Moral philosophy, or the
science of human nature, may be
treated after two different manners; each of which has its peculiar merit, and
may contribute to the entertainment and
reformation of mankind.
The one considers man chiefly as born for action; and as influenced in
his measures by taste and sentiment; pursuing one object, and avoiding another,
according to the value which these
objects appear to possess, and
according to the light in
which they present themselves.
As virtue is
allowed to be the most valuable, this species of philosophers
paint her in the most amiable colors; borrowing all helps from poetry and
eloquence, and treating their subject in an easy and obvious manner, and such
as is best fitted to please the
imagination, and engage
They select the most
striking observations and
instances from common life; place opposite characters in a
proper contrast; and alluring us into
the paths of virtue by the
views of glory and happiness, direct our steps in these paths by
the soundest precepts and most
They make us feel
the difference between vice and
virtue; they excite and regulate our sentiments; and so they can but
bend our hearts to the
love of virtue and
species of philosophers consider man in the light of
a reasonable rather than an active
being, and endeavor to form his
understanding more than cultivate his manners.
human nature as
a subject of speculation; and
with a narrow scrutiny examine it, in order to find those principles, which
regulate our understanding,
excite our sentiments, and
make us approve or blame any
particular object, action, or behavior.
think it a reproach to all literature, that philosophy should not yet have
fixed, beyond controversy,
the foundation of
morals, reasoning, and
criticism; and should
forever talk of truth and
falsehood, vice and virtue, beauty
and deformity, without being able to determine the source of these
While they attempt this arduous task, they are deterred
by no difficulties; but proceeding from particular instances to general
principles, they still push on their inquiries to principles more general, and
rest not satisfied till they arrive at
those original principles, by which, in every science,
all human curiosity must be bounded.
It is easy for a profound
philosopher to commit a
mistake in his subtle reasoning; and
one mistake is the necessary
parent of another, while he pushes on his
consequences, and is not
deterred from embracing any conclusion, by
its unusual appearance,
or its contradiction to popular
speculations appear abstract, and even
unintelligible to common readers, they aim at the approbation of the learned
and the wise; and think themselves
sufficiently compensated for the labor of their whole lives, if they can
discover some hidden truths, which may contribute to the instruction of
It is certain that the easy and obvious philosophy will
always, with the generality of mankind, have the preference above the accurate
and abstruse; and by many will be recommended, not only as more agreeable, but
more useful than the other.
It enters more into common life;
molds the heart and affections;
and, by touching those principles which actuate men, reforms their conduct, and
brings them nearer to that model of perfection which it describes.
also must be confessed, that the most durable, as well as just fame, has been
acquired by the easy philosophy, and that
abstract reasoners appear hitherto
to have enjoyed only a momentary reputation, from the caprice or ignorance
of their own age, but have not been able to support their renown with more
philosopher, who purposes
only to represent the common sense of
mankind in more beautiful and more
engaging colors, if by accident he falls
into error, goes no farther; but
his appeal to common sense, and
the natural sentiments of the mind,
returns into the right path and
secures himself from any
Accurate and just
reasoning is the only remedy, fitted
for all dispositions; and is alone able to subvert that
abstruse philosophy and metaphysical
jargon, which being mixed up with
superstition, renders it in a manner
impenetrable to careless thinkers, and gives it the air of
Besides this advantage
of rejecting, after deliberate enquiry, the most uncertain and disagreeable
part of man's purported knowledge, there are many positive advantages, which
result from an accurate scrutiny into the powers and faculties of
It is remarkable
concerning the operation of the mind, that, though most intimately present to
us, yet, whenever they become the object of reflection, they appear involved in
obscurity; nor can the eye readily find those lines and boundaries, which
The objects are too fine to remain long in the
same aspect or situation; and must be
apperceived in an instant, by a superior penetration, derived from nature, and
improved by habit and reflection.
It becomes, therefore,
no inconsiderable part of
science barely to know the different operations of the mind, to separate them
from each other to class them under their proper heads, and to correct all that
seeming disorder when made the object of reflection and inquiry.
