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Hermann Marcus Kottinger.

The youth's liberal guide for their moral culture and religious enlightenment online

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doubtless will one day help to furnish an explanation of the great gulf which
intervenes between the lowest man and the highest ape in intellectual power."
Th. Huxley, " Evidence as to Man's place in Nature," p. 124.

(36.) Haekel, "Nat. Shoepfungsgeschichte des Menschen."

(37.) " The naturalists of the past age called the apes four-handed. But the
principal difference between hand and foot is this, that the foot has three muscles
more than that. This difference is found in apes as well as in man." — Haekel.

(38.) Darwin himself remarked that the connecting link between man and
animal thus far has not been found, but he believes that it will be yet discovered,
and adds : " Perhaps the petrified ape,- like ancesters of human race, will once
be found in the Tertiary layers of Southern Asia and Africa."

(39.) Cf. Buechner, " Stellung des Menschen,'' etc. " The earliest traces of
art yet discovered belong to the Stone age. They were sometimes sculptures, if
one may say so, and sometimes drawings or etchings made on bone or horn with
the point of a flint." — J. Lubbock, " the origin of civilization and the primitive
condition of man." The drawing of the reindeer groups is copied from this
work, p. 26. With regard to gradual civilization of man, Lubbock says : " The
facts and arguments mentioned in this work afford, I think, strong grounds
for the conclusions that the primitive condition of man was one of utter barbar-



i66

ism, and ihat from this condition several races have independently raised them-
selves," p. 323.

" Human kind ! By Nature cast

Naked, and helpless, out amidst the woods

And wilds, to rude inclement elements,

With various seeds of art deep in the mind

Implanted, and profusely pour'd around

Materials infinite; but idle all.

And still the sad barbarian^ roving, mix'd

With beasts of prey ; or for his acorn-meal

Fought the fierce tusky boar; a shivering wretch,

Agast and comfortless, when the bleak North,

With Winter charged, let the mix'd tempest fly,

Hail, rain, and snow, and bitter-breathing frost, —

A waste of time! till Industry approach'd,

And roused him from his miserable sloth ;

His faculties unfolded."

— J. Thomson, " The Seasons — Autumn," v. v. 47, etc.
(40.) " All races agree in so many unimportant details of structure, and in so
many mental peculiarities that these can be accounted for only through inherit-
ance from a common progenitor." — Darwin, " Descent of Man," 2d vol. p. 308.
(41.) This and the next ^ are composed according to Cutter's Physiology ,
Buechner's " Kraft und Stoff," Cane's Chemistry, etc.

(42.) " All the Faculties in the world will never prevent a philosopher from
perceiving that we commence by sensation, and that our memory is nothing but a
continued sensation. A man born without his five senses would be destitute of
all idea. Sensation includes all our faculties." — Voltaire. " Nihil in mente,
quod not prius in sensu" (nothing is in the intellect that not first was in a sense).
— Latin proverb.

(43.) " All vital action may be said to be the result of the molecular forces
of the protoplasm which displays it, and if so, it must be true, in the same sense
and to the same extent, that the thoughts, to which I am now giving utterance
and your thoughts regarding them, are tiie expression of molecular chaugex in
that matter of life which is the source of our vital phenoiueyiay — Huxley, " Lay
Serm.," p. 138.

(44. ) According to the doctrine of Galenus, the most renowned physician of
ancient times, in the brain is the origin of eveiy sense, of all perceptions and
notions, it is the seat of reason, and the organ of intellect.

(45.) "That no idea or feeling arises, save as a result of some physical force
expended in producing it, is fast becoming a common place of science." — H.
Spencer, " First Principles," p. 217. "As pride, ambition, fickleness, and other
qualities of character are transferred by inheritance to the descendants : in the
same manner such a transplantation of fixed ideas, melancholy, idiocy, and other



167

mental diseases is valid. It becomes here evident and irrefutable that the human
soul is entirely a sum of physiological, motory phenomena of particles of the
brain." — E. Haekel, " Natuerliche Schoepfungsgeschichte," p. 161. "The
mind develops together with the body, with the senses, in general with man.
V/here the skull, the brain from: therefrom is also the mind; where the organ
from : therefrom is also its function : from nature." — L.Feuerbach, "The Brain
is Thinking." " Thought is a function of the brain. If a man has no legs, he
has no going; if he has no brain, he has no mind, no thoughts." — J. C. Fisher.
** Thought is a form of force. We walk with the same force with which we
think. Man is an organism, that changes several forms of force into thought-
force. Man is a machine into which we put what we call food, and produce
what we call thought. Think, of that wonderful chemistry by which bread was
changed into the divine tragedy of Hamlet." — R. Ingersoll, "The Gods,"
p. 47.

