in a green costume he's a hero who gets a parade and a pension. So that, as a culture, we remain in a state of moral insanity. To point out these contradictions to people in society is to be labeled insane. This is how insane society remains, that anybody who points out logical opposites in the most essential human topic of ethics, is considered to be insane.
Stefan Molyneux
A lesson I learned from this ancient culture is the notion of megalopsychon (a term expressed in Aristotle’s ethics), a sense of grandeur that was superseded by the Christian value of “humility.” There is no word for it in Romance languages; in Arabic it is called Shhm—best translated as nonsmall. If you take risks and face your fate with dignity, there is nothing you can do that makes you small; if you don’t take risks, there is nothing you can do that makes you grand, nothing.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder)
the genes of modern-day Africans are a treasure house for all humanity. They possess our species’ greatest reservoir of genetic diversity, of which further study will shed new light on the heredity of the human body and mind. Perhaps the time has come, in light of this and other advances in human genetics, to adopt a new ethic of racial and hereditary variation, one that places value on the whole of diversity rather than on the differences composing the diversity. It would give proper measure to our species’ genetic variation as an asset, prized for the adaptability it provides all of us during an increasingly uncertain future. Humanity is strengthened by a broad portfolio of genes that can generate new talents, additional resistance to diseases, and perhaps even new ways of seeing reality. For scientific as well as for moral reasons, we should learn to promote human biological diversity for its own sake instead of using it to justify prejudice and conflict.
Edward O. Wilson (The Social Conquest of Earth)
A spirit of license makes a man refuse to commit himself to any standards. The right time is the way he sets his watch. The yardstick has the number of inches that he wills it to have. Liberty becomes license, and unbounded license leads to unbounded tyranny. When society reaches this stage, and there is no standard of right and wrong outside of the individual himself, then the individual is defenseless against the onslaught of cruder and more violent men who proclaim their own subjective sense of values. Once my idea of morality is just as good as your idea of morality, then the morality that is going to prevail is the morality that is stronger.
Fulton J. Sheen (On Being Human: Reflections on Life and Living)
The colonial world is a Manichean world. It is not enough for the settler to delimit physically, that is to say with the help of the army and the police force, the place of the native. As if to show the totalitarian character of colonial exploitation the settler paints the native as a sort of quintessence of evil. Native society is not simply described as a society lacking in values. It is not enough for the colonist to affirm that those values have disappeared from, or still better never existed in, the colonial world. The native is declared insensible to ethics; he represents not only the absence of values, but also the negation of values. He is, let us dare to admit, the enemy of values, and in this sense he is the absolute evil. He is the corrosive element, destroying all that comes near him; he is the deforming element, disfiguring all that has to do with beauty or morality; he is the depository of maleficent powers, the unconscious and irretrievable instrument of blind forces.
Frantz Fanon
See, I focus my efforts against the terror and violence of my own state for really two main reasons. First of all, in my case the actions of my state happen to make up the main component of international violence in the world. But much more importantly than that, it's because American actions are the things that I can do something about. So even if the United States were causing only a tiny fraction of the repression and violence in the world-which obviously is very far from the truth-that tiny fraction would still be what I'm responsible for, and what I should focus my efforts against. And that's based on a very simple ethical principle-namely, that the ethical value of one's actions depends on their anticipated consequences for human beings: I think that's kind of like a fundamental moral truism... Again, it's a very simple ethical point: you are responsible for the predictable consequences of your actions, you're not responsible for the predictable consequences of somebody else's actions.
Noam Chomsky (Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky)
It is proposed that happiness be classified as a psychiatric disorder and be included in future editions of the major diagnostic manuals under the new name: major affective disorder, pleasant type. In a review of the relevant literature it is shown that happiness is statistically abnormal, consists of a discrete cluster of symptoms, is associated with a range of cognitive abnormalities, and probably reflects the abnormal functioning of the central nervous system. One possible objection to this proposal remains—that happiness is not negatively valued. However, this objection is dismissed as scientifically irrelevant. —RICHARD BENTALL, Journal of Medical Ethics, 1992
Lori Gottlieb (Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed)
In accord with the stories spun by dog whistle politicians, many whites have come to believe that they prosper because they possess the values, orientations, and work ethic needed by the self-making individual in a capitalist society. In contrast, they have come to suppose that nonwhites, lacking these attributes, slip to the bottom, handicapped by their inferior cultures and pushed down by the market’s invisible hand, where they remain, beyond the responsibility, or even ability, of government to help.
Ian F. Haney-López (Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class)
Routine comes down like twilight on a harsh landscape, softening it until it is tolerable. The complexity is too subtle, too varied; the values are changing utterly with each lesion of vitality; it has begun to appear that we can learn nothing from the past with which to face the future—so we cease to be impulsive, convincible men, interested in what is ethically true by fine margins, we substitute rules of conduct for ideas of integrity, we value safety above romance, we become, quite unconsciously, pragmatic.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Beautiful and Damned)
Values are no longer the premise by which we shape our lives. Rather, they have become the pitifully abhorrent and wholly illegitimate obstacle to our desires. We have labeled them as some dusty set of antiquated ideals. These ideals served a generation that lived out its days in the backwaters of an ignorance fed comatose by intellectual stupor. Therefore, their value rests only in their removal so that hitherto unexplored horizons can be freely ascended. The problem is that we have yet to discern a horizon from a cliff.
Craig D. Lounsbrough
The moral attitudes of dominant and privileged groups are characterised by universal selfdeception and hypocrisy. The unconscious and conscious identification of their special interests with general interests and universal values, which we have noted in analysing national attitudes, is equally obvious in the attitude of classes. The reason why privileged classes are more hypocritical than underprivileged ones is that special privilege can be defended in terms of the rational ideal of equal justice only, by proving that it contributes something to the good of the whole. Since inequalities of privilege are greater than could possibly be defended rationally, the intelligence of privileged groups is usually applied to the task of inventing specious proofs for the theory that universal values spring from, and that general interests are served by, the special privileges which they hold.
Reinhold Niebuhr (Moral Man and Immoral Society: A Study in Ethics and Politics)
The problem is that moderates of all faiths are committed to reinterpreting, or ignoring outright, the most dangerous and absurd parts of their scripture—and this commitment is precisely what makes them moderates. But it also requires some degree of intellectual dishonesty, because moderates can’t acknowledge that their moderation comes from outside the faith. The doors leading out of the prison of scriptural literalism simply do not open from the inside. In the twenty-first century, the moderate’s commitment to scientific rationality, human rights, gender equality, and every other modern value—values that, as you say, are potentially universal for human beings—comes from the past thousand years of human progress, much of which was accomplished in spite of religion, not because of it. So when moderates claim to find their modern, ethical commitments within scripture, it looks like an exercise in self-deception. The truth is that most of our modern values are antithetical to the specific teachings of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. And where we do find these values expressed in our holy books, they are almost never best expressed there. Moderates seem unwilling to grapple with the fact that all scriptures contain an extraordinary amount of stupidity and barbarism that can always be rediscovered and made holy anew by fundamentalists—and there’s no principle of moderation internal to the faith that prevents this. These fundamentalist readings are, almost by definition, more complete and consistent—and, therefore, more honest. The fundamentalist picks up the book and says, “Okay, I’m just going to read every word of this and do my best to understand what God wants from me. I’ll leave my personal biases completely out of it.” Conversely, every moderate seems to believe that his interpretation and selective reading of scripture is more accurate than God’s literal words. Presumably, God could have written these books any way He wanted. And if He wanted them to be understood in the spirit of twenty-first-century secular rationality, He could have left out all those bits about stoning people to death for adultery or witchcraft. It really isn’t hard to write a book that prohibits sexual slavery—you just put in a few lines like “Don’t take sex slaves!” and “When you fight a war and take prisoners, as you inevitably will, don’t rape any of them!” And yet God couldn’t seem to manage it. This is why the approach of a group like the Islamic State holds a certain intellectual appeal (which, admittedly, sounds strange to say) because the most straightforward reading of scripture suggests that Allah advises jihadists to take sex slaves from among the conquered, decapitate their enemies, and so forth.
