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Quotes / Moral Myopia

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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, Yu Yu 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.

[Vegeta has just sent Android 19 running for his life]
Dr. Gero: Enough!
Vegeta: Don't be absurd! It's "enough" because you're losing! You've come here to destroy us! Fool. You're going to have to finish what you started!
Dragon Ball Z (Funimation dub)

Babidi: [torn apart and dying ] Help me... please.
Piccolo: Help you? Why should I?
Babidi: Please...
Piccolo: When you help others, you receive help. When's the last time you used your powers to help someone? I'll bet it's been a while, hasn't it?
Babidi: Help! Don't lecture me!
Piccolo: You don't like being hurt, do you? But you delight in hurting others. You're right. You don't need a lecture. You need to be exterminated.

"You pathetic mortals always try to emulate the divine. Now, why is that? Is it because we gods are so wondrous? Are you coveting our undeniable beauty? I understand, yet it's so tragic. Your mimicry is doomed to fail! Acts of gods are beautiful because we are inherently pure, while mortal endeavors will inevitably become wicked—corrupted and marred by sin!"

    Comic Books 
Green Goblin: My jet-flyer! You unthinking fool— you've ruined it! You'll pay for that action, Parker— I promise you, you'll pay!!
Spider-Man: Mister, are we living in the same universe? You killed my woman, Goblin, and you're raging about a blasted bargain-basement toy?!

    Film — Animated 
We’ve done a lotta things we’re not proud of— robbin’ graves, plunderin’ tombs, double parking... but nobody got hurt! (Beat) Well, maybe somebody got hurt, but nobody we knew!
Vinny Santorini, Atlantis: The Lost Empire

    Film — Live-Action 
Let me put this in terms you're more familiar with. A man... kills four hundred people. He tells us that it's complicated, that he's misunderstood. Do you think... that Kira would hear his excuses? Or do you think he'd walk him off a bridge?
L to Light/Kira, Death Note (2017)

Michael Sullivan: He murdered Annie and Peter!
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

Otter: He can't do that to our pledges!
Boon: Only we can do that to our pledges.

Arthur Fleck/Joker: Playing my video. Inviting me on the show. You just wanted to make fun of me. You're just like the rest of 'em!
Murray Franklin: You don't know the first thing about me, pal. Look what happened because of what you did. What it led to. There are riots out there. Two policeman are in critical condition and you're laughing, you're laughing. Someone was killed today because of what you did.
Arthur Fleck/Joker: [smiling and chuckling] I know!

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

“It has a sort of pitiful sound, although they are only blacks.”

"If he wanted to to kill me, he didn't have to think about whether it was a fatal blow or not, and if I died, it'd be my own bad luck. If I wanted to protect myself, however, I had to think about this and that not to harm, unable to take even a single strand of hair away from him? In conclusion, you all could pull a siege on me, but I'm not allowed to fight back, am I right?"
Wei Wuxian, Mo Dao Zu Shi

    Live-Action TV 
Interesting. Your Earth people glorify organized violence for forty centuries, but you imprison those who employ it privately.
Spock, Star Trek: The Original Series, "Dagger of the Mind"

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

Jake: I can't believe we're fugitives on the lam, falsely accused of a crime.
Holt: There's nothing false about it. We committed several felonies and escaped from jail.
Jake: Yeah, but we were just doing what we had to do. We're the good guys! [horrified realization] This is what they all think!
Brooklyn Nine-Nine, "Coral Palms, Part Two"

Barry Allen: Ramsay, you're a doctor! You're supposed to save lives, not take them!
Ramsay Rosso: I AM saving lives, Flash! MINE!

"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.

"I have no use for forgiveness, especially from someone who puts my homeworld at risk for an oversized battery."
Lord Brevon's response to the player's character refusing to forgive him for turning Milla into a monster, Freedom Planet

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

Sam: Max, where should I put this [bomb] so it doesn't hurt anyone we know or care about?
Max: Out the window, Sam. There's nothing but strangers out there.

"We love messing with Rangers! On the flip side, we hate being messed with by Rangers!"

"You want me to understand your sadness? You think I'm going to sympathize with you? I swore to protect my daughter and my friends. If someone puts them in danger, they must stand aside or be cut down!"
Nier to the Shadowlord after the Shadowlord's daughter sacrifices herself to save Nier's daughter, NieR

Izuka: Have a care, Crimean count! If my knowledge dies, so does your only hope of saving that man!
Bastian:’s true that your knowledge is a valuable asset.
Izuka: Ah, my noble count! You are most merciful!
Bastian: I have some knowledge of anatomy. Once you are dead, perhaps I will dissect your brain and see if I can identify the root of your intelligence.
Izuka: Y-you monster! What you suggest is unconscionable!
Bastian: Exactly, yet you had no hesitation before doing worse to the laguz. I will speed you now to the afterlife, where you may contemplate your life’s egregious mistakes.

