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bation; a tendency, however faint, to the objects of the one, and a proportionable averfion to thofe of the other.'
Avarice, ambition, vanity, and all thofe paffions that are vulgarly comprehended under the denomination of felf-love, are excluded from our author's theory concerning the origin of morals, not because they are too weak, but because they have not a proper direction for that purpose. 'The notion of morals, fays he, implies fome fentiment, common to all mankind, which recommends the fame object to general approbation, and makes every man, or moft men, agree in the fame opinion or decifion concerning it. It also implies fome fentiment, fo univerfal and comprehenfive as to extend to all mankind, and render the actions and conduct, even of I perfons the most remote, an object of cenfure or applause, according as they agree or difagree with that rule of right which is established. Thefe two requifite circumftances belong alone to the sentiment of humanity here infisted on. The other paffions produce, in every breaft, many strong fentiments of defire and averfion, affection and hatred; but thefe neither are felt fo much in common, nor are fo comprehenfive, as to be the foundation of any general system and established theory of blame or approbation.
• When a man denominates another his enemy, his rival, his antagonist, his adverfary, he is underftood to fpeak the language of felf-love, and to exprefs fentiments peculiar to himself, and arifing from his particular circumstances and fituation but when he beftows on any man the epithets of vicious or odious, or depraved, he then fpeaks another language, and expreffes fentiments, in which he expects all his audience are to concur with him. He must, here, therefore, depart from his private and particular fituation, and muft choose a point of view, common to him with others: he muft move fome univerfal principle of the human frame, and touch a string, to which all mankind have an accord and fymphony. If he means, therefore, to express, that this man poffeffes qualities, whofe tendency is pernicious to fociety, he has chofen this common point in view, and has touched the principle of humanity, in which every man, in fome degree, concurs. While the human heart is compounded of the fame elements as at prefent, it will never be altogether indifferent to the good of mankind, nor entirely unaffected with the tendencies of characters and manners. And tho' this affection of humanity may not generally be efteemed fo strong as, ambition or vanity, yet, being common to all men, it can alone be the foundation of morals, or of any
general fyftem of conduct and behaviour. One man's ambition is not another man's ambition; nor will the fame event or object fatisfy both: but the humanity of one man is the humanity of every one; and the fame object touches this paffion in all human creatures.
But the fentiments which arife from humanity, are not only the fame in all human creatures, and produce the fame approbation or cenfure; but they alfo comprehend all human creatures; nor is there any one, whofe conduct and character is not, by their means, an object, to every one, of cenfure or approbation. On the contrary thofe other paffions, commonly denominated felfifh, both produce different fentiments in each individual, according to his particular fituation; and alfo contemplate the greatest part of mankind with the utmost indifference and unconcern. Whoever has a high regard and esteem for me flatters my vanity; whoever expreffes contempt mortifies and difpleafes me but as my name is known but to a small part of mankind, there are few that come within the fpere of this paffion, or excite, on its account, either my affection or difguft. But if you reprefent a tyrannical, infolent, or barbarous behaviour, in any country or in any age of the world; I foon carry my eye to the pernicious tendency of fuch a conduct, and feel the fentiment of repugnance and difpleafure towards it. No character can be fo remote as to be, in this light, altogether indifferent to me. What is beneficial to fociety or to the perfon himself muft ftill be preferred. And every quality or action, of every human being, muft, by this means, be ranked under fome clafs or denomination, expreffive of general censure or applaufe.
What more, therefore, can we ask to diftinguish the fentiments, dependant on humanity, from thofe connected with any other paffion, or to fatisfy us why the former is the origin of morals, and not the latter? Whatever conduct gains my approbation, by touching my humanity, procures alfo the applaufe of all mankind, by affecting the fame principle in them: but what ferves my avarice or ambition pleases only thefe paffions in me, and affects not the avarice or ambition of the reft of mankind. No conduct, in any man, which has a beneficial tendency, but is agreeable to my humanity, however remote the perfon: but every man, fo far removed as neither to crofs nor ferve my avarice and ambition, is altogether indifferent to thofe paffions. The diftinction, therefore, betwixt thefe different
fpecies of fentiment being fo ftrong and evident, language muft foon be moulded upon it, and muft invent a peculiar fet of terms to exprefs thofe univerfal fentiments of cenfure or approbation, which arife from humanity or from views of general usefulness and its contrary. VIRTUE and VICE become then known morals are recognized: certain general ideas are framed of human conduct and behaviour: fuch measures are expected from men in fuch fituations: this action is determined conformable to our abstract rule; that other, contrary. And by fuch univerfal principles are the particular fentiments of felf-love frequently controuled and limited.'
In the remaining part of this fection the author briefly confiders our obligation to virtue, and fhews that every man, who has any regard to his own happiness and welfare, will beft find his account in the practice of every moral duty.
