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MOTIVES UNPERCEIVED — Exposition of Infants.


impressions of Nature, much stronger than those of the moral Sense, + + while yet known I should have thought had, by those in whose mouths the expression is found, had been made to include those impressions. we may learn
from that general practise, which prevailed in the most learned & polite Countries
of the world, of exposing their Children, whereby the strong instinctive affection
of Parents for their offspring was violated without remorse."

In this passage these 7 propositions, if I mistake not are more or less explicitly contained —
1st That Custom has power to erase the strongest impressions of Nature:
that these impressions are stronger than, (& consequently distinct from) those of the Moral
Sense — 3dly That this Custom in particular had power to & did erase the an impression of
Nature. 4thly That this Custom is opposite to the Moral Sense. 5thly That this Custom
is either inhuman & unnatural, & perhaps that it is or inhuman & unnatural as well as whimsical and capricious
as those two sets of epithets are predicated of it cumulatively or disjunctively. 6thly That
This Custom owe it's birth to one or other in all of the more violent passions of Fear, Lust, and
Anger. 7thly & lastly that these passions appetites are opposite to the moral Sense.

However frequent the expression may be in the declamatory stile & in the laxity of popular discourse loose discourse
Custom to speak accurately, any more than & if meant in the rigorous sense, intelligibly, can never does nothing,
be the cause of any thing do any thing, nor beopposite to virtue not in their nature, but in their normality or excess — that they are productive of & necessary to active [virtuous as well as] virtuous indeed, but virtuous also. The Custom of doing anything is the thing itself that is often done
nothing more of which nothing more is being consider'd in it than the very point of it's being often done, & to say
that therefore Custom does a thing is to say in that the thing does itself; and or.. that Custom

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the cause of a thing", that a thing is a cause to itself it's own cause I cannot tell what the more Sense is, further than one of the numerous contrivances for appearing to say somthing when nothing is said of some of which I have had already occasion to take notice; I cannot tell what is opposite to it: but this I know, that these are not opposite to Virtue, any more than they are to Vice but are productive of the one as well as of the other. The purest and most unexceptionable nuptial attachment is as much the product effect of Lust, as the most atrocious ravishment. take away that appetite & that attachment, as this insult, ceases. The only difference is that in the ordinary course of things the former [is being making maintained to] the satisfaction great & permanent happiness of two persons and to the unhappiness of no one, is a great good upon the whole: the other, making the disturbed & transient happiness of one, but the lasting wretchedness of the another and so much of unhappiness as consists in alarm & disquietude in many, is a great evil on the whole However true therefore
may be It is may be true He who should say &c might say true that this impressions of nature [if that is the name to be given
exclusively to the love of offspring] are erased easier overcome in a given instance after having
been erased overcome in other instances before: but it is not true that it was Custom that erased it: for
it could not be Custom that erased it the first time; & as it could not the first time, it
never — It must have been therefore some thing else than custom; viz: as I say, this difference of perception,
not that erased it but that outweighed it.overbalanced it you will perceive to your cost that when the demands claims of self Interest are so and so importunate, they will not be apt to meet with a favourable reception] And then the pleasure expected from the
society company of the child being app a good, but the pain expected from either the labor or the
expence or both of rearing it appearing likely to be often a greater good, outweighed the other; &
it is to no wonder this "strong instinctive affection xxxx was violated i:e: over-ruled without
remorse — as the striking instances adduced in the a note to the passage in question fully prove (sense fully to evince) [it to have been.]

Identifier: | JB/096/209/001
"JB/" can not be assigned to a declared number type with value 96.


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homicide of infants




motives unperceived


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jeremy bentham


[[watermarks::j honig & zoonen [lion with vryheyt motif]]]


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