Possible worlds and other essays | Open Library
Possible Worlds and Other Essays – J.B.S
During the same period I killed two rats in the courseof experimental work intended to advance medicalscience. One of them, if we can judge from humanexperience (and we have no more direct means ofevaluating the consciousness of animals), died after aperiod of rather pleasant delirium like that of alcoholicintoxication. The other had convulsions, and mayhave been in pain for three or four minutes. I shouldbe very thankful if I knew that I should suffer no morethan it did before my death. It therefore seems to mesomewhat ridiculous that, whereas my wife is encouragedby the Government and the Press, I should becompelled to apply to the President of the RoyalSociety and another eminent man of science for signaturesto an application to the already overworkedHome Secretary, before I can even kill a mouse in aslightly novel manner.
Haldane, Possible Worlds and Other Essays
A third possibility is the rise on the ruins of Christianityof a religion with a creed in harmony withmodern thought, or more probably the thought of ageneration ago. Traces of such a creed may be foundin the utterances of prominent spiritualists, in theeconomic dogmas of the communist party, in thewritings of believers in creative evolution, and elsewhere.A new religion would crystallize the scientifictheories of its own age. The old religions are full ofoutworn science, including the astronomical theory of asolid heaven, the chemical theory that water, bread,books, and other objects can be rendered holy by specialprocesses, and the physiological theory that a substancecalled a soul leaves the body at the moment of death. Iremember hearing a former headmaster of Eton informingthe school from the pulpit that the body lostweight (or gained it, I forget which) at the moment ofdeath. This materialistic view of the nature of the soulis quite prevalent in Christian circles. A new religionwould probably include in its creed the reality of theether, the habitability of Mars, the duty of man to co-operatein the process of evolution, the existence ofinnate psychological difference between the human races,and the wickedness of either capitalism or socialism.