is an absurd position which is taken by some people,
who say that they will not rob a parent or a brother
for their own gain, but that their relation to the
rest of their fellow-citizens is quite another thing.
Such people contend in essence that they are bound
to their fellow-citizens by no mutual obligations,
social ties, or common interests. This attitude
demolishes the whole structure of civil society.
Others again who say that regard should be had1
for the rights of fellow-citizens, but not of foreigners,
would destroy the universal brotherhood of mankind; and, when this is annihilated, kindness,
generosity, goodness, and justice must utterly
perish; and those who work all this destruction
must be considered as wickedly rebelling against
the immortal gods. For they uproot the fellowship
which the gods have established between human
beings, and the closest bond of this fellowship is
the conviction that it is more repugnant to Nature
for man to rob a fellow-man for his own gain than
to endure all possible loss, whether to his property
or to his person . . . or even to his very soul—so far
as these losses are not concerned with justice;2
this virtue is the sovereign mistress and queen of
all the virtues.