On the Origin of Religion

Hanover Historical Texts Project
Baron D'Holbach,
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) Page 8

Scanned by Aaron Gulyas, February, 1998.

How has it been possible to persuade reasonable beings, that the thing, the most impossible to comprehend, was the most essential to them? It is because they have been greatly terrified; because when they fear, they cease to reason; because they have been taught to mistrust their own understanding; because when the brain is troubled, they believe everything, and examine nothing.

Ignorance and fear are the two binges of all religion. The uncertainty in which man finds himself in relation to his God, is precisely the motive that attaches him to his religion. Man is fearful in the dark--in moral as well as physical darkness. His fear becomes habitual, and habit makes it natural; he would think that he wanted something, if he had nothing to fear.

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