The science of
human nature, may be treated after two different ways each of which may
contribute to the entertainment and
reformation of mankind.
considers man chiefly as born for action; and as influenced in his measures by
taste and sentiment; pursuing one
object, and avoiding another, according to the value which these objects
appear to possess, and according to the light in which
they present themselves.
As virtue is allowed to be the most
valuable, this species of
philosophers paint her in the most amiable colors; borrowing all helps from
poetry and eloquence, and
treating their subject in an easy and obvious manner, and such as is
best fitted to please the imagination,
and engage the
They select the most
striking observations and
instances from common life;
place opposite characters in a proper
contrast; and alluring us into the
paths of virtue by the views of glory and happiness,
direct our steps in these paths by
the soundest precepts and most
They make us feel the difference between
virtue; they excite and
regulate sentiments; they bend hearts to the
love of virtue and
The other species of
philosophers consider man in the light of
a reasonable rather than an active
being, endeavor to form his
understanding more than cultivate his manners.
It is easy for a rational
philosopher to commit a mistake and
one mistake is the
necessary parent of another.
Speculations appear abstract and
unintelligible to common readers.
It is certain that
the easy and obvious
philosophy will always have the preference above
the accurate and abstruse;
and by many will be recommended, not only as more agreeable, but more useful
than the other.
It enters more into common life;
molds the heart and
affections; and, by
principles which actuate men, reforms their
conduct, and brings them
nearer to that model of
perfection which it describes.
This also must be confessed,
durable fame has been acquired by
the easy philosophy; abstract
reasoners appear hitherto to have enjoyed only a momentary reputation, from
the caprice or ignorance of their own age, but have not been able to support
their renown with more equitable posterity.
A philosopher, who purposes only
to represent common sense in
beautiful engaging colors,
if by accident he falls into error,
sees his error, returns onto the right path,
his appeal to common sense and
the natural sentiments of the mind
securing himself from any dangerous
just reasoning is the only remedy, fitted for all dispositions; it alone is
able to subvert that
abstruse philosophy and metaphysical
jargon, which being mixed up with
renders it in a manner impenetrable to careless
thinkers, and gives it the air of science.
Besides this advantage of rejecting, after deliberate inquiry, the most
uncertain and disagreeable part of man's purported knowledge, there are many
positive advantages, which result from an accurate scrutiny into the powers and
faculties of human nature.
It is remarkable concerning the
operation of the mind, that,
though most intimately present to us, yet, whenever
the object of reflection,
they appear involved in obscurity; nor can
the mind's eye readily find
those lines and boundaries, which discriminate and distinguish them.
The objects are too fine to remain long in the same aspect or
situation; and must be apperceived in an instant, by
a superior penetration,
derived from natural reflection,
and improved by habit and study.
It becomes, therefore, no
inconsiderable part of science barely to know the different operations of the
mind, to separate them from
each other to class them under their proper heads, and
to correct all that seeming
disorder when made the object of reflection and inquiry.
Everyone will readily allow that there is considerable
difference between the perceptions of the
mind, when a man feels the pain of excessive
heat, or the pleasure of moderate
warmth, and when he afterwards recalls to his memory this
sensation, or anticipates it by his
These faculties may
mimic or copy the
perceptions of the senses; but they
never can entirely reach the force and vivacity of the original sentiment.
When they operate with greatest vigor they represent their object in so
lively a manner that we could almost
say we feel or see it.
All the colors of poetry, however splendid, can never
paint natural objects in such a manner as to make the description be taken for
a real landscape.
The most lively thought is still inferior to the
We may observe
the same to run through
all perceptions of the
A man in a fit of
anger, is actuated in a very different manner from a
man who only thinks of that
If you tell me, that an individual is in love, I easily
understand your meaning, and from a just conception of his situation; but never
can mistake that conception for the real disorders
and agitations of the passion.
