95+ Best Ethics Quotes To Make You Think

Ethics form the foundation of modern society.

Subscribe for virtual tools, STEM-inspired play, creative tips and more

Ethics are like a guiding light that helps a person decide his or her course in life.

An ethical individual will not hurt another person for his benefit. Ethics help the individual strive for their lives, but not at the expense of another individual.

Ethics are an essential tool for the functioning of the society we live in and important. It helps us to create a place for all humans to excel and live with equality. From these ethical standards, we get our justice system, constitutional rights and duties, and general criteria for a society to function. The three types of ethics are meta-ethics, normative ethics, and applied ethics. Ethics really means doing the right thing. You'll find the best quotes from the likes of Albert Schweitzer, Albert Einstein, and more quotes about how ethics is a wild topic.

Read on for some of the most inspiring ethics quotes and if you like this article, check out [empathy quotes] and [do the right thing quotes] too.

Inspiring Quotation On Ethics

Ethics is originates from the Ancient Greek word “ēthikós,” which means relating to one’s character. ‘Ethikos’ comes from the root word of the ethos, which is “character or moral nature.” Here are some more ethics quotes for you along with inspiring integrity quotes and personality ethic quotes.

Ethics have the power to impact human behavior

1. “Relativity applies to physics, not ethics.”

- Albert Einstein.

2. “The nations morals are like its teeth, the more decayed they are the more it hurts to touch them.”

- George Bernard Shaw.

3. “A man without ethics is a wild beast loosed upon this world.”

- Albert Camus.

4. “No artist has ethical sympathies. An ethical sympathy in an artist is an unpardonable mannerism of style.”

- Oscar Wilde.

5. “The main object of conciliation lies in reaching a solution to a case based upon morals and with a warm heart.”

-  Confucius.

6. “In civilized life, law floats in a sea of ethics.”

- Earl Warren.

7. “Good are the Ethics, I wis; good absolute, not for me, though; / Good, too, Logic, of course; in itself, but not in fine weather.”

- Arthur Clough.

8. “I think the Ethics Commission didn’t give proper consideration to the investigation previously done by the deputy city manager, which concluded that he acted within the discretion given to him as chief of police in both instances.”

- Mark Herron.

9. “If you’re guided by a spirit of transparency, it forces you to operate with a spirit of ethics. Success comes from simplifying complex issues, address problems head on, be truthful and transparent. If you open yourself up to scrutiny, it forces you to a higher standard. I believe you should deliver on your promise. Promise responsibly.”

- Rodney Davis.

10. “Never let your sense of morals get in the way of doing what’s right.”

- Isaac Asimov.

11. “It is forbidden to kill; therefore, all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.”

- Voltaire.

12. “Ethics are more important than laws.”

- Wynton Marsalis.

13. “We keep on being told that religion, whatever its imperfections, at least instils morality. On every side, there is conclusive evidence that the contrary is the case and that faith causes people to be more mean, more selfish, and perhaps above all, more stupid.”

- Christopher Hitchens.

14. “Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savaging.”

- Thomas A. Edison.

15. “ Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.”

– Thomas Jefferson

16. “Imaginary evil is romantic and varied; real evil is gloomy, monotonous, barren, boring. Imaginary good is boring; really good is always new, marvellous, intoxicating.”

- Simone Weil.

17. “In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.”

- Thomas Jefferson.

18. “The word “good” has many meanings. For example, if a man were to shoot his grandmother at a range of five hundred yards, I should call him a good shot, but not necessarily a good man.”

- G. K. Chesterton.

19. “This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.”

- Dalai Lama XIV.

20. “Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation: they are for such moments as this, when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigour...If at my convenience I might break them, what would be their worth?”

- Charlotte Brontë.

21. “Basically, to lead without a title is to derive your power within the organisation not from your position but from your competence, effectiveness, relationships, excellence, innovation and ethics.”

- Robin S. Sharma.

22. “Globalization means that business strategy and business ethics cannot be separated from each other.”

- Ofra Strauss.

23. “Our very lives depend on the ethics of strangers, and most of us are always strangers to other people.”

- Bill Moyers.

24. “The first step in the evolution of ethics is a sense of solidarity with other human beings.”

- Albert Schweitzer.

25. “Live one day at a time emphasizing ethics rather than rules.”

- Wayne Dyer.

Best Ethics Quotes

Ethics and morals are similar in the way they differentiate between right and wrong. Otherwise, ethics are standards for society, and morals may be an individual compass for that individual. They ensure well being of the society. Here are some ethics quotes for you to reflect on along with some honesty quotes.

Ethics nurture law abiding human conduct.

26. “Grub first, then ethics.”

- Bertolt Brecht.

27. “While academic abilities remain integral, it is the work ethics that form the soul of the business.”

