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Quotes / To Be Lawful or Good

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The Codex Astartes is a set of rules. They guide us... shape us as Ultramarines... teach us to hold duty and honor sacred above all. But how we live with those rules is the true test of a Space Marine.

Justice, or order? One day you are going to have to make that choice.
Nathan Ford, Leverage, The Last Goodbye Job

I can't let that happen! If worst comes to worst, I'll have to defy Harker — and take the consequences! Because there's a moral law that's above some man-made laws! I've fought tyrants before... thought it meant defying their inhuman decrees!

[The Mad King] told me to bring him my father's head. Then he... turned to his pyromancer. "Burn them all", he said. "Burn them in their homes, burn them in their beds". Tell me, if your precious Renly commanded you to kill your own father and stand by while thousands of men, women and children burned alive, would you have done it? Would you have kept your oath then?
Jaime Lannister, Game of Thrones

Orisa: Tracer, is it wrong for us to operate outside the law?
Tracer: That's a difficult question, Orisa. I think there are some times when you need to do what's right.

Jimmy Malone: You said you wanted to know how to get Capone. Do you really want to get him? You see what I'm saying? What are you prepared to do?
Eliot Ness: Everything within the law.
Malone: And then, what are you prepared to do? If you open the ball on these people, you must be prepared to go all the way. Because they won't give up the fight until one of you is dead.
Ness: I want to get Capone. I don't know how.
Malone: You want to get Capone? Here's how you get Capone: He pulls a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to hospital, you send one of his to the morgue! That's the Chicago way! And that's how you get Capone. Now, do you want to do that? Are you ready to do that? I'm making you a deal. Do you want this deal?
Ness: I have sworn to put this man away, with any and all legal means at my disposal, and I will do so.
Malone: Well, the Lord hates a coward...
(they shake hands)
Malone: Do you know what a blood oath is, Mr. Ness?
Ness: Yes.
Malone: Good, 'cause you just took one.

Frederick Lantze: The Centauri are furious over this incident.
Captain Sheridan: What was I supposed to do, stand by and let them blow this place to bits?
Lantze: You destroyed a Centauri warship!
Sheridan: You're damn straight! And if I hadn't, you and I wouldn't be here to have this conversation. They fired first, Mr. Lantz. I have an obligation to protect this station.
Lantz: You have no business helping a Narn cruiser.
Sheridan: Are you telling me to disobey regulations?
Lantz: What regulations?
Sheridan: General Order 37: Earth Force personnel are required to answer distress calls and assist any vessel not currently involved in hostilities against Earth. Now, it may not have been politically convenient, but morally and legally, it was the right decision.

Okoye: I'm not a spy who can come and go as they so choose. I am loyal to that throne, no matter who sits upon it. What are you loyal to?
Nakia: I loved him. I love my country, too.
Okoye: Then you serve your country.
Nakia: No. I'll save my country.

Detective North: It's all jokes isn't it? You think you're above all this. You and your pals. Above the law.
Spider-Man: You know what? Yeah. I kinda do. Happy now? What kinda laws are there for a guy who can throw cars, and leap over buildings and save thousands of people but needs to wear a mask to keep his loved ones safe? This whole deal? There's no rulebook. Look, I get it. You "swore an oath." Well, so did I. So did all of us. Sometimes we mess up, like your previous punching bag Daredevil! But guess what? We solve it. Daredevil messed up, and I made sure he went away to get his head on straight. He may never come back, but I sure as hell won't let him rot in a prison under "Mayor Fisk." He's a hero.
Detective North: So a guy in a mask can jump a little higher, punch a little harder, and he's getting away with murder? Who's making that call?
Spider-Man: Don't slippery slope the guy who can stick to walls, you know what I'm saying. You need to stop thinking about "legal" and "illegal" and start thinking about "right" and "wrong." We've been up here an hour. You know what happens at the hour mark? My webbing dissolves. So you've got a choice to make... do you want to save lives? Or "uphold the law"?
Daredevil, Volume 6 #11.

What is right and what is legal are not always the same thing. I spent years smuggling medicine and food to people in need. I was a criminal, yes, but never a bad man.

Sherlock Holmes: By the way, Doctor, I shall want your cooperation.
Doctor Watson: I shall be delighted.
Holmes: You don't mind breaking the law?
Watson: Not in the least.
Holmes: Nor running a chance of arrest?
Watson: Not in a good cause.
Holmes: Oh, the cause is excellent!
Watson: Then I am your man.
Holmes: I was sure that I might rely on you.
— "A Scandal in Bohemia", The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

"For as long as I can remember I just wanted to do what was right. I guess I'm not quite sure what that is anymore. And I thought I could throw myself back in and follow orders, serve. It's just not the same."

"Listen, violation patrol! Forget Directive A-7— I'm trying to save lives!"
Superman, The Immortal Superman


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