Sunday, January 25, 2009

Thomas Jefferson on Moral Utility

Truths that carries with it the force to change our way of thinking and in turn change the way we govern.
clipped from

"Nature has constituted utility to man the standard and test of virtue. Men living in different countries, under different circumstances, different habits and regimens, may have different utilities; the same act, therefore, may be useful and consequently virtuous in one country which is injurious and vicious in another differently circumstanced." --Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Law, 1814. ME 14:143

"Circumstances must always yield to substance." --Thomas Jefferson: Batture at New Orleans, 1812. ME 18:76

"If [an act] is to effect the happiness of him to whom it is directed, it is virtuous; while in a society under different circumstances and opinions the same act might produce pain and would be vicious. The essence of virtue is in doing good to others, while what is good may be one thing in one society and its contrary in another." --Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, 1816. ME 15:77

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