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)

"You know I am a righteous man
Of my virtue I am justly proud
You know I'm so much purer than
The common, vulgar, weak, licentious crowd"

    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 

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"

Dan Snyder is the kind of fellow who supports the name Redskins but will happily cry anti-semitism anytime someone dares to criticize him.

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.)

It’s really not surprising that when his own son committed incest, Jim Bob went from “Death to those evil incest doers” to “Oh, I’ll just ask Officer McPedoFlicks over there to give him a stern talking to real quick. It’s just one of those things that after you read, you shrug and think to yourself, “That’s so Duggar.”
Michael K., "The Time That Jim Bob Duggar Said That Anyone Who Commits Incest Should Be Executed"

    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

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

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