Ethics & Morality Quotations


A Friend is one who incessantly pays us the compliment of expecting from us all the virtues, and who can appreciate them in us.—A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers
A man is not to be measured by the virtue of his described actions or the wisdom of his expressed thoughts merely, but by that free character he is, and is felt to be, under all circumstances.—"Sir Walter Raleigh"
Aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something. — Thoreau to H.G.O. Blake, 27 March 1848—Thoreau to H.G.O. Blake, 27 March 1848
By avarice and selfishness, and a grovelling habit, from which none of us is free, of regarding the soil as property, or the means of acquiring property chiefly, the landscape is deformed, husbandry is degraded with us, and the farmer leads the meanest of lives. He knows Nature but as a robber.—Walden
Do we call this the land of the free? What is it to be free from King George the Fourth and continue the slaves of prejudice?—Journal, 16 February 1851
Every creature is better alive than dead, men and moose and pine-trees, and he who understands it aright will rather preserve its life than destroy it. — The Maine WoodsThe Maine Woods
How important is a constant intercourse with nature and the contemplation of natural phenomena to the preservation of moral and intellectual health! The discipline of the schools or of business can never impart such serenity to the mind.—Journal, 6 May 1851
How much virtue there is in simply seeing! — Journal, 10 April 1840—Journal, 10 April 1840
I begin to see how that the preparation for all issues is to do so virtuously. — Journal, 19 February 1842—Journal, 19 February 1842
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