Thursday, December 6, 2007

Pain, Learning a Lesson

"Is it not manifest that there must exist in our midst an immense amount of misery which is a normal result of misconduct, and ought not to be dissociated from it? There is a notion, always more or less prevalent and just now vociferously expressed, that all social suffering is removable, and that it is the duty of somebody or other to remove it. Both these beliefs are false. To separate pain from ill-doing is to fight against the constitution of things, and will be followed by far more pain. Saving men from the natural penalties of dissolute living, eventually necessitates the infliction of artifical penalties in solitary cells, on tread-wheels, and by the lash.
...
The current assumption is that there should be no suffering, and that society is to blame for that which exists" [Herbert Spencer, The Coming Slavery, Pg. 81]

"the tragic wrongness of what those well-meaning people did, contrasted with what they thought they were doing, goes very deep. They had no scientific theory of morals. They did have a theory of morals and they tried to live by it (I should not have sneered at their motives), but their theory was wrong--half fuzzy-headed wishful thinking, half of it rationalized charlatanry. The more earnest they were, the farther it led them astray." [Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers, Pg. 117]

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