How Religion was Established

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 10

Scanned by Aaron Gulyas, February, 1998.

THE origin of religious opinions is generally dated from the time, when savage nations were yet in infancy. It was to gross, ignorant, and stupid people, that the founders of religion have in all ages addressed themselves, when they wished to give them their Gods, their mode of worship, their mythology, their marvelous and frightful fables. These Chimeras, adopted without examination by parents, are transmitted, with more or less alteration, to their children, who seldom reason any more than their parents.

The object of the first legislators was to govern the people; and the easiest method to effect it, was to terrify their minds, and to prevent the exercise of reason. They led them through winding by-paths, lest they might perceive the designs of their guides; they forced them to fix their eyes in the air, lest they should look at their feet; they amused them on the way with idle stories; in a word, they treated them as nurses do children, who sing lullabies, and scold, to put them to sleep, or make them be quiet.

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