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seemingly unconscious that with Jenner's discovery, the practice of vivisection had nothing to do. Where are the proofs that the mortality from typhoid fever in any country has been reduced by the general use of the “appropriate antitoxin"? Where are we to look for similar evidence regarding mortality from “the Mediterranean fever” in France and Italy? We venture to say that official statistics proving any marked reduction in the mortality from these causes of death through use of such antitoxin cannot be produced. It is interesting to know that for the first time in its history, “Havana is practically rid of yellow fever.” What has this to do with experiments on animals? Perhaps the most surprising assertion of utility is that which concerns the mortality resulting from the venom of serpents; we are told that "hardly a failure is on record from the treatment of snake-bite.” Of course a statement like this may mean anything—or nothing at all. Of any number of imaginable drugs or appliances it might very truthfully be said that there is “no record of failure,”—simple because they have not been tried. But if Mr. Myers believes, and desires to convey the impression that a specific and almost certain cure for the poison of venomous serpents has at last been discovered through experimentation upon animals, and that its claims of efficacy are amply evinced by a decrease in the mortality from this cause in the countries where venomous serpents abound, he is entirely mistaken. Every year, in British India alone, over twenty thousand men, women, and children lose their lives from this one cause. That was the record up to five years ago. Has this mortality been diminished in any appreciable degree by the employment of the new remedy regarding whose use we are assured that there is “hardly a failure on record ?" If so, where are the statistics? There are none. It is a claim of the laboratory. No such specific, the value of which has been demonstrated by a steady decrease of mortality as shown in the statistics of any country, can be said to exist. This is not criticism of this phase of experimentation. It is not denial that certain laboratory experiments have been apparently successful. But the claim should have stopped there. We cannot but think that the suggestion of a far wider utility should never have been made in view of the present practical impotency of every alleged discovery of the kind.
What may we say of the moral aspect of unlimited vivisection? Every man's attitude toward this question will depend in great measure upon certain primary intellectual concepts. Behind a thinking man's judgment of what is right or wrong in human conduct must be his personal conviction regarding the meaning of the Universe in which he dwells. The creed of the vivisector is not always beautiful. Writing for the Popular Science Monthly a few years since, a leading American biologist, Professor Hodge, of Clark University, declared that “God clearly gives to man every sanction to cause any amount of physical pain which he may find expedient to unravel His laws." Seldom, if ever, has the supremacy of science over the ordinary conceptions of morality been more definitely announced. If this doctrine be true, then the experiments with poisons, made by Ringer and others upon patients in a London hospital, the experiments upon dying children and the incurably insane, made in certain American institutions—would all find equal justification with every phase of animal experimentation; for it could then be said that "they were expedient to unravel His laws.” And if the elucidation of a new fact makes right any method by which it may be torn from the secrecy wherein Nature has concealed it,-if this be the meaning of the message which modern Science is to proclaim to Humanity, then—in more senses than one—we are at the beginning of a new era. One may, indeed, imagine a Universe wherein the idea of Justice does not exist, where compassion and pity and sympathy are unknown, and where Might makes Right. In such a world, no thought of the uprighteousness of an action would come to mind. In such a world—unchecked except by fear—would flourish whatever tyranny might desire and force compel,—the prostitution of woman, the slavery of the weak, the murder of the helpless, the causation of any amount of physical pain upon animals or children, if thereby what is hidden by Nature could be brought to light. It would be the reign of selfishness and greed, of lust and force, of cruelty—and utility. That to-day, we are not living in a world, ruled supremely by claw and tooth
and nail; that some conception of moral ideals has brightened the path of humanity in its slow progress upward from brutality; that with us, power does not mean equity; that cruelty is infamous, and injustice is ignoble, and pity is divine, this world of ours owes to teaching far different from that of the biologist who, in his imagination, creates a “God” that hides facts, and gives torture the right to find them.
