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He is in a sure state of happiness who has a sure prospect that in all parts of his existence he shall have all things he desires. . . All men of reflection, from the age of Socrates, have sufficiently proved that the truest, most constant, and lively pleasure, the happiest enjoyment of life, consists in kind affections to our fellow creatures.
As nature has implanted in every man a desire of his own happiness, and many tender affections towards others. . . and granted to each one some understanding and active powers, with a natural impulse to exercise them for the purposes of these affections; ‘tis plain each one has a natural right to exert his power, according to his own judgement and inclination, for these purposes, in all such industry, labor, or amusements, as are not hurtful to others in their persons or goods.
–Francis Hutcheson, Essay on the Nature and Conduct of the Passions and Affections and Illustrations upon the Moral Sense (1728)
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
Mark Denbeaux on the NCIS cover-up of three “suicides” at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp
From the June 2014 issue
Percentage increase in the annual number of polio cases in Pakistan since 2005:
A bowl of 4,000-year-old noodles was found in northwestern China; and a spokesman for the Chinese Academy of Sciences said that “this is the earliest empirical evidence of noodles ever found.”
A federal judge sentenced the journalist Barrett Brown to 63 months in prison for sharing a link to information stolen from the private-intelligence firm Stratfor by a hacker in 2011. “Good news!” Brown said in a statement. “They’re now going to send me to investigate the prison-industrial complex.”
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”