Quotes: Moral Myopia

Alexander the Great: How dare you molest the seas?
Pirate: How dare you molest the whole world? Because I do it with a small boat, I am called a pirate and a thief. You, with a great navy, molest the world and are called an emperor.
St. Augustne, as observed in City of God

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    Anime and manga 

Those guys've turned nasty! They used to play fair, no matter what dirty tricks we pulled!
Kasanegafuchi Delinquent, YuYu Hakusho Manga

And one more thing, all those rich fat bastards living under palm trees, all those bitches who think life's only about putting on makeup? I don't want to hear you speaking your mind from the same perspective. Nothing's worse than being treated like a whore by your own companions. I'll say this once: The next time you decide to tell me what's proper, you'll no longer be one of us. When that happens... I'm going to kill you.
Revy, Black Lagoon

If only the humans appreciated life as we do, I would not have to kill so many of them.

    Film — live-action 

Kermit: You kidnapped Jack Black? That's illegal!
Fozzie: But Kermit, what's more illegal: Briefly inconveniencing Jack Black, or destroying the Muppets?
Kermit: Kidnapping Jack Black, Fozzie!
Miss Piggy: Kermit, listen. Whatever I may think of you right now, these guys are counting on you. You inspire them.
Kermit: What, to kidnap people?
Miss Piggy: To work together!
Lew: Mr. The Frog, we all agreed a celebrity is not a people.

What do you call assassins who accuse assassins?
Colonel Kurtz, Apocalypse Now


When I am weaker than you, I ask you for freedom because that is according to your principles; when I am stronger than you, I take away your freedom because that is according to my principles.
Unnamed philosopher, Dune

When doing business with a religious sonofabitch, GET IT IN WRITING. His word isn't worth shit, not with the good Lord telling him how to fuck you on the deal.
William S. Burroughs, "Advice for Young People"

God, I love the 'fine morality' of the wealthy and powerful. You'll spill tears over your own, in a heartbeat. And then never even look twice at people below you, whose lives are ground under every day, day after day, year after year. Such are beneath your contempt, aren't they?
W.E.B. Du Havel, Crown of Slaves

...and exploded harmlessly (To me, which is what counts) on the street.
Bartimaeus, The Bartimaeus Trilogy

Neville: I don't think you should be breaking any more rules! And you were the ones who told me to stand up to people!
Ron: Yes, but not to us.

“You have daughters,” I said.

“Two, going to universities halfway across the world.”

“And you don’t feel an iota of remorse for hurting a father through his daughter?”

“Not one,” he replied, staring me in the eye.
Skitter and Director Tagg, Worm

    Live-action TV 

Spend time with corrupt, homicidal, Third World political figures and you hear a lot of self-pity. What kind of man throws his political enemies in prison and tortures them to death? Usually it's a guy who feels so sorry for himself that he feels justified doing anything. Killers, by and large, are whining losers. But that doesn't make them any less dangerous.
Michael, Burn Notice ("Truth and Reconciliation")

The Governor: We can take care of the whole crew. It's the only way to avoid a slaughter.
Milton: That is a slaughter.
The Governor: Not on our end.

Duncan, you did seem less into integrity the day I convinced twelve of your peers that when you made that u-turn on the freeway and tried to order chalupas from the emergency call box, that your only real crime was loving America.
Jeff, Community


"Saying 'no abortion, no sir-ree,
Life's too precious can't you see?'
What's that swinging from the neighbor's tree?
Well it looks like colored folks to me"
Frank Zappa, "Jesus Thinks You're a Jerk" (1988)

    Video games 

Elizabeth: But I thought Andrew Ryan was all about "free markets" and "open competition".
Booker: All those ideas lose their luster when the quarterly earnings come in and you find out the other guy's been eating your lunch.

We punish people who do it who aren't us.
Max to a graffiti artist.

    Web Original 

Although much given to manly posturing against the enemies of law and order, etc., Agnew's June 19, 1972 response to efforts by Nixon White House staffer Jeb Stuart Magruder to talk about the details of the Watergate break-in before it exploded in the faces of the administration was neither politically fearless nor a stern committment to the rule of law. He said, "I don't think we ought to discuss it again, in that case." So well done, Mr. Agnew. America knew that it could count on you when the chips were down.
Rational Wiki, ""Spiro Agnew" is an anagram for "Grow A Spine" (also "Grow a Penis")"

When Libertarians think using force is justified, they just call it retaliatory force. It's a bit like "war of aggression" versus "war of defense". Rare is the country in history which has ever claimed to be initiating a "war of aggression", they're always retaliating in a "war of defense".

The idea that Libertarians don't believe in the initiation of force is pure propaganda. They believe in using force as much as anyone else, if they think the application is morally correct.
Seth Finkelstein, "Libertarianism Make You Stupid"

I suppose there is no way to get around an entry for Jimmy Swaggart, the “true man of God” who enjoyed immense popularity in the Bible belt in the 90s and immense fortunes through contributions to his Family Worship Center and Bible college before being caught in the act, then trying to repent, then being caught in the act again (this time replacing repentance with “The Lord told me it’s flat none of your business”)...”And his view of himself? “If I don’t return to the pulpit this weekend, millions of people will go to hell. But at least he avoids conspiracies? The media is ruled by Satan, yet I wonder if many Christians fully understand that.” So there.

