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THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD TO

BE WELL BORN
GEORGE
E.

DAWSON

(hot^on iTilanMm'ill

\t c

li

a.Uiorn

n\

MEDICAL ^SCHOOL

IN MEMORIAM GORDON SLANDING

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD TO BE WELL BORN

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD TO BE WELL BORN


By

GEORGE
Pro/tsser

E.

DAWSON, Ph.D.

of Psychology, Hertford School of Rtligious Pedagogy.

FUNK & WAGNALLS COMPANY


NEW YORK AND LONDON
1912

Copyright, 1912, by

FUNK & WAGNALLS COMPANY


(Printed in the United States of America)

Published November, 1912

wqi^
Hi?

To
OF

the

memory

MY FATHER AND MOTHER


volume
is

this little

reverently

dedicated

CONTENTS
CHAPTER
I.

PAGE
of

The Decay
Interest

Parental
17

II.

The Desire
Biological

for Children,

and Eugenics
III.

Fitness

IV.

Parenthood Moral Fitness for Parenthood


Educational Training for

... ...

35
51

for

63
75

V.
VI.
VII.
VIII.

Parenthood Romantic Love and Eugenics

....
.

Religion and Eugenics

87 99
113

Racial Ideals of Parent-

hood
IX.

The True Builders


tions

of

Na125
.

X.

The Creation

of Life

135

INTRODUCTION

INTRODUCTION
The
science of eugenics seeks to im-

prove the

human

race by controlling the

conditions that insure the birth of better children.

This involves the

selec-

tion of parents that

measure up to the

best racial standards, in health, intelli-

gence, and efficiency.


.the

It also involves

creation of a physical
in the life of
will favor

and

social

environment

communities

and nations that

normal

rela-

tions of the sexes,

and the procreation


Before eugenics
the

of healthy offspring.

can

make any impression upon

masses of the people, however, there

must be erected throughout

civilization

more

rational standards of fatherhood,

motherhood,

and the quality of


[ii]

off-

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


spring.

Thus

far the primary functions

involved in the birth of children have

hardly been

lifted

above the instinctive

propensities of the lower animals.

Pa-

renthood

is

rapidly becoming intelligent

in the care of children after birth,

and

organized society devotes no small part


of
its

energies to the education of chil-

dren for almost everything but parenthood.


life

But the control of the forces of


is
still

prior to birth

left

to the
in

gods,

or
the

whatever

other

powers

whom
women

dim

intelligence of

men and

concerning the mysteries of reits

production reposes

faith.

This book has been written in the

hope that

it

may

help in the erection of

these rational

standards of what paoff-

renthood and the procreation of


spring ought to be.
It

attempts no de-

[12]

TO BE WELL BORN
tailed

discussion
is

of

the

problems

of

eugenics, and

intended to appeal to
of

the intelligence

the

ordinary

man

and woman rather than the


student.

scientific

However, the

latter

has also
is

been kept in mind, for there

a real
in

need that those


scientific circles

who
their

sit

in

judgment

should feel an obliga-

tion

to

make
any of

own knowledge
If the

usable for the masses.


spires in
in
its

book

in-

readers an interest

eugenics and a desire to increase

their

knowledge of

its

more

scientific
fol-

aspects, they are

urged to read the

lowing books: (i) Saleeby's "Parent-

hood and Race Culture/' (2) Herbert's

"The
(3)

First Principles of Heredity,"

and

Davenport's

"Heredity in RelaI

tion to Eugenics."

could wish, in-

deed,

for

no more important service


[13]

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


for this book than to have
it

become

an introduction

to these masters of the

principles of eugenic science.

George E. Dawson.
Springfield, Mass.,

September

20, 191 2.

[14]

CHAPTER

THE DECAY OF PARENTAL


INTEREST

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD TO BE WELL BORN


CHAPTER
One
I

THE DECAY OF PARENTAL INTEREST


of the outstanding characteristics
is its scientific

of the present generation

and philanthropic
I

interest in children.

use the term "scientific" and "philanis

thropic" restrictively, for there

an-

other kind of interest, namely, parental


interest,

concerning which there

is

at

least

some reason for doubt.


and philanthropic

But as

to

scientific

interest in

we who live in these days are witnessing new things in the history of the world. With the increasing number
children,

of academic institutions, such as


schools, colleges

normal

and
[17]

universities, that

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


are applying the

human

sciences to the

study of children; with the establishment, under


auspices, of
scientific

and benevolent
of re-

numerous branches

search into children's physical and mental traits, their health,

amusements, oc-

cupations, care

and training; and with


and the

the enactment of laws for the protection

and betterment of
auguration of
all

children,

in-

kinds of activities for

the improvement of their condition in


the home, the school, the church,
dustrial occupations, there
is

and

in-

abundant

evidence that in scientific and philanthropic circles, the child has


object of critical

become an

and anxious concern.

As
half

if

to give the highest social sanc-

tion to all these varied activities in be-

of

children,

the

United

States

Congress in April, 19 12, established the


[18]

TO BE WELL BORN
Federal Children's Bureau as a branch
of the Department of

Commerce and

Thus does a great government henceforth become sponsor for the welLabor.
fare of the children of
its

people, in

ways absolutely new


mankind.

in the history of
is

This bureau

to investigate

the questions of infant mortality, the


birth-rate,

physical
juvenile

degeneration,
courts,

or-

phanage,

desertion,

dangerous
disease,

occupations,

accident

and

employment, and existing laws

in behalf of children that

have been en-

acted by the different States.


eral Children's

The Fedand

Bureau
all

is

thus not only

a culmination of

the scientific

philanthropic activities of society that


center in childhood;
of a distinctly
it is

also the

organ

new

era in the social con-

trol of children's welfare.

Hardly

less

[19]

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


significant as illustrating the heightened

consciousness of the present generation


in

regard to children,

is

the wealth of
is

literature, scientific

and

practical, that

accumulating as the product of numerous thoughtful

and prophetic minds.

Such works as G. Stanley Hall's "Adolescence," and Ellen Key's

"The Century

of the Child," could not have been writ-

ten before the


century.
fic

dawning

of the twentieth

They mark a

stage of scienti-

knowledge, and a degree of con-

sciousness of the values of childhood,


that are for the intelligent understand-

ing of the child's nature what the Federal Children's

Bureau

is

for the social


life.

amelioration of the child's

And

yet,

it is

a curious fact that this


in the direction

truly epochal

movement
is

of a better childhood,
[20]

being promoted

TO BE WELL BORN
by a generation of men and women
in

whom
when,
perous
States,

there are distinct signs of de-

caying parental interest.


in the

At a time
and prosUnited
the

most

intelligent
in

communities

men and women


children,
in

are vieing with

one another in studying children, working

with

and writing and


of

speaking

behalf

children

the

number

men and women in these same communities who actually become


of
is

the parents of children,


creasing.

relatively de-

To

begin with, such

men and

women
tions.

are not marrying in so large a

ratio as they did in previous generaIt is

estimated that forty years

ago the average annual number of marriages per ten thousand of the population in the
eight.

United States was ninetyto

According

the

census

re-

[21]

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


turns for 1900,
it

was

ninety.

In the
are

North

Atlantic

States,

which

leaders in

many

of the activities con-

cerned with the welfare of children, the

marriage rates per ten thousand of the


population were eighty-four
in

1890,

and eighty-two

in 1900.

In the North

Central States, which are also active in


social efforts to

improve the condition

of children, the rates of marriage were

ninety-two in 1890, and ninety-one in


1900.
I

am

far

from asserting that

this

decrease in the ratio of

men and women


interest.

who marry

is

caused, in any large part,

by a decay of parental

But

that such a decay of parental interest


is,

to

some small degree


is

at

least,

causative factor,

probable.

Generally

speaking, in any population where the


[22]

TO BE WELL BORN
desire for children
is

weakened

it

may
be

be expected that the primary impulses

which impel to marriage


weakened.
in
It is

will also

a biological law that


if

any group of related functions,

one decays, the others must, in some


degree, be affected.

But the decay of


not only a probable

parental interest

is

cause of the decline in the marriagerate


it is

unquestionably a result of the


If

latter.

men and women,

for

any

cause, do not marry, the resulting fail-

ure to perform the functions of parent-

hood must

result

in

a decay of the

parental interest associated with such


functions.

Here again

it is

a biological

law that arrest of function ultimately


leads to a greater or less

degree of

atrophy of interests associated with that


function.

So

that, in [23]

any

case, a fall-

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


ing off of the marriage-rate must
volve a decay of parental interest.
in-

But not only do


and women marry
those

relatively

fewer

men

in this generation;

who do marry
Each

are increasingly

dissatisfied
tions.

with their marriage relasuccessive five-year period

since 1867 has witnessed a

marked

in-

crease in the

number

of divorces. Thus,

within the period for which accurate


statistics

are available,

we have

the fol-

lowing results: Between the years 1880

and

1900,

the

divorce-rate

for

the

North Atlantic States rose from twentyeight to thirty-eight per one hundred

thousand

of

the

population;

in

the
to

South Atlantic
thirty-three;
States,

States,

from thirteen
North

in

the

Central

from

fifty-five to ninety-six; in

the South Central States from thirty[24]

TO BE WELL BORN
five to ninety-five;

and

in the

Western
hundred
say,
in

States,

from eighty-nine

to a
is

and twenty-nine.

That

to

the United States as a whole, the di-

vorce-rate increased during these two

decades from thirty-eight to seventythree per one hundred thousand of the


population, or a
little

over ninety-two

per cent.

In

1902

the

following

ratios

of

divorce to marriage were reported from


eight States
subject

whose

statistics

upon

this

were

sufficiently definite for that

purpose:

Massachusetts,

one to six-

teen; Michigan, one to eleven;


;

Vermont,

one to ten Ohio, one to eight and eighttenths;

New

Hampshire, one

to eight

and three-tenths; Rhode Island, one


eight; Indiana, one to seven
tenths,

to

and

six-

and Maine, one


[25]

to six.

