81 Chapter Translations & Interpretations

Chapter 74 – If men are not afraid to die, It is of no avail to threaten them with death.

Gia-Fu Feng & Jane EnglishIf men are not afraid to die, It is of no avail to threaten them with death.

If men live in constant fear of dying, And if breaking the law means that a man will be killed, Who will dare to break the law?

There is always an official executioner.


If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood.

If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you wi’ll only hurt your hand.

Support Authors: Gia-Fu Fen & Jane English

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One Response to “Chapter 74 – If men are not afraid to die, It is of no avail to threaten them with death.”

  1. Bree_TM says:

    This is Stephen Mitchell’s version, which I find very appealing, and I haven’t seen other similar, in the first lines above all. Can someone tell me of the Chinese Text this translation comes from?

    *****74*****
    If you realize that all things change,
    there is nothing you will try to hold on to.
    If you aren’t afraid of dying,
    there is nothing you can’t achieve. Trying to control the future
    is like trying to take the master carpenter’s place.
    When you handle the master carpenter’s tools, chances are that you’ll cut your hand.
    Stephen Mitchell

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