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proportionate to the weight of the evidence by which they are established. A religious belief is essentially different from this. However it may be produced or justified, its essence is to be firm and unconditional. It resembles rather confidence in a person than assent to an opinion.
In regard to morals and politics the scientific process results not in an earnest dominant belief, but in the admission of the existence of this or that motive of conduct and in a quiet and conditional appreciation of its weight. The possibility of doubt is essential to science and fatal to religion.
For this reason, if it stood alone, it might, I think, be affirmed that notwithstanding the immense importance of science you can never base a religion upon it.
But there is another and, I think, a much stronger and deeper reason for the same conclusion. The very thing which disposes people to want and to accept a religion is a feeling of discontent with the actual world in which we live, with the facts perceived by the senses, and the inferences deduced from those facts by logical processes. This discontent may take every sort of shape, from that of the savage who seems to worship his fetich, much in the spirit in which a child personifies its toys, by way of satisfying a vague imaginative curiosity, to that of highly civilized men and women, who tell you that somewhere or other there must be something to satisfy what they call their spiritual wants, something to redress the wrongs and to console the sorrows which they see about them. This has suggested the paradox that a perfectly true religion would be no religion at all; the meaning of which is that a religion as such is an attempt to realize or set up an ideal, which cannot be done if you do not transcend actual facts. The essence of religion is to supply to human life something which is not in it. The essence of science is to take the world as it is, and give a clear, systematic account of it. What, then, is the account given by science of the world? It is an account not calculated to call out anything like religious feeling about the world considered as a whole, though it is certainly not inconsistent with the ex
istence of feelings on particular subjects which have more or less analogy to the feeling toward the whole range of human life which is what is specifically meant by religion.
The very last and latest assertion made, and so far as appears capable of being made, by science about mankind, is that it may possibly succeed in tracing the steps by which the human race, as we know it, gradually came into existence from some immensely remote origin, by all kinds of intricate stages most imperfectly understood. It may also conceivably show what kind of habits, maxims, laws and institutions will produce certain effects on the hurace at given times and places. Under such and such conditions (it may say) political economy, limited and applied thus and thus, will favor the growth of wealth. Such and such a way of distributing property will be found to produce such and such results upon society. The following are the subjects to which legislation may be usefully applied, and the various rights, duties and social institutions recognized by law may be thus or thus described or defined.
Science has far enough to go before. propositions of this nature, correct to any moderate degree, can be laid down with reference to any important department of human affairs. Let any one who doubts this think of the pretensions made by political economy say forty years ago, and of the great modifica tions which in the course of the last forty years have been made in them or let them think of the confidence with which Bentham and his immediate
followers wrote of the reform of the
law, and of the modifications which a deeper knowledge of history has introduced into their theories. Put aside, however, all these difficulties, and assume the triumph of their mode of thinking. Where does it tend even to suggest any sort of religion, the existence of anything exciting any feeling of awe or reverence, the possibility of any sort of worship? Mankind is the object of our worship-mankind, a stupid, ignorant half beast of a creature, the most distinguished specimens of which have passed their lives in chasing chimeras, and believing and forcing
others to believe in fairy tales about thema creature made up mostly of units, of which a majority cannot even read, while only a small minority have the time, or the means, or the ability to devote any considerable part of their thoughts to anything but daily labor. For my part, I would as soon worship the ugliest idol in India, before which a majority of the Queen's subjects chop off the heads of poor little goats.
If human life is in the course of being fully described by science, I do not see what materials there are for any religion, or, indeed, what would be the use of one, or why it is wanted. We can get on very well without one, for though the view of life which science is opening to us gives us nothing to worship, it gives us an infinite number of things to enjoy. There are many who think, or say they think, that if the scientific view of human life is true, life itself would not be worth having. This seems to me altogether false. We should have to live on different principles from those which have usually been professed; but I think that for people who took a just view of their own position, and were. moderately fortunate, life would still be extremely pleasant. The world seems to me a very good world if it would only last. It is full of pleasant people and curious things, and I think that most men find no great difficulty in turning their minds away from its transient character. Love, friendship, ambition, science, literature, art, politics, commerce, professions, trades, and a thousand other matters will go on equally well, as far as I can see, whether there is or is not a God or a future state, and a man who cannot occupy every waking moment of a long life with some or other of these things must be either very unfortunate in regard of his health or circumstances, or else must be a poor creature.
