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the sentence-" The final outcome of that speculation commenced by the primitive man, is that the Power manifested throughout the Universe distinguished as material, is the same power which in ourselves wells up under the form of consciousness ;" and on page Io it is said that "this necessity we are under, to think of the external energy in terms of the internal energy, gives rather a spiritualistic than a materialistic aspect to the Universe. Does he really think that the meaning of these sentences is conveyed by comparing the ultimate energy to "electricity"? And does he think this in face of the statement on p. 11 that "phenomenal manifestations of this ultimate energy can in no wise show us what it is?" Surely Surely that which is described as the substratum at once of material and mental existence, bears toward us and toward the Universe, a relation utterly unlike that which electricity bears to the other physical forces.
Persistent thinking along defined grooves, causes inability to get out of them; and Mr. Harrison, in more than one way, illustrates this. So completely is his thought moulded to that form of phenomenalism entertained by M. Comte, that, in spite of repeated denials of it, he ascribes it to me; and does this in face of the various presentations of an opposed phenomenalism, which I have given in the article he criticises and elsewhere. Speaking after his lively
manner of the Unknown Cause as ever-present conundrum to be everlastingly given up," he asks-" How does the man of science approach the AllNothingness?" Now M. Comte describes Positivism as becoming perfect when it reaches the power "se représenter tous les divers phénomènes observables comme des cas particuliers d'un seul fait général . . . en considérant comme absolument inaccessible et vide de sens pour nous la recherche de ce qu'on appelle les causes, soit premières, soit finales; "* and in pursuance of this view, the Comtean system limits itself to phenomena, and deliberately ignores the existence of anything implied by the phenomena. But though M. Comte thus
* " 'Système de Philosophie Positive," vol. i. pp. 5 and 14.
exhibits to us a doctrine which, performing the happy dispatch," eviscerates things and leaves a shell of appearances with no reality inside; yet I have in more than one place, and in the most emphatic way declined thus to commit intellectual suicide. So far from regarding that which transcends phenomena as the "All-Nothingness" I regard it as the All-Being. Everywhere I have spoken of the Unknowable as the Ultimate Reality-the sole existence: all things present to consciousness being but shows of it. Mr. Harrison entirely inverts inverts our relative positions. As I understand the case, the All-Nothingness is that phenomenal existence in which M. Comte and his disciples profess to dwell-profess, I say, because in their ordinary thoughts they recognize an existence transcending phenomena, just as much as other people recognize it.
That the opposition between the view actually held by me and the view ascribed to me by Mr. Harrison, is absolute, will be most clearly seen on observing the contrast he draws between my view and the view of the late Dean Mansel. He says:
Of all modern theologians, the Dean came the nearest to the Evolution negation. But there is a gulf which separates even his allnegative deity from Mr. Spencer's impersonal, unconscious, unthinking, and unthinkable Energy.
It is quite true that there exists this gulf. But then the propositions forming the two sides of the gulf are the opposites Harrison of those which Mr. represents. For whereas,
in common with his teacher Sir William Hamilton, Mansel alleged that our consciousness of the Absolute is merely "a negation of conceivability;" I have, over a space of ten pages,
contended that our con
sciousness of the Absolute is not negative but positive, and is the one indestructible element of consciousness "which persists at all times, under all circumstances, and cannot cease until consciousness ceases "-have argued that while the Power which transcends phenomena cannot be brought within the forms of our finite thought, yet, that, as being a necessary datum of every thought, belief in its existence
"First Principles," § 26.
has, among our beliefs, the highest validity of any is not, as Sir W. Hamilton alleges, a belief with which we are supernaturally "inspired," inspired," but is a normal deliverance of consciousness. Thus, as represented by Mr. Harrison, Dean Mansel's views and my own are exactly transposed. Misrepresentation could not, I think, go further.
The conception I have everywhere expressed and implied, of the relation between human life and the Ultimate Cause, if not diametrically opposed with like distinctness to the conception Mr. Harrison ascribes to me, is yet thus opposed in an unmistakable way. After suggesting that (x) would be an appropriate symbol "for the religion of the Infinite Unknowable, and amusing himself and his readers by imaginary prayers made to (x); after making a subsequent elaboration of his jeu d'esprit by suggesting that (nx) would serve for the formula of certain modern Theisms, he says of these :
The Neo-Theisms have all the same mortal weakness that the Unknowable has.
