The people do not fear death; to what purpose is it to (try to) frighten them with death?In present US society, we are creating ever more categories of crime that result in a prison sentence. While the rate of crime bobs up and down, people still commit crimes daily. It would seem that the stiff punishments don't serve as that much of a deterrent!
~ James Legge translation, from The Sacred Books of the East, 1891 ~
If men are not afraid to die,
It is no avail to threaten them with death.
~ Gia-fu Feng and Jane English translation, published by Vintage Books, 1989 ~
People do not fear death
How can they be threatened with death?
~ Derek Lin translation, from Tao Te Ching: Annotated & Explained, published by SkyLight Paths, 2006 ~
If people's lives suck,
and they look forward to death,
what good does it do to threaten to kill them?
~ Ron Hogan rendition, from Beatrice.com, 2004 ~
Take a look at the Christian Bible. There supposedly are numerous sins that will lead to death, yet the faithful commit those very sins over and over again. It seems that continual threats of spiritual or bodily death don't faze believers.
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