Aldous Huxley Quote

“Morality is always the product of terror; its chains and strait-waistcoats are fashioned by those who dare not trust others, because they dare not trust themselves, to walk in liberty.”

~ Aldous Huxley


Ratings and Comments


Anonymous, Michigan

I wonder if those who give this quote 5 stars will include their own morality as a product of terror and if it too is contrary to liberty.

Logan, Memphis, TN

As a Christian I can agree that history has proven that man can take any philosophical belief and can twist it to contort to anything. Morality itself is not a product of terror, but forced morality maybe. Whenever morality has been forced, legislated, and coerced, liberty has faltered -- why? While it may be immoral to murder another a human being, the law is not enacted because of its "morality," but because it was an infringement upon another human being. The rights of life, liberty, and property were the reasons governments have been created-- not to coerce morality. If you force morality, it is no longer moral; you cannot force virtuous behavior and keep virtue. Morality is found in the choice. Liberty cannot exist without morality (the whole, "if men were angels there would be no need for government" idea). There is no liberty without a choice, and no morality in coercion. Terms and definitions matter.

Mike, Norwalk

Abusive hedonistic rhetoric attempting to legitimize destructive behavior. Logan is absolutely right. Further, the broad nature of "always" declares integrity, honesty, charity, any system of value, the application of justice, all sense of right and wrong, etc. to be contrary to liberty. There is not enough context here to determine the specific morality the author is speaking of but, if it be sexual conduct (as per an abstract fabricated expansion on the fashioned strait-waistcoats) it is still wrong. Mine and others beliefs, that I'm aware of, in sexual morality is based on a sacredness of life, a personal responsibility toward an individual's nobility, a respect for my rights end where your nose begins and, a trust in the divine nature of man, not mistrust.

Bryan Morton, Stuart, FL

Wow, Logan. I thought I was reading me. That was beautiful! Perfectly said!

Guess Who?
  • Reply
    Guess Who?    6/6/08

    I disagree with this quote.Morality is NOT a product of terror. Morality,in my opinion,True morality,is a product of a Virtuous person.

    Greg, Chichester

    This quote is an absolute lie pandering to our childish desires to do whatever we want whenever we want. That being said, I disagree with the concept that morality cannot be legislated. All laws are enforced cultural morality, the morality that the majority of people agree upon at any given point. The truth that morality, manifested in boundaries of conduct and behavior that are right (not just easy or feel good), leads to true joy and freedom is less eagerly heard by most of us.

    Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

    God prefers obedience over confession and forgiveness although forgiveness is one of His main virtues. Virtue is better then forced compliance. However I sense some basic truth in this quote. Children learn to be in terror of a slap on the hand. I would hazard a bet that their are some people who hesitate murder because of the fear or terror of what will happen to them in return. He loses me in the latter part of his quote.

    jim k, austin

    Change the word"always" to "often" and I think he's real close. The "morality" of the Puritans often landed a person in stocks, or worse.

    E Archer, NYC

    Forced morality is tyranny -- voluntary virtue and integrity is not a product of terror, but a product of honor and self-worth. The quote rings true for me when morality is a collective duty. Yes, freedom includes doing whatever we want whenever we want AND bearing the consequences. When one's actions violate another's rights, an abuse of power has occurred -- that may also include repressing another's right to do what he wants when no one's rights are being violated.

    RobertSRQ
    • Reply
    RobertSRQ    6/6/08

    Great quote - perfect example of repressed sexuality - we are more concerned about the naked body than we are about killing innocent people

    Paul, Union, WA

    If you flatulate in a public elevator, don't complain about your personal rights and freedom being assaulted by those who are tired of having you throw your garbage over the fence into their yard. I speak of the airwaves, magazines, books, and the growing filthy concepts found even in our schools. YOU will not be neutral and keep your influences out of public places, so I would say you should EXPECT reactive morality. Censorship in morality ironically usually begins with immoral people who will not restrain their influences while in public, and who then weep and cry because the other side is tired to the bone of their selfish, unrestrained displays of filth. Grow up!

    Ken, Allyn, WA

    Morality is simply restraining your natural inclination to take advantage of or cause harm to others for your own benefit. No one needs to terrorize me into treating others as I want to be treated.

    warren, olathe

    Can't even find a way to twist this into making sense. Guess he was just an anarchist.

    J Carlton, Calgary

    Morality is the product of a good upbringing and a normal sense of conscience. Almost everyine naturally has it...until the school system gets a hold of them anyway.

    Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

    I have reread this yes again. It is very high minded and if you analyse it backward it is just a restatement of the Golden Rule or of Jeffersons idea of "self-government". If we trust ourselves to do right and be moral then fairness should be to extend the same trust to others until they cross you. This is the essence of a truly free and self-respecting people.

    J Carlton, Calgary

    Its good to note that some of the usually anti freedom bloggers seem to be seeing some sense in a return to Liberty. And its interesting to note that we have a note from England that seems to believe "morality can be legislated". How incredibly sad. And it explains why the English have so willingly accepted life as the only (so far) English speaking Police State. Please don't let it happen here.

    Anonymous
    • Reply
    Anonymous    6/8/08

    If you hold that men are basically good, then it might, might make sense. But I haven't heard or seen a shred of evidence to conclude such. So therefore, with it's foundational premise gone, this statement is ludicrous.

    Ken, Milford Pa

    It is always the thief that is most vigilant on his guard against thieves.

    Jim, PA
    • Reply
    Jim, PA    1/18/10

    Morality is subjective. Everyone is giving his/her opinion on what morality is...what is reactive morality? I'm right, you're wrong, so I'm going to confront you with my judgement of you? I read the quote as, "You're free to do as you please, allow me the same courtesy. Any problem you have with the things I do is your sense of morality (your chains), not mine."

    Tess, Flatbush

    Mixed up little man this Huxley but I guess hes trying to find a solution for the problems of man...He should try reading the Bible, the teachings of Jesus... when followed...brings peace for all of mankind...but all of mankind will never seek peace...All religions at one time or another..become infiltrated by evil..and those 'good folks' who recognize it..will separate themselves from it...Some men love sinful benevolent behavior...Its life...its reality...Thats why the bible tells us to be IN the world..but not OF the world...Earth is a place ruled by the fallen angels..God gave this earth to Satan..its in the scriptures..and thats why all the evil...Things are as they should be....We are only here to be tested..and set our sights on the next life...Heaven..where evil will exist no more...

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