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C S Lewis: Post of Satan

‘…because a man is sometimes entitled to hurt (or even, in my opinion, to kill) his fellow, but only where the necessity is urgent and the good to be attained obvious, and usually (though not always) when he who inflicts the pain has a definite authority to do so—a parent’s authority derived from nature, a magistrate’s or soldier’s derived from civil society, or a surgeon’s derived, most often, from the patient. To turn this into a general charter for afflicting humanity “because affliction is good for them” (as Marlowe’s lunatic Tamberlaine boasted himself the “scourge of God”) is not indeed to break the divine scheme but to volunteer for the post of Satan within that scheme. If you do his work, you must be prepared for his wages.’

—C S Lewis.


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