Mauro has “a sweet spirit and is clearly an able man.” ~ C.I. Scofield
The following is from a pamphlet that was widely circulated in 1912 by Philip Mauro called, “Eugenics: A New Movement.” I read that there were “no” known copies of this pamphlet, but a library search showed Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena had one. I put out that I needed a PDF copy of the book and almost immediately someone did the job for me. This demonstrates the modern wonder of the Internet. We could not have done that so easily even 20 years ago. I became interested in Mauro because he was a convert from premillennial dispensationalism to postmillennial preterism and wrote some important groundbreaking books critiquing and expounding on both views. It turns out he had also argued cases before the Supreme Court, was radically anti-Darwinian and even prepared briefs for the Scopes Trial.
He recognized the connection between Darwinian evolution and Eugenics. This pamphlet was a propaganda piece against both. This needs to be circulated far and wide among the pro-life community and the Personhood movement – anyone who “gets” the philosophical connections between the “isms” I mention above.
By PHILIP MAURO
THESE stirring times are prolific of great “movements.” One of the most notable is that going under the imposing name “Eugenics.” This movement has received little attention from simple people, because its aims are so very scientific that not many are able to grasp them. Its very name is a mystery to ordinary people. So we hasten to tell our readers that “eugenics” is an Anglicized Greek word signifying “well-born.” Briefly stated, the aim of the “Eugenists” is to bring to pass such tremendous changes in human society, and in the conduct of human affairs, as to insure that the children of coming generations shall be well born, that is to say, free from hereditary diseases, degeneracy, predisposition to insanity, etc. This is to be accomplished, according to the Eugenic programme, by preventing the “unfit” (that is to say, persons who are diseased, mentally deficient, extremely depraved and criminal) from mating and becoming parents. It is proposed that “Society” as a whole shall select those who are to be the fathers and mothers of future generations.
It is not worth while to raise the question whether “Society” possesses, or can by any means procure, the power and authority to select those of its members who are to be entrusted with the responsibility of parentage, and to exclude all others from mating. Society has not up to this time been able to accomplish many other “reforms” which, in comparison with that proposed by the Eugenists, are very simple and easy. Even the leaders of this new movement have not been able to suggest any means whereby the desired end could be attained, though a feeble and dubious attempt to prevent the marriages of mentally deficient human beings is about being tried in England by “Act of Parliament.” There appears to be considerable skepticism as to what will be actually accomplished by the proposed Act.
People in general are losing the simple faith they once had in the omnipotence of Acts of Parliament. We need not, however, concern ourselves with the probable outcome of Eugenics. The impressive fact, for those who have learned from the Word of God that the real trouble with human Society is SIN dwelling in and corrupting the hearts of men, is that the wise men of this world have at last come to see that things are going badly with the human race; and that succeeding generations of human beings are not [exhibiting that “progress” and “betterment” which “civilization” is so generally believed to be accomplishing.
A great Congress of those devoted to the spread of “Eugenics” lately assembled in London (1912). It was attended I by about 500 members from all parts of Europe and America. Many addresses were made, papers read, theories propounded, and discussions held. One of England’s most prominent scientists, Sir Ray Lankester, has published a resume of the proceedings of this Congress; and from his report we take the information on which the present article is based.
The starting point of Eugenics is the well-known Darwinian theory of “natural selection.” The supposed law of “natural selection” is said to dominate absolutely among all plants and animals. Nature herself is said to “select” those plants and animals, which are to propagate their kind; and Nature selects so wisely that the standard is maintained. This she does by the simple but effective process of killing off the weaklings and degenerates before they have opportunity to bear, ruthlessly cutting short their career before they can transmit their infirmities to others. Thus, among plants and animals, the sickly and otherwise “unfit” are not permitted to hand down their defects to the next generation, and so fasten them upon the “stock.” This is the explanation given by the learned men of our time to account for the fact that there is no deterioration among plants and animals; for indeed there is no observable change among them when not interfered with by men – no “progress” either forward or backward.
But with the human race it is very different. Says our authority, “The action of the principle of natural selection which determined the survival of apt or favoured races among plants and animals, has to a large extent been evaded or suspended in the case of civilized man.” We are therefore tempted to ask, What advantage, then, is it to have “intelligence,” and what benefit is there in “civilization”? It strikes us as most extraordinary that “Intelligence,” which is regarded as the consummate product of “Natural Selection,” should set itself to accomplish the overthrow of that great creative “law.”
