"Imaginary evil is romantic and varied; real evil is gloomy, monotonous, barren, boring. Imaginary good is boring; real good is always new, marvelous, intoxicating." ― Simone Weil

"The great source of both the misery and disorders of human life, seems to arise from over-rating the difference between one permanent situation and another. Avarice over-rates the difference between poverty and riches: ambition, that between a private and a public station: vain-glory, that between obscurity and extensive reputation. The person under the influence of any of those extravagant passions, is not only miserable in his actual situation, but is often disposed to disturb the peace of society, in order to arrive at that which he so foolishly admires. The slightest observation, however, might satisfy him, that, in all the ordinary situations of human life, a well-disposed mind may be equally calm, equally cheerful, and equally contented. Some of those situations may, no doubt, deserve to be preferred to others: but none of them can deserve to be pursued with that passionate ardour which drives us to violate the rules either of prudence or of justice; or to corrupt the future tranquillity of our minds, either by shame from the remembrance of our own folly, or by remorse from the horror of our own injustice."

Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments

"It is a ridiculous thing for a man not to fly from his own badness, which is indeed possible, but to fly from other men's badness, which is impossible." ― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

"Meyer summarizes his code of honor as "(1) Show up, (2) Work hard. (3) Be kind. (4) Take the high road." ― Adam Grant

"I suppose therefore that all things I see are illusions; I believe that nothing has ever existed of everything my lying memory tells me. I think I have no senses. I believe that body, shape, extension, motion, location are functions. What is there then that can be taken as true? Perhaps only this one thing, that nothing at all is certain." ― Rene Descartes

"A sense of identity slowly but surely evolves when we experiment in the hub of life by consciously and unconsciously responding to the never-ending changes in our external world and as we develop our physical, emotional, and rational being. Periods of solitude assist a person identify the stealthy traits that a person surreptitiously acquired. Reflecting upon our personal experiences helps us comprehend the patterns of our nature that emerged, signs reveling what principles we most profoundly believe and what ethical obligations we value. Articulating a personal code of conduct acquaints a person with the single core of unity that formed in his or her subterranean mind, the persona that took shape while we immersed ourselves in the dark stream of self-identification." ― Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

"The day may come when the rest of animal creation may acquire those rights which never could have been withholden from them but by the hand of tyranny. The French have already discovered that the blackness of the skin is no reason why a human being should be abandoned without redress to the caprice of a tormentor. It may one day come to be recognized that the number of legs, the villosity of the skin, or the termination of the os sacrum are reasons equally insufficient for abandoning a sensitive being to the same fate. What else is it that should trace the insuperable line? Is it the faculty of reason, or perhaps the faculty of discourse? But a full-grown horse or dog is beyond comparison a more rational, as well as a more conversable animal, than an infant of a day or a week or even a month old. But suppose they were otherwise, what would it avail? The question is not, Can they reason? nor Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?" ― Jeremy Bentham, The Principles of Morals and Legislation

"I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who overcomes his enemies." ― Aristotle

"Like it or not, it's the society we live in. Even the standard of right and wrong has been subdivided, made sophisticated. Within good, there's fashionable good and unfashionable good, and ditto for bad. Within fashionable good, there's formal and then there's casual; there's hip, there's cool, there's trendy, there's snobbish. Mix 'n' match." ― Haruki Murakami, Dance Dance Dance

"Finding a new ethics or esthetics, as Dr. Douglass asks, will not put us in a state of grace. Existence is not given meaning by importing it into a revelation from the outside. The meaning is —there, in more closely contacting the actual situation, the only situation that there is, whatever it is. As our situation is, closely contacting it would surely result in plenty of trouble and perhaps in terrible social conflicts, terrible opportunities and duties, during which we might learn something and at the end of which we might know something, even a new ethics; for it is in such conflicts that new ethics are discovered. But it is just these conflicts that we do not observe happening. Everybody talks nice. At most there is some unruliness and dumb protest, and some withdrawal.

So urging the juveniles to go to church is not serious, for how will the church give them faith? What opportunity will it open?" ― Paul Goodman, Growing Up Absurd