Lemuel K. Washburn: “Human Responsiblity”


There is nothing that tends to perpetuate the weakness of humanity more than religion. Men have been taught for ages that they were dependent upon God for all they have. This kind of teaching must be corrected; it is false. Man is dependent upon man.


No God will help or hurt him. Be he ever so good no God will praise him; be he ever so bad no God will blame him. What he wants to escape is his own condemnation.


In order to develop an independent spirit in man it is necessary to increase his responsibility. Man must be taught to rely upon his own strength, upon his own body and mind. He must learn his relations to nature and abide by the laws of his being. He must know this: if he would have anything he must deserve it. Human destiny follows human conduct.


The old notion that man is responsible to God cannot be proved. There are no facts that corroborate that notion. Man is responsible to himself. It is this truth that is calculated to elevate and ennoble human life. Let human beings understand that there is that within themselves that is to be respected, and that they are responsible to themselves for all they do, and they will be more worthy of respect and live more worthy lives.

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