Friday, September 25, 2009

John Chrysostom: Knowledge Enhanced through Experience - Especially Punishment

What is my drift? We all know what is wrong even before doing it, but we learn it more clearly after doing it - and much more clearly when we are punished. Thus Cain also knew that murdering one's brother is wrong even beforehand, but later learned it more clearly through being punished.

- John Chrysostom (around A.D. 347 to around A.D. 407), Sermon 7 on Genesis, in St. John Chrysostom, Eight Sermons on the Book of Genesis, p. 117 (2004), Robert C. Hill translator.