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warrant the grave evils which its seekers cause. When the Titanic was sinking, the boat's officers shot several men who tried to jump into the lifeboats ahead of the women and children. It was probably the only way to stop a mad panicstricken rush, which would have endangered the lives of all as well as broken the chivalrous code which is worth so much sacrifice. The evil of shooting down unarmed and frightened men was great; but it was undoubtedly justified by the end attained. Whether any of the other instances mentioned are cases where the evil done would be similarly justified by the end, if thereby attained, we shall not here discuss. But the principle is evident. The end justifies evil means only if it is so supremely good as to overbalance that evil.

(2) It is pertinent, however, to add two considerations. First, we must feel sure that no less harmful means are available. And secondly, we must feel sure that these evil means are really adapted to attain the purpose. Is there no other way of securing votes for women than by the hysterical and criminal pranks our British sisters have been playing? And will those irritating acts actually forward their cause, or tend to bring about a revulsion of feeling? Did the crimes of the Jesuits make the Church triumphant? Not in the long run. Immediate gains may often be won by unpleasant methods, as in the case of the Titanic. But when the struggle is bound to be a long one, as in the case of woman's suffrage and industrial justice, methods which (not to beg the question) would ordinarily be criminal are seldom in the end advantageous. The McNamara case hurt the I. W. W. sorely. Suffrage legislation has possibly been retarded in Britain. And in both cases there are probably more efficacious, as well as less harmful, ways of attaining the desired



(3) It is strictly true that the end, human welfare, justifies any means necessary to attain it. Whatever pain must be caused to bring about the greatest possible human happiness is thereby exempt from reprobation. Whatever conduct is necessary for that supreme end becomes morality, or virtue; for that is precisely what morality is. For example, it is undoubtedly necessary at times to murder, to steal, and to lie for the sake of human welfare; in such cases these acts are universally approved. Only, we give the acts in such cases new names, that the words “murder,” etc., may retain their air of reprobation. We call murder of which we approve “capital punishment” or “justifiable homicide" or “patriotic courage.” If taking a man's property without his consent is stealing, then the State steals; but, approving the act, we call it “eminent domain."

(4) The motto has its chief danger, perhaps, in the tendency it encourages to ignore remoter consequences for the sake of immediate gain. This point we will consider under the following topic.

What is the justification of justice and chivalry?

If the greatest total of human happiness is the supreme end of conduct, was not Caiaphas right in deeming it expedient that one man should die for the people, even though he were innocent of all sin? Were not the French

officers sane in preferring to make Dreyfus their scapegoat rather than bring dishonor and shame upon their army? For that matter, does not the aggregate of enjoyment of a score of cannibals outweigh the suffering of the one man whom they have sacrificed to their appetite, or the delirious excitement with which a brutal crowd witnesses a lynching overbalance the pain of their solitary victim? Yet our souls revolt against such things. We cry, ruat cælum, fiat justitial Justice is prior to all expediency! Is this irrational, or can it be shown to be teleologically justifiable?



Justice is undoubtedly justifiable; and the only reason that we ever hesitate to acknowledge it in any concrete case is that we tend to overlook indirect and remote results and see only the immediate effect of action. The harm done by injustice consists not merely in the pain inflicted upon

the victim. There is the sympathetic pain caused in all those who are at all tender-hearted. There is the sense of insecurity caused in each by the realization that he too might some day be a victim; when justice is not enforced no man is safe. There is the stimulation given to human passions by one indulgence which will breed a whole crop of pain. There is the danger that if injustice is allowed in one case where a great good seems to warrant it, it will be practised in other cases where no such necessity exists. Men are not to be trusted to judge clearly of relative advantages where their passions are concerned; they must bind themselves by an inflexible code.

The cases cited are comparatively clear. No one would seriously contend that cannibalism or lynching, the execution of Christ, or the banishment of Dreyfus, made in the direction of the greatest happiness of mankind. But it has been seriously urged that the insane and the feeble and the morally worthless should be killed off, as they were in some sterner ancient states. Why should we guarantee life and liberty to such as are a useless drag upon the community, spend upon them millions which might be spent for bringing joy and recreation to the rest of us? Or again, if medical men need a living human victim to experiment upon, in order to conquer some devastating disease, why not pounce upon some good-for-nothing member of the community and force him to undergo the pain? The considerations enumerated in the preceding paragraph, however, bid us halt. Imagine the anxiety and the anguish that would be caused if some commission were free to determine who were insane or feeble


or worthless enough to be put out of the way! Or free to select a human victim for vivisection whenever experts deemed it wise! The widespread horror and uneasiness of such a régime, the callousness to suffering it would engender, the private revenges and crimes that might insidiously creep in under the guise of public good, are alone enough to render vicious such a procedure.

It is true that one person's suffering is less of an evil than the suffering of many. The State, by universal consent, inflicts undeserved suffering upon individuals when the social welfare seems to require it; as when it takes away a man's beloved acre to built a railroad or highway, or when it compels vaccination, or when it drafts soldiers for the national defense and sends them to their death. When a man volunteers to risk his life or to endure pain for his fellows we rightly applaud his act. In such a case the ill effects above mentioned do not follow, and the gain is clear; in addition, the stimulating value of the voluntary self-sacrifice is great. The American soldiers who risked their lives to rid Cuba and the world of yellow fever, by offering themselves for inoculation with the disease, stand among the world's heroes.

It is also true that "rights" are not primitive and transcendent; their existence rests upon purely utilitarian grounds. The right to liberty and life is limited by the community's welfare. So is the right to property. But in estimating advantage we must beware of a superficial calculation. The concept of justice, and the enthusiasm for it, have been of enormous value to man's happiness. It is of extreme importance, from a eudæmonistic standpoint, to cherish that ideal. Even if in some individual case a greater general happiness would result from infringing upon it, we cannot afford to do so; we should find ourselves lapsing into less advantageous habits and incurring unforeseen penalties.


Chivalry is in like case with justice. It might have seemed better for the world that the able and distinguished men should have been saved from the Titanic - some of them were men of considerable importance in various lines of work — rather than less-needed women. But the effect of the noble example in strengthening the will to sacrifice self for others, and in maintaining our beautiful devotion to woman, was worth the cost. Fox was right when he said, “Example avails ten times more than precept.” Even if the loss had been greater than it was, it would have been better to incur it than to allow an exception to the code of chivalry. Such codes are formed with infinite pains and are very easily shattered; a little laxity here, a tolerated exception there, and the selfishness and passions of men rise to the surface and undo the work of years. At all costs we must maintain the code. In the end it pays. The greatest genius must run the risk of drowning in the endeavor to save the life of some unknown

be worthless

scamp. He may die and the scamp live, a great loss to the world. But only so can the code of honor be maintained which in the long run adds so much positive joy to man and saves him from so much pain.

In most instances, though not in some of those cited, the reward of justice and chivalry is sufficient for the individual himself. As Socrates said to Theodorus,' “The penalty of injustice cannot be escaped. . . . They do not see, in their infatuation, that they are growing like the one and unlike the other, by reason of their evil deeds; and the penalty is, that they lead a life answering to the pattern which

a they resemble.” “On the other hand,” — to supp

to supplement Plato with Emerson,2 — “the hero fears not that if he with

person who



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1 Plato, Thectetus, 176.

: Essays, First Series: "Spiritual Laws.” Cf. George Eliot, in Romolas “The contaminating effect of deeds often lies less in the commission than

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