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LITTLE BETTER THAN A SAVAGE.

"When, however, we come to the ■higher orders of courage-^those based, on altruistic motives, on high idealism, on noble purpose and determination, ] on passionate devotion—at once the j '■criminal, ceases through sheer inability to be courageous. Conscience, never completely dead in any criminal, affects the question—;that 'conscience which 'doth make cowards of us all.' The ■consciousness of the selfishness of his aims, the anti-social attitude he adopts, his callousness, his limited mental ability, and often his brutalised soul, all combine to make him cower before the spiritual daring and clear-sightedness of a world-hero battling in the cause of truth and righteousness and the uplifting of mankind. His material view of life, and the incomprehensibility to liim of the spiritual life, with its religious and moral ideas," make him little 'better than.a whom, indeed, he so closely resembles in physical insen-; sibility to pain. Like him. therefore, he is' superstitious, and a believer' in •omens.' Only when acting raider the influence of..passionate.devotion to another, perhaps his 'pal,' does he approach the high levels of courageous -action, and then the "self-sacrificing •character of hisd<Sed lifts him momentarily out of the ranks of criminality, aiuL makes him once more a man. It isi, true that sometimes lie compels our admiration by a certain Trail-dog courage and indifference to liis personal: safety, and in his ambition to take, vengeance-on his enemies rather aptly illustrates that Satanic courage—,;, _.■.:■■■ : „ •■,, ..'.-. -•■•The unconquerable will • And study of revenge, immortal hate, And courage never to submit.' But his greatest efforts pale into insignificance when contrasted with the intellectual daring of our great thinkers, with the dauntless front which our ■great social reformers and scientific ■discoverers and religious martyrs have ever displayed to a contemptuous and "persecuting world."

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG19140212.2.60.2

Bibliographic details

LITTLE BETTER THAN A SAVAGE., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIII, Issue 8792, 12 February 1914

Word Count
293

LITTLE BETTER THAN A SAVAGE. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIII, Issue 8792, 12 February 1914

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