Simple esteem is a duty we ought to render to all men. Contempt is a hurt, in fact the greatest of hurts. Only nothingness is to be held in contempt; every real being deserves esteem. Man being the most noble of creatures it is a false judgment and a misgoverned movement to hold him in contempt, whatever he may be.
Nicolas Malebranche. Treatise on Ethics (1684). Walton, tr. Kluwer Academic Publishers (Boston: 1993), p. 173.