60 Ethics Quotes on Integrity, Honesty, and Character

Get some insights into morality and how to live a just life by reading this list of ethics quotes!

The way we live our lives is a reflection of who we are as individuals. Beyond our characteristics, this also applies to our careers and the relationships we forge with family, friends, and co-workers. That’s why the choices we make every day can have a significant impact on our lives.

Since our everyday decisions can have a lasting effect on us, we should try to live an ethical life. When we live ethically, we make decisions based on what’s best for those around us and the world. We must consider our actions’ consequences and broader impacts across society.

In this way, we can live in a community where everyone gets along with each other in peace and helps improve everyone else’s living conditions.

So if you’re interested in learning how to live ethically, read our collection from beginning to end. It will give you a better understanding of ethical principles, values, and morals!

Let’s get started!

And make sure to read these morality quotes.

Best Ethics Quotes

1. “Without ethics, man has no future. This is to say, ‘Mankind, without them, cannot be itself.’ Ethics determine choices and actions and suggest difficult priorities.” – John Berger

2. “Ethics is in origin the art of recommending to others the sacrifices required for cooperation with oneself.” – Bertrand Russell

3. “Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do.” – Potter Stewart

4. “Ethics is the activity of man directed to secure the inner perfection of his own personality.” – Albert Schweitzer

5. “The first step in the evolution of ethics is a sense of solidarity with other human beings.” – Albert Schweitzer

6. “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

7. “Let me give you a definition of ethics: it is good to maintain and further life; it is bad to damage and destroy life.” – Albert Schweitzer

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

9. “Ethics is the science of duties, and its principles, perceived by reason and revealed to us by conscience.” – Francisco Luís Gomes

10. “Ethics is not a description of what people do; it’s a prescription for what we all should do.” – Michael Josephson

Famous Quotes on Ethics

11. “A man without ethics is a wild beast loosed upon this world.” – Albert Camus

12. “Ethics are more important than laws.” – Wynton Marsalis

13. “In civilized life, law floats in a sea of ethics.” – Earl Warren

14. “Ethics and equity and the principles of justice do not change with the calendar.” – David Herbert Lawrence

15. “Even the most rational approach to ethics is defenseless if there isn’t the will to do what is right.” – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

16. “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

17. “Ethics is not about the way things are; it’s about the way they ought to be.” – Michael Josephson

18. “Ethics is thus said to be the science of conduct. As a matter of fact, it deals with certain standards of human conduct and morals.” – Manisha Paliwal

19. “Our very lives depend on the ethics of strangers, and most of us are always strangers to other people.” – Bill D. Moyers

Short Ethics Quotes to Help You Keep Your Moral Compass

20. “If you are not rising with ethics, you will sink with every rise!” – Mehmet Murat İldan

21. “Great people have great values and great ethics.” – Jeffrey Gitomer

22. “Ethics is less about what we do and more about who we are.” – Wayne R. Bills

23. “Action indeed is the sole medium of expression for ethics.” – Jane Addams

24. “Ethics is nothing else than reverence for life.” – Albert Schweitzer

Ethics Quotes to Live By

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

26. “Don’t violate your own code of values and ethics, but don’t waste energy trying to make other people violate theirs.” – Melody Beattie

27. “You can’t put someone else in charge of your morals. Ethics is a personal discipline.” – Price Pritchett

28. “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

Ethics Quotes That Focus on Good Behavior and Principles

29. “There is only one ethics, one set of rules of morality, one code—that of individual behavior in which the same rules apply to everyone alike.” – Peter F. Drucker

30. “Ethics is a code of values which guide our choices and actions and determine the purpose and course of our lives.” – Ayn Rand

31. “Ethics are not necessarily to do with being law-abiding. I am very interested in the moral path, doing the right thing.” – John William Atkinson

32. “Ethics is a mass of moral principles or set of values about what is right or wrong, true or false, fair or unfair, proper or improper, what is right is ethical, and what is wrong is unethical.” – Manisha Paliwal

33. “A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.” – Albert Einstein

34. “Ethics cannot be derived from the mere sanction to any personage. Some eternal principle of truth has the sanction of ethics. Where is the eternal sanction to be found except in the only infinite reality that exists in you and us and in all, in the self, in the soul?” – Swami Vivekananda

35. “Ethics is not a matter of surveying scripture to determine what constitutes virtuous behavior. A person with high moral character must think about life and act in accordance with their conscientious conclusion.” – Kilroy J. Oldster

Insightful Ethics Quotes That Are Packed With Wisdom

36. “The real task is not to rid life of ethics but to rid ethics of its ideological content.” – John Carroll

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

38. “Ethics is not about platitudes, let alone tautologies, logic, or mathematics, but about difficult choices—dilemmas.” – Martin Cohen

