of ornament or of amusement Nor is the term thus ignorantly misapplied solely

Of ornament or of amusement nor is the term thus

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of ornament, or of amusement. Nor is the term thus ignorantly misapplied solely in disparage ment, but occasionally in compliment ; as though it implied superiority to frivolity and the mere pleasures of the moment. And this perverted use is the only one in which the word is popularly known, and the one from which the new generation are acquiring their sole notion of its meaning. Those who intro duced the word, but who had for many years discon tinued it as a distinctive appellation, may well feel themselves called upon to resume it, if by doing so they can hope to contribute anything towards rescuing it from this utter degradation.* The creed which accepts as the foundation of morals, Utility, or the Greatest Happiness Principle, holds that actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the * The author of this essay has reason for believing himself to be the first person who brought the word utilitarian into use. He did not invent it, but adopted it from a passing expression in Mr. Gait's Annals of the Parish-. After using it as a designation for several years, he and others abandoned it from a growing dislike to anything resembling a badge or watchword of sectarian distinction. But as a name for one single opinion, not a set of opinions to denote the recognition of utility as a standard, not any particular way of ap plying it the term supplies a want in the language, and offers, in many cases, a convenient mode of avoiding tiresome circumlocution.
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10 UTILITARIANISM. reverse of happiness. By happiness is intended plea sure, and the absence of pain ; by unhappiness, pain, and the privation of pleasure. To give a clear view of the moral standard set up by the theory, much more requires to be said ; in particular, what things it includes in the ideas of pain and pleasure ; and to what extent this is left an open question. But these supplementary explanations do not affect the theory of life on which this theory of morality is grounded namely, that pleasure, and freedom from pain, are the only things desirable as ends ; and that all desirable things (which are as numerous in the utilitarian as in any other scheme) are desirable either for the pleasure inherent in themselves, or as means to the promotion of pleasure and the prevention of pain. Now, such a theory of life excites in many minds, and among them in some of the most estimable in feeling and purpose, inveterate dislike. To suppose that life has (as they express it) no higher end than pleasure no better and nobler object of desire and pursuit they designate as utterly mean and grovel ling ; as a doctrine worthy only of swine, to whom the followers of Epicurus were, at a very early period, contemptuously likened ; and modern holders of the doctrine are occasionally made the subject of equally polite comparisons by its German, French, and English assailants.
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