Everyone will readily allow that there is considerable
difference between the perceptions of
the mind, when a man feels the pain of excessive heat, or the
pleasure of moderate warmth, and when he
afterwards recalls to his memory
this sensation, or anticipates it by his
may mimic or copy the perceptions of the senses; but they never can entirely
reach the force and vivacity of the original sentiment.
we say of them, even when they operate with greatest vigor, is, that they
represent their object in so lively a manner, that we could almost say we feel
or see it.
All the colors of poetry, however splendid, can never
paint natural objects in such a manner as to make the description be taken for
a real landscape.
The most lively thought is still inferior to the
We may observe a like distinction to run through all
the other perceptions of the mind.
A man in a fit of
anger, is actuated in a very different manner
from a man who only thinks of that emotion.
If you tell me, that an
individual is in love, I easily understand your meaning, and from a just
conception of his situation; but
never can mistake that conception for
the real disorders and agitations of the
reflect on our past sentiments and
affections, our thought is a faithful
mirror, and attempts to copy its objects truly; but the colors which it
employs are faint and dull, in comparison of those in which our original
perceptions were clothed.
It requires no
discernment or metaphysical
head to mark the distinction between them.
Nothing, at first view, may appear more unbounded than
the thought of man, which not only
escapes all human power and authority,
but is not even restrained within the limits of nature and reality.
form monsters, and join incongruous
shapes and appearances, costs the
imagination no more trouble than
to conceive the most natural and familiar objects.
body is confined to the Earth, along which it creeps with pain and
difficulty; the thought can in an
instant transport us into the most distant regions of reality; or even
beyond reality, into the unbounded
chaos, where natural law
no longer functions.
Though our thought appears to possess this
unbounded liberty we shall find, upon a nearer examination, that it is
really confined within very narrow
limits, and that all this creative power of the mind amounts
to no more than the faculty of
compounding, transposing, augmenting, or diminishing the materials afforded us
by the senses and experience.
All sensations, either outward or
inward, are strong and vivid: the connection between them are more exactly
determined; nor is it easy to fall into error or mistake with regard to them.
All ideas, especially
abstract ones, are naturally
faint and obscure: the
mind has but a slender hold of them: they are
apt to be confounded with other
resembling ideas; we are apt to
imagine it has a determinate idea annexed to it, but this is not
bring ideas into so clear a light we may reasonably hope to remove all dispute
which may arise, concerning their nature!
It is evident that there
is a principle of
connection between the different thoughts or ideas of the mind, and that in
their appearance to the memory or
imagination, they introduce each
other with a certain degree of method and regularity.
In our more serious thinking or discourse this is so
observable that any particular thought, which breaks in upon the regular tract
or chain of ideas, is immediately
remarked or rejected.
Even in our
wildest and most wandering reveries,
nay in our very dreams, we shall find,
if we reflect, that the
imagination ran not altogether at adventures, but that there was still a
connection upheld among the different ideas, which succeed each other.
Were the loosest and freest conversation to be transcribed, there would
immediately be observed something which connected it in all its transitions.
Or where this is wanting, the individual who broke the thread of
discourse might still inform you, that there had revolved in his mind a
succession of thought, which had gradually led him from the subject of
Among different languages,
even where we suspect the least connection or communication, it is found, that
the words, expressive of ideas, the most compounded, do yet nearly correspond
to each other: a certain proof that the
comprehended in the compound
ones, were bound together by
some universal principle, which had
an equal influence on all
All the objects of human
reason or enquiry may naturally be divided into two kinds,
relations of ideas and
matters of fact.
Relations of ideas are the sciences of geometry,
arithmetic; and in short, every
affirmation which is either intuitively or
That the square of the hypothenuse is equal to
the square of the two sides, is a statement which expresses a relation between
That three times five is equal to the half of thirty,
expresses a relation between these numbers.
Statements of this category are discovered by
the mere operation of thought, without dependence on what is anywhere existent
in the universe.
Though there never were a circles or triangle in
nature, the truths demonstrated by Euclid
for ever retain their certainty and evidence.
Matters of fact, which are the
second objects of human reason, are not ascertained in the same manner; nor is
our evidence of their truth, however great, of a like nature with the
The contrary of every matter of fact is still possible and
is conceived by the mind with the same facility and distinctness as if it was
conformable to reality.
It may, therefore, be a
subject worthy of curiosity, to
enquire what is the nature of that evidence which assures us of any real
existence and matter of fact, beyond the present testimony of our senses, or
the records of our memory.