Sam Harris (Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue)
The undermining of Christian faith, systematically pursued by Western cultural and political elites, does not lead to some sort of secular Utopia with its own “neutral” morality, but to the rise of religious beliefs other than Christianity, which will bring their own – often opposite - moral values. On the clean slate of atheism anything can be written, even sharia law.
Giorgio Roversi (The Amorality of Atheism)
Laissez-faire capitalism, or anarchocapitalism, is simply the economic form of the libertarian ethic. Laissez-faire capitalism encompasses the notion that men should exchange goods and services, without regulation, solely on the basis of value for value. It recognizes charity and communal enterprises as voluntary versions of this same ethic. Such a system would be straight barter, except for the widely felt need for a division of labor in which men, voluntarily, accept value tokens such as cash and credit. Economically, this system is anarchy, and proudly so.
Karl Hess
In a society that dreads old age and death, aging holds a special terror for those who fear dependence and whose' self-esteem requires the admiration usually reserved for youth, beauty, celebrity, or charm. The usual defenses against the ravages of age—identification with ethical or artistic values beyond one's immediate interests, intellectual curiosity, the consoling emotional warmth derived from happy relationships in the past—can do nothing for the narcissist. Unable to derive whatever com-fort comes from identification with historical continuity, he finds it impossible, on the contrary, "to accept the fact that a younger generation now possesses many of the previously cherished gratifications of beauty, wealth, power and, particularly, creativity. To be able to enjoy life in a process involving a growing identification with other people's happiness and achievements is tragically beyond the capacity of narcissistic personalities.
Christopher Lasch (The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in An Age of Diminishing Expectations)
Because here’s something else that’s weird but true: in the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship–be it JC or Allah, be it YHWH or the Wiccan Mother Goddess, or the Four Noble Truths, or some inviolable set of ethical principles–is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough. It’s the truth. Worship your body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly. And when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally grieve you. On one level, we all know this stuff already. It’s been codified as myths, proverbs, clichés, epigrams, parables; the skeleton of every great story. The whole trick is keeping the truth up front in daily consciousness. Worship power, you will end up feeling weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to numb you to your own fear. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart, you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out. But the insidious thing about these forms of worship is not that they’re evil or sinful, it’s that they’re unconscious. They are default settings. They’re the kind of worship you just gradually slip into, day after day, getting more and more selective about what you see and how you measure value without ever being fully aware that that’s what you’re doing.
David Foster Wallace
The spiritualist or the idealist believes in a spiritual essence of force; spiritual, that is to say phantomatic, inexplicable. The man of materialist science is an unbeliever. Nowhere does a scientific justification exist either for belief or unbelief. Materialism has the advantage that it is not seeking the transcendental, the essence, the cause, the force behind phenomena nor that beyond matter. But when he misconstrues the distinction between force and matter, when he denies the existence of the whole problem, he merely slips around behind idealism. The materialist asserts the real indivisibility of matter and force and to explain their seperation, gives value solely to "an exterior reason, born of the need for systemisation of our consciousness.
Joseph Dietzgen (Philosophical Essays on Socialism and Science, Religion, Ethics; Critique-of-Reason and the World-at-Large)
this president is unethical, and untethered to truth and institutional values. His leadership is transactional, ego driven, and about personal loyalty. We are fortunate some ethical leaders have chosen to serve and to stay at senior levels of government, but they cannot prevent all of the damage from the forest fire that is the Trump presidency. Their task is to try to contain it.
James Comey (A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership)
The four major branches of philosophy – metaphysics (the study of reality); epistemology (the study of knowledge); politics (the study of state power); and ethics (the study of virtue) – are like the plumbing that delivers water to your sink. Aqueducts, sewers, piping – these all only have value insofar as they enable you to turn on a tap in your house and actually get some clean water. Metaphysics,
Stefan Molyneux (Essential Philosophy: How to know what on earth is going on)
In my dreams, I entered a world where success was based on ethics and proper dealings, not bribes and scams. My vision of sucess including marrying Sophia, having joyful children, unassuming friends, and warmhearted neighbors. I aspired for an environment where I would be valued for my good character, not the strength of my aggression. I wanted to leave West Beirut, the four square miles of a lesser world.
Sam Wazan (Trapped in Four Square Miles)
Even people who consider themselves sex-positive and sexually liberated often fall into a different trap—the trap of rationalizing sex. Releasing physical tension, relieving menstrual cramps, maintaining mental health, preventing prostate problems, making babies, cementing relationships, and so on are all admirable goals, and wonderful side benefits of sex. But they are not what sex is for. People have sex because it feels very good, and then they feel good about themselves. Pleasure is a complete and worthwhile goal in and of itself: the worthiness of pleasure is one of the core values of ethical sluthood.
Dossie Easton (The Ethical Slut: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships, and Other Freedoms in Sex and Love)
I would invite any Christian to accompany me to the children's ward of a hospital, to watch the suffering that is there being endured, and then to persist in the assertion that those children are so morally abandoned as to deserve what they are suffering. In order to bring himself to say this, a man must destroy in himself all feelings of mercy and compassion. He must, in short, make himself as cruel as the God in whom he believes. No man who believes that all is for the best in this suffering world can keep his ethical values unimpaired, since he is always having to find excuses for pain and misery.     The
Bertrand Russell (Why I Am Not a Christian)
I saw the figure of 178 Billion wasted/stolen from the people of a country by its corrupt and inept government. Such a figure could truly transform the entire country; education, health, roads, schooling, entrepreneurial environment... of millions of people, rather than be secreted away as a few more 0000's in global bank accounts for the greeders. We need to Rethink Public Service, Values, Ethics and Leadership.
Tony Dovale
At the fourth, the fractal (or viral, or radiant) stage of value, there is no point of reference at all, and value radiates in all directions, occupying all interstices, without reference to anything whatsoever, by virtue of pure contiguity. At the fractal stage there is no longer any equivalence, whether natural or general. Properly speaking there is now no law of value, merely a sort of epidemic of value, a sort of general metastasis of value, a haphazard proliferation and dispersal of value. Indeed, we should really no longer speak of 'value' at all, for this kind of propagation or chain reaction makes all valuation possible.