(47.) "The quality of the brain determines both the kind and the intensity of
mental life. No other formation of nature is comparable to the brain. About
400 millions of nerve-fibres constitute the bulk of the brain ; between them
those thousands of millions of cells lie which they call ganglia (knots of nerves).
The convolutions of the brain, too, act an important part in the mental functions.
In the brain of the astronomer Gauss (whom Alex. Humboldt called the fore-
most of the astronomers of his age), their area measured 342 square inches; in
the gorilla it amounts hardly to 80." — Buechner.

(48.) L. Buechner.

(49.) "Growth of mental power means an actual addition of structure to
intimate constitution of centres of mind." — H. Maudsley, " Body and Mind,''
pp. 28, 29, " With the advancing culture of mankind the fore parts of the
brain grow larger." — Buechner, " Already the brain of the civilized man is
larger by nearly 30 per cent, than the brain of the savage. Already, too, it
presents an increased heterogeneity — especially in the distribution of its con-
volutions." — H. Spencer, " Princ. of Biology," 2 vol., p. 502.

(50.) Maudsley, p. 28.

(51.) " It is utterly impossible to prove that any thing whatever may not be
the effect of a material and necessary cause, and human logic is equally incompe-
tent to prove that any act is really spontaneous. A really spontaneous act is
one, which (by the assumption) has no cause; and. the attempt to prove such a
negative as this is, on the face of the matter, absurd. Progress of science means
the gradual banishment from all regions of human thought of what we call
spirit and spontaneity." — Huxley, p. 142. " Statistics enable us to prove how
completely the volition of individual men is controlled by their antecedents, and
by the circumstances in which they are placed. The antecedents exist either in
the human mind, or in the external world." — H. Th. Buckle " History of Civiliza-
tion in England," ist vol. p. 596. Statistics prove e. g., that, in the same country,
or in the same city^ annually about the same number of murders, suicides, mar-



i68

riages, etc. takes place. " Will means spontaneity, but within Nature's deter-
mination, which is independent from human will." — L. Feuerbach. " Human
will is never absolutely free, but is always determined by inner or external in-
fluences. Every apparently free action is caused by antecedent representations."
— Haekel.

(52.) "If the past history of man has been one of progress, we may fairly
hope that the future will be so also ; that the blessing of civilization will not
only be extended to other countries, and to other nations, but that even in our
own land they will be rendered more general and more equable, so that we shall
not see before us always, as now, countrymen of our own, living in our very
midst a life worse than that of a savage." — Lubbock, p. 323. '* By the ceaseless
exercise of our faculties is insured a constant progress towards a higher degree
of skill, intelligence and self-regulation — a more complete life." — H. Spencer,
*' Biology," 2 vol. p. 500. " As man gradually advanced in intellectual power ;
as he acquired sufficient knowledge to reject baneful customs and superstitions;
as he regarded more and more not only tlie welfare, but the happiness of his fel-
low-men ; as from habit, instruction, and example his sympathies became more
tender and widely diffused, so as to extend to the men of all races, to the im-
becile, the maimed, and the other useless members of society, finally to the
lower animals — so would the standard of his morality rise higher and higher ;
and it is admitted by moralists that it has risen since an early period in the
history of man." — Darwin, " Descent of Man," ist vol. p. 99. " Looking to
future generations we may expect that virtuous habits will grow stronger, becom-
ing perhaps fixed by inheritance, and — in this case virtue will be trium-
phant." — lb.

(53.) " It is by no means my intention to suggest that there is no difference
in faculty between the lowest plant and the highest, or between plants and ani-
mals. But the difference betw^een the powers of the lowest plant or animal
and those of the highest, is only one of degree, not of kind, and depends upon
the extent to which the principle of the division of laljor is carried out in the
living economy." — Huxley, " Lay Sei-m.," p. 12. " The difference in mind be-
tween man and the higher animals, great as it is, is certainly one of degree and
not of kind." — Darwin, "Descent of Man," ist vol. p. loi. "The mental facul-
ties of man are different from those of animals only in multitude, not in pecu-
liarity, only in quantity, not in quality." — Ch. Vogt, " Bilder aus dem Thier-
leben," pp. 430 — 438. For examples illustrating animal faculties and mind,
see Darwin, " Descent ol Man," ist vol., and Dr. Brehin.
(54.) Darwin " Descent of Man," ist vol., p. 100.

