Huxley - Man and Society

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"Science exhibits no immediate intention of signing a treaty of peace with her old opponent, nor of being content with anything short of absolute victory and uncontrolled domination over the whole realm of the intellect." Inspiration, infallibility, demonology, and scriptural mythology are not only unscientific, but immoral."

Comment ** Intellect possessed by the human soul is an immaterial faculty and sets humans apart from all other life forms. By it we know and reason and freely choose one thing or another. The intellect sets humans apart from all other life forms which do not reason or freely choose. Science is a branch of human knowledge through which we discover the existence of a higher and superior creator. It is not a means by which we declare ourselves free and independent of all authority - human or supernatural . **

"It is immoral not just unscientific to believe that for which there is no evidence."

Comment ** He says the only way to obtain certainty and knowing is through reason, and theology is opposed to human reason as a source of knowledge.  However, we know that human reason which is rightly formed recognizes Theology as the voice of God. There is no incompatibility.  Science is an aid through we can better understand God and His love for us. **

"The belief in demons and demoniacal possession is a mere survival of a once universal superstition, its persistence exists pretty much in the inverse ratio of the general instruction, intelligence, and sound judgment of the population among whom it prevails."

"Using observable data, that which is unknowable is worthless, impossible and the result of ignorance. The human intellect aided by reason is our source of true knowledge."

Comment ** Theology uses God’s laws first to understand man’s relation to man and to God. Philosophy uses the mind first to understand man’s relation and to man and to God. Huxley’s philosophy was based on the scientific method of measuring and observing data to draw a reasonable conclusion with no consideration of the influence or existence of God. He wished to use only human reason as the only source of knowledge.  The fact that God has spoken and made his laws known to man was outside of the interest of Huxley who would not allow the possibility of Divine intervention. **


"It is, indeed, a conceivable supposition that every species of Rhinoceros and every species of Hyena, in the long succession of forms between the Miocene and the present species, was separately constructed out of dust, or out of nothing, by supernatural power; but until I receive distinct evidence of the fact, I refuse to run the risk of insulting any sane man by supposing that he seriously holds such a notion."

Comment ** He states that observable, measurable data is the only source of knowledge. Faith is for the ignorant and superstitious. God must speak to Huxley directly on Huxley's own terms to convince him otherwise.  Is this pride? **


To Huxley, religion was an area of study which inquiring minds could discuss God as a force of good. For this reason Huxley encouraged the study of the Bible in schools, "as a work of literary and ethical value," which should promote free thought as the way of deleting from culture the "verbal delusions" of theology. Study of the Bible as a great literature to promote religion (not theology), would serve as an introduction to grammar and geography (not to God). 


Letter of January 1885 from Rome – His great disgust at seeing God made and then eaten. He was ready to rise and "slay the whole brood of idolaters."

Comment ** No understanding of the purpose, importance and validity of the Catholic Mass, nor any reliance upon faith to understand the mission of Christ. **

"Thoughtful men, will find in the lowly stock whence Man has sprung, the best evidence of the splendor of his capacities; and will discern in his long progress through the Past, a reasonable ground of faith in his attainment of a nobler Future."

Comment ** What is this "noble future" which he envisions?  A utopia where all men are led by reason? **

"Our reverence for the nobility of manhood will not be lessened by the knowledge that Man is, in substance and in structure, one with the brutes; for, he alone possesses the marvelous endowment of intelligible and rational speech, whereby, in the secular period of his existence, he has slowly accumulated and organized the experience which is almost wholly lost with the cessation of every individual life in other animals; so that, now, he stands raised upon it as on a mountain top, far above the level of his humble fellows, and transfigured from his grosser nature by reflecting, here and there, a ray from the infinite source of truth."

Comment ** He says that by intelligible and rational speech man has been the result of accumulation and organization by himself over time, so that, while one with the animals, he has raised himself above them. God has no active part with man. Just exists out there as a disinterested spectator. **

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