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The Revelation of the Genius Hazrat
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Great discoveries and anti-religious thought of the Renaissance
Period covering the second half of XV century. and all the XVI century., advanced anti-religious ideas into focus for progressive thought in Western Europe. This time, starting the collapse of feudalism and the formation of foundations to combat bourgeois social relations.

Historical progress of navigation, industry, commerce, on the one hand, require the creation of an experimental science of nature, a true knowledge of it, and with another - themselves form the basis for the development of such a science. The development of experimental science is an urgent need for the bourgeoisie, and it led to the progressive development of society.

And with the same urgency with which the assertion of new social relations demanded contrition medieval social institutions, adoption of a true science of nature, and inseparable from its scientific outlook called for crushing the religious worldview, in which the vice was clamped whole spiritual life of the Middle Ages.

Great power blows rained down on the religion of scientific discovery epoch we are examining. The great geographical discoveries overwhelm the medieval idea of ​​the earth and its inhabitants. Consecrated religious views of the universe is subverted by Copernicus and Galileo. Particularly severe blow inflicted on the religious worldview great Polish scientist Nicholas Copernicus (1473-1543), who developed a heliocentric system in the world. The old, the church supported the notion that the universe is in the center of the Earth and Sun are not dashed. The earth is the abode of the god favorite people, reduced to the level of ordinary planets in our solar system. Deprived of any foundation idea of ​​the exclusiveness of the Earth, as well as the opposition of earthly heaven. Undermine the dogma of man as the ultimate goal of divine creation. And although clerics declared the doctrine of Copernicus 'heretical', they were unable to slow down the pace winning science.

At the forefront of European thought in the Renaissance, Italy stands. In the XV century. University of Padua has become so universally recognized center averroizma that the doctrine of "dual truth" and the eternity of the world are beginning to call everywhere shall fall-anskim. paduantsev Some associates itself fully with the views of the Arab philosopher Ibn Roshdy that only mortal soul of every human being impersonal reason of humanity immortal. Some schools went on to Padua - announced every mortal mind. In the Greek author of the III. Alexandra Af-rodiziyskogo, share this view, they were called aleksandristami. They belonged to Pietro Pomponazzi (1462-1524).

In his book "On the immortality of the soul" Pomponazzi writes that religion lawmaker, referring to the people, preaching his faith, sets himself a different goal than the scientist, referring to his colleagues, free from the superstitions of the crowd. This difference is inevitable conclusions to which our results reason (science) and faith (religion). Reason, for example, in contrast to the belief is that the laws of nature exclude miracles, belief in miracles - "the result of fraud on the part of priests and the fruit of morbid imagination of ordinary people."

Pomponazzi expresses the idea that, since Judaism, Christianity and Islam are mutually exclusive, then at least two of these religions are false, therefore, most believers deceived. But if you gave yourself to fool the majority, if not cheated and the rest?

Immortal soul be? In "writing," says Pomponazzi, there are places that confirm this opinion, but the study of nature and his thinking refuted. First of all, consciousness is inseparable from the bodily organs, the loss of which it dies. Second, the doctrine of the immortality of reward and self-contradictory : Almighty God himself must be responsible for human actions. The well-known religious thesis, which states that, having lost hope of reward, and getting rid of the fear of punishment, people will commit atrocities Pomponazzi replied that there were many righteous, not believed in the immortality of the soul and reward , and many more vicious, and who believed in it and more. Good deeds committed without hope of reward, far more moral than those whose only incentive is to calculate a reward. Those who commit evil deeds avoided simply because considers them to be dishonest, more moral than someone who refuses to evil deeds merely for fear of retribution after death. Therefore, the denial of immortality, and retribution is much better reinforces the morality than the recognition of these provisions.

The most vivid expression of the struggle of science against religion, this epoch are the ideas of Giordano Bruno (1548-1600). Starting from the discoveries of Copernicus, Bruno goes further to place heliocentrism he puts the doctrine of the infinite, devoid center of the universe and the infinite worlds. Smashing Christian cosmology, he exclaimed: "Come on!. Subvert the theory that the Earth is the center if the universe .. Raspahni door in front of us so we can look at the immeasurable and one star world ...'' Mind, says Bruno, can all understand, "owing to the existing therein infinite power." In the victory of human thought on the mysteries of nature, over prejudice, stupidity and intolerance he sees the greatest happiness. Religious irrationalism and obscurantism, mortal enemies of Bruno.