Jean Baudrillard (The Transparency of Evil: Essays in Extreme Phenomena)
Another is that the findings demonstrate that happiness is not the surplus of pleasant over unpleasant moments. Rather, happiness consists in seeing one’s life in its entirety as meaningful and worthwhile. There is an important cognitive and ethical component to happiness. Our values make all the difference to whether we see ourselves as ‘miserable slaves to a baby dictator’ or as ‘lovingly nurturing a new life’.2 As Nietzsche put it, if you have a why to live, you can bear almost any how. A meaningful life can be extremely satisfying even in the midst of hardship, whereas a meaningless life is a terrible ordeal no matter how comfortable it is.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
We are all obligated to show respect, and we deserve to be respected as well. It is worrying when we see children don't show respect to their parents, teachers, and elders, and it is more worrying when adults don't take action. Catching this misbehavior from an early age and correcting it helps raise a child who watches his words and attitude all of his life, and so we raise a healthy human being who knows how to add to life, not to ruin it.
Noora Ahmed Alsuwaidi
Liberals are more likely to see people as victims of circumstance and oppression, and doubt whether individuals can climb without governmental help. My own analysis using 2005 survey data from Syracuse University shows that about 90 percent of conservatives agree that “While people may begin with different opportunities, hard work and perseverance can usually overcome those disadvantages.” Liberals — even upper-income liberals — are a third less likely to say this.
Arthur C. Brooks
Men would no longer be victims of nature or of their own largely irrational societies: reason would triumph; universal harmonious cooperation, true history, would at last begin. For if this was not so, do the ideas of progress, of history, have any meaning? Is there not a movement, however tortuous, from ignorance to knowledge, from mythical thought and childish fantasies to perception of reality face to face, to knowledge of true goals, true values as well as truths of fact? Can history be a mere purposeless succession of events, caused by a mixture of material factors and the play of random selection, a tale full of sound and fury signifying nothing? This was unthinkable. The day would dawn when men and women would take their lives in their own hands and not be self-seeking beings or the playthings of blind forces that they did not understand. It was, at the very least, not impossible to conceive that such an earthly paradise could be; and if conceivable we could, at any rate, try to march towards it. That has been at the centre of ethical thought from the Greeks to the Christian visionaries of the Middle Ages, from the Renaissance to progressive thought in the last century; and indeed, is believed by many to this day.
Isaiah Berlin (The Crooked Timber of Humanity: Chapters in the History of Ideas)
Cultures have tried to teach a malign and apparently persuasive lie: that the most important metric of a good life is wealth and the luxury and power it brings. The rich think they live better when they are even richer. In America and many other places they use their wealth politically, to persuade the public to elect or accept leaders who will do that for them. They say that the justice we have imagined is socialism that threatens our freedom. Not everyone is gullible: many people lead contented lives without wealth. But many others are persuaded; they vote for low taxes to keep the jackpot full in case they too can win it, even though that is a lottery they are almost bound to lose. Nothing better illustrates the tragedy of an unexamined life: there are no winners in this macabre dance of greed and delusion. No respectable or even intelligible theory of value supposes that making and spending money has any value or importance in itself and almost everything people buy with that money lacks any importance as well. The ridiculous dream of a princely life is kept alive by ethical sleepwalkers. And they in turn keep injustice alive because their self-contempt breeds a politics of contempt for others. Dignity is indivisible.
Ronald Dworkin (Justice for Hedgehogs)
Despite my admiration for scientific knowledge, I am not an adherent of scientism. For scientism dogmatically asserts the authority of scientific knowledge; whereas I do not believe in any authority and have always resisted dogmatism; and I continue to resist it, especially in science. I am opposed to the thesis that the scientist must believe in his theory. As far as I am concerned “I do not believe in belief,” as E. M. Forster says; and I especially do not believe in belief in science. I believe at most that belief has a place in ethics, and even here only in a few instances. I believe, for example, that objective truth is a value — that is, an ethical value, perhaps the greatest value there is — and that cruelty is the greatest evil.
Karl Popper (In Search of a Better World: Lectures and Essays from Thirty Years)
The whole tradition of [oral] story telling is endangered by modern technology. Although telling stories is a very fundamental human attribute, to the extent that psychiatry now often treats 'narrative loss' -- the inability to construct a story of one's own life -- as a loss of identity or 'personhood,' it is not natural but an art form -- you have to learn to tell stories. The well-meaning mother is constantly frustrated by the inability of her child to answer questions like 'What did you do today?' (to which the answer is usually a muttered 'nothing' -- but the 'nothing' is cover for 'I don't know how to tell a good story about it, how to impose a story shape on the events'). To tell stories, you have to hear stories and you have to have an audience to hear the stories you tell. Oral story telling is economically unproductive -- there is no marketable product; it is out with the laws of patents and copyright; it cannot easily be commodified; it is a skill without monetary value. And above all, it is an activity requiring leisure -- the oral tradition stands squarely against a modern work ethic....Traditional fairy stories, like all oral traditions, need the sort of time that isn't money. "The deep connect between the forests and the core stories has been lost; fairy stories and forests have been moved into different categories and, isolated, both are at risk of disappearing, misunderstood and culturally undervalued, 'useless' in the sense of 'financially unprofitable.
Sara Maitland (Gossip from the Forest)
When one speaks of religion influencing public policy, the immediate question is, Whose religion? If one subscribes to the notion that this is in some sense a Christian society, then the question becomes, Whose Christianity? Without some basic agreement religiously, the entrance of religion into the public arena would seem to be a formula for open-ended conflict and possible anarchy. Yet, in the absence of a public ethic, we arrive at that point where, in Alisdair MacIntyre's arresting phrase, "politics becomes civil war carried on by other means." MacIntyre believes that we have already reached that point, and he may be right. A major problem, however, is that a public ethic cannot be reestablished unless it is informed by religiously grounded values. . . . It is important to note that, unlike Rousseau, for example, the founders thought the conventional religions could manage this role of ancillary reinforcement. They did not think it necessary to construct a new "civil religion" for the maintenance of republican virtue.
Richard John Neuhaus (The Naked Public Square: Religion and Democracy in America)
It is clear that something is seriously lacking in the way we humans are going about things. But what is it that we lack? The fundamental problem, I believe, is that at every level we are giving too much attention to the external, material aspects of life while neglecting moral ethics and inner values. By inner values, I mean the qualities that we all appreciate in others, and toward which we all have a natural instinct, bequeathed by our biological nature as animals that survive and thrive only in an environment of concern, affection, and warm-heartedness-or in a single word, compassion. The essence of compassion is a desire to alleviate the suffering of others and to promote their well-being. This is the spiritual principle from which all other positive inner value emerge.
Dalai Lama XIV (Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World)
A land ethic of course cannot prevent the alteration, management, and use of these resources, but it does affirm their right to continued existence, and at least in spots, their continued existence in a natural state. In short, a land ethic changes the role of Homo Sapiens from conqueror of the land-community to plain member and citizen of it. If the land mechanism as a whole is good, then every part is good, whether we understand it or not. If the biota, in the course of eons, has built something we like but do not understand, then who but a fool would discard seemingly useless parts? To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent tinkering. A system of conservation based solely on economic self-interest is hopelessly lopsided. It tends to ignore, and thus eventually to eliminate, many elements in the land community that lack commercial value but that are essential to its healthy functioning. It assumes, falsely, I think, that the economic parts of the biotic clock will function without the uneconomic parts.
