A. M. Fairbairn

Nature exists for man, not man for Nature ; but if she exists for him, it is to teach him to transcend her, to make him ever more of a man, raising each generation above its predecessor. To do this she must awaken the energy and forethought that are in him, compel him to study that he may know, to imitate that he may prevail. And for this reason Nature, in order that she may be beneficent, must be inexorable in her laws.

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2 Responses to A. M. Fairbairn

  1. shinichi says:

    The Philosophy of the Christian Religion

    by A. M. Fairbairn

    II Man in the Hands of Nature

    Nature Inexorable

    iii. And so man, in the presence of the forces that seem in Nature to dominate his life, is learning to organize it on a higher level and after a humancr sort. They who have learned most of the secrets of Nature, especially as to how to keep her wholesome, to make her healthy and to turn her into a kindly minister to man, feel themselves compelled to impart the secrets they have learned to less forward or less favoured peoples. It is a curious but instructive law of human progress that we learn by the evil we inflict not only to cease from inflicting it, but also that we are in humanity akin with those we may have wronged. The people who enslaved the negro learned through the penal consequences that followed to themselves from their own act the humanity of the men they had enslaved. We slowly discover that the secrets of Nature are not the property of the men who discover them, but of the whole race. Since we are all children of the one mother and suckled at the one broad bosom, we come to feel that the mysteries of the motherhood of the earth are not for those who think themselves the elder-born or the favoured sons, but for the whole brood, the collective human family. Our common dependence upon Nature becomes a bond of unity between all the sections of mankind ; the life we live is one, though its forms and modes are as multitudinous as the units of the race.

    iv. But experience slowly teaches us that by far the larger proportion of the suffering that man endures at the hands of Nature is not due to Nature at all, but to man. It is the result of neglect, of improvidence, of carelessness ; it is due to the ten thousand causes which turn things preventible and innocent into things inevitable and injurious. Nature exists for man, not man for Nature ; but if she exists for him, it is to teach him to transcend her, to make him ever more of a man, raising each generation above its predecessor. To do this she must awaken the energy and forethought that are in him, compel him to study that he may know, to imitate that he may prevail. And for this reason Nature, in order that she may be beneficent, must be inexorable in her laws. The greatest calamity that could happen to men would be the grant of supernatural aid whenever they had by negligence or ignorance, or any act of wilfulness, involved themselves in straits. The very miracle that was worked to stay Nature in a destructive course, or calm her in a tempestuous mood, would arrest the progress and the amelioration of mankind ; for by teaching man to depend upon external help it would take from him the desire to improve, to trust his own intelligence, to obey the law of his own conscience and reason, and to amend by effort his own life and the lives of men.

  2. shinichi says:

    (sk)

    Nature exists for man などということは、口が裂けても言えない。

    神を信じている人たちは、人間中心主義などといって、自然は人間のために存在するなどと真顔で言う。

    基本から違う。

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