When we reflect on
past sentiments and affections,
thought is a unfaithful mirror
attempting to copy objects truly; but the colors are faint and dull in
comparison of those in which our original perceptions were clothed.
requires no discernment to
mark the distinction
Nothing, at first view, may appear more unbounded than
the thought of man,
which not only escapes all human power and
authority, but is not even
restrained within the limits of nature and reality.
To form monsters, and join
incongruous shapes and appearances,
costs the imagination no more trouble than to conceive natural and familiar
the body is confined to the Earth,
along which it creeps with
difficulty; thought can in an
instant transport us into distant regions of reality; or
even beyond reality, into
where natural law no longer
Though thought appears to possess unbounded liberty we find
upon nearer examination it is really confined within very narrow
All this creative power of the mind
amounts to no more than the faculty
of compounding the materials afforded us by the senses and experience.
All ideas, especially abstract ones, are
naturally faint and
obscure: the mind has but
a slender hold of them: they are apt to be confounded with other
resembling ideas; we are apt to imagine a determinate idea
annexed to it.
must bring ideas into so clear a light we may reasonably hope to remove all
dispute which may arise, concerning their nature!
It is evident
there is a principle
of connection between the different thoughts or ideas of the mind, and
their appearance to the memory or
imagination; they introduce
each other with a certain degree of methodical regularity.
thinking this is so observable that any particular thought, which breaks in
upon the regular
tract or chain of ideas, is
Even in our wildest and
most wandering reveries, nay in our very
dreams, we shall find,
if we reflect, the
imagination ran not altogether wild as there is a connection upheld among the
different ideas, which succeed each
Were the loosest and freest conversation to be transcribed,
there would immediately be observed something which connected it in all its
Or where this is wanting, the individual who broke the
thread of discourse might still inform you, that there had revolved in his mind
a succession of thought, which had gradually led him from the subject of
It is found simple ideas are
comprehended in compound ones
bound together by some universal
principle which has an equal
influence on all mankind.
All the objects of human reason or
enquiry may naturally be divided into two kinds,
relations of ideas and
matters of fact.
Relations of ideas are
geometrically calculable; every
affirmation, either intuitively or
demonstratively certain, must
be provable to become fact.
That the square of the hypothenuse
is equal to the square of the two sides, is a statement which expresses a
relation between these figures.
That three times five is equal to
the half of thirty, expresses a relation between these numbers.
of this category are discovered by the mere operation of thought.
Though there never was a circle or triangle in nature,
truths demonstrated by Euclid retain
their material certainty through factual evidence.
Matters of fact are accepted rather than ascertained;
the negation of every
matter of fact is a possiblity, conceived by the mind with the same
facility and distinctness as if it was conformable to reality.
It may be
a subject worthy of curiosity, to
enquire what is the nature of
that evidence which assures us of any real existence and matter of fact,
beyond the present testimony of our senses,
or the records of our
Such enquiries may even
prove useful, by exciting
curiosity but halting
implicit faith and
security, the bane of all
reasoning and free enquiry.
all arguments from experience are
founded on the similarity which we discover among natural objects, and by which
we are induced to expect effects
similar to those which we have found to follow from such
None but a fool will ever pretend to dispute the
It is only after a long course of uniform experiments in
any category, that we attain a firm reliance and
security with regard to a particular
A long course of
uniform experiments shows us a number of uniform effects, resulting from
certain objects, and teaches us that those particular objects, at that
particular time, were endowed with such powers and forces.
When a new
object, endowed with similar sensible qualities, is produced, we expect similar
powers and forces, and look for a like effect.
All inferences from experience
suppose that the future will resemble the past, and that similar powers will be
connected with similar sensible qualities.
If there be suspicion the course of nature may
change, and the past may be
no rule in the future, all
experience becomes useless with no ability to infer.
All inferences from experience
are effects of expectations, not of reasoning.
Expectation, then, is
the great guide of human life.
It is that principle
alone which renders experience useful; allowing us to
expect in the future a
similar course of events with those of the past.
