Page:Science and Citizenship.djvu/51

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Science and Citizenship

of spiritual freedom, untrammelled by the prohibition and compulsion which in civil history are called law and politics; in natural history, tooth and claw. How far this belief in a life of spiritual freedom is real, and how far it is illusory, matters not for the moment. The point of insistence is that the members of a religious community are bound together by similarity of ideas and feelings, and not by bonds which rest upon a potential recourse to physical force. In other words, the social influences immediately operative upon and amongst a religious community are mental, moral, and aesthetic. They are not legal and political. And in this respect at least it is sufficiently manifest that the scientific community resembles a religious one.


It is one of the merits of Comte to have aided the progress of thought by generalising under the one conception of Spiritual Powers all those agencies and institutions which influence men by mental, moral, and aesthetic considerations. His corresponding conception of Temporal Powers generalises agencies and institutions which operate on or influence conduct by an actual or potential recourse to physical force. The Spiritual Powers thus seek to substantiate or to modify belief—using that term in its broadest sense—having as their instruments ideas and emotions. Temporal Powers seek to determine conduct by using material rewards as impulse, and physical fear as deterrents.