Paley sentence example
This universal motive is further connected, as by Paley, through the will of God, with the "general good, the root where out all our rules of conduct and sentiments of honour are to branch."
Paley (1802), this is a sort of after-birth or anachronism.2 Natural Law.
From Socrates, in Xenophon's Memorabilia, downwards, the argument is tolerably common; it is notable in Cicero; in the modern discussion it dominates the 18th-century mode of thought, is confidently appealed to though not worked out by Butler, and is fully stated by Paley.
Mill tried to reconcile criminal law and its punishments with his very hard type of determinism by saying that law was needed in order to weight the scale, and in order to hold out a prospect of penalties which might deter from crime and impel towards good citizenship, so Paley held that virtue was not merely obedience to God but obedience " for 1 Criticism of the scheme, from the point of view of an idealist theism, will be found in John Caird's Introduc to the Phil.
Paley includes that too; virtue is " doing good to mankind," in obedience to God, for the sake of heaven.Advertisement
Empiricism is restated by Paley, who is Kant's younger contemporary as a man and also on the whole as a writer.
The " argument from design " had been a favourite form of reasoning amongst Christian theologians, and, as worked out by Paley in his Natural Theology, it served the useful purpose of emphasizing the fitness which exists between all the inhabitants of the earth and their physical environment.
No man ever filled a typical position more exactly than Paley.
The phrase itself is, as Paley has pointed out, ambiguous.
As Paley says, he loves " to record their fidelity to their masters, their sympathy in the trials of life, their gratitude for kindness and considerate treatment, and their pride in bearing the character of honourable men..Advertisement
Paley, even went so far as to doubt whether a single written copy of the Iliad existed in Greece at the time of the Peloponnesian War.
This idea, which occupies a prominent position in systems like those of Bentham, Volney, and even Paley, was evidently of prime importance at all events to the later Cyrenaics.
The subscription controversy was then agitating the university, and Paley published an anonymous Defence of a pamphlet in which Bishop Law had advocated the retrenchment and simplification of the Thirty-nine Articles; he did not, however, sign the petition (called the "Feathers" petition from being drawn up at a meeting at the Feathers tavern) for a relaxation of the terms of subscription.
In 1776 Paley was presented to the rectory of Musgrave in Westmorland, supplemented at the end of the year by the vicarage of Dalston, and presently exchanged for that of Appleby.
At the suggestion of his friend John Law (son of Edward Law, bishop of Carlisle and formerly his colleague at Cambridge), Paley published (1785) his lectures, revised and enlarged, under the title of The Principles of Moral and Political Philosophy.Advertisement
Paley's latitudinarian views are said to have debarred him from the highest positions in the Church.
In the dedication just referred to, Paley claims a systematic unity for his works.
Now the second presupposition depends, according to Paley, on the credibility of the Christian religion (which he treats almost exclusively as the revelation of these "new sanctions" of morality).
In his Natural Theology Paley has adapted with consummate skill the argument which Ray (1691) and Derham (1711) and Nieuwentyt 1 (1730) had already made familiar to Englishmen.
A charge of wholesale plagiarism from this book was brought against Paley in the Athenaeum for 1848.Advertisement
Paley refers several times to Nieuwentyt, who uses the famous illustration of the watch.
But the illustration is not peculiar to Nieuwentyt, and had been appropriated by many others before Paley.
But by placing Paley's facts in a new light, the theory of evolution has deprived his argument of its force, so far as it applies the idea of special contrivance to individual organs or to species.
But the task is so judiciously performed that it would probably be difficult to get a more effective statement of the external evidences of Christianity than Paley has here presented.
The face of the world has changed so greatly since Paley's day that we are apt to do less than justice to his undoubted merits.Advertisement
Meadley (1809) and his son Edmund Paley, prefixed to the 1825 edition of his works; Leslie Stephen in Dictionary of National Biography; Quarterly Review, ii.
On Paley as a theologian and philosopher, see Leslie Stephen, English Thought in the Eighteenth Century, i.
Paley, though an excellent expositor and full of common sense, had the usual defect of common-sense people in philosophy - that of tame acquiescence in the prejudices of his age.
