The God of the Theologians Composed of Negations which Lead to Atheism
Hanover Historical Texts Project
Good Sense: or, Natural Ideas Opposed to Supernatural; being a Translation from a Work Called "Le Bon Sens"
corrected and carefully revised by H. D. Robinson
(Boston: J. P. Mendum, 1856) Pages 16-17
Scanned by Aaron Gulyas, February, 1998.
IN view, without doubt, of confounding things the
more, theologians have not been pleased to declare
what their God is; they tell us only what he is not.
By means of negations and abstractions, they think
they have composed a real and perfect being, while,
in truth, it is only ideal. Mind is that which is not
body. An infinite being, is a being who is not finite.
A perfect being, is a being who is not imperfect.
Indeed, is there any one, who can form real ideas
of such a mass of privations, or absence of ideas?
That which excludes all idea, can it be anything but
To pretend, that the divine attributes are beyond
the reach of human conception, is to grant, that God
is not made for man. To assure us, that, in God, all
is infinite, is to own that there can be no thing common
to him and his creatures. If there be nothing common
to God and his creatures, God is annihilated for man,
or, at least, rendered useless to him. "God," they will
say, "has made man intelligent, but he has not made
him omniscient;" hence it is inferred that he has not
been able to give him faculties sufficiently enlarged to
know his divine essence. In this case, it is evident,
that God has not beeii able nor willing to be known
by his creatures. By what right then would God be
angry with beings, who were naturally incapable of
knowing the divine essence? God would be evidently
the most unjust and capricious of tyrants, if he should
punish an Atheist for not having known, what, by his
nature, it was impossible he should know.
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