Download Atheism in France, 1650-1729: Volume I: The Orthodox Sources by Alan Charles Kors PDF

By Alan Charles Kors

Although such a lot historians have sought the roots of atheism within the heritage of "free thought," Alan Charles Kors contends that assaults at the life of God have been generated certainly via the power and controversies of orthodox theistic tradition itself. during this first quantity of a deliberate two-volume inquiry into the assets and nature of atheism, he exhibits that orthodox lecturers and apologists in seventeenth-century France have been obliged through the common sense in their philosophical and pedagogical structures to create many versions of speculative atheism for heuristic reasons. strange in its wide sampling of the spiritual literature of the early-modern realized global, this publication finds that the "great fratricide" between bitterly competing faculties of Aristotelian, Cartesian, and Malebranchist Christian proposal inspired theologians to refute each one other's proofs of God and to depict the tips in their theological rivals as atheistic. Such "fratricide" used to be no longer new within the historical past of Christendom, yet Kors demonstrates that its impact was once dramatically amplified by means of the increasing literacy of the 17th century. shooting the eye of the analyzing public, theological debate supplied highbrow grounds for the disbelief of the 1st new release of atheistic thinkers.

Originally released in 1990.

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Extra resources for Atheism in France, 1650-1729: Volume I: The Orthodox Sources of Disbelief

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225-26. 44 Marin Mersenne, Minim, L'impiiti des diistes, αώέεε, et libertins de ce temps, combatue, et renvers4e de point en point par raisons tiries de la philosophie et de la thiologie. , 38 ATHEISTS WITHOUT ATHEISM 31 Huguenot theologians, of course, bristled at any linking of the Refor­ mation and atheism, but they fully shared the view that atheism was a set of objections to conventional belief motivated by a debased soul in search of impunity. Derodon argued that there were three sorts of atheists.

59 Laurent Bordelon, man of letters and commentator on the an­ cients, conceded that there was merely virtual but not perfect universal consent to the existence of God, but argued that the exceptions were ei55 Frideric Spanheim, L'athie convaincu en quatre sermons sur Ies paroles du Pseaume XIV. vers I. 'L'insensi a dit en son coeur, il n'ya point de Dieu'. (Leiden, 1676), 85-91. 56 Frar^ois Diroys, Preuves et prijugez de la religion chrestienne et catholique contre Ies fausses religions et I'athiisme (Paris, 1683), 3-4.

Derodon argued that there were three sorts of atheists. First, there were "the refined," who under the guise of being philosophical skeptics raised objections to formal proofs of God's existence. He claimed to have known personally some four or five such men, all of whom, he warned, had perished horribly shortly after expressing their objections. These, however, only "feign doubt," he assured his readers, since their infection by spiritual poison was what truly was at work. Second, there were "the debauched," generally young men from wealthy and powerful families who, ignored and undisciplined as children, now lived immorally without God.

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