principle - conscience

Non-violence leads to the highest ethics,
which is the goal of all evolution. Until
we stop harming all other living beings,
we are still savages.

Thomas A. Edison


It is well to remind ourselves, from time to time, that "Ethics" is but another word for "righteousness," that for which many men and women of every generation have hungered and thirsted, and without which life becomes meaningless.

Jane Addams

Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living. We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount.

Omar Nelson Bradley

Perhaps, indeed, there are no truly universal ethics:  or to put it more precisely, the ways in which ethical principles are interpreted will inevitably differ across cultures and eras.  Yet, these differences arise chiefly at the margins.  All known societies embrace the virtues of truthfulness, integrity, loyalty, fairness; none explicitly endorse falsehood, dishonesty, disloyalty, gross inequity.

Howard Gardner
Five Minds for the Future

A person's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. People would indeed be in a poor way if we had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.

Albert Einstein


Whenever governments adopt a moral tone--as opposed
to an ethical one--you know something is wrong.

John Ralston Saul
The Unconscious Civilization


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Ethics change with technology.

Larry Niven


From the ethical point of view, no one can escape responsibility with
the excuse that he or she is only an individual, on whom the fate of
the world does not depend.  Not only can this not be known objectively
for certain, because it is always possible that it will depend precisely
on the individual, but this kind of thinking is also made impossible by
the very essence of ethics, by conscience and the sense of responsibility.

György Lukács


Luckily, Eden is soon populated.  The ethical dimension
begins when the other appears on the scene.

Umberto Eco
Five Moral Pieces

Make ethical choices in what we buy, do, and watch.  In a
consumer-driven society our individual choices, used
collectively for the good of animals and nature,
can change the world faster than laws.

Marc Bekoff

It may be considered folly by common opinion but this refusal to
destroy life unnecessarily, this reverence for it, must become a
deeply implanted part of our ethical standard.

Paul Brunton
The Notebooks of Paul Brunton

Compassion, in which all ethics must take root, can only attain its
full breadth and depth if it embraces all living creatures
and does not limit itself to humankind.

Albert Schweitzer

Live one day at a time emphasizing ethics rather than rules.

Wayne Dyer


A person without ethics is a wild beast loosed upon this world.

Albert Camus


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In law we are guilty when we violate the rights of others.
In ethics we are guilty if we only think of doing so.

Immanuel Kant

A people and their religion must be judged by social standards
based on social ethics.  No other standard would have any meaning
if religion is held to be necessary good for the well-being of the people.

B. R. Ambedkar


For this equilibrium now in sight, let us trust that humankind, as it has
occurred in the greatest periods of its past, will find for itself a new
code of ethics, common to all, made of tolerance,
of courage, and of faith in the Spirit of people.

Albert Claude

Ethics is knowing the difference between what you
have a right to do and what is right to do.

Potter Stewart

At the descriptive level, certainly, you would expect different cultures to
develop different sorts of ethics and obviously they have; that doesn't
mean that you can't think of overarching ethical principles you would
want people to follow in all kinds of places.

Peter Singer

If ethics are poor at the top, that behavior is copied down through the organization.

Robert Noyce

The first step in the evolution of ethics is a sense
of solidarity with other human beings.

Albert Schweitzer


Ethics is a code of values which guide our choices and actions
and determine the purpose and course of our lives.

Ayn Rand

Action indeed is the sole medium of expression for ethics.

Jane Addams

Notice that "I" is at the center of the word "ethical."  There is no "they."
Achieving the ethics of excellence is our individual assignment.

Price Pritchett


Ethical dilemmas often arise as the unintended consequences
of well-intentioned actions, not from unethical motives.

Michael Rion


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When we do what is right, we have contentment, peace, and happiness.

Beverly LaHaye

People are ethical only when life, as such, is sacred to them, that
of plants and animals as that of their fellow people, and when they
devote themselves helpfully to all life that is in need of help.

Albert Schweitzer
Out of My Life and Thought


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Ethics grow out of the same root as world- and life-affirmation,
for ethics, too, are nothing but reverence for life.  That is what
gives me the fundamental principle of morality, namely, that
good consists in maintaining, promoting, and enhancing life,
and that destroying, injuring, and limiting life are evil.  Affirmation
of the world, which means affirmation of the will-to-live that
manifests itself around me, is only possible if I devote myself to
other life.  From an inner necessity, I exert myself in producing
values and practicing ethics in the world and on the world even
though I do not understand the meaning of the world.  For in world-
and life-affirmation and in ethics I carry out the will of the universal
will-to-live which reveals itself in me.  I live my life in God, in the
mysterious divine personality which I do not know as such in the
world, but only experience as mysterious will within myself.

Albert Schweitzer
The Philosophy of Civilization


Generally speaking, if we view human nature as dominated by
destructive tendencies, our ethics will most likely be grounded in
something outside ourselves.  We will understand ethics as a means
for keeping those destructive tendencies in check in the name of
some greater good.  If, however, we view human nature as
predominantly oriented toward kindness and the desire for a peaceful
life, then we can consider ethics an entirely natural and rational means
for pursuing our innate potential.  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.  This second approach
is in tune with my own.

The Dalai Lama
Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World




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