Bruno rejected the revelation and the Divine Providence and the immortality of the soul. Moving Europeans from paganism to Christianity, he describes this way: "For the people had invented an absurd story, there was a barbarous, and began the criminal age for whom knowledge was considered dangerous." Despots, tyrants use religion to keep people in sgrahe through the lie of the immortality of the soul and waiting at the light punishment for disobedience.

"The universe was not created - wrote Bruno. - We can not allow existence of the creator, descending more than giving the order, the creator from the outside. "This, in essence, the atheistic view. But Bruno was unable to completely rid of the influence of ideas with which he fought. Asserting that" God and nature are one and the same matter ", he animates the matter and all things. This hylozoism combined with his teleological conception of the processes occurring in nature. In this sense, his position has pantheistic element. But the pantheism, Engels pointed out, is just the latest step to free the human to the view, that is, to atheism. Bruno, who was sent to death the Roman Inquisition, after hearing their sentence, said: "You're probably a great fear of utter conviction, as I listen to it." Equally bravely met his death another prominent Italian-atheist Lyuchilio Vanini (1585-1619), sent the stake of Toulouse parliament. He said in the presence of thousands of people gathered to look at his execution: "If there was a god, I would ask him to hit by lightning parliament as completely unfair and unjust, if he were the devil, I would ask him to absorbed this parliament ... but since there is not one or the other, I do not do. "

In his works, Vanini wrote that the world exists forever, that God did not create it and direct it. Staying out of the world "God is not a prime mover." Such a god do not exist. There is only "nature, which is God, since it is the beginning of the movement." If God called nature, it is absurd to ascribe to her mind, purely human trait.

Using the reasoning of the ancients, Vanini shows the contradictions, which results in belief in God: "God does not want to eliminate or evil, or not. The second confirms the view of atheists, the first thing God does the source of evil. "" God knows, or delusions of people, or do not know. If he knows about them, therefore it their creator, because for God to know and want - the same thing. " In this case, it can not be God. "If he does not know them, it does not assume any worries in the leadership of the world, because he can not control it, without knowing it." "If the great crimes and errors were not warned by God, we must say that God did not care about earthly affairs. " And in this case it is not God. But suppose that he cares about worldly affairs, in which so many crimes. "If he could not warn them, doing them, he is unable to take effective measures to prevent crimes and evils. If he is not omnipotent, then he is not God. "

It is believed that the "scripture" is embodied revelation of God. But is this true?

There are serious reasons for considering "writing" a fraud, because it contradicts itself, asserting the omnipotence of God, while "the text of the Bible implies that the power of the devil above the power of God ... God wants everyone to be saved, but few people saved. The devil wants all men to be convicted, and almost all of them are convicted. "

Retribution is wrong, because the people responsible for the acts of managing these actions god. Reward also requires the immortality of the soul, which Vanini thoroughly refuted. First, birth, nutrition, growth, death, body structure and main features of the psyche of people and animals alike, "so if the soul dies with the animal, it shall die with the man." Second, all created by die therefore, the soul too. Third, "no one has ever returned from the realm of the dead." Fourth, the "immortality pushes rejected most eminent men of science", and antique, and "the biggest thinkers of our time."

The social role of religion, according to Vanini, negative, and this instrument, by which "contains the ignorant people in bondage to fear of the Almighty."

Vanini, like Bruno, still retains some medieval views. He is convinced that the heavenly bodies determine the fate of people. He sometimes runs into pantheism. Yet both the great Italian will remain forever in the memory of mankind heralds of atheism.

Skepticism of the Renaissance and the fight against the religious worldview
Progressive thought Italy had a positive impact on other European countries. But the main reason for the spread of innovative ideas were the circumstances that gave itself felt in France, Holland, Germany, no less than in Italy. Socio-political movements of the epoch, investing their demands in religious forms, have generated a lot of different churches (Lutheran, Calvinist, Anglican, etc.), and pursuing mutually refuting each other. Thus Protestantism, as soon appeared, showed no less intolerance and inhumanity than Catholicism. In a small Geneva for 60 years, 150 people burned for heresy.

The revival was the beginning of the collapse of view, for centuries dominated the consciousness of people. If the provisions that were considered absolutely true, proved to be wrong, can we expect that there is something true? Does this mean that all people are recognized opinion certainly false? This is the train of thought inevitably become widespread (in ignorance of dialectics) in the era steep breaking ideas. To thing of the past fideism and dogmatism of the Middle Ages to the scientific materialist worldview triumphed, the way it was supposed to pave the operation of negation. That job skepticism of the Renaissance, which is closely associated with rationalism. The last call was to take nothing for granted, all weigh the mind, therefore, all call into question, to criticize.

