Thursday, July 14, 2011

QUOTATION: Punishment

Some enlightened people would like to banish all conceptions of retribution or desert from their theory of punishment and place its value wholly in deterrence of others or the reform of the criminal himself. They do not see that by doing so they render all punishment unjust. What can be more immoral than to inflict suffering on me for the sake of deterring others if I do not deserve it? And if I do deserve it, you are admitting the claims of ‘retribution’. And what can be more outrageous than to catch me and submit me to a disagreeable process of moral improvement without my consent, unless (once more) I deserve it?

--C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain