“Extremely unpleasant”

I do not think, as my opponent supposes, that punishing people severely solely for their opinions was a nice or proper human action. But I should be quite content if I could make people understand that it was a human action at all. As the matter is commonly stated in our day the difficulty is generally to imagine, not how a good man could be led to persecute, but why even a bad man should be bothered to do so. Persecution as described in our histories sounds like something too strange to be even a sin. All through my boyhood (which I need hardly say was studious and industrious in an almost feverish degree) I used to wonder why people hit or stoned people with an opposite philosophy. A little experience of the world, however, has taught me that the explanation is simple: the reason is that people with an opposite philosophy are extremely unpleasant. Whether or no heretics are unpleasing to God, there is no doubt at all about their being unpleasing to man.

The Illustrated London News, 30 June 1906.

Published in: on October 31, 2007 at 12:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

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