title: Tao Te Ching 19 - Morality

Book - Tao Te Ching - Lao Tzu

Stephen Mitchell Translation

Throw away holiness and wisdom, and people will be a hundred times happier.

Throw away morality and justice, and people will do the right thing1.

Throw away industry and profit, and there won’t be any thieves2.

If these three aren’t enough, just stay at the center of the circle and let all things take their course3.

1: Morality is a poor surrogate of humanity 2: avoid greed and compulsive consumption 3: go with the flow / Wu Wei 4: Yin Yang

Other translations

- Ursula Le Guin

In the degradation of the great way come benevolence and righteousness. With the exaltation of learning and prudence comes immense hypocrisy. The disordered family is full of dutiful children and parents. The disordered society is full of loyal patriots

- Stephen Addiss & Stanley Lombardo

Great Tao rejected: Benevolence and righteousness appear. Learning and knowledge professed: Great Hypocrites spring up. Family relations forgotten: Filial piety and affection arise. The nation disordered: Patriots come forth.