(55.) This doctrine is here communicated according to H. Spencer's "First
Principles," pp. 287 — 538. He is in England generally, and especially by
Darwin, considered to be the most eminent philosopher of our age. His views
of the Evolution of the Universe and of the Unknowable are professed by many
egregious thinkers.



169

(56.) " The organic world is continually in the state of originating and per-
ishing, " — Humboldf-.

(57.) E. g., Imman. Kant in his book " Allgemeine Nattirgeschichte und
Theorie des Himmels."

(58.) The contents of this section are also taken from Spencer's " First Prin-
ciples."

(59.) A poem of Fr. Schiller, by which he teaches that no mortal is permit-
ted to see the face of the image covered by the veil; the image is the emblem of
the Deity.

(60.) " As concerning divine power, the understanding can perceive little or
nothing, it would be more seemly for those who pretend to a familiar knowledge
of the attributes and character of that Being, whom no man has seen, at any
time, to confess their ignorance at once, that thereby we might hope to have
peace from the long continued strife which has prevailed amongst men concern-
ing the unknown," — Mackintosh, " Phys, and Mor. Philosophy," p, 402,

(61.) " The uninterrupted series of final causes (as they are called) was con-
sidered by the ancient atheists to be infinite ; the theists call \\. finite.'" — Feuer-
bach, "Vorlesungen ueber das Wesen der Religion." "The cause of the Universe
is Necessity." — Th. Bayrhoffer, " Whenever we are told that God is the author
of any phenomenon, that signifies^ that we are ignorant how such a phenomenon
can be produced, with the assistance only of the natural powers or causes with
which we are acquainted. It is thus that the generality of mankind, whose lot
is ignorance, attribute to the Deity, not only the uncommon effects, which strike
them, but even the most simple events." — Shelley,

(62.) "Can the intelligence of man discover the least wisdom in covering the
earth with crawling, creeping horrors that live only upon the agonies and pangs
of others? Who can appreciate the m.ercy of so making the world that all ani-
mals devour animals; so that every mouth is a slaughter house, and every
stomach a tomb ? Is it possible to discover infinite intelligence and love in uni-
versal and eternal carnage ?" — Rob, Ingersoll, " The Gods," pp. 70, 71.

(63.) " The air is not created to the purpose to be inhaled by men, but men
inhale it because it exists, and they could not live if it were another thing as
it is." — Feuerbach, The deer did not receive long legs from nature in order to
enable it to run fast, but it runs fast because it received long legs. Animals
living in the North have a tighter fur than in the South, and generally, in win-
ter, tighter hairs than in summer. This quality of animals is a sequence of the
state of temperature, not a premeditated management of a higher providence.
Since the diver-bell was invented, we are told that, on the bottom of the sea, a
gorgeous Flora, and an animal-world not less splendid exists. Now, to what
purpose is this display of beauty and magnificence in a depth which only the
diver's eye pierces? " The miscarriages (e, g., goats without heads or men with
six fingers on (me hand) are popular proofs already quoted by the ancient
atheists that the formations of nature are products without any definite purpose."



170

— Feuerbach. " Religious people see nothing but design every where (in the
Universe); they point us to the sunshine, to the flowers, etc. Did it ever occur
to them that a cancer is as beautiful in its development as is the reddest rose ?
By what ingenious methods the blood is poisoned so that the cancer shall have
food ! See by what admirable instrumentalities it feeds itself from the surround-
ing quivering, dainty flesh ! See how it gradually but surely expands and
grows ! By what marvelous mechanism it is supplied with long and slender
roots that reach out of the most secret nerves of pain for sustenance and life !
What beautiful colors it presents ! Seen through the microscope it is a miracle
of order and beauty. All the ingenuity of man cannot stop its growth. Is it
possible to look upon it and doubt that there is design in the Universe, and that
the inventor of this wonderful cancer must be infinitely powerful, ingenious and
good ? " — Rob. Ingersoll, " The Gods."

(64.) "It was not God who created man according to his likeness, but it was
man who created God according to his likeness." — Feuerbach.

(65.) L. Feuerbach, " das Wesen des Christenthums."

