„Ultimately evil is done not so much by evil people, but by good people who do not know themselves and who do not probe deeply.“

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Reinhold Niebuhr3
americký bohoslovec 1892 - 1971
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„Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.“

—  Steven Weinberg American theoretical physicist 1933
Address at the Conference on Cosmic Design, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington, D.C. (April 1999) This comment is modified in a later article derived from these talks:

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„I think my target was not so much evil, but benign stupidity people doing stupid things without realising or, instead, thinking they were doing good.“

—  Tom Lehrer American singer-songwriter and mathematician 1928
Context: You can make fun with Saddam Hussein jokes … but you can't make fun of, say, the concentration camps. I think my target was not so much evil, but benign stupidity people doing stupid things without realising or, instead, thinking they were doing good.

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„Riches are a cause of evil, not because, of themselves, they do any evil, but because they goad men on so that they are ready to do evil.“

—  Posidonius ancient greek philosopher -135 - -51 př. n. l.
As quoted in Epistulae morales ad Lucilium by Seneca, Epistle LXXXVII (trans. R. M. Gummere)

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„Tell people that war is an evil, and they will laugh; for who does not know it? Tell them that patriotism is an evil, and most of them will agree, but with a reservation.“

—  Leo Tolstoy Russian writer 1828 - 1910
Context: Tell people that war is an evil, and they will laugh; for who does not know it? Tell them that patriotism is an evil, and most of them will agree, but with a reservation. "Yes," they will say, "wrong patriotism is an evil; but there is another kind, the kind we hold." But just what this good patriotism is, no one explains. Patriotism, or Peace? http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Patriotism,_or_Peace%3F (1896), translated by Nathan Haskell Dole Variant: I have already several times expressed the thought that in our day the feeling of patriotism is an unnatural, irrational, and harmful feeling, and a cause of a great part of the ills from which mankind is suffering, and that, consequently, this feeling – should not be cultivated, as is now being done, but should, on the contrary, be suppressed and eradicated by all means available to rational men. Yet, strange to say – though it is undeniable that the universal armaments and destructive wars which are ruining the peoples result from that one feeling – all my arguments showing the backwardness, anachronism, and harmfulness of patriotism have been met, and are still met, either by silence, by intentional misinterpretation, or by a strange unvarying reply to the effect that only bad patriotism (Jingoism or Chauvinism) is evil, but that real good patriotism is a very elevated moral feeling, to condemn which is not only irrational but wicked. What this real, good patriotism consists in, we are never told; or, if anything is said about it, instead of explanation we get declamatory, inflated phrases, or, finally, some other conception is substituted for patriotism – something which has nothing in common with the patriotism we all know, and from the results of which we all suffer so severely. Patriotism and Government http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Patriotism_and_Government (1900)

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„No people do so much harm as those who go about doing good.“

—  Mandell Creighton English historian and ecclesiastic 1843 - 1901
Quoted by Louise Creighton in Life and Letters of Mandell Creighton, vol. 2 http://books.google.com/books?id=XFrIeWud0_wC&q=%22no+people+do+so+much+harm+as+those+who+go+about+doing+good%22&pg=PA501#v=onepage. (1905)

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