Paul-Henri Thiry d’Holbac

Paul-Henri Thiry d’Holbac

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 d’Holbac quotes [09/30/2011 05:09:06]
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]
What shall be said for the unjust cruelty of some nations, in which the law, that ought to have for its object the advantage of the whole, appears to be made only for the security of the most powerful; in which punishments the most disproportionate to the crime, unmercifully take away the lives of men, whom the most urgent necessity has obliged to become criminal? It is thus, that in a great number of civilised nations, the life of the citizen is placed in the same scales with money; that the unhappy wretch, who is perishing from hunger and misery, is put to death for having taken a pitiful portion of the superfluity of another whom he beholds rolling in abundance? It is this, that in many otherwise enlightened societies, is called justice, or making the punishment commensurate with the crime.More Paul-Henri Thiry d’Holbac quotes [09/30/2011 05:09:41]
If ye will have Gods, let your imagination give birth to them; but do not suffer these imaginary beings so far to intoxicate ye as to make ye mistake that which ye owe to those real beings with whom ye live. ...always remember that, among the duties you owe to the real beings with whom ye are associated, the foremost, the most consequential, the most immediate, stands a reasonable indulgence for the foibles of others.More Paul-Henri Thiry d’Holbac quotes [09/30/2011 05:09:24]
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]

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