Page:Ethics (Moore 1912).djvu/236

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true: but anybody can see, I think, that, in the absence of strict proof that it is so, the probabilities are all the other way. It is, indeed, so far as I can see, quite impossible absolutely to prove either that it is so or that it is not so; because actual actions in this world are liable to have such an immense number of indirect and remote consequences, which we cannot trace, that it is impossible to be quite certain how the total consequences of any two actions will compare either in respect of intrinsic value, or in respect of the quantity of pleasure they contain. It may, therefore, possibly be the case that quantity of pleasure is, as a matter of fact, a correct criterion of right and wrong, even if intrinsic value is not always in proportion to quantity of pleasure contained. But it is impossible to prove that it is a correct criterion, except by assuming that intrinsic value always is in proportion to quantity of pleasure. And most of those who have held the former view have, I think, in fact made this assumption, even if they have not definitely realised that they were making it.

Is this assumption true, then? Is it true