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Quotations about punishment

Albert EinsteinTo punish me for my contempt of authority, Fate has made me an authority myself.

 - Albert Einstein

Tags:   authority  contempt  punishment  

Bertrand RussellI do not myself feel that any person who is really profoundly humane can believe in everlasting punishment.

 - Bertrand Russell

Tags:   eternity  hell  humane  punishment  

John AdamsIt is more important that innocence be protected than it is that guilt be punished, for guilt and crimes are so frequent in this world that they cannot all be punished. But if innocence itself is brought to the bar and condemned, perhaps to die, then the citizen will say, 'whether I do good or whether I do evil is immaterial, for innocence itself is no protection,' and if such an idea as that were to take hold in the mind of the citizen that would be the end of security whatsoever.

 - John Adams

Tags:   evil  good  guilt  innocence  punishment  security  

Punishment alone will never succeed in putting an end to crime. Punishment will and does hold crime to a certain extent in check, but it will never transform the delinquent population into honest citizens, for the simple reason that it can only strike at the full-fledged criminal and not at the causes which have made him so.

 - William Morrison

Tags:   crime  delinquency  punishment  

Edward GibbonWhenever the offence inspires less horror than the punishment, the rigor of penal law is obliged to give way to the common feelings of mankind.

 - Edward Gibbon

Tags:   crime  penalties  punishment  

Martin Luther KingNever, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.

 - Martin Luther King

Tags:   animals  ethics  morality  punishment  

Fyodor DostoevskyTo crush, to annihilate a man utterly, to inflict on him the most terrible punishment so that the most ferocious murderer would shudder at it beforehand, one need only give him work of an absolutely, completely useless and irrational character.

 - Fyodor Dostoevsky

Tags:   deterrence  punishment  torment  

Charles DarwinThus disbelief crept over me at a very slow rate, but was at last complete. The rate was so slow that I felt no distress, and have never since doubted even for a second that my conclusion was correct. I can indeed hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true; for if so the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe, and this would include my Father, Brother and almost all of my friends, will be ever lastingly punished. And this is a damnable doctrine.

 - Charles Darwin

Tags:   Christianity  punishment  religion  

Michel de MontaigneThere is no man so good, that so squares all his thoughts and actions to the laws, that he is not faulty enough to deserve hanging ten times in his life. Nay, and such a one, too, as it were great pity to make away, and very unjust to punish. And such a one there may be, as has no way offended the laws, who nevertheless would not deserve the character of a virtuous man, and that philosophy would justly condemn to be whipped; so unequal and perplexed is this relation.

 - Michel de Montaigne

Tags:   actions  laws  punishment  thoughts