ALTRUISM 369 ALTRUISM in St. John's Pro-Cathedral, Altoona, 24 Soptombor. There has been a steady growth of the Catholic population, especially from immigration. Almost every nationality is rcprosontcil; Slavs and Italians predominate in the mining districts. There are some scattered Greek and Syrian Catholics within the limits of the diocese, who are visited occasionally by priests of their own nationality. The dioce.se is amply supplied with priests, and almost every parish luvs its school. The relations of the Catholic with the non-Catliolic body are all that could be desired, the good influence of the early Catholic settlers having done much to disarm prejudice. Catholics are well represented in the social, business, and professional life of the commimity. In the diocese there are seventy-four secular priests and sixteen regulars; with forty lay brothers, members of religious communities; about three hundred mem- bers of the various sisterhoods, chiclly engaged in teaching; and thirty parish schools educating seven thousand children. The Franciscan Brothers con- duct a college at Loretto, with an average attend- ance of about one hundred students; the .Sisters of Mercy liavo a flourishing academy at Cresson, with about the same number of young ladies. There is a children's home at Ebensburg, in charge of the Sisters of St. Joseph, with about seventy-five in- mates. SiiEEDT, The OuarfeWv (.Mtoonn). October, 1901, VII, 203; Idkm, '/'Ae Ofcscrwr. I'ittsliurgh. 25 Kebruary. 1904; L.vmbino, Hialoru of the Diocese of Pittsburgh (New York. 1880). Morgan M. Shekov. Altruism, a term formed by Augustc Comte in 18.')1, on the Italian adjective allrui, and employed by him to denote the benevolent, jus contrasted with the selfish propensities. It was introduced into Eng- lish by George H. Lewes in 1853 (Corate's Philosophy of the Sciences, 1, xxi), and popularized thereafter by expounders and advocates of Comte's philosophy. Though used primarily, in a psychological sense, to designate emotions of a reflective kind, the immedi- ate consequences of which are beneficial to others, its important significance is ethical. As such it de- fines a theory of conduct by which only actions hav- ing for their object the happiness of others pos-sess a moral value. Anticipations of this doctrine are found in Cumberland's " De Logibus Natura;" (1672), and in Shaftesbury's "Inquiry concerning Virtue and Merit" (1711). Comte, however, is tlic founder of the Social Eud;pmonism, based on Positivism, to which the name of .ltruism is given. Comte's sys- tem is both ethical and religious. Not only is the happiness to be found in living for others the su- preme end of conduct, but a disinterested devotion to Humanity as a whole is the highest form of relig- ious service. His ethical theory may be epitomized in the following propositions. (1) The dominion of feeling over thought is the normative jirinciple of human conduct, for it is the affective impulses that govern the individual and the race. (2) JIan is un- der the influence of two atTective impulses, the per- sonal or egoistic, and the social or altruistic. (3) A just balance between these two is not possible, one or other must preponderate. (4) The first condition of individual and social well-being is the subordi- nation of self-love to the benevolent impulses. (5) The first principle of morality, therefore, is the regulative supremacy of social sj-mpathy over the self-regarding instincts. To bring about the reign of altniism Comte invented a religion which sul>sti- tuted for God an alwtraction called Humanity. To this new supreme being, worship was to be paid, es- pecially in its manifestations and representatives, woman, namely, and the benefactors of the race. The religious part of Comte's system was never acceptable to more than a few of his adherents. It was too extravagant, and as he himself confesses, it transcended positive science. Even Littr6, one of the earliest, ablest, and most ardent of his followers, disavowed it. In England, it is true, it has one ad- vocate of prominence, Frederic Harrison. Practi- cally, however, it has ceased to attract any attention. The main defects of Comte's ethical system are those that are coimnon to all forms of Eudainonism: its norm of morality is relative and contingent; it pos- sesses no principles by which the quality of its sub- ject-matter, social happiness, may be defined; its unperative imposes no moral obligation. Its special defects are mainly those of Positivism, which denies or ignores any reality beyond external facts, and rec- ognizes no law except the successions, coexistences, and resemblances of these phenomena. Hence it can set Iwfore us no sumrnum bonum outside the region of sense. It confounds physical law with moral law, the fact that the affective faculty moves to action sulficing to make it also the norm of action. It, moreover, contracts the field of morality, and im- morality !us well, by making purely personal virtue or vice non-ethical. The English school of Altruists differs from the French in appealing to psychology for their facts, and in interpreting them by the prin- ciples of evolution. Comte based his system on a theory of cerebral phvsiology borrowed with modi- fications from Gall. Littrd found the origin of mo- rality in two primary physiological needs, nutrition, and reproduction, and in their transformation into the conflicting impulses of egoism and altruism. Both rejected the evolutionary hypothesis, and looked with disfavour on psychology. The representative exponent of English altruism is Herbert Spencer. The leading features of his system are these: (1) Con- duct becomes ethical in the latest stages of evolution, when it iussumes social aspects, when namely its ten- dency is to raise the aggregate happiness of the community. (2) The sense of duty originates in egoistic feelings of utility. But these in tlie process of evolution are modified by experience which asso- ciates personal happiness with social, political, and religious well-teing and their sanctions. These as- sociated experienc(>s are recorded in the brain, and by hereditary transmission, and accumulation in suc- cessive generations they finally become certain fac- ulties or moral intuitions, which we mistake for the voice of a superhuman authority. (3) The conflict between egoism and altruism is not to be removed by giving i)reponderance to cither, since pure egoism and pure altruism are both fatal to society; but by compromise of their respective claims such that the final result will be general altruism, as distinguished from the altruism tliat ministers to the egoistic sat- isfaction of others only, whether these others be in- dividuals, or the community impersonally conceived. (4) This reconciliation can only be reached when so- ciety is perfectly evolved; when namely we are so constituted that our spontaneous activities are con- gruous with conditions imposed by our social envi- ronments and social relations are so complete in their adjustments that altruism will not be associ- ated with self-s!icrifice, nor egoism with disregard for others. (.">) Hence the distinction between Ab- solute ICthics which formulates the behaviour of the completely a<lapted man in completely evolved so- ciety, and Hel.ative Ethics which enjoins only what is relatively right, or Iciust wrong. The former serves as a standard by which we estimate divergences from right; the latter by which we guide ourselves, as well as we can, in sohing the problems of real conduct. By al)solutely right conduct is understood, of course, that which produces pleasure unalloyed with pain; by relatively right conduct, that which has any painful concomitants or consequences. Spencer's .system is eud:rmonistic and, therefore, subject to the defects .already noted. Moreover, he reduces the moral imperative to a psychological con-
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