The first two books enable us better than anything else in ancient literature to appreciate the boldness and, on the whole, the reasonableness of the ancient mind in forming hypotheses on great matters that still occupy the investigations of physical science.
Until this is done, the utmost demonstration of the abstract reasonableness of social duty only leaves us with an irreconcilable antagonism between the view of abstract reason and the self-love which is allowed to be the root of man's appetitive nature.
It is rather in the doctrine that even this indirect reasonableness of the most fundamental moral rules is entirely conditional on their general observance, which cannot be secured apart from government.
We are forced to fall back on fatalism as an explanation of irrational events (that is to say, events the reasonableness of which we do not understand).
His reconciliation amounts to this, that the rule of conduct is to aim at universal happiness, but that we recognize the reasonableness of this rule by an intuition which cannot be further explained.
As lawyers are aware, reasonableness is a notoriously elusive concept.
Out of this contrast there ultimately grew an essentially different opposition between faith and knowledge or reason, according to which the theological basis of ethics was contrasted with the philosophical; the theologians maintaining sometimes that the divine law is essentially arbitrary, the expression of will, not reason; more frequently that its reasonableness is inscrutable, and that actual human reason should confine itself to examining the credentials of God's messengers, and not the message itself.
But though the Brahmans, too, will often acquiesce in the reasonableness of such claims, it is probably only as a matter of policy that they do so, whilst in reality they regard the other two higher castes as having long since disappeared and been merged by miscegenation in the Sudra mass.
The resemblance, both in title and in principles, of his book to Locke's Reasonableness of Christianity, led to a prompt disavowal on Locke's part of the supposed identity of opinions, and subsequently to the famous controversy between Stillingfleet and the philosopher.
The reasonableness of the charge in a given case is to its credit, but the features of monopoly and compulsion on the tax-pa y er make the charges difficult to distinguish logically from other taxes.