- Jamshayd Godrej.

28. “Transhumanism is the ethics and science of using things like biological and genetic engineering to transform our bodies and make us a more powerful species.”

- Dan Brown.

29. “Our core values and business ethics will always be paramount in all that we do, and we are always looking to do the right thing and settle claims fairly and accurately.”

- Tricia Griffith.

30. “In the New Testament, religion is grace and ethics is gratitude.”

- Thomas Erskine.

31. “A man is ethical only when life, as such, is sacred to him.”

- Albert Schweitzer.

32. “A man does what he must - in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures - and that is the basis of all human morality.”

- John F. Kennedy.

33. “It is curious - curious that physical courage should be so common in the world, and moral courage so rare.”

- Mark Twain.

34. “Integrity is doing the right thing, even if nobody is watching.”

- Unknown*.

35. “Ethics must begin at the top of an organization. It is a leadership issue and the chief executive must set the example.”

- Edward Hennessy.

36. “Shelving hard decisions is the least ethical course.”

- Sir George Adrian Cadbury.

37. “Even the most rational approach to ethics is defenceless if there isn’t the will to do what is right.”

- Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

38. “Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind.”

- Ralph Waldo Emerson.

39. “Winning is nice if you don’t lose your integrity in the process.”

- Arnold Horshack, Character On, ‘Welcome Back, Kotter.’

40. “Integrity is telling myself the truth. And honesty is telling the truth to other people.”

- Spencer Johnson.

41. “Ethics is nothing else than reverence for life.”

- Albert Schweitzer.

42. “Ethics is in origin the art of recommending to others the sacrifices required for cooperation with oneself.”

- Bertrand Russell.

43. “Ethics is not definable, is not implementable, because it is not conscious; it involves not only our thinking, but also our feeling.”

- Valdemar W. Setzer.

44. “In law, a man is guilty when he violates the rights of another. In ethics he is guilty if he only thinks of doing so.”

- Immanuel Kant.

45. “Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do.”

- Potter Stewart.

46. “Even the most rational approach to ethics is defenceless if there isn’t the will to do what is right.”

- Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

47. “Ethical decisions ensure that everyone’s best interests are protected. When in doubt, don’t.”    

- Harvey Mackay.

48. “To care for anyone else enough to make their problems one’s own, is ever the beginning of one’s real ethical development.”

- Felix Adler.

49. “A man is truly ethical only when he obeys the compulsion to help all life which he is able to assist, and shrinks from injuring anything that lives.”

- Albert Schweitzer.

50. “Ethics is about how we meet the challenge of doing the right thing, when that will cost more than we want to pay.”

- The Josephson Institute Of Ethics.

Quotes About Morals And Ethics

Quotations about ethics can be placed higher than religious beliefs, too, in some cases. Because an individual’s needs and thought process are far more critical than religious philosophy. Without ethics the society would fail. Here are some ethics quotes for you to read along with fascinating Aristotle ethics quotes.

51. “Keep true, never be ashamed of doing right; decide on what you think is right and stick to it.”

- George Eliot.

52. “To starve to death is a small thing, but to lose one’s integrity is a great one.”

- Chinese Proverb.

53. “The greatest tragedy in mankind’s entire history may be the hijacking of morality by religion.”

- Arthur C. Clarke.

54. “I have my ethics and morals. I have my anchor point of what is right and wrong in real life, but I’m not afraid to entertain any and every aspect of personality in relationship to creating a character.”

- Corin Nemec.

55. “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”

- Aristotle.

56. “Great people have great values and great ethics.”

- Jeffrey Gitomer.

57. “Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.”

- Alexis De Tocqueville.

58. “Ethics or simple honesty is the building blocks upon which our whole society is based, and business is a part of our society, and it’s integral to the practice of being able to conduct business, that you have a set of honest standards.”

- Kerry Stokes.

59. “Morality is the herd-instinct in the individual.”

- Friedrich Nietzsche.

60. “Every man, in his own opinion, forms an exception to the ordinary rules of morality.”

- William Hazlitt.

61. “Every aspect of Western culture needs a new code of ethics - a rational ethics - as a precondition of rebirth.”

- Ayn Ran.

62. “Before I can live with other folks, I’ve got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.”

- Harper Lee, ‘To Kill A Mockingbird.’

63. “The most important persuasion tool you have in your entire arsenal is integrity."

- Zig Ziglar.

64. “Conscience is a mother-in-law whose visit never ends.”

- H. L. Mencken.

65. “One concept corrupts and confuses the others. I am not speaking of the Evil whose limited sphere is ethics; I am speaking of the infinite.”

- Jorge Luis Borges.

