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[39] as Bentham thought he had annihilated the word ought, when he said frankly fifty years ago that it was meaningless, and should be expunged from the English language, or at least from the vocabulary of morals.1 It is claimed by Mr. Spencer's ablest American advocate that “the moral sense is not ultimate, but derivative, and that it has been built up out of slowly organized experiences of pleasure or pain.” 2 But if no possible experience of pleasure or pain, as it passes, can give us the slightest key to the sacredness and strength that lie in the word ought, how can that strength or sacredness be found by multiplying such pleasure or pain into millions of instances, or centuries of time, or countless generations of men? If it is perfectly supposable, and perhaps

1 “The talisman of arrogance, indolence, and ignorance is to be found in a single word, an authoritative imposture, which in these pages it will be frequently necessary to unveil. It is the word ‘ought’ -‘ ought or ought not,’ as circumstances may be. In deciding ‘ You ought to do this,’ ‘ You ought not to do it,’ is not every question of knowledge set at rest? If the use of the word be admissible at all, it ‘ought’ to be banished from the vocabulary of morals.” Bentham's Deontology, i. 31, 32.

2 Mr. John Fiske, in Essays of Brooklyn Ethical Society, p. 94.

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