Our authority, after speaking of the ruthless action of Nature in destroying all but a few – the most perfect – of the rising generation, continues: “But man, in proportion as he has become intelligent, has set himself to oppose this destruction of his less capable offspring, and to resist the selection of a strictly limited number precisely fitted to take the places of the elders who vacate by death.. He arranges new conditions or combinations in place of those once offered by Nature. He discovers new foods, new protections, new powers. He rears the weak and sickly. He even allows and carefully enables them to propagate and to transmit their weaknesses, the defects of body and brain, to new generations.”
The observation of these disquieting facts has caused some of the wise ones to inquire anxiously (in the words of our authority), “How is it, then, that mankind has not already become everywhere a diseased, broken-down, degenerate race? What will become of man in the future?”
These are pertinent and solemn questions.
The agitation of these questions has led to the formation of the Society of “Eugenics,” in order to insure a thorough consideration of them, and to evolve, if it be possible, some means for checking the progress of “civilization” in this direction. It is obviously imperative that some effective measures be taken in order to prevent men from employing their “intelligence” in the destruction of the human race. In other words, it has been found necessary to organize the most highly endowed and scientific leaders of humanity for the express purpose of devising measures to counteract what “Evolution” has accomplished in developing a creature (man) who, while gifted with “intelligence,” does not know better how to use it than in working havoc to his entire race. Apparently “Evolution,” that mighty god of the scientist, has done its work very badly. It should either have stopped short of the creation of man, or else have endowed him with capacity to employ his intelligence for the advantage of his race, and not for its destruction.
We must admit that certain developments are taking place among “civilized” peoples at the present day that should cause the deepest anxiety as to the future of mankind – assuming that the Lord does not interfere in Person in human affairs, and that all things continue for a while longer as they have been going of late. For example, among the astounding developments of our day the newspapers are announcing the existence in New York City of a thoroughly organized business partnership between the police and the proprietors of gambling houses and other criminal resorts. Having attained that stage of progress, it is not seen how “civilization” can advance much further in this direction.
It is a point of some little interest that the Eugenic Society should have for its President the son of Charles Darwin, the propounder of the theory of “Natural Selection.” It seems quite fitting that Darwin’s son should take the lead in the forlorn hope of attempting to find some remedy for the evasion by mankind of the operation of the supposed “law” of “Natural Selection.” It seems, indeed, not only foolish in the extreme, but ungrateful as well, on the part of human beings (who owe their very existence. according to the Darwinian theory, to the operation of Natural Selection) thus to cast off the authority of that beneficent “law of Nature.” Indeed it is worse than foolish j for if the Eugenist is right in his deduction from admitted facts, then the nullifying of the law of natural selection means nothing less than race suicide, and that by a death that is awful to contemplate. At all events, the enlightened Eugenist is thoroughly alive to the situation. He sees clearly the grave danger that threatens to exterminate the human race, or that threatens to make it a race of demons, which would be even worse. Everything, from the Eugenic standpoint, depends upon the adoption by civilized man of “some method of selective breeding.” Nothing else will save mankind. The feeble-minded, diseased, and criminally disposed are permitted, say they, “to wander about without restraint, and, owing to the very fact of their feeble-mindedness and want of self-control, they constantly, among the poorer classes, produce children, and increase the number of semi-idiots and feebleminded helpless individuals in the population.”
Concerning the prospect before mankind our authority says (and we call special attention to this): “As to the future, it is probable that, if the civilized races of men do not consciously adopt some method of selective breeding, struggle and competition will develop at a later period between the different race groups of mankind, when the surface of the earth, and the available sources of nutrition, are fully taken up by the dense population of that lawful future.”
Such is the outlook for humanity from the standpoint of the highest “Science.” But this is the Science that excludes every ray of light from the revelation of God’s Word, and that shuts out God Himself from all interference with the “laws of Nature.” The condition of such as look to “Science” for the explanation of the universe, and of the origin and destiny of man, is set forth plainly enough by the passage last quoted. In simpler and plainer words their condition is described by the Apostle Paul as “having no hope, and without God in the world.” “Having no hope” – nothing in prospect but that “awful future” where myriads of semi-crazed and desperate human beings shall tear each other to pieces for possession of the food needed for the prolongation of their miserable existence. And “without God” – having none to look to for deliverance from this clearly perceived danger! No prospect of help save from the yet unborn Science of Eugenics!
