Jeremy Bentham Quotes

jeremy bentham quotesJudges of elegance and taste consider themselves as benefactors to the human race, whilst they are really only the interrupters of their pleasure.

The question is not "Can they reason?" Nor "Can they talk?" But "Can they suffer?” (Regarding animals)

The day may come when the rest of the animal creation may acquire those rights which never could have been withholden from them but by the hand of tyranny.

Unkind language is sure to produce the fruits of unkindness--that is, suffering in the bosom of others.

Kind words cost no more than unkind ones . . . and we may scatter the seeds of courtesy and kindliness around us at so little expense. If you would fall into any extreme let it be on the side of gentleness. The human mind is so constructed that it resists vigor and yields to softness.

In principle and in practice, in a right track and in a wrong one, the rarest of all human qualities is consistency.

Create all the happiness you are able to create: remove all the misery you are able to remove. Every day will allow you to add something to the pleasure of others, or to diminish something of their pains.

Tyranny and anarchy are never far apart.

That which has no existence cannot be destroyed — that which cannot be destroyed cannot require anything to preserve it from destruction. Natural rights is simple nonsense: natural and imprescriptible rights, rhetorical nonsense — nonsense upon stilts.

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.

The said truth is that it is the greatest happiness of the greatest number that is the measure of right and wrong.

The principle of utility judges any action to be right by the tendency it appears to have to augment or diminish the happiness of the party whose interests are in question... if that party be the community the happiness of the community, if a particular individual, the happiness of that individual.

Every law is an infraction of liberty.


Lawyers are the only persons in whom ignorance of the law is not punished.

The power of the lawyer is in the uncertainty of the law.

The greatest happiness of the greatest number is the foundation of morals and legislation.It is vain to talk of the interest of the community, without understanding what is the interest of the individual.

No power of government ought to be employed in the endeavor to establish any system or article of belief on the subject of religion.

Stretching his hand up to reach the stars, too often man forgets the flowers at his feet.

The age we live in is a busy age; in which knowledge is rapidly advancing towards perfection. We may scatter the seeds of courtesy and kindness about us at little expense. Some of them will fall on good ground, and grow up into benevolence in the minds of others, and all of them will bear fruit of happiness in the bosom whence they spring.

All punishment is mischief; all punishment in itself is evil.

The schoolmaster is abroad! And I trust to him armed with his primer against the soldier in full military array

Jeremy Bentham Philsophy
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