Unless one believes in a superhuman reason which directs evolution, one is bound to believe in a reason inherent in humanity, a motive power transcending that of each separate people, just as the power of the organism transcends that of the organ. This reason increases in proportion as the unity of mankind becomes established.
One can best observe a movement of the time - its dangers as well as its advantages - by scrutinising it in its strongest, most pronounced form.
Ambition has developed into a passion which drives women, as well as men, to great works - and small deeds. Formerly competitors in the race for men, they are now competing in the race for social tasks and distinctions.
How the woman movement has elevated woman's work, since it has raised the standard of qualification in many fields and increased the feeling of responsibility in all!
In every new generation, the impulses supposed to have been rooted out by discipline in the child break forth again when the struggle for existence - of the individual in society, of the society in the life of the state - begins. These passions are not transformed by the prevalent education of the day, but only repressed.
Socialism and the woman movement are two mighty streams which drag along with them great parts of the firm formations which they touch.
No one who passively endures an injustice against himself has the material in him to struggle for the rights of others. The one who patiently forbears becomes an accessory to the injustice done to others. He who resists the injustice which he himself meets can open up the way to a higher right for others.
When it comes to the application to life of existing laws and morals, woman, because of her willing receptiveness, her elasticity and adaptability combined with her power of tenacious retention, has exerted an influence, the value of which is too vast to be measured.
Our age gives the more receptive among the young such a sense of social responsibility that one is inclined at times to fear that social interests may encroach upon individual development, that a knowledge of all the ills affecting the community may act as too powerful a damper on the joys of youth.
Christianity is sustained by the knowledge that the object of man's life on earth is his development as an eternal being. Therefore, none of his expressions of life can be an end in itself, but must serve a higher purpose than the earthly life and happiness of the individual - or even than that of the race.
Not observation of a duty but liberty itself is the pledge that assures fidelity.
The serious questions that are talked out or strangled with red tape are more numerous than those that are killed by silence; the number of people whose ideas are knocked on the head in societies is greater in our day than that of the solitary fighters who go under.
The woman pastor would often be, especially for women and children, a better minister than the clergyman; for them also, the woman judge might often surpass the man in penetration and understanding.
Countless are the women parasites who, to satisfy their craving for pleasure and luxury, impoverish father or husband. These lame limbs in the social organism, which themselves accomplish nothing, but for whom all other limbs work, are the most flagrant example of womanly immorality in the present.
Whereas nationalism still seeks power, honour, and glory through means that endanger other countries, patriotism knows that a country's strength and honour can only be permanently safeguarded through concourse with other countries. And whereas nationalism scoffs at the idea of international laws and regulations, patriotism seeks to create such.
When the sense of solidarity has been developed to such a point that each one feels the cause of all others as his own, we shall be drawing near to international and to social peace.
Morality in its noblest forms remains inexplicable unless one takes into account that power of growth in the human soul which has led generation after generation from lower religious and ethical standards to higher ones which often clash with worldly advantages.
Certainly it may, under present imperfect conditions, often be a duty not to destroy the outward form of marriage for the sake of the children. But by no means can this duty be preached as universally binding.
It is not sufficient for the young to devote their enthusiasm, their courage, their ambition, their self-sacrifice to the great ideas of the time; the young must not only preserve but increase their powers if they are to be really equal to their eternal task: that of drawing the age in advance.
In order to overcome the spirit that creates war, mothers must begin in the tender years of childhood to teach children that right must be the foundation of all might, that authority can be exercised without the help of fists.
Even if national peculiarities in character and in laws occasion differences in the curve which the woman movement describes in the different countries, yet everywhere the movement has had the same causes, must follow the same main direction, and - sooner or later - must have the same effects.
The work of popular education, the temperance movement, the peace movement, are to a great extent carried on by the young. Their meetings show that the young understand one of their tasks: that of bringing together the different classes through social intercourse.
