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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
The Cultus of Humanity
By Auguste Comte (1798–1857)
 
From the ‘Positive Polity’

THE CULTUS of Positivism is not addressed to an absolute, isolated, incomprehensible Being whose existence cannot be demonstrated or compared with reality. No mystery surrounds this Supreme Being. It is composed of the continuous succession of human generations.  1
  Whereas the old God could not receive our homage without degrading himself by a puerile vanity, the new God will only accept praise which is deserved and which will improve him as much as ourselves. This reciprocity of affection and influence can belong only to the final cultus, modifiable and perfectible, addressed to a relative being composed of its own adorers, and better subjected than another to law which permits of foreseeing its wishes and tendencies.  2
  The superiority of demonstrated over revealed religion is shown by the substitution of the love of Humanity for the love of God. To love Humanity constitutes all healthy morality, when we understand the character of such a love and the conditions exacted by its habitual ascendency.  3
  The universal reign of Humanity is to replace the provisory reign of God. Demonstrated religion has its dogmas, its regimen, and its cultus corresponding respectively to three fundamental attributes; viz., thoughts, acts, and sentiments.  4
  The Religion of Humanity transforms the coarse idea of objective immortality into the real objective immortality common to the whole race. The first hypothesis is anti-social; the latter constitutes real sociability.  5
 
 
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