On

an

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


average,
therefore,

there

is

in

these

States one marriage in every nine that


is

followed by divorce.

This rapid increase

in the

number

of

men and women who, having


find
it

married,

impossible to live together, ne-

cessarily involves a decay of parental


interest.

Here, again, the relation


effect.

is

one both of cause and of

The

presence of children in a household,

and the love of

children,

are admit-

tedly the strongest bonds of wedlock,


just

as

the

deep-seated

parental

in-

stincts

and feelings are the primary


of the relations which wedlock
legitimate.
If

basis

makes
of

men and women

weak

parental interests marry, the

bonds of wedlock are correspondingly


weak.

On

the other hand, the break-

ing of these bonds of wedlock through


[26]

TO BE WELL BORN
divorce must result, by and large, in

any population where divorce


eral, in the

is

gen-

decay of parental

interest.

Nor

are these the only symptoms of

decaying parental interest in current


civilization.
still,

Much more
inferences

significant

and, indeed, confirmatory of the

facts

and
is

already

pre-

sented,
rate.

the steadily diminishing birth-

For a number of decades the


1900 there were

birth-rate has fallen off about one per


cent,

each,

until

in

only three-fourths as

many

living chil-

dren to each one thousand potential

mothers as in i860.

In a bulletin*

is-

sued by the Massachusetts Bureau of


Statistics
sults

and Labor

in

1905, the re-

of detailed studies of the birth-

rates in four cities


Bulletin No. n.

and three towns

in

[27]

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


Massachusetts were summarized so as
to

show

the contrast between the pres-

ent generation

and the preceding

one.

The
in

19,478 native-born

women
shown

included
to

these studies were

have

borne, on the average, two and seventy-

seven one-hundredths children; whereas the mothers of these


bore,

same women

on the average, six and forty-

seven one-hundredths children.

As

to

the causes of this decreasing birth-rate,

Dr. John S. Billings, formerly of the

United States

Army
"It

Medical Museum,
is

has this to say:

probable that

the most important factor in the change


(in the birth-rate)
is

the deliberate

and

voluntary avoidance or prevention of


child-bearing on the part of a steadily

increasing
No.

number

of married people."*
S.

*Quoted by Prof. Walter


11,

Wilcox,

in Bulletin

Mass. Bureau of Statistics and Labor.

[28]

TO BE WELL BORN
If this
rect,

judgment of Dr. Billings


is

is

cor-

and there

an abundance of con-

current

testimony

from medical and


it,

other scientific sources to confirm


is

it

clear that here again the decay of


is

parental interest

involved both as a

causative factor and as a result.

Not

susceptible
less
art,

of

statistical

sum-

mary, but no
tendencies
in

suggestive, are the


literature,

and the
not

drama, as well as
lar

in

many

of our popu-

manners and customs.

This

is

a generation that idealizes fatherhood

and motherhood.

Perhaps no genera-

tion ever did idealize fatherhood, unless


it

were the generations of the


Patriarchs.

Hebrew
tion of

But the

idealiza-

motherhood has been common

throughout human history.

Such

is

not

the case at the present time, at least in


[29]

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


the

more cultured

circles of

American
is

society.

Woman

as mother

not im-

prest

upon the imagination

of our chil-

dren and young people.


academician

It is

woman

as

excelling

in

scholarship,

taking degrees, traveling in Europe in


pursuit of some specialty, and finally en-

tering upon a professional

career of
ideal of

some kind

that

becomes the

thousands of our brightest girls and

young women,
and
life

in the schools, colleges


It is

universities.

woman

in public

as club-woman, author,

actress, so-

cial

reformer, or political agitator

that
of

bulks up most conspicuously in the popular imagination as

doing the things that

are really worth while for the


the present age.
It is the

women

detached

sees everywhere,

woman whom one and who is influencing


[30]

TO BE WELL BORN
most profoundly the
ideals of

woman's

character and function in the world.

These detached women are the heroines


of novels,

the central figures

on the

stage, the subjects of all kinds of popular art.


It is

not the

Madonna

that

we
and

see
in

on the covers of current


the

literature,

half-tones

of

magazines

newspapers, in the "social" columns of


the daily press, or in the fashion-plates.

Her

face

is

not piquant enough, her


It is

lines not sufficiently esthetic.

the

Gibson
or

girl

that

we

see,

the actress,

some other variant far removed

from the Madonna type of womanhood.


In our urban communities there are no

longer

Madonnas
and

of

the

street,

the

railroads
lic

trolley-cars, or other pub-

places, as

was the case a generation


the case in
[31]

ago, and as

is still

more sim-

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


pie

and unsophisticated neighborhoods.


life,

Street
teresting

indeed,
in

and travel are


this

in-

indices

connection.

Here

the

woman

with the lines of ma-

ternity in face

and form has well-nigh

disappeared, except in rural communities

and

in

those parts of our cities


still

where the foreign population


alive the interests

keep

and customs of naive


about

motherhood. Everywhere on the thronging thoroughfares of city


depots,
lines
life,

and on railroads and steamship


see,

we

not

Madonnas but Gibson


all

girls, actresses,

and

sorts of nonde-

script social corsairs, rushing hither


thither, in

and

modish dress that not

infre-

quently symbolizes the sacrifice of that


physical development and health, and

those

intellectual

and moral
efficient

qualities

which make women


a race of men.

mothers of

[32]

CHAPTER

II

THE DESIRE FOR CHILDREN, AND EUGENICS

CHAPTER
EUGENICS
I

II

THE DESIRE FOR CHILDREN, AND


have submitted
social
this psychological

and

paradox of a generation
interested in

whose leaders are keenly

children from the scientific and philanthropic points of view, and yet apparently have

no strong desire actually


children,

to

become the parents of


setting for

as a

two propositions which are


(i) All the scientific and
activities

fundamental to any right thinking upon


this subject:

philanthropic

in

behalf

of

children at the present time, have


final

no

value at

all

except as they create

conditions that will insure the propa-

gation of a better

human
3

stock.

The

[35

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


farther one advances in any scientific

study of children's physical and mental


traits,
ist,

whether

it

be as medical specialpsychiatrist,

criminologist,

educafind

tor or moralist, the


his facts

more does he

and conclusions emphasizing


In the words of Dr. S. Her-

the necessity of a regenerated biological


heredity.

bert,* "Procreation being the founda-

tion of

all

life,

the science of heredity


life,

forms the basis of the science of

and

its

principles

must, therefore, be
all

considered the fundamentals of


cial science."

so-

The same

is

true of the

philanthropic worker with children

who

looks beneath the surface of his tasks

and

tries to build the


life.

foundations of a
all

better racial

What do

our

ef-

forts at the education, reformation

and

*"The

First Principles of Heredity," p. 172.

[36]

TO BE WELL BORN
social
to,
if

improvement of children amount


they

do not reach beyond the

surface facts of our problems and affect the

quality of

so that better

human parenthood types of children may


children, brother
is

be born into the world.

Here are two


sister.

and

The
is

public school

trying to

educate them.

The money

of the comfreely
in

munity

being

expended

their behalf.

Well-trained and devoted

teachers are giving their time, energy

and patience

to

the

task

of

making
But

them

fit

to live out their lives as indi-

viduals and as
all

members

of society.

these efforts of education are being

defeated by the poor "health, bad eyesight,

and irregular attendance of the

children.

Then medical and


is

other ex-

pert help

called in, to assist the school


[37]

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


in getting at the causes of the children's

troubles
is

and removing them.

The boy
has a

found to be color-blind and otherwise


in

defective

vision.

The

girl

chronic sore on one of her lower limbs.

Both children have enlarged glands, defective skeletal development,

and weak
of these

lungs.

On

the surface,

some

defects

seem susceptible of cure; others


Pushing
is

are doubtful or impossible.


the problem further back,
it

found

that the father died of syphilis

and the

mother

is

at present suffering
in a chronic

from the

same disease
form.
ducts
defects

and incurable
and
and,

The
of

children are thus the proparents,


their to

diseased

are

constitutional,
relief.

great extent, beyond

What,

then,

can

all

the educational and social ac-

tivities in

behalf of these children avail ?


[38]

TO BE WELL BORN
And
such children do but illustrate the

problem that every one

who works
and
later

at

the foundations of education

social

regeneration

sooner

or

faces.

Says Karl Pearson:

"No

degenerate

and
into

feeble stock will ever be converted

healthy and sound stock by the


effects of education,

accumulated

good
Such

laws, and sanitary surroundings.

means may render the

individual
if

mem-

bers of the stock passable,

not strong,

members
cess will

of society; but the

same proand

have

to be

gone through again


this

and again with


in

their offspring,
circles,
if

ever-widening

the stock,

owing
in
*

to the conditions in
it,

which

so-

ciety has placed

is

able to increase

numbers."*
Quoted by Herbert in his book, "The First Prinpage 175.
[39]

ciples of Heredity,"

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


(2)

The apparent decay

of the desire

for parenthood in our generation can

be arrested and corrected only as

men
more

and women are brought


ligation of being parents.

to

adequate realization of the supreme ob-

The

desire

for offspring,

more or

less blindly in-

stinctive in the earlier generations of

men, must be made


tional,

intelligent

and

ra-

but no less insistent, in this more

advanced generation.

The

interest in

children as objects of scientific study

and philanthropy must be transmuted


into

an

interest in

becoming the parents

of children,
sponsibilities

and thus sharing the reand glory of improving


race through parenthood.

the

human

Only thus may wise and strong men


and women
effectively concentrate their
at the

wisdom and strength


[40]

most

vital

TO BE WELL BORN
point in

human

existence.

It is

indeed

probable that the psychological paradox


of a generation devoted to children as

students and benefactors, while incur-

ring less and less the responsibilities


of parents,
light
It
is

no paradox

at all in the

of

more searching
influences of

analysis.

may

be a result of the profound


a

transition

new

age,

partly intellectual and partly social in


their operation,

wherein the older pa-

rental functions are being temporarily

disturbed and dislocated.


of

It is

a law

the

human

mind

that

instincts

thwarted and defeated in one direction


are sure to assert themselves in another.

Much

of the scientific

and philanthropic
thus be a re-

interest in children
sult of defeated

may

parenthood.
certain that
[41]

However
its

that

may

be,

it is

proper

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


object
will

not

be

realized,

nor

the

normal balance

in the procreative func-

tions of civilization be restored,


it

until

brings back to

men and women


the
first,

the

desire for offspring.

What,

then,

is

and

indis-

pensable, condition that will focus the


intellectual

and moral energies of the


submit that

present generation upon the improve-

ment

of the race?

it

is

the conscious, intelligent desire on the

men and women to be parents. Whenever the intelligence supplied by


part of

modern
instincts

science

is

brought into effective

relationship

with the great elemental

and feelings that have created

parenthood and wedlock of the sexes,


then will there be born a desire for
spring, both
in
off-

quantity and quality,

that will usher in a

new

era and a

new

[42J

TO BE WELL BORN
stock of men.

This

is

no more than
it

to

say that desire must remain, as

has

always been, the mainspring of biological evolution.

Children will never be

well-born until they are desired by the

men and women who


rents.

are potential pa-

A
to

generation that does not debe as


fit

sire offspring will

weak

in

its

power

propagate

children as would

a generation that did not desire culture

or wealth in the power to become edu-

cated or prosperous.

No

occult influ-

ence of indifferent, or hostile, mental


attitudes

upon

the
is

procreation

of
I

healthy offspring

here implied.

refer merely to the effect of parental


desire, or the lack of
it,

upon the
If
is

tan-

gible

physiological
is

processes.

pa-

rental desire

lacking, not only


its

hu-

man

life

an accident at
[43]

inception,

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


but
it

is

often hindered or destroyed.

Unquestionably the darkest unwritten


chapter
of

men's
is

selfishness,

ignor-

ance and folly

here.

Dr.

W. W.
years

Chandler,* a physician of
standing, gives
it

many
human

as his opinion that


of the

more than one-half


die before birth,

race

and that three-fourths

of

all

these are deliberately destroyed.


J.

Says Dr. George


article

Englemannf

in

an

on the "Decreasing Fecundity


avoidance or preif

of

Women :" "The

vention of conception,

possible,

the
if

premature termination of pregnancy,


need
be, are factors far

more potent

in

the causation of decreasing fecundity

than

is

the progress of gynecic science

for the contrary."


* Scott's "Sexual Instinct,"
t

page

274.

Philadelphia Medical Journal, January, 1902.

[44]

TO BE WELL BORN
The
significance

of

such atrophied
too
evident.

parental

desires

is

only

What must
that

be

the

effects
life

upon the
of a child

physical and psychical

runs the gauntlet of drugs and

other destructive agencies throughout


its

embryonic existence, even

if it

surof

vives?

The

intelligent

agencies

civilization should take this

whole probto

lem out of the obscurity


false
it,

which a

and ignorant delicacy condemns


responsibilities of

and make the

men

and

women

clear

and

inescapable.

Youth

of both sexes should be educated

to desire

parenthood and to form the


ideals con-

most rational and reverent


cerning
it.

Even young children should

be brought up in an atmosphere of
precept and example to think of parent-

hood as a natural and inescapable func[45]

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


tion of tion
life,

the only complete realizawelfare,

of

individual

and

the

highest duty to the race.

Dr. Engle-

mann
to

says:* "There

is

no question as
which
is

the

baneful

sentiment

gradually

developing

among

young

people that bearing children belongs to

low

life

and

is

degrading, which

now

and then becomes evident


cast

in aspersions

upon those with large


life is

families,

implying that their


sensual. "

"vulgar and

Similar sentiments are being

scattered

broadcast

in

novels,

magaat the

zine articles

and public addresses


it

present time, mostly,


say,

is

strange to

by women.

Thus, a

woman

of

much
the
t

celebrity in the

more aggressive

circles of

new womanhood, writing in New York Independent^ a few


26,

* Ibid.

December

1901.

[46]

TO BE WELL BORN
years ago,
tells

us plainly that insistis

ence on the duties of motherhood


impertinent
rights.
set,

an

interference

with

private
off-

Such sentiments should be


possible,

wherever
idealistic,

by

intelligent,

yet

interpretations

of

the

privileges

and duties of parenthood,


and young people, of everyart, science

and the holding before the imagination


of children

thing in literature,

and

re-

ligion that can inspire

and

fix

a deep

desire to share in the parenthood of the


race.

[47]

CHAPTER

III

BIOLOGICAL FITNESS FOR

PARENTHOOD

CHAPTER
Next
sire for

III

BIOLOGICAL FITNESS FOR PARENTHOOD


in

importance to a normal deis

parenthood,

biological fitness
it

for the various

functions
is

involves.

By
of

biological fitness

meant the poshave


been

session of those fundamental qualities

body and
into

mind

that

wrought

the constitution of the


its best,

human

race at
its

and are

indis-

pensable to

perpetuity and progress.

Such, in general, are health, vigor, and


efficiency,

with

all

their implications of

physical
that
lie

and

mental

resourcefulness

at the basis of racial existence

and advancement.
ness for parenthood

This biological
is

fit-

primarily closely

interwoven with a normal desire for


[51]

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


parenthood.

The great

instincts

and

feelings that give rise to a desire for

oflspring are rooted in health, vigor

and

efficiency.

Throughout

racial evofit-

lution parental desire

and parental

ness must needs have worked together,


for their object has been the same.

Any
must

weakness or perversion

in either

have quickly affected the course of development.


parallel

Thus

it is

that everywhere,

with the desire for children,

there has been a recognition that pa-

renthood should be conditioned by some


degree of physical and mental
fitness.

Half-conscious instincts as old as the


race have shaped a process of sexual
selection that has insured a choice of

parents along the broad lines of fitness


for bearing

and rearing and


[52]

children.

Sex-

ual

attraction

repugnance

have

TO BE WELL BORN
everywhere been guided by a kind of
eugenic prevision that
consciousness.
is

deeper than

From the time of the cave-man, men and women have chosen
their

mates more or
efficient

less

true to the

standards of

fatherhood and

motherhood.

No

small element of the

racial ideal of beautiful, graceful, intuitive


nal.
all

and tender womanhood


It

is

mater-

may, therefore, be said that


at their best, are

men and women,

instinctively eugenists.

How

else,

in-

deed, could

mankind have
vitality,

built

up the

measure of

wisdom, and goodit

ness of heart that

has achieved?
process of in-

Emerging from
tion

this

stinctive sexual selection in the direc-

of

parental

fitness,

there

have

gradually appeared customs, usages and

laws that, in one form or another, have


[53]

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


become binding upon human
society

and now
certain

constitute

the

standards of

parental fitness the world over.


conditions
life,

Thus
and

of

organic

psychical

and a certain adaptability

of sex to sex, are recognized


civilized

among

all

peoples

as

indispensable

to

wedlock.

On

the surface, these popu-

lar standards of conjugal, and, in the


last analysis, parental, fitness

may seem
little

to

have

little

uniformity and

ra-

tional basis, yet they serve to establish

the principle, that, true to the funda-

mental instincts of procreation, the conscious evolution of custom

and law

is

toward a eugenic view of parenthood.

Wherever

physical deformities or weak-

ness, mental disease or incompetency,

too great disparity in age, or any other


factor likely to affect the
[54]

number and

TO BE WELL BORN
quality of offspring,
is

regarded as an
is

obstacle to marriage, there

evidence
that

that the popular

mind recognizes
biological
fitness

some degree of
parenthood
is

for

necessary.

Modern

science has

made

explicit

and

intelligible the facts

and principles of

parental fitness which age-long instinct

and

racial

customs and laws have


if,

al-

ready universally,
prehended.

indeed, dimly, apin


its

Biology,

wide

in-

ductive studies of heredity during the


last

half century, has

established the

fact that the propagation of all

forms

of life

follows laws that are definite

and ascertainable.
no exception

The

life

of

man

is

to these laws.

ditions that underlie fitness

The confor human


certainty.

parenthood are beginning to be deter-

mined with some degree of


[55]

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


As a result, the conviction is growing among intelligent men and women that
it

would be possible rapidly

to

improve

the quality of children born into the

world.

While the method


qualities

of transmission of
to offspring
is

from parent

not

yet fully understood, and while scientists

differ

as to whether or not ac-

quired qualities
is

may

be inherited, there

no difference of opinion regarding


really
all

the

vital

aspects

of

heredity.

Thus

will

agree that the qualities

human
over,

beings are born with,

may

be

transmitted to their offspring.


all

More-

will

agree that the qualities

acquired after birth, in so far as they


affect the vitality of the individual,

may
So

affect

the

vitality

of

his

offspring

through the germinal elements.


[56]

TO BE WELL BORN
that,

either in the matter of physical

deformities or disease, or in that of

mental disease, the case


if

is is

clear that

the specific disability

not transof

mitted,

nevertheless

condition

diminished vitality

may
some
is

be transmitted

which

will favor the

outcropping of the
other.

same
the

disability or

Any-

thing, in short, that


life

a vital factor in

of a parent, such as the various

physical organs and mental traits, may,


if

modified through disease or misuse

of any kind,

become, directly or

in-

directly, a vital factor in the life of the


child.

Therefore

does

the

testimony

of

science corroborate racial instinct,

and

customs and laws well-nigh universal,


that

men and women


if

should not become

parents

they are physically and men[57]

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


tally incapacitated to

bear healthy

chil-

dren.

