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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

Fiction

"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)

"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

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.
Kermit: TO KIDNAP PEOPLE!?
Lew: Mr. The Frog, we all agreed a celebrity is not a people.

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

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

Arthur: A misanthrope is one who hates humanity.
Sam: Is that what we are? Misanthropes?
Arthur: Good lord, no! We're a family.

"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

"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

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

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

Every Highlander naturally knows something of the history of his own clan, but usually a good deal less about other clans, except that they were, in contrast to his own, of course, treacherous and bloodthirsty.
Fitzroy Maclean, Highlanders

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

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

Marge: Homie, are you really going to ignore Grampa for the rest of your life?
Homer: Of course not, Marge, just for the rest of HIS life. He said I was an accident... he didn't want to have me.
Marge: You didn't want to have Bart.
Homer: I know, but you're never supposed to TELL the child!
Marge: You tell Bart all the time! You told him this morning!
Homer: But when I do it it's cute!

[Mafia Hitman Michael Sullivan asks his boss John Rooney for justice against Rooney's son, who killed Michael's family. Michael didn't get the irony of his own petition].
Michael Sullivan: He murdered Annie and Peter!
Neville: "You can't go out, you'll be caught again. Gryffindor will be in even more trouble... I won't let you do it. I'll — I'll fight you!"
Ron: "Neville, get away from that hole and don't be an idiot —"
Neville: "Don't you call me an idiot! 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

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."

"Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits, but according to who does them, and there is almost no kind of outrage... Loyalty is involved, and so pity ceases to function."
George Orwell, notes on Nationalism

"'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

“If you took the most ardent revolutionary, vested him in absolute power, within a year he would be worse than the Tsar himself.”
Mikhail Bakunin

"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."
Nietzsche

“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

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

"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?

"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

"The movie argues that the hidebound and outdated rules of the church are responsible for some people (priests) not having sex although they should, while others (incestuous parents) can keep on having it although they shouldn't. For this movie to be described as a moral statement about anything other than the filmmaker's prejudices is beyond belief."
Roger Ebert, review of the 1995 movie Priest

"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

Richard Nixon: The way they treat P.O.W.s is—
Press corps: BARBARIC!
Nixon: The way we treat P.O.W.s is—
Press: HUMANE!
Nixon: Their terrorism shows—
Press: A CALLOUS DISREGARD FOR HUMAN LIFE!
Nixon: Our bombing raids show—
Press: A DESIRE TO SHORTEN THE WAR AND BRING THE TROOPS HOME!
Nixon: The way they negotiate is—
Press: DECEITFUL, UNFRUITFUL, AND OFFERS NOTHING NEW!
Nixon: The way we negotiate is—
Press: IN GOOD FAITH!
Nixon: Now, this is what I call a really successful press conference.
Press: THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT!
Jules Fieffer, political cartoon

"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.)"

"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——

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