Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 25.djvu/551

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537
THE MORALITY OF HAPPINESS.

why Warsaw should not furnish a large share of the six million barrels of home-made salt that are required every year, even if Syracuse gives a million and a half and Saginaw three and a quarter millions toward the product.

 

THE MORALITY OF HAPPINESS.
By THOMAS FOSTER.

CARE OF OTHERS AS A DUTY.

I ENTER now on a portion of my subject where I shall seem less at issue with those who repeat with their lips, and fancy they hold in their hearts (though they never think of following in their lives), certain rules of conduct in which due care of self is treated as objectionable and evil is spoken of as not to be resisted but encouraged. I shall still be at issue with those who assert, apparently without thinking—certainly without alleging any reasons—that conduct and duty are not matters for scientific discussion at all, that they have no scientific aspect, and that such considerations as the progress and improvement of life, the increase of the fullness and happiness of life, and so forth, have no bearing whatever, and should have none, on our opinion as to what is right or wrong. But we may very well afford to disregard objections having so little relation to actual facts. Every one really guides his conduct in large part by such considerations as many thus allege to have no proper bearing on conduct; nor can any one draw a line beyond which such considerations must not operate: when any one has tried to do so, and perhaps imagines he has succeeded, then I shall simply meet his objection with the remark that he need consider what I have said and what I may hereafter say as only applying to such parts of conduct as he has admitted to be within the range of scientific discussion.

Let us take, now, the doctrine that while due care of self comes to each man, and indeed to every creature having life, as essentially first, yet due care of others—though second to due care of self—is as absolutely essential. The two are interdependent—and that to such degree that neither can exist without the other. The great difference in the treatment which science has to extend to the two forms of duty—the egoistic and the altruistic—resides in this, that whereas in insisting on egoistic duties science is really insisting on what every normally-constituted man is already apt to attend to, in insisting on altruistic duties science is insisting on duties woefully neglected, despite the fervor with which they are verbally enjoined. Many reject egoistic duties in words, who look so carefully after their own interests in action that those who inculcate due care of self as a duty are ashamed to have to admit such utter selfishness as among the results