A country where anti-religious skepticism of the Renaissance was the highest expression, was France.

Imbued with an immortal creature epicurean materialism Francois Rabelais (1494-1553) "Gargantua and Pantagruel" masterfully uses the weapon of skepticism in dealing with medieval obscurantism. The book satirizes the belief in the immortality of the soul and the Christian call to the rejection of earthly pleasures. The great satirist with common sense making fun of a revelation, as ridiculous nonsense. Rabelais merciless to enslave the minds of blind faith. Informing him that his hero was born through his ear, he adds: "I suspect that you do not believe such a strange birth. If you do not believe me until the case is not, but an honest and reasonable person believes in everything he said and what is written. See Proverbs, ch. XIV: "Innocent believes every verb" see St. Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians. Ch. XVIII: "Milostivets believe anyone." Why do not you believe it? No sight of the truth, you say. I'll tell you what it is for this reason you should believe and perfect faith, for sorbonisty say that faith is "the habit of things unseen." Is this a case against our religion, law, reason and the "scripture"? As for me, I do not find in the Holy Bible is nothing that would contradict this. But if God so wanted, then do not tell you that he could not do it?. Because I tell you, for God nothing is impossible, and if he wanted, all the women gave birth to children through the ears. "

In an even more acute form of anti-religious acts skepticism burned in 1538 by the verdict of the Paris Parliament Depero book B. "cymbal Peace", "Tsitseroniane" E. Dole, in the "Dialogues" J. Tayuro and several other works.

Significant role in the fight against obscurantism has played a prominent French politician and philosopher Jean Bodin (1530-1596), who put forward a materialist doctrine that the beliefs, customs and social structure of each nation are caused by nature and climate of his country. In his work Boden "Talk Seven" (which received distribution in manuscript posthumously) involved three defenders of Christianity, Judaism, an advocate, a supporter of Islam, and deist skeptic, close to atheism.

Comparison of the Gospel texts, according to the dialogue, proves that they are not credible, since contradict themselves, not to mention the fact that there is imparted to contradict reason.

And the deity of Christ and the doctrines of atonement and the Eucharist, as shown by Boden, contrary to common sense, and the immortality of the soul and reward invented to strengthen social institutions.

Supporters of religion "in the role of all the arguments, principles and evidence supports only one word - believe it!" And on what basis? On the basis of Christ's words, because he is a god? But we must still prove that he is a god. On the basis of "writings"? But it contradicts itself. Faith, says Boden, who replaces knowledge.

Showing failure of all existing religions, Bodin prefers the "natural", "inherent in the nature of man" religion, which indicates that it historically inevitable limitations.

The most profound expression of skepticism of the Renaissance came Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592). In his "Essays" (1580-1588) ', he calls throw off the yoke of generally accepted views and to follow the example of people "who are weighed and evaluated the mind, taking nothing for granted and do not rely on the authority."

Montaigne detail justifies the proposition that human consciousness is entirely dependent on his body, which leads him to conclude the inevitable destruction of the spirit with the death of the body. Sleep, fainting, loss of consciousness, any show us "the true and unvarnished face of death." People like their "brothers and animals" - the children of "our Mother Nature," The material world in which we live - that's all there is There is no other, beyond, around the world.

From these positions, heavily quoting Lucretius and joining his view, Montaigne criticizes Plato's idealism, voluntarism stoic mysticism and anthropocentrism. Together with the immortality of the soul is refuted and retribution. It is proved that it is not possible, but if it were possible, it would be extremely unfair.

If you see the root cause of things in God, that is something radically different from the people, says Montaigne, it is impossible to ascribe to him neither reason nor justice, nor mercy. Otherwise, it will be a man. In this regard, with approval given opinion of Epicurus and Stra-tone, according to which nature, completely devoid of consciousness, developed by an inner necessity and of no interference of the gods in the course of events can not be considered.

Religion is not implemented divine means "above" and men "from below". Religion is not based god, people. "Religion is nothing else like them (the people) own invention" created "to impose a curb on the people and keep it in subjection."

Is religion useful? Religion, invented to achieve immoral purposes, brought, of course, hurt. A religion created with good intentions (these include Montaigne considers Christianity)? They did better than men? And they made them happier? The requirement of religion, including hristianst-

va prescribing abandon the joys of life, contrary to nature and makes people unhappy. More grief brings people inhuman mass killings of dissidents that are pushing people of religion, particularly Christianity, throughout its history, generating fierce intolerance, persecution of science, the destruction of cultural property.