66. “We should teach general ethics to both men and women, but sexual relationships themselves must not be policed. Sex, like the city streets, would be risk-free only in totalitarian regimes.”

- Camille Paglia.

67. “Principles...become modified in practice, by facts.”

- James Fenimore Cooper.

68. “It’s going to be a shared set of values, a shared ethical framework that’s going to be the glue that will hold together societies struggling with enormously difficult choices.”

- Peter Singer.

69. “Ethics and equity and the principles of justice do not change with the calendar.”

- D. H. Lawrence.

70. “And, we put a lot more value, or at least I personally put a lot more value, on the creative values and creative challenges of something than the commercial necessities.”

- Rowan Atkinson.

71. “If you believe in unlimited quality and act in all your business dealings with total integrity, the rest will take care of itself.”

- Frank Perdue.

72. “What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.”

- Oliver Wendell Holmes.

73. “Six essential qualities that are the key to success include sincerity, personal integrity, humility, courtesy, wisdom, and charity.”

- Dr. William Menninger.

74. “Try to find the path of least resistance and use it without harming others. Live with integrity and morality, not only with people but with all beings.”

- Steven Seagal.

75. “Losers make promises they often break. Winners make commitments they always keep.”

- Denis Waitley.

Best Quotes On Work Ethics

There are virtue ethics that define the ethical behavior of an individual. It encourages us to look at human beings instead of society as a whole. Ethical behavior is one of the most well-known human relations techniques. Here are some ethics quotes to help with understanding human nature better along with fantastic work ethics quotes.

76. “Moral authority comes from following universal and timeless principles like honesty, integrity, and treating people with respect.”

- Stephen Covey.

77. “Our lives improve only when we take chances—and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be honest with ourselves.”

- Walter Anderson.

78. “Integrity is not a conditional word. It doesn’t blow in the wind or change with the weather. It is your inner image of yourself, and if you look in there and see a man who won’t cheat, then you know he never will.”

- John D. MacDonald.

79. “The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it.”

- Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf.

80. “A life lived with integrity, even if it lacks the trappings of fame and fortune, is a shining star in whose light others may follow in the years to come.”

- Denis Waitley.

81. “A code of ethics cannot be developed overnight by edict or official pronouncement. It is developed by years of practice and performance of duty according to high ethical standards. It must be self-policing. Without such a code, a professional soldier or a group soon loses identity and effectiveness. Once we know our job, have a genuine code of ethics, and maintain unquestioned personal integrity, we have met the first and most demanding challenge of leadership.”

- Silas L. Copeland.

82. “Ethically, I think pretty much every code of ethics for doctors suggests that they should not be in an interrogation room, particularly if there’s anything coercive or abusive going on.”

- Jane Mayer.

83. “You must question a code of ethics that never impedes your progress.”

- Robert Breault.

84. “I admire the military. I guess in a world of villains and heroes, they’re my heroes. Their dedication, their commitment, their discipline, their code of ethics.”

- John Cena.

85. “We’re given a code to live our lives by. We don’t always follow it, but it’s still there.”

- Gary Oldman.

86. “The only way to truly be protected at all times is to claim your personal power with the highest code of ethics and responsibility. If you are centred in this type of power, the power of the universe supports you, and no one and nothing can defeat you.”

- Christopher Penczak.

87. “I don’t want to do anything that violates my own personal code of ethics and morals.”

- Michael Moore.

88. “If there are going to be people out there making war on other people, don’t you think it’s a good idea for some of those people to at least follow a code of ethics? Not ‘honour’ but something you can pin down and be sure of, something with the same rules for everybody.”

- Mercedes Lackey.

89. “Chinese culture in general is not very religious. Confucianism is more a code of ethics than a religion, and ancestor worship is a way for parents to control you even after they’re dead.”

- David Henry Hwang.

90. “...the self-respect of individuals ought to make them demand of their leaders conformity with an agreed-upon code of ethics and moral conduct.”

- Mary Barnett Gilson.

91. “Do it from the heart or not at all.”

- Jeanette Winterson, ‘The Passion.’

92. “Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.”

- Steve Jobs.

93. “I have a work ethic. If I say I am going to do something, I do it.”

- Viggo Mortensen.

94. “Your reputation is more important than your pay check, and your integrity is worth more than your career.”

- Ryan Freitas.

95. “In looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if they don’t have the first, the other two will kill you.”

- Warren Buffet.

96. “Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.”

- Oprah Winfrey.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for ethics quotes, then why not take a look at Christopher Robin quotes, [equality quotes], or [morality quotes].


Written By

Kidadl Team

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

Was this article helpful?

Subscribe for virtual tools, STEM-inspired play, creative tips and more

By joining Kidadl you agree to Kidadl’s and and consent to receiving marketing communications from Kidadl.