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The Idea of God in Early Religions
written by "Jevons, F. B. (Frank Byron), 1858-1936"
...nd the bull-roarer continues sacred in its eyes to a period when the adult community has not only discarded its use but forgotten its meaning. In its tales and myths it may preserve the memory of a stage of morality which the adult community has outgrown, and has left behind as far it has left behind the bull-roarer or the bow [43]and arrow. And the stage of morality, of which it preserves the memory, is one from which the adult community in past time emerged. Having emerged, indeed, it found itself, eventually, when made to look back, compelled to condemn that which it looked back upon. What, then, were these myths, with which the moralised community might find itself confronted? They were tales which originated in the mind of the community when it was yet immature. They preserve to us the reflections of the immature mind about the gods and what they did. And it is because the minds, which made these reflections, were immature, that the myths which embodied or expressed these reflections, were such as might be accepted by immature minds, but were eventually found intolerable by more mature minds. It may, perhaps, be said—and it may be said with justice—that the reflections even of the immature mind are not all, of necessity, erroneous, for it is from them that the whole of modern knowledge has been evolved or developed, just as the steam-plough may be traced back to the primitive digging-stick: reflection upon anything may lead to better knowledge of the thing, as well as to false notions about it. But the nations, which have outgrown mythology, have cast it aside because in the long run they became convinced that the notions it embodied were false notions. And they reached that conclusion [44]on this point in the same way and for the same reason as they reached the same conclusion in other matters; for there is only one way. There is only one way and one test by which it is possible to determine whether the inferences we ...

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