Essays, Philosophical and Theological Volume . 2

Essays, Philosophical and Theological Volume . 2

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1875 edition. Excerpt: ...he were believed, the hearts of many virtuous persons who had never harmed him, for no immediate or demonstrable purpose except that of pleasing his own self-will; and that much more, were he wrong in his assertion."--(P. 41.) If this process, of consulting the suffrages of mankind, is good against the expression, it is good also and antecedently against the belief of atheism. The man is to hold his tongue, in the persuasion that most probably he is in the wrong; in the persuasion, therefore, that the evidence goes against him, and that "the Gods exist" after all. So the reasoning stands thus: he ought not to say, " I am an atheist;"' why?--because he ought not to be an atheist. The obligation to suppress the belief is deduced from the obligation to renounce it; and the duty of silence about a conviction is made contingent, by our author himself, on the conviction being no longer there to avow. He cannot justify the silence, except by expelling the very matter for speech. Thus it turns out impossible, after all, for a high-minded man, like Mr. Kingsley, to set up a defence of insincerity without translating it back into sincerity first. The injunction, however, to accept the votes of a majority as decisive of greater probability in questions of religion is futile and impracticable. The authority of numbers and acknowledged wisdom necessarily and properly determines our belief in matters whose inner relations we have never entered; and we receive without question the diagnosis of our physician, and abide by the judgment of our lawyer. But when once we have investigated the grounds on which a doctrine rests, and pronounced them to ourselves inadequate, the consciousness of this inadequacy cannot be affected by any reckoning of...show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 110 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 6mm | 213g
  • Rarebooksclub.com
  • Miami Fl, United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236604032
  • 9781236604033