Immanuel Kant: Law and ethics

“In law a man is guilty when he violates the rights of others. In ethics he is guilty if he only thinks of doing so. ”

~Immanuel Kant.

Margaret Chase Smith: Moral cowardice

Margaret Chase Smith, member of the U.S. Senat...

Margaret Chase Smith, member of the U.S. Senate (R-Maine). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Moral cowardice that keeps us from speaking our minds is as dangerous to this country as irresponsible talk. The right way is not always the popular and easy way. Standing for right when it is unpopular is a true test of moral character. ”
Margaret Chase Smith

Richard von Weizsaecker: Past, present, future

“All of us, whether guilty or not, whether old or young, must accept the past. It is not a case of coming to terms with the past. That is not possible. It cannot be subsequently modified or undone. ”
Richard von Weizsaecker

Former German President Richard von Weizsäcker...

Former German President Richard von Weizsäcker authographs his books in Cologne, 2009 Русский: Бывший президент Германии Рихард фон Вайцзеккер представляет свою книгу в Кёльне. 2009 г. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hafez: Right and wrong

Hafez, detail of an illumination in a Persian ...

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Now is the time to understand / That all your ideas of right and wrong / Were just a child’s training wheels / To be laid aside / When you finally live / With veracity / And love. –Hafez, poet (1315-1390)

Albert Einstein: Ethical behavior

Albert Einstein during a lecture in Vienna in ...

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A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death. –Albert Einstein, physicist, Nobel laureate (1879-1955)

Peter Singer: Ethics and its progress

In an earlier stage of our development most human groups held to a tribal ethic. Members of the tribe were protected, but people of other tribes could be robbed or killed as one pleased. Gradually the circle of protection expanded, but as recently as 150 years ago we did not include blacks. So African human beings could be captured, shipped to America, and sold. In Australia white settlers regarded Aborigines as a pest and hunted them down, much as kangaroos are hunted down today. Just as we have progressed beyond the blatantly racist ethic of the era of slavery and colonialism, so we must now progress beyond the speciesist ethic of the era of factory farming, of the use of animals as mere research tools, of whaling, seal hunting, kangaroo slaughter, and the destruction of wilderness. We must take the final step in expanding the circle of ethics. –Peter Singer, philosopher, professor of bioethics (b. 1946)