What may we hope to accomplish in the reform of vivisection as it exists to-day ? Considerations of space forbid anything but the briefest of outlines; and yet certain lines of possible activity would seem apparent. It seems to us, that first of all, there must be the gradual creation of public sentiment which shall be eager, not so much to condemn all vivisection, or to approve it all, as to know with certainty the facts. Take, for example, the question of vivisection in institutions of learning. To what extent is it carried on, merely to demonstrate what every student knows in advance? If one may judge from authoritative statements put forth for general information, it would appear that certain lines of experiment are now permitted in America and in England, which hardly more than a generation ago were condemned as cruel by the medical profession of Great Britain. We ought to know if this is true; and if found so, we ought to inquire why it is that experiments which scarcely thirty years ago were almost universally condemned, are less abhorrent to-day? The removal of the secrecy that so generally enshrouds vivisection is the first and most important step toward any true reform.
And when secrecy is removed, and we know the facts, then must there be a yet wider promulgation of the truth about it than is possible to-day. By the propaganda of the press; by the advocacy of the principles which underlie our opposition to irresponsible and unrestricted vivisection; by the contrast of views; by the incitement of interest in a subject which is naturally most distasteful to the average mind, there must gradually be created a public sentiment that will be heard when it asks for some measure of reform, some method for preventing what ought not to exist.
And finally, there must come the regulation of vivisection by law. This does not mean the abolition of all physiological investigation, as they who clamor for non-interference so often assert. It need not imply a single impediment to any scientific inquiry that is of potential value to humanity and possible without anguish. But the law certainly should forbid all cruel and all useless experiments such as those so emphatically condemned by Parvin and Bigelow and Wilson. It ought to bring upon official records the number of experiments performed, the objects which were in view, the results which were attained, the species of animals upon which the investigations were made, the anæsthetics which were administered, and everything that pertains to the prevention of pain. We may say that all this is but little more than the drawing aside of curtains, and the admission of the light. It is so little to ask, that one is amazed at the resistance which the laboratory makes to the demand. Will that resistance be perpetually effective? We doubt it. No human institution has yet been able to keep hidden what the world wishes to know; and when all is known, we may be sure that in the matter of vivisection, the distinction will be very clearly drawn between what is permissible and what is to be condemned, by the conscience of mankind.
RECENT TENDENCIES IN ETHICS: THREE LECTURES TO CLERGY
GIVEN AT CAMBRIDGE. By W. R. Sorley, M. A., Hon. LL. D. (Edin.), Knightbridge Professor of Moral Philosophy. Edinburgh and London: William Blackwood & Sons, 1904.
This little book consists of three lectures on "Some Leading Features of the Ethical Thought of the Present Day," delivered at Cambridge (England) to a summer meeting of clergy held there in July, 1903. The chapters in the books are headed respectively: "Characteristics," "Ethics and Evolution," "Ethics and Idealism."
In the first chapter Professor Sorley says that in "English Ethical thought during the last century ... the controversies of the time centered almost exclusively round two questions: the question of the origin of moral ideas, and the question of the criterion of moral value.” Moralists were separated “into two hostile schools, known as Utilitarian and Intuitionist.” The Utilitarian school held that moral ideas “could be traced to experience; and by ‘experience they meant in the last resort senseperceptions and the feelings of pleasure and pain which accompany or follow sense-perception” (p. 2). With regard to the standard of morality "they held that the distinction between right and wrong depended upon the consequences of an action in the way of pleasure and pain” (p. 3).
On the other hand the Intuitionists maintained that moral ideas were in their origin spiritual, although they might be called into definite consciousness by the experience of the facts to which they could be applied.
With regard to the criterion of morality they held that “moral ideas themselves had an independent validity; they had a worth and authority for conduct which could not be accounted for by any consequences in which action resulted” (p. 5). However (and here we get for the first time the raison d'etre of Mr. Sorley's book), “the Utilitarians no more than the Intuitionists were opponents of the traditional—as we may call it-the Christian morality of modern civilisation” (p. 7). "Their controversies were almost entirely of what may be called an academic kind, and, however decided, would have little effect upon a man's practical attitude. But it would not be possible to make any such confident assertion regarding the ethical controversies of the