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their light reproaching them Options
vkhu
Posted: Monday, May 15, 2017 1:08:19 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/18/2012
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Quote:
It is certain these people do not commit this as a crime; it is not against their own consciences reproving, or their light reproaching them; they do not know it to be an offence, and then commit it in defiance of divine justice, as we do in almost all the sins we commit.

-Robinson Crusoe


Here Robinson is debating the morality of passing judgement upon a tribe of cannibals. I get the general gist that he think their cannibalistic tendency is not a sin, since it's just how they do things. However, I'm confused by the "light reproaching" part. Is this "light" their sense of justice or something?
NKM
Posted: Monday, May 15, 2017 3:07:03 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/14/2015
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Location: Corinth, New York, United States
In this instance I take "light" to mean their understanding of morality, though we usually use the plural ("lights") for this sense of the word.

See this entry in TFD

lights (laɪts)
pl n
  a person's ideas, knowledge, or understanding: he did it according to his lights.

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