Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes


"To grieve for evils is often wrong; but it is much more wrong to grieve without them. All sorrow that lasts longer than its cause is morbid, and should be shaken off as an attack of melancholy, as the forerunner of a greater evil than poverty or pain." -

"What right has any free, reasonable soul on earth to sell himself for a shilling a day to murder any man, right or wrong?" - Charles Kingsley

"If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong." - Abraham Lincoln

"Public opinion, though often formed upon a wrong basis, yet generally has a strong underlying sense of justice." - Abraham Lincoln

"It may be conjectured that it is cheaper in the long run to lift men up than to hold them down, and that the ballot in their hands is less dangerous to society than a sense of wrong is in their heads." - James Russell Lowell

"Truth forever on the scaffold, wrong forever on the throne." - James Russell Lowell

"Thinkin' is cheap, but thinkin' wrong is expensive." - Van Wyck Mason

"We have lose the habit of thinking quietly, of trying to know ourselves and our friends, and the world around us, and the God who is above and within us. We are looking in the wrong places for happiness. We are so exclusively occupied with material things and with their accumulation that the higher values are crowded out." - Robert J. McCracken, D.D.

"Not in theory, but in truth, the best and most excellent government for each nation is the one under which it has preserved its existence. Its form and essential fitness depend on habit. We are prone to be discontented with the present state of things. But I maintain, nevertheless, that to wish for the government of a few in a democratic state, or another type of government in a monarchy, is foolish and wrong." - Michel de Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

"We must form the picture of the life as a growth, transverse to time, and capable of growing not merely in one part but in many parts, i.e. we must get rid of the idea that he life only grows from the present. This gives a wrong relation to the moment. The life may grow in all parts of itself ad we may be affected by these growing directions (in other parts of our personal Time) even in the ‘present’." - Maurice Nicoll

"It is absurd to speak of right and wrong per se. Injury, violation, exploitation, annihilation, cannot be wrong in themselves, for life essentially presupposes injury, violation, exploitation, and annihilation." - Friedrich Nietzsche, fully Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

"It is vain to trust in wrong; as much of evil, so much of loss, is the formula of human history." - Joseph Parker

"Public opinion is compounded by folly, weakness, prejudice, wrong feeling, right feeling, obstinacy, and newspaper paragraphs." - Robert Peel, fully Sir Robert Peel, 2nd Baronet

"Whoever is right, the persecutor must be wrong." - William Penn

"Disagreement is refreshing when two men lovingly desire to compare their view to find out truth. Controversy is wretched when it is only an attempt to prove another wrong. Religious controversy does only harm. It destroys humble inquiry after truth, and throws all the energies into an attempt to prove ourselves right - a spirit in which no man gets at truth." -

"Tell men that God is love; that right is right, and wrong, wrong; let them cease to admire philanthropy, and begin to love men; cease to pant for heaven, and begin to love God; then the spirit of liberty begins." -

"There are few people who are more often in the wrong than those who cannot endure to be thought so." -

"The multitude is always in the wrong." - Wentworth Dillon, 4th Earl of Roscommon

"Everybody is a bit right; nobody is completely right or completely wrong. The prevalence of this point of view among all decent people nearly always has the same dreadful result for, according to their doctrine, every time a contemporary is quite right, he must be crucified. They can never forgive him because he denies their dogma; worst still, he reveals that they hold another dogma which they conceal." - Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy

"At times, although one is perfectly in the right, one's legs tremble; at other times, although one is completely in the wrong, birds sing in one's soul." - V. V. Rozanov, fully Vasily Vasilievich Rozanov or Vasilii Rosanov

"Men always love what is good or what they find good; it is in judging what is good that they go wrong." - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

"We are wrong to fear superiority of mind and soul; this superiority is very moral, for understanding everything makes one tolerant and the ability to feel deeply inspires great goodness." -

"Research teaches a man to admit he is wrong and to be proud of the fact that he does so, rather than try with all his energy to defend an unsound plan because he is afraid that admission of error is a confession of weakness when rather it is a sign of strength." - H. E. Stocher

"A child becomes an adult when he realizes that he has a right not only to be right but also to be wrong." -

"It is better to be old-fashioned and right than to be up-to-date and wrong." - Tiorio NULL

"Most people grow old within a small circle of ideas, which they have not discovered for themselves. There are perhaps less wrong-minded people than thoughtless." -

"There are two things necessary for a traveler to bring him to the end of his journey - a knowledge of his way, a perseverance in his walk. If he walk in a wrong way, the faster he goes the farther he is from home; if he sit still in the right way, he may know his home, but never come to it: discreet stays make speedy journeys. I will first then know my way, ere I begin my walk; the knowledge of my way is a good part of my journey." - Arthur Warwick

"The heart commonly govern the head; and any strong passion, set the wrong way, will soon infatuate even the wisest of men; therefore the first part of wisdom is to watch the affections." - Daniel Cosgrove Waterland

"Perception is based, to a very large extent, on conceptual models - which are always inadequate, often incomplete and sometimes profoundly wrong. This complex situation arose because signals from the environment itself can be inadequate. The sort of information we need is not always available. And so, knowledge from the past, mixed up with assumptions about that knowledge which may be more or less appropriate, are used to augment information provided by the senses. Which means that our perception of any situation depends only partly on sensory signals being received at that time. And it is only a very short step from there, to perception which occurs in the absence of all immediate signals and has to be labeled “extrasensory”." - Lyall Watson

