Fyodor Dostoyevsky

“It's like this,' began the elder. 'All these sentences of hard labour in Siberian prisons, and formerly with flogging, too, do not reform anyone and, what's more, scarcely deter even one criminal, and, far from diminishing, the number of crimes are steadily increasing. You have to admit that. It therefore follows that society is not in the least protected, for though a harmful member is cut off automatically and exiled to some remote spot just to get rid of him, another criminal takes his place at once, and often, two, perhaps. If anything does protect society even today and indeed reforms the criminal himself and brings about his regeneration, it is, again, only the law of Christ, which reveals itself in the awareness of one's own consciousness. Only by recognizing his own guilt as a son of a Christian society, that is, of the Church, does the criminal recognize his guilt towards society itself, that is, towards the Church. The criminal today, therefore, is capable of recognizing his guilt only towards the Church, and not towards the State.”


Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
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The Brothers Karamazov The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
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