Aldo Leopold
Findings demonstrate that happiness is not the surplus of pleasant over unpleasant moments. Rather, happiness consists in seeing one’s life in its entirety as meaningful and worthwhile. There is an important cognitive and ethical component to happiness. Our values make all the difference to whether we see ourselves as ‘miserable slaves to a baby dictator’ or as ‘lovingly nurturing a new life’. 2 As Nietzsche put it, if you have a why to live, you can bear almost any how. A meaningful life can be extremely satisfying even in the midst of hardship, whereas a meaningless life is a terrible ordeal no matter how comfortable it is. Though people in all cultures and eras have felt the same type of pleasures and pains, the meaning they have ascribed to their experiences has probably varied widely.
Yuval Noah Harari
The view implicit in my education was that the basic narrative of Christianity had long been exposed as a myth, and that opinion was now divided as to whether its ethical teaching was of present value, a division in which the main weight went against it; religion was a hobby which some people professed and others did not; at the best it was slightly ornamental, at the worst it was the province of 'complexes' and 'inhibitions'--catchwords of the decade--and of the intolerance, hypocrisy, and sheer stupidity attributed to it for centuries.
Evelyn Waugh (Brideshead Revisited)
We are among the first peoples in human history who do not broadly inherit religious identity as a given, a matter of kin and tribe, like hair color and hometown. But the very fluidity of this—the possibility of choice that arises, the ability to craft and discern one’s own spiritual bearings—is not leading to the decline of spiritual life but its revival. It is changing us, collectively. It is even renewing religion, and our cultural encounter with religion, in counterintuitive ways. I meet scientists who speak of a religiosity without spirituality—a reverence for the place of ritual in human life, and the value of human community, without a need for something supernaturally transcendent. There is something called the New Humanism, which is in dialogue about moral imagination and ethical passions across boundaries of belief and nonbelief. But I apprehend— with a knowledge that is as much visceral as cognitive— that God is love. That somehow the possibility of care that can transform us— love muscular and resilient— is an echo of a reality behind reality, embedded in the creative force that gives us life.
Krista Tippett (Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living)
It’s not some romanticized Atticus Finch-type picnic. You’d probably love it, the whole risk of it all, but it’s not without a price. Out there in this city when you pass the bar, it’s all broken dreams and out-of-reach stars. You have to be brilliant, and you have to throw away your social life, your hobbies, but more than that you can’t get your moral values mixed up with legal ethics. They’ll both clash whenever you least expect it, and when you hit a crossroad you have to know when to go left or right or when to just blindly go forward… can you do that?
Rebecca McNutt (Bittersweet Symphony)
It took a couple of months before we were both convinced there were no rules about sexual activities in Hell and our spouses were not going to show up out of the blue. It was hard to start a sexual relationship in circumstances of such bizarre uncertainty, especially for an active Mormon and a good Christian, both lost in a Zoroastrian Hell. We were like virgin newlyweds. All my life I’d been raised to believe this kind of thing was wrong. All my life I had lived with a strong sense of morality. How do you give it up? How do you do things you thought you’d never do? Where do all the things you believed go, when all the supporting structure is found to be a myth? How do you know how or on what to take a moral stand, how do you behave when it turns out there are no cosmic rules, no categorical imperatives? It was difficult. So tricky to untangle.
Steven L. Peck (A Short Stay in Hell)
Among this bewildering multiplicity of ideals which shall we choose? The answer is that we shall choose none. For it is clear that each one of these contradictory ideals is the fruit of particular social circumstances. To some extent, of course, this is true of every thought and aspiration that has ever been formulated. Some thoughts and aspirations, however, are manifestly less dependent on particular social circumstances than others. And here a significant fact emerges: all the ideals of human behaviour formulated by those who have been most successful in freeing themselves from the prejudices of their time and place are singularly alike. Liberation from prevailing conventions of thought, feeling and behaviour is accomplished most effectively by the practice of disinterested virtues and through direct insight into the real nature of ultimate reality. (Such insight is a gift, inherent in the individual; but, though inherent, it cannot manifest itself completely except where certain conditions are fulfilled. The principal pre-condition of insight is, precisely, the practice of disinterested virtues.) To some extent critical intellect is also a liberating force. But the way in which intellect is used depends upon the will. Where the will is not disinterested, the intellect tends to be used (outside the non-human fields of technology, science or pure mathematics) merely as an instrument for the rationalization of passion and prejudice, the justification of self-interest. That is why so few even of die acutest philosophers have succeeded in liberating themselves completely from the narrow prison of their age and country. It is seldom indeed that they achieve as much freedom as the mystics and the founders of religion. The most nearly free men have always been those who combined virtue with insight. Now, among these freest of human beings there has been, for the last eighty or ninety generations, substantial agreement in regard to the ideal individual. The enslaved have held up for admiration now this model of a man, now that; but at all times and in all places, the free have spoken with only one voice. It is difficult to find a single word that will adequately describe the ideal man of the free philosophers, the mystics, the founders of religions. 'Non-attached* is perhaps the best. The ideal man is the non-attached man. Non-attached to his bodily sensations and lusts. Non-attached to his craving for power and possessions. Non-attached to the objects of these various desires. Non-attached to his anger and hatred; non-attached to his exclusive loves. Non-attached to wealth, fame, social position. Non-attached even to science, art, speculation, philanthropy. Yes, non-attached even to these. For, like patriotism, in Nurse Cavel's phrase, 'they are not enough, Non-attachment to self and to what are called 'the things of this world' has always been associated in the teachings of the philosophers and the founders of religions with attachment to an ultimate reality greater and more significant than the self. Greater and more significant than even the best things that this world has to offer. Of the nature of this ultimate reality I shall speak in the last chapters of this book. All that I need do in this place is to point out that the ethic of non-attachment has always been correlated with cosmologies that affirm the existence of a spiritual reality underlying the phenomenal world and imparting to it whatever value or significance it possesses.
Aldous Huxley (Ends and Means)
The way they were treated should make you angry,” Richard said as he started away, “but not because you share an attribute with them.” Taken aback by his words, even looking a little hurt, Jennsen didn’t move. “What do you mean?” Richard paused and turned back to her. “That’s how the Imperial Order thinks. That’s how Owen’s people think. It’s a belief in granting disembodied prestige, or the mantle of guilt, to all those who share some specific trait or attribute. “The Imperial Order would like you to believe that your virtue, your ultimate value, or even your wickedness, arises entirely from being born a member of a given group, that free will itself is either impotent or nonexistent. They want you to believe that all people are merely interchangeable members of groups that share fixed, preordained characteristics, and they are predestined to live through a collective identity, the group will, unable to rise on individual merit because there can be no such thing as independent, individual merit, only group merit. “They believe that people can only rise above their station in life when selected to be awarded recognition because their group is due an indulgence, and so a representative, a stand-in for the group, must be selected to be awarded the badge of self-worth. Only the reflected light off this badge, they believe, can bring the radiance of self-worth to others of their group. “But those granted this badge live with the uneasy knowledge that it’s only an illusion of competence. It never brings any sincere self-respect because you can’t fool yourself. Ultimately, because it is counterfeit, the sham of esteem granted because of a connection with a group can only be propped up by force. “This belittling of mankind, the Order’s condemnation of everyone and everything human, is their transcendent judgment of man’s inadequacy. “When you direct your anger at me for having a trait borne by someone else, you pronounce me guilty for their crimes. That’s what happens when people say I’m a monster because our father was a monster. If you admire someone simply because you believe their group is deserving, then you embrace the same corrupt ethics. “The Imperial Order says that no individual should have the right to achieve something on his own, to accomplish what someone else cannot, and so magic must be stripped from mankind. They say that accomplishment is corrupt because it is rooted in the evil of self-interest, therefore the fruits of that accomplishment are tainted by its evil. This is why they preach that any gain must be sacrificed to those who have not earned it. They hold that only through such sacrifice can those fruits be purified and made good. “We believe, on the other hand, that your own individual life is the value and its own end, and what you achieve is yours. “Only you can achieve self-worth for yourself. Any group offering it to you, or demanding it of you, comes bearing chains of slavery.
