Sir Anthony Kenny on Virtue

“I comforted myself with the thought,” he said, “that even Socrates was very doubtful whether virtue could be taught.”

~ Sir Anthony Kenny

Catherine Wilson on Pain

Above all, resist superstition and the temptation to turn pain into moral virtue.

~ Wilson, Catherine. The Pleasure Principle: Epicureanism: A Philosophy for Modern Living (p. 87). HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

Margaret Atwood on Power

“It is just fun for a lot of people to demolish other people and it always has been, across the board. People like doing it. If you’re really going to put yourself in the box marked ‘virtuous’, you’ve got to ask yourself whether you’re actually being virtuous, or whether you’re being sadistic. Be aware of how you’re using your power.”

~ Margaret Atwood

Benjamin Franklin’s Thirteen Virtues

  1. Temperance. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
  2. Silence. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
  3. Order. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
  4. Resolution. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
  5. Frugality. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.
  6. Industry. Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
  7. Sincerity. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
  8. Justice. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
  9. Moderation. Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
  10. Cleanliness. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.
  11. Tranquillity. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
  12. Chastity. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.
  13. Humility. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

Marcus Aurelius on Virtue

“And then you might see what the life of the good man is like—someone content with what nature assigns him, and satisfied with being just and kind himself.”

~ Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius on Virtue

“This is what you deserve. You could be good today. But instead you choose tomorrow.”

~ Marcus Aurelius

Cicero on Virtue

“Honour is the reward of virtue.”

~ Cicero


Seneca on Betterment

“…putting all else aside, you make it each day your endeavour to become a better man.”

Seneca / Epistulae Morales AD Lucilium

David Hume on Virtue

Heaven and hell suppose two distinct species of men, the good and the bad. But the greatest part of mankind float betwixt vice and virtue.

~ David Hume

Benjamin Franklin on Vice

Virtue may not always make a face handsome, but vice will certainly make it ugly.

~ Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin on Virtue

Retirement does not always secure virtue; Lot was upright in the city, wicked in the mountain.

~ Benjamin Franklin

Plutarch on Vices

“A few vices are sufficient to darken many virtues.”

~ Plutarch

George Eliot on Virtue

“The growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.”

~ George Eliot

Buddha on Malice

“Better than a hundred years of mischief, is one day of contemplation.”

~ Buddha

Buddha on Virtue

“Speak the truth. Give what you can. Never be angry. These three steps will lead you into the presence of the gods.”

~ Buddha

Buddha on Virtue

“Virtue is persecuted more by the wicked than it is loved by the good.”

~ Buddha

Buddha on Malice

“As dust thrown against the wind, mischief is blown back in the face of the fool who wrongs the pure and harmless.”

~ Buddha

William Shakespeare on Contentment

“Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.”

~ William Shakespeare

Noel Coward on Gossip

“Work hard, do the best you can, don’t lose faith in yourself and take no notice of what other people say about you.”

~ Noel Coward

Buddha on Being Saved

“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.”

~ Buddha

Buddha on Good and Evil

“There has to be evil so that good can prove its purity above it.”

~ Buddha

William Shakespeare on Virtue

“How far that little candle throws his beams!
So shines a good deed in a naughty world.”

~ William Shakespeare

Oliver Sacks on Tranquility

“I find my thoughts, increasingly, not on the supernatural or spiritual but on what is meant by living a good and worthwhile life – achieving a sense of peace within oneself.”

~ Oliver Sacks / Gratitude

Edith Hall on Virtue

“Yet I still longed to be a good person, live a constructive life, and ideally leave the planet a better place than I had arrived in it.”

~ Edith Hall / Aristotle’s Way: How Ancient Wisdom Can Change Your Life