Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Justice

"Our first duties are to ourselves; our first feelings are centered on self; all our instincts are at first directed to our own preservation and our own welfare. Thus the first notion of justice springs not from what we owe to others, but from what is due to us." - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

"The fundamental principle of all morals, on the basis of which I have reasoned in all my writings... is that man is naturally good, loving justice and order; that there is absolutely no original perversity in the human heart, and that the first movements of nature are always right." - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

"The beginning of research is curiosity, its essence is discernment, and its goal truth and justice." - Isaac Halevi Satanov, fully Isaac ben Moses Halevi Satanov

"Expediency often silences justice." -

"Attach thyself to truth; defend justice; rejoice in the beautiful. That which comes to thee with time, time will take away; that which is eternal will remain in thy heart." - Esaias Tegnér

"Even granting the author [Rutherford]... his main principle, ‘That every man’s own happiness is the ultimate end, which nature and reason teach him to pursue’, why may not nature and reason teach him, too, to have some desire to see others happy as well as himself, or give him some delight in doing what seems fit and right, if these things do not interfere with his own happiness?... Why may he not, with the pursuit of that end, join some other pursuits not inconsistent with it, instead of transforming every benevolent affection, every moral view, into self-interest? This surely neither does honour to religion, nor justice to human nature." - Catharine Trotter Cockburn

"The absolute demonstration of man’s mastery of fate and command of all condition - the victory of man - all men in this racial man, this elder brother of mankind in his triumph over sin, fear and death! But one thing had remained in my mind as necessary to prove to the mass of men to-day man’s absolute supremacy over death in all its forms as an attribute of his oneness with God, with Eternal Life, Perfect Love, Perfect Justice, Omniscience and Omnipotence." - Paul Tyner

"Every virtue gives a man a degree of felicity in some kind: honesty gives a man a good report; justice, estimation; prudence, respect; courtesy and liberality, affection; temperance gives health; fortitude, a quiet mind, not to be moved by any adversity." - Francis Walsingham, fully Sir Francis Walsingham

"The greatest right in the world is the right to be wrong. If the Government or majorities think an individual is right, no one will interfere with him; but when agitators talk against the things considered holy, or when radicals criticise, or satirize the political gods, or question the justice of our laws and institutions, or pacifists talk against war, how the old inquisition awakens, and ostracism, the excommunication of the church, the prison, the wheel, the torture-chamber, the mob, are called to suppress the free expression of thought." - Harry Weinberger

"Slavery is but half abolished, emancipation is but half completed, while millions of freemen with votes in their hands are left without education. Justice to them, the welfare of the States in which they live, the safety of the whole Republic, the dignity of the elective franchise, - all alike demand that the still remaining bonds of ignorance shall be unloosed and broken, and the minds as well as the bodies of the emancipated go free." - Robert C. Winthrop,fully Robert Charles Winthrop

"Intellectual and spiritual leaders hailed the cause of civil rights and gave little thought to where the civil disobedience road might end. But defiance of the law, even for the best reasons, opens a tiny hole in the dike and soon a trickle becomes a flood... And while no thinking person denies that social injustice exits, no thinking person can condone any group, for any reason, taking justice into his own hands. Once this is permitted, democracy dies; for democracy is sustained through one great premise: the premise that civil rights are balanced by civil responsibilities." - Spiro T. Agnew, fully Spiro Theodore Agnew

"Never expect justice from a vain man; if he has the negative magnanimity not to disparage you, it is the most you can expect." - Washington Allston

"Liberty, equality - bad principles! The only true principle for humanity is justice, and justice towards the feeble becomes necessarily protection or kindness." -

"This is a property of the rational soul, love of one’s neighbor, and truth and modesty, and to value nothing more than itself, which is also the property of Law. Thus then right reason differs not at all from the reason of justice." - Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

"The matter of justice is an external operation, in so far as either it or the thing we use by it is made proportionate to some other person to whom we are related by justice. Now each man’s own is that which is due to him according to equality of proportion. Therefore the proper act of justice is nothing else than to render to each one his own." -

"The humorous man recognizes that absolute purity, absolute justice, absolute logic and perfection are beyond human achievement and that men have been able to live happily for thousands of years in a state of genial frailty." - Brooks Atkinson, fully Justin Brooks Atkinson

"Only he is free who cultivates his own thoughts... and strives without fear of man to do justice to them." - Berthold Auerbach

"Justice is unstable and changeable? No, but the times over which justice presides are not alike, for they are times." - Saint Augustine, aka Augustine of Hippo, St. Austin, Bishop of Hippo NULL

