Baron d'Holbach quotes
Birthdate: 8. December 1723
Date of death: 21. January 1789
Other names: Paul H. von Holbach, Barone d'Holbach
Paul-Henri Thiry, Baron d'Holbach , was a French-German author, philosopher, encyclopedist and prominent figure in the French Enlightenment. He was born Paul Heinrich Dietrich in Edesheim, near Landau in the Rhenish Palatinate, but lived and worked mainly in Paris, where he kept a salon. He was well known for his atheism and for his voluminous writings against religion, the most famous of them being The System of Nature . Wikipedia
Quotes Baron d'Holbach
„Now, if the ignorance of nature gave birth to Gods, the knowledge of nature is calculated to destroy them.“
La Système de la nature; quoted in The Law of Reason, published by J. Thompson, p. 40.
Variant: Now, if the ignorance of nature gave birth to Gods, the knowledge of nature is calculated to destroy them.
„Religion has ever filled the mind of man with darkness, and kept him in ignorance of his real duties and true interests. It is only by dispelling the clouds and phantoms of Religion, that we shall discover Truth, Reason, and Morality. Religion diverts us from the causes of evils, and from the remedies which nature prescribes; far from curing, it only aggravates, multiplies, and perpetuates them.“
ibid., chap. 206
„When we examine the opinions of men, we find that nothing is more uncommon, than common sense; or, in other words, they lack judgment to discover plain truths, or to reject absurdities, and palpable contradictions.“
Good Sense without God, or, Freethoughts Opposed to Supernatural Ideas (London: W. Stewart & Co., ca. 1900) ( Project Gutenberg e-text http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext05/gsens10.txt), preface
Translator unknown. Original publication in French at Amsterdam, 1772, as Le bon sens ("Common Sense"), and often attributed to John Meslier.
„It is thus superstition infatuates man from his infancy, fills him with vanity, and enslaves him with fanaticism.“
Samuel Wilkinson, trans., The System of Nature ( Project Gutenberg e-text http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext05/7son110.txt), vol. 1, chap. IX
Date and place of publication unknown. Original publication in French, 1770, as La Système de la nature, under the name of Jean Baptiste de Mirabaud.
„Suns are extinguished or become corrupted, planets perish and scatter across the wastes of the sky; other suns are kindled, new planets formed to make their revolutions or describe new orbits, and man, an infinitely minute part of a globe which itself is only an imperceptible point in the immense whole, believes that the universe is made for himself.“
La Système de la nature; quoted by Norman Hampson, The Enlightenment p. 220 (paperback edition)