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Quotes about Morality

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104 art quotes about Morality found | Share this page of quotes about Morality on Facebook

Morality is a private and costly luxury. (Henry Brooks Adams)

It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them. (Alfred Adler)

I've handled colour as a man should behave. You may conclude that I consider ethics and aesthetics as one. (Josef Albers)

Freedom, morality, and the human dignity of the individual consists precisely in this: that he does good not because he is forced to do so, but because he freely conceives it, wants it, and loves it. (Mikhail Bakunin)

For thousands of years art was seen as a source of responsible moral and ethical leadership. Today, taking that stance is almost seen as comic. (Jack Beal)

I don't want to know anything about your system of ethics. Strength is the morality of the man who stands out from the rest, and it is mine. (Ludwig van Beethoven)

-The Commonplace Book
The greatest happiness of the greatest number is the foundation of morals and legislation. (Jeremy Bentham)

moral, adj. Conforming to a local and mutable standard of right. Having the quality of general expediency. (Ambrose Bierce)

immoral, adj. Inexpedient. Whatever in the long run and with regard to the greater number of instances men find to be generally inexpedient comes to be considered wrong, wicked, immoral. (Ambrose Bierce)

Prudence is a rich, ugly, old maid courted by incapacity. (William Blake)

Every age has its massive moral blind spots. We might not see them, but our children will. (Bono)

Limited means often constitute the charm and force of primitive painting. Extension, on the contrary, leads the arts to decadence. (Georges Braque)

Despite what they tell you, there are simply no moral absolutes in a complex world. (Berkely Breathed)

Conventionality is not morality. (Charlotte Bronte)

Art itself is essentially ethical; because every true work of art must have a beauty or grandeur of some kind, and beauty and grandeur cannot be comprehended by the beholder except through the moral sentiment. The eye is only a witness; it is not a judge. The mind judges what the eye reports to it; therefore, whatever elevates the moral sentiment to the contemplation of beauty and grandeur is in itself ethical. (Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton)

The important thing is moral choice. Evil has to exist along with good, in order that moral choice may operate. (Anthony Burgess)

Legislating morality belongs in the same dustbin as the notion of an excellent barber giving himself a good haircut. (Brett Busang)

Morality is the custom of one's country and the current feeling of one's peers. (Samuel Butler, novelist)

In a world that has ceased to believe in sin, the artist is responsible for the preaching. (Albert Camus)

Morality, and the ideal of freedom which is the political expression of morality, are not the property of a given party or group, but a value that is fundamentally and universally human... No people will be truly free till all are free. (Benedetto Croce)

What the good Lord lets happen, I am not ashamed to print in my paper. (Charles Anderson Dana)

A moral being is one who is capable of reflecting on his past actions and their motives - of approving of some and disapproving of others. (Charles Darwin)

- b.412 BC d.323 BC...
Those who have virtue always in their mouths, and neglect it in practice, are like a harp, which emits a sound pleasing to others, while itself is insensible of the music. (Diogenes)

One ought to seek out virtue for its own sake, without being influenced by fear or hope, or by any external influence. Moreover, in that does happiness consist. (Diogenes)

We moralize among ruins. (Benjamin Disraeli)

If you want to make something appear deviant or immoral, turn it into pornography. If you want something to be timeless, valuable and a contribution to society and culture, turn it into Art. (David Dory)

Moral codes adjust themselves to environmental conditions. (Will Durant)

Every vice was once a virtue, and may become respectable again, just as hatred becomes respectable in wartime. (Will Durant)

If a man devotes himself to art, much evil is avoided that happens otherwise if one is idle. (Albrecht Durer)

I did not use paint, I made myself up morally. (Eleonora Duse)

Even virtue is an art; and even its devotees are divided into those who practise it and those who are merely amateurs. (Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach)

All true morality, inward and outward, is comprehended in love... (Meister Johann Eckhart)

A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death. (Albert Einstein)

