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It was in the year, eleventh of Meiji, when I was staying in London, that I was accidentally induced to determine myself to explain all the phenomena in the human society by the principles of the science of Physics. Since then, I have been making investigations for this purpose, both theoritically and practically, for an interval of more than ten years, during the course of which I have been assisted by two or three of my most valuable friends, and have been enabled to make more or less discoveries. I call this doctrine the “ Scientific Morality.” It is greatly to be regretted that some seem to misunderstand it and imagine as if it were merely an abstract reasoning, without interfering with the Emotion of the human being. Far from it. In all the affairs in the human society, the Emotion is, on the contrary, far above the Reasoning, and there is hardly any human affair which is not governed by the former,
Now then this Emotion is a form of Energy, and to investigate the actions of this Energy is one of the duties of my Scientific Morality. To illustrate it, such terms in the Eastern Morality as, Benevolence, Justice, Politeness, Wisdom, and Fidelity, are mere convenient nomenclatures attached to the Kinetic forms of the Energies of Emotion, and are the same as are Light, Electricity, Magnetism, and so forth, of Physics. Regarding thus the Emotion as a form of Energy, it follows as a matter of fact that we may conclude its action to follow the laws of Physics. If any one bring forth an objection to my principle it is because he does not see that as the actions of this Energy are rather complicated we are not yet advanced so far as to uncover their causes and relations as regards some of them.
As all the phenomena in the human society are controlled by Reasoning and Emotion, now that we regard the Emotion as a form of Energy and as pursuable in the field of my Scientific Morality, there is nothing which can not be explained by Reasoning. It might however be objected that allowing this to be true for the Present Society, it would lead to a confusion in explaining the Future Existence of the religious doctrines. This is wrong again. Supposing that the so-called Future Existence really exsits, and that the spirits of men receive a control after their departure, I consider it will be in just the same condition as the Present in everything, when surveyed with the intellectual power of man.
Hence I firmly believe that, as the tendency of the society is in the direction of daily advancement in intellectual power, the time will come, before long, when this doctrine will replace the fictitious superstitions which are at present so highly esteemed.
Among the several laws of Physics, the Conservation of Energy I believe to have most frequent practical applications in human affairs. Imagine a very rich person, who has amassed a tremendous estate in one generation. He must have done so through unusual Frugality and Assiduity. Man is at large liable to run into Luxury and Ease, just like the material bodies' falling towards the earth under the action of the Force of Gravity; and, on the other hand, Frugality and Assiduity may be compared with the force required in raising a body to a height by overcoming the resistance of Gravity. These two latter are then a conservation of energies, and from the economical point of view the result appears under the form of a Potential Energy of Capital and Estate. Persuing still further, this Potential Energy can be utilised or abused and altered to another form of Energy, either material or abstract. It very often happens that the estate amassed by a father
is thrown into nothing by a spendthrift son ;—this is a result of abusing or wasting our Potential Energy, and may be called the Dissipation of Energy.
The fact that the high Buddhist priests have the devoted confidence of people to such an extent is another example illustrative of the principle here proposed. Their prohibiting the nourishment of meat and the possession of wives, their regarding the so much valued money as if it were sands on the seashore, all are nothing but a means of conservating the Energy, and a cause of their securing such a devotion. The religious doctrine, that the wicked go to the Hell and the honest to the Paradise after death, is also an instance of the Conservation of Energy : the uneducated pious are thereby led to store up the estate of Honourable Actions through a desire to. be sent to the Paradise.
Let me now give a few more examples on Morality. Take the case of the “Forty-Seven Rönins." These faithful persons were enabled to revenge their master's death after struggling with an undescribable amount of adversities, and were at last sentenced to cut their abdomen to commit suicide. This sentence must have given a feeling of utter satisfaction and pleasure to their own minds, and the whole history does so much excite men to a feeling of Fidelity, which are the Kinetic form of their Energy expended previous to their revenge. Had the Potential Energy been changed to the Kinetic under the form of being employed at a high office and highly renumerated, instead of being sentenced to suicide, they might have not been able to encourage us to this time.
The history of Sakura Sāgoro also bears the same nature. As he did not obtain in his life a Kinetic Energy of attaining his end, so the Potential Energy of his labour appears under the Kinetic form of exciting our moral sentiment. The “Transcendental Activity” of Mencius is nothing but a Conservation of Moral En