No doubt the great leading doctrines of theology are noble and glorious. To be able to conceive of the world as the work of a Being infinitely wise, infinitely powerful, and in some mysterious way infinitely good; to regard morality as a law given to men by such a Being; to look upon this outward and visible life as only a part of some vast whole, other parts of which may vindicate its apparent inconsistency with the wisdom and
goodness which are ascribed to its Author, is a great thing. People really able in good faith to look on the world in that light are ennobled by their creed; they are carried above and beyond the vulgar and petty side of life; and if the truth of propositions depended not upon the evidence by which they can be supported, but by their intrinsic beauty and utility, they might vindicate their creed against all others.
If, however, their views have to be given up, I do not see either that lite will become worthless or that morals in particular will cease to be. I think that religion would die with theology; but, as I have said, I think we could live very well without religion, though on principles different from those which most men have hitherto professed, though for the most part identical with those on which respectable people have usually acted. Morality would be transformed, but by no means destroyed. Ubi homines, ibi mores. Men can never associate together without honoring and rewarding and protecting in various ways temperance, fortitude, benevolence, and justice. No individual man can live in any society of any size without observing this fact, sharing more or less in the common feelings, judging his own conduct according to them, and perceiving that his own personal interest is, to an extent more or less considerable, bound up in the general interest. That this state of things will hereafter produce, as it has in the past produced, a solid, vigorous, useful kind of moral. standard, reflected to a great, perhaps to an increasing, degree in law properly so called, seems practically certain.
The change would come in regard to the mystical, emotional part of morality. If Christ is thought of as a mere dead
* I cannot resist the opportunity of a passing allusion to the life of the late Mr. Maurice as an illustration of what I mean. I knew hin
well. I wholly and entirely disagreed with him as far as I understood him, but it was
impossible to know anything of him without dered anything mean, or consciously false, or petty, morally impossible to him, and his biography seems to me to show that this was the natural and appropriate effect of his creed, though I suppose most people would agree in Mr. Gladstone's remark, "His intellectual constitution had long been, and still is, to me a good deal of an enigma.'
seeing that he had that within him which ren
man who in his lifetime was a mistaken enthusiast, people in general will have no wish to imitate him in being a man of sorrows acquainted with grief. They will prefer being men of rational pleasure with as little grief as may be. Christianity has deified self-sacrifice. It worships a Being who, as it tells the story, was willingly put to a shameful and painful death without any advantage to himself whatever. If this is recognized to be a mere fable, or if a purely human morality takes the place of Christian morals, self-command, and self-denial, force of character shown in postponing the present to the future will take the place of self-sacrifice as an object of admiration. Love, friendship, good-nature, kindness, carried to the height of sincere and devoted affection, will always be the chief pleasures of life whether Christianity is true or false; but Christian charity is not the same as any of these or all of these put together, and I think that if Christian theology were exploded Christian charity would not survive it.
There would, no doubt, be a more or less poetic side to the most exclusively worldly morality. Military courage is not an exclusively Christian virtue. It has been exhibited on innumerable occasions in the highest perfection by men of every and of no reiigion. The
same may be said of conjugal and parental love, of patriotism, of the sentiment of professional honor, and even of party spirit, which, by the way, is perhaps the very lowest form of disinterested virtue. But I can only hint at the way in which the vast change I am considering would work itself out. In a few words I contend that to expect to preserve the morals of Christianity while we deny the truth of Christian theology is like expecting to cut down the tree and to keep the fruit; that if the Apostle's Creed is given up, the Sermon on the Mount and the parables will go too; that parodies of them are inexpressibly dreary, that to try to keep them alive by new ceremonies and forms of worship made on purpose is like preparing ingredients and charms which would make Medea's caldron efficacious. But I also contend on the other hand that, if Christianity does pass away, life will remain in most particulars and to most people much what it is at present, the chief difference being that the respectable man of the world, the lukewarm nominal Christian who believed as much of his creed as happened to suit him and led an easy life, will turn out to have been right after all, and enthusiastic believers. of all creeds to have been quite wrong. Nineteenth Century.
