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Ethics and Integrity Quotes


Top 50 Ethics and Integrity Quotes


No 1 (Best quote!)

Love your neighbour as yourself.

- Jesus (c6-c33 BC), founder of Christianity.

 Ethics and Integrity Quotes

Confucius 551–479 BC, the Chinese philosopher , pictured right, puts it this way:

Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you.

 Ethics and Integrity Quotes

The philosopher, St Augustine (354–430), pictured right, says:

Love the sinner but hate the sin.

 Ethics and Integrity Quotes

The English pottery manufacturer, Josiah Wedgwood (1730-95), pictured right, asked a question of love that became the Anti-Slavery Society’s motto:

Am I not a man and a brother?

 Ethics and Integrity Quotes

Dorothea in George Eliot’s, pictured right, Middlemarch (1874) also comments:

What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult to each other?



No 2Ethics and Integrity Quotes

Ethics...are nothing but reverence for life.

- Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965), German-born French missionary and theologian, pictured right.

Ethics and Integrity Quotes

Jim Casy in John Steinbeck’s, pictured right, book, The Grapes of Wrath (1939) puts it another way:

All that lives is holy.


In the film Schindler’s List the Jewish inscription on the ring given to Schindler by his workers says:

Whoever saves one life saves the world entire.

 Ethics and Integrity Quotes

Peter Singer (1946- ), the Australian philosopher, pictured right, says we should also protect animals, because:

 In suffering the animals are our equals.



No 3Ethics and Integrity Quotes

Better, though difficult, the right way to go than wrong, though easy, where the end is woe.

(Christian in the 1678 novel The Pilgrim's Progress)

- John Bunyan (1628-88), pictured right, English writer.

 Ethics and Integrity Quotes

Henry David Thoreau (1817-62), the American philosopher, pictured right,agrees

The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right.



No 4Ethics and Integrity Quotes

We shall have to repent in this generation, not so much for the evil deeds of the wicked people but the appalling silence of the good people.

- Martin Luther King (1929-68), American civil rights leader,pictured right.


Other great thinkers agree:

 Ethics and Integrity Quotes

Non-cooperation with evil is as much a duty as is cooperation with good.

- Mahatma (Mohandas) Gandhi (1869–1948, pictured right, Indian leader.

 Ethics and Integrity Quotes

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

- Edmund Burke (1729-97), Irish-born British Member of Parliament, pictured right.

 Ethics and Integrity Quotes

A person may cause evil to others not only by his actions but by his inaction.

- John Stuart Mill (1806-73), English philosopher, pictured right.

 Ethics and Integrity Quotes

Take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.

- Elie Wiesel (1928- ), Romanian-born American and Auschwitz survivor, pictured right.

 Ethics and Integrity Quotes

Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do.

- Voltaire (1698-1778), French philosopher and writer, pictured right,.



No 5Ethics and Integrity Quotes

Humility is the foundation of all the other virtues.

- St Augustine (354–430), Algerian philosopher, pictured right.

C S LewisBut others think that courage, or valour, is more important:

Courage is not simply one of the virtues but the form of every virtue at the testing point,

- C. S. Lewis 1898–1963, English writer, pictured right.

 Ethics and Integrity Quotes

Valour is the chiefest virtue, and most dignifies the haver,

(Cominius in Corialanus)

- William Shakespeare (1564-1616), pictured right, English playwright, pictured right

  Ethics and Integrity Quotes

Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797), the English pioneer of women’s rights, pictured right,values independence:

Independence I have long considered the grand blessing of life, the basis of every virtue.



No 6

The end justifies the means.

- Hermann Busenbaum 1600–68, German theologian.Ethics and Integrity Quotes

The English writer, Aldous Huxley (1894–1963), pictured right, disagrees:

The end cannot justify the means, for the simple and obvious reason that the means employed determine the nature of the ends produced.



No 7 Ethics and Integrity Quotes

Three things are necessary for the salvation of man: to know what he ought to believe; to know what he ought to desire; and to know what he ought to do,

- St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-74) Italian philosopher, pictured right,


He also gives two other ethical tips:

One cannot use an evil action with reference to a good intention.

Evil denotes the absence of good.



No 8

Hell has three gates, lust, anger and greed.

- Bhagavad Gita (the holy Hindu poem, the Son of God).

Ethics and Integrity Quotes
Conversely, Lao Tzu (c604-c531 BC), the Chinese philosopher, pictured right, highlights the three greatest virtues:

Simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures



No 9Ethics and Integrity Quotes

Character is higher than intellect.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-82), American philosopher, pictured right.

Two other philosophers comment:

 Ethics and Integrity Quotes

Character is much easier kept than recovered.

- Thomas (Tom) Paine (1737-1809), pictured right, English philosopher

 Ethics and Integrity Quotes

Character is destiny.

