Top Moral Responsibility Quotes

Browse top 45 famous quotes and sayings about Moral Responsibility by most favorite authors.

Favorite Moral Responsibility Quotes

1. "The notion that evil is non-rational is a more significant claim for Eagleton than at first appears, because he is (in this book [On Evil] as in others of his recent 'late period' prolific burst) anxious to rewrite theology: God (whom he elsewhere tells us is nonexistent, but this is no barrier to his being lots of other things for Eagleton too, among them Important) is not to be regarded as rational: with reference to the Book of Job Eagleton says, 'To ask after God's reasons for allowing evil, so [some theologians] claim, is to imagine him as some kind of rational or moral being, which is the last thing he is.' This is priceless: with one bound God is free of responsibility for 'natural evil'—childhood cancers, tsunamis that kill tens of thousands—and for moral evil also even though 'he' is CEO of the company that purposely manufactured its perpetrators; and 'he' is incidentally exculpated from blame for the hideous treatment meted out to Job."
Author: A.C. Grayling
2. "Monsters remain human beings. In fact, to reduce them to a subhuman level is to exonerate them of their acts of terrorism and mass murder — just as animals are not deemed morally responsible for killing. Insisting on the humanity of terrorists is, in fact, critical to maintaining their profound responsibility for the evil they commit.And, if they are human, then they must necessarily not be treated in an inhuman fashion. You cannot lower the moral baseline of a terrorist to the subhuman without betraying a fundamental value."
Author: Andrew Sullivan
3. "Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking."
Author: Ayn Rand
4. "The greatest guilt of today is that of people who accept collectivism by moral default; the people who seek protection from the necessity of taking a stand, by refusing to admit to themselves the nature of that which they are accepting; the people who support plans specifically designed to achieve serfdom, but hide behind the empty assertion that they are lovers of freedom, with no concrete meaning attached to the word; the people who believe that the content of ideas need not be examined, that principles need not be defined, and that facts can be eliminated by keeping one's eyes shut. They expect, when they find themselves in a world of bloody ruins and concentration camps, to escape moral responsibility by wailing: "But I didn't mean this!"
Author: Ayn Rand
5. "The precept: "Judge not, that ye be not judged" . . . is an abdication of moral responsibility: it is a moral blank check one gives to others in exchange for a moral blank check one expects for oneself.There is no escape from the fact that men have to make choices; so long as men have to make choices, there is no escape from moral values; so long as moral values are at stake, no moral neutrality is possible. To abstain from condemning a torturer, is to become an accessory to the torture and murder of his victims.The moral principle to adopt in this issue, is: "Judge, and be prepared to be judged."
Author: Ayn Rand
6. "How is one to live a moral and compassionate existence when one is fully aware of the blood, the horror inherent in life, when one finds darkness not only in one's culture but within oneself? If there is a stage at which an individual life becomes truly adult, it must be when one grasps the irony in its unfolding and accepts responsibility for a life lived in the midst of such paradox. One must live in the middle of contradiction, because if all contradiction were eliminated at once life would collapse. There are simply no answers to some of the great pressing questions. You continue to live them out, making your life a worthy expression of leaning into the light."
Author: Barry López
7. "We as a Congress have a moral obligation to bring justice to the families of these victims. Furthermore, as a society based on laws, we have a responsibility to ensure that criminals don't go unpunished."
Author: Bob Filner
8. "Daley may not feel a moral responsibility to eliminate discrimination but he has a legal obligation to do so."
Author: Bobby Rush
9. "A person's sense of morality and responsibility to other human beings, must not come from a professed faith or belief system. Because when it does— it is merely a projection and not an internalization. A person must be able to say "I believe this, I do this, I say this, because this is who I am; not because I see myself as a member of so and so belief system." Adam and Eve walked with God every day in the garden of Eden and yet, they still chose their own way. This only means that their own way had nothing to do with God's way. Even if they walked with God physically, daily, in a garden! This is witness to the fact that your sense of morality and responsibility must be incarnated within you. In fact, this is the beauty of God— to unfold your own spirit within you— and then you see your own spirit and say that it is indeed beautiful."
Author: C. JoyBell C.
