Allan Kardec

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21. The second class of materialists, and by far the most numerous (for materialism is a sentiment contrary to nature), comprehends those who are such through indifference, and, so to say, for want of something better; they are not materialists from conviction, and they would rejoice to be able to believe, for their state of uncertainty is a torment to them. In such men, there is a vague aspiration after the future, but this future has been represented to them under aspects that their reason could not accept; hence their doubt1 and, as the consequence of their doubt, their unbelief. With such

persons, incredulity is not theoretic; present to them a theory which is rational, and they will accept it gladly; such men can understand us, for they are nearer to us than they think. With the first class, speak not of revelation, of angels, or of "paradise," for they would not understand you, but, placing yourself on their own ground, prove to them, first of all, that the laws of physics are not able to explain everything; the rest will come in due time. It is altogether different with the incredulity which is not a foregone conclusion; in such cases, belief is not absolutely null, there is a latent germ, stifled by creeds, but which a ray of light may vivify; such doubters are like a blind man whose eyes you may open, and who will rejoice to behold the day, or like a ship wrecked mariner, who will seize the plank of safety you hold out to him.

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