Richet, Charles Robert - We should be entirely engrossed in doing good; justice should be our sole preoccupation
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Tolstoi says somewhere that the sciences are nothing, that art is nothing, that the true science is that of good and evil, of justice and injustice.
Everything sinks into insignificance in presence of this great duty, or rather life has no other object. We should be entirely engrossed in doing good; justice should be our sole preoccupation.
If, then, from an absolute point of view the suffering of frogs and rabbits does not count, it counts a lot from the point of view of human morality.
If a bad child should martyrise a toad, it is not the toad which would interest me : poor creature of diffused consciousness, ignorant even of its own pain, such a tiny pain, too, in comparison with the immense pains which the beings of this great universe are suffering at this moment! No; the toad would scarcely exist for me.
The child would interest me greatly; and all my pity would be turned upon that cruel child. My efforts would tend much less towards preventing the toad from suffering than towards preventing that human being from becoming a barbarian.