George Gore

In existographies, George Gore (1826-1908) (IQ:175|#250) (SN:42) was a British electrochemist, physics and chemistry lecturer, and moral philosopher, noted for []

Deism | Atheism
Gore’s entire presentation, as suggested by citation of classic deists like Alexander Pope and crypto-atheists such as Thomas Hobbes, seems to be basically of the implicit atheism variety or closet atheism variety, if it were to be classified; he seems, however, to avoid the social opprobrium brought on by direct disavowal of god and open atheism by recasting his presentation as a “god as truth” ideology, akin to Benedict Spinoza's god as nature ideology, albeit based on experiment and scientific method based arrival of truth; the following are a few representative statements:

“As new scientific knowledge has increased, belief in witchcraft, sorcery, demonology, exorcism, evil influences and omens, unseen spirits, a ‘god of evil’, supernatural and occult powers, supernatural sources of strange diseases, evil presages from comets and eclipses, fetishism, worship of images and of the sun, a belief that the earth is the chief body in the universe, that man is the "lord of creation’, &c., &c., have largely passed away, and beliefs more consistent with facts and with true inferences drawn from them, have taken their place.”
— George Gore (1880), The Scientific Basis of National Progress (pg. 119)

“The whole of the book is written in the spirit that ‘god is truth’, and that obedience to ‘truth’ in accordance with the requirements of universal energy comes before all other considerations; and the entire book may be regarded as a plea for greater ideas, for truth, and obedience to law.”
— George Gore (1899), The Scientific Basis of Morality (pg. v)

In this arena, then, he seems to avoid discussion of god and or explicit atheism, and instead to do battle, with the prevalence of the “supernatural ideas about the human will”, in respect to consciousness, choice, and seeming discussion about the "soul", in the context of science.

In 1880, Gore, age 54, in his The Scientific Basis of National Progress: Including that of Morality, chapter: "The Scientific Basis of Mental and Moral Progress", which he dedicated to the Birmingham Philosophical Society, sketched out a materialist model of morality (see: materialistic morality); the synopsis of which is as follows: [1]

“The dependence of mental progress upon science may be rendered manifest in several ways :

1st. By showing that new scientific knowledge is continually extending and modifying our views of existing things.
2nd. That inventions based upon scientific discoveries have aided and extended our mental powers.
3rd. That mental phenomena may be made the subject of experiment, observation, analysis, and inference.
4th. That the criteria of truth, and the mental powers and processes employed for discovering and detecting truth, are the same in mental as in physical science.
5th. That mental action is subject to the great principles and laws of science.

Moral progress may be proved to have a scientific basis:

1st. By showing that moral actions are a class of mental actions, and therefore subject to the same fundamental laws and influences.
2nd. That the discovery of new scientific knowledge, and the use of inventions based upon it, often conduce to morality.
3rd. That moral phenomena may be made the subject of experiment, observation, analysis, and inference.
4th. That the criteria of truth, and the mental faculties and processes employed, in discovering truth, are the same in moral as in physical science.
5th. That the fundamental rules of morality are subject to the great principles of science.
6th. That moral improvement follows in the wake of scientific advance.
7th. By showing the moral influence of experimental research in imparting "the scientific spirit"; promoting a love of truth; dispelling ignorance and superstition; detecting error; imparting certainty and accuracy to our knowledge; inculcating obedience to law; producing uniformity of belief; aiding economy and cleanliness, promoting humanity, &c., &c.

Each of these will be treated with extreme brevity.”

In 1899, Gore expanded his early scientific morality chapter into the The Scientific Basis of Morality: the Great Laws of Science are Chief Guides of Life; the following are representative quotes:

“The chief subject of this book, and the main idea pervading it, are expressed in its title. Its leading object is to show, in a general way, that the entire conduct of man—physical, mental and moral—is based upon a scientific foundation; to make clear the truth that the great powers and laws of science are the chief guides of life; to show that universal energy acting according to law is the true ‘divine’ power governing physical, moral social, and religious conduct; and to illustrate the influence of science upon the material, mental, and moral progress of mankind.”
— George Gore (1899), The Scientific Basis of Morality (pg. v)

“The energies of nature are viewed as being the causes and regulators of all things; as determining the existence of man, the rate of human progress and of civilization, and the rise and fall of nations, sects and families; as fixing the duration of human life, the limits of human ability, and man’s mental and physical powers. and of his ‘freedom of will’; as forming the basis of human consciousness, of mind, and of the chief rules of physical and moral conduct; as being the causes of knowledge and ignorance, good and ‘evil’, morality and ‘immorality’, pleasure and pain, happiness and unhappiness, reward and punishment, wealth and poverty, economy and waste ; as being the origin of competition, and intimately related to justice, truthfulness, and honesty; and to man’s powers of self-discipline, self-regulation, choice and selection, his material prosperity, etc.”
— George Gore (1899), The Scientific Basis of Morality (pg. iii-iv)