Without the influence of
expectation, we should be
entirely ignorant of every matter of fact beyond what is immediately here in
There would be an end at once of all action.
may be proper to remark, though conclusions from experience carry beyond memory
and senses, and assure matters of
fact which happened in the most distant places and most remote ages, yet
some facts must always be present to the senses or memory to proceed in drawing
A man finding in a desert country the remains of
pompous buildings would conclude the country had been cultivated by civilized
inhabitants; but did nothing of this nature occur to him, he could never
form such an inference.
Taught the events of former ages from history
we must peruse the original
manuscript carrying inferences from one testimony to another, till we
arrive at the eyewitness' and
spectators of these distant events.
Proceeding upon some fact
present to the memory or senses our reasoning becomes merely hypothetical; even
though links might be connected
with each other, the
whole chain of inferences would have
nothing to support it.
If I ask why you believe any
particular matter of fact, which you relate, you must tell me some reason;
and this reason will be some
other matter of fact.
As you cannot proceed after this manner,
ad infinitum, you must terminate in some matter of fact present to your
memory or senses; or must allow that
your belief is entirely
All belief of matter of fact is
derived from an object present to the
memory or senses and a
perceived connection between that and another object.
that any two kinds of object - flame and heat, snow and cold - have always been
connected together; if flame or snow be presented anew to the senses, the mind
expects heat or cold.
This belief is the necessary result of placing the mind in such
It is an
operation of the soul as unavoidable as to feel gratitude
when we receive benefits or hatred when we meet with injuries.
All these operations are of natural instincts, which no reasoning or
process of thinking or understanding is able either to produce or to
advantage of the mathematical sciences is ideas are always determinate,
the smallest distinction
between them is perceptible.
An oval is never
mistaken for a
circle, nor an hyperbola for an
The isosceles and right triangles are distinguished by
boundaries more exact than vice and
virtue, right and wrong.
If any term be defined in geometry, the mind readily, of itself,
substitutes, on all occasions, the definition for the term defined: or even
when no definition is employed, the object itself may be presented to the
senses, and by that means be steadily and clearly
finer sentiments of the mind, the operations of the understanding,
the various agitations of the passion, though really in themselves distinct,
easily escape us, when surveyed by reflection; nor is it in our
power to recall the original object, as
often as we have occasion to
Ambiguity, by this means, is gradually introduced into our
objects are readily taken to be the same: and
becomes at last very wide of the premises.
If the mind retains the
ideas of geometry determinately, it must carry on a
much longer and more intricate chain
of reasoning and compare ideas much wider of each other in order to reach
the abstruse truths of morality.
trace the principles of reason through a
few steps consider how soon nature throws a bar to all our enquiries, and
reduces us to an
acknowledgment of ignorance.
The chief obstacle, therefore, to
our improvement in the philosophical or
is the obscurity of ideas, and
ambiguity of terms.
principal difficulty in the mathematics is the length of inferences and
compass of thought,
requisite to the forming of any
progress in physics is retarded by the want of proper experiments and
phenomena, which are often discovered by chance, and cannot always be
found, when requisite, even by the
most diligent and prudent inquiry.
The science of human nature
requires superior care to be surmounted.
All ideas are nothing but copies of
impressions; it is impossible to think of anything not antecedently noted
by either our external or internal senses.
Complex ideas, may, perhaps,
be well known by definition, which is nothing but an enumeration of those parts
or simple ideas, that compose them.
When we have pushed up definitions
to the most simple ideas, and find still more ambiguity and obscurity;
what resource are we then possessed
By what technique can we throw light upon these indeterminate
ideas, and render them altogether precise and determinate to our intellectual
It might reasonably be
expected in questions disputed with great eagerness that the meaning of all
the terms should have been agreed upon among the disputants over the course of
two thousand years.
How easy it appears to give exact definitions to
the terms employed in reasoning,
upon further scrutiny we shall draw a quite opposite conclusion.
circumstance alone, that a controversy has been long kept on foot, and remains
still undecided, we may presume that there is some ambiguity in expression, and
the disputants affix different ideas to the words employed.
The faculties of the mind are naturally
alike in every individual; if men define terms they no long form different
opinions of the same subject.
