Mental Origin of Credulity and Superstition, and its Influence on Ancient Society. The remark of Lord Bacon, that "it were better to have no opinion of God at all, than such opinion as is unworthy of Him," is most appropriate in its application to the various superstitious beliefs that have, and still, in a degree, sway mankind; for superstition implies such extravagant notions regarding the character of Deity, that its rational contemplation is irreconcilable with such conceptions formed of the Author of the universe, as are derived from a survey of its structure.

Excerpt from A Philosophical Essay on Credulity and Superstition: And Also on Animal Fascination, or Charming

IT was not the original design of the author to offer the following work to the public. It was undertaken with the view to note his own Opinions, and such facts, derived from reading and reflection, as were deemed demonstra tive of a general tendency to a more ready belief in the incomprehensible and the marvelous, rather than in phe nomena susceptible of explanation by reason, aided by a disciplined exercise of the subordinate senses. Subse quently, however, it occurred to him that their dissemina tion might possibly have some influence in leading to an analytical examination of various popular errors emanating from this source, which have been most detrimental to hu man progress, and have essentially retarded mankind in their efforts to acquire the greatest happiness of which their nature is susceptible.

 

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Credulity and Superstition on Animal Fascination or Charming

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