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How to understand "so long as the established government cannot be resisted or changed without publi Options
Zeli
Posted: Monday, May 08, 2017 11:48:25 AM

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 3/11/2017
Posts: 11
Neurons: 160
Quote:
The steps by which the argument proceeds, are few and direct. “It is the will of God that the happiness of human life be promoted”—this is the first step, and the foundation not only of this, but of every, moral conclusion. “Civil society conduces to that end”—this is the second proposition. “Civil societies cannot be upholden, unless, in each, the interest of the whole society be binding upon every part and member of it”—this is the third step, and conducts us to the conclusion, namely, “that so long as the interest of the whole society requires it, that is, so long as the established government cannot be resisted or changed without public inconveniency, it is the will of God (which will universally determines our duty) that the established government be obeyed”—and no longer.

-William Paley, The Principles of Moral and Political Philosophy [1785]


The first step: It is the will of God that the happiness of human life be promoted

The second proposition/step: Civil society conduces to that end

The third step: Civil societies cannot be upholden, unless, in each, the interest of the whole society be binding upon every part and member of it

The conclusion: that so long as the interest of the whole society requires it, that is, so long as the established government cannot be resisted or changed without public inconveniency, it is the will of God (which will universally determines our duty) that the established government be obeyed

1. Does "that end" in Step 2 refer to "the happiness of human life be promoted" in Step 1 and mean human life will be happier then?

2. Does "it" in Step 3 refer to each society and what does "in each" mean here? In each society or each interest? Can I paraphrase Step 3 into unless the interest and everything else in the society are tied together, the society cannot remain long?

3."so long as" in the conclusion means only if or now that? How to understand "public inconveniency" ,the government makes it inconvenient? The conclusion is so difficult to read.

4.The last sentence, and no longer, what does it mean?
FounDit
Posted: Monday, May 08, 2017 3:37:45 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 7,902
Neurons: 41,840
Zeli wrote:
Quote:
The steps by which the argument proceeds, are few and direct. “It is the will of God that the happiness of human life be promoted”—this is the first step, and the foundation not only of this, but of every, moral conclusion. “Civil society conduces to that end”—this is the second proposition. “Civil societies cannot be upholden, unless, in each, the interest of the whole society be binding upon every part and member of it”—this is the third step, and conducts us to the conclusion, namely, “that so long as the interest of the whole society requires it, that is, so long as the established government cannot be resisted or changed without public inconveniency, it is the will of God (which will universally determines our duty) that the established government be obeyed”—and no longer.

-William Paley, The Principles of Moral and Political Philosophy [1785]


The first step: It is the will of God that the happiness of human life be promoted

The second proposition/step: Civil society conduces to that end

The third step: Civil societies cannot be upholden, unless, in each, the interest of the whole society be binding upon every part and member of it

The conclusion: that so long as the interest of the whole society requires it, that is, so long as the established government cannot be resisted or changed without public inconveniency, it is the will of God (which will universally determines our duty) that the established government be obeyed

1. Does "that end" in Step 2 refer to "the happiness of human life be promoted" in Step 1 and mean human life will be happier then?
Yes. You can read it as: “It is the will of God that the happiness of human life be promoted [and a] civil society conduces to that end”

2. Does "it" in Step 3 refer to each society and what does "in each" mean here? In each society or each interest? Can I paraphrase Step 3 into unless the interest and everything else in the society are tied together, the society cannot remain long?
Yes, "it" refers to each society, and "in each" means "in each society". You can read it as: "“Civil societies cannot be upholden, unless, in each [society], the interest of the whole society be binding upon every part and member of [that society].”

3."so long as" in the conclusion means only if or now that? How to understand "public inconveniency" ,the government makes it inconvenient? The conclusion is so difficult to read.
The phrase "so long as" means "for a period of time", or "for an amount of time". So to combine your #3 and #4, you could read it as: "“that [for the amount of time that] the interest of the whole society requires it, that is, [for the amount of time that] the established government cannot be resisted or changed without public [disruption or severe disturbance], it is the will of God (which will universally determines our duty) that the established government be obeyed”—and [for] no longer [a period of time than this].

He is saying that people should obey the government if the government is doing good for the people and not make changes if it would disrupt the society. The people should disobey the government and change it only when that government is not doing good for the society.

4.The last sentence, and no longer, what does it mean?


