Tag: impulses

June 9 QOTD: The Cruel Humanitarian


The most dangerous thing you can do is to take any one impulse of your own nature and set it up as the thing you ought to follow at all costs. There is not one of them which will not make us into devils if we set it up as an absolute guide. You might think love of humanity in general was safe, but it is not. If you leave out justice you will find yourself breaking agreements and faking evidence in trials “for the sake of humanity,” and become in the end a cruel and treacherous man. C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

How do our impulses (or passions, as they are also often called) go out of control? What makes us prone to skewing so far, and to persist long after the evidence shows the passion to be warped or misdirected? What makes a humanitarian ultimately cruel?