William Simpson.

The man from Mars; his morals, politics and religion online

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combat, when individual loss or gain seldom cuts any
figure in the incentive which impels you to battle. And
even beyond these physical encounters, your struggles of
life appear, from our point of view, to be divided between
defense and attack, like the beasts lof prey which still
linger on your borders.

' ' Your society presents to us the spectacle of a contin-
uous skirmish among yourselves, your whole mass strug-
gling to mount the summit of their individual hopes and
ambitions, wounding and bruising each other with cruel
unconcern. Our experience has taught us that this
unhappy social condition is entirely due to the crude and
imperfect stage of your development. Each of your new
epochs brings some approach towards a better terrestrial
life ; but you have not fairly considered nor endeavored
to surmount the chief obstacle to your progress in that
direction. You have not yet learned to deal justly with


one another. By your system of unequal advantages,
one class is permitted, and even "^encouraged, to prey upon
another one. One or more of you will enter upon a
scheme of personal gain v^rithout the slightest concern for
its effect upon others. You have permitted, from time to
time, the passage of laws having a direct atid unmistak-
able tendency to throw your wealth into the hands of a
few, and as a consequence, to increase the hards"hips of
the many. Your generation exults over all preceding
ones in its progress in science and knowledge ; but even
that has not served to soften or remove the asperities of
your lives, for the reason that most of the available
material of this new advance has been prostituted to serve
the interests of the few.

"The growth of your social betterment rests almost
entirely upon the total of your disciplined thought, yet by
your methods, correct thinking is the rarest thing among
you. Your social field, Instead of ^being evenly stirred
and seeded, is cultivated in spots and "patches. Even your
knowledge has been converted into a weapon of tyranny
and oppression, and it is oftener pursued in the love of
self than for the benefit of kind. Out of the helplessness
of your neglected and unfavored masses, come the greater


number of your individual accumulations of wealth.

' ' In our stage of progress such a state of things is
impossible. The performance of an act inflicting injury or
even discomfort upon one or more fellov^r beings in our
society, brings its punishment in the general condemna-
tion and disgrace which follows. Active benevolence,
which is with you an impulse, sporadic and exceptional,
is with us an ever-present emotion, and upon it we have
founded the chief pleasures of life. We have no eleemosy-
nary establishments, because they are not needed. There
can be no suflfering from destitution among us, since each
person finds in his own surroundings the ready, helping
hand. No neglected orphan wanders about uncared for,
because each family finds its pleasures increased by the
opportunity to bestow shelter. Bach dwelling is open to
all, and no assuring salutation is needed to welcome the
visitor. He enters the house of the stranger, as the
stranger would enter his, by the right of the universal
brotherhood which prevails.

' ' The love of our kind forms the corner stone of our
single religion, just as the like is made the foundation
upon which your many creeds are built. But while your
religious teachings have brought no great fruits, ours


have yielded a harvest of glorious consequences. If it
will interest you, I shall tell you why."



At the dawn of, and during the first stages of their
civilization, the people of the Earth found themselves
surrounded with natural forces which, in their scant
knowledge of the laws of the universe, were ascribed to
the arbitrar>' and willful caprices of a great hidden being.
They found a mysterious power above them, and every-
where an overwhelming evidence of design. The
unthinkable and unknown character of the infinite and
eternal was not then acknowledged ; and the failure of
any to explain this unseen intelligence and power incited
their imaginations to do for them what the closest inves-
tigation had failed to accomplish. As may have been
expected, they clothed their imaginary deity with the
qualities, propensities, and passions of themselves. Any
violent convulsion of nature was taken by them as a
certain sign of his anger ; while the normal state of rest,
and the undisturbed processes of animal and vegetable
development and growth were looked upon as concessions
in their special favor. From a belief in the supers- isi on


of the deity over every single one of the innumerable
processes of nature, they naturally imbibed the idea that
they each were objects of his personal watchfulness and
attention, and as a consequence, that all the fortunes and
vicissitudes of their lives were dependent upon his moods.
It may very well be supposed that with this conception
of the deity, the chief purp0!=e of life would be to find
favor with Him, to discover bis wishes, and to learn his
commands ; since, in accordance with this simple and
crude idea, every one's success and comfort in life
depended upon his conciliation. With these views of
nature and the universe, they came in due time to observe
that • within themselves were feelings and sentiments
entirely apart from the ordinary epicurean imptdses which
governed them. We may imagine in those cruel times
the warrior standing over his prostrate victim with
upraised club, stayed in the act of killing him by a senti-
ment of pity, and enjoying afterward as a result of his
compassion a pleasure which was as strange and unac-
countable to him as his first sight of a comet. There was
no apparent motive whatever for his humane act. On
the contrary, it had deprived him of spoil, and reduced
the honor of his victory. And so, all the inclinations to


virtue which brought no material and immediate rewards
were regarded as mysterious and inexplicitable as the
great hidden power, and by a very natural sequence of
reasoning, a part of it.

