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Unformatted text preview: o doing, and this injures our
self-esteem. Of course there is and may be a genuine belief that he menaces society and its stability, but those
who raise this cry the loudest are usually themselves menaced either in authority and power or in some more
direct cashable value.
The qualities which are now to be briefly discussed are in the main great inhibitions. The moral code is in
great part and by the majority of men understood as inhibition and prohibition. A man is held to be honest if
he does not steal and truthful if he does not lie. In reality this conception is largely correct, and it is as we
extend our ideas of stealing and lying that we grow in morality.
Honesty, in relation to property, is the control of the acquisitive impulses and instincts and is wrapped up with
the idea of private property. The acquisitive impulses are very strong in most people but not necessarily in all,
and we find great variability here as elsewhere in human character. One child desires everything he sees,
wants it for his own and does not wish others even to touch it, while another gives away everything he has.
The covetous, the indifferent, the generous, the hoarders, the spenders,--these are a few of the types one finds
every day in relation to the property and acquisitive feelings.
The spirit of "mine" needs on the whole little encouragement, though the ways to achieve "mine" are part of
education. Mainly the spirit of "thine" needs encouragement, and most of our law, as differentiated from
religion and ethics, has been built up on settling disputes in this matter. In its primary form, honesty in
relation to property is the willingness to conform to society's rulings in this matter, e.g., the belief in
ownership as sacred and that to acquire something desired one must (ethical must) go through certain
recognized procedures. The whole conception rests on the social instinct's inhibitions of the acquisitive
instinct and in the growth and strength of feelings of conscience and duty as previously described. Social
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This note was uploaded on 09/26/2011 for the course PSYCHOLOGY 110 taught by Professor Kannan during the Spring '11 term at Anna University Chennai - Regional Office, Coimbatore.
- Spring '11