SENTIMENTS AND IDEALS IOI
duct There are no sentiments of love or admiration for the morally bad principles of conduct. Nobody loves in justice, or inhumanity, or untruth, or any other abstract prin ciple of conduct of an immoral or anti-social character, however often they may be led to the performance of indi vidual acts or the assumption of individual attitudes of such a character under the impulsion of the concrete sentiments. And herein lies one of the distinguishing excellences of the abstract sentiments. Another excellence is that they are organized around general ideas, which means that in them the emotions are under the control of reason. They are lifted as far as possible above the instinct-controlled level of life. In them the instincts impel, but do not direct.
It will be noted that the moral significance of only those abstract sentiments organized about principles of conduct has been considered. But what about the abstract senti ments organized with respect to generic institutions? In stitutions are the organized relations of men to one another ; and are, therefore, the embodiments of ethical principles. Our sentiments for them are blended with those organized with respect to moral principles. The generic institutions are idealizations of particular ones, and the sentiments or ganized about them are never of an immoral or anti-social character ; and are of a more ideal character than those felt for particular institutions. Now, one does not have a sen timent of attachment for a particular institution the anti social character of which is apparent to him, and much less for a generic institution which is the idealization of a par ticular one of this character. It is a notable fact that the institutions whose anti-social character is manifest are never defended except as necessary or unavoidable evils. An evil institution, such as the saloon or the brothel, does not inspire a sentiment of love or devotion even in the hearts of those whose material interests may lead them to defend its existence and extenuate its evil. And the tendency to ex tenuate its evil while defending it as a necessary evil is sig-