CAN ANGER EVER BE RIGHT

Even the best dictionaries in the course of recording usage must sometimes record current conceptions of right and wrong. Thus one of the latest and largest dictionaries has this to say of anger : "Anger is keen or hot displeasure (usually with a desire to punish) at what is regarded as an injury or injustice to one's self or others. It may be excessive or misplaced, but is not necessarily wrong." Here is probably an accurate statement of popular ethics or morals. According to this criterion the rightness or wrongness of anger is a matter of degree and direction. If it is moderate and is directed toward one who has inflicted an injury or injustice, it is not wrong but right.

Popular religion also agrees with this notion, or even gives anger a better character than does ethics or morals. Thus a well-known doctor of divinity, whose sermons are widely read, recently published the following comment on a letter received by the periodical of which he is editor : "Anger is not always wrong. 'Be ye angry and sin not' is the divine law, because it is the divine ideal." According to this authority it is a Christian duty to be angry at least part of the time. Anger is a virtue and one's ideals are lacking unless they include some measure of anger.

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