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The Basis of Morality

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Author: Annie Besant
Published: 1915
Language: English
Wordcount: 10,242 / 37 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 44.7
LoC Category: BL
Downloads: 4,878
Added to site: 2005.04.27
mnybks.net#: 10182
Genres: Philosophy, Religion
Excerpt

e, and will do better next time. The trouble, the pain, we have brought on ourselves by our ignorance, we note, as showing that we have disregarded a law, and we profit by the additional knowledge in the future.

Thus understanding conscience, we shall not take it as a basis of morality, but as our best available individual light. We shall judge our conscience, educate it, evolve it by mental effort, by careful observation. As we learn more, our conscience will develop; as we act up to the highest we can see, our vision will become ever clearer, and our ear more sensitive. As muscles develop by exercise, so conscience develops by activity, and as we use our lamp it burns the more brightly. But let it ever be remembered that it is a man's own experience that must guide him, and his own conscience that must decide. To overrule the conscience of another is to induce in him moral paralysis, and to seek to dominate the will of another is a crime.

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III

UTILITY

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