In a time of cultural and religious ferment, Thomas Hobbes was aware of how religions seize the imagination of multitudes, and how they fail, back to the Greek cults.
In our day, political ideas and parties have gained fervency in devotion or loathing more usually associated with religion, and the same principles apply to the sudden upwelling of faith in them or its collapse.
For seeing all formed Religion, is founded at first, upon the faith which a multitude hath in some one person, whom they believe not only to be a wise man, and to labour to procure their happiness, but also to be a holy man, to whom God himselfe vouchsafeth to declare his will supernaturally; It followeth necessarily, when they that have the Goverment of Religion, shall come to have either the wisedome of those men, their sincerity, or their love suspected; or that they shall be unable to shew any probable token of divine Revelation; that the Religion which they desire to uphold, must be suspected likewise; and (without the feare of the Civill Sword) contradicted and rejected.
Injoyning Beleefe Of Impossibilities
That which taketh away the reputation of Wisedome, in him that formeth a Religion, or addeth to it when it is allready formed, is the enjoyning of a beliefe of contradictories: For both parts of a contradiction cannot possibly be true: and therefore to enjoyne the beliefe of them, is an argument of ignorance; which detects the Author in that; and discredits him in all things else he shall propound as from revelation supernaturall: which revelation a man may indeed have of many things above, but of nothing against naturall reason.
Doing Contrary To The Religion They Establish
That which taketh away the reputation of Sincerity, is the doing, or saying of such things, as appeare to be signes, that what they require other men to believe, is not believed by themselves; all which doings, or sayings are therefore called Scandalous, because they be stumbling blocks, that make men to fall in the way of Religion: as Injustice, Cruelty, Prophanesse, Avarice, and Luxury. For who can believe, that he that doth ordinarily such actions, as proceed from any of these rootes, believeth there is any such Invisible Power to be feared, as he affrighteth other men withall, for lesser faults?
That which taketh away the reputation of Love, is the being detected of private ends: as when the beliefe they require of others, conduceth or seemeth to conduce to the acquiring of Dominion, Riches, Dignity, or secure Pleasure, to themselves onely, or specially. For that which men reap benefit by to themselves, they are thought to do for their own sakes, and not for love of others.
- Who are hypocrites?
- Gnawing inadequacy
- Maddening the priests
- The Babylonish Captivity of the Church, politically
- Is Boris Good Enough? (24 May 2019)
- Boris unleashed
- By Thomas Hobbes
- By Tom Wright:
- The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
- The Borisaurus: The Dictionary of Boris Johnson by Simon Walter
- The Liberal Delusion by John Marsh
- All Out War: The Full Story of How Brexit Sank Britain’s Political Class by Tim Shipman
- Woke: A Guide to Social Justice by Titania McGrath
- By others:
- Philosophy, Rhetoric, and Thomas Hobbes by Timothy Raylor
- Thomas Hobbes: Political Ideas in Historical Context by J P Sommerville