Allan Kardec

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20. We must especially distinguish two classes among the materialists. In the first class we may place those who are so theoretically. With these, it is not doubt, but negation, absolute, and rational from their point of view; in their eyes, man is only a machine, which goes as long as it is wound up, but of which the spring wears out; a being of which, after death, nothing remains but the carcase. The number of such thinkers being happily very limited, it seems hardly necessary to insist upon the deplorable effects which the generalisation of such a doctrine would exert on social order; we have been sufficiently explicit in regard to this point in The Spirits' Book (147 and Conclusion, III.)

In saying that the incredulous cease to doubt when met by a rational explanation, we must except those ultramaterialists who deny all power and intelligence outside of matter; pride renders the majority of these obstinate, and they persist in their denials from personal vanity; they resist all proofs, because they do not wish to have to change an Opinion expressed by them. With such persons you can do nothing, not even when they feign sincerity, and say: "Let me see, and I will believe." Others, more frank, say plainly: "If I saw, I should not believe."

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