10. "I find something repulsive about the idea of vicarious redemption. I would not throw my numberless sins onto a scapegoat and expect them to pass from me; we rightly sneer at the barbaric societies that practice this unpleasantness in its literal form. There's no moral value in the vicarious gesture anyway. As Thomas Paine pointed out, you may if you wish take on a another man's debt, or even to take his place in prison. That would be self-sacrificing. But you may not assume his actual crimes as if they were your own; for one thing you did not commit them and might have died rather than do so; for another this impossible action would rob him of individual responsibility. So the whole apparatus of absolution and forgiveness strikes me as positively immoral, while the concept of revealed truth degrades the concept of free intelligence by purportedly relieving us of the hard task of working out the ethical principles for ourselves."
Author: Christopher Hitchens
11. "He has read whole volumes on the philosophy of nonviolence. How peace had to be understood in all its moral dimensions. The proper coexistence of all existents. The excluded middle ground. The surpassing of personality. The vanity of cultural superiority. The tension between individual conscience and collective responsibility. The need to proclaim again and again what has already been said."
Author: Colum McCann
12. "For President Obama, 'home of the brave' are not just the last words of our national anthem, but also a call to action. This is why the president's policies and our platform include incentives to train and hire our troops returning home. Not only because of our moral responsibility, but because it makes for a stronger, more secure American economy."
Author: Cory Booker
13. "I want you to have this feeling too - it is my moral responsibility to help you achieve this inner freedom."
Author: Dmitri Mendeleev
14. "As to the right of men to act anywhere according to their pleasure, without any moral tie, no such right exists. Men are never in a state of total independence of each other. It is not the condition of our nature: nor is it conceivable how any man can pursue a considerable course of action without its having some effect upon others; or, of course, without producing some degree of responsibility for his conduct."
Author: Edmund Burke
15. "Freedom to order our own conduct in the sphere where material circumstances force a choice upon us, and responsibility for the arrangement of our own life according to our own conscience, is the air in which alone moral sense grows and in which moral values are daily recreated in the free decision of the individual. Responsibility, not to a superior, but to one's own conscience, the awareness of a duty not exacted by compulsion, the necessity to decide which of the things one values are to be sacrificed to others, and to bear the consequences of one's own decision, are the very essence of any morals which deserve the name."
Author: Friedrich Hayek
16. "Scientists, therefore, are responsible for their research, not only intellectually but also morally. This responsibility has become an important issue in many of today's sciences, but especially so in physics, in which the results of quantum mechanics and relativity theory have opened up two very different paths for physicists to pursue. They may lead us - to put it in extreme terms - to the Buddha or to the Bomb, and it is up to each of us to decide which path to take."
Author: Fritjof Capra
17. "There has been no single influence which has done more to prevent man from finding God and rebuilding his character, has done more to lower the moral tone of society than the denial of personal guilt. This repudiation of man's personal responsibility for his action is falsely justified in two ways: by assuming that man is only an animal and by giving a sense of guilt the tag "morbid."
Author: Fulton J. Sheen
18. "For the moral basis, it is obvious that man's ethical responsibility varies with his knowledge of consequences"
Author: G.K. Chesterton
19. "Written over the gate here are the words 'Leave every hope behind, ye who enter.' Only think what a relief that is! For what is hope? A form of moral responsibility. Here there is no hope, and consequently no duty, no work, nothing to be gained by praying, nothing to be lost by doing what you like. Hell, in short is a place where you have nothing to do but amuse yourself."
Author: George Bernard Shaw
20. "Exasperation with the threefold frustration of action -- the unpredictability of its outcome, the irreversibility of the process, and the anonymity of its authors -- is almost as old as recorded history. It has always been a great temptation, for men of action no less than for men of thought, to find a substitute for action in the hope that the realm of human affairs may escape the haphazardness and moral irresponsibility inherent in a plurality of agents."
Author: Hannah Arendt
21. "You. What is the moral difference, ifany, between the soldier and the civilian?""The difference," I answered carefully, "lies in the field of civicvirtue. A soldier accepts personal responsibility for the safety of the bodypolitic of which he is a member, defending it, if need be, with his life.The civilian does not."
Author: Heinlein Robert A.
22. "We believe that only government has the capacity--not to mention the political and moral responsibility--to promote the general welfare. Father Kramer as quoted in Sweet Charity?"
Author: Janet Poppendieck
23. "So what is the fallout for dogs of the Lassie myth? As soon as you bestow intelligence and morality, you bestow the responsibility that goes along with them. In other words, if the dog knows it's wrong to destroy furniture yet deliberately and maliciously does it, remembers the wrong he did and feels guilt, it feels like he merits a punishment2, doesn't it? That's just what dogs have been getting - a lot of punishment. We set them up for all kinds of punishment by overestimating their ability to think. Interestingly, it's the "cold" behaviorist model that ends up giving dogs a much better crack at meeting the demands we make of them. The myth gives problems to dogs they cannot solve and then punishes them for failing. And the saddest thing is that the main association most dogs have with that punishment is the presence of their owner. This puts a pretty twisted spin on loooving dogs ‘cause they're so smart, doesn't it?"
