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Lecture III

Besides, ethical, like other wisdom, ‘cometh by opportunity of leisure’: and, since they are busied with earning the means of living, the many are unable to explore the field of ethics and to learn their numerous duties by learning the tendencies of actions. If the Divine laws must be gathered from the tendencies of actions, the inevitable conclusion is absurd and monstrous. God has given us laws which no man can know completely and to which the great bulk of mankind has scarcely the slightest access. According to the theory of utility, the science of Ethics or Deontology is one of the sciences which rest upon observation and induction. The science has been formed, through a long succession of ages, by many and separate contributions from many and separate discoverers. Accordingly, the science of ethics, with all the various sciences which are nearly related to ethics, lag behind the others.