This, then, may be regarded as settled: in choosing 1
between conflicting duties, that class takes precedence which is demanded by the interests of
human society. [And this is the natural sequence;
for discreet action will presuppose learning and practical [p. 165]
wisdom; it follows, therefore, that discreet
action is of more value than wise (but inactive)
So much must suffice for this topic. For, in its
essence, it has been made so clear, that in determining a question of duty it is not difficult to
see which duty is to be preferred to any other.
Moreover, even in the social relations themselves
there are gradations of duty so well defined that
it can easily be seen which duty takes precedence of any other: our first duty is to the immortal
gods; our second, to country; our third, to parents;
and so on, in a descending scale, to the rest.