Terry Goodkind (Naked Empire (Sword of Truth, #8))
I AM WRITING IN A time of great anxiety in my country. I understand the anxiety, but also believe America is going to be fine. I choose to see opportunity as well as danger. Donald Trump’s presidency threatens much of what is good in this nation. We all bear responsibility for the deeply flawed choices put before voters during the 2016 election, and our country is paying a high price: this president is unethical, and untethered to truth and institutional values. His leadership is transactional, ego driven, and about personal loyalty. We are fortunate some ethical leaders have chosen to serve and to stay at senior levels of government, but they cannot prevent all of the damage from the forest fire that is the Trump presidency. Their task is to try to contain it. I see many so-called conservative commentators, including some faith leaders, focusing on favorable policy initiatives or court appointments to justify their acceptance of this damage, while deemphasizing the impact of this president on basic norms and ethics. That strikes me as both hypocritical and morally wrong. The hypocrisy is evident if you simply switch the names and imagine that a President Hillary Clinton had conducted herself in a similar fashion in office. I’ve said this earlier but it’s worth repeating: close your eyes and imagine these same voices if President Hillary Clinton had told the FBI director, “I hope you will let it go,” about the investigation of a senior aide, or told casual, easily disprovable lies nearly every day and then demanded we believe them. The hypocrisy is so thick as to almost be darkly funny. I say this as someone who has worked in law enforcement for most of my life, and served presidents of both parties. What is happening now is not normal. It is not fake news. It is not okay.
James Comey (A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership)
Many of us draw lines which we intend never to cross. But life tests our resolve, mercilessly at times, and a foot budges, nudged past that thinly-drawn line. So we draw another, resolving never to cross this one. Days grow dark and fog creeps in to blind our view, clouding the reason for the line’s existence from our minds. We draw another mark, ashamed that the last was crossed with less coaxing than we imagined it would require. Shadows and doubts give further need to draw a new line, and then another and another. Lines, I think, are too slim and obscure to be dependable deterrents for behavior. Too often, too easily, people stumble into places they later regret entering. What, then, keeps some individuals from crossing those narrow lines? It is the power of values. For if a person possessing values were to step one foot outside their line, they would be forced to release hands with those inflexible values and consciously abandon them. But their values are persuasive, keeping a tight grip, warding off the luring temptations beckoning one to test the line. Thus values maintained keep a person safely away from areas they dare not travel, steering a life between the lines, enhancing willpower and shaping mighty strength of character.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Slaying Dragons: Quotes, Poetry, & a few Short Stories for Every Day of the Year)
But hell can endure for only a limited period, and life will begin again one day. History may perhaps have an end; but our task is not to terminate it but to create it, in the image of what we henceforth know to be true. Art, at least, teaches us that man cannot be explained by history alone and that he also finds a reason for his existence in the order of nature. For him, the great god Pan is not dead. His most instinctive act of rebellion, while it affirms the value and the dignity common to all men, obstinately claims, so as to satisfy its hunger for unity, an integral part of the reality whose name is beauty. One can reject all history and yet accept the world of the sea and the stars. The rebels who wish to ignore nature and beauty are condemned to banish from history everything with which they want to construct the dignity of existence and of labor. Every great reformer tries to create in history what Shakespeare, Cervantes, Moliere, and Tolstoy knew how to create: a world always ready to satisfy the hunger for freedom and dignity which every man carries in his heart. Beauty, no doubt, does not make revolutions. But a day will come when revolutions will have need of beauty. The procedure of beauty, which is to contest reality while endowing it with unity, is also the procedure of rebellion. Is it possible eternally to reject injustice without ceasing to acclaim the nature of man and the beauty of the world? Our answer is yes. This ethic, at once unsubmissive and loyal, is in any event the only one that lights the way to a truly realistic revolution. In upholding beauty, we prepare the way for the day of regeneration when civilization will give first place—far ahead of the formal principles and degraded values of history—to this living virtue on which is founded the common dignity of man and the world he lives in, and which we must now define in the face of a world that insults it.
Albert Camus (The Rebel)
So far I have not said much about objectivity, though earlier chapters have had a good deal to do with it. If an Archimedean point could be found and practical reason, or human interests, could be shown to involve a determinate ethical outlook, then ethical thought would be objective, in the sense that it would have been given an objective foundation. Those are possibilities—or they might have turned out to be possibilities—within the perspective of practical reason. Very often, however, discussions of objectivity come into moral philosophy from a different starting point, from an interest in comparing ethical beliefs with knowledge and claims to truth of other kinds, for instance with scientific beliefs. Here a rather different conception of objectivity is involved. It is naturally associated with such questions as what can make ethical beliefs true, and whether there is any ethical knowledge. It is in this field of comparisons that various distinctions between fact and value are located.
Bernard Williams (Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy)
It was Daisuke's conviction that all morality traced its origins to social realities. He believed there could be no greater confusion of cause and effect than to attempt to conform social reality to a rigidly predetermined notion of morality. Accordingly, he found the ethical education conducted by lecture in Japanese schools utterly meaningless. In the schools, students were either instructed in the old morality or crammed with a morality suited to the average European. For an unfortunate people beset by the fierce appetites of life, this amounted to nothing more than vain, empty talk. When the recipients of this education saw society before their eyes, they would recall those lectures and burst out laughing. Or else they would feel that they had been made fools of. In Daisuke's case it was not just school; he had received the most rigorous and least functional education from his father. Thanks to this, he had at one time experienced acute anguish stemming from contradictions. Daisuke even felt bitter over it.
Natsume Sōseki (And Then)
presidency weaker and Congress and the courts stronger, just as the forest fire of Watergate did. There is a lot of good in that. Thoughtful people are staring at the vicious partisanship that has grown all around us. Far from creating a new norm where lying is widely accepted, the Trump presidency has ignited a focus on truth and ethics. Parents are talking to their children about truth-telling, about respect for all people, about rejecting prejudice and hate. Schools and religious institutions are talking about values-driven leadership. The next president, no matter the party, will surely emphasize values—truth, integrity, respect, and tolerance—in ways an American leader hasn’t needed to for more than forty years. The fire will make something good grow. I wrote this book because I hope it will be useful to people living among the flames who are thinking about what comes next. I also hope it will be useful to readers long after the flames are doused, by inspiring them to choose a higher loyalty, to find truth among lies, and to pursue ethical leadership.
James Comey (A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership)
Science has marched forward. But civilization’s values remain rooted in philosophies, religious traditions, and ethical frameworks devised many centuries ago. Even our economic system, capitalism, is half a millennium old. The first stock exchange opened in 1602 in Amsterdam. By 1637, tulip mania had caused the first speculation bubble and crash. And not a lot has changed. Virtually every business stills uses the double-entry bookkeeping and accounting adopted in thirteenth –century Venice. So our daily dealings are still heavily influenced by ideas that were firmly set before anyone knew the world was round. In many ways, they reflect how we understood the world when we didn’t understand the world at all.