Such enquiries may even prove useful, by exciting
curiosity, and destroying, that
implicit faith and security, which is the bane of all reasoning and free
To convince us that all the
laws of nature, and all the
operations of bodies without exception, are
known only by experience, the
following reflections may suffice.
all arguments from experience are founded on the similarity which we discover
among natural objects, and by which we are induced to expect effects
similar to those which we have found to follow from such
None but a fool will ever pretend to dispute
the authority of experience,
or to reject that great guide of human life, it may surely be allowed a
philosopher to have so much
curiosity at least as to examine
the principle of human
nature, which gives this mighty authority to experience,
allowing us to draw advantage from similarity which nature has placed among
Now it appears evident that, if this conclusion were
formed by reason, it would be as
perfect at first, and upon one instance, as after ever so long a course of
But the case is far otherwise.
It is only after a
long course of uniform experiments in any category, that we attain a firm
reliance and security with regard to a particular event.
A long course of uniform experiments
shows us a number of uniform effects, resulting from certain objects, and
teaches us that those particular objects, at that particular time, were endowed
with such powers and forces.
When a new object, endowed with similar
sensible qualities, is produced, we expect similar powers and forces, and look
for a like effect.
All inferences from experience suppose, as
their foundation, that the future will resemble the past, and that similar
powers will be connected with similar sensible qualities.
be any suspicion that the course of nature may change, and that the
past may be no rule in the future, all experience becomes useless, and can give
rise to no inference or conclusion.
All inferences from experience
are effects of expectations, not of reasoning.
Expectation, then, is the great
guide of human life.
It is that principle alone which renders our
experience useful to us, and makes us expect, in
the future, a similar
course of events with those which have appeared in
Without the influence of
expectation, we should be entirely
ignorant of every matter of fact beyond what is immediately in
never know how to adjust means to ends, or to employ our natural powers in the
production of any effect.
There would be an end at once of all
It may be proper to remark, that though our conclusions from
experience carry us beyond our memory and senses, and assure us of
matters of fact which happened
in the most distant places and most
remote ages, yet some facts must always be present to the senses or
memory, from which we may first
proceed in drawing these conclusions.
A man, who should find in a
desert country the remains of pompous buildings, would conclude that the
country had, in ancient times, been cultivated by civilized inhabitants; but
did nothing of this nature occur to him, he could never
form such an inference.
learn the events of former ages from
history; but then we must peruse the volumes in which this instruction is
contained, and thence carry up our inferences from one testimony to another,
till we arrive at the eyewitnesses and spectators of these
In a word, if we proceed not upon some
fact present to the memory or
senses, our reasoning would be merely
hypothetical; and however the
particular links might be connected with each other,
the whole chain of inferences
would have nothing to support it, nor could we ever, by its means, arrive at
the knowledge of any real existence.
If I ask why you believe any
particular matter of fact, which you relate, you must tell me some reason; and
this reason will be some other matter of fact, connected with it.
you cannot proceed after this manner, in infinitum, you must at last
terminate in some matter of fact, which is present to your
memory or senses; or must allow that
your belief is entirely without foundation.
What is the conclusion of
the whole matter?
A simple one; though, it must be confessed, pretty
remote from the common theories of
belief of matter of fact or real existence is derived merely from some object,
present to the memory or senses, and
a perceived connection between that and some other object.
words; having found, in many instances, that any two kinds of object - flame
and heat, snow and cold - have always been connected together; if flame or snow
be presented anew to the senses, the mind is carried by
expectation to expect
heat or cold, and to believe that such a
quality does exist, and will discover itself upon a nearer approach.
This belief is the necessary result of placing the mind in such
It is an operation of the soul,
when we are so situated, as unavoidable as to feel the passion of compassion,
when we receive benefits; or hatred, when we meet with injuries.
these operations are of natural instincts, which no
reasoning or process of the thought and understanding is able either to produce
or to prevent.
The great advantage of the
mathematical sciences above the
moral consists in this, that the ideas of the former, being sensible, are
always clear and determinate, the smallest distinction between them is
immediately perceptible, and the same terms are still expressive of the same
ideas, without ambiguity or
An oval is never mistaken for a
circle, nor an hyperbola for an
The isosceles and right triangles are distinguished by
boundaries more exact than vice and
virtue, right and wrong.
