By the late 1840s, Comte was discussing positivism as if it were reli- gion. To him, science was all that one needed to believe in and all that one should believe in. He described a utopian society based on scientific principles and beliefs and whose organization was remarkably similar to the Roman Catholic church. However, humanity replaced God, and scientists and philosophers replaced priests. Disciples of the new religion would be drawn from the working classes and especially from among women:
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The triumph of positivism awaited the unification of three classes: The phi- losophers, the proletariat, and women. The first would establish the necessary intellectual and scientific principles and methods of inquiry; the second would guarantee that essential connection between reality and utility; the third would impact to the entire program the abiding selflessness and moral resolution so natural to the female constitution. (D. N. Robinson, 1982)
Comte’s religion of humanity was one of the reasons that John Stuart Mill became disenchanted with him. Comte’s utopia emphasized the happiness of the group and minimized individual happiness. In Mill’s version of utilitarianism, the exact opposite is true.