People who defend the Redskins' decision to keep their name like to cite polls that overwhelmingly support the franchise's stance. They will tell you that, like steroids in baseball, this is purely a media-driven story and that the average person doesn't care about it. And they're correct. Most people don't care, possibly because most people are not Native Americans because we killed all the Native Americans. But I am in favor of continually harping on this team to change their name because the Redskins organization deserves to have PILES of shit thrown at them...Dan Snyder is the kind of fellow who supports the name Redskins but will happily cry anti-semitism anytime someone dares to criticize him.

The part of this game everyone remembers is Dunta Robinson ramming a defenseless DeSean Jackson under the chinstrap with the crown of his helmet, dropping both of them like sacks of bricks to the turf for several minutes...we hear the ringleader of the Philty lowlife bunch behind us say in a loud stage whisper 'What kind of franchise allows a fucking dirtbag like that to play for them? They should take him out back and put him down like a rabid dog.' Guess whose jersey he was wearing? Andre Waters, a player so versed in the art of chop-blocking the back of quarterback's legs his fucking nickname was Dirty Waters.

Imagine a sporting team that believes itself the best at its sport, but refuses to play any other team, and not only that but bars any other team from attempting to enter the stadium they either are attending or even might attend in the future and not only that but tries to make illegal for any other team to play the game at all. Now imagine that same sports team waking up one day and realizing that no one is cheering for them anymore and decrying anyone who calls that team a bunch of losers as 'anti-sports team'.

This is the essence of a white supremacist.

I see this kind of hypocrisy all the time in online versions of Survivor: Someone will lie, manipulate, and backstab with the best of them, but when it happens to them, all of a sudden they find their morals and get on a soapbox. He goes on to claim there's no bitterness, but turns around and says they sold out their values, character, and friends for a stack of greenbacks. Uh, right. Explain that to Colby, Ethan, and Jerri. Frankly, in my view, if this is really life, Lex is showing HIS true character here, which is that of a poor sport.
Survivor columnist Ken Kellam, on Lex's jury speech

Lolita tells the story of Humbert Humbert, a literary scholar with two failed marriages under his belt and very cruel parents, who kidnap-adopts (kidnaps) a sexualized child ... Humbert shoots a man named Clare Quilty for kidnapping Dolores and doing weird things to her. (So ... he pretty much shoots him for plagiarism.)

    Web Video 

Ah, yes, the 'Because I say so' defense! As legitimized in the famous case of Timmy v. Mom and its landmark implications re: cookies before bed.

V: I'm the good kind of terrorist, the kind that tortures people and blows things up...wait...
Alan Moore: I'm a bloody genius!
Lewis "Linkara" Lovhaug, summarizing V for Vendetta

    Western animation 

It's only funny when it happens to someone else!
Richard Wattwerson, The Amazing World of Gumball

    real life 

How many observe Christ's birthday! How few, His precepts!

How is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of negroes?
Samuel Johnson, Taxation No Tyranny

Whenever I hear anyone arguing over slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.

All for ourselves, and nothing for other people, seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind.
Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations

The definition of the true savage is that he laughs when he hurts you; and howls when you hurt him.

'Why are you killing me for your own benefit? I am unarmed.' 'Why, do you not live on the other side of the water? My friend, if you lived on this side, I should be a murderer, but since you live on the other side, I am a brave man and it is right.'
Blaise Pascal

And we are the first to admit that anyone who knew these "good" ones [nobility] only as enemies would find them evil enemies indeed. For these same men who, amongst themselves, are so strictly constrained by custom, worship, ritual, gratitude, and by mutual surveillance and jealousy, who are so resourceful in consideration, tenderness, loyality, pride and friendship, when once they step outside their circle become little better than uncaged beasts of prey. Once abroad in the wilderness, they revel in the freedom from social constraint and compensate for their long confinement in the quietude of their own community. They revert to the innocence of wild animals: we can imagine them returning from an orgy of murder, arson, rape, and torture, jubilant and at peace with themselves.

Our instinctive apparatus consists of two parts—the one tending to further our own life and that of our descendants, the other tending to thwart the lives of supposed rivals.
Bertrand Russell, Sceptical Essays

That the Pope could be on the side of the enemy was easily explained away by the teachers and priests. The Italians were not really the enemy; it was all a misunderstanding. But the Germans were the enemy, even if did go to mass, carry rosary beads and had mothers. So there was no punishment if you threw stones at Germans, oh no. Italians: innocent. Germans: guilty. Unless, of course, they could pay the piano or keep goal like Bert Trautmann of Manchester City.
Tom Baker, Who On Earth is Tom Baker?

You cannot negotiate with people who say what's mine is mine and what's yours is negotiable.

Racism is the lowest, most crudely primitive form of collectivism.
Ayn Rand, The Virtue of Selfishness

Any white person who brought the element of civilization had the right to take over this continent.
Ayn Rand (whoops), commencement address to West Point, 1974

For the powerful, crimes are those that others commit.
Noam Chomsky, Conversations on the Post-9/11 World

...Ho Chi Minh, who, quoting Jefferson, asked Eisenhower to make Vietnam an American protectorate. But, as Ike explained in his memoirs, this wasn't possible: they were communists.
Gore Vidal, Dreaming War

I do think it is fair to say that Roger Ebert destroyed film criticism.
Armond White

Criticizing colleagues is not what we do.
Armond White, in response to Roger Ebert labeling him a troll

Person A: [bigoted statement]
Person B: The fuck?
Person A: Now, now, let's have civility.
John Scalzi