LIFE IN MARS.
BY R. A. PROCTOR.
ALL that we have learned about Mars leads to the conclusion that it is well fitted to be the abode of life. We can trace, indeed, the progress of such changes as we may conceive that the inhabitants of Venus or of Mercury must recognize in the case of our own earth. The progress of summer and winter in the northern and southern halves of the planet, the effects due to the progress of the Martial day, from sunrise to sunset-nay, even hourly changes, corresponding to those which take place in our own skies, as clouds gather over our continents, or fall in rain, or are dissipated by solar heat such signs as these that Mars is a world like ours can
be recognized most clearly by all who care to study the planet with a telescope of adequate power.
As regards the atmosphere of Mars, by the way, the earliest telescopic observers fell into a somewhat strange mistake. For, noticing that stars seemed to disappear from view at some considerable distance from the planet, they assigned to the Martial atmosphere a depth of many hundreds of miles-I care not to say how many. More careful observation, however, showed that the phenomenon upon which so much stress had been laid was merely optical. Sir J. South and other observers, carefully studying the planet with telescopes
of modern construction, have been able to prove abundantly that the atmosphere of Mars has no such abnormal extension as Cassini and others of the earlier telescopists had imagined.
The early observations made on the polar snows of Mars were more trustworthy. Maraldi found that at each of two points nearly opposite to each other on the globe of the planet, a white spot could be recognized, whose light, indeed, was so brilliant as to far outshine that emitted by the remainder of the disk. The idea that these white spots correspond in any way to the polar snows on our own earth does not seem to have occurred to Maraldi. Yet he made observations which were well calculated to suggest the idea, for he noticed that one of the spots had at a certain time diminished greatly in size. Instead, however, of ascribing this change to the progress of the Martial seasons, he was led to the strange conclusion that the white spot was undergoing a progress of continuous decrease, and he even announced the date when, as he supposed, it would finally disappear.
No such disappearance took place, however. When Sir W. Herschel began his series of observations upon Mars, more than half a century later, the spots were still there. The energy of our great astronomer did not suffer these striking features to remain long unexanined. Searching, as was his wont, after terrestrial analogies-or, at least, analogies depending on known facts he was quickly led to associate the white spots with our arctic regions. It would follow, of course, that in the summer months of either Martial hemisphere, the snow-cap would be reduced in size, while in the winter it would attain its greatest dimensions. Sir W. Herschel found this to be the case, and he was able to show that the changes which Maraldi had interpreted as suggesting the eventual disappearance of one of the bright spots, were due to the progress of the Martial summer. Precisely as in our summer months, those who voyage across the Atlantic may sail in far higher latitudes than they could safely venture to traverse in winter, so in Mars the Polar ice and snow is limited within a far narrower region in summer than in winter.
But after all (it may be urged), to suppose that these two bright spots are formed in reality of ice and snow is rather venturesome. Might we not imagine that some other material than water is concerned in the observed changes? What reason have we for inferring that the same elements that we are familiar with exist out yonder in. space?
The answer to these questions-or, rather, the answers, for we have to do with a whole series of facts, dovetailing in the most satisfactory manner into each other-will be found full of interest.
We all know that Mars shines with a ruddy light. He is, indeed, far the ruddiest star in the heavens: Aldebaran and Antares are pale beside him. Now, in the telescope the surface of Mars does not appear wholly red. We have seen that at two opposite points his orb exhibits white spots. But, beside these regions, there are others which are not red. Dark spaces are seen, sometimes strangely complicated in figure, which present a well-marked tinge of greenish blue. Here, then, we have a feature which we should certainly expect to find in the polar spots are really snow caps; for the existence of water in quantities sufficient to account for snowregions covering many thousand square miles of the surface of Mars would undoubtedly lead us to infer the existence of oceans, and these oceans might be expected to resemble our own oceans in their general tint. According According to this view, the dark greenish-blue markings on Mars would come to be regarded as the Martial seas.
