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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - quantum_flapdoodle - LibraryThing
A classic work by Mill, in which he discusses Natural Theology. His essay on Nature is right on, pointing out that it isn't enough to point to Nature, and that natural is not necessarily good. His ... Read full review
Personally, "Utility of Religion" is one of the most important essays I have ever read. It's a true classic that I return to, from time to time, to reread and refresh myself. I continue to learn from it, each time. Highly recommended, not as much for its criticism of supernatural religions, as for its vision of a morality-based religion, the "Religion of Humanity," which is independent of supernatural beliefs. Here's a favorite passage (from page 109):
"To call these sentiments by the name morality, exclusively of any other title, is claiming too little for them. They are a real religion; of which, as of other religions, outward good works (the utmost meaning usually suggested by the word morality) are only a part, and are indeed rather the fruits of the religion than the religion itself. The essence of religion is the strong and earnest direction of the emotions and desires towards an ideal object, recognized as of the highest excellence, and as rightfully paramount over all selfish objects of desire. This condition is fulfilled by the Religion of Humanity in as eminent a degree, and in as high a sense, as by the supernatural religions even in their best manifestations, and far more so than in any of their others."