"I never varied from the managerial rule that the worst possible thing we could do was to lie dead in the water of any problem. Solve it. Solve it quickly, solve it right or wrong. If you solved it wrong, it would come back and slap you in the face and then you could solve it right. Lying dead in the water and doing nothing is a comfortable alternative because it is without risk, but it is an absolutely fatal way to manage a business." -

"That the truths of the Bible have the power of awakening an intense moral feeling in every human being; that they make bad men good, and send a pulse of healthful feeling through all the domestic, civil, and social relations; that they teach men to love right, and hate wrong, and seek each other's welfare as children of a common parent; that they control the baleful passions of the heart, and thus make men proficient in self-government; and finally that they teach man to aspire after conformity to a being of infinite holiness, and fill him with hopes more purifying, exalted, and suited to his nature than any other book the world has ever known - these are facts as incontrovertible as the laws of philosophy, or the demonstrations of mathematics." - Francis Wayland

"When people agree I always feel that I must be wrong." -

"You tell us that baptism is absolutely necessary to go to heaven. If there were a man so good that he had never offended God, and if he died without baptism, would he go to hell, never having given any offense to God? If he goes to hell, then God must not love all good people, since He throws one into the fire. You teach us that God existed before the creation of heaven and earth. If He did, where did He live, since there was neither heaven nor earth? You say that the angels were created n the beginning of the world, and that those who disobeyed were cast into hell. How can that be so, since you say the angels sinned before earth’s creation, and hell is in the depths of the earth? You declare that those who go to hell do not come out of it, and yet you relate stories of the damned who have appeared in the world - how is that to be understood. Ah, how I would like to kill devils, since they do so much harm! But if they are made like men and some are even among men, do they still feel the fire of hell? Why is it that they do not repent for having offended God? If they did repent, would not God be merciful to them? If Our Lord has suffered for all sinners, why do not they receive pardon from him? You say that the virgin, mother of Jesus Christ, is not God, and that she has never offended God. You also say that her Son has redeemed all men, and atoned for all; but if she has done nothing wrong, her son could not redeem her nor atone for her." - Young “Savage” Seminarians NULL

"Never do I argue with a; man with a desire to hear him say what is wrong, or to expose him and win a victory over him… Whenever I face an opponent in debate I silently pray, “O Lord, Help him so that truth may flow from his heart and on his tongue, and so that if truth is on my side, he may follow me; and if it be on his side, I may follow him.”" - Al-Shafi’I, fully Abū ʿAbdullāh Muhammad ibn Idrīs al-Shafiʿī NULL

"There is only one way of not hating those who do us wrong, and that is by doing them good." - Henri Frédéric Amiel

"We thought we were done with these things but we were wrong. We thought, because we had power, we had wisdom." - Stephen Vincent Benét

"The reality of life is that your perceptions -- right or wrong -- influence everything else you do. When you get a proper perspective of your perceptions, you may be surprised how many other things fall into place." - Sven Birkerts

"That you may retain your self-respect, it is better to displease the people by doing what you know is right, than to temporarily please them by doing what you know is wrong." - William J. H. Boetcker, fully William John Henry Boetcker

"If a man foolishly does me wrong, I will return to him the protection of my ungrudging love; the more evil comes from him, the more good shall go from me; the fragrance of goodness always comes to me, and the harmful air of evil goes to him." -

"What is wrong with our culture is that it often offers us an inaccurate conception of the self. It depicts the personal self as existing in competition with and in opposition with and in opposition to nature. We thereby fail to realize that if we destroy our environment, we are destroying what is in fact our larger self." - Robert E. Carter, fully Robert Edgar Carter

"One does not fear God because He is terrible, but because he is literally the soul of goodness and truth, because to do him wrong is to do wrong to some mysterious part of oneself." - Joyce Cary

"We habitually erect a barrier called blame that keeps us from communicating genuinely with others, and we fortify it with our concepts of who’s right and who’s wrong." -

"Tolerance implies a respect for another person, not because he is wrong or even because he is right, but because he is human." - John Cogley

"Do not condemn the judgment of another because it differs from your own. You may both be wrong." - Dandemis NULL

"Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong." -

"The apportioning of blame [is] the means by which society obtains a modicum of revenge for the wrong it has suffered, expiates its own guilt for such responsibility as it may have had for the event in question, and finally seeks to prevent a repetition of the disaster." - Norman F. Dixon

"The more cruel the wrong that men commit against an individual or a people, the deeper their hatred and contempt for their victim. Conceit and false pride on the part of a nation prevent the rise of remorse for its crime." - Albert Einstein

"War is the greatest of all the awful and complex moral situations of the world - second only to the final judgment day… It is a moral pestilence. It is wrong on both sides." - P. T. Forsyth, fully Peter Taylor Forsyth

"The old view that the principles of right and wrong are immutable and eternal is no longer tenable. The moral world is as little exempt as the physical world from the law of ceaseless change, of perpetual flux." - James Frazer, aka James George Frazer

"Fuller, Richard Buckminster Fuller - When I'm working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I think only how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong." -