Adeimantus QOTD

Quote of the Day

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

A Soft and Tender Conscience

There is a point in the history of society when it becomes so pathologically soft and tender that among other things it sides even with those who harm it, criminals, and does this quite seriously and honestly. Punishing somehow seems unfair to it, and it is certain that imagining "punishment" and being "supposed to punish" hurts it, arouses fear in it. "Is it not enough to render him undangerous? Why still punish? Punishing itself is terrible." With this question, herd morality, the morality of timidity, draws its ultimate consequence. . . .

Whoever examines the conscience of the European today will have to pull the same imperative out of a thousand moral folds and hideouts--the imperative of herd timidity: "We want that some day there should be nothing any more to be afraid of!"

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posted by Bathus at 9:18 AM