Because moral conduct is based on objective principles and determined according to natural laws, Buddhist practitioners require courage and honesty to acknowledge and face the truth. They must accept the truth of conditions, whether they are good or evil, right or wrong. Whether people practise accordingly or not, and to what extent, is another matter. People need to accept whether they are acting in conformity with these natural laws or not; they should not consider an evil deed as good simply because it accords with their desires. The validity of natural laws governing human behaviour does not depend on people’s desires. If one is about to perform an action that results in falling into hell, it is better to acknowledge that this action is bad, but that one is still willing to suffer going to hell, than to deceive oneself and act with the belief that there is nothing wrong with the deed.
Ven. Phra Payutto (Tahn Chao Khun Brahmagunabhorn): Chapter 20 of Buddhadhamma, on the Path factors related to virtuous conduct.