The light of day; religious discussions and criticisms - PDF by John Burroughs

The light of day; religious discussions and criticisms from the naturalist's point of view

The light of day; religious discussions and criticisms

In Central Asia, near the river Oxus, there is said to be a famous rock, called the Lamp Rock, from a strange light that seems to issue from a cavern far up on the side of the mountain. 

The natives have a superstitious fear of the rock, and ascribe the light to some dragon or demon that lives in the cave. Recently a bold English traveller climbed up and investigated the phenomenon. The light was found, after all, to be only the light of common day. The cave proved to be a tunnel, and the mysterious light came through the rock from the other side, making a strong glow or nim- bus at the mouth of the dark cavern. 

This incident, so typical of much that has taken place and is still taking place in the world, espe- cially in the religious experience of mankind, has suggested the title of this volume of essays, in which I have urged the sufficiency and the universality of natural law, and that most of the mysterious lights with which our fears, our ignorance, or our superstitions have invested the subject of religion when brought to the test of reason, either vanish entirely or give place to the light of common day.

Our method carries us one step further. The conditions which determine man's adjustment in its various aspects should throw light on the nature of the Universe. We must adapt ourselves to a particular kind of world. What is that world? For an answer to this question, it is not enough to interrogate the astronomer or the biologist. 

Our survey must be as broad as life itself. A certain foreshortening in my treatment is thus explained. Much more space is given to those problems which involve man as a social unit. The earlier chapters on the natural sciences are necessary for a proper perspective, but they have been kept within a brief compass. In order to do this, I have assumed some familiarity with recent scientific progress. Detailed reviews and discussions, given in my former book on The Unfolding Universe, have not been repeated. To a certain extent, the present volume covers the same ground.

the book details :
  • Author: John Burroughs
  • Publication date: 1901
  • Company: Boston Houghton, Mifflin

  • Download The light of day; religious discussions and Criticisms - 7 MB - PDF


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