As your civilization advanced, it was to be seen that the
virtues, and especially those which had a direct influence
upon material welfare, grew and enlarged. The path to
honor was no longer exclusively through carnage and
victory, and the possession and cultivation of certain
virtues brought consideration and respect. It was at this
critical stage of your progress that there was inflicted upon
you an evil greater than any your people have known.
You were not content with viewing the deity as we do
from afar, and with accepting the impulses of virtue as a
part of yourselves, instituted for the wise purpose of a
continuous self-development toward a better earthly life ;
but instead, in your unreasonable yearning to communi-
cate with the supreme Author, you surrendered yourself
to the wiles of the seers, and became the willing dupes of
their delusions.

There is nothing more unhappy to tell of you than the
consequences of this grave error. Your assumed posses-
sion of the commands and wishes of the Deity in the


shape of a revelation, has proved more a misfortune than
a blessing to you. In the first place, it has lowered your
conception of the Deity below ours. It has turned your
religion into a contest. It has rendered possible the
establishment of certain ecclesiastical bodies among you,
who, while assuming entire control of the morals of your
people, are beset in their internal parts with all the vices
which come from cruelty, cupidity, and love of power.
Besides, your formulated conditions of punishments and
rewards have degraded religion from a cultivation of
virtue for itself, and the immediate good it brings, to a
selfish scramble, each one struggling to shoulder his way
into the midst of celestial delights.

It can be easily understood why your rehgion, with all
its. crudities and superstitions, has taken so firm a hold
upon your society. You are constituted as we are, with
the same inherent elements of progress. The steady
increase of your affinity for the virtues, and those who
practice them, is a marked quality of your career, and as
they all lead, in one way or another, towards that union
of interests which constitutes the perfect social state, you
are thereby impelled by a natural and providential desire
to build them up. So that, as a matter of fact, there

no the; man from mars.

being an inherent love of goodness ingrafted in your very
natures, your religious creeds have attracted you to them,
and held you in fetters, under the false theory that the
good within you is but a contribution from their exclu-
sive and abundant sources of supply.

It has been your misfortune to be held captive through-
out your progress by the shrewd designs of your seers
and prophets, who have not failed until recently to supply
you with an occasional change of supernatural pabulum,
to meet the new wants of a steadily advancing develop-

When at a certain stage of your civilization, about two
thousand years ago, you had attained a point of intellect-
ual culture among the few, the fruits of which have been
reflected upon you to this day, in some of the grandest
recorded achievements of human thought, and while the
masses were left to take their undirected way among the
empty superstitions which conceded nothing to the grow-
ing human sympathy, a seer appeared among you, who
served rather as a suggestion than as an immediate
success. After the lapse of sufficient time from his death
to allow full scope for romance, there was built up out of
his memory by your seers a picture of all the virtues


which had been growing within your hearts, so entirely-
adapted to the new age that all the pent-up forces of
human sympathy within its scope and influence surren-
dered to it. But what might have been a triumph and a
boon to you in the new impetus to a better and broader
humanity, unfortunately held concealed within itself the
subtle machinery of your seers and prophets, and was
guarded by their evil eyes, so that with this tremendous
lever to move you in the direction of their purposes,
instead of advancing you, they have turned your civiliza-
tion back upon itself more than a thousand years. No
historical fact is more capable of demonstation than this.
None' has been more persistently and ingeniously denied,
and no natural sequence ever followed more directly a
moving cause. From a free and independent exercise of
the intellectual activities in the direction of science, art,
philosophy, and all knowledge pertaining to yourselves,
the Earth upon which you dwell, and the universe, so far
as your vision extends, the whole current of your
thoughts was turned by the new doctrines toward a para-
dise, compared with which all things of the Earth were
trifles. When you were brought by the fascination of
these promises, and the unflagging efforts an interested


body of ecclesiastics, to a general oelief in these doctrines,
you sank into an intellectual torpor, from which you only
emerged by a protest of your reason not yet wholly

You cannot fail to see the utterly dehumanizing
tendency of the influences which surrounded you for so
many centuries. The common aims and purposes of your
lives were submerged by the one engrossing wish to reach
heaven ; and while your imagination was carried away
by its picture, you were led, without hesitation, to place
your feet upon the neck of any earthly enterprise that
seemed to stand in its way.