    Web Original 
The notion — that war is, as Jex puts it, "a different world" in which normality shifts drastically and morality becomes fuzzy — is, for a start, a somewhat glib truism. Like all such glib truisms, it can be pressed into service (i.e. "Yes, an invasion will kill lots of Iraqi people... but we have to do something; Saddam has WMD!!!") or ignored (i.e. "Those Muslamic terrorists are killing Our Boys!!! Why do they hate us???") according to ideological needs and preferences.

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.

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.”

“It’s acting that way because of who wrote it. Bradley raped her daughter and her sons. Bradley believed that bloodlines and special genetics were superior to actually learning or being taught a good moral code. Bradley knew society considered incest and pedophilia to be wrong... but she hated it.
“And so she wrote this, no doubt hoping that the cover of ‘it’s a different time and culture!’ would disguise that she agreed with it. I’d bet good money that most readers of the time accepted this ‘heartwarming’ reunion because they thought that there really was just a difference of viewpoints and the two should just let bygones be bygones. Hell, the All The Tropes page for this booknote  lists Viviane as having Blue-and-Orange Morality! People really think it’s just a case that she’s perfectly well-meaning but operating under a different view of morality than most people!
“(None of the synonyms for ‘well-intentioned’ apply to the woman who deliberately plotted the drugged rape of her niece and nephew, who is also using magic to curse an aspiring mother with infertility because said mother wouldn’t raise her child in Viviane’s religion, and whose only objection to having that same aspiring mother raped and impregnated by her brutal maybe-brother as a forced divorce was that no woman would help Avalon do this. None of them.)”

    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

Starlight Glimmer: So if it happens to someone else, it doesn't matter. But as soon as it happens to you, then it's a problem.
Twilight Sparkle: Yes, that's how caring about things works, Starlight. Anyone who says otherwise is lying.
My Little Pony: Totally Legit Recap, "School Raze" (Part 1)

    Western Animation 
The Coon: I'm makin' the world a better place!
Mysterion: For you! You're making the world a better place for you!
The Coon: ...riiight, that's what superheroes do.

    Real Life 
Cree el ladrón que todos son de su condición. (The thief believes everyone is like him.)
Spanish proverb

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.
Louis Veuillot

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

Murder is a crime. Killing is simply an unfortunate fact of the world we live in.
J.A. Faust

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 they 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.

"What were they [the Amerindians] fighting for, in opposing the white man on this continent? For their wish to continue a primitive existence; for their “right” to keep part of the earth untouched – to keep everybody out so they could live like animals or cavemen. Any European who brought with him an element of civilization had the right to take over this continent, and it’s great that some of them did. The racist Indians today – those who condemn America – do not respect individual rights."
Ayn Rand, Q&A session of her commencement address to the US Military Academy of 'West Point', 1974

In every political community there are varying shades of political opinion. One of the shadiest of these is the liberals... Ten degrees to the left of center in good times. Ten degrees to the right of center if it affects them personally.

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

Every single empire in its official discourse has said that it is not like all the others, that its circumstances are special, that it has a mission to enlighten, civilize, bring order and democracy, and that it uses force only as a last resort. And, sadder still, there always is a chorus of willing intellectuals to say calming words about benign or altruistic empires, as if one shouldn't trust the evidence of one's eyes watching the destruction and the misery and death brought by the latest mission civilizatrice."''
Edward Said, Orientalism

You're not to be so blind with patriotism that you can't face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or says it.

Loyalty is involved, and so pity ceases to function.

All nationalists have the power of not seeing resemblances between similar sets of facts. A British Tory will defend self-determination in Europe and oppose it in India with no feeling of inconsistency. 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 — torture, the use of hostages, forced labour, mass deportations, imprisonment without trial, forgery, assassination, the bombing of civilians — which does not change its moral colour when it is committed by 'our' side... The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.
George Orwell, Notes on Nationalism

Despite all evidence to the contrary, we still want to believe that men who are accused of sexual assault are all "monsters". True, some of them may be monsters we know—our employers, our clergymen, our favorite celebrities, our politicians, our Supreme Court justices—but they are "monsters" nonetheless. A "good guy" can't possibly have committed assault, regardless of the mental gymnastics he has to engage in to convince himself of that ("20 minutes of action," anyone?). Even men who admit to keeping sex slaves in conflict zones will claim they did not commit rape—it's that other guy, that "monster" over there, that "bad guy" who did. In fact, one of the traits rapists have been found to reliably share is that they don't believe they are the problem.


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