Author: Jean Donaldson
24. "The whole effort for the past one hundred years has been to remove the moral responsibility from the individual and make him blame his own human wickedness on his society, but he helps to make his society, you see, and he will not take his responsibility for his part in it."
Author: Katherine Anne Porter
25. "Being on a major network television show is like long-distance running: You have to pace yourself and maintain your energy level and your morale. There's the role you're playing on the show, and there's also your behind-the-scenes responsibility to the crew, the guest actors and the fans - not to mention your own life as a mom."
Author: Kathryn Erbe
26. "We have a moral responsibility to save wild places like the arctic refuge for future generations, and that is why our country has remained committed to its protection for nearly 50 years."
Author: Lois Capps
27. "The writer's job is to write with rigor, with commitment, to defend what they believe with all the talent they have. I think that's part of the moral obligation of a writer, which cannot be only purely artistic. I think a writer has some kind of responsibility at least to participate in the civic debate. I think literature is impoverished, if it becomes cut from the main agenda of people, of society, of life."
Author: Mario Vargas Llosa
28. "And so, he knows. He wants, he needs, to do the immoral, irresponsible thing. He wants to let this boy court his own destruction. He wants to commit that cruelty. Or (kinder, gentler version) he doesn't want to reconfirm his allegiance to the realm of the sensible, all the good people who take responsibility, who go to the right and necessary parties, who sell art made of two-by-fours and carpet remnants. He wants, for at least a little while, to live in that other, darker world - Blake's London, Courbet's Paris; raucous, unsanitary places where good behavior was the province of decent, ordinary people who produced no works of genius."
Author: Michael Cunningham
29. "For, according to the teachings of Islam, moral knowledge automatically forces moral responsibility upon man. A mere Platonic discernment between Right and Wrong, without the urge to promote Right and to destroy Wrong, is a gross immorality in itself, for morality lives and dies with the human endeavour to establish its victory upon earth."
Author: Muhammad Asad
30. "These things were in my mind from the first moment I entered the vocal booth. The gratitude I had for rock and roll as it pulled me through a difficult adolescence. The joy I experienced when I danced. The moral power I gleaned in taking responsibility for one's action.-- Patti Smith"
Author: Patti Smith
31. "The division in human religion has always been between those who see the fall of man as a fall into freedom and those who see it as an act of defiance against the tyranny of an all-powerful father. But Adam and Eve were never in heaven; they were in the mud, and had to leave the only home they had ever known behind. And why? For choosing love and freedom over perpetual infancy and slavery of the will. Their sin was moral responsibility. Their reward is clear: "They have becomes gods--knowing good and evil." And for that, they were condemned to live in a world of discovery and choices."
Author: R. Joseph Hoffmann
32. "The more a nation gets into darkness, the more it's going to hate the light. The more it's going to run from the light. And we have a generation of people who have given themselves to darkness, and they've embraced atheism, because it gets them away from moral responsibility to God."
Author: Ray Comfort
33. "Even as rigorous a determinist as Karl Marx, who at times described the social behaviour of the bourgeoisie in terms which suggested a problem in social physics, could subject it at other times to a withering scorn which only the presupposition of moral responsibility could justify."
Author: Reinhold Niebuhr
34. "Both for practical reasons and for mathematically verifiable moral reasons, authority and responsibility must be equal - else a balancing takes place as surely as current flows between points of unequal potential. To permit irresponsible authority is to sow disaster; to hold a man responsible for anything he does not control is to behave with blind idiocy. The unlimited democracies were unstable because their citizens were not responsible for the fashion in which they exerted their sovereign authority... other than through the tragic logic of history... No attempt was made to determine whether a voter was socially responsible to the extent of his literally unlimited authority. If he voted the impossible, the disastrous possible happened instead - and responsibility was then forced on him willy-nilly and destroyed both him and his foundationless temple."
Author: Robert A. Heinlein
35. "The instinct to survive is human nature itself, and every aspect of our personalities derives from it. Anything that conflicts with the survival instinct acts sooner or later to eliminate the individual and thereby fails to show up in future generations. . . . A scientifically verifiable theory of morals must be rooted in the individual's instinct to survive--and nowhere else!--and must correctly describe the hierarchy of survival, note the motivations at each level, and resolve all conflicts.We have such a theory now; we can solve any moral problem, on any level. Self-interest, love of family, duty to country, responsibility toward the human race . . . .The basis of all morality is duty, a concept with the same relation to group that self-interest has to individual."
