Unus quisque sibi Deum fingit.
Ordinary people have the power of not thinking of that about which they do not wish to think. "Do not meditate on the passages about the Messiah," said the Jew to his son. Thus our people often act. Thus are false religions preserved, and even the true one, in regard to many persons.
But there are some who have not the power of thus preventing thought, and who think so much the more as they are forbidden. These undo false religions, and even the true one, if they do not find solid arguments.
They hide themselves in the press, and call numbers to their rescue. Tumult.
Authority.—So far from making it a rule to believe a thing because you have heard it, you ought to believe nothing without putting yourself into the position as if you had never heard it.
It is your own assent to yourself, and the constant voice of your own reason, and not of others, that should make you believe.
Belief is so important! A hundred contradictions might be true. If antiquity were the rule of belief, men of ancient time would then be without rule. If general consent, if men had perished?
False humanity, pride.
Lift the curtain. You try in vain; if you must either believe, or deny, or doubt. Shall we then have no rule? We judge that animals do well what they do. Is there no rule whereby to judge men?
To deny, to believe, and to doubt well, are to a man what the race is to a horse.
Punishment of those who sin, error.
- "Each one makes a God for himself."