Saturday, December 29, 2012

Baron D'Holbach on the terror in religious belief

"The idea of such powerful agencies has always been associated with that of terror; their name always reminded man of his own calamities or those of his fathers; we tremble today because our ancestors have trembled for thousands of years. The idea of Divinity always awakens in us distressing ideas ... our present fears and lugubrious thoughts ... rise every time before our mind when we hear his name. [. . . .] When man bases morality on the not too moral character of a God who changes his behaviour, then he can never know what he owes to God nor what he owes to himself or to others. Nothing therefore could be more dangerous than to persuade man that a being superior to nature exists, a being before whom reason must be silent and to whom man must sacrifice all to receive happiness."

-- Baron D'Holbach, System of Nature

No comments: