The Corruptions Caused by Religion

  • J. C. A. Gaskin
Part of the Library of Philosophy and Religion book series (LPR)


Towards the end of the Natural History of Religion Hume’s passionate hostility to the mischief brought about by popular religion explodes into oratory:

What a noble privilege it is of human reason to attain the knowledge of the supreme Being; and, from the visible works of nature, be enabled to infer so sublime a principle as its supreme Creator? But turn the reverse of the medal. Survey most nations and most ages. Examine the religious principles, which have, in fact, prevailed in the world. You will scarcely be persuaded, that they are any thing but sick men’s dreams…. What so pure as some of the morals, included in some theological systems? What so corrupt as some of the practices, to which these systems give rise? N.H.R., 75f


Moral Enquiry Religious Observance Moral Precept True Religion Popular Religion 
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  1. 1.
    Cf. J. Kahl, The Misery of Christianity (London, 1971) ch. 1.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© J. C. A. Gaskin 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. C. A. Gaskin
    • 1
  1. 1.Trinity CollegeDublinIreland

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