Abstractly considered, Bentham's interpretation of human nature was not more exalted than Paley's.
He puts far greater stress than his predecessors upon the sympathetic pleasures, and thus quite avoids that appearance of mean prudential selfishness that is such a depressing feature in Paley and Bentham.
Along with Lord Brougham he annotated and illustrated an edition of Paley's Natural Theology, published in 1836.
Accordingly his treatment of external rights and duties, though decidedly inferior in methodical clearness and precision, does not differ in principle from that of Paley or Bentham, except that he lays greater stress on the immediate conduciveness of actions to the happiness of individuals, and more often refers in a merely supplementary or restrictive way to their tendencies in respect of general happiness.
This Paley and Bentham (after Locke) interpreted as merely the effect on the will of the pleasures or pains attached to the observance or violation of moral rules, combining with this the doctrine of Hutcheson that " general good " or " happiness " is the final end and standard of these rules; while they eliminated all vagueness from the notion of general happiness by defining it to consist in " excess of pleasure over pain " - pleasures and pains being regarded as " differing in nothing but continuance or intensity."
In Paley's Principles of Moral and Political Philosophy' (1785), the link between general pleasure (the standard) and private pleasure or pain (the motive) is supplied by the conception of divine legislation.
Paley, however, holds that scripture is given less to teach morality than to illustrate it by example and enforce it by new sanctions and greater certainty, and that the light of nature makes it clear that God wills the happiness of his creatures.
In this way the utilitarian method is freed from the subversive tendencies which Butler and others had discerned in it; as used by Paley, it merely explains the current moral and jural distinctions, exhibits the obvious basis of expediency which supports most of the received rules of law and morality and furnishes a simple solution, in harmony with common sense, of some perplexing casuistical questions.
Private property is in this sense " natural " from its obvious advantages in encouraging ' The originality - such as it is - of Paley's system (as of Bentham's) lies in its method of working out details rather than in its principles of construction.
Paley expressly acknowledges his obligations to the original and suggestive, though diffuse and whimsical, work of Abraham Tucker (Light of Nature Pursued, 17681 774).
In this treatise, as in Paley's, we find " every man's own satisfaction, the spring that actuates all his motives," connected with " general good, the root whereout all our rules of conduct and sentiments of honour are to branch," by means of natural theology demonstrating the " unniggardly goodness of the author of nature."
There is, however, in Tucker's theological link between private and general happiness a peculiar ingenuity which Paley's common sense has avoided.
We observe, however, that Paley's method is often mixed with reasonings that belong to an alien and older manner of thought; as when he supports the claim of the poor to charity by referring to the intention of mankind "when they agreed to a separation of the common fund," or when he infers that monogamy is a part of the divine design from the equal numbers of males and females born.
In unity, consistency and thoroughness of method, Bentham's utilitarianism has a decided superiority over Paley's.
He thus undoubtedly simplifies his system, and avoids the doubtful inferences from nature and Scripture in which Paley's position is involved; but this gain is dearly purchased.
This substitution of hypothetical history for direct analysis of the moral sense is really older than the utilitarianism of Paley and Bentham, which it has so profoundly modified.
In the utilitarianism of Paley and Bentham the proper rules of conduct, moral and legal, are determined by comparing the imaginary consequences of different modes of regulation on men and women, conceived as specimens of a substantially uniform and unchanging type.
But such incredulity, states Paley, would not be defended by any skeptic in the world.
If we try to bring the contents of theism under Kant's three traditional arguments, then moral and aesthetic considerations - the " values " - fall under the Design argument or the study of teleology; albeit there is a great gap between Paley's supernatural watchmaker and any moral argument or appeal to the beautiful.
Paley displays little or no spirituality of feeling; but this is a matter in which one age is apt to misjudge another, and Paley was at least practically benevolent and conscientiously attentive to his parish duties.
It must be allowed that Paley's application of this argument is somewhat loosely reasoned, and does not sufficiently distinguish the consequence of a single act of beneficent manslaughter from the consequences of a general permission to commit such acts.
This, according to Paley, would be inconvenient.