If any term be defined in geometry, the
mind readily, of itself, substitutes, on all occasions, the definition for the
term defined: or even when no definition is employed, the object itself may be
presented to the senses, and by that means be steadily and clearly
finer sentiments of the mind, the operations of the understanding, the various
agitations of the passion, though
really in themselves distinct, easily escape us, when surveyed by
reflection; nor is it in our
power to recall the original
object, as often as we have occasion to
Ambiguity, by this
means, is gradually introduced into our reasoning: similar objects are readily
taken to be the same: and the conclusion becomes at last very wide of the
If the mind, with greater facility, retains the ideas of
geometry clear and determinate, it must carry on
a much longer and more intricate chain
of reasoning and compare ideas much wider of
each other in order to reach the abstruse
truths of moral science.
If moral ideas are apt, the inferences are
always much shorter in these disquisitions, and the intermediate steps, which
lead to the conclusion, much fewer than in the sciences which treat of quantity
In reality, there is scarcely a proposition in Euclid so
simple, as not to consist of more parts, than are to be found in any
moral reasoning which runs not into
chimera and conceit.
Where we trace the principles of the human mind
through a few steps, we may be very well satisfied with our progress;
considering how soon nature throws a bar to all our enquiries, and reduces us
to an acknowledgment of our ignorance.
obstacle, therefore, to our improvement in the moral or
sciences is the obscurity of the ideas, and
ambiguity of the
difficulty in the mathematics is the length of inferences and compass of
thought, requisite to the forming of any conclusion.
progress in physics is chiefly retarded by the want of proper experiments and
phenomena, which are often
discovered by chance, and cannot always be found, when requisite, even by
the most diligent and
As moral philosophy appears hitherto to have
received less improvement than either geometry or physics, we may conclude,
that, if there be any difference in this regard among these sciences, the
difficulties, which obstruct the progress of the former, require superior care
and capacity to be surmounted.
All our ideas are nothing but copies of our
impressions, or, in other words, that
it is impossible for us to think of
anything, which we have not antecedently felt, either by our external or
ideas, may, perhaps, be well known by definition, which is nothing but an
enumeration of those parts or simple ideas, that compose them.
have pushed up definitions to the most simple ideas, and find still more
ambiguity and obscurity; what
resource are we then possessed of?
invention can we throw light upon these ideas, and render them altogether
precise and determinate to our intellectual view?
impressions or original sentiments from which the ideas are
impressions are all strong and sensible.
They admit not of
not only placed in a full light themselves, but may throw light on their
correspondent ideas, which dwell in obscurity.
The scenes of the
universe are continually shifting, and one object follows another in
uninterrupted succession; but the power which actuates the
whole is concealed from us.
questions which have been canvassed and
disputed with great eagerness, since the first origin of science, and
philosophy, that the meaning of all the
terms, at least, should have
been agreed upon among the disputants; and our enquiries, in the course of two
thousand years, been able to pass from words to the true and real subject of
How easy may it appear to give exact definitions of
the terms employed in
reasoning, and make these definitions,
not the mere sound of words, the object of future scrutiny and examination.
If we consider the matter more narrowly, we shall be apt to draw a
quite opposite conclusion.
From this circumstance alone, that a controversy has been
long kept on foot, and remains still undecided, we may presume that there is
some ambiguity in the
expression, and that the disputants affix different ideas to the words employed
in the controversy.
As the faculties
of the mind are naturally alike in every individual; otherwise nothing
could be more fruitless than to reason or dispute together; it were
impossible, if men affix the
same ideas to their terms, that they could so long form different opinions of
the same subject; especially when they communicate their views, and each party
turn themselves on all sides, in search of arguments which may give them the
victory over their antagonists.