An artist is completely amoral in that he will rob, beg, borrow, or steal from anybody and everybody to get the work done. (William Faulkner)

What is beautiful is moral; that is all there is to it. (Gustave Flaubert)

I consider morals and aesthetics one and the same, for they cover only one impulse, one drive inherent in our consciousness – to bring our life and all our actions into a satisfactory relationship with the events of the world as our consciousness wants it to be, in harmony with our life and according to the laws of consciousness itself. (Naum Gabo)

Morality is the basis of things and truth is the substance of all morality. (Mahatma Gandhi)

Whores are the most honest girls, they present the bill right away. The others hang on and never let you go. (Alberto Giacometti)

The truth is that there is no terror untempered by some great moral idea. (Jean-Luc Godard)

The work of art may have a moral effect, but to demand moral purpose from the artist is to make him ruin his work. (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)

-to Emile Bernard, re: his sonnets...
Study, analyse the social structure - that's always far more effective than moralising. (Vincent van Gogh)

As a general truth, it is safe to say that any picture that produces a moral impression is a bad picture. (Edmond and Jules De Goncourt)

Morality comes with the sad wisdom of age, when the sense of curiosity has withered. (Henry Graham Greene)

I know only that what is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after. (Ernest Hemingway)

Respect for the truth comes close to being the basis for all morality. (Frank Herbert)

We are punished by our sins, not for them. (Elbert Hubbard)

Of moral purpose I see no trace in Nature. That is an article of exclusively human manufacture and very much to our credit. (Thomas H. Huxley)

In matters of principle, stand like a rock. In matters of taste, swim with the current. (Thomas Jefferson)

-Critique of Practical Reason
Morality is not really the doctrine of how to make ourselves happy, but of how we are to be worthy of happiness. (Immanuel Kant)

The death of dogma is the birth of morality. (Immanuel Kant)

The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice. (Martin Luther King, Jr.)

When moral superiority combines with billowing ignorance, they fill up a hot-air balloon that's awfully hard not to poke. (Barbara Kingsolver)

The laws of morals and the laws of music are the same. (Zoltan Kodaly)

As morality seems to have supplanted civilization, I move on to the spiritual. (Jeff Koons)

The supreme morality of art is to endure. (Stanley Kunitz)

Morality which is based on ideas, or on an ideal, is an unmitigated evil. (D. H. Lawrence)

Ages, when custom is unsettled, are necessarily ages of prophecy. The moralist cannot teach what is revealed; he must reveal what can be taught. He has to seek insight rather than to preach. (Walter Lippmann)

Morality without religion is only a kind of dead reckoning - an endeavor to find our place on a cloudy sea by measuring the distance we have run, but without any observation of the heavenly bodies. (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)

In the ocean of baseness, the deeper we get, the easier the sinking. (James Russell Lowell)

Censorship, like charity, should begin at home, but unlike charity, it should end there. (Clare Boothe Luce)

The final purpose of art is to intensify, even, if necessary, to exacerbate, the moral consciousness of people. (Norman Mailer)

- b.1874 d.1965...
Art, unless it leads to right action, is no more than the opium of an intelligentsia. (W. Somerset Maugham)

-Redbook Puritanism
It is an open question whether any behavior based on fear of eternal punishment can be regarded as ethical or should be regarded as merely cowardly. (Margaret Mead)

Immorality: the morality of those who are having a better time. (H. L. Mencken)

Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere might be happy. (H. L. Mencken)

Virtue is not a chemical product... it is a historic product, like language and literature; and this means that if we cease to care about it, cease to cultivate it, cease to transmit its funded values, a large part of it will become meaningless, like a dead language to which we have lost the key. (Lewis Mumford)

Moralistic is not moral. And as for truth - well, it's like brown - it's not in the spectrum. Truth is so generic. (Iris Murdoch)

-The Joyful Wisdom
Morality is the herd-instinct in the individual. (Friedrich Nietzsche)