If this be the case, then I may note in passing that the seas of Mars cover a much smaller proportion of his surface than those of our own earth, the extent of our seas being to that of our continents about the proportion of 11 to 4 ; in Mars the land and sea surfaces would seem to be nearly equal in extent. The seas in Mars are also very singu. larly shaped. They run into long inlets and straits; many are bottle-or flaskshaped-that is, we see a somewhat rounded inland sea connected with what must be called the main ocean by a narrow inlet; and further it would seem as though oceanic communication must be
far more complete in Mars (notwithstanding the relative smallness of his ocean surface) than on our own earth. One could travel by sea between all parts of Mars with very few exceptions, the long inlets and the flask-shaped seas breaking up his land-surface much more completely than the actual extent of water would lead us to infer. It may be supposed that on the other hand land communication is far more complete in the case of Mars than in that of our own earth. This is, indeed, the case, insomuch that such Martialists as object to sea travelling (and we can scarcely suppose sea-sickness to be a phenomenon peculiar to our own earth) may very readily avoid it, and yet not be debarred from visiting any portion of their miniature world, save one or two extensive islands. Even these are separated by such narrow seas from the neighboring continents that we may regard it as fairly within the power of the Martial Brunels and Stephensons to bridge over the intervening straits, and so to enable the advocates of land-voyaging to visit those portions of their planet. This view is encouraged by the consideration that all engineering operations must be much more readily effected in Mars than on our own earth, The force of gravity is so small at the surface of Mars that a mass which on the earth weighs a pound, would weigh on Mars about six and a quarter ounces, so that in every way the work of the engineer, and of his ally the spadesman would be lightened. A being shaped as men are, but fourteen feet high, woud be as active as a man six feet high, and many times more powerful. On such a scale, then, might the Martial navvies be framed. But that is not all. The soil in which they would work would weigh very much less, mass for mass, than that in which our terrestrial spadesmen labor. So that, between the far greater powers of Martial beings, and the far greater lightness of the materials they would have to deal with in constructing roads, canals, bridges, or the like, we may very reasonably conclude that the progress of such labors would be very much more rapid, and their scale very much more important than in the case of our own earth.
But let us return to our oceans, re
membering that at present we have not proved that the dark greenish-blue regions we have called oceans really consist of water.
It might seem hopeless to inquire whether this is the case. Unless the astronomer could visit Mars and sail upon the Martial seas, he could never learn-so at a first view one might fairly judge-whether the dark markings he chooses to call oceans are really so or not.
But he possesses an instrument which can answer even such a question as this. The spectroscope, the ally of the telescope-of small use in astronomical work without the latter, but able to tell us much which the most powerful telescope could never reveal has been called in to solve this special problem. It cannot, indeed, directly answer question. It cannot so analyze the light from the greenish markings as to tell us the nature of the material which emits or reflects to us that peculiarly tinted light. But the astronomer and physicist is capable of reasoning as to certain effects which must necessarily follow if the Planet of War have oceans and polar snow-caps, and which could not possibly appear if the markings we call oceans were not really so, nor the white spots at the Martial poles really snow-caps. Extensive seas in one part of the planet, and extensive snow regions in another, would imply, in a manner there could be no mistaking that the vapor of water is raised in large quantities from Martial oceans to be transferred by Martial winds to polar regions, there to fall in snow-showers. vapor in the Martial atmosphere that the spectroscope can inform us about. Our spectroscopists know quite well what the vapor of water is capable of showing in the rainbow-tinted streak which is called the spectrum. When white light is caused to shine through a sufficient quantity of the vapor of water, the rainbow-tinted streak forming the spectrum of white light is seen to be crossed by certain dark lines, whose position and arrangement there is no mistaking. Now the light we get from Mars is eflected sunlight, but it is sunlight which has been subjected to more than reflection, since it has passed twice through the depths of the Martial atmosphere,
It is this aqueous