If men attempt discussion of questions
entirely beyond the reach of human capacity they
may long beat the air in their fruitless contests.
definitions would immediately put an end to the controversy.
I own this
dispute has led philosophers into such a
labyrinth of obscure sophistry, it
is no wonder a sensible
reader indulge his ease by
turning a deaf ear as he can expect neither instruction or
state of the argument proposed may serve to renew attention; as it has more
novelty, promises at least some
decision of the controversy,
and will not much disturb his ease by any intricate or obscure reasoning.
I hope, therefore,
to make it appear that all men have ever agreed in theory both of connection
and of liberty, according to any reasonable sense, which can be put on these
terms; and that the whole controversy, has hitherto turned merely upon words.
We shall begin with examining theory of connection.
evident that, if all the scenes of nature were continually shifted in such a
manner that no two events bore any resemblance to each other, but every object
was entirely new, without any similitude to whatever had been seen before, we
would be unable to correlate these objects.
Inference and reasoning
concerning the operations of nature would be at an end; the memory and senses
would remain the only vehicles by which the
knowledge of existence could
possibly have access to the mind.
Synchronicity arises from the
uniformity observable in the
operations of nature, where similar objects are constantly connected together;
the mind is determined by expectation to infer the one from the appearance of
Beyond the constant connection of similar objects, and the
consequent inference from one to the other, we have no notion of any
If it appear that these connections take place in the
voluntary actions of men, and in the operations of mind; all mankind have ever
agreed in theory of connection, and they have hitherto disputed merely for not
Human nature remains forever and always still the same,
in its principles and operations;
the same motives always produce
the same actions.
friendship, generosity, public
spirit: this passion, from the
beginning, the source of
all the actions and enterprises.
Would you know the
sentiments and inclinations of the Greeks and
Study well the
temper and actions of the French and English.
Mankind are so much the
same, in all times and places, that history informs us of nothing new or
strange in this particular.
Watching men in all varieties of
circumstances and situations, and become
acquainted with the regular springs of
human action and behavior.
Records of wars, intrigues,
collections of social
experiments; the politician fixes the principles of his science by
experiments which he forms
To explode any forgery in history,
we cannot make use of a more convincing argument, than to prove, that the
actions ascribed to any individual are directly contrary to the
course of nature, and
that human motives, in such circumstances, induced the
inaccurately report matters of
The principles of
human nature informs us of nothing new or strange and that
uniformity in every particular, is
found in throughout nature.
The constant and universal
principles of human nature furnish
us with materials from which we may form our observations and become
acquainted with the regular springs of
human action and behavior.
The aged gardener more skillful in his
calling than the young beginner as there is a
certain uniformity in the operation of the sun, rain, and
the production of
vegetables; and experience teaches the old practitioner the rules by which
this operation is governed and directed.
Are the manners of men
different in different ages and countries?
We learn the great force of
education whichs mold the human mind from its infancy and forms it into a fixed
and established character.
Are the actions of the same individual
much diversified in the different periods of his life, from infancy to old age?
This affords room for many general observations concerning the gradual
change of our sentiments and inclinations, and the different maxims which
prevail in the different ages of human
Even the characters, which are peculiar to each individual,
have a uniformity of character; otherwise our acquaintance with the individuals
and our observation of their conduct could never teach us their dispositions,
or serve to direct our behavior with regard to them.
dependence of men is so great in all societies no human action is entirely
complete in itself, or is performed without reference to the actions of others,
requisite to make it answer fully
the intention of the agent acting.
craftsman, who labors alone, expects
at least the protection of the magistrate, to ensure him the enjoyment of
the fruits of his labor.
He expects when he carries his goods to market and offers them at a
reasonable price he shall find purchasers and shall be able to engage others to
supply him with those commodities which are requisite for his
In these conclusions they take their measures from past
experience; and firmly believe that men are to continue in operations as they
Experimental inference concerning the actions of others
enters so much into life that no man, while
awake, is ever a moment without
Mankind has agreed in theory
on liberty as well as on that of connection.
