Quotations About / On: EVIL

  • 51.
    Evil being the root of mystery, pain is the root of knowledge.
    (Simone Weil (1909-1943), French philosopher, mystic. repr. in First and Last Notebooks, pt. 3, ed. Richard Rees (1970). New York Notebook (written 1942, published 1950).)
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  • 52.
    The mediation by the serpent was necessary: Evil can seduce man, but cannot become man.
    (Franz Kafka (1883-1924), Prague German Jewish author, novelist. The Third Notebook, December 7, 1917. The Blue Octavo Notebooks, ed. Max Brod, trans. by Ernst Kaiser and Eithne Wilkins. Exact Change, Cambridge, MA (1991). Dearest Father: Stories and Other Writings, trans. by Ernst Kaiser and Eithne Wilkins, New York, Schocken Books (1954).)
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  • 53.
    Man must vanquish himself, must do himself violence, in order to perform the slightest action untainted by evil.
    (E.M. Cioran (b. 1911), Romanian-born-French philosopher. "The Demiurge," The New Gods (1969, trans. 1974).)
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  • 54.
    Whatever evil a man may think of women, there is no woman but thinks more.
    (Sébastien-Roch Nicolas De Chamfort (1741-1794), French writer, wit. Maximes et Pensées, vol. 2, no. 414 (1796).)
  • 55.
    The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
    (Edmund Burke (1729-1797), Irish philosopher, statesman. Attributed. Ascribed in various forms to Burke, though never found in his writings. Possibly it is a distillation of the words found in Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents (1770): see Burke on alliances.)
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  • 56.
    Of all evil I deem you capable: therefore I want the good from you.
    (Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), German philosopher, classical scholar, critic of culture. Friedrich Nietzsche, Sämtliche Werke: Kritische Studienausgabe, vol. 4, p. 152, eds. Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari, Berlin, de Gruyter (1980); Thus Spoke Zarathustra, p. 118, trans. by Walter Kaufmann, New York, Penguin Books (1978). Zarathustra, in Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Second Part, "On Those Who are Sublime," (1883).)
    More quotations from: Friedrich Nietzsche, evil
  • 57.
    My evil genius Procrastination has whispered me to tarry 'til a more convenient season.
    (Mary Todd Lincoln (1818-1882), U.S. First Lady. Letter, June 1841. Mary Todd Lincoln: Her Life and Letters (1972).)
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  • 58.
    Jacques said that his master said that everything good or evil we encounter here below was written on high.
    (Denis Diderot (1713-1784), French philosopher, encyclopedist, dramatist, novelist, art critic. Jacques the Fatalist (Jacques le Fataliste) (1796), introductory paragraph, Paris, Garnier Flammarion (1970). Picaresque novel; Jacques is ironically quoting his master in the preamble to the novel.)
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  • 59.
    There is a good principle which created order, light, and man, and an evil principle which created chaos, darkness, and woman.
    (Pythagoras (c. 572-497 B.C.), Greek philosopher. This is one of many instances of sexism among ancient Greek philosophers. Sisterhood Is Powerful: An Anthology of Writings from the Women's Liberation Movement, p. 31, ed. Robin Morgan, Random House (1970).)
  • 60.
    And he who must be a creator in good and evil: verily, he must be an annihilator first and demolish values.
    (Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), German philosopher, classical scholar, critic of culture. Friedrich Nietzsche, Sämtliche Werke: Kritische Studienausgabe, vol. 4, p. 149, eds. Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari, Berlin, de Gruyter (1980). Zarathustra, in Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Second Part, "On Self-Overcoming," (1883).)
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