39. “In any ethical situation, the thing you want least to do is probably the right action.” – Jerry Pournelle

40. “Ethics come from the attainment of freedom, renunciation, which comes only when the individual attains superior strength.” – Swami Vivekananda

41. “Ethical living is the indispensable condition of all that is most worthwhile in the world.” – Ernest Caldecott

42. “I can do no other than be reverent before everything that is called life. I can do no other than to have compassion for all that is called life. That is the beginning and the foundation of all ethics.” – Albert Schweitzer

Ethics Quotes for People Who Aim for Success

43. “I am fully aware that everybody has a right to succeed, and success should be with ethics.” – Sharad Pawar

44. “Developing a good work ethic is the key to success. Apply yourself at whatever you do, whether you’re a janitor or taking your first summer job because that work ethic will be reflected in everything you do in life.” – Tyler Perry

45. “If ethics is not the engine of success, in the train of growth, it sure is a guard, with a flag, which may be green, or at times red.” – Priyavrat Thareja

Ethics Quotes for All Entrepreneurs

46. “Ethics must begin at the top of an organization. It is a leadership issue, and the chief executive must set the example.” – Edward Hennessy

47. “If ethics are poor at the top, that behavior is copied down through the organization.” – Robert Noyce

48. “Strong ethics keep corporations healthy. Poor ethics make companies sick. Values are the immune system of every organization.” – Patrick Dixon

49. “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

Ethics Quotes to Show Its Essence in Society

50. “The needs of a society determine its ethics.” – Maya Angelou

51. “In just about every area of society, there’s nothing more important than ethics.” – Henry M. Paulson

52. “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

53. “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 savages.” – Thomas A. Edison

Ethics Quotes That’ll Change Your Outlook in Life

54. “I do not believe in the immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority behind it.” – Albert Einstein

55. “All ethical people strive to choose right over easy when confronted by situations that force them to choose one or the other.” – Derrick Bell

56. “So I think ethics is the broader thing that’s less focused on prohibitions and is more perhaps looking at principles and questions and ideas about how to live your life.” – Peter Singer

57. “It is often said by religious people that, ‘Without its framework, there is no sense of right or wrong.’ My view is that religion comes after ethics.” – Salman Rushdie

More Ethics Quotes for You to Reflect On

58. “Your ethical muscle grows stronger every time you choose right over wrong.” – Price Pritchett

59. “Without ethics, everything happens as if we were all five billion passengers on big machinery and nobody is driving the machinery. And it’s going faster and faster, but we don’t know where.” – Jacques-Yves Cousteau

60. “Some of the old ethics will disappear with the old gods, but new gods will create new ethical values, and new ethical values, in turn, will create new conceptions of deity.” – Robert Byron

What Do You Think It Means to Live an Ethical Life?

We are all confronted with ethical dilemmas every day. From small choices to big decisions in our lives, we must always consider how they impact us and our society. We must constantly be conscious and aware that our actions affect others no matter what we do.

However, as humans, we’re not perfect. Sometimes we say or do something insensitive or hurtful, even though it wasn’t our intention. So, if you do something similar and realize that you offended someone, it’s always better to apologize at the moment, even if they don’t ask you to.

In this way, you are living your life ethically because you are trying to be a good person who cares about the feelings of others. Instead of trying to prove how tough and self-reliant we are by constantly raising our egos, we should strive to be better people. Remember, it’s always best to make decisions based on our ethical principles so that we can live a happier life with good moral character!

Hopefully, this list of quotes was able to give you a better understanding of one’s ethics. Keep the wise words we’ve gathered for you in mind, so you have a guide whenever you need to make ethical choices in your life!

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Karen Danao

Hi, I’m Karen, a content curator and writer for Quote Ambition; I’m also a marketing and advertising professional. Beyond the keyboard and the screen, I’m someone who’s out to enjoy every bit that life has to offer!

Poetry, philosophy, history, and movies are all topics I love writing about! However, my true passion is in traveling, photography, and finding common ground to which everyone from different cultures can relate.

With the many places I’ve been to, I found that love, inspiration, and happiness are some things that bring people together. No matter how different we are on the outside, I’m a true believer that our emotions don’t lie; if you dig deep into our psyche, we’re all the same inside.

This belief was further amplified when I joined Quote Ambition. Through the quotes I’ve read, collected, organized, and written about, I found that humans are resilient, creative, and compassionate.

We take from each others’ hearts and courage, and it’s through our individual experiences that we learn how to rise above our challenges and pain. In so many ways, Quote Ambition is a platform that allows people from all over the world to gain the inspiration they need anytime, anywhere!

You can find me on MuckRack and LinkedIn.