Hermann Marcus Kottinger.

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3. Behavior Towards Animals.

(a)— Tke Hornets' Nest.

A boy who delighted in torturing animals once discovered a
hornets' nest near the woods which skirted the pasture lands of a
Mr. Williams. He plagued them from day to day, till they be-
came very cross, and then he got some salt, and called Mr. Will-
iams' horses and cattle in the field, and fed them with it under and
around the little tree on which the hornets' nest hung. As soon as
they were, well engaged in licking the salt, he threw a club against
the nest, when out came the hornets upon the horses and cows, and
stung them dreadfully. They ran, and snorted, and kicked as
though they would kill themselves. But he got punished. He was
so much pleased to see the poor horses jump and writhe in agony,
that he forgot himself, leaped out from his concealment, hopping
up and down, slapping iiis hands, and laughed and shouted at a
great rate. A portion of the hornets were attracted by him, and
in the midst of his shouts he felt a dreadful sting inflicted on his
face, and, before he could flee, he was stung with much severity
several times. Next day his face and his eyes were so swollen that


he could not see. It soon l)ecame generally known how he had be-
haved in the matter, and no one felt pity lor the cruel boy. His
young companions jeered and laughed at him.

(b) — Sir Isaac IVe^vton.

You remember, I suppose,, the story of an apple's falling on the
head of Isaac Newton, and thus leading him to discover the
force of gravitation., which keeps the heavenly bodies in their
courses. But did you ever hear the story ot Newton, and his little
dog Diamond ? One day, when he was fifty years old, and had
been hard at work more than twenty years studying the theory of
light, he went out of his chamber, leaving his little dog asleep
before the fire.

On the table lay a heap of manuscript papers containing all the
discoveries which Newton had made during those twenty years
When his master was gone, up rose little Diamond, jumped up on
the table, and overthrew the lighted candle. The papers imme-
diately caught fire. Just as the destruction was completed, Newton
opened the chamber door, and perceived that the labors of twenty
years were reduced to a heap of ashes. There stood little Diamond,
the author of all the mischief.

Almost any other man would have sentenced the dog to immedi-
ate death But Newton patted him on the head with his usual kind-
ness, although grief was at his heart. '* Oh, Diamond, Diamond,"
he exclaimed, " thou little knowest the mischief thou hast done!"
— Nath. Hawthorne.


Doctrine of Duties and Rights.


" Reason, Observation, and Experience, — the Holy Trinity of Science, — have
taught us that happiness is the only good ; that the time -to be happy is now, and
the way to be happy is to make others so. This is enough for us," — Rob. Inger-
soil, '■'■The Gods."


§ 1. Explanations— Man's Moral Faculties.

What does Nature assign to every one of its creatures ?

Its peculiar destiny.

By what do we discern the destination of a thing?

By its constitution.

By what do we also discern the destined end of Man ?

By his faculties and forces.

What does Man (according to the common usage of language)
naturally possess ?

He possesses a body, senses, a mind, intellect, reason, con-
science, different impulses, etc.

What force is the human Mind in the general signification of the
word ?

It is the force by which we perceive, feel and desire. The force
of perceiving is also called Intellect.

What do we discern by Intellect and Reason ?

By Intellect we discern truth and error ; by Reason, what is
right and wrong, good and bad

What is Mind in the stricter sense ?

The faculty of the feelings. In this signification we call it also
the Heart.

How many classes of feelings are there ?

Two, viz : sensations and emoticns.


How do sensations differ from emotions ?

Sensations are caused by impressions on the senses e. g., hunger,
thirst, heat, and cold. Emotions are occasioned by an excited
condition of mind, e. g. love, hatred, gratitude, repentance.

Can Reason also be cultivated ?

It can be cultivated, like every other faculty.

In what regard is Reason called Conscie?icc ?

As far as its verdicts refer to our own actions, and are joined
with approbation and content, or with reproach and repentance.

Does Conscience always remain the same ?

No ; it changes in proportion as we grow better or worse, or at-
tain a higher grade of culture.

What else is Conscience called ?

Moral Sense.

What is liunian ivill ?

It is the power of man to commence an act for himself.

Is human will absolutely free ?

No, it is only so far free as man can resolve according to what
he has perceived to be good or bad, right or wrong.

By what is our will induced to action ?

By motives.

