Transcription of LocHum,72[3]et73[1]
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Whole Nations reject several Moral Rules.       §11. Here, perhaps, ’twill be objected, that it is no Argument,
that the Rule is not known, because it is broken. I grant the Objection
good, where Men, though they transgress, yet disown not the Law;
where fear of Shame, Censure, or Punishment, carries the Mark of
some awe it has upon them. But it is impossible to conceive, that a
whole Nation of Men should all publickly reject and renounce, what
every one of them, certainly and infallibly, knew to be a Law: For
so they must, who have it naturally imprinted on their Minds. ’Tis
possible, Men may sometimes own Rules of Morality, which, in their
private Thoughts, they do not believe to be true, only to keep
themselves in Reputation, and esteem amongst those, who are
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persuaded of their Obligation. But ’tis not to be imagin’d, That a
whole Society of Men, should, publickly and professedly, disown,
and cast off a Rule, which they could not, in their own Minds, but
be infallibly certain, was a Law; nor be ignorant, That all Men, they
should have to do with, knew it to be such: And therefore must
every one of them apprehend from others, all the Contempt and
Abhorrence due to one, who professes himself void of Humanity;
and one, who confounding the known and natural measures of
Right and Wrong, cannot but be look’d on, as the professed Enemy
of their Peace and Happiness. Whatever practical Principle is innate,
cannot but be known to every one, to be just and good. It is there-
fore little less than a contradiction, to suppose, That whole Nations
of Men should both in their Professions, and Practice unanimously
and universally give the Lye to what, by the most invincible
Evidence, every one of them knew to be true, right, and good. This
is enough to satisfy us, That no practical Rule, which is any where
universally, and with publick Approbation, or Allowance, trans-
gressed, can be supposed innate. But I have something farther to
add, in Answer to this Objection.
Locke Hum I, 3, §11, pp. 72-73