The ever clearer consciousness that love can dispense with marriage, yet marriage cannot dispense with love, is already partially recognized by modern society, by the facility of divorce.
Every young person has to bear the burden - heavier in proportion as the individuality is richer - of accommodating himself to existence now that it is no longer seen with the eyes of a child, the eyes to which everything is as it should be.
The simplest formula for the new conception of morality, which is beginning to be opposed to the moral dogma still esteemed by all society, but especially by the women, might be summed up in these words: Love is moral even without legal marriage, but marriage is immoral without love.
Like George Sand, the feminism of the present day asserts the right of free thought against the creed of authority in every field; the solidarity of mankind and the cause of peace against the patriotism of militarism; social reform against the existing relations of society.
The educator wants the child to be finished at once and perfect. He forces upon the child an unnatural degree of self-mastery, a devotion to duty, a sense of honour - habits that adults get out of with astonishing rapidity.
Great love, like great genius, can never be a duty: both are life's gracious gifts to its elect.
Altered social conditions may remove certain ailments and deformities in existing society. But the new and more beautiful society will not be formed exclusively - or even mainly - by improved conditions, but above all by more perfect human beings.
At every step the child should be allowed to meet the real experience of life; the thorns should never be plucked from his roses.
The current of emotion, which was formerly directed to gaining eternal bliss, is turned in socialism - in the same degree as the latter is permeated by evolutionism - towards the perfecting of earthly life.
While the women of the older generation were thankful if only they succeeded in obtaining 'a work and a duty,' however monotonous and wearing it might be, the will of the younger generation for a pleasurable labour has fortunately increased.
If, in the coming thousand years, a feminine culture shall really supplement the masculine, then this will be exactly in the measure in which women have the courage to create and to act as most feminists now do not even dare think.
What would happen if we finally succeeded in following the directions of nature and recognized that the great secret of education lies hidden in the maxim, 'Do not educate'?
Everything, everything in war is barbaric... But the worst barbarity of war is that it forces men collectively to commit acts against which individually they would revolt with their whole being.
When the crying child is immediately isolated, and it is explained to him at the same time that whoever annoys others must not be with them, if this isolation is the absolute result and cannot be avoided, in the child's mind a basis is laid for the experience that one must be alone when one makes oneself unpleasant or disagreeable.
When, in any ethical department, unity is attained between outer demands and inner desires, between nature and conscience, between the needs of society and the individual, the moral formula is void because inner necessity then makes it psychically and physically impossible to break the outer law. Thus, true morality is attained.
For thousands of years, poetry has been picturing love as a mysterious and tragic power. But when anyone says the same thing in plain prose, and adds that life would be colourless and poor without the great passions, then this is called immorality!
On the question of marriage, as in all other respects, Lutheranism is a compromise, a bridge between two logical views of the universe: the Catholic-Christian and the Individualistic Monist. And bridges are made to go over, not to stand upon.
The married woman as family provider beside the man, often also in place of the man, but always however subservient to the man's dominion - this is the worst form of woman slavery our time has created.
Those who profess the faith of Life regard the ideals of mankind as an expression of man's higher needs. Ideals which were once incentives to development thus become a drag upon it whenever life's needs demand new forms that are not recognised by the prevailing idealism.
War can be prevented only by broad-minded statesmanship - a statesmanship that understands how to enlist people's interests in a leading cause.
The educator should do anything but advise the child to do what everybody does. He should rather rejoice when he sees in the child tendencies to deviation.
Happiness lies so far from man, but he must begin by daring to will it.
The more horrifying this world becomes, the more art becomes abstract.
On the whole, the experience that the activity of the soul obeys the law of least resistance has been verified even in regard to women's social morals. As a rule, these have been focused on the family and on charity - among other reasons, because woman's sense of duty seldom finds means of expression in other directions.
Corporal punishment is as humiliating for him who gives it as for him who receives it; it is ineffective besides. Neither shame nor physical pain have any other effect than a hardening one.