(66.) The Arabs worshipped a lava-like, blackish stone in the temple of
Mecca, until Mohammed took it away. They believed that it had dropped from
Paradise.

(67.) "Man's likeness is reflected in his gods." — Schiller.

(68.) " Sailors, traders and philosophers, Roman-Catholic priests, and Pro-
testant missionaries, in ancient and modern times, in every part of the globe,
have concurred in stating that there are races of men altogether void of religion,
e. g., the Hottentots, the Californians, the Caffirs, some of the Esquimaux, Can-
adian, Brazilian, Polynesian, Hindoostan and Eastern African tribes." — Lub-
bock, pp. 121, 122. " One hundred millions of savages in Asia, Africa, Amer-
ica and Australia have no gods." — Th. Hoff"erichter.

(69.) "At present time about 1,350 millions of men live on earth; more
than the sixth part of them (over 225 millions) confess the Buddhism, which ig-
nores the belief in a God." — HofFerichter.

(70.) " Even now-a-days children have no knowledge of God, till it is in-
culcated in their minds by parents and teachers" — Feuerbach, " Erloeuterungen
zum Wesen des Christenthums."

(71.) " The primitive faith of man is the faith in the truth of his senses, the
faith in the visible, audible, sensible nature, but what he cannot help to assimi-
late to himself, to humanize, to personify. But in the course of time he sepa-
rates this unvoluntary personification of natural objects from these, changes them
in independent persons, and finally, when he rises to the conception of the unity
of the Universe, he comprises them in one personality or essence which differs
from nature. So finally, out from his belief in the reality of nature, grows a
quite abstract being, that issued from thousand years old traditions, is the object
of his faith, to which he clings from habit as to his second nature." " God as a
moral being is nothing but the idolized human mind ; as the author of nature



lyi

nothing but the idolized personified nature." " The gods are the personified
wishes of man." — Feuerbach.

(72.) " Since men have known that the fixed stars are bodies, similar to our
sun ; since the Universe dissolved in an infinity of celestial bodies, heaven in
on optic vision : the want of a home troubled the old personal God. Now they
cannot imagine more a God sitting upon a throne surrounded by angels. But
the company of angels is necessary, if man will imagine a personal God ; for
a ruler wants also his servants. No heaven, then, more for a palace ; no angels
more, assembled round his throne ! Beside, thunder and lightning are not more
his missiles ; war, pestilence and famine not more his scourges, but eftects of
natural causes! Since he lost all attributes of a personal existence and govern-
ment : how could we still conceive God as a personal being?" — Dr. Fred.
Strauss, " Alter und Neuer Glaube."

(73.) Theod. Parker (" lectures on Atheism,'' etc.) and others, among both
the English and German theologians and philosophers. Aristotle, already called
the first cause of existence; Theos, to-wit, disposer of all changes of matter
which is separated from him. From that word the name Theist is derived.
J. J. Rosseau, Voltaire, and, in general, the French philosophers of their age were
Theists ; so was also Thomas Paine. The free-masons, too, belong to this
school, for they imagine God to be the architect of the Universe,

(74.) Fr. Muench ("Materialism and Dualism"), Dr. Boehner, Schleier-
macher and others.

(75.) " Religion in Italy has no necessary connection with any one virtue.
The most atrocious villain may be rigidly devout, and, without any shock to es-
tabUshed faith, confess himself to be so." — P. B. Shelley, " Preface to the Cenci."
(76.) To this class belong most of the German philosophers and naturalists,
e. g., L. Buechner, L. Feuerbach; and among the Englishmen H. Spencer; be-
sides most of the members of the German free congregations.

(77.) '"■ He who uttering the name of God, only thinks of the cause or prm-
ciple of the laws of astronomy, natural philosophy, geology, mineralogy,
physiology, zoology, and anthropology, ought to be also honest enough to
forbear this name ; for a natural principle is always a natural being, not such
an one that constitutes a God. By shyness or fear to contradict opinions sancti-
fied by their antiquity, men retained old names, but join to them quite difterent
notions only acquired in the course of time." — Feuerbach.

(78.) "Of matter and force, of mind man can inquire and understand; but
of ultimate natnre, essence or cause of matter, force or mind, man knows nothing ;
these things are buried in impenetrable mystery. Every religion setting out
though it does with the tacit assertion of a mystery, forthwith proceeds to give
some solution of this mystery ; and so asserts that it is not a mystery passing
human comprehension. But an examination of the solutions they severally
propound, shows them to be uniformly invalid.'" — 11. Spencer, '• First Prin,,"
pp. 45> 46.



