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"The doctrine of happiness is responsible for the most degenerate features of modern society," said the Reverend Professor Lawrence Pearsall Jacks in the first of his series of four Southworth lectures last night on "The Challenge of Life and Liberty." "If we are to meet the challenge of life with social fortitude we must do away with this doctrine."
Dr. Jacks, Principal of Manchester College, Oxford, England, and Editor of the 'Hibbert Journal', who also received an honorary degree at the University in 1912, has come to this country for the immediate purpose of giving the South-worth Lectures at Harvard. He will give his second lecture at 3.30 o'clock this afternoon at Andover Chapel on "The Challenge of Labor".
Says Doctrine Is Entirely False
"According to this doctrine of happiness," he went on last night, "every man has the right to be happy, and so if he is unhappy he is entitled to complain of a wrong and the guilty individual who has taken his share. It is radically false, and did not exist in the older philosophies. The doctrine began in England two and a half centuries ago during the reign of Charles the Second, a period when other unwholesome things crept into the world. The word 'happiness' does not occur a single time in the authorized version of the Bible. 'Happy' does occur, but not in the sense of smooth, glowing pleasure. A modern invention and a poor one is my opinion of the doctrine of happiness, a doctrine which Carlyle denounced as 'a paltry speculation'.
Human Body Not Made for Happiness
"A ridiculous notion that the human body is a cunningly devised mechanism to secure happiness underlies this philosophy," continued Dr. Jacks. "Its supporters also believe that the social system is merely a more extensive and complicated contrivance for the mass production of that commodity, happiness. At no point of my bodily structure, however, can I detect the slightest evidence that it was placed there for happiness, but rather to bear heavy burdens and perform irksome operations. Happiness hunting is not worthy of man or woman, and still less of civilization.
"Can any one seriously believe," he said in closing, "that the mind and soul of man has its proper work in hunting for happiness. Love, itself, was given us for a bigger thing than enjoyment. When universal love comes man will not be universally happy."
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