„Never tell evil of a man, if you do not know it for certainty, and if you know it for a certainty, then ask yourself, 'Why should I tell it?“

—  Johann Kaspar Lavater, As quoted in What Billingsgate Thought: A Country Gentleman's Views on Snobbery (1919) by William Alexander Newman Dorland
Johann Kaspar Lavater foto
Johann Kaspar Lavater5
švýcarský básník, filozof a kněz 1741 - 1801
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„We should not be simply fighting evil in the name of good, but struggling against the certainties of people who claim always to know where good and evil are to be found.“

—  Tzvetan Todorov Bulgarian historian, philosopher, structuralist literary critic, sociologist and essayist 1939 - 2017
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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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„I don't think there is any harm in it, but I tell you, there are demons and there are evil people in the world, and you post a picture like that and some cultist gets hold of it or a coven and they begin muttering curses against an unborn child. […] You never know what somebody's going to do.“

—  Pat Robertson American media mogul, executive chairman, and a former Southern Baptist minister 1930
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„When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: The people I deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous, and surly. They are like this because they can't tell good from evil.“

—  Marcus Aurelius, kniha Hovory k sobě
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—  Charles Baudelaire, kniha Le Spleen de Paris
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„I’m not here to tell folk just what they should know, I’m here to call on folk to understand that in a moral moment, there is no neutral. In a moral moment, there is no bystanders. You are either complicit in evil, you are either contributing to wrong, or you are fighting against it.“

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„As a musician I tell you that if you were to suppress adultery, fanaticism, crime, evil, the supernatural, there would no longer be the means for writing one note.“

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„Whereas at present, every man, even, if free, asks himself, "What can I do alone against all this ocean of evil and deceit which overwhelms us? Why should I express my opinion? Why indeed possess one?“

—  Leo Tolstoy Russian writer 1828 - 1910
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—  William Golding British novelist, poet, playwright and Nobel Prize for Literature laureate 1911 - 1993
The Hot Gates (1965), Context: The overall intention may be stated simply enough. Before the Second World War I believed in the perfectibility of social man; that a correct structure of society would produce goodwill; and that therefore you could remove all social ills by a reorganisation of society..... but after the war I did not because I was unable to. I had discovered what one man could do to another... I must say that anyone who moved through those years without understanding that man produces evil as a bee produces honey, must have been blind or wrong in the head... I am thinking of the vileness beyond all words that went on, year after year, in the totalitarian states. It is bad enough to say that so many Jews were exterminated in this way and that, so many people liquidated — lovely, elegant word — but there were things done during that period from which I still have to avert my mind less I should be physically sick. They were not done by the headhunters of New Guinea or by some primitive tribe in the Amazon. They were done, skillfully, coldly, by educated men, doctors, lawyers, by men with a tradition of civilization behind them, to beings of their own kind. My own conviction grew that what had happened was that men were putting the cart before the horse. They were looking at the system rather than the people. It seemed to me that man’s capacity for greed, his innate cruelty and selfishness, was being hidden behind a kind of pair of political pants. I believed then, that man was sick — not exceptional man, but average man. I believed that the condition of man was to be a morally diseased creation and that the best job I could do at the time was to trace the connection between his diseased nature and the international mess he gets himself into. To many of you, this will seem trite, obvious, and familiar in theological terms. Man is a fallen being. He is gripped by original sin. His nature is sinful and his state is perilous. I accept the theology and admit the triteness; but what is trite is true; and a truism can become more than a truism when it is a belief passionately held.... I can say in America what I should not like to say at home; which is that I condemn and detest my country's faults precisely because I am so proud of her many virtues. One of our faults is to believe that evil is somewhere else and inherent in another nation. My book was to say you think that now the war is over and an evil thing destroyed, you are safe because you are naturally kind and decent. But I know why the thing rose in Germany. I know it could it could happen in any country. It could happen here. On his motivations to write Lord of the Flies, from his essay "Fable", p. 85

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