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Thursday, February 15, 2007

We must finally be permitted to leave all questions about morality and utility out of sight. The chief and indeed the sole object which concerned us in these researches is truth. Nature exists neither for religion, for morality, nor for human beings; but it exists for itself. What else can we do but take it as it is? Would it not be ridiculous in us to cry like little children because our bread is not sufficiently buttered?


- Ludwig B├╝chner, Force and Matter: Empirico-Philosophical Studies Intelligibly Rendered, trans. J. F. Collingwood, (London, 1870), passim.


Science has gradually taken all the positions of the childish belief of the peoples; it has snatched thunder and lightning from the hands of the gods; the eclipse of the stars, and the stupendous powers of the Titans of the olden time, have been grasped by the fingers of man. That which appeared inexplicable, miraculous, and the work of a supernatural power, has, by the torch of science, proved to be the effect of hitherto unknown natural forces. The power of spirits and gods dissolved in the hands of science. Superstition declined among cultivated nations, and knowledge took its place. We have the fullest right, and are scientifically correct, in asserting there is no such thing as a miracle; everything that happens does so in a natural way---i.e., in a mode determined only by accidental or necessary coalition of existing materials and their immanent natural forces. No revolution on earth or in heaven, however stupendous, could occur in any other manner.

http://www.cartage.org.lb/en/themes/GeogHist/histories/histdocts/Biblio19/19/Buchner/1855buchner.html

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