instinct if instinct it be of self defence The same superiority of intelligence

Instinct if instinct it be of self defence the same

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instinct (if instinct it be) of self-defence. The same superiority of intelligence, joined to the power of sympathizing with human beings generally, enables him to attach himself to the collective idea of his tribe, his country, or mankind, in such a manner that any act hurtful to them rouses his instinct of sympathy, and urges him to resistance. The sentiment of justice, in that one of its elements which consists of the desire to punish, is thus, I con ceive, the natural feeling of retaliation or vengeance, rendered by intellect and sympathy applicable to those injuries, that is, to those hurts, which wound us through, or in common with, society at large. This sentiment, in itself, has nothing moral in it ; what is moral is, the exclusive subordination of it to the social sympathies, so as to wait on and obey their call. For the natural feeling tends to make us resent indiscriminately whatever any one does that is dis agreeable to us ; but when moralized by the social feeling, it only acts in the directions conformable to the general good ; just persons resenting a hurt to society, though not otherwise a hurt to themselves, and not resenting a hurt to themselves, however
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78 UTILITARIANISM. painful, unless it be of the kind which society has a common interest with them in the repression of. It is no objection against this doctrine to say, that when we feel our sentiment of justice outraged, we are not thinking of society at large, or of any collec tive interest, but only of the individual case. It is common enough certainly, though the reverse of com mendable, to feel resentment merely because we have suffered pain ; but a person whose resentment is really a moral feeling, that is, who considers whether an act is blameable before he allows himself to resent it such a person, though he may not say expressly to himself that he is standing up for the interest of society, certainly does feel that he is asserting a rule which is for the benefit of others as well as for his own. If he is not feeling this if he is regarding the act solely as it affects him individually he is not con sciously just ; he is not concerning himself about the justice of his actions. This is admitted even by anti- utilitarian moralists. When Kant (as before remarked) propounds as the fundamental principle of morals, ' So act, that thy rule of conduct might be adopted as a law by all rational beings,' he virtually ac knowledges that the interest of mankind collectively, or at least of mankind indiscriminately, must be in the mind of the agent when conscientiously deciding on the morality of the act. Otherwise he uses words without a meaning : for, that a rule even of utter selfishness could not possibly be adopted by all rational beings that there is any insuperable ob stacle in the nature of things to its adoption >can- not be even plausibly maintained. To give any meaning to Kant's principle, the sense put upon it
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HOW CONNECTED WITH JUSTICE. 79 must be, that we ought to shape our conduct by a rule which all rational beings might adopt with benefit to their collective interest.
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