Allan Kardec

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11. Those who attack spiritism as being "marvellous," really play into the hands of the materialist, since, by denying all extra-material effects, they virtually deny the existence of the soul. Go to the bottom of their thought, examine the tendency of what they assert, and it will generally be found that they reason from materialistic principles, implied, if not openly asserted. Under cover of their pretended rationality, their denial is but the logical consequence of their premiss; they reject all that naturally follows from the soul's existence, because they do not really believe in that existence: for, not admitting the cause, how can they logically admit its effects? Hence they are fettered by a preconceived opinion which unfits them for judging soundly with respect to spiritism, since their starting-point is the negation of all that is not material. For ourselves, as we admit the consequences that flow from the existence of the soul, it follows, as a matter of course, that we have accepted the facts qualified as "marvellous ;" but it does not therefore follow that we are the champion of every dreamer, of every fancy, of all the eccentricities put forth by builders of theories. Those who could so far misunderstand us can know very little of spiritism; but our adversaries do not look at the matter so closely, and the duty of understanding what they are talking about is too often the thing they care least for. According to them, whatever is " marvellous " is absurd ; and, as spiritism is grounded on facts which appear to them to be "marvellous," they jump to the conclusion that spiritism is absurd. Regarding their verdict as being without appeal, they think they have brought out an irrefutable argument when, after having paraded the histories of the convulsionaries of Saint Medard, the fanatics of the Cevennes, and the nuns of Loudun, they point to facts of trickery which no one contests ; but are such histories the gospel of spiritism ? Have spiritists ever denied that charlatans have imitated some of the facts of spirit-manifestation from love of lucre, that some pretended manifestations have been the creation of an overexcited imagination, or that fanaticism has dealt largely in exaggeration? Spiritism is no more answerable for the extravagancies that may have been committed in its name, than is true science for the abuses of ignorant pretenders, or true religion for the excesses of the fanatic. Many critics only judge of spiritism by the fairy tales and popular legends which are, in fact, its fictions ; as well might they judge of history by historical romance.

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