My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for grinding general laws out of large collections of facts.
Laws are important and valuable in the exact natural sciences, in the measure that those sciences are universally valid.
In law a man is guilty when he violates the rights of others. In ethics he is guilty if he only thinks of doing so.
Ignorance of the law excuses no man; not that all men know the law, but because ’tis an excuse every man will plead, and no man can tell how to refute him.
I know this world is ruled by infinite intelligence. Everything that surrounds us – everything that exists – proves that there are infinite laws behind it. There can be no denying this fact. It is mathematical in its precision.
For nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced.
For centuries the death penalty, often accompanied by barbarous refinements, has been trying to hold crime in check; yet crime persists. Why? Because the instincts that are warring in man are not, as the law claims, constant forces in a state of equilibrium.[Depuis des siècles, la peine de mort, accompagnée souvent de sauvages raffinements, essaie de tenir tête au crime; le crime pourtant s’obstine. Pourquoi? C’est que les instincts qui, dans l’homme, se combattent, ne sont pas, comme le veut la loi, des forces constantes en état d’équilibre.]
Civilisation and the life of nations are governed by the same laws as prevail throughout nature and organic life.