This incapacity

may

take the
to

form of congenital tendencies


radical disease of
tuberculosis, cancer, or insanity.

some
like

body or mind,
It

may

take the form of acquired disease that

has become so deep-seated and


to
affect

fixt as

the

germinal

elements.

It

may
cells

take the form of old age, when,


vitality, the

through diminished

germ-

have

lost

their
this

energy.

But

in

whatever form
degeneration
its

organic or psychical
it

may

appear,

should run

course within the lives of the indiafflicted.

viduals

It

should

not

be

handed on

to

other
It

individuals

and

other generations.

may

not be, in-

deed, without peril to every individual


involved, whether parent, child, or society at large.

This
[58]

is

the stern but

TO BE WELL BORN
inexorable law of
to believe
it

life.

We

are bound

is

also a benificent law, fulfilment the evolu-

because upon
tion

its

of

all

life

has

depended.

The

sooner the world consciously and fearlessly faces this truth, the sooner will
it

end much of the misery and unhappiafflict

ness that
Shall
it

mankind.

be said that, in advocating

standards of biological fitness for parenthood,


courtship

we

are in danger of reducing


to

and marriage
an

terms of
is

calculating selfishness?

This

often

advanced

as

argument

against
line

the science of

eugenics.

No

of

reasoning

could
of

be

more

superficial.
fitness
is

standard

biological

for

marriage and parenthood


;

nature's

standard and, as already stated, sexual


selection

from the beginning has im[59]

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


plicitly

adopted this standard.

How
The
what

else could the race

have survived ?

science of eugenics merely does,


it

is

the function of

all

science to do,

renders explicit and rational the processes of nature.

To

say that the

men

and women of
their

civilization should choose

mates according to their biological


for

fitness

parenthood,

is

to

say no

more than

that the great instincts

and

feelings that impel to marriage, should

be rationalized and directed according


to the standards of

modern knowledge.
instinctive

This

is

precisely
is

what every

process

increasingly subjected to in

the progress of civilization.


dividual

The

in-

or

community
meet

in

civilization

that can not

this condition of ad-

vancement
in the vast

is

clearly unfit for a place

program

of racial

life.

[60]

CHAPTER

IV

MORAL FITNESS FOR PARENTHOOD

CHAPTER
Men

IV

MORAL FITNESS FOR PARENTHOOD


universally recognize the moral
life,

values of

according to their various

conceptions of morality.

There

is

noth-

ing related to

human
is

welfare, perhaps,

among
ment.
larly

people of the same moral ideals,

upon which there


understood,

such general agree-

That moral character, as popuis

indispensable

to

normal parenthood, needs, therefore, no


argument.
ing the

But there

is

need of enlarg-

common

conception of moral

fitness for

parenthood.

Here, perhaps,

more than anywhere


perience,
is

else in

human

ex-

the ordinary interpretation

of morality,

and the ordinary exercise


superficial.

of moral conduct,

If

the

[63]

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


science of eugenics
is

ever effectively to

lay hold of the problems of sexual relations as involving a better type of chil-

dren,

it

must be supported by a much


conception
of

more

radical

morality

than generally prevails.

This more radical conception of morality relates itself at

once to the bio-

logical fitness

for parenthood already


fact, it is

considered.

In

but the con-

scious, obligatory content of the latter.

From
is

the viewpoint of eugenics, that

moral which insures a better human

stock,
feats,

and that
in

is

immoral which dethis

any way,

great end of
of

racial evolution.

Such a conception
First of

morality involves considerations of far-

reaching significance.

all,

it

involves the subordination of marriage

and sexual

relations to the welfare of


[64
]

TO BE WELL BORN
offspring.

From

the point of view of

social morality a

marriage license and


officer of

the

words of a clergyman or

the law
tions of

may moralize the sexual relamen and women. Not so from


the moral quality lies in the

the point of view of biological morality.

Here

parental purpose and results of such


relations.

Throughout the whole range


man, the union of
subordinated to the

of animal life below

the sexes

is strictly
life.

propagation of

The females

of the

species limit their choice of

mates ac-

cording to conditions that best perpetuate their kind.

Conjugal relations and

parental ends are thus never divorced.

This

is

one of the primary factors in

the moral

economy
in

of nature.

Man

is

the only animal that has disturbed this

moral order

the fundamental pro[65]

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


cesses of
life,

and made the union of


itself.

the sexes an end in

He

is

the
his

only

creature

that

has

deprived

mate of the power of choice


relations,

in sexual

and has
that
lusts.

built

up laws and
the

institutions

legalize

tyranny

of his

own

Here
yet

is

a source of
considered.

immorality

as

little

From it have sprung the sex-slavery of women throughout the ages, with all its
incidental concubinage

and

prostitution.

And

yet,

however far men may thus


and however much
life

have departed from the standards of


biological morality,

the primary ends of

may have

been

defeated, the hope of future racial re-

generation

lies in

the reinstatement of
all

parental functions as the center of


relations between the sexes.

Eugenic

idealism can give no sanction to a sys[66]

TO BE WELL BORN
tern of morality that permits

a divorce-

ment between conjugal and parental


functions.
relations of

Marriage and the sexual

warrant

in

men and women have no nature, whatever may be the


and rearing

case in custom and law, except as a

means

for the propagation

of offspring.

Again, just as eugenic morality requires that sexual relations be subor-

dinated to the ends of parenthood, so

does

it

require that the

life

of the in-

dividual in other respects be ordered

with reference to the same end.

Men

and women are created

to be parents. in the years


is

Growth

of

body and mind


sexual

preceding

maturity

every-

where conditioned by the demands of


racial perpetuity.
If

through arrest of

growth of any

kind, or through acci[67]

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


dent or design, the sexual
life

does not

mature, the results are registered in

every fiber of the being.

No

fault lies

where defeated parenthood


tentional,

is

not indis-

and no suggestion of
is

paragement

here exprest.

But we

can not escape the solemn judgment of


nature that no
life
its
is

complete that

does not perform


life

part in the great


is

process of which parenthood

the

medium.
pleteness
fit

The
is

final test of

moral com-

the will to be a parent of


just

children,

as the
is

final

test

of

organic completeness

the capacity to

become such a parent.

Thus
of one's

it is

that the conscious ordering

life in

the direction of parental

fitness is

another fundamental requiremorality.

ment of eugenic
of
the
sternest

Here

is

one
rest

obligations
[68]

that

TO BE WELL BORN
upon the sons and daughters of men.

man may have


as he will
if

the right to use his

life

only his

own

individual

destiny be

considered.

Other people
life

may have
will
if

a right to use his

as they
less

only the ends of a

more or

extrinsic social advantage are involved.

But no man, and no group of men, may


do
this,

when

the

man

is

to

become the

father of children.

Men and women


much deeper
they

belong to the race in a

sense than our popular conception of

morality implies.
of themselves,

What

make out

and what they do with

themselves, become through parenthood


the eternal heritage of the race.

Such considerations enlarge our conceptions of individual

growth and conduct


life.

in the

On
[69]

the positive side,

what a

light is shed

upon the care of

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


health, the cultivation of the mind,

and

the development of

all

those resources,

both of personal character and of property, that constitute the foundation of

success!

These

things

become

not

merely expressions of individual and


selfish

worth.

Their greatest

signifi-

cance

lies in their potential

values for

a fatherhood and a motherhood that


shall multiply in the lives of their chil-

dren the blessings of their


sonal achievement.

own

per-

There could be no

greater incentive to the young, of both


sexes, throughout their educational careers,

and

in the choice of their busi-

ness or profession, than this eugenic

view that
tially,

life is

not wholly, or essen-

a matter of individual success or

failure, but rather of the success or fail-

ure of the species.


[70]

TO BE WELL BORN

On
shed.

the negative side of moral charis

acter an equally illuminating light

The

resistance to evil of every

description

becomes

at

once a

much
it

larger task than the conservation of


individual welfare. vastly

Howbeit,

be-

comes

more inspiring and


its

hopeful task in proportion as


are larger.

ends

Organic appetites are thus

to be regulated

and used

in the interest

of posterity, no less than in the interest

of the individual

life.

The supreme
life

temptations of the sexual

are to be

met and overcome by young men and

young women with the


the
exercise
of

vision of parent-

hood before them, and the relation of


sexual
functions
to

healthy and

efficient

children that

may

some time be born

to them.

No more

powerfully inhibiting impulse could be


[71]

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


invoked than that associated with the
pride of virile fatherhood and chaste

and beautiful motherhood. Similar conditions hold true of other


tions.

moral tempta-

What man
any vice
if

or

woman would

practise

they could see their

own
in

lives as the

media of transmission

racial

progress?

What man
if

or

woman
saw
in

could abuse their bodies or their

minds, in any

way

whatsoever,

they

every violation of the moral

law which they committed, the possible


disease or death of that portion of the

human among

race

that

may

be

numbered

their posterity?

[72]

CHAPTER V

EDUCATIONAL TRAINING FOR PARENTHOOD

CHAPTER V
EDUCATIONAL TRAINING FOR PARENTHOOD
It

must be obvious

to

any one who

thinks out a

program

of racial improve-

ment

in

terms of eugenics, that children


defi-

and youth must be much more


nitely trained for

parenthood than at

the

present time.

The

right

of

the

child of civilization to be well-born will

never fully be realized so long as

men

and women are ignorant of the


cal

biologi-

processes involved in the bearing


children.

and rearing of

How

can a

young man,
ity

for instance, feel the sig-

nificance of a

drug habit for the


if

vital-

of his germinal-cells,

he knows
cells

nothing about the nature of such


[75]

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


and the
effects

upon them of poisons

like alcohol

and tobacco?
feel

How

can a

young woman
habits of dress

the significance of
diet that arrest the

and
she

development motherhood,

of
if

organs
is

involved

in

ignorant of the

constitution of her body, the laws of


dietetic

and sexual hygiene, and the


between healthy development
In short, no adequate

relation

and maternity?

biological or moral fitness for parent-

hood, under conditions of civilization,


is

possible in a state of ignorance such

as

generally

prevails

regarding

the

functions of parenthood.