It is true, if men attempt the discussion of
questions which are entirely beyond the reach of human capacity, such as those
concerning the origin of substance, or the economy of the intellectual system,
they may long beat the air in their fruitless contests, and never arrive at any
If the question regard any subject of common life
and experience, nothing, one would think, could preserve the dispute so long
undecided but some ambiguous expressions, which keep the antagonists still at a
distance, and hinder them from grappling with each other.
both learned and ignorant, have always
been of the same opinion with regard to this subject.
intelligible definitions would immediately have put an end to the whole
I own that this dispute has been so much canvassed on all
hands, and has led
philosophers into such a
labyrinth of obscure sophistry,
that it is no wonder, if a sensible
reader indulge his ease so far as to
turn a deaf ear to the proposal of such a question, from which he can expect neither
instruction or entertainment.
state of the argument here proposed may, perhaps, serve to renew his attention;
as it has more novelty, promises at least some
decision of the controversy,
and will not much disturb his ease by any intricate or obscure reasoning.
I hope, therefore, to make it
appear that all men have ever agreed in theory both of connection and of
liberty, according to any reasonable
sense, which can be put on these terms; and that the whole controversy, has
hitherto turned merely upon words.
We shall begin with examining theory
It appears evident that, if all the scenes of nature
were continually shifted in such a manner that no two events bore any
resemblance to each other, but every object was entirely new, without any
similitude to whatever had been seen before, we should never, in that case,
have attained the least idea of connection among these objects.
Inference and reasoning
concerning the operations of nature would, from that moment would be at an end;
and the memory and
senses would remain the only canals by which
the knowledge of any realexistence
could possibly have access to the mind.
Our idea, therefore, of
connection arises entirely from the uniformity observable in the
operations of nature, where similar objects are constantly connected together,
and the mind is determined by expectation to infer the one from the
appearance of the other.
Beyond the constant connection of similar
objects, and the consequent inference from one to the other, we have no notion
of any connection.
If it appear, therefore, that
all mankind have ever allowed, with out any
doubt or hesitation, that these
connections take place in the voluntary actions of men, and in the operations
of mind; it must follow, that all mankind have ever agreed in theory of
connection, and they have hitherto disputed merely for not understanding each
It is universally acknowledged that there is a great
uniformity among the actions of
men, in all nations and ages, and that
human nature remains still the
same, in its principles and operations.
The same motives always produce
the same actions: the same events follow from
the same causes.
public spirit: these passions, mixed in various degrees, and distributed
through society, have been, from the
beginning, and still are, the source of all the actions and
enterprises, which have
ever been observed among mankind.
Would you know the sentiments,
inclinations, and course of life of the
Study well the
temper and actions of the French and English:
You cannot be much
mistaken in transferring to the former most of the
observations which you have
made with regard to the latter.
Mankind are so much the same, in all
times and places, that history informs us of nothing new or strange in this
Its chief use is only to discover the constant and
universal principles of human
nature, by showing men in all varieties
of circumstances and situations, and furnishing us with materials from which we
may form our observations
and become acquainted with the regular springs of human action and
of wars, intrigues, factions, and
revolutions, are so many
collections of experiments, by which the politician or moral
philosopher fixes the
principles of his science, in the same manner as the physician or
physicist becomes acquainted with the
nature of plants, minerals, and other external objects, by the experiments
which he forms concerning them.
Should a traveler, returning from a
far country, bring us an account of men, wholly different from any with whom we
were ever acquainted; men, who were entirely divested of avarice, ambition, or
revenge; who knew no pleasure but
friendship, generosity, and public spirit; we should immediately, from these
circumstances, detect the falsehood, and
prove him a liar, with the same
certainty as if he had stuffed his narration with stories of centaurs and
dragons, miracles and prodigies.
To explode any forgery in history, we
cannot make use of a more convincing argument, than to prove, that the actions
ascribed to any individual are directly contrary to the
course of nature, and that human
motives, in such circumstances, induced the
storyteller to inaccurately
report matters of fact.
We must not, however, expect that this
uniformity of human actions
should be carried to such a length as that all men, in the same circumstances,
will always act precisely in the same manner, without making any allowance for
the diversity of characters, prejudices, and opinions.
uniformity in every particular, is found in no part of nature.
Hence likewise the benefit of that experience, acquired by long life
and a variety of business and company, in
order to instruct us in the principles of
human nature informs us of nothing
new or strange in this particular.
Its chief use is only to discover
the constant and universal principles
of human nature, by showing men in all varieties of circumstances and situations, and
furnishing us with materials from which we may form our
observations and become
acquainted with the regular springs of human action and
the aged gardener more skillful in his calling than the young
Because there is a
certain uniformity in the operation of the
sun, rain, and
Earth towards the production of
vegetables; and experience teaches the old practitioner the rules by which this
operation is governed and directed.
From observing the
variety of conduct in different men, we are
enabled to form a greater variety of maxims,
which still suppose a degree of uniformity and regularity.
Are the manners of men different in different ages and countries?
We learn thence the great force
of expectation and education, which
mold the human mind from its infancy and form it into a fixed and established
Are the actions of the same individual much diversified in
the different periods of his life, from infancy to old age?
affords room for many general observations concerning the
gradual change of our sentiments and inclinations, and the different maxims
which prevail in the different
ages of human life.
Even the characters, which are peculiar to each
individual, have a uniformity
in their influence;
otherwise our acquaintance with the individuals and our
observation of their conduct
could never teach us their dispositions, or serve to direct our
behavior with regard to
The mutual dependence of men is so great in all societies that
scarce any human action is entirely complete in itself, or is performed without
some reference to the actions of others, which are
requisite to make it answer fully the
intention of the agent acting.
poorest craftsman, who labors alone,
expects at least the protection
of the magistrate, to ensure him the enjoyment of
the fruits of his labor.
He also expects that,
when he carries his goods to market, and offers them at a reasonable price, he
shall find purchasers, and shall be able, by the money he acquires, to engage
others to supply him with those commodities which are requisite for his
as men extend their dealings, and render their intercourse with others more
complicated, they always comprehend, in their schemes of
life, a greater variety of voluntary actions,
which they expect, from the proper motives, to cooperate with their own.
In all these conclusions they take their measures from past
experience, in the same manner
as in their reasoning concerning external objects; and firmly believe that men,
as well as all the elements, are to continue, in their operations, the same
that they have ever found them.
In short, this experimental inference
and reasoning concerning the actions of others enters so much into human life
that no man, while awake, is
ever a moment without employing it.
When we consider how aptly
natural and moral evidence link
together, and form only one
chain of argument, we shall allow that they are of the same nature, and
derived from the same principles.
To proceed in reconciling this
project with regard to the question of liberty and connection;
the most contentious question of
metaphysics, the most
contentious science; it will not require many words to prove mankind has
ever agreed in theory on liberty as well as in that of connection, and that the
whole dispute, in this regard also, has been hitherto merely verbal.
Whatever definition we may give to liberty, we should be careful to
observe two requisite circumstances;
First, that it be consistent with
plain matter of fact;
Secondly, that it be consistent with itself.
If we observe these circumstances, and render our definition
intelligible, I am persuaded that all mankind will be
found of one opinion with regard to it.
Liberty is the ability to act or not
When any opinion leads to
absurdities, it is
certainly false; but it is not certain that an opinion is false, because it
seems of dangerous consequence.
I affirm that the doctrines, both
of connection and of liberty are not only consistent with
morality, but are absolutely
essential to its support.
The mind of man is
so formed by nature that, upon the appearance of certain characters,
dispositions, and actions, it immediately feels the sentiment of
approbation or blame; nor
are there any emotions more essential to its frame.
distinctions are founded in the natural sentiments of the human mind: And these
sentiments are not to be controlled or altered by any philosophical theory or
The origin and connection of the passions in
man, will acquire additional authority, if we find, that the same theory is
requisite to explain the same phenomena in all other animals.
It appears evident, that animals as well as men
learn many things from experience, and
infer, that the same events will always follow from the same causes.
By this principle they become
acquainted with the more obvious properties of external objects, and
gradually, from their birth, treasure up knowledge of the nature of
fire, water, earth, stones, heights, depths and of the
effects which result from their operation.
ignorance and inexperience of
the young are here plainly distinguishable from the cunning and
sagacity of the old, who have
learned, by long
observation, to avoid what
will hurt them, and to pursue what gave ease or pleasure.
horse, that has been accustomed to the field, becomes acquainted with the
proper height which he can leap, and will never attempt what exceeds his force
In all these cases, we may observe, that
the animal infers some
matter of fact beyond what immediately strikes his senses; and that this
inference is altogether founded on past experience.
expects from the present object
and condition the same consequences which it has always
found in it observation to
result from similar objects and conditions.
