Look at the worldly and at the whole world that exalts itself above the people of God; are the image of God and his truth not distorted in it? They have science, and in science only that which is subject to the senses. But the spiritual world, the higher half of man’s being, is altogether rejected, banished with a sort of triumph, even with hatred. The world has proclaimed freedom, especially of late, but what do we see in this freedom of theirs; only slavery and suicide! For the world says: “You have needs, therefore satisfy them, for you have the same rights as the noblest and richest men. Do not be afraid to satisfy them, even increase them”—this is the current teaching of the world. And in this they see freedom. But what comes of this right to increase one’s needs? For the rich, isolation and spiritual suicide, for the poor, envy and murder, for they have been given rights, but have not yet been shown the say of satisfying their needs. We are assured that the world is becoming more and more united, is being transformed into brotherly communion, by the shortening of distances, by the transmitting of thoughts through the air. Alas, do not believe in such a union of people. Taking freedom to mean the increase and prompt satisfaction of needs, they distort their own nature, for they generate many meaningless and foolish desires, habits, and the most absurd fancies in themselves. They live only for mutual envy, for pleasure-seeking and self-display. To have dinners, horses, carriages, rank, and slaves to serve them is now considered such a necessity that for the sake of it, to satisfy it, they will sacrifice life, honor, the love of mankind, and even will kill themselves if they are unable to satisfy it. We see the same thing in those who are not rich, while the poor, so far, simply drown their unsatisfied needs and envy in drink. But soon they will get drunk on blood instead of wine, they are being led to that. I ask you: is such a man free?

The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoevsky (trans. Richard Pevear and Larissa Voloshonsky)

You Ought to Be Ashamed

Honestly, Harold. If I had thought for a moment that it would come to this, we would never have bought you that chemistry set. “Just a little extra sulfur,” indeed.
Your father and I have talked it over, and we think that the best thing for you would be to sacrifice Quackers on an altar before the throne of his Glorious Excrescence Moloch. There will be no more science in this house, young man. No, don’t look at me like that. I know you’re not really going to keep him as a pet. You want to dissect him, don’t you? Yes, you think I don’t know you’ve been hiding copies of “Scientific American” under your mattress, but your father found them the other day while he was cursing your room. Don’t you tell me to stay out of your room. While you are under this roof you will obey the rules that your parents, and the Dread Demiurge Astaroth, may his name grow in squamous horror, make for you. When I think of what your poor dead grandmother would say if she were here to see this, I just get shivers all over. I have half a mind to let her out just to tell her all about it. No, don’t cry, honey. Oh, mommy’s sorry. Granny will stay safely in her padlocked crypt until the pounding stops forever. I promise. No, you’re still grounded. Yes, of course we want you to make decisions for yourself, but sometimes we have to interfere.
Now, your father has said – well, those are just the consequences! Your father has said that you should stay indoors and work on your augury for a month. I know that sounds harsh, but it’s for the best. And I don’t want you hanging around with that George Braverman anymore. I think he’s putting bad ideas in your head. Well, do you remember the time he wanted you to summon Einstein so you could ask him how the theory of relativity worked? That’s not something an evil little boy should be doing with his time.
We also think you should spend less time in the bathroom.