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View all quotes by C.S. Lewis
View all quotes in Morality
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
"A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is... A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in."
"Surely what a man does when he is caught off his guard is the best evidence as to what sort of man he is."
"Human beings, all over the earth, have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way, and can't really get rid of it."
"Morality, like numinous awe, is a jump; in it, man goes beyond anything that can be 'given' in the facts of experience."
"When a man is getting worse, he understands his own badness less and less. A moderately bad man knows he is not very good: a thoroughly bad man thinks he is all right."
"You would not call a man humane for ceasing to set mousetraps if he did so because he believed there were no mice in the house."
"Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil."
"Badness is only spoiled goodness."
"We have a strange illusion that mere time cancels sin. But mere time does nothing either to the fact or to the guilt of a sin."
"The Moral Law tells us the tune we have to play: our instincts are merely the keys."
"Whenever you find a man who says he doesn't believe in a real Right and Wrong, you will find the same man going back on this a moment later."
"You find out more about God from the Moral Law than from the univerise in general just as you find out more about a man by listening to his conversation than by looking at a house he has built."
"Wherever any precept of traditional morality is simply challenged to produce its credentials, as though the burden of proof lay on it, we have taken the wrong position."
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