British Moralists: 1650-1800 by D. D. Raphael

By D. D. Raphael

Volumes:1. Hobbes - homosexual; 2. Hume - Bentham, and Index.

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Among these things are those acts whereby men are wont to take away, or on the other hand to defend, the lives, liberty, and fortunes of one another. **** XVI. Quoniam autem multa quae dicturus sum de moribus hinc pendent, alia adjiciam eodem facientia. Cum certum sit e natura voluntatis, actionisve voluntariae, maximi boni effectionem esse finem maximum a ratione praescriptum, illud erit vel maximum bonum commune (quo refero quicquid cum eo consistit) vel maximum quod possibile videtur cuivis singulari, XVI.

CHAP. II 1. Wherefore in the first place, it is a thing which we shall very easily 120 demonstrate, that moral good and evil, just and unjust, honest and dishonest, (if they be not mere names without any signification, or names for nothing else but willed and commanded, but have a reality in respect of the persons obliged to do and avoid them) cannot possibly be arbitrary things, made by will without nature; because it is universally true, that things are what they are, not by will but by nature.

I here take the term 'natural science' in a wide sense, such that it not only embraces all experiential phenomena of natural bodies, but investigates in addition the nature of our minds from observation of their workings and proper perfections, and eventually leads men from the order of natural causes to a knowledge of the First Mover and acknowledges him to be the cause of all necessary effects. For the nature of the creation, as well as of the Creator, supplies all those notions and therefore the material of which natural laws are composed, just as it supplies the truth of practical propositions; but the acknowledgement of the Creator adds to them complete authority.

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