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32 Observations on Guilt

Published Saturday, August 30, 2014 @ 10:42 PM EDT
Aug 30 2014

It is more important that innocence be protected than it is that guilt be punished, for guilt and crimes are so frequent in this world that they cannot all be punished.
-John Adams

Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war.
-John Adams

To have a sense of sin means to feel guilty at there being an ethical choice to make, a guilt which, however 'good' I may become, remains unchanged.
-W.H. Auden

Wars can be prevented just as surely as they can be provoked, and we who fail to prevent them must share the guilt for the dead.
-Omar Bradley

I'm tired of hearing about innocent victims. It's fiction. If you live on this planet, you're guilty, period, next case, end of report. Your birth certificate is proof of guilt.
-George Carlin

In former days, everyone found the assumption of innocence so easy; today we find fatally easy the assumption of guilt.
-Amanda Cross

Secret guilt by silence is betrayed.
-John Dryden

Sin with the multitude, and your responsibility and guilt are as great and as truly personal, as if you alone had done the wrong.
-Bob Edwards

Being guilty tends to engender feelings of guilt.
-Craig Ferguson

Guilt has very quick ears to an accusation.
-Henry Fielding

Mothers, food, love, and career, the four major guilt groups.
-Cathy Guisewite

For every man who lives without freedom, the rest of us must face the guilt.
-Lillian Hellman

Self-righteousness is a loud din raised to drown the voice of guilt within us.
-Eric Hoffer

A sublime religion inevitably generates a strong feeling of guilt. There is an unavoidable contrast between loftiness of profession and imperfection of practice. And, as one would expect, the feeling of guilt promotes hate and brazenness. Thus it seems that the more sublime the faith the more virulent the hatred it breeds.
-Eric Hoffer

There are no ulterior motives with a dog, no mind games, no second- guessing, no complicated negotiations or bargains, and no guilt trips or grudges if a request is denied.
-Caroline Knapp

All religions are the same: Religion is basically guilt, with different holidays.
-Cathy Ladman

How tired God must be of guilt and loneliness, for that is all we ever bring to Him.
-Mignon McLaughlin

Guilt is anger directed at ourselves- at what we did or did not do. Resentment is anger directed at others- at what they did or did not do.
-Peter McWilliams

Many people weigh the guilt they will feel against the pleasure of the forbidden action they want to take.
-Peter McWilliams

The inescapable conclusion is that society secretly wants crime, needs crime, and gains definite satisfactions from the present mishandling of it! The crime and punishment ritual is a part of our lives. We need crimes to wonder at, to enjoy vicariously, to discuss and speculate about, and to publicly deplore. We need criminals to identify ourselves with, to envy secretly, and to punish stoutly. They do for us the forbidden, illegal things we wish to do and, like scapegoats of old, they bear the burdens of our displaced guilt and punishment.
-Karl Menninger

The worst thing about the decline of organized religion is that there is no longer a place for the pathological self loathers and guilt freaks to congregate without disturbing the rest of us.
-(From nzpundit.com)

Guilt is what separates humans from animals.
-Anna Quindlen

It is impossible not to notice that our world is tormented by failure, hate, guilt, and fear.
-William Saroyan

Remember that every man is a variation of yourself. No man's guilt is not yours, nor is any man's innocence a thing apart.
-William Saroyan

When we have a choice, we must avoid bringing torment and injury into the life of another, even the lowliest creature; to do so is to renounce our manhood and shoulder a guilt which nothing justifies.
-Albert Schweitzer

The writer is either a practicing recluse or a delinquent, guilt- ridden one; or both. Usually both.
-Susan Sontag

Punishment is now unfashionable... because it creates moral distinctions among men, which, to the democratic mind, are odious. We prefer a meaningless collective guilt to a meaningful individual responsibility.
-Thomas Szasz

A villain who shares one's guilt is inevitably more attractive than a hero convinced of one's innocence.
-Kenneth Tynan

Faith is a journey, not a guilt trip.

God invented mothers because he couldn't be everywhere at once. Then he invented guilt, because mothers couldn't be everywhere at once.

There's no problem so awful that you can't add some guilt to it and make it even worse!
-Bill Watterson (From the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes)

I'm an Episcopal, which is Catholic Lite. It's like same religion, half the guilt.
-Robin Williams


(August 31 is the birthday of William Saroyan.)

Categories: Guilt, Quotes on a topic


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