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Author: Huxley, Thomas Henry
Year published: 1892
Publisher: D. Appleton
Religion and science
Religion / Religion & Science
Science / General
Science / Life Sciences / Evolution
Science / Philosophy & Social Aspects
Random excerpt from the book:
...one conclusion.82 That kind of faith which Dr. Wace describes and lauds is of no use here. Indeed, he himself takes pains to destroy its evidential value. "What made the Mahommedan world? Trust and faith in the declarations and assurances of Mahommed. And what made the Christian world? Trust and 333 faith in the declarations and assurances of Jesus Christ and His Apostles" (l. c. p. 253). The triumphant tone of this imaginary catechism leads me to suspect that its author has hardly appreciated its full import. Presumably, Dr. Wace regards Mahommed as an unbeliever, or, to use the term which he prefers, infidel; and considers that his assurances have given rise to a vast delusion which has led, and is leading, millions of men straight to everlasting punishment. And this being so, the "Trust and faith" which have "made the Mahommedan world," in just the same sense as they have "made the Christian world," must be trust and faith in falsehood. No man who has studied history, or even attended to the occurrences of everyday life, can doubt the enormous practical value of trust and faith; but as little will he be inclined to deny that this practical value has not the least relation to the reality of the objects of that trust and faith. In examples of patient constancy of faith and of unswerving trust, the Acta Martyrum do not excel the annals of Babism.83 The discussion upon which we have now entered goes so thoroughly to the root of the whole matter; the question of the day is so completely, as the author of Robert Elsmere says, the value of testimony, that I shall offer no apology for following it out somewhat in detail; and, by way of giving substance to the 334 argument, I shall base what I have to say upon a case, the consideration of which lies strictly within the province of natural science, and of that particular part of it known as the physiology and pathology of the nervous system. I find, in the second Gospel (chap. v.), a statement, to all appearance intended t...
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