Quotations about:
    good and evil


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Even so, one step from my grave,
I believe that cruelty, spite,
The powers of darkness will in time
Be crushed by the spirit of light.

[Но и так, почти у гроба,
Верю я, придет пора —
Силу подлости и злобы
Одолеет дух добра.]

Boris Pasternak (1890-1960) Russian poet, novelist, and literary translator
“Nobel Prize [Нобелевская Премия]” st. 4 (1959) [tr. Stallworthy/France (1982)]
    (Source)

On his persecution for winning the 1958 Nobel Prize for Literature for Doctor Zhivago, which had been condemned by the Communist Party and the Soviet government. The poem was not published until Selected Poems (1983).

This upbeat ending is how the poem officially ends. Two more, darker, stanzas were attached to the manuscript by Pasternak, but it is unclear if they were meant to be added (and, if so, where), or if Pasternak ever wanted the poem published.

(Source (Russian)). Alternate translations:

Even now, at the edge of the tomb,
I believe in the virtuous fate, --
And the spirit of goodness will soon
overcome all the malice and hate.
[tr. Kneller]

But even as my grave awaits,
the time will come. I've believed --
The forces of meanness and hate
will be vanquished by the spirit of good.
[tr. Mager]

Yet, as I approach my passing,
I believe the day is near,
When the heart of good surpasses
rage and baseness -- even here.
[tr. Moreton]

Even in my dying hour
I believe it still stronger:
Malice will be overpowered
By the spirit of Good Will.
[tr. Astrakhan]

 
Added on 2-Jul-24 | Last updated 2-Jul-24
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Democracy has no place for the kind of justice implied in an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Democracy is a system for the resolution of conflict, not for vengeance. Simple black-white notions of right and wrong do not fit into democratic politics. Political controversies result from the fact that the issues are complex, and men may properly have differences of opinion about them. The most terrible of all over-simplifications is the notion that politics is a contest between good people and bad people.

E E Schattschneider
E. E. Schattschneider (1892-1971) American political scientist [Elmer Eric Schattschneider]
Two Hundred Million Americans in Search of a Government (1969)
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Added on 16-Aug-22 | Last updated 16-Aug-22
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“It’s not as simple as that. It’s not a black and white issue. There are so many shades of grey.”
“Nope.”
“Pardon?”
“There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby.”

Terry Pratchett (1948-2015) English author
Carpe Jugulum [Rev. Mightily Oats, Granny Weatherwax] (1998)
    (Source)
 
Added on 25-May-21 | Last updated 19-Jan-24
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