||CONFLICTING PHILOSOPHIES OF PROGRESS 21 How, Then, Is Progress to Be Achieved? Herbert Spencer saw the road to progress through the natural process of cosmic evolution as he understood it, assuming, apparently, that the unknowable force behind the evolutionary process would push mankind on toward perfection. Mr. Spencer would restrict the functions of government to police duty in the narrowest meaning of that term. He lived to see that social evolution was not working out in the way he anticipated. It is now a wide spread conviction among social philosophers that men have reached a sfage of development where their future for either better or worse depends in large measure upon themselves. This is what Thomas Davidson meant by "conscious evolution." In the philosophies of religion now current it is not uncommon to speak of the opportunities and duties of men to cooperate with God in bringing about a more perfect social orderâ€" this in contrast with the attitude of some men who call upon God to cooperate with them in pursuit of their own purposes, however nefarious. This attitude is well stated by a contemporary preacher who said: "Man's conceit and unholy pride have led him to make gods out of his particular race, class, or nation. These are but enlarged editions of his own selfishness and pride. And when mortal man thinks he is God, he inevitably tends to act like the devil." * Some speculators on the course of human development have thought of it as a continuation of the struggle for existence and survival of the fittest as conceived by Darwin in one phase of his theory of biological evolution. Application of this point of view to human society lends support to rugged and even ruthless individualism. Huxley, chief defender of Darwinian evolution, opposed this point of view. He held that ethical development runs counter to the individual struggle for existence and that it represents a new turn in the course of evolution. Huxley's view is supported by the Russian biologist, Kropotkin; with the observation that in the fact of mutual aid, which he noted in some of the animal species, we have the natural beginnings of the ethical process. It is self evident that this theory is in harmony with the idea of a cooperative society. Among modern philosophers opposing views concerning the nature of man have been held. Hobbes, for instance, maintained that man is naturally selfish, mean, and nasty and that he was driven to the surrender of his natural rights to a sovereign as his only means of self preservation. In opposition to this the British moralists of the eighteenth century held that man is endowed by nature with moral sentiments, that he is not wholly selfish but that sympathy is also a part of his native endowment. This theory is ably set forth by David Hume in his Principles of Morals. This view of human nature was accepted and applied in the philosophical writings of Ben- * Harold C. Phillips in The Christian Century, August 2, 1939.