They offer no kinship, sympathy, or relation whatever between worshipper and worshipped. They too are logical formulas begotten in controversy, dwelling apart from man and the world.
Now, considering that in the article he had before him, there is in various ways implied the view that "the power which manifests itself in consciousness is but a differently conditioned form of the power which manifests itself beyond consciousness''-considering that there, as everywhere throughout my books, the implication is that our lives, alike physical and mental, in common with all the activities, organic and inorganic, amid which we live, are but the workings of this Power, it is not a little astonishing to find it described as simply a "logical formula begotten in controversy. Does Mr. Harrison really think that he represents the facts when he describes as" dwelling apart from man and the world," that Power of which man and the world are regarded products, and which is manifested through man and the world from instant to instant?
Did I not need the space for other topics, I might at much greater length contrast Mr. Harrison's erroneous ver
sions with the true ones. I might enlarge on the fact that, though the name Agnosticism fitly expresses the confessed inability to know or conceive the nature of the Power manifested through phenomeņa, it fails to indicate the confessed ability to recognize the existence of that Power as of all things the most certain. I might make clear the contrast between that Comtean Agnosticism which says. that " Theology and ontology alike end in the Everlasting No with which science confronts all their assertions, "* and the Agnosticism set forth in "First Principles, which, along with its denials, emphatically utters an Everlasting Yes. And I might show in detail that Mr. Harrison is wrong in implying that Agnosticism, as I hold it, is anything more than silent with respect to the question of personality; since, though the attributes of personality, as we know it, cannot be conceived by us as attributes of the Unknown Cause of things, yet "duty requires us neither to affirm nor deny personality," but "to submit ourselves with all humility to the established limits of our intelligence in the conviction that the choice is not "between personality and something lower than personality," but "between personality and something higher,"t and that the Ultimate Power is no more representable in terms of human consciousness than human consciousness is representable in terms of a plant's functions."
But without further evidence, what I have said sufficiently proves that Mr. Harrison's "criticism keen, trenchant, destructive," as it was called, is destructive, not of an actual doctrine, but simply of an imaginary one. I should hardly have expected that Mr. Harrison, in common with the Edinburgh Reviewer, would have taken the course, so frequent with critics, of demolishing a simulacrum and walking off in triumph as though the reality had been demolished. Adopting his own figure, I may say that he has with ease passed his weapon through and through "The Ghost of Religion;" but then it is only the ghost: the reality stands unscathed.
* Harrison, Nineteenth Century, for March, P. 497.
First Principles," § 31.
Essays," vol. iii. p. 251.
There were countless centuries of time, and of men for whom no doctrine of superhuman spirits ever took coherent form. In all these ages and races, probably by far the most numerous that our planet has witnessed, there was religion in all kinds of definite form. Comte calls it Fetichism-terms are not im
there were, and there are, countless millions.
portant: roughly, we may call it Natureworship. The religion in all these types was the belief and worship not of spirits of any kind, not of any immaterial, imagined being inside things, but of the actual visible things themselves-trees, stones, rivers, mountains, earth, fire, stars, sun, and sky. (P. 498.)
