Thousands of pulpit orators have swayed their audiences as a wind sways standing corn; but in the result, those who were most affected differed nothing from their former selves. An effect of eloquence is sufficient to account for a vast amount of feeling at the moment; but to trace to this a moral power, by which a man, for his life long, overcomes his besetting sins, and adorns his name with Christian virtues, is to make sport of human nature.
Human nature is said by many to be good; if so, where have social evils come from? For human nature is the only moral nature in that corrupting thing called "society." Every example set before the child of to-day is the fruit of human nature. It has been planted on every possible field among the snows that never melt; in temperate regions, and under the line; in crowded cities, in lonely forests; in ancient seats of civilization, in new colonies; and in all these fields it has, without once failing, brought forth a crop of sins and troubles.
The Theatre of Cruelty has been created in order to restore to the theatre a passionate and convulsive conception of life, and it is in this sense of violent rigour and extreme condensation of scenic elements that the cruelty on which it is based must be understood. This cruelty, which will be bloody when necessary but not systematically so, can thus be identified with a kind of severe moral purity which is not afraid to pay life the price it must be paid.
Thus, in this universal catastrophe, the sufferings of Christians have tended to their moral improvement, because they viewed them with eyes of faith.
In general I might agree with you:
women should not contemplate war,
should not weigh tactics impartially,
or evade the word enemy,
or view both sides and denounce nothing.
Women should march for peace,
or hand out white feathers to arouse bravery,
spit themselves on bayonets
to protect their babies,
whose skulls will be split anyway,
or, having been raped repeatedly,
hang themselves with their own hair.
These are the functions that inspire general comfort.
That, and the knitting of socks for the troops
and a sort of moral cheerleading.
Also: mourning the dead.
Sons, lovers, and so forth.
All the killed children.
Cooperation is a higher moral principle than competition.
While moral rules may be propounded by authority the fact that these were so propounded would not validate them.
If now Isay "Stealing money is wrong," I produce a sentence which has no factual meaning that is, expresses no proposition which can be either true or false. It is as if I had written "Stealing money!!" where the shape and thickness of the exclamation marks show, by a suitable convention, that a special sort of moral disapproval is the feeling which is being expressed.
No moral system can rest solely on authority.
A highly developed moral nature joined to an undeveloped intellectual nature, an undeveloped artistic nature, and a very limited religious nature, is of necessity repulsive. It represents a bit of human nature a good bit, of course, but a bit only in disproportionate, unnatural and revolting prominence.
We know as well as history can teach us that all religions are one and the same- all the outgrowth of man's moral nature, differing only according to the intelligence and advancement of the people among whom they originated.
Harmony is the characteristic of the intellectual system of the universe; and immutable laws of moral existence must pervade all time and all space, all ages and all worlds.
Perhaps our own fin-de-sicle decadence takes the form, not of libertarian excess, but of the kind of over-the-top puritanism we see in political correctness and the assorted moral certainties of physical fitness fanatics, New Agers and animal-rights activists.
Nature herself supplies us with an ascending scale or Alphabet of angles for half a degree up to 60 degrees, Specimens of which are placed in every Elementary School throughout the land. Owing to occasional retrogressions, to still more frequent moral and intellectual stagnation, and to the extraordinary fecundity of the Criminal and Vagabond Classes, there is always a vast superfluity of individuals of the half degree and single degree class, and a fair abundance of Specimens up to 10 degrees. These are absolutely destitute of civic rights; and a great number of them, not having even intelligence enough for the purposes of warfare, are devoted by the States to the service of education. Fettered immovably so as to remove all possibility of danger, they are placed in the class rooms of our Infant Schools, and there they are utilized by the Board of Education for the purpose of imparting to the offspring of the Middle Classes that tact and intelligence of which these wretched creatures themselves are utterly devoid.
The inflexible integrity of the moral code is, to me, the secret of the authority, the dignity, the utility of History.
If we may debase the currency for the sake of genius, or success, or rank, or reputation, we may debase it for the sake of a mans influence, of his religion, of his party, of the good cause which prospers by his credit and suffers by his disgrace. Then History ceases to be a science, an arbiter of controversy, a guide of the Wanderer, the upholder of that moral standard which the powers of earth and religion itself tend constantly to depress. It serves where it ought to reign; and it serves the worst cause better than the purest.
I think that the successful genres of a particular period are reflections of the needs and thoughts and social struggles of that time. When you see a bunch of similar projects meeting with success, youve found a place in the social landscape where a particular story (or moral or scenario) speaks to readers. Youve found a place where the things that stories offer are most needed.
There is a significant moral difference between a person who commits a violent crime and a person who tries to cross a border illegally in order to put food on the family table. Such migrants may violate our laws against illicit entry, but if that's all they do then they are trespassers, not criminals. They deserve to have their dignity respected.
Circumstances will determine what I term the survival value of humankinds moral compass. Being highly moral in an immoral environment will almost certainly be detrimental to ones survival and vice versa.
I wish more of us could understand that our increasing isolation, no matter how much it seems to express pride and self-affirmation, is not the answer to our problems. Rather, the answer is a revival of our ancient commitment to God, who rules over all the peoples of the world and exalts no one over any other, and to the moral and spiritual values which were once legendary in America. We must reach out our hand in friendship both to those who would befriend us and those who would be our enemy. We must believe in the power of education. We must respect just laws. We must love ourselves, our old and or young, our women as well as our men.
I see nothing inconsistent between being proud of oneself and one's ancestors and, at the same time, seeing oneself first and foremost a member of the commonwealth of all races and creeds.
On reflection, moral judgment in the arts appears rather as a tribute to their power to influence emotion and possibly conduct. And reflecting further on what some critics do today, one sees that a good many have merely shifted the ground of their moralism, transferring their impulse of righteousness to politics and social issues.
When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.
The laws of art are eternal and dont change at all, as the moral laws dont change in human beings. (in discussion with Franz Marc who demanded in 'Der Blaue Reiter' around 1912 a new art, in relation to its own - changing - time).
The original cowboys were hard-working ranchers and settlers who tamed a vast wilderness. In the process, they had to contend with violent outlaws as well as warlike Indian tribes. The honest men on the frontier did not wring their hands in fear, uncertainty and moral paralysis; they stood up to evil men and defeated them.
I was in danger of verbalizing my moral impulses out of existence.
...Men and women were created to be jointly the guarantee of the future of the humanity not only a physical guarantee, but also a moral one.