Page:Kwaidan; Stories and Studies of Strange Things - Hearn - 1904.djvu/263

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and moral, which the facts of insect-biology have proved to be within the range of evolutional possibility? … I do not know. I most worshipfully reverence Herbert Spencer as the greatest philosopher that has yet appeared in this world; and I should be very sorry to write down anything contrary to his teaching, in such wise that the reader could imagine it to have been inspired by the Synthetic Philosophy. For the ensuing reflections, I alone am responsible; and if I err, let the sin be upon my own head.

I suppose that the moral transformations predicted by Mr. Spencer, could be effected only with the aid of physiological change, and at a terrible cost. Those ethical conditions manifested by insect-societies can have been reached only through effort desperately sustained for millions of years against the most atrocious necessities. Necessities equally merciless may have to be met and mastered eventually by the human race. Mr. Spencer has shown that the time of the greatest possible human suffering is yet to come, and that it will be concomitant with the period of the greatest possible pressure of population. Among other results of that long stress, I understand that there will be a vast increase of human intelligence and sympathy; and that this increase of intelligence