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Arnold Toynbee

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The Comtists are right when they say that men's moral ideas are not fixed. The attitude of public opinion towards slavery was completely changed in twenty or thirty years. Still I am obliged to believe that such a moral revolution as the Comtists hope for is not possible within a reasonable space of time.

 
Arnold Toynbee

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Freedom of the press, subject only to liability for personal injuries. This formidable censor of the public functionaries, by arraigning them at the tribunal of public opinion, produces reform peaceably, which must otherwise be done by revolution. It is also the best instrument for enlightening the mind of man, and improving him as a rational, moral, and social being.

 
Thomas Jefferson
 

Such a conscription, with the state of public opinion that would have required it, and the many moral fruits it would bear, would preserve in the midst of a pacific civilization the manly virtues which the military party is so afraid of seeing disappear in peace. We should get toughness without callousness, authority with as little criminal cruelty as possible, and painful work done cheerily because the duty is temporary, and threatens not, as now, to degrade the whole remainder of one's life. I spoke of the "moral equivalent" of war. So far, war has been the only force that can discipline a whole community, and until and equivalent discipline is organized, I believe that war must have its way. But I have no serious doubt that the ordinary prides and shames of social man, once developed to a certain intensity, are capable of organizing such a moral equivalent as I have sketched, or some other just as effective for preserving manliness of type. It is but a question of time, of skilful propogandism, and of opinion-making men seizing historic opportunities.

 
William James
 

It is moral by his code to get into office by false pretences. It is moral to change convictions overnight. Anything is moral that furthers the main concern of his soul, which is to keep a place at the public trough.

 
H. L. Mencken
 

If you have standards, moral standards, you have to want to make them prevail, and at the very least you have to argue in their favor. Now, show me where libertarians have argued in some comprehensive way for a set of moral standards. ... I don't think morality can be decided on the private level. I think you need public guidance and public support for a moral consensus. The average person has to know instinctively, without thinking too much about it, how he should raise his children.

 
Irving Kristol
 

In the beginning was nature. The background from which and against our ideas of God were formed, nature remains the supreme moral problem. We cannot hope to understand sex and gender until we clarify our attitude toward nature. Sex is a subset to nature. Sex is the natural in man.

 
Camille Paglia
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