Fighting fideism - the main task of Montaigne. Advocating for the science that studies are not books, and things, based on experience and reason, Montaigne declared limitless possibilities of such a science: "What remains unknown to one century, is explained in the following ... Therefore, no difficulty in the study, nor my weakness should not lead me to despair, because this is only my weakness, "rather than weakness of the human mind in general.
Public opposition to religion
For works of this period of progressive thought is characterized by the fact that the boldest statement they are accompanied by assurances of religious loyalty. On the pages of these books are an ominous reflection of the fires, which killed the fighters against obscurantism. Referring to these statements freethinkers loyal reactionaries today argue that these thinkers were committed to Christianity, that in the Renaissance, the anti-religious ideas do not have any distribution. Refutation of this are numerous accounts of contemporaries about how much appear in the XVI century. in Europe, the Epicureans, deists, atheists, that in this century for the first time they used the word "maverick", "deist," "atheist."

View of the impossibility of refutation of deism and atheism in this era is the fact that a significant spread at this time works openly rejected Christianity and all the existing religions. They walked hand in both printed and manuscript form, and (despite the fact that one of their storage could cost lives and XVI, and XVII, and XVIII centuries.) Came to us.

Such is published in the 1573 book "Bliss Christians, or Beach of faith."

Its author, Geoffrey de la Vallee with his work was burned in Paris in 1574 The central idea of ​​the book - a call to abandon the faith and to replace it with knowledge. Knowledge replaces faith, with which it is incompatible, the more a man of knowledge, the less he has faith. If someone "who paid a large debt, it will require you again - which of the following expressions, we want to, saying the truth, use it to respond to this:" I believe that has paid off "or" I know that already paid? " I am convinced that there is no believer, which in this case would say, "I believe", rejecting "I know."

Vallee rejects Catholicism, Calvinism, Christianity in general, as his supporters make a religion "on faith and fear." The same accusation Vallee throws all religions. All religions are not only false but also harmful. Man must "understand the venom and filth, filth and the atrocities inflicted by all religions ", and reject them.

Rejecting the principle of Padua "two truths," Vallee said: "There is one view, generated in our knowledge of both, which is instilled in us by using our ignorance, through faith, fear or suggestion to us the fear of God ... faith is a lack of knowledge, for where there is knowledge, there faith has died and can not exist. "And the morality of man and his happiness, according to Vallee, depend only on knowledge and reason.

True, Vallee believed that, armed with knowledge, we come to some understanding of God based on reason. This limitation is the XVI century. could not overcome the many in the anti-religious thought, even two centuries later.

Like the above book Vallee, does not resort to disguise and an anonymous treatise "On the three deceivers," which openly denied all the religions of his earliest edition extant, dated 1598, but, according to contemporaries, the first edition of his widely spread in the first half of the century.

The main idea of ​​the Treaty if the stories of Moses and Mohammed on their relations with God - the lie, the same false allegations are relevant Christ. Christians claim that the Bible contains the revelation of God Himself. Say the same about his Chinese ancient books, the Indians - the Vedas, the Muslims - the Koran. What kind of religion to believe? "After all, each accuses the other of cheating ... What should we do now? Or to believe everything that would be funny, or none, that is certainly true ... "Moses exposed the lie of paganism, the Christ - the lie of Judaism, and Muhammad - and the lie of the two." Hence, each new creator Religion in advance should be suspected of fraud. "

Step by step, in his treatise refuted the arguments in favor of the existence of God. One such argument is that all people on earth according to the evidence that God exists. So say the only ones responsible author, who identifies the views of their relatives and three or four read booklets with the opinion of all people. "Go to Italy, the capital of Christianity, there and try to count the free-and I will say more than that, atheists. And then you dare to even talk about according to the testimony of all mankind, that God is and what you should worship him? "

On the other defenders of the religion argument: "But does not the universe depends on the leadership of its creator?"-Author of the treatise says: "Maybe, but not necessarily." More than likely, all done without the intervention of vneprirodnoy force. Such an explanation is natural. But even if we assume that God exists, why he should worship?

Assume that worship can flatter the vanity of God, flatter him, - means to identify it with the worst of people. The author of the treatise denies whatsoever worship God - the nature of worship does not need. Rejecting religion, people will find happiness, it is enough to follow nature.

His emergence of religion must fudge parasites living people's work: "... out of greed and fancy loafers invent incomprehensible to the ordinary human mind stuff ...