The attitude of discipleship is not favorable to inquiry; and, as fanatical Christians show us, inquiry is sometimes thought sinful and likely to bring punishment. I do not suppose that Mr. Harrison's reverence for M. Comte has gone this length; but still it has gone far enough not only to cause his continued adherence to a doctrine espoused by M. Comte which has been disproved, but also to make him tacitly assume that this doctrine is accepted by one whose rejection of it was long ago set forth. In the "Descriptive Sociology" there are classified and tabulated statements concerning some eighty peoples; and beside these I have had before me masses of facts concerning many other peoples. An induction based on over a hundred examples, warrants me in saying that there has never existed anywhere such a religion as that which Mr. Harrison ascribes to "countless millions of men during countless centuries of time." A chapter on" Idol-worship and Fetich worship " in the Principles of Sociology, gives proof that in the absence of a developed ghost-theory, Fetichism
I have shown that, whereas among the lowest races, such as the Juángs, Andamanese, Fuegians, Australians, Tasmanians, and Bushmen, there is no fetichism; fetichism reaches its greatest height in considerably advanced societies, like those of ancient Peru and modern India: in which last. place, as Sir Alfred Lyall tells us, not only does the husbandman pray to his plough, the fisher to his net, the weaver to his loom; but the scribe adores his pen, and the banker his account books. * And I have remarked that, had fetichism been conspicuous among the lowest races, and inconspicuous among the higher, the statement that it was primordial might have been held proved; but that, as the facts happen to be exactly the opposite, the statement is conclusively disproved."t
Similarly with Nature-worship: regarding this as being partially distinguished from Fetichism by the relatively imposing character of its objects. In a subsequent chapter I have shown that this also, is an aberrant development of ghost-worship. Among all the many tribes and nations, remote in place and unlike in type, whose superstitions I have examined, I have found no case in which any great natural appearance or power, feared and propitiated, was not identified with a human or quasi-human. personality. I am not aware that Professor Max Müller, or any adherent of his, has been able to produce a single case in which there exists worship of the great natural objects themselves, pure and simple-the heavens, the sun, the moon, the dawn, etc.; objects which, according to the mythologists, become personalized by " a disease of language.' Personalization exists at the outset ; and the worship is in all cases the worship of an indwelling ghost-derived being.
That these conclusions are necessitated by an exhaustive examination of the evidence, is shown by the fact that they have been forced on Dr. E. B. Tylor notwithstanding his original enunciation of other conclusions. In a lecture" On Traces of the Early Mental Condition of Man, delivered at the
Royal Institution on the 15th of March, 1867, he said:
It is well known that the lower races of
mankind account for the facts and events of
the outer world by ascribing a sort of human life and personality to animals, and even to plants, rocks, streams, winds, the sun and stars, and so on through the phenomena of nature. It would probably add to the clearness of our conception of the state of mind which thus sees in all nature the action of animated life and the presence of innumerable spiritual beings, if we gave it the name of Animism instead of Fetichism.
Here, having first noted that the conception of Fetichism derived by Dr. Tylor from multitudinous facts, is not like that of Mr. Harrison, who conceives Fetichism to be a worship of the objects, themselves, and not a worship of their indwelling spirits, we further note that Dr. Tylor regards this ascription of souls to all objects, inanimate as well as animate, which he proposes to call Animism rather than Fetichism, as being primordial. In the earlier part of his Primitive Culture," published in 1871 (as in vol. i. p. 431), we find a re-statement of this view; but further on we observe a modification of it, as instance the following sentence in vol. ii. p. 100.
It seems as though the conception of a human soul, when once attained to by man, served as a type or model on which he framed not only his ideas of other souls of lower grade, but also his ideas of spiritual beings in general, from the tiniest elf that sports in the long grass, up to the heavenly Creator and Ruler of the world, the Great Spirit.
And then, in articles published in Mind, for April and for July, 1877, Dr. Tylor represented himself as holding a doctrine identical with that set forth by me in the "Principles of Sociology;" namely, that the belief in a human ghost is original, and that the beliefs in spirits inhabiting inanimate objects, giving rise to Fetichism and Nature-worship, are derived beliefs.
And now I come to the chief purpose of this article-an examination of that alternative faith which Mr. Harrison has on sundry occasions set forth with so much eloquence. As originally designed, the essay, Religion a Retrospect and Prospect, was to include a section in which, before considering what the future of religion was likely to be, I proposed to consider what its future was not likely to be; and the topic to be dealt with in this section was the so-called Religion of Humanity. After collecting materials and writing ten pages, I began to perceive that, besides being not needful for my purpose, this section would form too large an excrescence. A further feeling came into play. Though I had for many years looked forward to the time when an examination of the Positivist creed would fall within the lines of my work, yet when I began to put on paper that which I had frequently thought, it seemed to me that I was making an uncalled-for attack on men whom I had every reason to admire for their high characters and their unwearying efforts for human welfare.
