Evil Quotes

Most popular evil quotes

Idleness is the root of all evil.
Evil alone has oil for every wheel.
The love of money is the root of all evil.
— The Bible—I Timothy 6:10

money biblical greed

Man produces evil as a bee produces honey.
In God's hands intended evil becomes eventual good.

God

The face of "evil" is always the face of total need.
There is neither good or bad, but thinking makes it so.

Goodness

Destroy the seed of evil, or it will grow up to your ruin.
It is quite a predicament to be both evil and risk-averse.

risk-taking

Some people show evil as a great racehorse shows breeding.
It is very hard for evil to take hold of the unconsenting soul.
Evil is not something superhuman, it's something less than human.
Only among people who think no evil can Evil monstrously flourish.
What we call evil is simply ignorance bumping its head in the dark.
It is a man's own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways.

mind

It is by its promise of a sense of power that evil often attracts the weak.

power weakness

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

inaction

Evil is something you recognize immediately you see it: it works through charm.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones.

good and evil

There is no safety for honest men but by believing all possible evil of evil men.
Evil is unspectacular and always human
And shares our bed and eats at our own table.
Evil is the product of the ability of humans to make abstract that which is concrete.
Evil when we are in its power is not felt as evil but as a necessity, or even a duty.
There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.
Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.
No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks.
Never open the door to a lesser evil, for other and greater ones invariably slink in after it.
I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return.
Many people believe that evil is the presence of something. I think it's the absence of something.
In all men is evil sleeping; the good man is he who will not awaken it, in himself or in other men.
It may be necessary temporarily to accept a lesser evil, but one must never label a necessary evil as good.
Nature, more of a stepmother than a mother in several ways, has sown a seed of evil in the hearts of mortals.
The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.
As the world runs, evil soon makes tools out of those who don't hate it.  Hatred [of evil] is our best protection.
No evil dooms us hopelessly except the evil we love, and desire to continue in, and make no effort to escape from.
If men were basically evil, who would bother to improve the world instead of giving it up as a bad job at the outset?
The way to avoid evil is not by maiming our passions, but by compelling them to yield their vigor to our moral nature.

proverbs passion abstinence

Evil people hate the light because it reveals themselves to themselves.  They hate goodness because it revels their badness.
Only man will inflict suffering for the sake of suffering. That is the best definition of evil I have been able to formulate.
Situations can change; people can change. Be the first to seek to bring good. Do not grow accustomed to evil, but defeat it with good.

Goodness

It isn't evil that's running the earth, but mediocrity. The crime is not that Nero played while Rome burned, but that he played badly.

mediocrity

Following his dear friend and comrade Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, King believed that indifference to evil is more evil than evil itself.

apathy Martin Luther King

Perhaps evil isn't a cosmological riddle, only just selfish human behavior, and this behavior the result of conscious, accountable choice.

selfishness

There are evils, as someone has pointed out, that have the ability to survive identification and go on forever—money, for instance, or war.
A person may cause evil to others not only by his actions but by his inaction, and in either case he is justly accountable to them for the injury.

inaction action accountability morals

An evil soul producing holy witness
Is like a villain with a smiling cheek,
A goodly apple rotten at the heart.
O, what a goodly outside falsehood hath.
Evil always wins through the strength of its splendid dupes; and there has in all ages been a disastrous alliance between abnormal innocence and abnormal sin.

innocence

Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster.  And when you look long into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you.
Whenever evil befalls us, we ought to ask ourselves, after the first suffering, how we can turn it into good.  So shall we take occasion, from one bitter root, to raise perhaps many flowers.

suffering

The spread of evil is the symptom of a vacuum.  Whenever evil wins, it is only by default: by the moral failure of those who evade the fact that there can be no compromise on basic principles.
It was as though in those last minutes he was summing up the lesson that this long course in human wickedness had taught us—the lesson of the fearsome, word-and-thought-defying banality of evil.
We human beings cause monstrous conditions, but precisely because we cause them we soon learn to adapt ourselves to them.  Only if we become such that we can no longer adapt ourselves, only if, deep inside, we rebel against every kind of evil, will we be able to put a stop to it.
What attracts men to evil acts is not the evil in them but the good that is there, seen under a false aspect and with a distorted perspective.  The good seen from that angle is only the bait in a trap.  When you reach out to take it, the trap is sprung and you are left with disgust, boredom—and hatred.

good and evil