Carl Safina (The View from Lazy Point: A Natural Year in an Unnatural World)
The attempt made in recent decades by secularist thinkers to disengage the moral principles of western civilization from their scripturally based religious context, in the assurance that they could live a life of their own as "humanistic" ethics, has resulted in our "cut flower culture." Cut flowers retain their original beauty and fragrance, but only so long as they retain the vitality that they have drawn from their now-severed roots; after that is exhausted, they wither and die. So with freedom, brotherhood, justice, and personal dignity — the values that form the moral foundation of our civilization. Without the life-giving power of the faith out of which they have sprung, they possess neither meaning nor vitality.
Will Herberg (Judaism and Modern Man - An Interpretation of Jewish Religion)
It is my conviction that, with the spread of true scientific culture, whatever may be the medium, historical, philological, philosophical, or physical, through which that culture is conveyed, and with its necessary concomitant, a constant elevation of the standard of veracity, the end of the evolution of theology will be like its beginning—it will cease to have any relation to ethics. I suppose that, so long as the human mind exists, it will not escape its deep-seated instinct to personify its intellectual conceptions. The science of the present day is as full of this particular form of intellectual shadow-worship as is the nescience of ignorant ages. The difference is that the philosopher who is worthy of the name knows that his personified hypotheses, such as law, and force, and ether, and the like, are merely useful symbols, while the ignorant and the careless take them for adequate expressions of reality. So, it may be, that the majority of mankind may find the practice of morality made easier by the use of theological symbols. And unless these are converted from symbols into idols, I do not see that science has anything to say to the practice, except to give an occasional warning of its dangers. But, when such symbols are dealt with as real existences, I think the highest duty which is laid upon men of science is to show that these dogmatic idols have no greater value than the fabrications of men's hands, the stocks and the stones, which they have replaced.
Thomas Henry Huxley (The Evolution Of Theology: An Anthropological Study)
AM WRITING IN A time of great anxiety in my country. I understand the anxiety, but also believe America is going to be fine. I choose to see opportunity as well as danger. Donald Trump’s presidency threatens much of what is good in this nation. We all bear responsibility for the deeply flawed choices put before voters during the 2016 election, and our country is paying a high price: this president is unethical, and untethered to truth and institutional values. His leadership is transactional, ego driven, and about personal loyalty. We are fortunate some ethical leaders have chosen to serve and to stay at senior levels of government, but they cannot prevent all of the damage from the forest fire that is the Trump presidency. Their task is to try to contain it.
James Comey (A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership)
The beliefs and behaviour of the Restoration reflect the theories of society put forward by Thomas Hobbes in The Leviathan, which was written in exile in Paris and published in 1651. Like many texts of the time, The Leviathan is an allegory. It recalls mediaeval rather than Renaissance thinking. The leviathan is the Commonwealth, society as a total organism, in which the individual is the absolute subject of state control, represented by the monarch. Man - motivated by self-interest - is acquisitive and lacks codes of behaviour. Hence the necessity for a strong controlling state, 'an artificial man', to keep discord at bay. Self-interest and stability become the keynotes of British society after 1660, the voice of the new middle-class bourgeoisie making itself heard more and more in the expression of values, ideals, and ethics.
Ronald Carter (The Routledge History of Literature in English: Britain and Ireland)
Parent and Teacher Actions: 1. Ask children what their role models would do. Children feel free to take initiative when they look at problems through the eyes of originals. Ask children what they would like to improve in their family or school. Then have them identify a real person or fictional character they admire for being unusually creative and inventive. What would that person do in this situation? 2. Link good behaviors to moral character. Many parents and teachers praise helpful actions, but children are more generous when they’re commended for being helpful people—it becomes part of their identity. If you see a child do something good, try saying, “You’re a good person because you ___.” Children are also more ethical when they’re asked to be moral people—they want to earn the identity. If you want a child to share a toy, instead of asking, “Will you share?” ask, “Will you be a sharer?” 3. Explain how bad behaviors have consequences for others. When children misbehave, help them see how their actions hurt other people. “How do you think this made her feel?” As they consider the negative impact on others, children begin to feel empathy and guilt, which strengthens their motivation to right the wrong—and to avoid the action in the future. 4. Emphasize values over rules. Rules set limits that teach children to adopt a fixed view of the world. Values encourage children to internalize principles for themselves. When you talk about standards, like the parents of the Holocaust rescuers, describe why certain ideals matter to you and ask children why they’re important. 5. Create novel niches for children to pursue. Just as laterborns sought out more original niches when conventional ones were closed to them, there are ways to help children carve out niches. One of my favorite techniques is the Jigsaw Classroom: bring students together for a group project, and assign each of them a unique part. For example, when writing a book report on Eleanor Roosevelt’s life, one student worked on her childhood, another on her teenage years, and a third on her role in the women’s movement. Research shows that this reduces prejudice—children learn to value each other’s distinctive strengths. It can also give them the space to consider original ideas instead of falling victim to groupthink. To further enhance the opportunity for novel thinking, ask children to consider a different frame of reference. How would Roosevelt’s childhood have been different if she grew up in China? What battles would she have chosen to fight there?
Adam M. Grant (Originals: How Nonconformists Move the World)
Where did secular liberalism go wrong? It has been undone by its own ideas. The first idea is that matters of conscience — religion, ethics, and values — are private matters. The privatizing of conscience started with two important principles: religion should be separated from the state and people should not be forced to believe one way or the other. But it went further to say that belief has no place in the public sphere. Conscience belongs in homes and houses of worship, not in the marketplace. By making conscience private, secular liberals had hoped to prevent believers from introducing sectarian beliefs into politics. But of course they couldn’t, since freedom of belief means believers are free to speak their minds in public. Instead, secularism imposed a gag order on itself. Because “private” is equated with “personal” and “subjective,” questions of conscience were placed out of bounds of serious critical evaluation. … … The mistake lies in thinking that because conscience is free from coercion, it must be free from criticism, reason, truth, or independent, objective standards of right and wrong. The indispensable principle of freedom of belief has mutated into an unthinking assumption that matters of belief are immune to critical public inquiry and shared evaluative norms.
Austin Dacey
Since money or other resources must be withdrawn from possible alternative uses to finance the supposedly desirable public goods, the only relevant and appropriate question is whether or not these alternative uses to which the money could be put (that is, the private goods which could have been acquired but now cannot be bought because the money is being spent on public goods instead) are more valuable—more urgent—than the public goods. And the answer to this question is perfectly clear. In terms of consumer evaluations, however high its absolute level might be, the value of the public goods is relatively lower than that of the competing private goods because if one had left the choice to the consumers (and had not forced one alternative upon them), they evidently would have preferred spending their money differently (otherwise no force would have been necessary).