The result was that I put aside what I had written, and gave up my long-cherished intention. Now, however, that Mr. Harrison has thrown down the gauntlet, I take it up, at once willingly and unwillingly--willingly in so far as acceptance of the challenge is concerned, unwillingly because I feel some reluctance in dealing hard blows at a personal friend.
Surprise has been the feeling habitually produced in me on observing the incongruity between the astounding claims made by the propounder of this new creed, and the great intelligence of disciples whose faith appears proof against the shock which these astounding claims produce on ordinary minds. Those who, from a broad view of human progress, have gained the general impression that "The individual withers,
and the world is more and more,' be disinclined to believe that in the future any one individual will impose on the world a government like that sought to be imposed by M. Comte; who, unable to influence any considerable number of men while he lived, consoled himself with the thought of absolutely ruling all men after his death. Met, as he complained, by "a conspiracy of silence, he was nevertheless confident that, very shortly becoming converts, mankind at large would hereafter live and move and have their being within his elaborated formulas. Papal assumption is modest compared with the assumption of "the founder of the religion of Humanity." A pope may canonize a saint or two; but M. Comte undertook the canonization of all those men recorded in history whom he thought specially worthy of worship. And such a canonization ! days assigned for the remembrance with honor of mythical personages like Hercules and Orpheus, and writers such as Terence and Juvenal; other days on which honors, like in degree, are given to Kant and to Robertson, to Bernard de Palissy and to Schiller, to Copernicus and to Dollond, to Otway and to Racine, to Locke and to Fréret, to Froissart and to Dalton, to Cyrus and to Penn-such a canonization in which these selected men who are the Positivist saints for ordinary days, are headed by greater saints for Sundays; with the result that Socrates and Godfrey are thus placed on a par; that while a day is dedicated to Kepler, a week is dedicated to Gall; Tasso has a week assigned to him, and Goethe a day; Mozart presides over a week, and a day is presided over by Beethoven; a week is made sacred to Louis the Eleventh, and a day to Washington-such a canonization! under which the greatest men, giving their names to months, are so selected that Frederic the Second and St. Paul alike bear this distinction; Gutemberg and Shakespeare head adjacent months; and while Bichat gives his name to a month, Newton gives his name to a week! This, which recalls the saints' calendar of the Babylonians, among whom, as Professor Sayce shows,
exemplifies in but one way M. Comte's consuming passion for regulating posterity, and the colossal vanity which led him to believe that mankind would hereafter perform their daily actions as he dictated. He not only settles the hierarchy of saints who are above others to be worshipped, but he prescribes the forms of worship in minute detail. Nine sacraments are specified; prayer is to be made thrice a day; for the " daily expression of their emotions both in public and private" it is predicted that future men will use Italian; * and it is a recommended "rule of worship" of the person you adore, that "a precise idea of the place, next of the seat or the attitude, and lastly, of the dress, appropriate to each particular case," should be summoned before the mind. Add to which that in the elaborate rubric the sacred sign (replacing the sign of the cross) and derived from our cerebral theory" (he had a phrenology of his own) consists in placing our hand in succession on the three chief organsthose of love, order, and progress. banners used in "solemn processions,' it is directed that on their white side. will be the holy image; on their green, the sacred formula of Positivism;" and "the symbol of our Divinity will always be a woman of the age of thirty, with her son in her arms.'' Nor was M. Comte's devouring desire to rule the future satisfied with thus elaborating the observances of his cult. He undertook to control the secular culture lof men, as well as that culture which, I suppose, he distinguished as sacred. There is "a Positivist library for the nineteenth century," consisting of 150 volumes : the list being compiled for the purpose "of "of guiding the more thoughtful minds."S minds.' So that M. Comte's tastes and judgments in poetry, science, history etc., are to be the standards for future generations. And the numerous regulations of these kinds are in addition to the other multitudinous regulations contained in those parts of the highly elaborated" System of Positive Polity,' in which M. Comte prescribes the social organization, under the arrangements of
* " each day of the year had been assigned to its particular deity or patron saint,
"Records of the Past," vol. vii. p. 157.
System of Positive Polity," vol. iv. p. 85. +"Catechism of Positivism," p. 100. Ibid., pp. 142-43.
Ibid., p. 38.