On the Philosophy of Ethics: An Analytical Essay

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Edmonston and Douglas, 1866 - Ethics - 148 pages
 

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Page 138 - Heaven is saintly chastity, That, when a soul is found sincerely so, A thousand liveried angels lackey her, Driving far off each thing of sin and guilt, And in clear dream, and solemn vision, Tell her of things that no gross ear can hear, Till oft converse with heavenly habitants Begin to cast a beam on the outward shape, The unpolluted temple of the mind, And turns it by degrees to the soul's essence, Till all be made immortal.
Page 5 - I must again repeat, what the assailants of utilitarianism seldom have the justice to acknowledge, that the happiness which forms the utilitarian standard of what is right in conduct is not the agent's own happiness, but that of all concerned; as, between his own happiness and that of others, utilitarianism requires him to be as strictly impartial as a disinterested and benevolent spectator.
Page 4 - From the probable effects of our actions on the greatest happiness of all, or from the tendencies of human actions to increase or diminish that aggregate, we may infer the laws which he has given, but has not expressed or revealed. Now the tendency of a human action (as its tendency is thus understood) is the whole of its tendency: the sum of its probable consequences, in so far as they are important or material : the sum of its remote and collateral, as well as of its direct consequences, in so...
Page 6 - Let any plain honest man before he engages in any course of action, ask himself ' Is this I. am going about right, or is it wrong? is it good or is it evil ? ' and I do not in the least doubt but that this question would be answered agreeably to truth and virtue by almost any fair man in almost any circumstance...
Page 6 - But there is a superior principle of reflection or conscience in every man, which distinguishes between the internal principles of his heart, as well as his external actions: which passes judgment upon himself and them; pronounces determinately some actions to be in themselves just, right, good; others to be in themselves evil, wrong, unjust : which, without being consulted, without being advised with, magisterially exerts itself, and approves or condemns him the doer of...
Page 4 - The theory is this. Inasmuch as the goodness of God is boundless and impartial, he designs the greatest happiness of all his sentient creatures: he wills that the aggregate of their enjoyments shall find no nearer limit than that which is inevitably set to it by their finite and imperfect nature. From the probable effects of our actions on the greatest happiness of all, or from the tendencies of human actions to increase or diminish that aggregate, we may infer the laws which he has given, but has...
Page 5 - The MORAL SENSE : whereby we conceive and feel a pleasure in right, and a distaste and aversion to wrong, prior to all reflection on their natures, or their consequences.
Page 6 - ... internal principles of his heart, as well as his external actions ; which passes judgment upon himself and them; pronounces determinately some actions to be in themselves just, right, good; others to be in themselves evil, wrong, unjust; which, without being consulted, without being advised with, magisterially exerts itself, and approves or condemns him, the doer of them, accordingly...
Page 5 - ... wilfulness, happen to carry him ; which is the condition brute creatures are in : but that from his make, constitution or nature, he is in the strictest and most proper sense a law to himself. He hath the rule of right within. What is wanting is only that he honestly attend to it.

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