You cannot have Liberty in this World without what you call Moral Virtue, and you cannot have Moral Virtue without the Slavery of that half of the Human Race who hate what you call Moral Virtue.
The spirit of a nation is reflected in its history, its religion, and the degree of its political freedom. The improvement of individual morality is a matter involving one’s private religion, one’s parents, one’s personal efforts, and one’s individual situation. The cultivation of the spirit of the people as a whole requires in addition the respective contributions of folk religion and political institutions.
The pity is the public will demand and find a moral in my book — or worse they may take it in some more serious way, and on the honor of a gentleman, there is not one single serious line in it.
The most important human endeavor is the striving for morality in our actions. Our inner balance and even our very existence depend on it. Only morality in our actions can give beauty and dignity to life.
The moral decline we are compelled to witness and the suffering it engenders are so oppressive that one cannot ignore them even for a moment. No matter how deeply one immerses oneself in work, a haunting feeling of inescapable tragedy persists. Still, there are moments when one feels free from one’s own identification with human limitations and inadequacies. At such moments, one imagines that one stands on some spot of a small planet, gazing in amazement at the cold yet profoundly moving beauty of the eternal, the unfathomable: life and death flow into one, and there is neither evolution nor destiny; only being.
The fact that man knows right from wrong proves his INTELLECTUAL superiority to the other creatures; but the fact that he can DO wrong proves his MORAL inferiority to any creature that CANNOT.
The development from a religion of fear to moral religion is a great step in peoples’ lives. And yet, that primitive religions are based entirely on fear and the religions of civilized peoples purely on morality is a prejudice against which we must be on our guard. The truth is that all religions are a varying blend of both types, with this differentiation: that on the higher levels of social life the religion of morality predominates. Common to all these types is the anthropomorphic character of their conception of God.