External sanctions exist outside of the individual, independent of his mind. They may take the form of peer pressure, the fear of disapproval, or the fear of god. Internal sanctions stem from one’s conscience. These consist of feelings like discomfort or joy when one realizes the consequences of a decision. These feelings can influence actions, especially if one’s moral nature is particularly sophisticated. Internal sanctions often prove to be more powerful than any external sanctions because they do require more emotional attention.
Because these forces are often based on individual morals and duty, there is no reason that they can’t be changed to support utilitarian principles. Some philosophers suggest that individuals are more likely to follow moral principles if the see them as object fact, rather than subjective feelings. Mill observes that regardless of what a person believes the root of a moral principle to be, his ultimate motivation is always subjective feeling. Mill focuses on if the feeling of duty is “innate or implanted,” mostly because this area is so confusing.
To try and understand how both of these sanctions would affect choice, it could be explained as follows: If a religious leader, government professional or respected philosopher was to suggest to society that all our current morals were wrong and it was the purpose of humans to promote suffering among men, would society be able to change? People must be capable of internalizing this extraneous command, and convince their