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Bruno Agafonov
Bruno Agafonov

Mobi Ebook __EXCLUSIVE__ Downloads Free The Mosquito: A Human

Another reaction to the separation of morals fromhuman nature is a romantic glorification of natural impulseas something superior to all moral claims. Thereare those who lack the persistent force of the executivewill to break through conventions and to use them fortheir own purposes, but who unite sensitiveness with[pg 007]intensity of desire. Fastening upon the conventionalelement in morality, they hold that all morality is aconventionality hampering to the development of individuality.Although appetites are the commonest thingsin human nature, the least distinctive or individualized,they identify unrestraint in satisfaction of appetitewith free realization of individuality. They treat subjectionto passion as a manifestation of freedom in thedegree in which it shocks the bourgeois. The urgentneed for a transvaluation of morals is caricatured bythe notion that an avoidance of the avoidances of conventionalmorals constitutes positive achievement.While the executive type keeps its eyes on actual conditionsso as to manipulate them, this school abrogatesobjective intelligence in behalf of sentiment, and withdrawsinto little coteries of emancipated souls.

Mobi ebook downloads free The Mosquito: A Human

If we turn from concrete effects upon character totheoretical issues, we single out the discussion regardingfreedom of will as typical of the consequences that comefrom separating morals from human nature. Men arewearied with bootless discussion, and anxious to dismissit as a metaphysical subtlety. But neverthelessit contains within itself the most practical of all moralquestions, the nature of freedom and the means of itsachieving. The separation of morals from humannature leads to a separation of human nature in itsmoral aspects from the rest of nature, and from ordinarysocial habits and endeavors which are found inbusiness, civic life, the run of companionships and recreations.These things are thought of at most as placeswhere moral notions need to be applied, not as placeswhere moral ideas are to be studied and moral energiesgenerated. In short, the severance of morals fromhuman nature ends by driving morals inwards from thepublic open out-of-doors air and light of day into the[pg 009]obscurities and privacies of an inner life. The significanceof the traditional discussion of free will is thatit reflects precisely a separation of moral activity fromnature and the public life of men.

One has to turn from moral theories to the generalhuman struggle for political, economic and religiousliberty, for freedom of thought, speech, assemblage andcreed, to find significant reality in the conception offreedom of will. Then one finds himself out of thestiflingly close atmosphere of an inner consciousness andin the open-air world. The cost of confining moralfreedom to an inner region is the almost complete severanceof ethics from politics and economics. The formeris regarded as summed up in edifying exhortations,and the latter as connected with arts of expediencyseparated from larger issues of good.

In short, there are two schools of social reform. Onebases itself upon the notion of a morality which springsfrom an inner freedom, something mysteriously coopedup within personality. It asserts that the only wayto change institutions is for men to purify their ownhearts, and that when this has been accomplished,change of institutions will follow of itself. The otherschool denies the existence of any such inner power, andin so doing conceives that it has denied all moral freedom.It says that men are made what they are by theforces of the environment, that human nature is purelymalleable, and that till institutions are changed, nothingcan be done. Clearly this leaves the outcome as hopelessas does an appeal to an inner rectitude and benevolence.[pg 010]For it provides no leverage for change of environment.It throws us back upon accident, usuallydisguised as a necessary law of history or evolution, andtrusts to some violent change, symbolized by civil war,to usher in an abrupt millennium. There is an alternativeto being penned in between these two theories. Wecan recognize that all conduct is interaction between elementsof human nature and the environment, naturaland social. Then we shall see that progress proceedsin two ways, and that freedom is found in that kind ofinteraction which maintains an environment in whichhuman desire and choice count for something. Thereare in truth forces in man as well as without him.While they are infinitely frail in comparison with exteriorforces, yet they may have the support of a foreseeingand contriving intelligence. When we look at theproblem as one of an adjustment to be intelligentlyattained, the issue shifts from within personality to anengineering issue, the establishment of arts of educationand social guidance.

