Thursday, February 02, 2023

A Nobler Part to Act

 Had Man been a different Creature, and placed in different Circumstances, a Spider for instance, or an Hound, a different Set of Duties would have then become him; the Web, the Vigilance, the rapacious Conduct of the former; the Sagacity, the Love of Game, and Swiftness of the latter, and the Satisfaction of Appetite, the Propagation and Love of Offspring common to both, would have fulfilled the Destinations of his Nature, and been his proper Business and Oeconomy. But as Man is not only a Sensible, an Active, and a Social, but a Rational, a Political, and a Religious Creature, he has a nobler Part to act, and more numerous and more important Obligations to fulfill. And if afterwards, in any future Period of his Duration, he shall be advanced to a superior Station, and take in wider Connections, the Sphere of his Duty, and the Number and Weight of his Obligations, must increase in proportion.

[David Fordyce , The Elements of Moral Philosophy, Kennedy, ed., Liberty Fund (Indianapolis: 2003) p. 37.]