“Morality, the subject of duty, or of right and wrongdoing in conscious creatures, is usually considered to relate only to those actions over which a man has or might have had control, and which it was his duty either to perform or avoid, and not to those which are entirely beyond his influence, it is therefore essentially dependent upon the power of selection or choosing. As then all moral actions require voluntary choice between right and wrong, and every act of choice is a mental one of comparison of two or more things, all moral actions are mental ones. We cannot compare things which have not made any mental impression upon us. We know further, and the evidence already given proves, that mental actions are intimately dependent upon the principles of nature operating within and around us. If then all acts of morality (or immorality) are mental ones, and if all mental actions are intimately dependent upon the great principles of nature; then all acts of morality are dependent upon those principles. Morality also cannot be properly understood without a knowledge of various sciences, especially biology, because it relates to human creatures, all of whom are morally affected by the various forces and substances belonging to the physical and chemical sciences.”
— George Gore (1880), The Scientific Basis of National Progress (pgs. 120-21)


Gore was born in Blackfrairs, Bristol, England to a George Gore, senior, a cooper (Ѻ); in his adolescence, he was educated at a small private school, from which he was removed at age 12 to become an errand boy. In 1943, Gore, age 17, was apprenticed to a cooper, where he stayed for four years; supposedly “supplementing his scanty education in his leisure hours”. In 1851, Gore, age 25, migrated to Birmingham, where first found employment at Birmingham as timekeeper at the Soho works, next as a practitioner in medical galvanism; he subsequently became a chemist to a phosphorus factory, afterwards (1870–80) was lecturer in physics and chemistry in King Edward's School, and finally, from 1880 onwards, was head of the Institute of Scientific Research, Easy Row, Birmingham, which Gore conducted privately, and where he resided for the remainder of his days. [4] In 1902, he was signing himself off as “Dr. G. Gore, F.R.S.”

Quotes | Employed
The following are quotes employed by Gore:

“There is only one reality in the world—it is movement, external, without beginning, the cause of each and every change.”
Thomas Hobbes (c.1651), Publication; cited by George Gore (1902) in “The Coming Scientific Morality” (pg. 422); cited by Baptist Anon (1902) in “Materialist Morality”

“Everything that exists depends upon the past, prepares the future, and is related to the whole.”
Hans Orsted (c.1840), Publication; cited by George Gore (1902) in “The Coming Scientific Morality” (pg. 430)

“It is impossible to lay down a railway without creating an improved intellectual influence. It is probable that Watt and Stephenson will eventually modify the opinions of mankind, almost as profoundly as Luther and Voltaire.”
— Anon (c.1850), Publication; cited by George Gore (1880) in The Scientific Basis of National Progress (pgs. 87-88)

Quotes | By
The following are quotes by Gore:

“When all is known and all is understood. Mankind will see, whatever IS, is good.”
— George Gore (1899), The Scientific Basis of Morality (iii); a paraphrase of Alexander Pope’s 1734 “one truth is clear: whatever IS, is right” motto

“On the authority of sufficient evidence I venture to affirm that the only permanent basis of morality is immutable truth; and as well-verified science is the most perfect truth we possess, we may reasonably expect to find a fixed basis of morality in it. By the term ‘science’ I mean knowledge derived from proper and sufficient evidence; by ‘morality’ I mean such human conduct as produces justifiable effects on sentient creatures; by ‘immorality’, the infliction of unjustifiable injury upon living beings; and by ‘truth’ I mean statements consistent with all known facts.”
— George Gore (1902), “The Coming Scientific Morality” (pg. 420) [2]

1. Gore, George. (1880). The Scientific Basis of National Progress: Including that of Morality (§2: The Scientific Basis of Mental and Moral Progress, pgs. 83-156). Publisher.
2. Gore, George. (1902). “The Coming Scientific Morality” (Ѻ) (pdf), The Westminster Review, 161:420-37, Apr.
3. Gore, George. (1899). The Scientific Basis of Morality. Publisher.
4. George Gore – Dictionary of National Biography (1912).

Further reading | Morality
● Anon. (1902). “Materialistic Morality” (Ѻ), The Watchman, 86:7, Jun 2.
● Gore, George. (1903). “How the World is Governed”, The Empire Review, Feb.
● Gore, George. (1905). “The Scientific View of Consciousness”, The Monist, Apr.
● Gore, George. (1906). “A Scientific Sketch of Untruth”, The Monist, 16:96-119.
● Gore, George. (1906). The New Scientific System of Morality. Watts & Co.

Further reading | Science
● Gore, George. (1854). The Principles and Practice of Electro-Deposition. Publisher.
● Gore, George. (1878). The Art of Scientific Discovery: the General Conditions and Methods of Research in Physics and Chemistry. Publisher.
● Gore, George. (1877). The Art of Electro-Metallurgy: Including All Known Processes of Electro-Deposition. Longmans, 1890.
● Gore, George. (1885). Electro-Chemistry: Inorganic. Publisher.

External links
George Gore (electrochemist) – Wikipedia.
Gore, George (1826-1909) – WorldCat Identities.

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