A great many people will think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. ~ William James ~
Zeli
Posted: Tuesday, May 09, 2017 1:28:10 AM

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 3/11/2017
Posts: 11
Neurons: 160
@FounDit

"so long as the established government cannot be resisted or changed without public inconveniency"

Is it the same as "we should obey the government for the period of time that we can't replace the government without making the public disturbed"? Whether "public inconveniency" is caused by government or by civil disobedience?

"and [for] no longer [a period of time than this]" is it means for the time longer than this, government will not do good for the society and we should resist it?
FounDit
Posted: Tuesday, May 09, 2017 11:24:58 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 7,902
Neurons: 41,840
Zeli wrote:

@FounDit

"so long as the established government cannot be resisted or changed without public inconveniency"

Is it the same as "we should obey the government for the period of time that we can't replace the government without making the public disturbed"? Whether "public inconveniency" is caused by government or by civil disobedience?

Changing the government will always disrupt society. The idea of this is to judge the good that society receives from the government. If resisting, or changing the government does not increase the good for society, then it is the will of God that the government be obeyed (so there is no "public inconveniency"). If changing the government would increase the good for society, then it should be changed, even if it disrupts society (even if it causes "public inconveniency").

"and [for] no longer [a period of time than this]" is it means for the time longer than this, government will not do good for the society and we should resist it?
Not quite. This goes back to judging the good for society. If society enjoys more good with this government, then it should be obeyed. But if it stops being good, then obey it for no longer than the time of good. If society would enjoy more good with a change, then the people should change the government.



A great many people will think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. ~ William James ~
Zeli
Posted: Wednesday, May 10, 2017 12:00:11 AM

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 3/11/2017
Posts: 11
Neurons: 160
FounDit wrote:
Zeli wrote:

@FounDit

"so long as the established government cannot be resisted or changed without public inconveniency"

Is it the same as "we should obey the government for the period of time that we can't replace the government without making the public disturbed"? Whether "public inconveniency" is caused by government or by civil disobedience?

Changing the government will always disrupt society. The idea of this is to judge the good that society receives from the government. If resisting, or changing the government does not increase the good for society, then it is the will of God that the government be obeyed (so there is no "public inconveniency"). If changing the government would increase the good for society, then it should be changed, even if it disrupts society (even if it causes "public inconveniency").

"and [for] no longer [a period of time than this]" is it means for the time longer than this, government will not do good for the society and we should resist it?
Not quite. This goes back to judging the good for society. If society enjoys more good with this government, then it should be obeyed. But if it stops being good, then obey it for no longer than the time of good. If society would enjoy more good with a change, then the people should change the government.




My confusion is still about"the government cannot be resisted or changed without public inconvenience", it seems the sentence doesn't mention the judge of good. I think this sentence can be read as:

1. The established government cannot be changed if it does not cause the public inconvenience(social disruption?);

OR my last question 2. The government cannot be changed if changing it will cause disruption.

I think government is not good = government disrupt s society, why do you say resistance cause the disruption?
Zeli
Posted: Wednesday, May 10, 2017 4:58:01 AM

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 3/11/2017
Posts: 11
Neurons: 160
Zeli wrote:
FounDit wrote:
Zeli wrote:

@FounDit

"so long as the established government cannot be resisted or changed without public inconveniency"

Is it the same as "we should obey the government for the period of time that we can't replace the government without making the public disturbed"? Whether "public inconveniency" is caused by government or by civil disobedience?

Changing the government will always disrupt society. The idea of this is to judge the good that society receives from the government. If resisting, or changing the government does not increase the good for society, then it is the will of God that the government be obeyed (so there is no "public inconveniency"). If changing the government would increase the good for society, then it should be changed, even if it disrupts society (even if it causes "public inconveniency").

"and [for] no longer [a period of time than this]" is it means for the time longer than this, government will not do good for the society and we should resist it?
Not quite. This goes back to judging the good for society. If society enjoys more good with this government, then it should be obeyed. But if it stops being good, then obey it for no longer than the time of good. If society would enjoy more good with a change, then the people should change the government.




My confusion is still about"the government cannot be resisted or changed without public inconvenience", it seems the sentence doesn't mention the judge of good. I think this sentence can be read as:

1. The established government cannot be changed if it does not cause the public inconvenience(social disruption?);

OR my last question 2. The government cannot be changed if changing it will cause disruption.

I think government is not good = government disrupt s society, why do you say resistance cause the disruption?