Among

the lower animals and primi-

tive races of

men, healthy parenthood

was not conditioned by intelligence. The rigorous process of natural selection killed off those animals
[76]

and those

TO BE WELL BORN
men
that did not

conform

to the stand-

ards of nature.
habits

Thus were developed


welfare

and

instincts that held parentless true to the

hood more or
of the species.

Thus, as has elsewhere

been

said, the

human
in

race

is

naturally
instinct

eugenic.

But

civilization,

and automatism no longer are safe


guides in parenthood.

Man

has eaten

of the fruit of the tree of knowledge,

and the

first effects

of knowledge have

always been to disturb conditions that

have previously been


habit

determined by
is

and

instinct.

This

what makes
individual.

little

knowledge a dangerous thing


race
as
for

for

the

the

Its effect is to

secure a freer gratifica-

tion of appetites rather than a better

control of them.

This

is

amply

illus-

trated in the history of drunkenness


[77]

and

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


other drug-intoxications, and of sexual
depravity.

The

farther

we advance

in

civilization, the

more degraded do
of this paradox
is

cer-

tain sections of the population become.

The explanation
civilization,

is

not

as

often

asserted,

but

the misapplication of the fruits of

civili-

zation through inadequate knowledge.

The cure for this condition has always been more knowledge. Man has
turned his back upon instinct and habit
as the regulative forces of his
life.

He

has set out to become a creature of


rational will,
civilized

and

is

rapidly shaping a

environment in which he must

be intelligent or perish from the earth.

Thus

it

is

that in parenthood,

as

in

other things, men's weaknesses and perversions must be cured through an ever

more

complete

knowledge
[78]

of

those

TO BE WELL BORN
forces
of
life

under whose dominion

they no longer can live as instinctive

and automatic creatures.


It
is

to education, then,

that civiliin
its

zation
efforts

must increasingly turn


to

regenerate
all

parenthood.

Throughout

those agencies that af-

fect the fitness of

men and women

to

be fathers and mothers, there must be


erected

more

definite standards of pa-

rental training.

The

biological

truth
of

that

the

principal

objective
is

point

individual development

parenthood,
all

should be put at the basis of

the

care and training of children and youth.

Their physical and mental growth, and


their education, should be
this

shaped with
in

end

in

view.

Anything

the

home, school, or elsewhere, that sacrifices

prospective parenthood
[79]

upon any

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


altar

of

individual
is

or

social

idolatry

whatsoever,
as
it

a crime against society,

is

against the individual

man

or

woman.

Since

woman

is

much nearer

the biological processes of bearing and

rearing offspring than

is

man, her care

and training are of fundamental concern.

girl's

development in the

diis

rection of a well-endowed maternity

vastly

more important
is

in the

home

or in
social

the school than

any possible

or intellectual accomplishment.
shall
it

What
dis-

profit a

woman

if

she gain the

whole world of
tinction

social or

academic

and

lose the soul of her

mother-

hood?
In addition to this general parental
ideal

throughout

all social institutions,

children and
definitely

young people should be


for

educated
[80]

parenthood.

TO BE WELL BORN
Fifty

years

ago,

Herbert

Spencer

framed an indictment against educational systems that, unfortunately,

even

yet too often holds true of our high

schools

and

colleges.

"If," says he,

"by

some strange chance not a vestige of


us descended to the remote future save
a pile of our school-books or
lege examination papers,

some

col-

we may im-

agine

how

puzzled an antiquary of the

period would be on finding in them no


indication that the learners
likely to

were ever

be parents.

'This

must have

been the curriculum for their celibates/

we may fancy him


many
things
:

concluding.

per-

ceive here an elaborate preparation for


especially for reading the

books of extinct nations and of coexisting nations


it

(from which, indeed,


[81]

seems clear that these people had

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


little

worth
;

reading
I find

in

their

own

tongue)

but

no reference what-

ever to the bringing up of children.

They could not have been


responsibilities.

so absurd as

to omit all training for this gravest of

Evidently,
"

then,

this

must have been the school course


of their monastic orders/

of one

But while similar comments might


still

be

made upon

the educational curit

ricula of our public institutions,

is

one of the significant signs of our times


that outside of the schools

and colleges
training

there
in

is

rapidly

growing up a sentiment
scientific

favor of

for

parenthood.

The whole eugenic moveand numerous

ment

is

in this direction,

popular reading and lecture courses,

having for their object the instruction


of mothers in the care

and training of

TO BE WELL BORN
their children,

beginning of
It
is,

may be regarded as the a new type of education.


anomalous that higher
is

indeed,

education, which

more and more

ac-

knowledging the claims of technical


learning, should so generally ignore the

most valuable kind of technical learning, namely, that related to the art of

living
this

and reproducing the

species.

But

must soon change.

The concepfrom
of
is

tion of culture as a thing isolated

the problems of

life

and death

every-

where

being

questioned,

outside

academic
lete.

circles,

and

will

soon be obsois

new

conception of culture
includes

forming which
sciences,

the

modern
and con-

and more particularly those

that give an understanding


trol of the forces of

human

life.

Soon

must our women's

colleges, in particu-

[83]

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


lar, feel the influence

of this

ture-ideal,

which means so
race.

new culmuch for the


too,

motherhood of the

But soon,

must even our men's


nical

colleges acknowl-

edge the value of a culture and a tech-

knowledge that

fits

for conscious,

rational fatherhood.

Too long has

the

male of the species limited his parental


functions
to

begetting offspring

and
a

providing for their support. In an ideal


civilization,

men
no

will feel that

it

is

man's

task,

less

than a woman's, to

beget and rear brave sons and fair


daughters, quite as
armies,

much

as to lead

make

laws,

or conduct large

business enterprises.

[84]

CHAPTER

VI

ROMANTIC LOVE AND


EUGENICS

CHAPTER
Eugenics
sciences,
life

VI

ROMANTIC LOVE AND EUGENICS


is

one of the newest of the


all

and

science

is

new
has

in the

of

mankind.

Science

come
posin-

only with the more complete organization of


sible

human
the
It is at

intelligence,

made

by

development of the

tellect.

once a point of view,

a method, and a body of facts and conclusions.

As

a point of view
capable
of

it

regards

experience
lyzed,

as

being anato the

interpreted,

and applied

mastery of the forces of nature and

man's

life.

As

a method

it

observes,

classifies

and interprets for use the

facts of experience.

As

a body of data

and inferences

it

constitutes organized
[87]

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


knowledge.

Eugenics

is

the science of the application

being well-born, and

is

of science in general to the better under-

standing and control of the forces that


condition the birth of men.
science because
it

It is

new
by

deals with material

only

recently

accumulated,

and

methods only recently devised, through


the researches of biologists
scientists

and other

working
life.

at the

more intimate

problems of

Because eugenics has to do with the


birth of children,
to
it

must needs have

do with marriage and the relations

of the sexes.

But marriage and the


have always been

relations of the sexes

invested with mystery, with a glow of


feeling difficult of analysis,
all

and with

sorts of resulting superstitions.

The

love of the sexes has been symbolized


[88]

TO BE WELL BORN
by the blind Eros marriages have been
;

made
to

in

heaven; storks have brought

babies into the world.

To

apply science
life

such experiences of

naturally

arouses antagonisms in minds the world

over that are unused to analyzing their


experience, that love mystery,

and that

resist the substitution of definite ideas

and determinate feelings for vague and


massive ones.
only

There
begins

is

here repeated
else

what happens
science

everywhere
to

when

reduce
It

the
is

world to an orderly process.


merely an
attitude of
instinctive,

impressionistic

mind

in

antagonism with a

rational one.

The most common expression


antagonism to eugenics
is

of this

the view that

romantic love will perish as soon as


science
is

applied to the choice of mates


[89]

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


and the control of
marriage.
their

relations

in

In the light of what has

been
It is

said, this

view

is

perfectly natural.

held by the same type of minds in

connection with religion, morality, and

every other form of experience that

is

complex, and as yet but imperfectly

understood and controlled.

Yet

it

has

no

real support in fact,

and there

is

no

reason for believing that eugenics will


destroy idealistic love between

men and
it

women.
sert that

In the

first

place,

is

the
as-

simple truth to say that those


it

who

will,

have not themselves


attitude

cultivated

the

scientific

of

mind, and, therefore,


perimentally
feelings

know nothing
effects

ex-

of

its

upon the
In

and the

idealistic qualities.

the second place, the

men and women

who have

cultivated the scientific atti[90]

TO BE WELL BORN
tude of mind would be the last to say
that they have less capacity to love, or

have ceased
ence.

to idealize

As between

human experiman who looks


and
in

upon a flower
and a

uncritically

an

impressionistic way,
ty,

and

feels its

beau-

scientist

who
its

looks

upon a
and
the

flower analytically, and with a definite

consciousness
functions,

of

structure

and yet
is

feels its beauty, the

advantage
former.

certainly

not
is

with

Nor

yet again

the advan-

tage with a

man who

looks

upon a
loves

woman

impressionistically

and

her, rather than with a scientist

who
and
as

loves while viewing the object of his


affection

as

type

of

physical
as

psychical

organization

well

woman.

It

changes the qualities neither


of

of the flower nor

the

woman

to

[91]

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


understand them.
the

Nor does it alter responsiveness of the men to beauty


else that enthralls the

and everything
affections,
If,

to

make them
for

intelligent.

indeed, the admiration for a flower

or

the

love

woman depended
him who would
that

upon a lack of understanding, there


would be
little

credit to

be capable of the one or the other.

But

it

is

clearly not the case

admiration or love are emotions limited


to naive

and

uncritical intellects.

The

concrete experiences of

men and women


feelings,

everywhere in
the
contrary.

civilization are proof to

Esthetic

ad-

miration, and love are not destroyed by


scientific analysis of their
is

objects.

