The Ethics of Evolution: The Crisis in Morals Occasioned by the Doctrine of Development

Small, Maynard, 1900 - 315 ˹

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˹ 128 - Now, that moral injunctions are losing the authority given by their supposed sacred origin, the secularization of morals is becoming imperative. Few things can happen more disastrous than the decay and death of a regulative system no longer fit, before another and fitter regulative system has grown up to replace it.
˹ 226 - As among these, so among primitive men, the weakest and stupidest went to the wall, while the toughest and shrewdest, those who were best fitted to cope with their circumstances, but not the best in any other sense, survived. Life was a continual free fight, and beyond the limited and temporary relations of the family, the Hobbesian war of each against all was the normal state of existence.
˹ 237 - ... that under any circumstances sociability is the greatest advantage in the struggle for life. Those species which willingly or unwillingly abandon it are doomed to decay ; while those animals which know best how to combine have the greatest chances...
˹ 57 - Moreover, just as we there saw that evolution becomes the highest possible when the conduct simultaneously achieves the greatest totality of life in self, in offspring, and in fellow men ; so here we see that the conduct called good rises to the conduct conceived as best, when it fulfils all three classes of ends at the same time.
˹ 24 - And there has followed the corollary that conduct gains ethical sanction in proportion as the activities, becoming less and less militant and more and more industrial, are such as do not necessitate mutual injury or hindrance, but consist with, and are furthered by, co-operation and mutual aid.
˹ 91 - Generally speaking, then, pleasures are the concomitants of medium activities, where the activities are of kinds liable to be in excess or in defect ; and where they are of kinds not liable to be excessive, pleasure increases as the activity increases, except where the activity is either constant or involuntary.
˹ 121 - This originates from experience of those several forms of restraint that have, as above described, established themselves in the course of civilization the political, religious, and social. To the effects of punishments inflicted by law and public opinion on conduct of certain kinds, Dr. Bain ascribes the feeling of moral obligation. And I agree with him to the extent of thinking that by them is generated the sense of compulsion which the consciousness of duty includes...
˹ 29 - ... the absolutely right, in conduct, can be that only which produces pure pleasure pleasure unalloyed with pain anywhere. By implication, conduct which has any concomitant of pain, or any painful consequence, is partially wrong...
˹ 137 - So I say with reference to the means "justice" and "injustice" in reference to the end "happiness." Injustice is in this case the better means, as it better secures the surplus of pleasure over pain, which is the supreme good. Nay, in your "Data of Ethics" (p. 95), you have said the same thing in as many words. "If the rules of right living are those of which the total results, individual and general, direct and indirect, are most conducive to human happiness; then it is absurd to ignore the immediate...
˹ 120 - I believe that the experiences of utility, organized and consolidated through all past generations of the human race, have been producing corresponding nervous modifications, which, by continued transmission and accumulation, have become in us certain faculties of moral intuition, certain emotions corresponding to right and wrong conduct, which have no apparent basis in the individual experiences of utility.