Guilt Quotes

God is not needed to create guilt or to punish. Our fellow men suffice, aided by ourselves.

Albert Camus

Some material things make my life more enjoyable; many, however, would not. I like having an expensive private plane, but owning a half-dozen homes would be a burden. Too often, a vast collection of possessions ends up possessing its owner. The asset I most value, aside from health, is interesting, diverse, and long-standing friends. My wealth has come from a combination of living in America, some lucky genes, and compound interest. Both my children and I won what I call the ovarian lottery. (For starters, the odds against my 1930 birth taking place in the U.S. were at least 30 to 1. My being male and white also removed huge obstacles that a majority of Americans then faced.) My luck was accentuated by my living in a market system that sometimes produces distorted results, though overall it serves our country well. Ive worked in an economy that rewards someone who saves the lives of others on a battlefield with a medal, rewards a great teacher with thank-you notes from parents, but rewards those who can detect the mispricing of securities with sums reaching into the billions. In short, fates distribution of long straws is wildly capricious. The reaction of my family and me to our extraordinary good fortune is not guilt, but rather gratitude. Were we to use more than 1% of my claim checks on ourselves, neither our happiness nor our well-being would be enhanced. In contrast, that remaining 99% can have a huge effect on the health and welfare of others. That reality sets an obvious course for me and my family: Keep all we can conceivably need and distribute the rest to society, for its needs. My pledge starts us down that course.

Warren Edward Buffett

To take upon oneself not punishment, but guilt - that alone would be godlike.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Now, justification in this life is given to us according to these three things: first by the laver of regeneration by which all sins are forgiven; then, by a struggle with the faults from whose guilt we have been absolved; the third, when our prayer is heard, in which we say: Forgive us our debts, because however bravely we fight against our faults, we are men; but the grace of God so aids as we fight in this corruptible body that there is reason for His hearing us as we ask forgiveness.

St. Augustine of Hippo

If all the world hated you, and believed you wicked, while your own conscience approved you, and absolved you from guilt, you would not be without friends.

Patrick Branwell Bront

The very presence of guilt, let alone its tenacity, implies imbalance: Something, we suspect, is getting more of our energy than warrants, at the expense of something else, we suspect, that deserves more of our energy than we're giving.

Melinda M. Marshall

When lovely woman stoops to folly, and finds too late that men betray, what charm can soothe her melancholy, what art can wash her guilt away?

Oliver Goldsmith

The treason of which I stand convicted loses all its guilt, has been sanctified as a duty, and will be ennobled as a sacrifice.

Thomas Francis Meagher

Vegetarianism can easily reach religious proportions. Refraining from meat on moral grounds serves to dignify feelings of guilt toward sad-eyed, furry creatures and substitutes righteousness for squeamishness.

Bill Griffith

Vegetarianism can easily reach religious proportions. Refraining from meat on moral grounds serves to dignify feelings of guilt toward sad-eyed, furry creatures and substitutes righteousness for squeamishness.

Bill Griffith

Above all, I regret that scientific experimentsósome of them mineóshould have produced such a terrible weapon as the hydrogen bomb. Regret, with all my soul, but not guilt.†

Harold C. Urey

Shame and guilt are noble emotions essential in the maintenance of civilized society, and vital for the development of some of the most refined and elegant qualities of human potential.

Willard Gaylen

God hath yoked to guilt her pale tormentor,--misery.

William Cullen Bryant

Guilt soon learns to lie.

Mary Elizabeth Braddon

Guilt is a rope that wears thin.

Ayn Rand,

Shame is closely related to guilt, but there is a key qualitative difference. No audience is needed for feelings of guilt, no one else need know, for the guilty person is his own judge. Not so for shame. The humiliation of shame requires disapproval or ridicule by others. If no one ever learns of a misdeed there will be no shame, but there still might be guilt. Of course, there may be both. The distinction between shame and guilt is very important, since these two emotions may tear a person in opposite directions. The wish to relieve guilt may motivate a confession, but the wish to avoid the humiliation of shame may prevent it.

Paul Ekman,

Guilt once harbored in the conscious breast, intimidates the brave, degrades the great.

Samuel Johnson

Action and care will in time wear down the strongest frame, but guilt and melancholy are poisons of quick dispatch.

Thomas Paine

The fearful face usually betrays great guilt.

Seneca

You cut up a thing that's alive and beautiful to find out how it's alive and why it's beautiful, and before you know it, it's neither of those things, and you're standing there with blood on your face and tears in your sight and only the terrible ache of guilt to show for it.

Clive Barker

Although the most acute judges of the witches and even the witches themselves, were convinced of the guilt of witchery, the guilt nevertheless was non-existent. It is thus with all guilt.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Glory built on selfish principles is shame and guilt.

William Cowper

Every woman while she would be ready to die of shame if surprised in the act of generation, nonetheless carries her pregnancy without a trace of shame and indeed with a kind of pride. The reason is that pregnancy is in a certain sense a cancellation of the guilt incurred by coitus; thus coitus bears all the shame and disgrace of the affair, while pregnancy, which is so intimately associated with it, stays pure and innocent and is indeed to some extent sacred.

Arthur Schopenhauer

Innocence is the weakest defense. Innocence has a single voice that can only say over and over again, "I didn't do it." Guilt has a thousand voices, all of them lies.

Leonard F. Peltier
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