Unbelievers scoff at the idea of hell. Yet here we have “Science” itself calmly drawing a picture of conditions inconceivably awful, and for the production of which it is ONLY NECESSARY THAT “CIVILIZED MAN” BE LEFT TO HIMSELF.
From this we may learn the impressive fact that nothing more is needed to produce the conditions of hell than that God should entirely withdraw Himself from men; or rather (for it is the other way) that men should continue in their self-chosen course of departure from the living God.
We invite special attention to the fact that the disaster foreseen by the Eugenist is said to threaten only the “civilized” races of men. It is our boasted “civilization” that is hurrying us into the abyss. The uncivilized or unprogressive races are not threatened with such a frightful calamity. It would be difficult, however, to extract any comfort from that distinction, seeing that “the prince of this world” is manifestly bending his energies to effect the spread of “civilization” over the entire earth. Is it not significant that in nations that have party-government, the “Progressives” are just now carrying everything before them? In confirmation of the fate of civilized man, as predicted by the Eugenist, we would call attention to a startling fact lately brought into prominence by the eminent expert in mental diseases, Prof. Forbes Winslow, namely, “that insanity is advancing with civilization.” In a recently published letter he says: “The more civilized the nation is, the more insanity is seen. Insanity is rare among the uncivilized nations of the world. It is absolutely unknown among those generations that live in their primitive simplicity. Immediately a nation is on a fair way to be civilized, then insanity shows its face forthwith.
“In England there is more insanity now than in the Middle Ages, as civilization has continued to further advance. Every year we are in a higher state of civilization and every year lunacy increases” (Pall Mall Gazette, Jan. 7, 1913).
The official census reports of the United States for many decades past fully confirm Prof. Winslow’s statement. They show that insanity is on the increase in that country at a ratio far greater than the increase in population. And the same is true of murder and suicide.
In the presence of such facts as these, we should suppose that the suggestion that the development of these monstrous evils might be due to the increasing departure of the civilized nations from the Word of God, which has been given to them, would be deemed worthy even of “scientific” consideration.
For an instructive and exceedingly interesting discussion of the tendencies and outcome of modern civilization, we would refer our readers to, After Civilization, What?
There is much in what the Eugenist says with which we can agree. Thus, he attaches the highest importance to the “stock” of humanity saying, “A good stock means a stock which has within it germ matter which is good.” It is, indeed, of the highest importance that the stock of the tree be “good,” otherwise the fruit cannot be good. The trouble with every child of Adam is that he is the fruit of a tree whose stock is bad. Heretofore the efforts of reformers have been addressed to the vain attempt to make the fruit good. Whereas the Lord has said, “Make the tree good and its fruit (will be) good.” Now at last some discerning men of science have obtained a glimmering recognition of the truth that it is necessary to have a good “stock” and good “seed” in order to produce good fruit. Having perceived so much, they should bring themselves to acknowledge that none but God has power to “make the tree good.” Surely presumptuous man will, in this extremity, learn his dependence upon God, and turn to Him! But no, anything rather than to trust in God. So we have, as the offspring of man’s dire necessity, his latest “invention” – Eugenics. Or rather we have the proposition to bring Eugenics into existence, as the only conceivable means whereby humanity may be preserved from a hell of its own making. For, as we have seen, Eugenics exists at present only in name. Scientific and civilized man has yet to create the engine that is to save him from the consequences of his own scientific “civilization.”
Fallen man has, from the earliest times, devoted himself to the making of idols, that is to say, the making of gods who might be invoked to do for man what man (their creator) could not do for himself. But the idols that answered very well in former times are not equal to the demands of our modern civilization. A new, and more potent deity is needed to avert the threatened disaster. Keen-eyed “Science” has detected the need, and now the leaders of Science have organized for the great purpose of bringing the much needed god into being.
Those who have spiritual discernment can easily see that man’s (as yet non-existent) method of being “WELL-BORN” is the human substitute for God’s method of being “BORN-AGAIN.” The need of a “good seed” is more imperative even than the Eugenist thinks. To meet this necessity God sent forth His own Son. HE is the Sower that sows the “good/seed,” the living Word of the living God, in the hearts of men. Those who receive this good seed into their hearts have something far better than the Science of Eugenics could bestow, even if it existed with all the powers desired for it. They have the new birth, being “born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.”