A Popular View of Atheism

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Seeley & Burnside, 1835 - Atheism - 117 pages

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Page 42 - This principle in man, by which he approves or disapproves his heart, temper, and actions, is conscience; for this is the strict sense of the word, though sometimes it is used so as to take in more. And that this faculty tends to restrain men from doing mischief to each other, and leads them to do good, is too manifest to need being insisted upon.
Page 81 - ... place manifestations of a Deity by which even he would be overpowered. If he does not know absolutely every agent in the universe, the one that he does not know may be God. If he is not himself the chief agent in the universe, and does not know what is so, that which is so may be God. If he is not in absolute possession of all the propositions that constitute universal truth, the one which he wants may be, that there is a God. If he cannot with certainty assign the cause of all that he perceives...
Page 91 - For it is as impossible to conceive, that ever bare incogitative matter should produce a thinking intelligent being, as that nothing should of itself produce matter.
Page 6 - Fallen cherub, to be weak is miserable, Doing or suffering; but of this be sure, To do aught good never will be our task, But ever to do ill our sole delight, As being the contrary to his high will Whom we resist.
Page 42 - We are plainly constituted such sort of creatures as to reflect upon our own nature. The mind can take a view of what passes within itself, its propensions, aversions, passions, affections, as respecting such objects, and in such degrees, and of the several actions consequent thereupon. In this survey it approves of one, disapproves of another, and towards a third is affected in neither of these ways, but is quite indifferent. This principle in man, by which he approves or disapproves his heart,...
Page 66 - ... circumstances as suggest the hope of concealment : not to say that crimes themselves will soon lose their infamy and their horror under the influence of that system which destroys the sanctity of virtue, by converting it into a low calculation of worldly interest. Here the sense of an ever-present...
Page 94 - ... compacted, that it must be a very great chance that parts them again. What would the world think of a man that should advance such an opinion as this, and write a book for it? If they would do him right, they ought to look upon him as mad ; but yet with a little more reason than any man can have to say, that the world was made by chance, or that the first men grew up out of the earth as plants do now.
Page 81 - The wonder then turns on the great process by which a man could grow to the immense intelligence that can know that there is no God. What ages, and what lights are requisite for THIS attainment ? This intelligence involves the very attributes of divinity, while a God is denied. For, unless this man is omnipresent, unless...
Page 94 - And is a man easier made by chance than his picture? How long might twenty thousand blind men, which should be sent out from the several remote parts of England, wander up and down before they would all meet upon Salisbury Plains, and fall into rank and file in the exact order of an army? And yet this is much more easy to be imagined, than how the innumerable blind parts of matter should rendezvous themselves into a world.
Page 94 - ... but that the stones did by chance grow into those curious figures into which they seem to have been cut and graven; and that upon a time (as tales usually begin) the materials of that building, the stone, mortar, .timber, iron, lead, and glass, happily met together, and very fortunately ranged themselves into that delicate order in which we see them now, so close compacted, that it must be a very great chance that parts them again.

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