one would be done by and to love ones neighbour as oneself constitute the ideal

One would be done by and to love ones neighbour as

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one would be done by, and to love one's neighbour as oneself, constitute the ideal perfection of utilitarian morality. As the means of making the nearest approach to this ideal, utility would enjoin, first, that laws and social arrangements should place the happiness, or (as speaking practically it may be called) the interest, of every individual, as nearly as possible in harmony with the interest of the whole ; and secondly, that education and opinion, which have so vast a power over human character, should so use that power as to establish in the mind of every individual an indissoluble association between his own happiness and the good of the whole ; espe cially between his own happiness and the practice of , such modes of conduct, negative and positive, as regard | for the universal happiness prescribes : so that not_[ only he may be unable to conceive the possibility of happiness to himself, consistently with conduct opposed to the general good, but also that a direct impulse to promote the general good may be in every individual one of the habitual motives of action, and the senti ments connected therewith may fill a large and promi- - nent place in every human being's sentient existence. If the impugners of the utilitarian morality repre sented it to their own minds in this its true character, I know not what recommendation possessed by any other morality they could possibly affirm to be wanting to it : what more beautiful or more exalted develop ments of human nature any other ethical system can be supposed to foster, or what springs of action, not accessible to the utilitarian, such systems rely on for giving effect to their mandates. The objectors to utilitarianism cannot always be
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26 UTILITARIANISM. charged with representing it in a discreditable light. On the contrary, those among them who entertain anything like a just idea of its disinterested character, sometimes find fault with its standard as being too high for humanity. They say it is exacting too much to require that people shall always act from the in ducement of promoting the general interests of society. But this is to mistake the very meaning of a standard of morals, and to confound the rule of action with the motive of it.j It is the business of ethics to tell us what are our duties, or by what test we may know them ; but no system of ethics requires that the sole motive of all we do shall be a feeling of duty ; on the contrary, ninety-nine hundredths of all our actions are done from other motives, and rightly so done, if the rule of duty does not condemn them. It is the more unjust to utilitarianism that this particular mis apprehension should be made a ground of objection to it, inasmuch as utilitarian moralists have gone i beyond almost all others in affirming that the motive has nothing to do with the morality of the action, though much with the worth of the agent. He who saves a fellow creature from drowning does what is morally right, whether his motive be duty, or the Jbope of being paid for his trouble : he who betrays the friend that
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