Nature, the Utility of Religion, and Theism

Longmans, Green, Reader, and Dyer, 1874 - 257 sidor

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Sida 28 - In sober truth, nearly all the things which men are hanged or imprisoned for doing to one another, are Nature's everyday performances. Killing, the most criminal act recognised by human laws, Nature does once to every being that lives, and in a large proportion of cases after protracted tortures, such as only the greatest monsters whom we read of ever purposely inflicted on their living fellow-creatures.
Sida 29 - Nature impales men, breaks them as if on the wheel, casts them to be devoured by wild beasts, burns them to death, crushes them with stones like the first christian martyr, starves them with hunger, freezes them with cold, poisons them by the quick or slow venom of her exhalations, and has hundreds of other hideous deaths in reserve, such as the ingenious cruelty of a Nabis or a Domitian never surpassed.
Sida 255 - When to this we add that, to the conception of the rational sceptic, it remains a possibility that Christ actually was what he supposed himself to be...
Sida 65 - The scheme of Nature regarded in its whole extent, cannot have had, for its sole or even principal object, the good of human or other sentient beings. What good it brings to them, is mostly the result of their own exertions. Whatsoever, in nature, gives indication of beneficent design, proves this beneficence to be armed only with limited power ; and the duty of man is to co-operate with the beneficent powers, not by imitating but by perpetually striving to amend the course of nature — and bringing...
Sida 35 - Nature's general rules, and part of her habitual injustice, that "to him that hath shall be given, but from him that hath not, shall be taken even that which he hath.
Sida 174 - I think it must be allowed that, in the present state of our knowledge, the adaptations in Nature afford a large balance of probability in favour of creation by intelligence.
Sida 254 - But about the life and sayings of Jesus there is a stamp of personal originality, combined with profundity of insight, which, if we abandon the idle expectation of finding scientific precision where something very different was aimed at, must place the Prophet of Nazareth, even in the estimation of those who have no belief in his inspiration, in the very first rank of the men of sublime genius of whom our species can boast. When this pre-eminent genius is combined with the qualities of probably the...
Sida 255 - When this pre-eminent genius is combined with the qualities of probably the greatest moral reformer and martyr to that mission who ever existed upon earth, religion cannot be said to have made a bad choice in pitching on this man as the ideal representative and guide of humanity ; nor...
Sida 253 - And whatever else may be taken away from us by rational criticism, Christ is still left ; a unique figure, not more unlike all his precursors than all his followers, even those who had the direct benefit of his personal teaching.
Sida 28 - Shall 1 gravitation cease when you go by?" may be a just ' rebuke to any one who should be so silly as to expect common human morality from nature. But if the question were between two men, instead of between a man and a natural phenomenon, that triumphant apostrophe would be thought a rare piece of impudence. A man who should persist in hurling stones or firing cannon when another man " goes by," and having killed him should urge a similar plea in exculpation, would very deservedly be found guilty...

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