learn many parts of their knowledge from
observation, there are also
many parts which they derive from the original hand of nature; and in which they improve, little
or nothing, by the longest practice and
denominate instincts, to be admired as something extraordinary, and
inexplicable by the disquisitions of
Our wonder will cease or diminish when we
consider that the experimental reasoning which we possess in common with
beasts, and on which the whole conduct of life, depends, is nothing but
instinct; and in its chief operations, is not directed by any such relations or
comparisons of ideas, as are
the proper objects of our
Though the instinct be different, yet still
it is an instinct, which teaches a man to avoid the fire; as much as that,
which teaches a bird, with such exactness, the incubation, and the whole
economy and order of its nursery.
frequently considered why
mankind, though they without hesitation, acknowledged the
doctrine of connection and
reasoning, have yet had such a
reluctance to acknowledged it in words, and have rather shown a propensity, in
all ages, to profess the contrary opinion of
Uncertainty proceeds from the secret
opposition of contrary causes.
There is no method of reasoning more
common, and yet none more false in
philosophical disputes, to
endeavor the refutation of any
hypothesis, by a
pretense of its dangerous
consequences to religion and morality.
observations treasured up by
a course of experience, give us the clue of
human nature, and teach us to
unravel all its intricacies.
Pretexts and appearances no longer
A man is guilty of unpardonable
arrogance who concludes that an argument that has escaped his own investigation
does not really exist.
appears more surprising to those who consider human affairs with a
philosophical eye, than the ease with which the many are governed by a
This web site is not a commercial web site and
is presented for educational purposes only.
This website defines a
new perspective with which to engage reality to which its author adheres. The
author feels that the falsification of reality outside personal experience has
forged a populace unable to discern propaganda from reality and that this has
been done purposefully by an international corporate cartel through their
agents who wish to foist a corrupt version of reality on the human race.
Religious intolerance occurs when any group refuses to tolerate religious
practices, religious beliefs or persons due to their religious ideology. This
web site marks the founding of a system of philosophy named The Truth of the
Way of the Lumière Infinie - a rational gnostic mystery religion based
on reason which requires no leap of faith, accepts no tithes, has no supreme
leader, no church buildings and in which each and every individual is
encouraged to develop a personal relation with the Creator and Sustainer
through the pursuit of the knowledge of reality in the hope of curing the
spiritual corruption that has enveloped the human spirit. The tenets of The
Truth of the Way of the Lumière Infinie are spelled out in detail on
this web site by the author. Violent acts against individuals due to their
religious beliefs in America is considered a "hate crime."
This web site
in no way condones violence. To the contrary the intent here is to reduce the
violence that is already occurring due to the international corporate cartels
desire to control the human race. The international corporate cartel already
controls the world economic system, corporate media worldwide, the global
industrial military entertainment complex and is responsible for the collapse
of morals, the elevation of self-centered behavior and the destruction of
global ecosystems. Civilization is based on cooperation. Cooperation does not
occur at the point of a gun.
American social mores and values have
declined precipitously over the last century as the corrupt international
cartel has garnered more and more power. This power rests in the ability to
deceive the populace in general through corporate media by pressing emotional
buttons which have been preprogrammed into the population through prior
corporate media psychological operations. The results have been the destruction
of the family and the destruction of social structures that do not adhere to
the corrupt international elites vision of a perfect world. Through distraction
and coercion the direction of thought of the bulk of the population has been
directed toward solutions proposed by the corrupt international elite that
further consolidates their power and which further their purposes.
views and opinions presented on this web site are the views and opinions of
individual human men and women that, through their writings, showed the
capacity for intelligent, reasonable, rational, insightful and unpopular
thought. All factual information presented on this web site is believed to be
true and accurate and is presented as originally presented in print media which
may or may not have originally presented the facts truthfully. Opinion and
thoughts have been adapted, edited, corrected, redacted, combined, added to,
re-edited and re-corrected as nearly all opinion and thought has been
throughout time but has been done so in the spirit of the original writer with
the intent of making his or her thoughts and opinions clearer and relevant to
the reader in the present time.
Fair Use Notice
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not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making
such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of criminal
justice, human rights, political, economic, democratic, scientific, and social
justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such
copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In
accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is
distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in
receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For
more information see: www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to
use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond
'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
© Lawrence Turner
All Rights Reserved