I was curious to see what type of Man could come up with the theory that would make the bible removed from schools, and start a movement to remove GOD from everything.
So, I wanted to read his autobiography. Since it was written so long ago, the copyright has expired on it. And thanks to the Gutenberg Project, the full text of his Autobiography can be found on line.
What better way to find out what type of man a man is then by quoting his own words…. Lets see what Darwin has to say for himself.
While reading his autobiography, I came across something that I thought was very interesting. Over the 20-30 years of his life when the started to really develop his ideas of Darwinism and evolution, he lost his love for the arts. In his own words:
I have said that in one respect my mind has changed during the last twenty or thirty years. Up to the age of thirty, or beyond it, poetry of many kinds, such as the works of Milton, Gray, Byron, Wordsworth,Coleridge, and Shelley, gave me great pleasure, and even as a schoolboy I took intense delight in Shakespeare, especially in the historical plays. I have also said that formerly pictures gave me considerable, and music very great delight. But now for many years I cannot endure to read a line of poetry: I have tried lately to read Shakespeare, and found it so intolerably dull that it nauseated me. I have also almost lost my taste for pictures or music.
Sad, he use to love reading poetry, the first part of his autobiography talks about how he would spend time singing and enjoying music. Long walks in the country and enjoying pictures and plays. But now these things are dull and even nauseating. He then goes on to say:
The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness, and may possibly be injurious to the intellect, and more probably to the moral character, by enfeebling the emotional part of our nature.
Did I read that right. Did he just say the the loss of the arts, or non scientific likes may be injurious to moral character? He attributes this to the atrophy of the part of the brain that controls these tastes. He then goes on to say that he wishes that he would of at least spent some time each week on the arts.
I don’t think I agree with him on this point. Could this be the real reason why he started to not like the arts, etc. Could it be because he started to turn way from GOD and Christianity. In his own words:
….During these two years (March 1837 – January 1839) I was led to think much about religion. Whilst on board the Beagle I was quite orthodox, and I remember being heartily laughed at by several officers (though themselves orthodox) for quoting the Bible as an unanswerable authority on some point of morality. I suppose it was the novelty of the argument that amused them. But I had gradually come by this time (i.e. 1836 to 1839) to see the Old Testament, from its manifestly false history of the world, with the Tower of Babel, the rain-bow as a sign, and from its attributing to God the feelings of a revengeful tyrant, was no more to be trusted than the sacred books of the Hindoos, or the beliefs of any barbarian….
….Thus disbelief crept over me at a very slow rate, but was at last complete. The rate was so slow that I felt no distress, and have never since doubted for a single second that my conclusion was correct. I can indeed hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true; for if so, the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe, and this would include my Father, Brother, and almost all my best friends, will be everlastingly punished. And this is a damnable doctrine….
I think that the reason he lost his happiness and the love for the arts was because he turned away from God and started to remove his influence in life and nature. It is truly sad that he has lost his “happiness”.
I am open to thoughts on this one, and would like to have any comments you may have.