It

their nature to attach themselves to

all

the changing processes of the intel-

lect,

shaping and adapting themselves


[92]

TO BE WELL BORN
to every

new

idea

and mode of
it is

intelli-

gence.
that

In general,
feelings

a law of mind
enriched

the

are

and

strengthened with every enlargement


of the intelligence.

The

content of the

one measures the breadth and power


of the other.

There

is

no danger, therefore, that

romantic love between the sexes will


perish with the cultivation of the science
of

eugenics,

any more than there

is

danger that idealism of any kind can


suffer

from an
I

intelligent ordering of

experience.
the

would make
of

ideal love
fitness

very

culmination

for
well-

parenthood.

No

child

can be

born that
marriage.
logical
will

is

the product of a loveless


clearer view of the bioof

implications

romantic love
poetic

some time vindicate the


[93]

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


sentiment of the ages.
In our

own
sig-

democratic society, where the freedom


of sexual choice has

had so many

nal

illustrations

in

happy marriages,

and

in the splendid

homes and
is

families
evi-

founded thereon,
dence of
its

there

ample

how romantic

love enlarges
intelli-

bounds with the increase of

gence.

There are those who witness

these demonstrations in

modern democthe

racy of the

consistency between

highest form of popular intelligence the

world has yet seen, and the


istic

finest ideal-

relations of

man and woman

in

wedlock, and yet believe that romantic


love can not survive the next step for-

ward.

have no such misgivings.

regard the love of the sexes as an integral

part

of

biological

evolution,

found at every stage of human develop[94]

TO BE WELL BORN
ment, in more or less imperfect forms,

according to the
their

difficulties

besetting

normal expression, but becoming

stronger
the

and more
a

compelling

with

advance of
in

civilization,

and des-

tined

more

enlightened

and

ethical future to control all sexual relations.

Only where
exists

this

romantic conthere

jugal

love

can

be

that

complete reciprocity of

life

which makes

parenthood the crowning joy of conscious

human

existence,

as

it

is

the

supreme end of those mighty forces


that

drive the

race of

men forward

toward an ever-enlarging destiny.

[95]

CHAPTER

VII

RELIGION AND EUGENICS

CHAPTER VII
RELIGION AND EUGENICS
In proportion as religion has been
social

and

ethical in scope,

it

has

al-

ways recognized the


of eugenics.

essential principles

The

ideal of

marriage has

contemplated the welfare of offspring,

and the birth of children has been


surrounded with conditions and cere-

monies intended
Religion,

to exalt its

meaning.
a
chief

indeed,

has

been
in

agency

among
ideals of

men

cultivating

worthy
hood.

marriage and parent-

The

Christian

religion

has

been

especially

committed to

this task.
it

The

Jewish people, from


rived so

whom
social

has de-

many

of

its

and moral

[99]

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


standards, are conspicuous

among

the

peoples of

all

times, not only for the

sanctity they attach to marriage


childbirth,

and

but also for their applicaessential

tion

of

many

principles

of

sexual and social hygiene.

The
in

ideals

and practises

of

the

Jews

these

matters were carried over into modern


civilization

through the influence of the

Bible and the founders of Christianity.

The genealogy
tory of his
interpreted
as

of Christ

and the

his-

birth

might properly be
in

chapters

eugenics,

while

his

teachings

concerning

the

relations of the sexes

serve at every

point to exalt the primary functions of

parenthood.

Throughout

Christian

civilization, the ideals

and customs thus


race,

inherited
illustrated

from the Jewish


[ioo]

and

and established through the

TO BE WELL BORX
life

and teachings of Christ, have

in-

vested marriage and the birth of chil-

dren with a sanctity that has no doubt


steadily

tended

toward a moral and


life.

rational control of the sources of

But while religion has thus helped

mankind

to

form exalted

ideals of

marhas

riage and childbirth, and while

it

favored customs and laws supporting


such ideals,
it

has not always welcomed

the teachings of eugenic science.

The

common antagonism
tific

of the non-scien-

mind

to the rationalizing of feel-

ings,

beliefs

and conduct,

has

been

especially
classes.

strong

among

the religious as
it

Religion,

embracing,

does,

man's strongest convictions, be-

comes the main bulwark of opposition


to everything that

seems to question the

standards

it

has erected.
[ioi]

Everything

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


relating
life

to

the

ultimate

problems of

and death has long been regarded

as peculiarly within the sphere of religion.

Thus

it

is

that marriage

and
Ac-

childbirth

have been invested with an


average
little

atmosphere of supernaturalism.
cordingly,
believer,

to
it

the

religious

seems

short

of

irreverent to bring these great affairs

within the sphere of scientific


gence.
If

intelli-

God

joins

man and woman


?

together in wedlock, what has eugenics


to say about their fitness to be parents
If

every child born into the world


its

is

a special creation of

Maker, what

has eugenics to do with the process of


generation?
intelligent

may be said that no man or woman would longer


It

ask such questions seriously.

Yet the

commonly accepted
[

religious beliefs of

102]

TO BE WELL BORN
most of the men and
view of the matter.
solemnizes the union of
in wedlock,
is

women

of Chris-

tendom consistently permit no other

The ritual that men and women


it

an expression of a view

of marriage that

makes

a religious

institution rather than a eugenic one.


It
is

not surprizing, therefore, that

the science of eugenics frequently meets

with ridicule and antagonism in religious circles.


indifferent,

The common
feeling
of marriage

people are
to-

no compulsion

ward any view


birth that
is

and

child-

not provided for in their

creed, while their leaders, the clergy,

are often openly hostile in their attacks

upon

scientists

who

believe that
in

men
wed-

and women are joined together


lock not so

much by
[103]

the repetition of

solemn religious formulas as by their

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


meeting the sternly
of nature's laws.
It is

inflexible conditions

obvious that there

is little

hope

of extensively popularizing eugenics so

long

as

religious

leaders,

whether
or

clergy or

laymen,

are

indifferent

hostile to its claims.

The
the

sanction of
of

religion

is

final

in

lives

the

masses of the people, and unless their


religious
ideals

and feelings are ap-

pealed
in

to, little

headway can be made


Religion

their

regeneration.

and

science must, then, be brought into co-

operation

if

the eugenic
is

program of
affect

human improvement
end those who see

to

any
this

large section of civilization.


life

To

whole, whether

under the name of religion or that of


science,

should

dedicate

themselves.
is

The

ideal of racial regeneration


[104]

com-

TO BE WELL BORN
mon
to both religion
finally

and

science,

and
in

both will

be judged,

alike

the silent processes of nature and in the

consciousness of wise

men everywhere,
to this great

by what they contribute


end.

In the

first place, let

religious leaders

broaden their outlook upon their


beliefs

own

and seek

to discover the eugenic


itself.

implications of religion

In the

second place,

let scientists

broaden their
of truth

outlook upon their

own body
and
I

and seek
the older

to discover its beginnings in

modes

of feeling

intellect

that religion represents.

have said
as-

that religion, in
pects,
tially

its social

and moral

has everywhere held an esseneugenic


ideal,

and that

this is esIf,

pecially true of Christianity.

then,

the eugenic principles implicit in the


[105]

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


Christian religion were to be rendered
explicit

through the interpretations of


the

science,
lievers

masses of Christian befind

would

no

fault

with the

science of eugenics.

Going
belief,

to the very

heart of Christian

as affecting
that

eugenic

problems,

suppose

men
for

were

to

interpret the eugenic signifilife,

cance of Christ's
the

dismissing,

time being,

its

mystical

or
a

dog-

matic significance.

Here was
of
select

man

born of a race and a family that meet


every
condition
biological

heredity.

The Jewish

people

repre-

sented in the time of Christ the cul-

mination of religious and moral de-

velopment among the races of the earth.

Where

else could

such a religious and

moral character as Christ have been


expected to appear, viewed simply as a
[106]

TO BE WELL BORN
product of racial evolution?

Further-

more, he was born of a family that


represented a long process of religious

and moral
stock
of

selection.

He came from

priestly

and prophetic men.

His parents represented the culmination of those qualities that

had made had


in-

the Jewish race distinctive and

sured

its

survival in the stern struggle

for existence.

Such a father as Joseph

and such a mother as Mary meet every


condition of eugenic parenthood.
Shall
it

be said that this

is

to force a

naturalistic interpretation

upon the su-

preme
Such
is

ideal

of

supernatural religion?
intention.

not

my

The

ortho-

dox interpretation may remain unaffected.


I

am

merely stating a possible

and an obvious view of Christ's place


in biological evolution.
[107]

The

facts cer-

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


tainly are as I

have indicated, whatChrist

ever

may

be the interpretation.
of a stock of

was born
religious

men

that repre-

sented, perhaps, the highest product of

and moral

selection in the his-

tory of the world.

In no other race,

or period of history, has such attention been paid to the selection of pa-

rents as

among

the Jews of Old Testa-

ment

history.

Is there

no lesson here for Christianregenerate the husight, for

ity in its efforts to

man

race?

Leaving out of
all

the time being,

other views of Christ

as affecting men's salvation, would not


the

modern world be
to
its

benefited

by an

application

problems of racial

improvement of the eugenic principles


that are illustrated in the generation

of Christ?

What,

indeed,

would have

[108]

TO BE WELL BORN
been the results for civilization already
if

Christian leaders had given the same


to

attention

regenerating

mankind
Christ

through

preaching a

eugenic

that they have given through preaching

a mystical, dogmatic Christ?

Let

men

and women believe what they will as to their salvation through Christ, it
surely could not impair the efficacy of
that belief
if

they sought to reproduce

in themselves the conditions of Christ's

parenthood, and thus to insure some

measure of incarnation of the divine


life in their

offspring.

have a convic-

tion that the

salvation of the world,


Christ's

according to the pattern of


life,

will

be accomplished most effec-

tively

through meeting the conditions

under which Christ himself was begotten as a son of man.