The idea persists that there is something materialisticabout natural science and that morals are degraded byhaving anything seriously to do with material things.If a sect should arise proclaiming that men ought topurify their lungs completely before they ever drewa breath it ought to win many adherents from professedmoralists. For the neglect of sciences that deal specificallywith facts of the natural and social environmentleads to a side-tracking of moral forces into anunreal privacy of an unreal self. It is impossible to[pg 011]say how much of the remediable suffering of the worldis due to the fact that physical science is looked uponas merely physical. It is impossible to say how muchof the unnecessary slavery of the world is due to theconception that moral issues can be settled within conscienceor human sentiment apart from consistentstudy of facts and application of specific knowledgein industry, law and politics. Outside of manufacturingand transportation, science gets its chancein war. These facts perpetuate war and the hardest,most brutal side of modern industry. Each sign ofdisregard for the moral potentialities of physicalscience drafts the conscience of mankind away fromconcern with the interactions of man and nature whichmust be mastered if freedom is to be a reality. It divertsintelligence to anxious preoccupation with the unrealitiesof a purely inner life, or strengthens relianceupon outbursts of sentimental affection. The massesswarm to the occult for assistance. The cultivatedsmile contemptuously. They might smile, as the sayinggoes, out of the other side of their mouths if theyrealized how recourse to the occult exhibits the practicallogic of their own beliefs. For both rest upon aseparation of moral ideas and feelings from knowablefacts of life, man and the world.

Impulse in short brings with itself the possibilitybut not the assurance of a steady reorganization ofhabits to meet new elements in new situations. Themoral problem in child and adult alike as regards impulseand instinct is to utilize them for formation ofnew habits, or what is the same thing, the modificationof an old habit so that it may be adequately serviceableunder novel conditions. The place of impulse in conductas a pivot of re-adjustment, re-organization, in[pg 105]habits may be defined as follows: On one side, it ismarked off from the territory of arrested and encrustedhabits. On the other side, it is demarcated from theregion in which impulse is a law unto itself.[5] Generalizingthese distinctions, a valid moral theory contrastswith all those theories which set up static goals (evenwhen they are called perfection), and with those theorieswhich idealize raw impulse and find in its spontaneitiesan adequate mode of human freedom. Impulseis a source, an indispensable source, of liberation;but only as it is employed in giving habits pertinenceand freshness does it liberate power.

Universal conscription, the general mobilization ofall agricultural and industrial forces of the folk notengaged in the trenches, the application of every conceivablescientific and mechanical device, the massmovements of soldiery regulated from a common centerby a depersonalized general staff: these factors relegatethe traditional psychological apparatus of war to anow remote antiquity. The motives once appealed toare out of date; they do not now induce war. Theysimply are played upon after war has been broughtinto existence in order to keep the common soldierskeyed up to their task. The more horrible a depersonalizedscientific mass war becomes, the more necessaryit is to find universal ideal motives to justify it.Love of Helen of Troy has become a burning love forall humanity, and hatred of the foe symbolizes a hatredof all the unrighteousness and injustice and oppressionwhich he embodies. The more prosaic the actual causes,the more necessary is it to find glowingly sublimemotives.

To utilitarianism with all its defects belongs the distinctionof enforcing in an unforgettable way the factthat moral good, like every good, consists in a satisfactionof the forces of human nature, in welfare, happiness.To Bentham remains, in spite of all cruditiesand eccentricities, the imperishable renown of forcinghome to the popular consciousness that "conscience,"intelligence applied to in moral matters, is too often[pg 212]not intelligence but is veiled caprice, dogmatic ipsedixitism, vested class interest. It is truly conscienceonly as it contributes to relief of misery and promotionof happiness. An examination of utilitarianismbrings out however the catastrophe involved in thinkingof the good to which intelligence is pertinent as consistingin future pleasures and pains, and moral reflectionas their algebraic calculus. It emphasizes thecontrast between such conceptions of good and of intelligence,and the facts of human nature according towhich good, happiness, is found in the present meaningof activity, depending upon the proportion, order andfreedom introduced into it by thought as it discoversobjects which release and unify otherwise contendingelements.

The reason that it is so easy and for specific purposesso useful to select economic activities and subjectthem to separate scientific treatment is because the menwho engage in it are men who are also more than businessmen, whose usual habits may be more or less safely[pg 221]guessed at. As human beings they have desires and occupationswhich are affected by social custom, expectationand admiration. The uses to which gains will beput, that is the current scheme of activities into whichthey enter as factors, are passed over only because theyare so inevitably present. Support of family, of church,philanthropic benefactions, political influence, automobiling,command of luxuries, freedom of movement, respectfrom others, are in general terms some of theobvious activities into which economic activity fits.This context of activities enters into the real make-upand meaning of economic activity. Calculated pursuitof gain is in fact never what it is made out to be wheneconomic action is separated from the rest of life, forin fact it is what it is because of a complex social environmentinvolving scientific, legal, political and domesticconditions. 350c69d7ab


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