Nature, more of a stepmother than a mother in several ways, has sown a seed of evil in the hearts of mortals, especially in the more thoughtful men, which makes them dissatisfied with their own lot and envious of another’s.
The generality of men are naturally apt to be swayed by fear rather than reverence, and to refrain from evil rather because of the punishment that it brings than because of its own foulness.
A good End cannot sanctify evil Means; nor must we ever do Evil, that Good may come of it.
To prefer evil to good is not in human nature; and when a man is compelled to choose one of two evils, no one will choose the greater when he might have the less.
Virtue cannot separate itself from reality without becoming a principle of evil.
We often represent God to ourselves as being able to draw from non-being a world without sorrows, faults, dangers – a world in which there is no damage, no breakage. This is a conceptual fantasy and makes it impossible to solve the problem of evil.
The dead play a very prominent part in the experience of the wanderer abroad. The houses in which they were born, the tombs in which they lie, the localities they made famous by their good or evil deeds, and the works their genius left behind them are necessarily the chief shrines of his pilgrimage.
Our cautious ancestors, when yawning, blocked the way to the entrance of evil spirits by putting their hands before their mouths. We find a reason for the gesture in the delicacy of manner which forbids an indecent exposure.
Hardest of all for Europeans to negotiate are traditional African religions, whose transactions with unseen powers are central to the running of life in many areas, the main weapon in the struggle against the forces of evil.
The task of the educator lies in seeing that the child does not confound good with immobility and evil with activity.