Hans-Hermann Hoppe (The Economics and Ethics of Private Property: Studies in Political Economy and Philosophy, 2nd Edition)
When it comes to specifying the values particular to paganism, people have generally listed features such as these: an eminently aristocratic conception of the human individual; an ethics founded on honor (“shame” rather than “sin”); an heroic attitude toward life’s challenges; the exaltation and sacralization of the world, beauty, the body, strength, health; the rejection of any “worlds beyond”; the inseparability of morality and aesthetics; and so on. From this perspective, the highest value is undoubtedly not a form of “justice” whose purpose is essentially interpreted as flattening the social order in the name of equality, but everything that can allow a man to surpass himself. To paganism, it is pure absurdity to consider the results of the workings of life’s basic framework as unjust. In the pagan ethic of honor, the classic antithesis noble vs. base, courageous vs. cowardly, honorable vs. dishonorable, beautiful vs. deformed, sick vs. healthy, and so forth, replace the antithesis operative in a morality based on the concept of sin: good vs. evil, humble vs. vainglorious, submissive vs. proud, weak vs. arrogant, modest vs. boastful, and so on. However, while all this appears to be accurate, the fundamental feature in my opinion is something else entirely. It lies in the denial of dualism.
Alain de Benoist (On Being A Pagan)
The domestic dog is an ancient companion of humans, and it is possible that domestication was taking place as we ourselves were emerging as a separate species. This helps us understand the close and symbiotic relationship between dogs and humans. I think it is reasonable to say that our attitude to animals and to nature is part of what defines us as humans. When we are in harmony with nature and treat other species with respect, we elevate ourselves as human beings. I believe this is a spiritual and ethical matter. Of course, Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, and many indigenous and ancient religions endorse this attitude, but I think it applies whatever your personal belief system. Respect for nature and kindness to animals are, I believe, fundamental human values, just as respect for and kindness to other people should be. I hope that the stories which follow help to illustrate that belief as it is actually lived, and hopefully, does so in an entertaining way.
Stewart McFarlane (Of Mice and Zen. Animal Encounters in the Life of a Wandering Buddhist)
philosopher has given a rational, objectively demonstrable, scientific answer to the question of why man needs a code of values. So long as that question remained unanswered, no rational, scientific, objective code of ethics could be discovered or defined. The greatest of all philosophers, Aristotle, did not regard ethics as an exact science; he based his ethical system on observations of what the noble and wise men of his time chose to do, leaving unanswered the questions of: why they chose to do it and why he evaluated them as noble and wise. Most philosophers took the existence of ethics for granted, as the given, as a historical fact, and were not concerned with discovering its metaphysical cause or objective validation. Many of them attempted to break the traditional monopoly of mysticism in the field of ethics and, allegedly, to define a rational, scientific, nonreligious morality. But their attempts consisted of trying to justify them on social grounds,
Ayn Rand (The Virtue of Selfishness)
The nationalist, however loves his own kind as the extension of his family, realizing that universal values are primitive values or no values at all; that men can be free and content only within their native cultural environment. This profound insight completely escapes the immature internationalists. The nationalist seeks peace— not the peace of the pacifist or the slave but the peace of the free and independent. He believes in nonaggression, nonintervention and neutrality whereas the internationalist sees every dispute anywhere in the world as an excuse for the raising of an army, the floating of a bond issue and the raising of taxes—letting the suckers, of course, do the fighting, the buying of bonds and the paying of taxes. Nationalism is the only sane approach to the problem of world peace in an increasingly crazy and dangerous world. It is the spirit of live and let live, the healthy ethic of self-respect, racial integrity and conscientious concern for the rights of others.
Willis Carto (An Appeal to Reason: a Compendium of the Writings of Willis A. Carto)
My Standard of Performance—the values and beliefs within it—guided everything I did in my work at San Francisco and are defined as follows: Exhibit a ferocious and intelligently applied work ethic directed at continual improvement; demonstrate respect for each person in the organization and the work he or she does; be deeply committed to learning and teaching, which means increasing my own expertise; be fair; demonstrate character; honor the direct connection between details and improvement, and relentlessly seek the latter; show self-control, especially where it counts most—under pressure; demonstrate and prize loyalty; use positive language and have a positive attitude; take pride in my effort as an entity separate from the result of that effort; be willing to go the extra distance for the organization; deal appropriately with victory and defeat, adulation and humiliation (don’t get crazy with victory nor dysfunctional with loss); promote internal communication that is both open and substantive (especially under stress); seek poise in myself and those I lead; put the team’s welfare and priorities ahead of my own; maintain an ongoing level of concentration and focus that is abnormally high; and make sacrifice and commitment the organization’s trademark.
Bill Walsh (The Score Takes Care of Itself)
This is the apotheosis of capitalism, the divine sanction of the free market, of unhindered profit and the most rapacious cruelties of globalization. Corporations, rapidly turning America into an oligarchy, have little interest in Christian ethics, or anybody’s ethics. They know what they have to do, as the titans of the industry remind us, for their stockholders. They are content to increase profit at the expense of those who demand fair wages, health benefits, safe working conditions and pensions. This new oligarchic class is creating a global marketplace where all workers, to compete, will have to become like workers in dictatorships such as China: denied rights, their wages dictated to them by the state, and forbidden from organizing or striking. America once attempted to pull workers abroad up to American levels, to foster the building of foreign labor unions, to challenge the abuse of workers in factories that flood the American market with cheap goods. But this new class seeks to reduce the American working class to the levels of this global serfdom. After all, anything that drains corporate coffers is a loss of freedom—the God-given American freedom to exploit other human beings to make money. The marriage of this gospel of prosperity with raw, global capitalism, and the flaunting of the wealth and privilege it brings, are supposedly blessed and championed by Jesus Christ. Compassion is relegated to private, individual acts of charity or left to churches. The callousness of the ideology, the notion that it in any way reflects the message of the gospels, which were preoccupied with the poor and the outcasts, illustrates how the new class has twisted Christian scripture to serve America’s god of capitalism and discredited the Enlightenment values we once prized. The
Chris Hedges (American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War On America)
Dear father, It's been five years today, but makes no difference! Not a day goes by without me remembering your pure green eyes, the tone of your voice singing In Adighabza, or your poems scattered all around the house. Dear father, from you I have learned that being a girl doesn't mean that I can't achieve my dreams, no matter how crazy or un-urban they might seem. That you raised me with the utmost of ethics and morals and the hell with this cocooned society, if it doesn't respect the right to ask and learn and be, just because I'm a girl. Dear father, from you I have learned to respect all mankind, and just because you descend from a certain blood or ethnicity, it doesn't make you better than anybody else. It's you, and only you, your actions, your thoughts, your achievements, are what differentiates you from everybody else. At the same time, thank you for teaching me to respect and value where I came from, for actually taking me to my hometown Goboqay, for teaching me about my family tree, how my ancestors worked hard and fought for me to be where I am right now, and to continue on with the legacy and make them all proud. Dear father, from you and mom, I have learned to speak in my mother tongue. A gift so precious, that I have already made a promise to do the same for my unborn children. Dear father, from you I have learned to be content, to fear Allah, to be thankful for all that I have, and no matter what, never loose faith, as it's the only path to solace. Dear father, from you I have learned that if a person wants to love you, then let them, and if they hurt you, be strong and stand your ground. People will respect you only if you respect yourself. Dear father, I'm pretty sure that you are proud of me, my sisters and our dear dear Mom. You have a beautiful grand daughter now and a son in-law better than any brother I would have ever asked for. Till we meet again, Shu wasltha'3u. الله يرحمك يا غالي. (الفاتحة) على روحك الطاهرة.
