Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Thomas Jefferson on Moral Principles - The Moral Sense

Forgotten self-evident truth that carries the force to change our thinking which would change the way we govern.
clipped from etext.virginia.edu
"He who made us would have been a pitiful bungler, if he had made the rules of our moral conduct a matter of science. For one man of science, there are thousands who are not. What would have become of them?
Man was destined for society. His morality, therefore, was to be formed to this object. He was endowed with a sense of right and wrong merely relative to this.
This sense is as much a part of his nature, as the sense of hearing, seeing, feeling; it is the true foundation of morality... The moral sense, or conscience, is as much a part of man as his leg or arm. It is given to all human beings in a stronger or weaker degree, as force of members is given them in a greater or less degree. It may be strengthened by exercise, as may any particular limb of the body.
This sense is submitted indeed in some degree to the guidance of reason; but it is
State a moral case to a ploughman and a professor. The former will
-Thomas Jefferson to Peter Carr, 1787
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