Publication information
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Source: Everyday Ethics
Source type: book
Document type: book chapter
Document title: “The Darkness of Sin” [chapter 6]
Author(s): Cabot, Ella Lyman
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Place of publication: New York, New York
Year of publication: 1907
Pagination: 77-92 (excerpt below includes only page 81)

Cabot, Ella Lyman. “The Darkness of Sin” [chapter 6]. Everyday Ethics. New York: Henry Holt, 1907: pp. 77-92.
excerpt of chapter
sin (impact on human behavior); Leon Czolgosz (mental health).
Named persons
Leon Czolgosz [misspelled below]; William S. Devery; Iago; William McKinley; Nero; Othello; Matthew S. Quay.
The year 1907 appears on the book’s title page while the copyright page gives 1906.


The Darkness of Sin [excerpt]

Cases of deliberate fiendishness or cool self-acknowledged meanness are apt to come to our minds when we use the word “sin.” We think of Nero persecuting the Christians; of Devery, the New York Chief of Police, blackmailing the rich and grinding the poor; of Iago thirsting to revenge himself on Othello; of Quay corrupting legislatures; of Czolgotz assassinating McKinley. At first all sin seems deliberate and open-eyed, and the typical sinner a cold-blooded villain, but on further thought we shorten our list of deliberate villains by ruling out everyone who is morally irresponsible, as it is probable Nero and Czolgotz were. Terrible as were his acts, Nero probably committed them as unconcernedly as a baby crushes a beetle and with as little sense of right or wrong, while McKinley’s assassin apparently acted in an insane way for the purpose he thought highest.



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