Bentham_on_Animals

Bentham_on_Animals - An INTRODUCTION t0 the PRINCIPLES OF...

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Unformatted text preview: An INTRODUCTION t0 the PRINCIPLES OF MORALS and LEGISLATION 1' §% = .{ is; edited by J. H. BURNS and H. L. A. HART -UNIVERSITY OF LONDON THE ATHLONE PRESS 1970 Published by THE ATHLONE PRESS UNIVERSITY OF LOND ON at 2 Gower Stareet, London W01 Distfibuied by Tiptree Book Sew'm'ces Ltd Tipme, Essew Australia and New Zealcmd Melboume University Pw-ess U.S.A. Omford Um'versity Press Inc New York © Um'vérsity of London, 1970 0 4:85 1321] 7' Printed in Great Britain by WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS, LIMITED LONDON AND'BECCLES l: ., Ethics in general, what Private ethics The art of government: that is, of legislation and adminis- mitten Interests of-._' the inferior“ animals im- properly neglected in legislation CHAPTER XVII LIMITS OF PENAL JURISPRUDENCE In the course of this enquiry, that part of it I mean which con- cerns the limits between the civil and the penal branch of law, it will be necessary to settle a number of points, of which the connec— tion with the main question might not at first sight be suspected. To ascertain what sort of a thing a law is; what the parts are that are to be found in it; what it must contain in order to be complete; what the connection is between that part of a body of laws which belongs to the subject of procedure; and the rest of the law at large: —All these, it will be seen, are so many problems, which must be solved before any satisfactory answer can be given to the main question above mentioned. Nor is this their only use: for it is evident enough, that the notion of a complete law must first be fixed, before the legislator can in any case know what it is he has to do, or when his work is done. 2. Ethics at large may be defined, the art of directing men’s actions to the production of the greatest possible quantity of hap- piness, on the part of those whose interest is in view. 3. What then are the actions which it can be in a man’s power to direct? They must be either his own actions, or those 'of other agents. Ethics, in as far as it is the art of directing a man’s own actions, may be styled the art of self-government, or private ethics. 4. What other agents then are there, which, at the same time that they are under the influence of man’s direction, are susceptible of happiness? They are of two sorts: 1. Other human beings who are styled persons. 2. Other animals, which on account of their interests having been neglected by the insensibility of the ancient jurists, stand degraded into the class of timings.b As to other human ‘3 Under the Gentoo1 and Mahometan religions, the interests of the rest of .' the animsil creation seem to have met with some attention. Why have they not, universally, with as much as those of human creatures, allowance made for the difference in point of sensibility? Because the laws that are have been the work of mutual fear; a sentiment which the less rational animals have not had the same means as man has of turning to account. Why ought they not ‘P No reason can be given. If the being eaten were all, there is very good reason why we should be suffered to eat such of them as we like to eat: we are the better for it, andrthey are never the worse. They have none of those long— protracted anticipations of future misery which we have. The death they suffer in our hands commonly is, and always may be, a speedier, and by that means a less painful one, than that which would await them in the inevitable course of nature. If the being killed were all, there is very good reason why we should be suffered to kill such as molest us; we should be the worse for their living, and they are never the worse for being dead. But is there any reason 1 This term for Hindu seems to have become obsolete during the first half of the 19th century. 282 LIMITS OF PENAL JURISPRUDENCE CHAPTER XVII beings, the art of directing their actions to the above end is what we mean, or at least the only thing which, upon the principle of utility, we ought to mean, by the art of government: which, in as far as the measures it displays itself in are of a permanent nature, is generally distinguished by the name of legislation: as it is by that of administration, when they are of a temporary nature, determined by the occurrences of the day. 5. N ow human creatures, considered with respect to the maturity Art of of their faculties, are either in an adult, or in a non-adult state. The edumim art of government, in as far as it concerns the direction of the ac- tions of persons in a non—adult state, may be termed the art of education. In as far as this business is entrusted with those who, in virtue of some private relationship, are in the main the best disposed to take upon them, and the best able to discharge, this office, it may be termed the art of private education: in as far as it is exercised by those whose province it is to superintend the con— duct of the whole community, it may be termed the art of public education. 6. As to ethics in General, a man’s ha iness will de end, in the Ethics etchiw a PP P bits the rules . o , 1. Pru- why we should he suffered to torment them? Not any that I can see. Are there dime. any why we should not be suflered to torment them? Yes, several. See B. I. tit. 2. Probity. (Cruelty to animals.) The day has been, I grieve to say in many places it is not 3- Benefi- yet past, in which the greater part of the species, under the denomination of Game slaves, have been treated by the law exactly upon the same footing, as, in England for example, the inferior races of animals are still. The day may come, when the rest of the animal creation may acquire those rights which never could have been withholden from them but by the hand of tyranny. The French have already discovered that the blackness of the skin is no reason why i a human being should be abandoned without redress to the caprice of a tor- \ mentor.* It may come one day to be recognized, that the number of the legsT'j” the villosity of the skin, or the termination of the es sacrum, are reasons equally , insufiicient for abandoning a sensitive being to the same fate ‘3 What else is it that should trace the insuperable line? Is it the faculty of reason, or, perhaps, { the faculty of discourse ‘3 But a full-grown horse or dog, is beyond comparison l, a more rational, as well as a more conversible animal, than an infant of a day, l or a week, or even a month, old. But suppose the case were otherwise, what 5 would it avail? the question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, i - - Can they sufier ‘2 * See Lewis XIVth’s Code Noir.1 1 This code, begun under Colbert, completed by Seignelay, and issued in March 1685, regulated the status of slaves in the French West Indies. It forbade the killing of slaves by their masters, and gave the royal authorities the power to protect slaves from maltreatment. It also provided that a slave freed in the West Indies should become a French citizen without formal natlualisation. 283 THE COLLECTED WORKS OF JEREMY BENTHAM General Editor J. H. Bums Principles of Legislation ...
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This note was uploaded on 03/06/2012 for the course PHIL 1000 taught by Professor Crystal during the Spring '07 term at LSU.

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Bentham_on_Animals - An INTRODUCTION t0 the PRINCIPLES OF...

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