duminică, 27 noiembrie 2011

On Moral Punishment


Any moral punishment seems to come from other world, since each man’s world cannot comprehend the past in other way than as a sheer memory, which is ineffective in the present life.

The past cannot modify the present in the manner of directly implying actions according to it. The past can be invoked as a justification of our present actions, but it is used in fact the past of our memory, not that past that had power over our actions.

Thus, any moral punishment is violent, since it violates the common manner of living the past. The bodily punishment is not just a rudimentary or a primitive way of applying the punishment, but also the result of understanding that the past cannot be revived for the moral wrongdoer otherwise than by affecting his present life and the world known by him more intimately through his own body.

The humanistic plea for clemency in moral punishment is an attempt to keep the moral judgment in this world, but with the cost of renouncing to awake the past and, therefore, the profound moral sense of being responsible for other worlds than that you build for yourself in the present time. The moral of utility belongs to the present.