Author: Robert A. Heinlein
36. "Without God, life would end at the grave and our mortal experiences would have no purpose. Growth and progress would be temporary, accomplishment without value, challenges without meaning. There would be no ultimate right and wrong and no moral responsibility to care for one another as fellow children of God. Indeed, without God, there would be no mortal or eternal life. If you or someone you love is seeking purpose in life or a deeper conviction of God's presence in our lives, I offer, as a friend and as an Apostle, my witness. He lives!"
Author: Robert D. Hales
37. "One has a moral obligation to take responsibility for one's actions, and that includes one's words and silences, yes, one's silences, because silences rise to heaven too, and God hears them, and only God understands and judges them, so one must be very careful with one's silences."
Author: Roberto Bolaño
38. "Therefore, it is we who are responsible for much of the evil in the world; and we are each morally required to accept rather than project that ponderous responsibility-lest we prefer instead to wallow in a perennial state of powerless, frustrated, furious, victimhood. For what one possesses the power to bring about, one has also the power to limit, mitigate, counteract, or transmute."
Author: Stephen A. Diamond
39. "It is not what we believe, but why we believe it. Moral responsibility lies in diligently weighing the evidence. We must actively doubt; we have to scrutinize our views, not take them on trust. No virtue attached to blindly accepting orthodoxy, however 'venerable'..."
Author: Thomas Henry Huxley
40. "Who then was the orthodox, who the freethinker? Where lay the true position, the true state of man? Should he descend into the all-consuming all-equalizing chaos, that ascetic-libertine state; or should he take his stand on the "Critical-Subjective," where empty bombast and a bourgeois strictness of morals contradicted each other? Ah, the principles and points of view constantly did that; it became so hard for Hans Castorp's civilian responsibility to distinguish between opposed positions, or even to keep the premises apart from each other and clear in his mind, that the temptation grew well-nigh irresistible to plunge head foremost into Naphtha's "morally chaotic All."
Author: Thomas Mann
41. "It's not Americans I find annoying; it's Americanism: a social disease of the postindustrial world that must inevitably infect each of the mercantile nations in turn, and is called 'American' only because your nation is the most advanced case of the malady, much as one speaks of Spanish flu, or Japanese Type-B encephalitis. It's symptoms are a loss of work ethic, a shrinking of inner resources, and a constant need for external stimulation, followed by spiritual decay and moral narcosis. You can recognize the victim by his constant efforts to get in touch with himself, to believe his spiritual feebleness is an interesting psychological warp, to construe his fleeing from responsibility as evidence that he and his life are uniquely open to new experiences. In the later stages, the sufferer is reduced to seeking that most trivial of human activities: fun."
Author: Trevanian
42. ". . . chronosophy does involve ethics. Because our sense of time involves our ability to separate cause and effect, means and end. The baby, again, the animal, they don't see the difference between what they do now and what will happen because of it. They can't make a pulley, or a promise. We can. Seeing the difference between now and not now, we can make the connection. And there morality enters in. Responsibility. To say that a good end will follow from a bad means is just like saying that if I pull a rope on this pulley it will lift the weight on that one. To break a promise is to deny the reality of the past; therefore it is to deny the hope of a real future.If time and reason are functions of each other, if we are creatures of time, then we had better know it, and try to make the best of it. To act responsibly."
Author: Ursula K. Le Guin
43. "We still don't know how to put morality ahead of politics, science, and economics. We are still incapable of understanding that the only genuine backbone of our actions-if they are to be moral-is responsibility. Responsibility to something higher than my family, my country, my firm, my success."
Author: Václav Havel
44. "Anarchism, to me, means not only the denial of authority, not only a new economy, but a revision of the principles of morality. It means the development of the individual as well as the assertion of the individual. It means self-responsibility, and not leader worship."
Author: Voltairine De Cleyre
45. "An artist is a creature driven by demons. He doesn't know why they choose him and he's usually too busy to wonder why. He is completely amoral in that he will rob, borrow, beg, or steal from anybody and everybody to get the work done. The writer's only responsibility is to his art."
Author: William Faulkner

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No one said living isn't a pretty chancy business, Sibyl. No one gets out of here alive."
Author: Chris Bohjalian

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