When we consider how
aptly natural and moral evidence
links together we shall allow they are of the same nature, derived from the
is the ability to act or not act.
When any opinion leads to
absurdities, it is certainly
false; but it is not certain that an opinion is false, because
it seems of dangerous
I affirm that the doctrines, both of connection and of
liberty are not only consistent with morality, but are absolutely
essential to it.
The mind of man, formed by
nature, displaying certain characteristics and having dispositions immediately
feels the sentiment of approbation or
These distinctions are found in the
natural sentiments of the human mind and will not be altered by any
philosophical theory or speculation.
The origin of the passions of man will acquire authority if we find the
same theory is requisite in explaining the same phenomena in all other animals.
Animals as well as men learn many things from experience.
infer the same events will always follow from the same causes.
By this principle they become
acquainted with the properties of matter.
ignorance of youth
contrasts the plainly distinguishable sagacity of the aged, who after long
observation, avoid pain while in pursuit of pleasure.
A horse, accustomed to the field,
becomes acquainted with the proper height which he can leap, and will never
attempt what exceeds his force and ability.
The horse infers some matter of fact
beyond what immediately strikes his senses and this inference is altogether
founded on past experience.
He expects from the present situation the
same consequences which it has always found in observation to result from
similar objects and conditions.
Though animals learn from observation,
many actions derive from the hand of nature; they improve, little or nothing,
by the longest practice and experience.
These are denominate instincts,
to be admired as something extraordinary, and inexplicable by
the disquisitions of human
The reasoning we possess in common with beasts on
which the conduct of life depends is nothing but instinct; its operations are
not directed by relations or comparisons of ideas, as are the objects of our
Though the instinct be different, yet still it
is an instinct, which teaches a man to avoid the fire; as much as that, which
teaches a bird, with such exactness, the incubation, and the whole economy and
order of its nursery.
without hesitation mankind acknowledges the doctrine of connection in all ages
they profess the contrary opinion of
Uncertainty proceeds from the
secret opposition of contrary causes.
There is no method of
reasoning more common, and yet none more false in philosophical disputes than
to endeavor the refutation of any hypothesis by a
pretense of its dangerous
consequences to religious morality.
The general observations
treasured up by a course of experience, give us the clue of human nature, and
teach us to unravel all its intricacies.
Pretexts and appearances no longer
man is guilty of unpardonable arrogance who concludes that an argument that has
escaped his own investigation does not really exist.
appears more surprising to those who consider human affairs with a
philosophical eye, than the ease with which the many are governed by a
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This website defines a
new perspective with which to engage reality to which its author adheres. The
author feels that the falsification of reality outside personal experience has
forged a populace unable to discern propaganda from reality and that this has
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agents who wish to foist a corrupt version of reality on the human race.
Religious intolerance occurs when any group refuses to tolerate religious
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web site marks the founding of a system of philosophy named The Truth of the
Way of the Lumière Infinie - a rational gnostic mystery religion based
on reason which requires no leap of faith, accepts no tithes, has no supreme
leader, no church buildings and in which each and every individual is
encouraged to develop a personal relation with the Creator and Sustainer
through the pursuit of the knowledge of reality in the hope of curing the
spiritual corruption that has enveloped the human spirit. The tenets of The
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violence that is already occurring due to the international corporate cartels
desire to control the human race. The international corporate cartel already
controls the world economic system, corporate media worldwide, the global
industrial military entertainment complex and is responsible for the collapse
of morals, the elevation of self-centered behavior and the destruction of
global ecosystems. Civilization is based on coöperation. Coöperation
does not occur at the point of a gun.
American social mores and values
have declined precipitously over the last century as the corrupt international
cartel has garnered more and more power. This power rests in the ability to
deceive the populace in general through corporate media by pressing emotional
buttons which have been preprogrammed into the population through prior
corporate media psychological operations. The results have been the destruction
of the family and the destruction of social structures that do not adhere to
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directed toward solutions proposed by the corrupt international elite that
further consolidates their power and which further their purposes.
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