beware lest you likewise sacrifice your reason in the conduct of your life

Epigraph
O, pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth,
That I am meek and gentle with these butchers!
Thou art the ruins of the noblest man
That ever lived in the tide of times.

Woe to the hand that shed this costly blood!
Over thy wounds now do I prophesy,–
Which, like dumb mouths, do ope their ruby lips,
To beg the voice and utterance of my tongue–

A curse shall light upon the limbs of men;
Domestic fury and fierce civil strife
Shall cumber all the parts of Italy;
Blood and destruction shall be so in use

And dreadful objects so familiar
That mothers shall but smile when they behold
Their infants quarter’d with the hands of war;
All pity choked with custom of fell deeds:

And Caesar’s spirit, ranging for revenge,
With Ate by his side come hot from hell,
Shall in these confines with a monarch’s voice
Cry ‘Havoc,’ and let slip the dogs of war;

That this foul deed shall smell above the earth
With carrion men, groaning for burial.
– William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar

***

“Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?”
… an utterance attributed to Henry II of England,
which led to the death of Thomas Becket,
the Archbishop of Canterbury, in 1170. 

While it was not expressed as an order,
it caused four knights to travel from Normandy to Canterbury,
where they killed Becket.


The phrase is now used to express the idea
that a ruler’s wish can be interpreted as a command
by his or her subordinates. – Wikipedia


***


Once your faith, sir, persuades you to believe
what your intelligence declares to be absurd,
beware lest you likewise sacrifice your reason
in the conduct of your life.

In days gone by, there were people who said to us:
“You believe in incomprehensible, contradictory and impossible things because we have commanded you to;
now then, commit unjust acts because we likewise order you to do so.”

Nothing could be more convincing.
Certainly anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices.
If you do not use the intelligence with
which God endowed your mind
to resist believing impossibilities,
you will not be able to use the sense of injustice
which God planted in your heart
to resist a command to do evil.
Once a single faculty of your soul has been tyrannized,
all the other faculties will submit to the same fate.
This has been the cause
of all the religious crimes
that have flooded the earth. –Voltaire

***

The epitaph says, for those who can read it,
that he is a saint and martyr who shall breathe again
and shall in wondrous joy inherit and flourish,
shall wear a crown and be seated in the kingdom.

And I have heard it said that this must be so –
if by killing men and shedding blood,
by damning souls and causing deaths,
by trusting evil counsels,
by setting fires, destroying men,
dishonouring paratage,

seizing lands and encouraging pride,
by kindling evil and quenching good,
by killing women and slaughtering children,
a man can in this world win Jesus Christ,
certainly Count Simon wears a crown
and shines in heaven above.

– Anonymous Author of Song of the Cathar Wars