Inability to tell good from evil is the greatest worry of man's life.

This quote is often attributed to Cicero. Unfortunately, I'm struggling to find much on Google beyond various "inspirational quotes" sites repeating the same basic info: the quote, and the speaker. A Google snippet shows partial info, but after looking, it seems like that is actually a reference to some other material.

I'd like to confirm that this was, in fact, a quote from Cicero and take a look at the original statement in the original context if I can. Does anyone know of the source for this quote?

1 Answer 1


This one is more legit, though maybe not an exact quote. Google n-gram gives nothing, but google scholar gives a book called "The John Birch Resolutions." Searching on google for that gives this page, which cites specifically Cicero in de finibus. Searching for "evil" in this copy of de finibus yields this quote:

The great disturbing factor in man's life is ignorance of good and evil; mistaken ideas about these frequently rob us of our greatest pleasures, and torment us with the most cruel pain of mind.

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