Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 11.djvu/571

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CIVILIZATION AND MORALS.

gible but intangible things become thus associated with the personality of our fellow-man, and give rise to these indirect relationships. His opinions and beliefs, his friendships and his reputation, the objects of his affections, the franchises that he acquires under the artificial institutions of society, are all examples of the intangible things which become intervening subjects and objects in many of the relationships that a man sustains toward his fellow-men. The indirectness of the relationships thus created is productive of great complexity in them, and gives rise to much confusion of moral notions with reference to the conduct that is incident to them. Out of all the complications that arise, however, there is not one distinctly new quality evolved. We distinguish in this region of conduct such absolute characteristics as those of honesty (under many names) and tolerance, but they are all of the composite class, and have their root, for the most part, in justice and truthfulness intermingled, with benevolence sometimes imparting its amiable tone to them.

As the result of our survey, then, we have discovered but four absolute qualities in human conduct that are simple and radical, while we have traced a very few of the numerous qualities that are composite, or derived, to the relationships out of which they arise. We have:

Of radical qualities of the personal order—courage and truthfulness.

Of radical qualities of the social order—benevolence and justice.

Of derived and composite qualities of the personal order—temperance, chastity, fortitude, patience, etc., with their opposites.

Of derived and composite qualities of the social order—two classes, viz.:

1. Incident to direct social relationships: charity, generosity, magnanimity, mercifulness, kindness, fidelity, patriotism, etc., with their many-named opposites.

2. Incident to indirect social relationships: honesty in all its forms, and with all its opposites, which are numerous in the nomenclature of morals.

Having acquired, so far as this, a partly definite notion of morals, we may now return to take up the conception of civilization, and bring the two sets of ideas into conjunction.

I did not venture to say of civilization that it is "a certain degree of progress" in the state of man, because there are those who deny that the cumulative succession of changes, in man and society, which appear in the process called civilization, are, on the whole, progressive chances. Their denial, moreover, has reference entirely to the moral features of the process. They do not question the fact that human history, in the civilized communities, is a history of intellectual development and advancement. They concede the largest claims that can be made as to the growth of knowledge among men; as to the