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William R. Alger

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When man seized the loadstone of science, the loadstar of superstition vanished in the clouds.
--
Reported in Maturin Murray Ballou, Treasury of thought: Forming an encyclopedia of quotations from Ancient and Modern Authors (1884), p. 460.

 
William R. Alger

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Occultism and mysticism – these creepy things there may be great truths in them, but they have nearly destroyed us and here is the test of truth – anything that makes you weak physically, intellectually and spiritually, reject as poison, there is no life in it, it cannot be true. Truth is strengthening. Truth is purity, truth is all-knowledge. These mysticisms, in spite of some grains of truth in them, are generally weakening. And beware of superstition. I would rather see everyone of you rank atheists than superstitious fools, for the atheist is alive, and you can make something of him. But if superstition enters, the brain is gone, the brain is softening, degradation has seized upon the life. Mystery-mongering and superstition are always signs of weakness.

 
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True, he thought, but no one ever got the chance to know it. Oh, they knew it was something, but it couldn’t be that — not that. That was imagination, that was superstition, there was no such thing as that.
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If Jesus does come down out of the clouds like a superhero, Christianity will stand revealed as a science. That will be the science of Christianity.

 
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In war, science has proven itself an evil genius; it has made war more terrible than it ever was before. Man used to be content to slaughter his fellowmen on a single plane — the earth's surface. Science has taught him to go down into the water and shoot up from below and to go up into the clouds and shoot down from above, thus making the battlefield three times a bloody as it was before; but science does not teach brotherly love. Science has made war so hellish that civilization was about to commit suicide; and now we are told that newly discovered instruments of destruction will make the cruelties of the late war seem trivial in comparison with the cruelties of wars that may come in the future.

 
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