Wish I'd said that - September 23, 2018

"if there is any permanent element in him [man generally], his conscience in all probability cannot be destroyed, although it can be covered up and disregarded. To tamper with it, therefore, to try to destroy it, is of all conceivable courses of conduct the most dangerous, and may prepare the way to a wakening, a self-assurance, of conscience fearful to think of. But suppose that the fungus theory is the true one. Suppose that man is a mere passing shadow, and nothing else. What is he to say of his conscience? Surely a rational man holding such a theory of his own nature will be bound in consistency to try and to determine the question whether he ought not to prune his conscience just as he cuts his hair and nails. A man who regarded a cold heart and a good digestion as the best possible provision for life would have a great deal to say for his view.”

James Fitzjames Stephen, Liberty Equality Fraternity