From the beginning of your history you have accepted
one object of worship after another, each an ideal imper-
sonation of the goodness which was inseparately a part
of yourselves, and which was given to you for the wise
purpose of making your society possible, and to perfect
it ; just as the parental instinct was bestowed upon you
to protect your infants. All these subjects of adoration
have perfectly reflected your intellectual condition, and
have been discarded, one after another, as they outlived
their uses ; until you are just now beginning to realize,
that for all these many centuries you have been virtually


worshipping yourselves. Your present ideal will, in time,
share the fate of those which preceded it, and in the
absence of a prevailing superstition, your seers luckily
cannot build up for you another one. Your long period
devoted to the pursuit of phantoms is rapily passing away,
and your new age of rationalism is approaching. You
have no just conception of the evils it will remove, and
the glories it has in store for you.

The difference between your present and future religion
can be easily outlined. Your present religion, from a long
course of erroneous teaching, is intense, aggressive
and hysterical. It feeds and fattens itself upon the
miseries of life, which it does not undertake to remove,
except in a meretricious way for effect. Your religion of
the future will be tranquil and voluntary, and its chief
mission will be to permanently reduce the evils and misfor-
tunes of life to a minimum. The impulses of your
present religion are entirely apart from the moral sense,
a significant fact easily substantiated by a glance over the
ever>'day life of your people. Except in their observance
of religious forms, your devout are not distinguished
from your profane. The practical \irtues are no greater
among believers than among unbelievers. Your coming


religion will be founded upon the moral sense, and will be
inseparable from it. It will support no doctrine of a
ready and convenient atonement for bad acts, as the
present one does. It will teach you that there can be no
complete reparation of an evil deed except in its undoing,
and that such an act, once performed, spreads its dire
consequences in accordance with its enormity over a part
or the whole career of the doer. It will not undertake to
unburden the conscience of a crime, nor to give assurance
of celestial bliss to the most heinous of offenders, upon
the trifling and fallacious compliance with religious forms.
Your peculiar religious beUefs have so shaped and
moulded your character that we have obser^'^ed, what you
are not likely to see of yourselves, certain traits or inclin-
ations which are not promising as factors in your ultimate
regeneration. Your churches, with the shrewd purpose
of rendering their services invaluable, have given you to
believe that your natural tendencies are evil, and that the
unavoidable misfortunes and sorrows of your lives are but
penalties for your many misdeeds. The general accep-
tance of this belief has lowered your pride, and given
3'ou, to some extent, that character of dejection and
submissiveness which is entirely subversive to the attain-

the; man from mars. 115

ment of any destiny to be reached by yourselves.

There is a quaUty of mind which we aclinowledge as,
above all others, the one which has assisted us to our
present very desirable social condition, and that is the
feeHng to resist the perpetration of a mean or bad act, on
account of the sense of degradation it inflicts upon the
feeHngs of the doer. This motive of conscience, so
plainly the ofispring of self-esteem, and growing out of a
cultivation of the mind alone, without any regard what-
ever to creed influences or teachings, is totally ignored,
either as a promoter of virtue or preventive of vice, by all
the religions that have existed upon your planet. The
reason for this is easily explained. Under the knowledge
that a cultivation of the mind and conscience, without
creed influence, was capable of doing for you a better
service in the advancement of your morals than your
churches have performed, it has been made a part of their
doctrine to belittle and abuse your purely intellectual
faculties, under the unwarranted and unreasonable impu-
tation that the free exercise of your reason was an
assumption beyond your right. And all this, too, in face
of the overwhelming evidence about you, that the most
corroding and dangerous of your vices germinate and


seed themselves only in places where the mind lies in

There comes to us from our remote ages, through
tradition and historj-, an account of some superstitious
beliefs, but it has been our good fortune never to have
had them built up into a system so overbearing and harm-
ful as yours has been. It cannot be said of us that we
ever denounced honest intellectual efforts in any direction,
or that we ever regarded the expression of opinions
founded on the dictates of reason as crimes, and your
punishment of such, with all its atrocious and heart-rend-
ing details, serves as a lesson for the whole universe of
worlds never to put trust in the smooth tongues and
insinuating ways of the seers, for the spirit of fairness
and truth is not in them. Your restrictions and punish-
ments of the free expression of thought, inaugurated by
the corporate organization of your present rehgion, and
maintained with more or less rigor to the present, has
left its blighting effects upon your society by encouraging
some of the meanest of your vices. The assumption that
one of you shall not have the right to convey to another
his opposing convictions upon any religious question is so
outrageously unjust, that it never could have been carried


out in any other way than by the general belief that it
was in accordance with the wishes and purposes of the
Almighty. Such a denial of the natural right of mankind
could only be enforced when a majority of the multitude
became converts to the doctrines which favored it. The
leaders of religious persecution, during the centuries of
church control, were merely carrying out the wishes of
this majority. The spirit of intolerance, once abroad,
became the parent of those habits of concealed thought,
moral cowardice and hypocricy, which even to the
present, so rule among you, that sincerity in expressing
religious belief is not universal. In deferance to the
lingering opinion among a large body of your people
that a dissension from old modes of religious thought is
displeasing to the Almighty, and dangerous to society,
many of you are constantl}^ led to veil their thoughts on
these questions, in dread of the social consequences
which would follow their frank avowal. Many of skeptical
tendencies are thus induced to hide their convictions in
fear of disturbing their safe and comfortable positions in
society. By silently working the penalty of withholding
their political and social support, your great illogical
multitude backed by their vigilant church organizations


Still maintain a terrorism over you. Consequently, your
writers are guarded in their lines, your public speakers in
their language, your teachers in their instruction, and
your statesmen in their legislation, that each shall not get
beyond the soundings of orthodox religious belief, while
with the knowledge of your time, most of them are
conscious in their inner thoughts that they are trimming
to avoid truth, in the full knowledge, that to this day
upon the earth, the surest human preferment is only for
those who support error in this direction.

The most lamentable instances to be found among you
of this evasion are j^our chief institutions of learning. Of
all places these should be the first to lead in truth, as they
are best pro\dded in all the equipments to find it ; yet
under the prevailing terrorism their predicament is
embarassing and pitiful. While holding class instructions
in evolution, geology, astronomy and kindred sciences,
they hesitate to openly deny those scriptural fallacies to
which their knowledge is opposed, and the farcial spectacle
is daily enacted among many of them of a ceremonious
reverance for these fallacies, and at all times an artful
evasion of any denial of their truth, every one of which it
is their especial business to disprove in the course of



I hope you will not infer from what I have said that
the people of Mars have not great reverence and venera-
tion for the Deit}'. Indeed, it is the universal belief
amongst us, that the animus which is within us to do
good to ourselves, and to make pleasant the ways of life
among each other, is but the prompting of that divine
presence which is leading us aright in the direction of the
still better things to come. As we see in all living things
a constant development upward toward a state of perfec-
tion, and having, of all creatures else, that within us most
susceptible and easy of advancement in the universal
march, we simply take our place in the line. What we
have accomplished in that direction in our goverment,
society, and morals, gives us new heart to further efforts,
and if our methods may be of any service to you, I will
give you some further account of them.



The people of Mars are impressed with the belief that
the governments of the Earth have made no great
advance in the benefits and usefulness of their legislation
during the last two thousand years. We recognize
amongst you, only as movements of progress, some
provision, particularly in your own country, for the free
education of the people, a few sanitary attentions, and a
slight awakening to the interests of your laboring class,
as about all worth mentioning. It is true that your
governments, after originating themselves with only the
simplest duties, have come in time, as your civilization
advanced, to take on increased and complicated services.
But in the multiplication of their duties, there is unfor-
tunately little to be seen but an extension, in various direc-
tions, of their first purposes ; which may be briefly stated
as a defence of assault from without, and a protection of
person and property within. We have come to regard
the obligations of goverment as something beyond these,
and this difference of view affords a marked instance of


our development and advance.

Our idea of life is, that since it is all we are given to
know from the first to the last stages of our conscious-
ness, it is our duty and privilege to improve it, and enjoy
it to the fullest innocent and rational extent ; and that to
this end there can be no sepp.ration of the moral and
material interests ; for it is but an honest acknowledgment
to say, that constituted as we all are, the crown of
contentment and happiness is only for him who success-
fully cultivates both. Under this belief, the general
supervision of both moral and material affairs is placed in
the hands of our government. Church and State are
therefore one with us, and it is entirely due to the ration-
alistic character of our religion that the alliance has
proved so conducive to our progress and happiness.
There can be no such peaceable and continuous union
with you at present, because from the nature of your
religious doctrines there must be a conflict of authority ;
but you will come to it in time, as out of it, more than all
else, — as I will endeavor to show, — will come the fullness
of your destiny.

Your efforts for the suppression of vice and crime, since
the first stages of your history, are futile to a degree that


must be appaliug to you, and the cause of your failure is
due to conditions plainly apparent to us. These condi-
tions are that your governments, for all these centuries,
have taken no official cognizance of virtue, and have
failed to see that there existed in their patronage of good
deeds that tangible reward v^^hich would place all ambi-
tion for honor and prominence among them on uncom-
promising terms with evil. You have only attempted to
suppress crime by punishment, while the powerful stimu-
lus to virtue which your governments afford of precept
and example have been neglected. Although, in your
undeveloped state of greed and selfishness, you find it
unsafe to trust your material interests in the hands of
irresponsible bodies which you call monopolies, yet you
bestow the whole keeping and guidance of your morals
upon societies and organizations of you fellow men, who
are even less responsible to authority than they. Under
this state of things, how can you expect anything better
than your present chaotic state of religion, and the loose,

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Online LibraryWilliam SimpsonThe man from Mars; his morals, politics and religion → online text (page 6 of 14)