Oh, what a tasty morsel for these magicians - the fruit of thy bitter work "" The gentlemen sitting at the helm, pull the usurious interest of national credulity, "because to expose this fraud takes a lot of knowledge and a lot of time, a" simple honest people shepherds and farmers, have neither the free time or knowledge. "

These anti-religious ideas of the same social origins, that the philosophy of the leader of the revolutionary performance of German farmers and the urban poor in 1524-1525 years. Thomas Munz-ra (c. 1490-1525), who "in the Christian form ... preach pantheism ... sometimes even touching with atheism "(Marx-Engels Collected Works, Vol., v. 7,. 370).

Even the bastion of obscurantism in this era - Spain is affected by the new ideas. Here the doctrine directed against mysticism and theology, and imbued with the conviction that science is omnipotent, acts X. L. Vives (1492-1540). In 1575 he published "A study of ability in the sciences," Juan Huarte (c. 1530-1592), where miracles are rejected and any references to God in explaining the phenomena of nature, proved all-round relationship of consciousness from the body and the immortality of the soul is refuted. Goes even further another Spaniard - a prominent scientist Miguel Servet (ca. 1510-1553). In his book "The Restoration of Christianity" (1553) rejected all religions and put forward the doctrine that God is not spirit, not the mind, and all that is nature . Fleeing from the press for his death, the Catholic obscurantist, Servetus had fled to Geneva, where he landed in the clutches of obscurantist Protestant: Calvin sent to the stake and the scientist and his book.

Thus, the prevalence of anti-religious ideas in the period under review - an indisputable fact. However, this does not mean that all the prejudices found in the works of leading men of the Renaissance, expressed them only in order to disguise. The very philosophy of these thinkers were necessarily contradictory. "He was hard to wrest from the breast views the time-honored" (Herzen).
Atheism Benedict Spinoza
Outstanding materialist XVII. Benedict (Baruch) Spinoza (1632-1677) was the most important representative of atheistic thought of the century.

Rejecting the dualism of Descartes, Spinoza recognizes only one substance, and having a stretch and thinking. This substance is the only existing nature that Spinoza also calls God. Neither mind nor chuvsgvami, nor will this God does not have: this pantheistic form, which expresses the system of Spinoza, is quite different, as Marx pointed out, from its atheistic nature.

Spinoza rejects the teleological understanding of reality, seeing fairly close relationship between teleology and religion. In place of teleology philosopher and causing an immutable necessity, exclude any kind of chance was not already yuvorya the supernatural.

In his "Theological-political treatise-relativistic" 'Spinoza stands as the founder of scientific criticism of the Bible. It was clearly demonstrated originality of Spinoza's materialism - his rationalism. Based on the fact that everyone belongs to "the supreme law and the supreme authority to judge freely about religion," Spinoza says that the interpretation of the Bible nothing should be the norm, "other than natural light, common to all", ie the mind. Carefully examining the text of the Bible, it clearly reveals many contradictions and absurdities. Explodes Spinoza and wonders, which is full writing 'Miracle whether it is anti-or supernatural, is pure nonsense. "

Thus, not only of the divinity, but also the simple wisdom of this book may be considered. Thus was destroyed by an aura of the book, which was regarded as pictured revelation. Spinoza was the first to do this in a thorough analysis of biblical texts.

All religions, wrote Spinoza - a prejudice, "which make people from rational beings into beasts, as completely prevent the use of each proposition and its free to recognize truth from falsehood, and which, if deliberately, apparently invented for the final redemption of the world of reason. "Do not divine religion, and the earth, the public source. Asserting that in the minds of the oppressed religion is the" fantasy and delusion timid and depressed soul, "Spinoza approaches to understanding one of the most important social origins of religiosity of the masses.

Atheism of Spinoza was inconsistent. This is reflected not only in print theology underlying the whole philosophical system, but in the doctrine that for the "obedience and godliness" have faith that you want to instill in people a "feeling of god" and dogmas which are reduced to the essential requirements of morality. It emerged limited class of bourgeois philosophy

Pierre Bayle struggle for freedom of conscience and freedom of thought
Pierre Bayle (1647-1706) dedicated his life to fighting intolerance adherents of various sects of Christianity, not only calling for the atrocities and justify them theoretically. In Beyle, in contrast to the philosophers of the XVII century. Dominates the destructive, destructive problem, and although it has some positive views of the system he created.

