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Damned Race Essay

  • Submitted by: saint757
  • on December 7, 2008
  • Category: English
  • Length: 383 words

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Below is an essay on "Damned Race" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

In “The Damn Human Race” Mark Twain claims to have used the scientific method to answer a moral question: Are human beings better or worse than other animals? Science has not traditionally served as a reliable guide to moral issues, for though science works toward the laws of nature (Without oxygen, animals die), morality begins with law (Thou shalt not kill). Twain adapted the method of science to a problem in morality because of the reason that science and morality can be viewed as total opposites. Science deals with method. Morality deals with power and control.

What is science exactly? Science refers to encompassing skill, especially reflecting a precise application of facts or principles: proficiency. This activity and skill requires sufficient study and method to gain knowledge through experience. Morality pushes in yet another direction. This direction refers to system, not skill. Its motivation based on the concern with the distinction between good and evil. The morality of an action is founded in the freedom of that principle, by virtue of which it is in the agent's power, having all things ready and requisite to the performance of an action, either to perform or not perform it.

Twain’s purpose cannot be to reform, to correct human behavior, for he considers humans’ inferiority to animals “permanent in him [Man, human beings], indestructible, ineradicable” (531). “The fact that man knows right from wrong proves his intellectual superiority to other creatures; but the fact that he can do wrong proves his moral inferiority to any creature that cannot” (527).

Twain’s “The Damned Human Race” rectifies the disadvantages that humans face when being trapped like a caged bird with clipped wings. Humans are the only species that have religious beliefs. Humans create war and violence, as if it were part of nature. It’s the nature of the man to use the tools given to him to seek and conquer, rise and fall, slave and to be enslaved. It is all part of the...

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