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Full text of "Authority and the individual"

AUTHORITY   AND   THE   INDIVIDUAL
academies, but by recapturing the capacity for whole-
hearted joys and sorrows which prudence and fore-
sight have all but destroyed.
The men conventionally recognized as the greatest
of mankind have been innovators in religion and
morals. In spite of the reverence given to them by
subsequent ages, most of them during their lifetime
were in a greater or less degree in conflict with their
own communities. Moral progress has consisted, in
the main, of protest against cruel customs, and of
attempts to enlarge the bounds of human sympathy.
Human sacrifice among the Greeks died out at the
beginning of the fully historical epoch. The Stoics
taught that there should be sympathy not only for
free Greeks but for barbarians and slaves, and, in-
deed, for all mankind. Buddhism and Christianity
spread a similar doctrine far and wide. Religion,
which had originally been part of the apparatus of
tribal cohesion, promoting conflict without just as
much as co-operation within, took on a more uni-
versal character, and endeavoured to transcend the
narrow limits which primitive morality had set. It is
no wonder if the religious innovators were execrated
in their own day, for they sought to rob men of the
joy of battle and the fierce delights of revenge.
Primitive ferocity, which had seemed a virtue, was
now said to be a sin, and a deep duality was intro-
duced between morality and the life of impulse—or
rather between the morality taught by those in whom
the impulse of humanity was strong, and the tradi-