The Eternal Values

The Eternal Values

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The Eternal Values

The Eternal Values

Read FREE!

Excerpt

Is there anything in the world valuable in itself? That is our question. Of course there are many things which we value because you or I like them, or because they are useful for a certain purpose; they are helpful to us. But such values depend upon our special standpoint. A thing may be useful to me and useless to my neighbor. It may be agreeable to our social group, but disagreeable to other nations or to other ages. Even the truths of to-day were not the truths of yesterday and may not be valued as truths to-morrow. The beauties of one school may mean ugliness to another. The moral laws of one tribe may demand what is forbidden in the next. Religious values have always been objects of dispute. Everything seems dependent upon individual standpoints, dependent upon individual desires. Truth is nothing but that which helps us to fulfil our purposes; beauty is nothing but that which appeals agreeably to our senses; morality is nothing but useful prescriptions which secure comfort for our particular social group; religion is nothing but suggestions which give us hope. In short, our so-called values seem to be merely means of personal gratification, changing from age to age, from people to people, from group to group, from man to man.

Outspoken or not, that is the philosophical creed of the overwhelming majority of thinking persons to-day. The faithful believer, to be sure, feels that his religion really brings him in contact with something which is absolutely valuable. The moral man who sacrifices his life to follow the call of duty believes in his deepest heart that the moral deed is of absolute value. The artist who creates a thing of . . .

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