"The people... is an assemblage associated by a common acknowledgment of right and by a community of interests... Where there is no true justice there can be no right." - Saint Augustine, aka Augustine of Hippo, St. Austin, Bishop of Hippo NULL

"Beauty is but the sensible image of the Infinite. Like truth and justice it lives within us; like virtue and the moral law it is a companion of the soul." - George Bancroft

"Justice, not the majority, should rule." - Christian Nestell Bovee

"Justice, though due to the accused, is due to the accuser also. The concept of fairness must not be strained till it is narrowed to a filament. We are to keep the balance true." -

"Debt haunts the mind; a conversation about justice troubles it; the sight of a creditor fills it with confusion; even the sanctuary is not a place of refuge. The borrower is servant to the lender. Independence, so essential to the virtues and pleasures of a man, can only be maintained by setting bounds to our desires and owing no man anything." - Chartery NULL

"Law is not law, if it violate the principles of eternal justice." -

"All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom; justice; honor; duty; mercy; hope." -

"There is no such thing as justice - in or out of court." - Clarence Darrow, fully Clarence Seward Darrow

"Justice is the end of government." - Daniel Defoe, born Daniel Foe

"We cannot seek or attain health, wealth, learning, justice or kindness in general. Action is always specific, concrete, individualized, unique." - John Dewey

"Every kind of peaceful cooperation among men is primarily based on mutual trust and only secondarily on institutions such as courts of justice and police." - Albert Einstein

"The pursuit of knowledge for its own sake, an almost fanatical love of justice, and the desire for personal independence - these are the features of Jewish tradition which make me thank my stars that I belong to it." - Albert Einstein

"Truth is s thing immortal and perpetual, and it gives to us a beauty that fades not away in time, nor does it take away the freedom of speech which proceeds from justice; but it gives to us the knowledge of what is just and lawful, separating from them the unjust and refuting them." -

"Above all others is justice: success is a good thing; wealth is good also; honor is better; but justice excels them all." - David Dudley Field II

"Pity and forbearance should characterize all acts of justice." - Benjamin Franklin

"When the law contradicts what most people regard as moral and proper, they will break the law - whether the law is enacted in the name of a noble ideal... or in the naked interest of one group at the expense of another. Only fear of punishment, not a sense of justice and morality, will lead people to obey the law." -

"Only when man succeeds in developing his reason and love further than he has done so far, only when he can build a world based on human solidarity and justice, only when he can feel rooted in the experience of universal brotherliness, will he have transformed his world into a true, human home." -

"We win justice quickest by rendering justice to the other." -

"Justice delayed is justice denied." - William Ewart Gladstone

"Nothing can be hostile to religion which is agreeable to justice." - William Ewart Gladstone

"Justice is but the distributing to everything according to the requirements of its nature." - Joseph Glanvill

"Faith in the ability of a leader is of slight service unless it be united with faith in his justice." - George Washington Goethals

"A great deal may be done by severity, more by love, but most by clear discernment and impartial justice." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Rabban Simeon ben Gamaliel had said: "The world rests on three things: On justice, on truth, on peace." Said Rabbi Mona: "But these are one and the same: For if there is justice, there is truth, and if there is truth, there is peace."" - Perek Ha-Shalom

"Justice is the tolerable accommodation of the conflicting interests of society, and I don't believe there is any royal road to attain such accommodation concretely." -

"Right knows no boundaries and justice no frontiers; the brotherhood of man is not a domestic institution." -

"Beyond the limits of his confining skin, no man can own any thing. “Property” refers not to things owned but to the rights granted by society; they must periodically be re-examined in the light of social justice." - Garrett Hardin, fully Garrett James Hardin

"It is highly convenient to believe in the infinite mercy of God when you feel the need of mercy, but remember also His infinite justice." - Benjamin R. Haydon

"The Kaddish is not a prayer for the dead, but a mandate for the living... It bids man rise above his sorrow... and fixes his view upon the welfare of mankind. It lifts his hope and vision to a day... when mankind shall at last inhabit the earth as children of the one God and Father, and justice reign supreme in peace." - R. Hertz, fully Rabbi Joseph Herman Hertz

"To equal justice appertaineth also the equal imposition of taxes; the equality whereof dependeth not on the equality of riches, but on the equality of the debt that every man oweth to the commonwealth for his defense." - Thomas Hobbes

"Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political; peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none; the support of the State governments in all their rights, as the most competent administrations for our domestic concerns, and the surest bulwarks against anti-republican tendencies; the preservation of General Government in its whole constitutional vigor, as the sheet anchor of our peace at home and safety abroad... freedom of religion, freedom of the press; freedom of person under the protection of habeas corpus; and trials by juries impartially selected, these principles form the bright constellation which has gone before us, and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation." - Thomas Jefferson