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That the acts themselves, in the particular 2®See p. 233; c/. p. 206. 80 See p. 226. ” Does the “immutable Nature of Things” mean certain physical and other laws which remain constant? Or does the “immutability” extend to the natures of particular classes of beings? 52 / A History of English Utilitarianism case, are determined, he would deny. , as resulting from a rash use of our Free Will, where we arbitrarily assent to that which is not clear and distinct. It might seem highly improbable that so prominent and zealous a Churchman as Cumberland, in treating of the “sanc­ tion” of the Law of Nature, would fail to insist upon rewards and punishments after death; yet such is the case.

Cumberland returns to the original conception of Natural Laws,26 and is intensely in earnest in maintaining their existence. " We must, then, learn the Laws of Nature from experience. How does experience teach us? In early childhood, we act in a practically purposeless way until we come to recognise the different effects of different kinds of « See p. 280. 24 Of course this is not intended to beg the question as to the ultimate validity of a Utilitarian system. , by Grotius. 50 / A History of English Utilitarianism actions, not only upon ourselves, but upon others as well.

173. 77 See p. 168. 72 See pp. 122 et seq. ” 73 The details of the argument are not particularly convincing. H ie important point is: Cum­ berland argues that altruism first appears as sexual love and the parental instinct to protect offspring. Having once arisen, there is no reason why it may not extend ever so much further. But in the latter part of the treatise, there is an interesting passage which should not be neglected. The author says: “No one does truly observe the law unless he sincerely propose the same end with the legislator.

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A history of English Utilitarianism by Ernest Albee

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