Under what kind of necessity does the honest man act?

Under moral necessity.

What do we acquire by our senses?

We acquire by them our notions of objects (see intuit, of the
Univ., §§ lo, II ).

What do the notions of objects write in our mind ?

Wishes and desires.

What do, by degrees, spring out of the wishes and desires?

if they are often satisfied, propensities, habits, passions spring
out of them.

Is the power of habits strong ?

It is almost irresistible ; habit becomes a new nature of man.

What impulses did Nature give to Man?

Different impulses; e.g., the impulse to preserve his life, to
procure food, property, honor; the impulse of sympathy, which
moves us to take interest in the sufferings and joys of our fellow-
men, etc.


What is man's highest faculty?

Reason : it is the highest prerogative in which man excels

§ 2. Human Destination.

What is the proper way for man to reach his destination ?

The only proper way is to develop harmoniously all his facul-
ties and forces, and to use them according to Nature's laws.

Must he destroy some of them ?

He should destroy no faculty,— on the contrary, grant every one
its claim ; he must only subordinate the lower to the higher ones.

What do Man's nature and constitution teach us to consider as
his destination ?

Man's nature and constitution teach us that he is destined to
promote his own happiness or welfare, and that of his fellow-

How does man attain this end, viz : his own welfare and that of
others ?

By satisfying in a natural way all his faculties.*

Does experience confirm this view of human destination?

Experience confirms it, for we see that all men endeavor to be-
come happy. Nobody carries his wheat to market with the inten-
tion of giving it away, but for the sake of his profit.

But what does not constitute human happiness ?

Grossly sensual enjoyments do not constitute it ; suffice it that
our necessary wants are satisfied, that we live free of pain, fear,
covetousness, and other base passions; that we enjoy a pure con-
science. " Sound health, moderate fortune, and a mind well
stored with knowledge ; these are the grand ingredients of happi-
ness."— Thales, 643 A. C.**

But what confers the highest deg»-ee of happiness ?

The consciousness of generous actions ; e. g., when a mother


*" Man's happiness can only be produced by the exercise of his faculties.'' "Happ
consists in the due satisfaction of all the desires, that is, in the due exercise of all the facult
— Herb. Spencer, Soc. Statistics., }>/>. 92, 93.

**'fha/es, Solon, Bias, Aristotle, Fittactis, Democritus, Cleobulus, belonged to the famous
Greek philosophers. Thny lived long before Christ. There is a vulgar notion among Christians
that there never were any views of morality before the Bible was composed, and that without
this book we should have no idea of right and wrong. 'I'his notion is gratuitous and presump-
tuous. Morality existed before the Bible existed, and will exist when the Bible is obsolete.
We can find morality of the highest and purest character in the writrng-* of men who lived along
ime before Christ. Morality is perfectly independent of the Jewish and Christian Text Book


joyfully sacrifices her life for her child. Virtue is its own recom-

But whose aid do we need in order to be happy ourselves?

In order to be hajjpy, we need the aid of other persons ; for no-
body is able alone to provide for all his wants.

Wliat do people soon find out ?

They soon find out whether we are selfish, unjust and uncharitable.

What will they do when this is the case ?

They will do to us just as we have done to them.

In what way must we, then, procure the tavor of other persons ?

By justice and kindness.

How must we, therefore, behave towards them, if we want to be
happy ?

In order to be happy, we must make also others happy.
Finally, nobody is always happy.*

>^ 3. D^aties— Virtue and Vice— Their Consequences— Doctrine

of Duties.

Who is said to be prudent ?

He who for his own advantage is induced to perform any action.

When do we call an action moral ?

If man acts according to reason and conscience, his action is
called moral, or absolutely good.

What kind of a motive must there be at the bottom of a moral

A moral intention must be its motive.

What does Reason comnand man to do?

Reason commands him to do what is good and right, and to

shun what is bad and wrong.

What is Reason, therefore, to his moral life?

Its legislator.

What do we call the laws of Reason?

Duties, which man is obliged to fulfil.

What is virtue ?

♦The principle of the doctrine of Happiness is recognized by the most celebrated philoso-
phers on florals, e. g., by H. Spencer, who even says: " Human welfare agrees with the
Divine will ; that's the doctrine of all our Theologians " This remark may put at ease those
persons who cannot think that moral conduct without religion is possible.