Larissa Qat
In the Middle Ages, marriage was considered a sacrament ordained by God, and God also authorised the father to marry his children according to his wishes and interests. An extramarital affair was accordingly a brazen rebellion against both divine and parental authority. It was a mortal sin, no matter what the lovers felt and thought about it. Today people marry for love, and it is their inner feelings that give value to this bond. Hence, if the very same feelings that once drove you into the arms of one man now drive you into the arms of another, what’s wrong with that? If an extramarital affair provides an outlet for emotional and sexual desires that are not satisfied by your spouse of twenty years, and if your new lover is kind, passionate and sensitive to your needs – why not enjoy it? But wait a minute, you might say. We cannot ignore the feelings of the other concerned parties. The woman and her lover might feel wonderful in each other’s arms, but if their respective spouses find out, everybody will probably feel awful for quite some time. And if it leads to divorce, their children might carry the emotional scars for decades. Even if the affair is never discovered, hiding it involves a lot of tension, and may lead to growing feelings of alienation and resentment. The most interesting discussions in humanist ethics concern situations like extramarital affairs, when human feelings collide. What happens when the same action causes one person to feel good, and another to feel bad? How do we weigh the feelings against each other? Do the good feelings of the two lovers outweigh the bad feelings of their spouses and children? It doesn’t matter what you think about this particular question. It is far more important to understand the kind of arguments both sides deploy. Modern people have differing ideas about extramarital affairs, but no matter what their position is, they tend to justify it in the name of human feelings rather than in the name of holy scriptures and divine commandments. Humanism has taught us that something can be bad only if it causes somebody to feel bad. Murder is wrong not because some god once said, ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ Rather, murder is wrong because it causes terrible suffering to the victim, to his family members, and to his friends and acquaintances. Theft is wrong not because some ancient text says, ‘Thou shalt not steal.’ Rather, theft is wrong because when you lose your property, you feel bad about it. And if an action does not cause anyone to feel bad, there can be nothing wrong about it. If the same ancient text says that God commanded us not to make any images of either humans or animals (Exodus 20:4), but I enjoy sculpting such figures, and I don’t harm anyone in the process – then what could possibly be wrong with it? The same logic dominates current debates on homosexuality. If two adult men enjoy having sex with one another, and they don’t harm anyone while doing so, why should it be wrong, and why should we outlaw it? It is a private matter between these two men, and they are free to decide about it according to their inner feelings. In the Middle Ages, if two men confessed to a priest that they were in love with one another, and that they never felt so happy, their good feelings would not have changed the priest’s damning judgement – indeed, their happiness would only have worsened the situation. Today, in contrast, if two men love one another, they are told: ‘If it feels good – do it! Don’t let any priest mess with your mind. Just follow your heart. You know best what’s good for you.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow)
The ethic of autonomy is based on the idea that people are, first and foremost, autonomous individuals with wants, needs, and preferences. People should be free to satisfy these wants, needs, and preferences as they see fit, and so societies develop moral concepts such as rights, liberty, and justice, which allow people to coexist peacefully without interfering too much in each other’s projects. This is the dominant ethic in individualistic societies. You find it in the writings of utilitarians such as John Stuart Mill and Peter Singer11 (who value justice and rights only to the extent that they increase human welfare), and you find it in the writings of deontologists such as Kant and Kohlberg (who prize justice and rights even in cases where doing so may reduce overall welfare). But as soon as you step outside of Western secular society, you hear people talking in two additional moral languages. The ethic of community is based on the idea that people are, first and foremost, members of larger entities such as families, teams, armies, companies, tribes, and nations. These larger entities are more than the sum of the people who compose them; they are real, they matter, and they must be protected. People have an obligation to play their assigned roles in these entities. Many societies therefore develop moral concepts such as duty, hierarchy, respect, reputation, and patriotism. In such societies, the Western insistence that people should design their own lives and pursue their own goals seems selfish and dangerous—a sure way to weaken the social fabric and destroy the institutions and collective entities upon which everyone depends. The ethic of divinity is based on the idea that people are, first and foremost, temporary vessels within which a divine soul has been implanted.12 People are not just animals with an extra serving of consciousness; they are children of God and should behave accordingly. The body is a temple, not a playground. Even if it does no harm and violates nobody’s rights when a man has sex with a chicken carcass, he still shouldn’t do it because it degrades him, dishonors his creator, and violates the sacred order of the universe. Many societies therefore develop moral concepts such as sanctity and sin, purity and pollution, elevation and degradation. In such societies, the personal liberty of secular Western nations looks like libertinism, hedonism, and a celebration of humanity’s baser instincts.13
Jonathan Haidt (The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion)
Free spirits, the ambitious, ex-socialists, drug users, and sexual eccentrics often find an attractive political philosophy in libertarianism, the idea that individual freedom should be the sole rule of ethics and government. Libertarianism offers its believers a clear conscience to do things society presently restrains, like make more money, have more sex, or take more drugs. It promises a consistent formula for ethics, a rigorous framework for policy analysis, a foundation in American history, and the application of capitalist efficiencies to the whole of society. But while it contains substantial grains of truth, as a whole it is a seductive mistake. . . . The most fundamental problem with libertarianism is very simple: freedom, though a good thing, is simply not the only good thing in life. . . . Libertarians try to get around this fact that freedom is not the only good thing by trying to reduce all other goods to it through the concept of choice, claiming that everything that is good is so because we choose to partake of it. Therefore freedom, by giving us choice, supposedly embraces all other goods. But this violates common sense by denying that anything is good by nature, independently of whether we choose it. . . . So even if the libertarian principle of “an it harm none, do as thou wilt,” is true, it does not license the behavior libertarians claim. Consider pornography: libertarians say it should be permitted because if someone doesn’t like it, he can choose not to view it. But what he can’t do is choose not to live in a culture that has been vulgarized by it. . . . There is no need to embrace outright libertarianism just because we want a healthy portion of freedom, and the alternative to libertarianism is not the USSR, it is America’s traditional liberties. . . . Paradoxically, people exercise their freedom not to be libertarians. The political corollary of this is that since no electorate will support libertarianism, a libertarian government could never be achieved democratically but would have to be imposed by some kind of authoritarian state, which rather puts the lie to libertarians’ claim that under any other philosophy, busybodies who claim to know what’s best for other people impose their values on the rest of us. . . . Libertarians are also naïve about the range and perversity of human desires they propose to unleash. They can imagine nothing more threatening than a bit of Sunday-afternoon sadomasochism, followed by some recreational drug use and work on Monday. They assume that if people are given freedom, they will gravitate towards essentially bourgeois lives, but this takes for granted things like the deferral of gratification that were pounded into them as children without their being free to refuse. They forget that for much of the population, preaching maximum freedom merely results in drunkenness, drugs, failure to hold a job, and pregnancy out of wedlock. Society is dependent upon inculcated self-restraint if it is not to slide into barbarism, and libertarians attack this self-restraint. Ironically, this often results in internal restraints being replaced by the external restraints of police and prison, resulting in less freedom, not more. This contempt for self-restraint is emblematic of a deeper problem: libertarianism has a lot to say about freedom but little about learning to handle it. Freedom without judgment is dangerous at best, useless at worst. Yet libertarianism is philosophically incapable of evolving a theory of how to use freedom well because of its root dogma that all free choices are equal, which it cannot abandon except at the cost of admitting that there are other goods than freedom. Conservatives should know better.
Robert Locke