Following Descartes and Spinoza, he believes that "the supreme tribunal, which is all that is offered to us, passes sentence of last resort without right of appeal is a reason." Mind belongs to the last word in religion, and morality in: "Any position Does it put forward as contained in the "scripture" or offer as anything else, false if it is refuted by the clear and distinct notion of natural light, especially with regard to morality. "

Beyle comes to the recognition of the materiality of the soul, which is consistent with the experience, talking about the dependence of consciousness from the body. In addition, the religious view of the presence of a man an immaterial soul, which deprived animals, he sees in the past deprived of sensory representations and machine guns, which is absurd, because the mentality of people and animals in general, is identical. A recognition of the materiality of the soul is found, it can not be immortal.

Bayle rejects the doctrine of providence and faith-proof the existence of God. But with the greatest passion, he deploys anti-religious moral argument. He not a stone was left on the thesis that religion makes people moral and atheism - immoral. First of all, this is refuted by the mass atrocities committed by Christian believers, and samples of high morals, atheists shown Epicurus, Stilponom, Diagoras, Vanini, Spinoza, Bayle argues that the morally atheist not only lower, but much higher than the believer. He, therefore, as Marx pointed out, "proclaimed the emergence of an atheistic society, which was soon to begin to exist."

Skepticism Bayle, as well as skepticism of Montaigne, a contradiction. His rationalism is combined with the statements that "the mind is capable only of destroying the ... arouse doubts "; morality, which he puts in the place of religion, bears the stamp of Theology, like many of the arguments Beyle at all. But most of skepticism Bailey - his anti-religious orientation - appears distinctly
Freedom of age in England, the bourgeois revolution
Netherlands revolution of the late XVI century. and the English Revolution of the mid-XVII century. marked the beginning of a new era, an era of capitalism. The bourgeoisie was first performed at the stage of history as an independent class and openly declared their interests and goals. In place of the feudal mode of production was a social system based on a more progressive economic relations. The formation of bourgeois society was reflected in the spiritual life of society, accompanied by a sharp ideological struggle. Representatives of the bourgeoisie took up arms against the views and traditions that prevailed in the feudal period, against the medieval scholastic, religious obscurantism and fanaticism. They strongly criticized the old order, morals and institutions that opposed the dictatorship of the spiritual church, proclaiming the need for religious tolerance and freedom of thought.

One of the first countries in the path of capitalist development has become England. The ideologues of the rising British bourgeoisie laid the foundations of scientific method, knowledge of nature, made a major contribution to the development of materialistic philosophy, the critique of religious outlook. Francis Bacon (1561-1626) went down in history as a thinker, who proclaimed the strength and power of scientific knowledge, who challenged the scholastic dogma and authority. Knowledge of nature and its subordination to the power of man is, according to Bacon, the main aim and purpose of science. The stated objective Bacon revival of science and of finding a new method of learning with the necessity led to a break with religious dogma, the assertion of the priority of reason to faith. And although the doctrine of Bacon still teems, according to Marx, "the theological inconsistencies," it is objectively contributed to the development of free, served the cause of critics of religion.

Progressive significance was also expose Bacon prejudice to restrain the man's mind, preventing the spread of knowledge. Such prejudice, or, in the terminology of Bacon's "idols", he included a blind faith in authority, slavish adherence to outmoded traditions.

Bacon was far from genuine secularism and make serious concessions to the religious world. He acknowledged, for example, the existence of God, the existence of a rational soul, the revelation. Compromise and was of the doctrine of two truths, shared philosophy, and his desire to synthesize natural philosophy and religion, which supposedly should complement each other. However, the historical significance of free-Bacon is not determined by these theological inconsistencies, and his philosophical materialism, the defense and justification of empirical science, the affirmation of the human mind.

Outstanding English materialist philosopher XVII. was Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679), who continued the fight against Bacon started the religious and scholastic ideology. Atheism Hobbes was manifested primarily in the question of the origin of religion. He firmly rejects the idea of ​​the divine origin of religion, and argues that "the natural seed of religion" is man himself, rooted in the specific quality of human nature. In his "Leviathan or the Matter, Form and power of the state of ecclesiastical and civil" (1651), Hobbes points to the following factors that contributed to the emergence of religion: it is, firstly, the inherent human desire to "search for the causes of observed events", and secondly, the desire to know the "beginning of things", and thirdly, the inability or failure of the people "to make sure of the real reasons things "(because they are mostly hidden), and fourthly, the fear and anxiety about the future, arising from ignorance of causes. He emphasizes the correctness of that fear created the gods. However, according to Hobbes, fear of the people in front of all those that they are unknown, gives rise to a pagan religion, or polytheism. By the same idea of ​​one God people come mainly influenced by the desire to know the ultimate cause of all things, to establish the root cause of being.

