This is one of my favorite quotes. The reality is this: we all look in the mirror and see a busybody. Just pray that your internal busybody never attempts to use government in place of the soapbox. This is what divides the casual busybody from the nanny do-gooder: the former uses argumentation while the latter uses legislation. And the latter always ends up the evil authoritarian.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Of all tyrannies a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be “cured” against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals. But to be punished, however severely, because we have deserved it, because we “ought to have known better,” is to be treated as a human person made in God’s image.
— C.S. Lewis