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(79-) •' licaides the evidence of his own existence man can only be sure of
the existence of nature, not of the existence of a God, namely, of a being which
individually differs from nature and man. This being rather rests (at least
originally) on a conclusion, to wit, on the conclusion that nature cannot exist by
itself, but supposes another being; it is therefore not at all an unquestionable
being. It is missing all attributes of a sensible being ; it is not a
real, but only an abstract being.'' — "To believe in God imports to
reject the necessity of nature ; either God, or nature : there is no
other alternative; for if God is governing, natural laws are not wanted,
or they are deceits and lies."' — " If actually no God is the fulcrum of
the earth and stars, if the agent of their movement is mechanical, necessarily
the first cause of the movement also is mechanical or, generally, natural. Which
shallowness of mind to reject the second causes of superstition, the miracles, the
devil, the demons as causes, in explaining the natural phenomena of nature, but
to leave the first cause of all superstition untouched! God as first cause is a
mere hypothesis in order to explain the first beginning of nature, and particularly
the origin of man," — " Just as a republic without princes, nature also can subsist
without a God." — Feuerbach, " Vorlesungen ueber das Wesen der Religion."
" To be sure, science has not yet succeeded to establish the last causes of the
Universe ; but as the only object it knows are the Universe and its laws, it is the
safest way to put the Universe on the place of God." — Th. Bayrhofer. " The
time is surely coming when the very inadequacy of human language to express
Divinity will be regarded as a reason for deeper faith and more solemn adora-
tion." — J. Fiske, Cos. Philos., 2 vol., p. 451.

(80.) Among the Greeks as Atheists were declared: Thales, Pythagoras,
Socrates, Plato, etc.; among the Romans : Cicero, Lucrece and the ancient
Christians; among the Christians: Galilaei, Kepler, Locke, Kant, Schelling,
Hegel, Feuerbach, Buechner, Haekel, and many others.

Here may also be quoted the opinion which Alex. Humboldt pronounced
with regard to the attempts to discover the first cause of the connection of all
forces and phenomena in the universe. In his celebrated work *' Cosmos," he
says : " History has preserved the different attempts which were made to per-
ceive a single, universal force, penetrating and moving the whole Universe, Of
all attempts to reduce the changes in the visible world to a single first principle,
Newton's doctrine of gravitation is the most extensive and the most promising.
The proofs of all empirical laws less surely, and partly not at all, can be de-
duced from the theory of the attraction of the atoms. Newton himself does not
affirm that gravitation is the fundamental force of matter. The imperfect state
of our knowledge of nature, especially in certain departments, oppose invincible
difficuUies to the problem to represent the whole natural science as an organic
total. The infinity of empirical knowledge, and the illimited sphere of observa-
tion make the problem that would explain the changes of matter by the forces
of matter themselves, an indefinite one. Still it does not behoove our age to



173

condemn every generalization of the conceptions, and the intellect which
scrutinizes the causal connection of things."

(8i.) "Whence did all those horrible murders of whole nations of men,
women and children, with which the Bible is filled up, and the bloody persecu-
tions and agonies and religious wars which since have desolated Europe with
fire and sword — whence did they originate ? From that impious object which
they call revealed religion." — Th. Paine, " Age of Reason." " I have come to
the well considered view that all religions, none excepted, contain too much
error to be of any use upon the present high decree of culture of the human
mind." — Rob. Owen. " Unfortunately for Faith, happiness has not been its
fruit. Ireland is full of Faith, and full of misery. In Spain and Portugal Faith
and Bigotry reign triumphant, whilst strife and wretchedness cover the land.
"Wherever superstition has lighted her fire, and put on her seething-pot, the
passions of men have boiled over like the lava from Mount /Etna, scattering
misery, death and desolation around. The very names of vice and virtue have
been made in many instances to change places. Horrible crimes have been
committed under the supposed sanction of a merciful God, whilst the most
sacred duties have been neglected under the apprehension of his displeasure." —
T. Mackintosh, " Phys. and Moral Philosophy," p. 348. " Long have I sought
the mainspring of human folly and crime ; I have found the first link in the
chain of evil ; I have found it — in all countries, among all tribes and tongues


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Online LibraryHermann Marcus KottingerThe youth's liberal guide for their moral culture and religious enlightenment → online text (page 27 of 28)