Not limited to consideration of the epistemological roots of religion, Hobbes also reveals the socio-political factors that have turned religion into a significant phenomenon of social life, gave her the strength, strengthened its authority. Thomas Hobbes describes religion as an instrument of political power used by rulers to keep people in subjection.

Revealing the political role of religion, Hobbes emphasizes its subordinate position in relation to the government. From this position he is fighting against the pretensions of the clergy to adopt a priority in the state to usurp not only spiritual but also secular power.

Inconsistency atheistic views of Hobbes was shown that, debunking religion, he still fought for its preservation, making it serve the interests of the ruling classes. Limited view of Hobbes is also reflected in the fact that he admitted the existence of God, considering it the primary cause of peace and the primary source of matter in motion. As we know, this understanding of God is characteristic of religious and philosophical doctrine called deism. But deism can be both idealistic and materialistic. Deists, materialists have tried to create a system of representations, which, as correctly noted by Plekhanov, "the power of God from all sides is limited by the laws of nature." It was such a character wearing a deism of Hobbes.

Hobbes was one of the first bourgeois atheists who dared to express doubts about the sanctity of biblical texts. He argued that the Bible was written at different times and by different people, and ridiculed those who blindly believe every word of the Old and New Testaments. Such views of the Bible were in sharp contrast with official theology that demanded unquestioning acceptance of inspiration "of scripture," condemn any doubt of its truth. Proceedings of Hobbes were committed by the curse as Catholic and Anglican churches.

Further development of the English free-associated with the name of John Locke (1632-1704), on the philosophical views of Locke, was a materialist. In his main work - "Essay Concerning Human Understanding" - he has developed a detailed sensationalist theory of knowledge, fully justified the position of the origin of all human knowledge from experiences. But the English philosopher allowed deviation from materialism to idealism and dualism side, which could not affect the his views on religion. The compromise, a half-hearted attitude toward religion in Locke expressed in the fact that, on the one hand, opposed to religious orthodoxy and church dogma, but on the other hand, proved the existence of God, seen as a source of movement and consciousness, defended "reasonableness of Christianity", made attacks against atheists.

Extending the critique of the theory of innate ideas in the idea of ​​God, God-honoring, etc., Locke came to the conclusion that they are not innate, but acquired by people in the process of life on a par with other ideas.

Where does the idea of ​​God originate, if it is not innate? As a Deist, that is, acknowledging God's impersonal rational root of man and nature, Locke believed that the concept of God "acquired contemplation and deliberation," directed "to study the device and causes of things." However, "most loyal and best concept of God" are available, in his opinion, only a few wise and virtuous people. Much the same is in captivity, most superstitions are passed on from generation to generation. The denial of the idea of ​​a personal God and his intervention in the natural processes and social life, which is promoted by Locke, had a progressive for his time in nature.

In contrast to the theological theories of the primacy of faith, Locke announced the human mind the supreme judge in matters of religion. Locke subjected rationalist analysis of the contents of the Old and New Testaments, the Bible revealed the unreliability of dogma.

At the same time, he strongly opposed the religious fanaticism, fought for religious tolerance. In his "Letter on Toleration," he argued that in matters of religion, each person is free to enter, but consistent with his own conscience. Therefore, the state is obliged to provide their citizens full freedom in the choice of profession and religious views.

However, in their demands for wider religious toleration and freedom of conscience, Locke admits one exception. It applies to atheists. ,. Those who deny God's existence "can not, in his opinion," claim the privilege of toleration. " Motivated by the fact that atheism is incompatible with the ostensible morality and law and order that he poses a threat to society.

Despite its limitations, free-Locke played an important role in the criticism of religion and the church.
Deism and atheism of British thinkers in the XVIII.
The most outstanding representatives of the British free-end of the XVII - beginning of XVIII century. were John Toland (1670-1722) and Anthony Collins (1676-1729). Disciples and followers of Locke, they developed his materialism, the philosophy of enriching the new provisions and at the same time overcome its theological limitations. J. Toland in his book "Christianity without mystery" (1696) boldly defended the mind, against blind faith. No religion can not be accepted if it is not accessible to reason or contrary to it. Toland accused the clergy that it perverted the true meaning of Christian religion, it was surrounded by mystery, gave her a mystical character.

The starting point for criticism of the religious worldview Toland served as its philosophical materialism, and in particular put forward and justified their position on the inseparable connection of matter and motion. The thesis of the movement as an essential property of matter, Toland declared in his "Letters to Serena" (1704), was spearheaded the idea of ​​divine first impulse, against the deistic concept of God as the source of motion, the source of life and consciousness.

