Handsome is that handsome does


This is a moral maxim, one which very beautiful the superiority of ethical never material merit. It will d rad immense to mankind if the NHL and lofty teachings embodiment good in this and other such maxims were duly unfolded and their implications clearly explained Life is a develop in which the endeavor of man wise should be to travel daily rads graphical and greater perfection, A life which has ¬†direction to move in and in which ane all v only lives in the physical sensc is called “vegetation. which means living like neath a thing without mind, growing merely physically. Such a life is deter descending from the higher human level to a kroner unconscious and they unthinking level. The superiority of

man over t rest of the creation consists in nothing hut in this possession of a mind and an When urge excel in things of the mind and the spirit rather than in pros things of the body From this point we come to the next. What are the great directions in which human life is to seek its perfection or the foulness of its development These directions are variously called moral aims, ideals or values. An ideal is a state of perfection towards which we must endeavor to travel. hut which is so high that we human beings, with our limited span of life and the so many weaknesses inherent in us, may never hope to achieve iL But there is great merit even in having felt the urge and the pull of the ideal and in having made an effort to rise towards it A “value means an idea which represents something which which is good in itself rather than for the sake of something else. A little distinction will make what we mean hy value enact clearly Wealth is a good thing, hut it is not good in itself it is good only in so far as it helps us to

achieve some other ends. for example, the necessities of life. power. influence, etc. These other things which come as a consequence of possessing wealth in their own tum may not be good in themselves. hut may only he a means to still funher ends. On the other hand. contemplating nihilist is unmet hing good in itself, it is desirable in itself, and we cannot imagine it to he wou rose only an intervening stage to the entertainment of something higher than itself. It is itself the highest. It is, therefore value. A-One: Ideal Essays. 169 The maxim which stands at the head of this essay expresses the conception of a value. Our criterion of judgement in life is ordinarily limited and shallow. We are carried away either by stupidity or by selfishness in valuing things of a lower kind. Thus we feel more pride in associating with a stupid rich man than with a wise poor one: we regard a man who is socially influential as fundamentally better than one whee is not so influential. These are all wrong criteria and wrong judgments. Goodness does lie wealth or in power. These are merely amoral or non-moral things, neither good nor bad. Their goodness or badness is to be determined by the direction which they take, by the use to which they are put e thing which is really good, and which determines whether a man is good or ‘handsome.’ whether he is worthy of our praise or not, is this quality of doing something handsome,’ that is morally good.


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