Virtue is the performance of the laws of Reason.

Whom do we call virtuous ?

Him who always performs his duties.

What do we call the contrary of virtue and virtuous?

Vice and vicious.
Is there only one virtue and one vice ?

There are several virtues and vices, e. g. , the virtue of temper-
ance, of application, of placability; the vice of avarice, of
envy, etc.

Who acts wisely?

He who in order to attain moral purposes, chooses also the
aptest means.

What are the consequences of virtue and vice?

Viruie affords man inward content, the respect and love of
others, often also prosperity, and at all events the supreme happi-
ness of life. Vice deprives him of peace of mind, racks him with
the stings of his conscience, destroys the health of his body and
his mental faculties, and heaps the hatred and contempt of others
upon him. Every one bears in himself his heaven and his hell.

Why, then, ought we to practice virtue and to shun vice ?

Because that creates happiness, — this unhappiness.

What are Morals in Ethics?

They are the science which teaches us the knowledge of human

Why is this science useful ?

Because it teaches us to know our duties, upon the practice of
which our welfare depends.

Are morals and manners synonymous terms ?

No; the latter regard only the outward deportment of man, the
way of life according to custom and convenience. Manners
change in the course of time, and are very different with diverse
nations. Hut the fundamental laws of Ethics are eternal, immuta-
ble and universally valid.

§ 4. First Principles of Ethics.

What are moral principles?

Such propositions as those from which the special precepts of
Morals can be derived.

What is the use of priiK iples in Ethics?

They facilitate the knowledge and peiforuiane.e oi human duties.

To what may a first principle be compared ?

To a standard which, as it were, ought to lead us on in the path
of virtue.

Several such principles have been devised by the teachers of
moral philosphy. Some of them here are stated :

1. Promote your own welfare, and that of your fellow creatures.

2. Seek after happiness.

3. Seek after happiness by dint of virtue. (The term " happi-
ness " must be understood in the sense which has been pointed out
in § 2.)

4. Seek after virtue.

5. Act always in such a manner that your conduct could be-
come the law for all intellectual creatures.

6. Seek after virtue and justice.

7. Try to become useful to yourself and to others.

8. Act always according to Nature's laws.

9. Act according to your perfect conviction of right.

10. Act in accordance with the voice of Reason and Conscience,
as far as both these faculties are developed and cultivated. *' Make
Reason thy guide." — Solon, 63S a. C.

On the last principle it must be remarked that there also is an
erroneous, a narrow and lax, a dei?d conscience. Conscience
among different nations permits many actions which are con-
demned before the tribunal of pure morality. So e. g. savage na-
tions don't consider theft a crime. Among Arabs it is a common
practice to rob and ransack travelers. In Turkey, China, and Hin-
doostan, polygamy rules without causing any scandal. The higher
castes in Europe and America consider the duel a matter of honor.
On several islands of the Pacific the custom is in vogue of killing
old people, even one's own parents, in order to get rid of them.
In this way rude people always have acted. Jews, Mohammedans
and Christians believed that it was a kind of ilivine service to ex-
terrninaic Infidels — as they called their religious antagonists — with
fire and sword. Moses and David did not feel any remorse, — the
former, when he had ordered to cut down 3,000 Israelites as an ex-


piatory sacrifice to the Lord ; the latter, when he put the inhabit-
ants of the conquered town Rubba under iron saws and choppers,
and burned them in brick-kilns (II. Sam., 12-31). The Carthagen-
ians, Phenicians, and Persians were not at all deterred by their con-
science from burning alive their own children as sacrifices, etc.
Again, men have in different times and countries diverse notions
of right and wrong, according as their reason is rude or cultivated.

Is there in man anything like innate conscience ?

No ! Conscience is the product of education, built up by the
lives of millions of men, resting in the bottom of humanity.

How far, then, can Reason and Conscience be supreme legis-
lators for our conduct ?

Only as far as they, like other faculties of the mind, have been
developed and cultivated.

By what means are they developed and cultivated ?

By domestic education, by the instruction of the school, by ex-
])erience, etc.

Other principles, upon which the precepts of the single divisions
of Ethics rest, will be presented in their proper place.

§ 5. Division of Ethics,

How are duties divided ?

In order to facilitate the review of the great number of the
ethical precepts, duties usually are divided into two branches, into
duties : First, towards ourselves (personal duties) ; and second,
in duties towards other persons.

