Paul-Henri Thiry díHolbac

Paul-Henri Thiry díHolbac

Is there any thing more contradictory, than an intelligent and omnipotent workman, who only produces to destroy?More Paul-Henri Thiry díHolbac quotes [09/30/2011 05:09:06]
If sovereigns, in order to enlighten and to render happy their dominions, were to employ only the tenth part of the vast expenditures which they lavish, and only a tithe of the pains which the employ to stupefy them - to deceive them - to afflict them, their subjects would presently be as wise and as happy, as they are now remarkable for being blind, ignorant, and miserable.More Paul-Henri Thiry díHolbac quotes [09/30/2011 05:09:03]
In short, theology invests their God with the incommunicable privilege of acting contrary to all the laws of nature and of reason, whilst it is upon his reason, his justice, his wisdom and his fidelity in the fulfilling his pretended engagements, that they are willing to establish the worship which we owe him, and the duties of morality. What an ocean of contradictions! A being who can do every thing, and who owes nothing to any one, who, in his eternal decrees, can elect or reject, predestinate to happiness or to misery, who has the right of making men the playthings of his caprice, and to afflict them without reason, who could go so far as even to destroy and annihilate the universe, is he not a tyrant or a demon? Is there any thing more frightful than the immediate consequences to be drawn from these revolting ideas given to us of their God, by those who tell us to love him, to serve him, to imitate him, and to obey his orders? Would it not be a thousand times better to depend upon blind matter, upon a nature destitute of intelligence, upon chance, or upon nothing, upon a God of stone or wood, than upon a God who is laying snares for men, inviting them to sin, and permitting them to commit those crimes which he could prevent, to the end that he may have the barbarous pleasure of punishing them without measure, without utility to himself, without correction to them, and without their example serving to reclaim others? A gloomy terrour must necessarily result from the idea of such a being; his power will wrest from us much servile homage; we shall call him good to flatter him or to disarm his malice; but, without overturning the essence of things, such a God will never be able to make himself beloved by us, when we shall reflect that he owes us nothing, that he has the right of being unjust, that he has the power to punish his creatures for making a bad use of the liberty which he grants them, or for not having had that grace which he has been pleased to refuse them.More Paul-Henri Thiry díHolbac quotes [09/30/2011 05:09:06]
If he must have his chimeras, let him at least learn to permit others to form theirs after their own fashion; since nothing can be more immaterial than the manner of menís thinking on subjects not accessible to reason, provided those thoughts be not suffered to embody themselves into actions injurious to others: above all, let him be fully persuaded that it is of the utmost importance to the inhabitants of this world to be just, kind, and peaceable.More Paul-Henri Thiry díHolbac quotes [09/30/2011 05:09:19]
The present state has served as the model of the future. We feel pleasure and pain - hence a heaven and a hell. A body is necessary for enjoying heavenly pleasures - hence the dogma of a resurrection.
But whence has the idea of hell arisen? Because, like a sick person who clings even to a miserable existence, man prefers a life of pain to annihilation, which he considers as the greatest of calamities. That notion was besides counterbalanced by the idea of divine mercy.More Paul-Henri Thiry díHolbac quotes [09/30/2011 05:09:52]

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