If it is removed, the great, the immense fabric of human society . . . must in a moment crumble into atoms. In order to enforce the observation of justice, therefore, Nature has implanted in the human breast
that consciousness of ill-desert, those terrors of merited punishment which attend upon its violation, as the great safe-guards of the association of mankind, to protect the weak, to curb the violent, and to chastise the guilty.” —Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759).

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