Impulse and reason

Impulses, impulses, impulses – are there no ways to contain our impulses? For despite reason furnishing the imperatives and the consequences, still the impulse succeeds in drawing man closer towards his doom. How nefarious are impulses, how wicked their means; tyrants over our will. To say that morality involves the adherence to reason is likely to say that morality is beyond our means; for it is clear that no matter the strength of reason, it is impulse that moves us to action; and supposing we refrained from an immoral action, that is merely the result of another calmer impulse, which we mistake for reason itself. Perhaps the problem is not that reason cannot overcome impulses, but that we deliberately find ourselves a problem and call the solution good, while knowing little that the human condition would never permit of such an amelioration.


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