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Lecture 15: Darwin & Religion

Terms in this set (17)

• "The fact that many false religions have spread over large portions of the earth like wild-fire had some weight with me.
• By further reflecting that the clearest evidence would be requisite to make any sane man believe in the miracles by which Christianity is supported,
• that the more we know of the fixed laws of nature the more incredible do miracles become, - influence of the tradition of natural laws.
• that the men at that time (time of new testament) were ignorant and credulous to a degree almost incomprehensible by us,
• that the Gospels cannot be proved to have been written simultaneously with the events, (views of the biblical scholarship)
• that they differ in many important details, far too important as it seemed to me to be admitted as the usual inaccuracies of eye-witnesses;
• I can indeed hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true; for if so the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe, and this would include my Father, Brother and almost all my best friends, will be everlastingly punished. And this is a damnable doctrine."
• One of the harshest things Darwin write.
• "by such reflections as these ... I gradually came to disbelieve in Christianity as a divine revelation."
• "disbelief crept over me at a very slow rate, but was at last complete. The rate was so slow that I felt no distress, and have never since doubted even for a single second that my conclusion was correct."
• What is this 'conclusion'?
• What does he believe is not stated.
• Chambers, Herschel, etc are all into this new religion - the law of nature
• The wife did not like Darwin's harsh view to be publicly published.