- Heraclitus (c540-c480BC), Greek philosopher, pictured right,

 Ethics and Integrity Quotes

Daniel Goleman, pictured right, in Emotional Intelligence (1996) also says:

The bedrock of character is self-discipline,



No 10Ethics and Integrity Quotes

Conscience is the voice of the soul.

- Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-78) Swiss philosopher, pictured right,

 Ethics and Integrity Quotes

Atticus Finch in Harper Lee’s, pictured right, To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) says:

The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.

 Ethics and Integrity Quotes

But Sophie in Sophie's World (by Jostein Gaarder, the Norwegian writer, pictured right) warns:

Common sense and conscience can both be compared to a muscle. If you don’t use a muscle, it gets weaker and weaker

 Ethics and Integrity Quotes

Shakespeare's, pictured right, Hamlet also comments:

Conscience doth make cowards of us all.



No 11Ethics and Integrity Quotes

O – I ha’ [have] lost my reputation. I ha’ lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial,

(Cassio in Othello)

- William Shakespeare (1564-1616), English playwright, pictured right

 Ethics and Integrity Quotes

British businessman, Richard Branson (1950- ), pictured right, agrees:

All you have in your life is your reputation.

 Ethics and Integrity Quotes

The American investor, Warren Buffett (1930- ), pictured right, makes two other comments:

If... nobody thinks well of you, I don’t care how big your bank balance is, your life is a disaster.

It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.



No 12Ethics and Integrity Quotes

The time is always right to do what’s right.

- Martin Luther King (1929-68), pictured right, American civil rights leader.



No 13Ethics and Integrity Quotes

Sow an action and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character, and you reap a destiny.

- William James (1842-1910), American psychologist and philosopher (pictured right).



No 14Ethics and Integrity Quotes

We have, in fact, two kinds of morality side by side: one which we preach but do not practise, and another which we practise but seldom preach.

- Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) English philosopher, pictured right.

Ethics and Integrity Quotes

The American writer, Edgar A. Guest (1881–1959), pictured right, also comments:

The best of all the preachers are the men who live their creeds.



No 15Ethics and Integrity Quotes

Virtue is bold, and goodness never fearful.

(the Duke in Measure for Measure)

- William Shakespeare (1564-1616), English playwright, pictured right


Four other philosophers also comment:

 Ethics and Integrity Quotes

Under coercion there is no virtue.

- Voltaire (1698-1778), the French philosopher (pictured right).

 Ethics and Integrity Quotes

Complete abstinence is easier than perfect moderation.

- St. Augustine (354-430), Algerian philosopher (pictured right).

 Ethics and Integrity Quotes

The greatest virtues are those which are most useful to other persons.

- Aristotle (384-322 BC), Greek philosopher, pictured right.

 Ethics and Integrity Quotes

Prosperity doth best discover vice, but adversity doth best discover virtue.

- Francis Bacon (1561-1626), English philosopher and politician, pictured right.



No 16Ethics and Integrity Quotes

Just because you’re taught that something’s right and everyone believes it’s right, it don’t make it right,

(Huckleberry Finn in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn)

- Mark Twain (1835-1910), pictured right, American writer.

 Ethics and Integrity Quotes

Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), the German philosopher (pictured right), agrees:

The death of dogma is the birth of morality, 



No 17

A man who gives charity in secret is greater than Moses.

- the Talmud, Jewish holy book



No 18Ethics and Integrity Quotes

Ability without honour is useless.

- Cicero (106-43 BC), Roman philosopher and politician, pictured right,



No 19Ethics and Integrity Quotes

To see the right and not do it is cowardice.

- Confucius (551-479 BC) Chinese philosopher, pictured right.



No 20Ethics and Integrity Quotes

There are few things wholly evil or wholly good.

- Abraham Lincoln (1809-65), American president, pictured right,


Three of Shakespeare's, pictured right, characters agree:Ethics and Integrity Quotes


There is some soul of goodness in things evil, would men observingly distil it out.

(Henry V in Henry V)


There is no vice so simple but assumes some mark of virtue on his outward parts.

(Bassanio in The Merchant of Venice)


Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied, and vice sometimes by action dignified.

(Friar Laurence in Romeo and Juliet).



No 21Ethics and Integrity Quotes

Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

- Martin Luther King (1929-68), American civil rights leader, pictured right,



No 22Ethics and Integrity Quotes

Our moral problem is man’s indifference to himself.

- Erich Fromm (1900–80), American philosopher and psychologist, pictured right.



No 23Ethics and Integrity Quotes

But he that hides a dark soul and foul thoughts

Benighted walks under the midday sun;

Himself is his own dungeon.

(from the 1634 poem Camus, A Mask (1634)

- John Milton (1608-74), pictured right above, English poet.



No 24Ethics and Integrity Quotes

 A truth that's told with bad intent beats all the lies you can invent,

(from his 1863 poem, Auguries of Innocence)

- William Blake (1757-1827), pictured right, English writer.



No 25Ethics and Integrity Quotes

The last temptation is the greatest treason: To do the right deed for the wrong reason.

