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The Scientific Basis of National Progress
Including that of Morality

written by "Gore, George, 1826-1909"
... former process being an empirical one, is very uncertain and cannot be employed for the judicial detection of truth, or the certain discrimination of it from error, it has however to be trusted to in all cases where we are deficient in knowledge, or have not time for investigation. Truthful ideas and correct conduct also, which at first require the exercise of considerable intellect and much self-discipline, in order to arrive at them, become by habit so completely converted into acquired tendencies as to be automatic. It is not improbable {128}that many of our truthful ideas and correct tendencies were originally arrived at by intellectual processes; and have become incorporated into our mental and physical structure by habit, education, and inheritance. The scientific basis of morality is further shewn and essentially proved by the fact that the fundamental rules of morality are dependent upon scientific principles. According to Dr. Clarke, the two fundamental "rules of righteousness" which regulate our moral conduct are, first, that we should do unto another what we would, under like circumstances, have him do unto us; and second, that we should constantly endeavour to promote to the utmost of our power, the welfare and happiness of all men (to the latter might well be added, the welfare of all sentient creatures). The first of these rules is essentially dependent upon the scientific principle of causation, viz:—that the same cause, acting under the same circumstances, always produces the same effect, if what we did for another person under like circumstances might produce a different effect to what it would when done for ourself, the rule could not be depended upon and would be of no use. The second also agrees with the great principles of science, for the more we obey those principles, the more do we really "promote the happiness and welfare of all men." The first of these...

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