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the despotic period, the unit was the nation. The family is strong because, in it, some five or six interests are fused into a single force; and the despotic organization is mighty because, in it, millions of energies are directed as the energy
The method pursued to destroy originality is the expenditure of mental force on trivialities, the whipping of the vital stream into a froth of ritual observance. This reduces man's originality to zero, and makes him but a living wheel in one vast mechanical structure.
In a theocracy there is neither individuality, personality, nor originality; there is but a community, an organization, and a law: it is an infallible, absolute, all powerful, universal, and immutable government, exercised in the name of divinity by religious chiefs, interpreters of the divine commands, ministers and representatives of God
That a theocracy is beneficial at certain ages cannot be doubted. It has educated nations, taught the principle of cohesion, fostered science, encouraged art, developed literature. That in other ages it is mischievous cannot be doubted either. It has restrained independence, shackled commerce,conventionalized art, mummified science, cramped literature, and stifled thought.
If there is to be a religion at all, there must be community, organization, and law; and the defect of a theocracy is not the recognition of this truth, but exaggeration in its application of it.
THE ETHICS OF RELIGION
The moral sense an intellectual faculty-Arises from the perception
of pleasure and pain, and the belief in causation-Necessity of ethics to man-Growth of the moral faculty-Conscience directed by the law -Sense of responsibility—Duties to man, to God, to beasts, to selfPrecepts of an ethic code—Jewish code—Mazdæan code—The ethical bearings of Polytheism—Greek morals—Scandinavian morals—The ethical bearings of Monotheism–Jewish morals—Mohammedan morals—The ethical bearings of Pantheism-Aristotle's ethics—The desire of happiness the key to moral activity-This is self-love, a natural instinctAncient confusion of responsibilities—Modern disengagement of duties and their systematization.
sentiment? It is certainly the former. Religion may be emotional, but ethics must be intellectual.
Morals are a science founded upon conceptions of the mind, and bear some analogy to that of geometry. A child does not enter the world with a mind stored with mathematical figures, nor with a conscience graduated to the admeasurement of right and wrong. It enters the world with an inherent faculty of disengaging conditions of being one from another, and of comparing impressions, and then of classifying them. It arranges into groups, for instance, the qualities of material objects: the colour it separates from the form, and the form from the size, and the size from the weight. It reduces each group to a system. In
that of colour, it tabulates the reds, and the blues, and the yellows; distinct impressions, but arranged by the mind side by side, because of a certain likeness of nature observed between them. In the group of shape it places circles, ovals, squares, triangles, &c. The mind acts in a similar manner to produce ethics. But there is this distinction to be drawn between the method by which geometric forms are conceived, and that by which moral concepts are reached. These latter are based on observation of acts, the former on observation of objects. Distinction in form is arrived at by a process of comparison on variouslyshaped material objects, distinction in morals by a process of comparison of the results of different acts. Thus the mind classes acts together, some as just, others as unjust; some as merciful, others as cruel; the just it opposes to the unjust, as in colour it contrasts red with green, and as in form the circle with the square. But the mind does not regard acts with the same equanimity as it does forms, colours, and the like, for this reason, that these acts effect the self pleasurably or painfully. If the nerves did not transmit sensations of delight and of anguish, men would discuss the morality and immorality of acts with as supreme indifference as they do the forms of figures and the tints of colours.
The distinction of right from wrong, being an intelligent process, is imperfect or complete according to the quality and education of the mind. An Australian Indian has no word for triangle; because he does not distinguish shapes in the abstract. A man who does not distinguish between
the morality and immorality of acts is in an analogous J. condition of mental barbarism.
The elements of pure mathematics are ideas of quantity, of indivisibility, of unity either in number or in space, of
surface, limitation, solidity, and the like. All these ideas are simple. On how many pure ideas are ethics based ? Apparently upon the idea of causation applied to the sensations of pleasure and pain—that is to say, when man is conscious of pleasure or of pain, he seeks a cause to account for his sensations. He observes that pleasure or pain follows immediately or proximately upon certain acts. In those acts which he conceives to be productive of happiness he traces a certain likeness, he classes them, and designates them as virtuous; and those which result in misery he terms vicious. Also, as from the comparison of a number of shapes he obtains the abstract notion of geometric form, so, from the comparison of a number of acts, he forms the abstract ideas of virtue and vice.
To man is given, what is denied to the beast, an almost unlimited power of benefiting and injuring his fellow-men, and not the fellow-men of his own generation
merely, but also those of future ages. He can build a bridge to facilitate traffic, or he can throw a weir across river to impede transport. The lion will swoop down on the antelope and kill it, that he may satiate his appetite on the carcase, but when gorged he will bask in the sun, and suffer a herd of antelopes to approach him with impunity. The home-fed cat is a bad mouser. The beast kills that he may eat, not that he loves to kill. But in man there is the will and the power to destroy, not for self-preservation, but for the love of destruction. The impulse to slay is transient in the brute, it is permanent in the man. The child plucks a flower, that he may rip off its petals; the boy chases a butterfly, that he may beat the beauty out of its wings; the sportsman pursues the fish, the fox, and the hare, that
out of them he may throttle the life. The beast does not rage against its own kind; but the prey of man is man. The tigresses of a Bengal jungle will not assemble to contemplate the dying throes of their fellows; but the cultivated ladies of Rome were wont to crowd into the amphitheatre to enjoy the sport of gladiators massacring each other. The panther of Brazil will not sit down to watch the agonies of expiring panther-whelps; but the North American Indian women will laugh and clap their hands to see the children of other women spitted before a fire.
The motive is not innate cruelty, but innate love of excitement, and the keenest excitement subsists alongside of the extremest danger. Without provocation, or ambition of conquest, but actuated by the mere love of fighting, the Iroquois fell on the Hurons in the seventeenth century, and banished fifteen thousand souls from the chases of earth to the happy hunting-grounds of the spirit-world. There is a flutter of excitement awakened in the pursuit of the butterfly; higher pleasure is found in coursing the doubling hare; there is danger, therefore higher pleasure, in hunting the boar; and culminating pleasure is found in meeting man, because in that contest is elicited every faculty the savage possesses. Again: the beast will revenge itself on the creature that has injured it, and then retire satisfied by that one act of vengeance. But man's revenge, the more it is glutted, the more furiously it rages. He distributes his animosity over all who are allied to the person who has wronged him, to all related to him by blood, or by ties of service.
Consequently, mankind would be in imminent danger of perishing from the face of the earth, and the “last man dreamed of by the poet would have a fair chance of becoming a reality. Races of animals have disappeared, unable