(from the 1935 play, Murder in the Cathedral)

- T.S. Eliot (1888-1965), pictured right, American writer and poet.



No 26Ethics and Integrity Quotes

Hypocrisy, the only evil that walks invisible, except to God alone,

(from the 1667 poem Paradise Lost)

 - John Milton (1608-74), pictured right, English poet.



No 27Ethics and Integrity Quotes

Morality is the herd-instinct in the individual.

- Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900) German philosopher, pictured right.



No 28Ethics and Integrity Quotes

It’s the heart that ennobles a man.

- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-91), Austrian composer, pictured right,



No 29Ethics and Integrity Quotes

In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit.

(John Galt in the 1957 novel Atlas Shrugged)

- Ayn Rand (1905-82), pictured right, American writer.



No 30Ethics and Integrity Quotes

I wouldn’t give you two cents for all your fancy rules, if behind them, they didn’t have a little bit of ordinary, everyday human kindness – and a little looking out for the other fella, too.

- Jefferson Smith (James Stewart) in the film, Mr Smith Goes To Washington, pictured right.


No 31Ethics and Integrity Quotes

All our dignity consists in thought. Let us then strive to think well; that is the basic principle of morality.

- Blaise Pascal (1623-62), French mathematician, physicist and philosopher, pictured right.


This is reflected in another of Pascal's comments:

The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of.



No 32Ethics and Integrity Quotes

There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so

- Hamlet in Shakespeare's, pictured right, Hamlet



No 33

Ethics and Integrity QuotesLive by yes and no - yes to everything good, no to everything bad,

Erich Fromm (1900-80), the American philosopher and psychologist, pictured right. 



No 34Ethics and Integrity Quotes

 It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.

(Dumbledore in Chamber Of Secrets)

- J.K. Rowling (1965- ), English writer, pictured right.



No 35Ethics and Integrity Quotes

One leak will sink a ship, and one sin will destroy a sinner.

- John Bunyan (1628-88), English writer, pictured right (from the 1684 novel The Pilgrim's Progress)



No 36Ethics and Integrity Quotes

How poor are they that have not patience! What wound did ever heal but by degrees?,

(Iago in Othello)

- William Shakespeare (1564-1616), English playwright, pictured right.



No 37Ethics and Integrity Quotes

To err is human; to forgive divine. 

- Alexander Pope 1688–1744, English poet, pictured right.



No 38Ethics and Integrity Quotes

The perfect is the enemy of the good. 

- Voltaire (1698-1778),French philosopher and writer, pictured right.



No 39Ethics and Integrity Quotes

Colonel Pickering: Have you no morals, man?

Alfred Doolittle: Can't afford them, Governor.

(from the 1912 play Pygmalion)

- George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), pictured right above, Irish playwright.



No 40Ethics and Integrity Quotes

A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both. 

- Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969) Second World War leader and American president, pictured right

 Ethics and Integrity Quotes

The English chocolate maker, George Cadbury (1839-1922), pictured right, also comments:

What is the good of having principles, unless you are prepared to suffer for them?



No 41 Ethics and Integrity Quotes

We have duties to others and duties to ourselves; and we can shirk neither.

- Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), American president, pictured right.



No 42Ethics and Integrity Quotes

You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by avoiding it today.

- Abraham Lincoln (1809-65), pictured right, American president.



No 43Ethics and Integrity Quotes

Of the two evils the lesser is always to be chosen.

- Thomas à Kempis (c. 1380–1471), German philosopher, pictured right.



No 44Ethics and Integrity Quotes

Live your life as though every act were to become a universal law (the categorical imperative).

- Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) German philosopher, pictured right.



No 45Ethics and Integrity Quotes

No evil can happen to a good man, either in life or after death.

- Socrates (470-399 BC), Greek philosopher, pictured right.



No 46Ethics and Integrity Quotes

 A good thing which prevents us from enjoying a greater good is in truth an evil. 

- Benedict (or Baruch) Spinoza (1632-77), Dutch philosopher, pictured right.



No 47Ethics and Integrity Quotes

A man does not have to be an angel to be a saint,

- Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965), German philosopher and doctor, pictured right.



No 48Ethics and Integrity Quotes

It takes two to lie. One to lie and one to listen. 

- Homer Simpson, American cartoon character, pictured right.



No 49Ethics and Integrity Quotes

To do a great right, do a little wrong,

(Bassanio in The Merchant of Venice)

 - William Shakespeare (1564-1616), English playwright, pictured right.


The Duke of Venice in Shakespeare's Othello also comments:

The robbed that smiles steals something from the thief.



No 50Ethics and Integrity Quotes

I'm as pure as the driven slush.

- Tallulah Bankhead (1902-68), American actress, pictured right.


Ethics and Integrity Quotes

In the 1933 film I'm No Angel the American actress, Mae West (1892-1980), pictured right, also had these two great lines:

When I'm good, I'm very, very good, but when I'm bad, I'm better.

Between two evils, I always pick the one I've never tried before.  

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