Good and Evil Quotes

Good and evil is a popular theme in fantasy, and it’s interesting to think about what these words actually mean for different writers. Here are some good and evil quotes (non-fantasy) to stimulate ideas.

In my own stories, evil is a kind of un-evolved force—something blocking or working against the development of the universe.

Here are some good and evil quotes I found interesting.

Ned Marcus—Good and Evil QuotesBlue Angel by Malgorzatta Gluchowska

Good and Evil Quotes

Dion Fortune, British occultist and author, 1890-1946

“Positive evil is a force moving against the current of evolution; negative evil is simply the opposition of an inertia which has not yet been overcome…”

On Negative Evil

“The natural conservatism of a mature mind is regarded as evil by the would-be reformer; the natural iconoclasm of youth is regarded as evil by the administrator who has established his system. Nevertheless, we cannot dispense with either of these opposing factors if society is to be maintained in a healthy state; between them we achieve a steady progress that neither disorganizes society nor permits it to sink into inertia and decay. Both these factors are indispensable to social welfare, yet either of them, unchecked, would lead to harm.”

On Positive Evil

“Positive evil is a different matter. It may be of the nature of an iconoclasm carried too far that descends into sheer anarchy; or of conservation carried too far, and becoming class privilege and vested interest militating against the general welfare. Or it may take the form of actual political corruption, such as organized prostitution or child-labour, which undermines the health of the body politic.”

“it is only ignorant adherents of a faith who believe in the conflict between light and darkness, spirit and matter, which shall eventually result in the triumph of the good and total abolition and elimination of all opposing influences.”

“We cannot deal with evil by cutting if off and destroying it, but only by absorbing and harmonising it.”

Rabindranath Tagore, 1861-1941, Bengali poet and philosopher, Stray Birds, 1916

“He who wants to do good knocks at the gate; he who loves finds the gate open.” 

Democritus, Greek philosopher, c 460- c 370

“More men become good through practice than by nature.”

William Blake, 1757-1827, English poet & artist, Marriage of Heaven & Hell

Always be ready to speak your mind, and a base man will avoid you.

Energy is Eternal Delight

Churton Collins, 1848-1928, English literary critic

“We are no more responsible for the evil thoughts which pass through our minds, than a scarecrow for the birds which fly over the seed-plot he has to guard; the sole responsibility in each case is to prevent them from settling.”

Anton Chekov, 1860-1904, Russian playwright and short story writer

“Man will only become better when you make him see what he is like.”

The Dhammapada, 3rd Century BCE

“He who seeks happiness for himself by making others unhappy is bound in the chains of hate and from those he cannot be free.”

Thomas Fuller, 1608-1661, English churchman and historian.

“The Devil himself is good when he is pleased.”

John Keats, 1795-1821, English poet

“Upon the whole I dislike mankind: whatever people on the other side of the question may advance, they cannot deny that they are always surprised at hearing of a good action and never of a bad one.”

Good and Evil Quotes—Original RWS Devil TarotThe Devil—is often unfairly blamed for the evil in the world.

More Good and Evil Quotes

Joseph Conrad, 1857-1924, Polish-British Writer 

“The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.”

Marquis de Vauvenargues, 1715-1747, French writer & moralist

“The wicked are always surprised to find that the good can be clever.”

“The common excuse of those who bring misfortune on others is that they desire their good.”

La Rochefoucauld, 1613-1680, French writer

“Few men are sufficiently discerning to appreciate all the evil they do.”

Albert Camus, 1913-1960, French philosopher, author, and journalist

“How many crimes are committed merely because their authors could not endure being wrong!”

C.G. Jung, 1875-1961, Swiss psychiatrist & psychoanalyst, Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious

“With what pleasure we read newspaper reports of crime! A true criminal becomes a popular figure because he unburdens in no small degree the consciences of his fellow men, for now they know once more where evil is to be found.”

William Hazlitt, 1778-1830, English literary critic & essayist

“A wonder is often expressed that the greatest criminals look like other men. The reason is that they are like other men in many respects.”

William James, 1842-1910, American philosopher and psychologist, Varieties of Religious Experience

“The lunatic’s visions of horror are all drawn from the material of daily life.”

Jean Rostand, 1894-1977, French biologist & philosopher, Pensées d’un biologiste

“Kill a man, and you are a murderer. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill everyone, and you are a god.”

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, 1918-2008, Russian novelist, historian, and short story writer, The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956

“If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?” 

George Bernard Shaw, 1856-1950, Irish playwright & critic

“A Native American elder once described his own inner struggles in this manner: Inside of me there are two dogs. One of the dogs is mean and evil. The other dog is good. The mean dog fights the good dog all the time. When asked which dog wins, he reflected for a moment and replied, The one I feed the most.” 

Martin Luther King Jr., 1929-1968, American Christian minister & activist

“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.” 

Dorothy L. Sayers, 1893-1957, English crime writer & poet

While time lasts there will always be a future, and that future will hold both good and evil, since the world is made to that mingled pattern.

I hope you enjoyed these good and evil quotes. If you have any other good and evil quotes you like me to include, send them to me via my contact page or on FB


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