Tag Archives: T.E. Utley
March 8, 2016Posted by on
To an extent which is not generally realised, current controversy on the whole question of the relationship between legislation and morality is still dominated by the thinking of John Stuart Mill a nineteenth century liberal intellectual. T. E. Utley – What Laws May Cure
Since liberty was a good to be preserved, it followed that self-regarding actions were wholly outside the proper sphere of the State. A man’s liberty could only reasonably be curtailed in order to protect the liberty of others. It could never be right to coerce him for his own good. Could it really be assumed utterly wrong in all circumstances to restrain a man’s actions for the sake of safe-guarding his own interests? Read more of this post
March 7, 2016Posted by on
The notion that, if the function of the State is not precisely to make men good, then at least it is to establish the conditions in which they will be helped to be good and to present them constantly with a pattern of what constitutes good living, is far from wholly extinct. T. E. Utley – What Laws May Cure
Today, it receives expression in such maxims as society being held together by a common moral tradition which the law must express and maintain. How can the laws be obeyed if they are not loved, and how can they be loved if they flout or even fail to assert the deepest moral convictions of the people? Burke’s admonition to Government was that it must tolerate frailties until they have festered into crimes. How can a party which is so deeply concerned with the dangers of State interference in economic affairs look with favour on the intrusions of government into far more intimate sectors of life? Read more of this post
March 6, 2016Posted by on
I had never heard of T.E. Utley until some years ago when I became acquainted with his son on the now defunct My Telegraph (MyT) blog site. I have now been acquainted with Charles Utley for some time and it was remarks made by Charles on MyT regarding his father that prompted me to get a copy of his father’s paper What Laws May Cure. Written in 1968 it may be seen as irrelevant today but over the intervening years I have tried to condense it into a form suitable for a blog, intending to show its relevance but, to my mind, with limited success. I suspect T.E.Utley’s paper lies in the archive — lost — as it would have been to me and if found only of interest to old men like me who, in their dotage, contemplate on such things.
July 18, 2014Posted by on
A NEW EXAMINATION OF MORALS AND THE LAW by T. E. Utley
Of all the ills that human hearts endure,
How small that part which laws may cause or cure.
Those lines, widely and falsely attributed to Samuel Johnson and in fact written by Oliver Goldsmith, used to represent one of the most important ingredients in Tory thinking. Today, most Tories would feel inclined to qualify them. Laws may be capable of doing little good, but we have learnt that they are powerful engines of evil, of consequences which their authors never intended or foresaw but which press hardly and deeply into the lives of ordinary people. Read more of this post