Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation

Jeremy Bentham

Chapter 10, Footnote #13
The Greeks might have approved

Among the Greeks, perhaps the motive, and the conduct it gave birth to, would, in such a case, have been rather approved than disapproved of. It seems to have been deemed an act of heroism on the part of Hercules to have delivered his friend Theseus from hell: though divine justice which held him there, should naturally have been regarded as being at least upon a footing with human justice. But to divine justice, even when acknowledged under that character, the respect paid at that time of day does not seem to have been very profound, or well-settled: at present, the respect paid to it is profound and settled enough, though the name of it is but too often applied to dictates which could have had no other origin than the worst sort of human caprice.

[Back to:]
IPML Chapter 10 Section 3: Catalogue of motives