The criticism of religion permeates all the works of Toland. For example, in "Letters to Serena," he exposes the prejudices associated with the idea of ​​immortality of the soul, reveals the roots of idolatry, worship, religious rites.

In 1720 are published two recent works of Toland - "Notebook" and "Panteistikon". "Notebook" consists of four separate articles. One of them is devoted to the famous Hypatia, a woman scientist of antiquity, became a victim of religious fanaticism. Toland accused priests in that they are at all times were the persecutors of spiritual freedom, incited intolerance and bigotry.

"Panteistikon" - a profound and original philosophical work. It affirms the eternity and infinity of the universe, material world and the diversity of matter in motion, constant interaction and a continuous change of all things in nature. However, the philosopher rejects all existing religions, requires that all people were "allowed to think as they want and express what they think."

Toland went down in history as the founder of an ideological movement "freethinkers" (that became known in England, the most determined and implacable foes of religion). One of the first "free thinkers" was A. Collins, supporter and collaborator Toland. In 1713 he published a book of Collins' Discourse of Freethinking, "which became widely known not only in Britain but also in other countries. This book has acquired the reputation Collins ardent free-thinker, a sharp critic of religious faith and worship. Collins requires that the free thought has been studied the doctrine of divine revelation - the cornerstone of Christianity and other "positive" religions. Critical analysis should be subjected, according to Collins, and such key questions of any religion, as questions about the nature of God and his attributes. English freethinker convincingly shows how contrary to common sense view of believers about the nature or essence of God, the extent to which differ with each other theologians in the definition of the divine attributes. There is no agreement between the churchmen as to whether corporal or incorporeal god, like whether it is human or not, whether the affects of such as anger, revenge, or does not, if he could ascribe such qualities as wisdom, will, kindness, mercy , holiness, etc., or not.

Collins puts a compelling critique of the Christian foundations of the creed. Point by point, he reveals the internal contradictions and the failure of the doctrine of the Trinity, resurrection from the dead, the underworld retribution, divine predestination, original sin, redemption, etc.

The criticism of religion is generally Collins with deistic position. The philosopher comes from the existence of an "eternal being" and believes the negation of the existence of God, "an unnatural and absurd idea." Accordingly, he rejects the "system of atheism," and even allows some attacks against atheists. However, Collins immediately emphasizes that "it is better to allow freedom of thought, although it will increase the number of atheists than by limiting the free-to increase the number of superstitious people and fanatics."

Characteristics of the English free-XVIII century. would be incomplete without mention of this kind of criticism of religion, as David Hume (1711-1776). A supporter and a brilliant representative of agnosticism in philosophy, he distributed his skepticism and knowledge of God, doubted the truth of Christian doctrine, criticized the religious superstitions, raised up a militant secularism. He set the task to clarify the origin of religion, to reveal the reasons that contributed to its emergence, to outline the process of historical development of religious beliefs.

The original and most ancient religion of mankind was, in his words, polytheism or idolatry. Polytheism is generated, according to Hume, that the limited mind of ignorant man, who was in complete ignorance of the true causes of all events, gives them a "sense and reason." Diversity of the phenomena of nature, complexity and contradictions of social life naturally led to the recognition of polytheism. The transition from polytheism to monotheism is, according to Hume, the gradual and lengthy development of religious beliefs. At the heart of this process lay the elevation of a single deity, which was made the object of special veneration and worship.

Hume draws an analogy between the rise of a deity and the rise of earthly lords over their vassals, the deification of rulers fawning courtiers unlimited.

Christian theology, says Hume, is woven out of the contradictions and absurdities, it is based on the most incomprehensible sophistry tends to darkness and obscurity.

Rejecting all the historical religions, brushing aside the theological dogma and ecclesiastical orthodoxy, Hume did not exclude, however, "the idea of ​​a reasonable cause or intelligent designer." He believed in the idea that a person brings an amazing usefulness of natural objects, the accuracy and uniformity of natural processes. Thus, the philosopher came to the same conclusion that other deists, believing that "the world is the product of a divine being, the root cause of all things." Unlike Hume, as the traditional concepts of deism was the fact that he declared that natural religion which promoted the Deists, not the original form of religious consciousness (distorted by subsequent accretions), and its final product. Consistent with the principles of human reason belief in the existence of "higher intelligence" were closing for Hume and philosophical knowledge and the teachings of the world. But, true to his skepticism, he quickly declared the incomprehensibility of the nature and intentions of a divine being

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