How are these duties of the second class subdivided ?

Into duties : First, of Benevolence (Humanity) ; and secondly,
duties of Justice.

What kind of duties form the contents of Morals in the stricter
sense of the word ?

The duties towards ourselves, and the duties of benevolence.

Can the Divine will also be a first principle of Ethics ?

No ; for History proves that people often believe or pretend the
suggestions of their passions to be God's will. (Cf. Hist, of the
Rel , § 16.) Moreover, we do not know by experience any other
will than that of man.


What duties form the contents of the doctrine of Justice?

The duties of Justice.

To those two parts of duties often the duties towards God and
animals are added. The duties towards God cannot here be con-
sidered, because many persons do not beb'eve in the existence of
an individual which they call God, though they acknowledge the
obligation of moral laws.


ETHICS (in the Stricter Sense).

/. Ditties Towards Oitrselves {Per-
S07tal Dzities^

I 6. First Principles.

1. Endeavor to make yourself happy.

2. Endeavor to preserve yourself.

What impulse of human nature is the strongest ?
The impulse of self-preservation.

3. Seek after perfection.

4. Cultivate the faculties of your body, intellect and mind har-

5. Let this be your device : A sound mind in a sound body !

6. Advance with the Time !

§ 7. General Duties Towards Ourselves.

I. Love yourself!

What does it mean to love ourselves ?

To love ourselves means to look for everything which is useful
to us, and to keep off everything which is noxious to us.

Why ought we to love ourselves?

Because thereby we obey the instincts of our nnture (cf. views
of the Univ., § 11).


2 . Respect yourself.

Why ought every body to respect himself?

Because man is elevated far above the other creatures, and
especially because he excels them in his moral faculties, and in his
desires for perfection. "Those who respect themselves will be
honorable ; but he who thinks lightly of himself, will be held
cheap by the world." — Chinese Proverb.

3. What should we, therefore, shun ?
We should shun all tollies and vices.
Why should we shun them ?

Because by them we debase ourselves below the animals, hurt
the dignity of free rational beings, and therefore act against the
respect we owe to ourselves.

For what other reason ought we to avoid follies and vices ?

Because thoy bring about noxious consequences. No folly, no
vice remains with impunity. Nature takes vengeance for every
trespass on her laws.

4. We should nol be proud and haughty.
What does pride do ?

It overrates one's self, and undervalues or despises others.

Why should we not be proud ?

Because all men own the nobility of the same nature, and have
the like destination as ourselves.

What are the different kinds of pride ?

Pride of money, of caste, of titles, of scholarship, of art, of
priesthood, of beauty (vanity), of virtue, of creed, etc.

Why ought we not to be proud of our virtue ?

Bec3.use nobody is quite perfect and without any moral defect,
besides no man is entirely the author of his moral excellence.

Why not of genius?

Because it is a mere gift of Nature.

Why not of knowledge and ability?

Because modesty is the highest ornament of a true scholar and

Why not of money and property ?

Money and property do not impart to man an intrinsic value,
and are for the most part gifts of Fortune.


Why not of beauty?
Because it is lading away.
What are the sad consequences of pride ?

Pride makes man ridiculous and odious to others, and he is often
humiliated. A proverb says: Pride goes before fall.

5. On the contrary, we ought to be unassuming and modest.

What consciousness ought to induce us to be modest ?

The consciousness that we are yet far from the goal of perfection.


§ S. 1.— Duties with Hegard to Our Life and Health.

1. What is ou'- first duty towards ourselves?
To take care of our life and health.

For what reason ?

Because love of life and its sound condition is innate to man ;
life and health are the groundwork of happiness, and the first con-
dition to attain moral excellence.

2. What duty follows from that of self-preservation ?
Our duty to employ all means tending to this purpose.
What means are subservient to this purpose ?

Industry, wholesome articles of subsistence, to which fresh water
also belongs, suitable clothing, cleanliness, washings and baths,
hardening exercises, rest and sleep, etc.

3. What ought we, therefore, to avoid ?
Everything which baffles that purpose.
What should we avoid in particular?

Intemperance in food and drink (gluttony, and propensity- to
drunkenness), effeminacy, lewdness, foolhardy risks, and the sway
of the passions.