[109]

The word

that

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


became
flesh in

him, and dwelt

among

men, can be multiplied

in the lives of

men
the

generally only as children are born

into the

world incarnating, as
life

He

did,

divine

through

sanctified

parenthood.

[no]

CHAPTER

VIII

RACIAL IDEALS OF

PARENTHOOD

CHAPTER

VIII

RACIAL IDEALS OF PARENTHOOD


Fundamentally, the racial ideals of

parenthood are biological.

That

is

to

say, they contemplate the preservation

of the species

and

its

progressive de-

velopment into better and better types


of

men and women.


conscious

In

the

lower

stages of civilization,
little

when there was direction of human life,


parents
ac-

men and women became


The
individuals that

cording to the law of natural selection.

were

fitted to

meet

the conditions of

human

survival re-

produced themselves.

Those who could


to repeat their
ulti-

not meet such conditions were weeded


out,

and

left

no posterity

failures.

Whatever may be our


life,
3

mate philosophy of
[113

we may

not

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


doubt that the general trend of
evolution

human
better

has

been

toward

stock of men.
this

The guiding
itself,

force of

improvement may be
life

in the

very
be in

nature of

or

it

may

some transcendent form


intelligence.

of

directing

But whatever the cause,


the same.

the

fact

is

The world

of

human
more

life,

even below the conscious

intelligence of

men, has ever sought a


expression
of
itself.

complete
it

Thus

is

that parental

selection,
is

in

nature's irreducible terms,

a question

of fitness to improve the race by bring-

ing into the world a better type of


offspring.

In

all

the succeeding stages of racial

evolution, as conscious intelligence has

more and more supervened


affairs,
[114]

in

human
still,

parental selection has

in

TO BE WELL BORN
general, followed the lines of biological
fitness.

There have, of course, been


Communities and

apparent exceptions.

nations have failed to meet the tests


of eugenic parenthood for a variety of

reasons, and have

become
and

extinct.

But
has

the race as a whole,

at its best,

remained true to the directing force of


its

existence,

and has chosen

its

parents

according to their fitness for perpetuating the race, and insuring


its

improve-

ment.

To

those

communities

and

nations that have most completely realized this eugenic ideal, has been given

the place of leadership.


individuals

And

to those

whose

lives

have conformed
parenthood

to the racial standards of

has been given the promise made to the

Hebrew Abraham,
inherit the earth.

that their seed shall

[115]

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


What,
is vitality,

then,

more

specifically,

are

the racial ideals of parenthood?

First,

including health and energy

of body

and mind.

Without

vitality

the race can not endure.

Communities

and nations that have become weakened


through disease or wrong habits of
living,

and have

lost the physical

and

mental energy necessary to maintain


their lives at the proper level
ficiency,

of ef-

have no chance of perpetuity.


kind,

While progress of any

which

al-

ways
its

implies a surplus of energy


is

and

products,

out of the

question.

There are numerous


vitalized stocks of

illustrations of de-

men, both
;

in families,
les-

communities and nations and their


son
is

always the same.

Nothing, in

the long run, can offset the devitalization of a stock of

men. [n6]

Every virtue

TO BE WELL BOR&
and
grace
rooted
is

'

in

physical

and

mental degeneracy,

of small account

from the viewpoint of the long journey mankind has


set out to

make. The
such

sacrifice of vitality for the sake of

supposed virtues or graces


the blindest of

is,

therefore,

human
lift

follies.

Second,
of

is

intelligence.

Mere
the
It

vitality

stock

can not

race

to

higher level of existence.

may

be
is

the basis of progress, but progress

secure, under conditions above the slow-

process

of

natural

selection,

only

through

the
in

medium

of

intelligence.

Wherever

the history of

mankind
not

intelligence has been of a

low order,
life, if

there has been stagnation of


decay.

Wherever, on the other hand,


high order,

intelligence has been of a

the forces of

life

have been controlled


[117]

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


and
utilized in the direction of progress.
is

Intelligence, indeed,

the great main-

spring of variability, in the individual

and

in the race,

and

is

the

supreme

test

of capacity for improvement.

Third,

is

technical efficiency, or the

power

to

direct

energy and express


Vitality
in
all

ideas in productive work.


intelligence
action,

and

have their end

skilful

such as will bring


life to

the re-

sources of

bear upon the specific


its

tasks that promote


ability of

welfare.

The

men everywhere
and

to cope with

obstacles,

to transform their en-

vironment into a more suitable habitat

and instrument of progress,


ured by their technical
vitality
skill.

is

meas-

Wherever
have be-

and even

intelligence

come dependent upon the


of others, there have
[118]

technical skill

men become

para-

TO BE WELL BORN
sitic
is

and ultimately degenerate.

This

the history of

numerous

families

and

communities everywhere in

civilization.

Whether such parasitism and degeneracy

come

through

the

idleness

of

chronic pauperism or through the idleness induced by wealth, the story


quite
is

the

same.

Technical efficiency,

the

power

skilfully to

do things,
in
racial,

is

an
in

indispensable

factor

as

individual, progress.

Fourth,

is

morality

and

religion.

These are the conservative and regenerative

forces

in

racial

life.

Morality

protects vitality, intelligence,


nical efficiency

and techdissi-

from misuse and


physical

pation.

It

adjusts the individual and


the

the

race

to

and

social

worlds in a

way

that consciously relife.

gards the permanent values of


[119]

Re-

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


ligion interprets the
It

meaning of
questions

it

all.

answers, up to the light of


the ultimate

intelli-

gence,

of

the

whence and whither of men.


that

It gives

outlook

upon the complex and

troublous world of

human

experience
to live at

which makes
all.

it

worth while

Morality and religion have everyin

where

human

history conditioned the

survival of civilization.

Where

they
vital-

have been highly developed, there

ity has been conserved, intelligence has

been sanely occupied, and technical


has ministered to worthy ends.

skill

These four

qualities,

therefore, are

the essential ideals of parenthood in the


life

of the race.
technical

Vitality,

intelli-

gence,

efficiency,

and

the

spiritual virtues, morality

and

religion,

have measured human


[120]

fitness to

share

TO BE WELL BORN
in

the perpetuation and improvement

of the race through parenthood.


if

And

these be the qualities that have everyall

where, and at

times, constituted the

selective standard of parenthood, they

should
stitute

now

be the qualities that con-

our standard of what a father

or mother should be.


should,

We

may, and

interpret this racially derived


liberally, as applied to indivi-

standard
dual

men and women.


life

There are

all

sorts of permutations in the qualities

of

human

that

may

mutually bal-

ance one another, and produce exceptions to the ideal parental type.

But, in

general,

it

must be

eternally true that

the broad lines of racial evolution have


fixt

the criteria of men's necessities, in

marriage

and the begetting of

off-

spring, as in other things.


[121]

He

or she

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


that consciously endeavors to

measure

up
is

to the racial ideals of parenthood,

making the

best possible preparation

for performing the functions of father-

hood or motherhood.

And

the comideals

munity or nation that erects such

in its educational system, its religion,


its

literature

and

art,

and

its

social life

generally, can not fail to


lished

become

estab-

among

the peoples that endure,

a leader in the long march of


progress.

human

[122]

CHAPTER

IX

THE TRUE BUILDERS OF


NATIONS

CHAPTER IX
THE TRUE BUILDERS OF NATIONS
In the light of racial evolution,
the
it

is

men and women who

live

out their

lives primarily as

good parents that are


It is

the true builders of nations.

not

the captains of industry, the politicians

and

rulers, the generals of armies, the

professional men, the poets and artists,

or any other class of

men

acting in the

capacity of their craft, that have laid


the foundations of states
It
is

and empires.
chil-

the fathers

and mothers of

dren, fitted to live

and hand on the

torch of
Society
its

life

aglow with a purer flame.


enroll in its halls of

may

fame

ephemeral heroes.

In nature's hall

of

fame, however, only those find a


[125]

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


place

who have

felt,

thought, and done,

the things that become incorporated in


the life of
heredity.

mankind through

biological

This

is

not to deny that there are

other values in the individual and in


the race besides those that attach to

parenthood.
tain

The

functions of the capthe


politician,
all

of

industry,

the

leader of armies,

and

the rest, are


civilization.

necessary

to

complete

But, in the last analysis, they are sec-

ondary functions, depending upon conditions

created by the
of

more primary
Interfere

functions

parenthood.

with the latter in any radical way, stop


their

exercise

over
life,

any considerable

area of

human

and communities

and nations must deteriorate and cease


to exist.

Whatever men and women


[126]

TO BE WELL BORN
may
is

think about the relative importance

of the functions they discharge, there

no doubt what nature


to

thinks.

She

condemns
This
truth

extinction

the

childless

family and the childless race.


simple,

but

often

neglected,

of

nature's

economy

should

quickly decide

some questions that men

and women are now raising as never


before.

There can be no doubt that the


choice
of

deliberate

fatherhood
to

and

motherhood as a duty
is

human

society

under challenge

in these days.

There

are

men and women who


than to bear
assertion

assert that

they can render a more needed service


to the State
its
is

children.

Whether
sincere,

this

absolutely
it

we may

not know; but

is

at

least often put to the test.

These men

and women are ceasing


[127]

to be fathers

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


and mothers.
Scattered

throughout

the civilizations of

Europe and America

there are leaders of both sexes

who

are preaching and practising the sus-

pension of this primary function of the


race.

In the light of biological prin-

ciples, this

mental and emotional

atti-

tude can be rooted only in a decadent


life.

Whether

it is

due

to the cynicism

of jaded intellect,
feelings
its

or the atrophy
senile

of

associated with
is

decay,
creis

significance

the same.

The

ative

energy of the human stock


in

ceasing,

such

men and women,


is

to

be longer potent.

