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which arises from the consciousness of mans freedom? That is a question for theology. The actions of men are subject to general immutable laws expressed in statistics. What is mans responsibility to society, the conception of which results from the conception of freedom? That is a question for jurisprudence. Mans actions proceed from his innate character and the motives acting upon him. What is conscience and the perception of right and wrong in actions that follows from the consciousness of freedom? That is a question for ethics. Man in connection with the general life of humanity appears subject to laws which determine that life. But the same man apart from that connection appears to be free. How should the past life of nations and of humanity be regarded--as the result of the free, or as the result of the constrained, activity of man? That is a question for history. Only in our self-confident day of the popularization of knowledge--thanks to that most powerful engine of ignorance, the diffusion of printed matter--has the question of the freedom of will been put on a level on which the question itself cannot exist. In our time the majority of so-called advanced people--that is, the crowd of ignoramuses--have taken the work of the naturalists who deal with one side of the question for a solution of the whole problem. They say and write and print that the soul and freedom do not exist, for the life of man is expressed by muscular movements and muscular movements are conditioned by the activity of the nerves; the soul and free will do not exist because at an unknown period of time we sprang from the apes. They say this, not at all suspecting that thousands of years ago that same law of necessity which with such ardor they are now trying to prove by physiology and comparative zoology was not merely acknowledged by all the religions and all the thinkers, but has never been denied. They do not see that the role of the natural sciences in this matter is merely to serve as an instrument for the illumination of one side of it. For the fact that, from the point of view of observation, reason and the will are merely secretions of the brain, and that man following the general law may have developed from lower animals at some unknown period of time, only explains from a fresh side the truth admitted thousands of years ago by all the religious and philosophic theories--that from the point of view of reason man is subject to the law of necessity; but it does not advance by a hairs breadth the solution of the question, which has another, opposite, side, based on the consciousness of freedom. If men descended from the apes at an unknown period of time, that is as comprehensible as that they were made from a handful of earth at a certain period of time (in the first case the unknown quantity is the time, in the second case it is the origin); and the question of how mans consciousness of freedom is to be reconciled with the law of necessity to which he is subject cannot be solved by comparative physiology and zoology, for in a frog, a rabbit, or an ape, we can observe only the muscular nervous activity, but in man we observe consciousness as well as the muscular and nervous activity. The naturalists and their followers, thinking they can solve this question, are like plasterers set to plaster one side of the walls of a church who, availing themselves of the absence of the chief superintendent of the work, should in an access of zeal plaster over the windows, icons, woodwork, and still unbuttressed walls, and should be delighted that from their point of view as plasterers, everything is now so smooth and regular. CHAPTER IX For the solution of the question of free will or inevitability, history has this advantage over other branches of knowledge in which the question is dealt with, that for history this question does not refer to the essence of mans free will but its manifestation in the past and under certain conditions. In regard to this question, history stands to the other sciences as experimental science stands to abstract science. The subject for history is not mans will itself but our presentation of it. And so for history, the insoluble mystery presented by the incompatibility of free will and inevitability does not exist as it does for theology, ethics, and philosophy. History surveys a presentation of mans life in which the union of these two contradictions has already

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