„We too often forget that not only is there "a soul of goodness in things evil," but very generally also, a soul of truth in things erroneous.“
— Herbert Spencer English philosopher, biologist, sociologist, and prominent classical liberal political theorist 1820 - 1903
Pt. I, The Unknowable; Ch. I, Religion and Science; quoting from "There is some soul of goodness in things evil / Would men observingly distil it out", William Shakespeare, Henry V, act iv. sc. i
First Principles (1862)
— Pythagoras ancient Greek mathematician and philosopher -585 - -495 BC
As quoted in Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers, as translated by Robert Drew Hicks (1925)
Variant translation: The most momentous thing in human life is the art of winning the soul to good or evil.
As quoted in Ionia, a Quest (1954) by Freya Stark, p. 94
„Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.“
— Steven Weinberg American theoretical physicist 1933
Address at the Conference on Cosmic Design, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington, D.C. (April 1999)
This comment is modified in a later article derived from these talks:
:Frederick Douglass told in his Narrative how his condition as a slave became worse when his master underwent a religious conversion that allowed him to justify slavery as the punishment of the children of Ham. Mark Twain described his mother as a genuinely good person, whose soft heart pitied even Satan, but who had no doubt about the legitimacy of slavery, because in years of living in antebellum Missouri she had never heard any sermon opposing slavery, but only countless sermons preaching that slavery was God's will. With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil — that takes religion.
:* "A Designer Universe?" at PhysLink.com http://www.physlink.com/Education/essay_weinberg.cfm
— Adlai Stevenson mid-20th-century Governor of Illinois and Ambassador to the UN 1900 - 1965
Speech in Hartford, Connecticut (18 September 1952)
„Vin, Vin. can't you see? This isn't about good or evil. Morality doesn't even enter into it. Good men will kill as quickly for what they want as evil men—only the things they want are different.“
— Brandon Sanderson American fantasy writer 1975
Source: The Hero of Ages
„The so-called evils are evils only in relation to a certain thing, and that which is evil in relation to a certain existing thing, either includes the non-existence of that thing or the non-existence of some of its good conditions.“
Source: Guide for the Perplexed (c. 1190), Part III, Ch.10
— Freeman Dyson theoretical physicist and mathematician 1923
Progress In Religion (2000)
Context: I am neither a saint nor a theologian. To me, good works are more important than theology. We all know that religion has been historically, and still is today, a cause of great evil as well as great good in human affairs. We have seen terrible wars and terrible persecutions conducted in the name of religion. We have also seen large numbers of people inspired by religion to lives of heroic virtue, bringing education and medical care to the poor, helping to abolish slavery and spread peace among nations. Religion amplifies the good and evil tendencies of individual souls.
„If men were basically good, we would not require government; if men were basically evil, we could not afford to grant any man the power of government.“
— Robert LeFevre American libertarian businessman 1911 - 1986
Rampart Institute, p. 431
The Fundamental of Liberty (1988)
„Evil men may not always do these things, but they seek to destroy goodness, virtue, morality, decency, truth and honor“
— Fulton J. Sheen Catholic bishop and television presenter 1895 - 1979
"Bishop Sheen Writes...Communism and Tragedy," The Toledo Blade, Sunday, July 26, 1959, sec. 2, p. 5. https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=%22communists%20believe%20in%20the%20devil%22%20site:news.google.com/newspapers&source=newspapers&gws_rd=ssl#hl=en&q=%22Bishop+Sheen+Writes...+Communism+And+Tragedy%22+
Context: No one can understand Communism who does not believe in the devil. The Communists believe in the devil. The Communists organized a so-called "patriotic" church. A few brain washed were to be in charge of the churches because they were loyal to the anti-God regime.
One of the first orders given by the Communists to them was that the prayer to Prayer to Saint Michael be no longer said because it invoked the protection of St. Michael against "the wickedness and snares of the devil." As one Communist judge said: "We are those devils."
It is hard for many in the free world to believe that there are not only bad men, but evil men. Bad men steal, rape, ravage and plunder. Evil men may not always do these things, but they seek to destroy goodness, virtue, morality, decency, truth and honor. Bad men who steal admit honesty; evil men who do not steal, call dishonesty "honesty," totalitarianism "democracy," slavery "freedom." Evil men can be nice at table, polite with women, courteous in Washington, refined in London and calm in Geneva.
But the principle which guides their every move is the maxim of Lenin: every lie, trickery, knavery and deceit must be used to.
„Things which bestow upon the soul no greatness or confidence or freedom from care are not goods. But riches and health and similar conditions do none of these things; therefore, riches and health are not goods. Things which bestow upon the soul no greatness or confidence or freedom from care, but on the other hand create in it arrogance, vanity, and insolence, are evils. But things which are the gift of Fortune drive us into these evil ways. Therefore these things are not goods.“
— Posidonius ancient greek philosopher -135 - -51 BC
As quoted in Epistulae morales ad Lucilium by Seneca, Epistle LXXXVII (trans. R. M. Gummere)
„A good person will resist an evil system with his whole soul. Disobedience of the laws of an evil state is therefore a duty.“
— Махатма Ганди pre-eminent leader of Indian nationalism during British-ruled India 1869 - 1948
Non-Violent Resistance - Often misquoted as "You assist an evil system most effectively by obeying its orders and decrees. An evil system never deserves such allegiance."
Posthumous publications (1950s and later)
Context: You assist an unjust administration most effectively by obeying its orders and decrees. An evil administration never deserves such allegiance. Allegiance to it means partaking of the evil.
A good person will resist an evil system with his whole soul. Disobedience of the laws of an evil state is therefore a duty.
Source: The Woman in White
— Jean Ziegler Swiss sociologist 1934
„I am confident in the belief that there truly is such a thing as living again, and that the living spring from the dead, and that the souls of the dead are in existence, and that the good souls have a better portion than the evil.“
— Socrates classical Greek Athenian philosopher -470 - -399 BC
— Francesco Guicciardini Italian writer, historian and politician 1483 - 1540
Non è male alcuno nelle cose umane che non abbia congiunto seco qualche bene.
Storia d' Italia (1537-1540)