Organized society

already becom-

ing conscious of the primary values of


parenthood, and the imminent dangers
that threaten
it

through neglect.
[128]

In

France, England, and the older sections

TO BE WELL BORN
of the

United States, the decline of


is

the marriage- and birth-rates

exciting

more and more comment


circles.
It is

in intelligent

ceasing to be a matter of
is

individual

and family concern, and


social

becoming a matter of

concern.

When

communities and nations become


of

conscious

the

decadence

of

their

stock through the failure to discharge

parental duties,

it is

only a question of
instincts

time

when

the

strongest
will

of

self-preservation
selves.

assert

them-

Whatever

individuals

may do

in

the matter, nations do not choose

to die in a

manner

so

little

creditable

to their integrity or fame.

The time seems


of

ripe,

therefore, for

society to address itself to the

problem

self-improvement

through deliber-

ately exalting parental functions to the


[129]

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


place that nature gives them.

Nothing

would do more

to correct the indiffer-

ence and neglect of

men and women


and

regarding their primary duties to the


race, than to

make

this indifference

neglect
either

social

offense,

recognized

by stern public opinion or by


Let the

law.

men and women who


be honored by so-

honor parenthood by worthily performing


its

functions

ciety.

Let them consciously be given

the place in social esteem and social opportunities that nature gives

them

in

her long plans for the

On
the

the other hand,


doctrines

let

human race. those who preach


impotence be

of

racial

rated as nature rates them

diseased
mental
decay.
its

or senile

men and women whose


life,

attitude reflects not

but

This

is

not to reflect upon those who,


[130
]

TO BE WELL BORN
through no fault of their own, do not

become parents.

There are many such,

both through physical disabilities and


the social maladjustments that so often

make marriage difficult. It is rather to draw the line sharply, as nature


draws
those
choice.
it,

between those who share the

fundamental task of nation-builders and

who do
and

not,

from

deliberate

It is to exalt

parenthood as a

social duty,

to erect standards for

human worths that reveal the men and women of a community or nation who are really performing the
evaluating

most important
I

social service.

would honor among women the

mother, however humble her social station,

who has brought

into the world

strong and beautiful children, and

who

gives them full of promise to the great


[131I

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


human world about her. I would honor among men the father, whatever his
craft,

whose

virility

and

skill

have been

multiplied in sons and daughters that


shall

improve the citizenship of


I

his
so-

country.
ciety

would have organized


its

bestow

richest

favors

upon

her

who,

like

the

Roman

matron,

brings,

as her

supreme offering, her


"These are
society,

children,

and says:
I

my
like-

jewels."

would have

wise, give tangible, practical acknowl-

edgment of the truth and


the old adage,

justice

of

"He

that hath a wife

and

children,

hath given hostages to

fortune."

[132]

CHAPTER X

THE CREATION OF LIFE

CHAPTER X
THE CREATION OF LIFE
The
has
at

right of the child to be well born

its final
all.

sanction in the joy of living

For,

whatever the pessimist

may

say, life at its lowest


is

and

at its

highest estate

the

ings whatsoever.

sum of all blessThe eternal cosmic


its

process would seem to have for

su-

preme goal the creation


every
creature

of
this

life,

and

born

of

process
it
it,

shares the spirit that works through


all.

It,

too,

has the will to

live,

and

too,

would create an ever larger measlife

ure of
it is

for itself
all

and

others.

Thus
or
liv-

that of

created things, whether

sprung

from the

cosmic

process

fashioned through the activities of


[135]

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


ing creatures themselves, the greatest
life.
is

To

live,
life

and up

to

have the endow-

ments of

to the limits one's na-

ture imposes,

is,

therefore, an expression

of the deepest purpose of the universe,

and of the

soul of

man.

Herein

is

the

measure of the fundamental right of


every child born into the world.
If,

therefore, life itself

is

the greatthe very


in

est of created things,

and
is

if

purpose of the universe


such creation, then
is

fulfilled

parenthood the
in

supreme creative function


life.

human

Here men and women are nearto

est

the

cosmic process.

Here do

they share most completely the control


of the unseen forces

upon which the

phenomena of

sense, and, I doubt not,

of spirit, depend.

All the creations of


all

man's handicraft;

the creations of

[136]

TO BE WELL BORN
art, literature

and science;
secondary

all

the creastates-

tions of social philosophers

and

men,

are

of

importance,
lives created

compared with the human


by men and women
parents.

in their capacity as

From
derful
is

the viewpoint of science,


this share of

won-

men and women

in the creation of life.

Down

through

the countless millenniums of years,

from

monera
less

to

men, from masses of form-

protoplasm to highly differentiated

nations, the stream of life has flowed.

In each man's and each woman's being


this

stream appears, bringing to light

the hereditary accumulations of ages,

together

with

those

variations

that
fel-

separate the individual


lows.

from

his

This

total

product of racial and

personal traits, brought into relation[137]

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


ship with those of an individual of the

opposite

sex,

through

the
the

union

of

germinal-cells,

becomes

starting

point of another
the
first

human
cell,

being, old as

living

and yet a new


life.

creation in the universe of

Thus

does the stream of

life

flow on, through

the cooperation of the individual with the


race,

and of man with woman.


is

This cooperation

parenthood, the only

form of

activity in

which man shares


life.

directly in the creation of

From
is

the viewpoint of religion also,

parenthood wonderful.

Put a per-

sonal

God

into the universe,

and man
in
in

in his capacity of parent becomes,

sense

more intimate than

any

other type of activity, a coworker with

Him.
tal

Conceive of

man

as an

immor-

being,

and fatherhood and mother[138]

TO BE WELL BORN
hood become the
of
really

fundamental
Conceive

media of eternal existence.

Christ as the incarnation of God,

and parenthood becomes the instrument


of the incarnation process.
It
is

not

strange that the Christian religion has


ascribed to
father,
its

God

the attributes of a

and

to Jesus

Christ the attriis it

butes of a son.

Nor

strange that
rela-

the highest conception of

woman's

tions to her Creator has been exprest


in

terms of
it

human motherhood;

tho

pity

is,

and tragical for the moral


man's relations to his

history of civilization, that the highest

conception

of

Creator has not been exprest in the

same terms!

From
science

the viewpoint,

then,
is

both of

and

religion, there

an appeal

to the imagination

and the conscience

[139]

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


of those

who

think long thoughts con-

cerning parenthood.

In neither science

nor religion

is

there justification, out-

side of ignorance or cynicism, for be-

lieving that parental functions

may

be

taken

up or

laid

aside

indifferently.

Nothing but the


can absolve any
the
guilt

inability,

or lack of

opportunity, to perform these functions

man

or

woman from
of
life.

of

violating

a law

Men and women


cosmic necessity,
fate,

are in the grip of a

whether we

call

it

God, or blind primordial energy.


the creative

They can no more take


hands than they can
their courses.
is

process of the universe into their


call

own

the stars from

The

will of the universe

to
is

create life;

and every creature


an expresa primary
has,

that

called into being as

sion of that will,

as

[140]

TO BE WELL BORN
quality of
its

existence, the impulse to


in its in

become more complete and


to

own

being

reproduce

itself

the world.

The
pulse

dual character of this cosmic imat

the

foundation

of

all
its

life,

argues an interdependence of
sulting functions.
paired, the other
If

re-

the one be imsuffer.

must

In hu-

man
self,

life,

the will to reproduce one's

and the functions of reproduction,


long run, upon the will to

react, in the
live as

an individual, and the power of


its

achieving

purpose.
life,

Man
Here
is

must create

whatever

else

he creates, or perish from the earth.


a basis of necessity for a

new
in-

kind of creative idealism, and for a

new

application
in

of

the

forces
its

of

telligence

realizing

ends.

We

inspire our children to be idealists in


[141]

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


art,

literature,

religion,

and

other

things.
idealists

Why
in

not inspire them to be


relations
to

their

cosmic

creation?

Is there a greater product

of the creative imagination than a hu-

man

life,

conceived in the
skill

spirit,

and

wrought with the

of a Praxiteles,

a Raphael, or a Shakespeare?

We

in-

spire our children to enlarge their intelligence.

Why

not inspire them to

learn their relations to the forces that

brought them into the world, and determine their primary place in the
of
life

mankind?
or

Could there be a greater


than a

product of

scientific intelligence

man
race

woman who knew how


child that
in

to beget

and rear a
a

would lead the


its

step higher
?

march

of

progress

What an
religion,

educational system,
social
[142]

what a

what a

economy, that

TO BE WELL BORN
has not yet discovered and brought under
a

measurable degree of control,

man's fundamental creative functions


in the world's order!

What

a civiliza-

tion that can dismiss with indifference

or sneers the teachings and warnings


of
scientific

eugenics!

How much
be
satis-

longer will
fied

men and women

with secondary causes, rather than


social regeneration

primary causes, of

and advancement?

How much

longer

will they choose, in their schools, col-

leges,

and marts of

trade, to give their


to

supreme attention

the

creation

of

ephemeral things, rather than to the


creation of
life itself?

In

the

drama
is

called

"The Lion's
Says the old
will

Whelp," there
old

a dialog between an

man and

a youth.

man: "The next century


[143]

be the

century of the child, just as this cen-

THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD


tury has been
the

woman's century.
rights,

When
rality

the child gets his


will

mo-

be perfected.
that he
is

Then every
bound
to the

man
life

will

know

which he has produced, with other

bonds than those imposed by society

and the laws.

You understand
if

that a

man

can not be released from his duty

as father, even

he travels around the

world; a kingdom can be given and


taken away, but not fatherhood."

Says the youth: "I know

this."

Says the old

man

once more:

"But

in this, all righteousness is not fulfilled

in

man's carefully preserving the


called into existence.

life

which he has

Xo

man

can early enough think over the

other question, whether and

when he
of

has the right to


*

call life into

existence."*

Quoted from Ellen Key's "The Century


45-

the Child," page

[144]

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