John Stuart Mill’s “Religion of Humanity” Revisited

Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 19 (4):577-588 (2007)
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ABSTRACT John Stuart Mill’s posthumously published Three Essays on Religion have been seen as standing in a problematical relationship with his better‐known works, especially On Liberty, which emphasize the negative sides of Mill’s approach to religion. The Three Essays are less easy to characterize. A careful reading shows Mill’s concern to subject religious views to rational scrutiny, but also to acknowledge the important and largely beneficent role religion has played, and presumably will continue to play, in human affairs. This role will not, Mill predicts, continue to be that of keeping selfish impulses in check. Rather, it will be to inspire people to assist a benevolent but, plainly, less‐than‐omniscient deity; and, as well, to spark an imaginative identification with an ongoing process of intellectual and moral perfection that transcends our mortal lives.



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John Stuart Mill’s Political Pessimism.Paul Corcoran - 2019 - The European Legacy 24 (5):471-491.

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References found in this work

On Liberty.John Stuart Mill - 1859 - Broadview Press.
On Liberty.John Stuart Mill - 1956 - Cambridge University Press.
On liberty.John Stuart Mill - 2000 - In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Exploring Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology. New York, NY, United States of America: Oxford University Press USA. pp. 519-522.
Philosophy as cultural politics.Richard Rorty - 2007 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Auguste Comte and Positivism.John Stuart Mill - 1961 - [Ann Arbor]: [Ann Arbor]University of Michigan Press.

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