Leo Tolstoy quote about goodness from Anna Karenina - If goodness has causes, it is not goodness; if it has effects, a reward, it is not goodness either. So goodness is outside the chain of cause and effect.
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If goodness has causes, it is not goodness; if it has effects, a reward, it is not goodness either. So goodness is outside the chain of cause and effect.
 Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina (1877). copy citation

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Author Leo Tolstoy
Source Anna Karenina
Topic goodness causality reward
Date 1877
Language English
Reference
Note Translated by Constance Garnett
Weblink http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1399/1399-h/1399-h.htm

Context

“And I and millions of men, men who lived ages ago and men living now—peasants, the poor in spirit and the learned, who have thought and written about it, in their obscure words saying the same thing—we are all agreed about this one thing: what we must live for and what is good. I and all men have only one firm, incontestable, clear knowledge, and that knowledge cannot be explained by the reason—it is outside it, and has no causes and can have no effects.
«If goodness has causes, it is not goodness; if it has effects, a reward, it is not goodness either. So goodness is outside the chain of cause and effect.
«And yet I know it, and we all know it.
«What could be a greater miracle than that?
«Can I have found the solution of it all? can my sufferings be over?» thought Levin, striding along the dusty road, not noticing the heat nor his weariness, and experiencing a sense of relief from prolonged suffering.” source

Meaning and analysis

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