-Beyond Good and Evil
There are no moral phenomena, only a moral interpretation of phenomena. (Friedrich Nietzsche)

Fear is the mother of morality. (Friedrich Nietzsche)

Most people would like to be delivered from temptation but would like it to keep in touch. (Robert Owen)

Art is never chaste. We forbid it to the ignorant innocents, never allow a contact with those not sufficiently prepared. Yes art is dangerous, and if it is chaste it isn't art. (Pablo Picasso)

The difference is too nice / Where ends the virtue or begins the vice. (Alexander Pope)

It is not that the nude or nudity is disturbing but that we are disturbed by it, which is revealing. (Bernard Poulin)

-Remembrance of Things Past: Within a Budding Grove
As soon as one is unhappy, one becomes moral. (Marcel Proust)

The purpose of morality is to teach you, not to suffer and die, but to enjoy yourself and live. (Ayn Rand)

Art is not and never has been subordinate to moral values. Moral values are social values; aesthetic values are human values. Morality seeks to restrain the feelings; art seeks to define them by externalizing them, by giving them significant form. Morality has only one aim – the ideal good; art has quite another aim – the objective truth... art never changes. (Herbert Read)

I don't think anybody is anybody else's moral compass. (Lou Reed)

-The Function of the Orgasm, 1927...
The unity and congruity of culture and nature, work and love, morality and sexuality, longed for from time immemorial, will remain a dream as long as man continues to condemn the biological demand for natural (orgastic) sexual gratification. (Wilhelm Reich)

In morals, always do as others do; in art, never. (Jules Renard)

Advanced art today is no longer a cause - it contains no moral imperative. There is no virtue in clinging to principles and standards, no vice in selling or in selling out. (Harold Rosenberg)

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there. (Rumi)

There is a law in human nature which draws us to like what we passionately condemn. (George William Russell)

Morality without a sense of paradox is mean. (Friedrich Von Schlegel)

Compassion is the basis of morality. (Arthur Schopenhauer)

The extremes of light and shadow represent the moral poles of mankind. (Ian Semple)

It is ridiculous to say that art has nothing to do with morality. What is true is that the artist's business is not that of the policeman. (George Bernard Shaw)

I have always found that any painting showing the glorification of war or death is readily accepted. But the glorification of the life-giving act is considered sinful. (Herbert Siebner)

A system of morality which is based on relative emotional values is a mere illusion, a thoroughly vulgar conception which has nothing sound in it and nothing true. (Socrates)

Camp is a solvent of morality. It neutralizes moral indignation, sponsors playfulness. (Susan Sontag)

It has always seemed strange to me... the things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second. (John Steinbeck)

Prudery is a kind of avarice, the worst of all. (Stendhal)

Not only are the varieties of morality innumerable, but some of them are conflicting with each other. (Sir James Fitzjames Stephen)

-Across the Plains
If your morals make you dreary, depend upon it, they are wrong. (Robert Louis Stevenson)

Art is amoral; so is life. For me there are no obscene pictures or books; there are only poorly conceived and poorly executed ones. (Irving Stone)

Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life. Aim above morality. (Henry David Thoreau)

It's such an honour being banned in Italy, the mother of sensuality. It's like being asked to straighten your tie in a bordello... It's ironic that the pictures were removed on the complaint of a cardinal. I regard censorship as a cardinal sin. (Harold Town)

It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare. (Mark Twain)

Morals are an acquirement - like music, like a foreign language, like piety, poker, paralysis - no man is born with them. (Mark Twain)

What is morality in any given time or place? It is what the majority then and there happen to like and immorality is what they dislike. (Alfred North Whitehead)

The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame. (Oscar Wilde)

Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people whom we personally dislike. (Oscar Wilde)

You can be denounced from the heavens, and it only makes people interested. (Tom Wolfe)

In the fight between biology and morality, biology has commonly won in the end. (Semir Zeki)