As mathematical and absolute certainty is seldom to be attained in human affairs, reasoning and public utility require that judges and all mankind in forming their opinion of the truth of facts should be regulated by the superior number of probabilities on the one side or the other
There is no passion that so much transports men from their right judgments as anger. No one would demur upon punishing a judge with death who should condemn a criminal upon the account of his own choler; why then should fathers and pedants be any more allowed to whip and chastise children in their anger? It is then no longer correction but revenge. Chastisement is instead of physic to children; and should we suffer a physician who should be animated against and enraged at his patient?
When we would show any one that he is mistaken, our best course is to observe on what side he considers the subject, – for his view of it is generally right on this side, – and admit to him that he is right so far. He will be satisfied with this acknowledgment, that he was not wrong in his judgment, but only inadvertent in not looking at the whole case.