Evil

In religion and ethics, evil refers to the bad aspects of the behaviour and reasoning of human beings—those which are deliberately void of conscience, and show a wanton desire for destruction.

Sourced

  • Every person has the choice between Good and Evil. Choose Good, and stand against those who would choose Evil.
    • Friedrich Kellner

  • Now you see, Lone Starr, that evil will always triumph, because good is dumb.
    • Dark Helmet, Spaceballs

  • One, who enters the places of evil repute has no right to complain against a man who speaks ill of him.
    • Ali, a hundred sayings

  • Jamais on ne fait le mal si pleinement et si gaiement que quand on le fait par conscience.
    • Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it conscientiously.
    • Variant: Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction (trans. W.F. Trotter)
    • Blaise Pascal, Pensées (# 894 or 895, depending on differing editions)

  • He who studies evil is studied by evil.
    • Ranjen Solbor, "The Changing Face of Evil", Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, inspired by the famous quote of Friedrich Nietzsche

  • There is Good and there is Evil and Evil must be punished. Even in the face of Armageddon, I shall not compromise this.
    • Rorschach Watchmen

  • Without followers, evil cannot spread.
    • Spock, "And The Children Shall Lead", Star Trek

  • Good can imagine Evil, but Evil cannot imagine Good.
    • W. H. Auden, A Certain World

  • A thing may look specious in theory, and yet be ruinous in practice; a thing may look evil in theory, and yet be in practice excellent.
    • Edmund Burke, Impeachment of Warren Hastings, 19th Feb. 1788.


  • Some men aren't looking for anything logical. He can't be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.
    • Alfred, The Dark Knight

Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)

Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).
  • Many have puzzled themselves about the origin of evil; I observe that there is evil, and that there is a way to escape it, and with this I begin and end.
    • John Newton, p. 213.

  • Nothing is to be esteemed evil which God and nature have fixed with eternal sanction.
    • Jeremy Taylor, p. 213.

  • The cardinal method with faults is to overgrow them and choke them out with virtues.
    • John Bascom, p. 213.

  • Nothing can work me damage except myself. The harm that I sustain I carry about with me, and never am a real sufferer but by my own fault.
    • St. Bernard, p. 213.

  • The best antidote against evils of all kinds, against the evil thoughts that haunt the soul, against the needless perplexities which distract the conscience, is to keep hold of the good we have. Impure thoughts will not stand against pure words and prayers and deeds. Little doubts will not avail against great certainties. Fix your affections on things above, and then you will less and less be troubled by the cares, the temptations, the troubles of things on earth.
    • Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, p. 214.

Unsourced

  • All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
    • Edmund Burke

  • At least two thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity, human malice and those great motivators and justifiers of malice and stupidity, idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing zeal on behalf of religious or political idols.
    • Aldous Huxley

  • The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.
    • Joseph Conrad

  • But goodness alone is never enough. A hard cold wisdom is required, too, for goodness to accomplish good. Goodness without wisdom invariably accomplishes evil.
    • Robert Heinlein

  • Everyone who is not understanding that man produces evil as a bee produces honey must be blind or wrong in his head.
    • William Golding

  • Every political good carried to the extreme must be productive of evil.
    • Mary Wollstonecraft

  • The evil doer is ever anxious.
    • Anonymous

  • Evil unchecked grows, evil tolerated poisons the whole system.
    • Jawaharlal Nehru

  • The function of wisdom is to discriminate between good and evil.
    • Cicero

  • He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.
    • Friedrich Nietzsche

  • I feel pity for those fools that prayed for the annihilation of evil, Their efforts are worthy but nonetheless still futile.
    • Alfredo Balgua

  • If your heart acquires strength, you will be able to remove blemishes from others without thinking evil of them.
    • Mahatma Gandhi

  • It is always good men who do the most harm in the world.
    • Henry Brooks Adam

  • Monsters are bred of necessity, to do the things that men cannot.
    • Anthony Ryan

  • It is a sin to believe evil of others, but it is seldom a mistake.
    • H. L. Mencken

  • It is told that Buddha, going out to look on life, was greatly daunted by death. "They all eat one another!" he cried, and called it evil. This process I examined, changed the verb, said, "They all feed one another," and called it good.
    • Charlotte Perkins Gilman

  • The smallest grains of evil are our rude, careless touches on the sensitive, subtly organized soul of a child who, we think, doesn't understand anything, and therefore, will tolerate everything.
    • Simon Soloveychik Parenting for Everyone (1989)

  • The moral sense reappears today with the same morning newness that has been from of old the fountain of beauty and strength. You say there is no religion now. 'Tis like saying in rainy weather, There is no sun, when at that moment we are witnessing one of its superlative effects.
    • Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks.
    • Mary Wollstonecraft

  • Nothing worse than a monster who thinks he's right with God.
    • Captain Malcolm Reynolds, Firefly

  • The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.
    • Hannah Arendt

  • Since boredom advances and boredom is the root of all evil, no wonder, then, that the world goes backwards, that evil spreads. This can be traced back to the very beginning of the world. The gods were bored; therefore they created human beings.
    • Soren Kierkegaard

  • Our repentance is not so much regret for the evil we have done, as fear of its consequences.
    • François de la Rochefoucauld

  • There surely is in human nature an inherent propensity to extract all the good out of all the evil.
    • Benjamin Haydon

  • They say, "Evil prevails when good men fail to act." What they ought to say is, "Evil prevails."
    • Yuri Orlov, Lord of War

  • To do evil that good may come of it is for bunglers in politics as well as morals.
    • William Penn

  • Truly, if there is evil in this world, it lies within the heart of mankind.
    • Yoshiharu Gotanda, Edward D. Morrison, Tales of Phantasia

  • We ought always to deal justly, not only with those who are just to us, but likewise to those who endeavor to injure us; and this, for fear lest by rendering them evil for evil, we should fall into the same vice.
    • Hierocles

  • What makes it so plausible to assume that hypocrisy is the vice of vices is that integrity can indeed exist under the cover of all other vices except this one. Only crime and the criminal, it is true, confront us with the perplexity of radical evil; but only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core.
    • Hannah Arendt

  • When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I've never tried before.
    • Mae West

  • When good people in any country cease their vigilance and struggle, then evil men prevail.
    • Pearl S. Buck

  • The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.
    • Albert Einstein

  • In a world were there is no evil, there can be no men.
    • anonymous

  • Yield not to evils, but attack all the more boldly.
    • Virgil

  • Kira: "That's what's so frightening. People can find a way to justify any action, no matter how evil"
  • Ziyal:"You think my father's evil?"
  • Kira: "I think... You can't judge people by what they think or say, only by what they do"
    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine By inferno's light

  • The dark side retains its power by imposing a blackout.
    • James Geary

  • His belief that evil was an illusion did not save him.
    • Vergere, on the death of Magister Hal, "Star Wars"
 
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