tolstoy on how to judge

During my stay in Paris, the sight of an execution revealed to me the precariousness of my superstitious belief in progress. When I saw the heads being separated from the bodies and heard them thump, one after the next, into the box I understood, and not just with my intellect but with my whole being, that no theories of the rationality of existence and progress could justify this crime. I realized that even if every single person since the day of creation had, according to whatever theory, found this necessary I knew that it was unnecessary and wrong, and therefore that judgements on what is good and necessary must not be based on what other people say and do, or on progress, but on the instincts of my own soul.

leo tolstoy
a confession

blogged from the kagablog

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