Auguste Comte
    About Lesson

    Religion of Humanity

    According to Auguste Comte, scientific society and God cannot coexist. On the other hand, the scientific community and religion both exist. For the sake of humankind, he believed that God and religion are different things and that the “death” of God should not result in the death of religion.

    God often “dies” in the positive stage, but Comte thought religion shouldn’t also “die” with God. He understood the moral qualities and social cohesion that religion brought and worried that the utter demise of faith would have unintended consequences. According to Comte, to be a real sociologist, one must study society to comprehend it and provide answers that would improve it. So Comte founded the religion of humanity, a new religion based on this idea.

    This religion seeks to understand, love, and serve humankind. Therefore, the religion of humanity has “pillars” and sacraments, much as earlier faiths did.

    The religion of humanity contains songs, prayers, and feasts, much like Catholicism. They also think that humans should honor “great persons in history rather than worshiping a God.” A “positivist calendar” made by Comte has 13 months with 28 days each. He gave each month a remarkable historical figure’s name and the day’s names of other notable historical figures. The positivist calendar lists 558 outstanding persons in all.

    The goal of religion is to unite and arrange people’s lives.
    Therefore, it must equally address both aspects of human nature, namely, thought and emotion. A creed, a collection of institutions and principles to regulate and direct behavior, a code of conduct, and a set of customs to develop the emotions and educate the heart, a cult, are thus required as the first three elements of religion.

    A creed is a body of doctrine that addresses human existence’s meaning, aim, and future. Because of their beliefs, the followers of the code of conduct must act a certain way. An object of devotion and responsibility that may elicit sentiments of safety and provision in the believer must be able to be summoned and worshipped. Comte’s idol and devotion were the human species, actual and ideal simultaneously, embracing the past, present, and future. This magnificent life, or “Grand Etre,” as he called it, has the power to inspire devotion. Now, Comte thinks that if one worships humanity, this ideal might inspire the believer to love and make sacrifices for the benefit of humankind. Unlike the ideal beings of ancient religions, who are omnipotent and, as such, do not need human beings, humanity is the worthy pursuit and object of devotion and, as such, requires human assistance.

    Humans now coexist with great brains who have passed away but benefited humankind and with great people who will come but whom they will never meet. When people pay tribute to individuals who have devoted their lives to serving humanity in unique ways in the past, humans come to understand that they are also fighting for the same principles. The lofty idea that all humankind exists in contact with all the great people who have passed away and are yet to come has tremendous enlightening power. Comte believes that the Grand Etre, also known as humanity or humankind, is made up of those who have contributed honorably in various roles and at all ages. All sentient creatures who have aided and contributed to humanity are included in the Grand Etre, along with notable human individuals.

    According to Comte, the best indicator of right and wrong is what is best for the whole human race, and morality is avoiding any behavior detrimental to this goal. Therefore, every religion must have a cult, prayer, and ritual. Comte views prayer as a purely emotional expression that is not directed towards the Grand Etre or the whole of humankind. The public festivities are when humanity as a whole is honored.

    The mother, wife, and daughter are the objects of private worship; they stand for the past, present, and future and compel us to practice the social attitudes of awe, attachment, and compassion. The public cult that Comte promotes is intended to honor and praise humanity as a whole, to celebrate the connections between people and the various phases in human progress.

    Sociology Plus