Scientific Meliorism And the Evolution of Happiness

Cover Scientific Meliorism And the Evolution of Happiness
Genres: Nonfiction

Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER III. THE TRANSITIONAL NATURE OF SOCIAL CONDITIONS. " The Ascidian throws away its tail and its eye, and sinks into a quiescent state of inferiority. . . . We are as a race more fortunate than our ruined cousins?the degenerate Ascidians. For to us it is possible to ascertain what will conduce to our higher development, what will favour our degeneration."?Professor E. Ray Lankester, F.R.S. The doctrine of evolution is calculated to produce a twofold effect upon the human mind. It is capable of giving intellectual clearness and emotional beneficence. To do this, however, it must be thoroughly understood and logically applied to our present social state. It must be regarded as explanatory of things as they are, and prophetic of things as they will be, and should be. When the doctrine is so regarded and


applied, the evolutionist no longer feels despairing in face of a society, whose perplexing miseries and many-sided evils had hitherto overwhelmed him. A flood of light enters the field of human action. He perceives the social forces that are at work amidst apparent confusion. He apprehends their approximate causes or antecedents, and he sees that in the enlightened intellect of man there lies latent power, not to overcome, but to direct and control these forces. This knowledge alters his emotional state. Anger and disgust are undermined. They die away, and into their place is born sympathy, beneficence; for, however great may be the wrong-doing of humanity, individuals are 'not to blame. An individual is good or bad according to the conditions of his birth, the method of his education, the circumstances of his life; and by alteration of these objective phenomena (under the ruling of an enlightened and persistent reason) the subjective phenomena of individual huma... --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Scientific Meliorism And the Evolution of Happiness
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