Page:Appearance and Reality (1916).djvu/219

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feature is submerged. But, unfortunately for your view, that feature really is not pain but pleasure. The universe, taken as a whole, suffers therefore sheer pain and is hence utterly evil.” But I do not propose to undertake here an examination of pessimism. That would consist largely in the weighing of psychological arguments on either side, and the result of these is in my opinion fatal to pessimism. In the world, which we observe, an impartial scrutiny will discover more pleasure than pain, though it is difficult to estimate, and easy to exaggerate, the amount of the balance. Still I must confess that, apart from this, I should hold to my conclusion. I should still believe that in the universe there is preponderance of pleasure. The presumption in its favour is based on a principle from which I see no escape (Chapter xiv.), while the world we see is probably a very small part of the reality. Our general principle must therefore be allowed to weigh down a great deal of particular appearance; and, if it were necessary, I would without scruple rest my case on this argument. But, on the contrary, no such necessity exists. The observed facts are clearly, on the whole, in favour of some balance of pleasure. They, in the main, serve to support our conclusion from principle, and pessimism may, without hesitation, be dismissed.

We have found, so far, that there is a possibility of pain ceasing, as such, to exist in the Absolute. We have shown that this possibility can to some extent be verified in experience. And we have a general presumption in favour of an actual balance of pleasure. Hence once more here, as before with error, possibility is enough. For what may be, if it also must be, assuredly is.

There are readers, perhaps, who will desire to go farther. It might be urged that in the Absolute pain not merely is lost, but actually serves as a kind of stimulus to heighten the pleasure. And doubt-