An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation

Topics: Cognition, Mind, Decision making Pages: 2 (692 words) Published: February 2, 2006
"Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall do." I think Jeremy Bentham was trying to infer that by our human nature, we may either choose to make a good decision or a band one. Pain would be referring to a bad decision, made without thinking over a situation or thinking about consequences whereas pleasure would mean a well thought out decision that reflects a good image on your lifestyle. Everything you do in life is based upon a decision, and your decisions determine your lifestyle. If that is what the author is shooting for with his first paragraph, then I completely agree. The article goes on to talk about how pain and pleasure "govern us in all we do, in all we say, in all we think: every effort we can make to throw off our subjection, will serve but to demonstrate and confirm it. I think what the author is getting at here is that our decisions to do right or wrong are in our heads throughout our daily lives. They are with us, in our very conscience telling our minds what to think and what to do. Every action, every single thing we say must first go through our head and we need to decide as a body if its applicable to our very situation and what causes and effects in will have on our lives and in our future.

This idea of "the principle of utility" is a piece of our making that gives an outlook of what is meant by our actions. "I say of every action whatsoever; and therefore not only of every action of a private individual, but of every measure of government." He talks about happiness, and weather or not our actions will augment or diminish the happiness of the party whose interest in is question.

The author argues that pleasures, the avoidance of pain, are the ends which the legislator has in view. He says that it insists therefore to understand their value. If you can understand the value of your pleasures, you...
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