Or does it mean "for the period of time there's no social disruption to resist the government"?
FounDit
Posted: Wednesday, May 10, 2017 12:17:33 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 7,902
Neurons: 41,840
Zeli wrote:
Zeli wrote:
FounDit wrote:
[Quote=Zeli]
@FounDit

"so long as the established government cannot be resisted or changed without public inconveniency"

Is it the same as "we should obey the government for the period of time that we can't replace the government without making the public disturbed"? Whether "public inconveniency" is caused by government or by civil disobedience?

Changing the government will always disrupt society. The idea of this is to judge the good that society receives from the government. If resisting, or changing the government does not increase the good for society, then it is the will of God that the government be obeyed (so there is no "public inconveniency"). If changing the government would increase the good for society, then it should be changed, even if it disrupts society (even if it causes "public inconveniency").

"and [for] no longer [a period of time than this]" is it means for the time longer than this, government will not do good for the society and we should resist it?
Not quite. This goes back to judging the good for society. If society enjoys more good with this government, then it should be obeyed. But if it stops being good, then obey it for no longer than the time of good. If society would enjoy more good with a change, then the people should change the government.




My confusion is still about"the government cannot be resisted or changed without public inconvenience", it seems the sentence doesn't mention the judge of good.
You left out an important part here. It should be, "[if] the government cannot be resisted or changed without public inconvenience".

It might help if we can agree on some definitions. What is the public good (what is "convenient")? I would define it as the public being able to enjoy peace, safety, and comfort in their daily activities. This is "the good" I was referring to.

What would be bad for the public (what is "inconvenient")? I think it would be the opposite. There would be no peace with riots in the streets, there would be no safety if fires and mobs run in neighborhoods, and there would be no comfort in either of these conditions.

So, if changing the government would result in public inconvenience (disruption through riots, property damage, etc.), then he is saying it is God's will that the government should be obeyed. But only for the time that there is more good in obedience (public convenience). This is the meaning of "for no more". If it is better, if there would be more "good" for the public in making a change, then the government should be changed.

But if the government can be changed without this "inconvenience" (the bad results), and the people think it needs to be changed, then they should make that change.



A great many people will think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. ~ William James ~
Zeli
Posted: Wednesday, May 10, 2017 12:59:23 PM

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 3/11/2017
Posts: 11
Neurons: 160
FounDit wrote:
Zeli wrote:
Zeli wrote:
FounDit wrote:
[Quote=Zeli]
@FounDit

"so long as the established government cannot be resisted or changed without public inconveniency"

Is it the same as "we should obey the government for the period of time that we can't replace the government without making the public disturbed"? Whether "public inconveniency" is caused by government or by civil disobedience?

Changing the government will always disrupt society. The idea of this is to judge the good that society receives from the government. If resisting, or changing the government does not increase the good for society, then it is the will of God that the government be obeyed (so there is no "public inconveniency"). If changing the government would increase the good for society, then it should be changed, even if it disrupts society (even if it causes "public inconveniency").

"and [for] no longer [a period of time than this]" is it means for the time longer than this, government will not do good for the society and we should resist it?
Not quite. This goes back to judging the good for society. If society enjoys more good with this government, then it should be obeyed. But if it stops being good, then obey it for no longer than the time of good. If society would enjoy more good with a change, then the people should change the government.




My confusion is still about"the government cannot be resisted or changed without public inconvenience", it seems the sentence doesn't mention the judge of good.
You left out an important part here. It should be, "[if] the government cannot be resisted or changed without public inconvenience".

It might help if we can agree on some definitions. What is the public good (what is "convenient")? I would define it as the public being able to enjoy peace, safety, and comfort in their daily activities. This is "the good" I was referring to.

What would be bad for the public (what is "inconvenient")? I think it would be the opposite. There would be no peace with riots in the streets, there would be no safety if fires and mobs run in neighborhoods, and there would be no comfort in either of these conditions.

So, if changing the government would result in public inconvenience (disruption through riots, property damage, etc.), then he is saying it is God's will that the government should be obeyed. But only for the time that there is more good in obedience (public convenience). This is the meaning of "for no more". If it is better, if there would be more "good" for the public in making a change, then the government should be changed.

But if the government can be changed without this "inconvenience" (the bad results), and the people think it needs to be changed, then they should make that change.



I just thought "inconvenience" was the premise and "government be resisted" was the result...
FounDit
Posted: Sunday, May 14, 2017 11:03:34 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 7,902
Neurons: 41,840
I would say the promotion of human happiness is the premise.

And that result comes from good government.


A great many people will think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. ~ William James ~
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