Astringencies

The Regrettable Emphasis on ‘Remorse’

One may smile, and smile, and be a villain. —Hamlet, Act I, scene v Criminals, or those who have committed criminal acts, are often sentenced more severely or less according to whether or not they have expressed remorse for what they have done. They are also released on parole, or not, on the same grounds. If there is such a thing as wilful naivety, this seems to me wilfully naive. It is obvious that where there is both a demand and a reward for expressions of remorse, there will be a supply. Where such expressions are rewarded, it is impossible…

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