Paul-Henri Thiry d’Holbac

Paul-Henri Thiry d’Holbac

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 d’Holbac quotes [09/30/2011 05:09:52]
This is the true source of moral evil. It is thus that every thing conspires to render man vicious, to give a fatal impulse to his soul; from whence results the general confusion of society, which becomes unhappy from the misery of almost every one of its members. The strongest motive-powers are put in action to inspire man with a passion for futile or indifferent objects, which make him become dangerous to, his fellow man by the means which he is compelled to employ in order to obtain them. Those who have the charge of guiding his steps, either impostors themselves, or the dupes to their own prejudices, forbid him to hearken to reason; they make truth appear dangerous to him, and exhibit errour as requisite to his welfare, not only in this world but in the next. In short, habit strongly attaches him to his irrational opinions - to his perilous inclinations - to his blind passion for objects either useless or dangerous. Here then is the reason why for the most part man finds himself necessarily determined to evil; the reason why the passions, inherent in his nature and necessary to his conservation, become the instruments of his destruction, the bane of that society which they ought to preserve. Here, then, the reason why society becomes a state of warfare, and why it does nothing but assemble enemies, who are envious of each other and always rivals for the prize. If some virtuous beings are to be found in these societies, they must be sought for in the very small number of those, who, born with a phlegmatic temperament, have moderate passions, who therefore either do not desire at all, or desire very feebly, those objects with which their associates are continually inebriated.More Paul-Henri Thiry d’Holbac quotes [09/30/2011 05:09:29]
If experience be consulted, it will be found there is no action, however abominable, that has not received the applause of some people. Parricide - the sacrifice of children - robbery - usurpation - cruelty - intolerance - prostitution, have all in their turn been licensed actions, and have been deemed laudable and meritorious deeds with some nations of the earth. Above all, Religion has consecrated the most unreasonable, the most revolting customs.More Paul-Henri Thiry d’Holbac quotes [09/30/2011 05:09:53]
Does a religious and sacerdotal education form citizens, fathers of families, husbands, just masters, faithful servants, humble subjects, pacific associates? No! It either makes peevish and morose devotees, incommodious to themselves and to others, or men without principles, who quickly sink in oblivion the terrours with which they have been imbued, and who never knew the laws of morality. Religion was placed above every thing; the fanatic was told, that it were better to obey God than man; in consequence, he believed that he must revolt against his prince, detach himself from his wife, detest his child, estrange himself from his friend, cut the throats of his fellow-citizens, every time that they questioned the interests of Heaven. In short, religious education, when it had its effect, only served to corrupt juvenile hearts, to fascinate youthful minds, to degrade young minds, to make man mistake that which he owed to himself, to society, and to the beings which surrounded him.More Paul-Henri Thiry d’Holbac quotes [09/30/2011 05:09:16]
Let us not be told, that we thus attribute every thing to blind causes, and to a fortuitous concourse of atoms: we call those causes blind of which we are ignorant: we attribute effects to chance, when we do not perceive the tie which connects them with their causes. Nature is neither a blind cause, nor does she act by chance: all her productions are necessary, and always the effect of fixed laws.More Paul-Henri Thiry d’Holbac quotes [09/30/2011 05:09:10]

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