Papers Read at the Meetings of the Metaphysical Society, 1

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Privately printed, 1869
 

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˹ 4 - To me was all in all. I cannot paint What then I was. The sounding cataract Haunted me like a passion : the tall rock, The mountain, and the deep and gloomy wood, Their colours and their forms, were then to me An appetite ; a feeling and a love, That had no need of a remoter charm, By thought supplied, nor any interest Unborrowed from the eye.
˹ 3 - To say that we cannot know the Absolute, is, by implication, to affirm that there is an Absolute. In the very denial of our power to learn what the Absolute is, there lies hidden the assumption that it is ; and the making of this assumption proves that the Absolute has been present to the mind, not as a nothing, but as a something.
˹ 4 - I believe that the experiences of utility organized and consolidated through all past generations of the human race, have been producing corresponding nervous modifications, which, by continued transmission and accumulation, have become in us certain faculties of moral intuition certain emotions responding to right and wrong conduct, which have no apparent basis in the individual experiences of utility.
˹ 2 - I have lived with communities of savages in South America and in the East, who have no laws or law courts but the public opinion of the village freely expressed. Each man scrupulously respects the rights of his fellow, and any infraction of those rights rarely or never takes place. In such a community, all are nearly equal. There are none of those wide distinctions, of education and ignorance, wealth and poverty, master and servant, which are the product of our civilization...
˹ 1 - Koran came to him probably in spontaneous rushes of emotion ; there may have been little vestiges of argument floating here and there, but they did not justify the strength of the emotion, still less did they create it, and they hardly even excused it.
˹ 3 - Noumenon, everywhere named as the antithesis of the Phenomenon, is throughout necessarily thought of as an actuality. It is rigorously impossible to conceive that our knowledge is a knowledge of Appearances only, without at the same time conceiving a Reality of which they are appearances ; for appearance without reality is unthinkable.
˹ 1 - But it is not too much to say, that the mass of our populations have not at all advanced beyond the savage code of morals, and have in many cases sunk below it.
˹ 4 - To make my position fully understood, it seems needful to add that, corresponding to the fundamental propositions of a developed Moral Science, there have been, and still are, developing in the race, certain fundamental moral intuitions; and that, though these moral intuitions are the results of accumulated experiences of Utility, gradually organized and inherited, they have come to be quite independent of conscious experience.
˹ 3 - I answer, that to know it as greater than anything finite is not to know it as finite. The conception of Infinite as that which is greater than any given quantity, is a conception we all possess, sufficient for all human purposes, and as genuine and good a positive conception as one need wish to have. It is not adequate; our conception of a reality never is. But it is positive; and the assertion that there is nothing positive in the idea of infinity can only be maintained by leaving out and ignoring,...
˹ 3 - Heaven and hell suppose two distinct species of men, the good and the bad. But the greatest part of mankind float betwixt vice and virtue. Were one to go round the world with an intention of giving a good supper to the righteous and a sound drubbing to the wicked, he would frequently be embarrassed in his choice, and would find, that the merits and demerits of most men and women scarcely amount to the value of either.

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