Friedrich Nietzsche, Human All Too Human (Menschliches, Allzumenschliches), subtitled A Book for Free Spirits (Ein Buch für freie Geister).

First published in 1878.   A second part, Assorted Opinions and Maxims (Vermischte Meinungen und Sprüche), was published in 1879, and a third part, The Wanderer and his Shadow (Der Wanderer und sein Schatten), followed in 1880.

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Previous Section   105. RECOMPENSING JUSTICE   Next Section

RECOMPENSING JUSTICE.  Whoever has completely comprehended the doctrine of absolute irresponsibility can no longer include the so called punishing and recompensing justice in the idea of justice, should this consist of giving to each man his due.  For he who is punished does not deserve the punishment, he is only used as a means of henceforth warning away from certain actions; equally so, he who is rewarded does not merit this reward, he could not act otherwise than he did.  Therefore the reward is meant only as an encouragement to him and others, to provide a motive for subsequent actions; words of praise are flung to the runners on the course, not to the one who has reached the goal.  Neither punishment nor reward is anything that comes to one as one's own; they are given from motives of usefulness, without one having a right to claim them.  Hence we must say, "The wise man gives no reward because the deed has been well done” just as we have said, "The wise man does not punish because evil has been committed, but in order that evil shall not be committed".  If punishment and reward no longer existed, then the strongest motives which deter men from certain actions and impel them to certain other actions, would also no longer exist; the needs of mankind require their continuance; and inasmuch as punishment and reward, blame and praise, work most sensibly on vanity, the same need requires the continuance of vanity.  
 

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