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...is the invention of lawyers, priests and cheese-mongers. The idea of mystery long preceded it, and at the heart of that idea of mystery was an idea of beauty--that is, an idea that this or that view of the celestial and infernal process presented a satisfying picture of form, rhythm and organization. Once this view was adopted as satisfying, its professional interpreters and their dupes sought to reinforce it by declaring it true. The same flow of reasoning is familiar on lower planes.The average man does not get pleasure out of an idea because he thinks it is true; he thinks it is true because he gets pleasure out of it.
Free will, it appears, is still a Christian dogma. Without it the cruelties of God would strain faith to the breaking-point. But outside the fold it is gradually falling into decay. Such men of science as George W. Crile and Jacques Loeb have dealt it staggering blows, and among laymen of inquiring mind it seems to be giving way to an apologetic sort of determinism--a determinism, one may say, tempered by defective observation. The late Mark Twain, in his... Mencken, H. L.
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