History of European Morals from Augustus to Charlemagne, 1

"This book examines the history of European morals. It focuses on the period of time from Augustus to Charlemagne. The first chapter in this volume examines the nature of the moral ideal that the new religion, Christianity, introduced, and also the methods by which it attempted to realise it. And at the very outset of this enquiry it is necessary to guard against a serious error. It is common with many persons to establish a comparison between Christianity and Paganism, by placing the teaching of the Christians in juxtaposition with corresponding passages from the writings of Marcus Aurelius or Seneca, and to regard the superiority of the Christian over the philosophical, teaching as a complete measure of the moral advance that was effected by Christianity. But a moment's reflection is sufficient to display the injustice of such a conclusion. The ethics of Paganism were part of a philosophy. The ethics of Christianity were part of a religion. In the second chapter in this Volume II, the author examines the position assigned to women in the community, and to the virtues and vices that spring directly from the relations of the sexes. The two first steps which are taken towards the elevation of woman are probably the cessation of the custom of purchasing wives, and the construction of the family on the basis of monogamy. In the first periods of civilisation, the marriage contract was arranged between the bridegroom and the father of the bride, on the condition of a sum of money being paid by the former to the latter." (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved).

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˹ 61 - And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit. For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.
˹ 49 - The creed which accepts as the foundation of morals, Utility, or the Greatest Happiness Principle, holds that actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness.
˹ 42 - As between his own happiness and that of others, utilitarianism requires him to be as strictly impartial as a disinterested and benevolent spectator. In the golden rule of Jesus of Nazareth, we read the complete spirit of the ethics of utility. To do as you would be done by, and to love your neighbour as yourself, constitute the ideal perfection of utilitarian morality.
˹ 8 - 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.
˹ 16 - That men should keep their compacts, is certainly a great and undeniable rule in morality; but yet, if a Christian who has the view of happiness and misery in another life, be asked why a man must keep his word ? he will give this as a reason: Because God, who has the power of eternal life and death, requires it of us.
˹ 12 - For moral philosophy is nothing else but the science of what is good and evil in the conversation and society of mankind. Good and evil are names that signify our appetites and aversions, which in different tempers, customs, and doctrines of men are different...
˹ 14 - And from this account of obligation it follows, that we can be obliged to nothing, but what we ourselves are to gain or lose something by ; for nothing else can be a ' violent motive ' to us. As we should not be obliged to obey the laws, or the magistrate, unless rewards or punishments, pleasure or pain...
˹ 9 - There can be no greater argument to a man of his own power, than to find himself able, not only to accomplish his own desires, but also to assist other men in theirs: and this is that conception wherein consisteth charity.