The Mysteries of Religion Produce Credulity

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 9

Scanned by Aaron Gulyas, February, 1998.

HE who from infancy, has habituated himself to tremble when he hears pronounced certain words, requires those words and needs to tremble. lie is therefore more disposed to listen to one, who entertains him in his fears, than to one, who dissuades him from them. The superstitious man wishes to fear; his imagination demands it; one might say that he fears nothing so much, as to have nothing to fear.

Men are imaginary invalids, whose weakness empirics are interested to encourage, in order to have sale for their drugs. They listen rather to the physician, who prescribes a variety of remedies, than to him who recommends good regimen, and leaves nature to herself.

If religion were more clear, it would have less charms for the ignorant, who are pleased only with obscurity, terrors, fables, prodigies and things incredible. Romances, silly stories, and tales of ghosts and wizards, are more pleasing to vulgar minds than true histories.

In point of religion, men are only great children. The more a religion is absurd, and filled with wonders, the greater ascendency it acquires over them. The devout man thinks himself obliged to place no bounds to his credulity; the more things are inconceivable, they appear to him divine; the move they are incredible, the greater merit he imagines there is in believing them.

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