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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 74

Inverting the Problem

Inverting the Problem.

This concludes my examination of the moderate drinker's pleas, but [unclear: I] should like to apply one other test to his position. The mathematicians sometimes arrive at the solution of a problem by assuming [unclear: s] solved and then tracing back the consequences which the [unclear: assump] involves. In a somewhat analogous fashion the deadening influence chich our fatalistic acceptance of things as they are exercises upon [unclear: d] imagination and sense of responsibility may beto some extent escaped by assuming that universal abstinence has solved the liquor problem, andt that some sensual epicure, some enterprising Christian merchant, or even [unclear: s] pious Christian minister, proposes to re-open the question by sanctioning [unclear: c] more the general use of alcohol. We will suppose our reformer to be in England, and that it is pointed out to him what awful consequence, is reversal of Mr. Chamberlain's prophecy his proposal will entail—the increase of taxation by millions sterling, the filing of disused jails and workhouses, the sacrifice of more lives in a twelve-month than are [unclear: co] sumed in a century of bitter and savage war. Can we imagine anyone wicked enough still to persist with such a proposal ? Above all, can we imagine any Christian minister replying in the following strain?:—