What evil consequences follow intemperance and voluptuous-
ness ?

Painful and infamous diseases, contempt, and often also the loss
of wealth.

4. What is the couutcrpait of lewdness?

Modesty and chastity.

What docs chastil) re(iuire of us ?


It requires us lo close our eyes, ears and heart against everything
w^iich is impudent and indecent, to shun intercourse with frivolous
and vicious persons, and to perform not even in solitude any deed
for which our conscience would cause us to blush, if we were sur-
surprised at it by respectable persons. " Do nothing shameful,
though you are alone." — Democritus, a Greek philosopher,
470 A. C.

5. What mortifications and self-castigations are in vogue among
several religious sects ?

Fasting, nocturnal watching (vigils), self-flagellation, living in
celibacy, etc.

Why should such customs be avoided ?

Because they also destroy the forces of the body. All natural
instincts are necessary and sacred ; none ought to be destroyed.
(Cf. Hist, of Rel, § 13 : Monasteries.)

6. What does the duty of self-preservation require of us, if we
fall sick?

It requires us, in this case, to employ the best and most con-
venient means to recover our health.

Whom ought we especially to consult ?

We ought to consult a competent, skillful physician, and to use
careluUy the remedies prescribed by him.

Against whom and what ought the patient to be carefully on his
guard ?

Against quacks and quackery.

7 . Is man in no case at liberty to give up life ?

There may cases happen in which he is permitted to do so ; nay,
sometimes it may prove even our duty to sacrifice life, e. g., if our
country is threatened by a great danger. "Life is not the highest
good of man, but the greatest evil is guilt." — Schiller.

8. Why ought we also to cultivate and improve the faculties of
our body ?

Because the body is the instrument of mind.
What kind of exercises ought therefore to be introduced in all
schools ?

Exercise of bodily training (gymnastics).
What are the advantages they afford?


They procure strength, dexterity^ and beauty to the body, and
dispose the mind to cheerfulness.*

§ 9. 2.— With Eegard to Property.

1. What do we want in order to be able to conserve life?
Fortune and property.

To what other ends is property a good help ?
To mental culture ; also to benefitting others and ])rocuring for
ourselves higher comforts of life.

2. In what way is property justly acquired ?
By industry, parsimony, and prudence.
What good results follow industry ?

It gives us courage, love of life, cheerfulness, and independence.
Industry affords honor to man.

What are the consequences of idleness ?

Idleness leads to indigence and distress, to shame and contempt,
to dejection, dependence upon others, and quite often to crimes,
even. '•' Be not idle, though rich." — Thales.

3. What vices form the counterparts of parsimony ?

Prodigality, avarice, and greediness.

What punishment is often inflicted upon the prodigal ?

The punishment of poverty ; he is brought down to beggary.

Whom do we call avaricious ?

We call him avaricious who grudges to both himself and to his
fellow- creatures the necessary comforts of life, and values money
and riches higher than anything else.

What is the natural chastisement of the miser ?

His life is miserable ; he is despised and forsaken by others, and
he is saving for laughing heirs who will not thank him.

Who is called greedy?

He whose desire to acquire fortune knows no limit.

To what crimes are the covetous easily misled ?

To fraud and injustice.

What virtue ought we to practice in order to secure a happy lite,
while we endeavor to gather earth's blessings ?

*"A School Hoiird should incUKlc physical training and drill as part of the regular business of
school. It is impossible to insist too much on the importance of this part of education for the
chihlren of the poor of great towns 1 should give/to grant to a sohoo! in whicii physical train-
ing is not a piirt of the programme, or, at any rate, offer to pay upon such trainin^^.'' — Huxley,
Critiques, p 44.


In order to secure a happy life, we must practice frugality.

Are riches necessary for a happy life ?

No ; the necessaries of nature can be satisfied by a small measure
of her gifts.

To what transgressions do riches easily mislead man ?

To extravagance, haughtiness, laziness, effeminacy and disgrace-
ful debauchery.

How ought the man, who is blessed with riches, to use them?

He ought to use them for his own benefit, and for the welfare of

§ 10. 3.— With Eegard to Mental Culture.

How do we satisfy the desire for getting knowledge ?

By mental culture.

Online LibraryHermann Marcus KottingerThe youth's liberal guide for their moral culture and religious enlightenment → online text (page 7 of 28)