There are two appendixes fubjoined to the work; in the firft of which the author examines how far either reafon or fentiment enters into all moral determinations. The chief foundation, fays he, of moral praise being fuppofed to lie in the usefulness of any quality or action; it is evident that reafon must enter for a confiderable fhare in all determinations of this kind; fince nothing but that faculty can instruct us in the tendency of qualities and actions, and point out their beneficial confequences to fociety and to their poffeffors. In many cafes this is an affair liable to great controverfy doubts may arife, oppofite interests occur preference must be given to one fide, from very nice views and a fmall over balance of utility. This is particularly remarkable in questions with regard to juftice; as is, indeed natural to fuppofe from that fpecies of utility which attends this virtue. Were every fingle inftance of justice, like that of benevolence, beneficial and useful to fociety; this would be a more simple state of the cafe, and feldom liable to great controverly. But as fingle inftances of juftice are often pernicious in their firft and immediate tendency, and as the advantage to fociety refults only from the obfervance of the general rule, and from the concurrence and combination of feveral perfons in the fame equitable conduct; the cafe here becomes more intricate and involved. The various circumftances of fociety; the various confequences of any practice; the various interefts which may be propofed thefe on many occafions are doubtful, and fubject to great difcuffion and enquiry. The object of municipal is to fix all queftions with regard to juftice: the debates of civilians; the reflec
tions of politicians; the precedents of hiftories and public records, are all directed to the fame purpofe. And a very accurate reafon or judgment is often requifite, to give true determination, amidst fuch intricate doubts arifing from obfcure or oppofite utilities.
But tho' reafon, when fully affifted and improved, be fufficient to inftruct us in the pernicious or ufeful tendencies of qualities and actions; it is not alone fufficient to produce any moral blame or approbation. Utility is only a tendency to a certain end; and were the end totally indifferent to us, we should feel the fame indifference towards the means. It is requifite a fentiment should here difplay itself, in order to give a preference to the ufeful above the pernicious tendencies. This fentiment can be no other than a feeling for the happiness of mankind, and a refentment of their mifery; fince these are the different ends which virtue and vice have a tendency to promote. Here therefore, reafon inftructs us in the feveral tendencies of actions, and humanity makes a diftinction in favour of those, which are useful and beneficial.'
After this our author proceeds to fhew the abfurdity of fuppofing reafon to be the fole fource of morals, an abfurdity which he places in the clearest and strongeft light, and concludes this his first appendix in the following manner.
Thus, fays he, the diftinct boundaries and offices of reafon and tafte are easily afcertained. The former conveys the knowledge of truth and falfhood: the latter gives the fentiment of beauty and deformity, vice and virtue. The one difcovers objects, as they really ftand in nature, without addition or diminution: the other has a productive faculty, and gilding or ftaining all natural objects with the colours borrowed from internal fentiment, raifes in a manner a new creation, Reafon, being cool and difengaged, is no motive to action, and directs only the impulfe received from appetite or inclination, by fhewing us the means of obtaining happiness or avoiding mifery tafte, as it gives pleasure or pain, and thereby conftitutes happinefs or mifery, becomes a motive to action, and is the first spring or impulfe to defire and volition. From circumftances and relations, known or supposed, the former leads us to the difcovery of the concealed and unknown after all circumftances and relations are laid before us, the latter makes us feel from the whole a new fentiment of blame or approbation. The standard of the one being founded on the nature of things, is eternal and inflexible, even by the will of the fupreme
being the ftandard of the other, arifing from the internal frame and constitution of animals is ultimately derived from that fupreme will, who beftowed on each being its peculiar nature, and arranged the feveral claffes and orders of exiftence.'
In the fecond appendix, our author gives a more particular explication of the origin and nature of justice; and marks fome differences betwixt it and the other virtues. He obferves, that, the focial virtues of humanity and benevolence, exert their influence immediately, by a direct tendency or inftinct, which keeps.chiefly in view the fimple object that moves the affections, and comprehends not any scheme or system, nor the confequences refulting from the concurrence, imitation, or example of others; but that the cafe is different with the focial virtues of justice and fidelity. They' fays he, are highly ufeful, or indeed abfolutely neceflary to the well-being of mankind but the benefit refulting from them, is not the confequence of every individual fingle act; but arifes from the whole fcheme or fyftem, concurred in by the whole, or the greatest part of the fociety. General peace and order is the attendant of juftice, or a general abftinence from the poffeffions of others; but a particular regard to the particular right of one individual citizen, may frequently, confidered in itself, be attended with pernicious confequences. The refult of the feveral acts is here often directly oppo-fite to that of the whole fyftem of actions; and the former may be extremely hurtful, while the latter is, to the highest degree, advantageous. Riches inherited from a parent, are, in a bad man's hand, the inftruments of mifchief. The right of fucceffion may, in one inftance, be hurtful. Its benefit arifes only from the obfervance of the general rule; and it is fufficient, if compensation be thereby made, for all the ills and inconveniencies, which flow from particular characters and fituations.
The happiness and profperity of mankind, arifing from the focial viitues of benevolence and its fubdivifions, may be compared to a wall, built by many hands; which still rifes by each stone that is put upon it and receives proportionable increase to the diligence and care of each work
The fame happiness, raised by the focial virtue of justice and its fubdivifions, may be compared to the building of a vault, where each individual ftone, would, of itself, fall to the ground; nor does the whole fabric fupport