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Oppressive moral fervor

Posted By Ray Ortlund On February 11, 2013 @ 10:33 AM In Uncategorized | No Comments

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“Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.  It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies.  The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. . . . To be ‘cured’ against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level with those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles and domestic animals.”

C. S. Lewis, “The Humanitarian Theory of Punishment,” in God in the Dock (Grand Rapids, 1970), page 292.


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