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by Henri Paul Henri Thiry Baron D'Holbach,Paul Henri Thiry


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In 1770, Baron D'Holbach published his masterpiece, "Systeme de la Nature", which for a long time passed as the .

In 1770, Baron D'Holbach published his masterpiece, "Systeme de la Nature", which for a long time passed as the posthumous work of M. de Mirabaud. That text-book of "Atheistical Philosophy" caused a great sensation, and two years later, 1772, the Baron published this excellent abridgment of it, freed from arbitrary ideas; and by its clearness of expression, facility, and precision of style, rendered it most suitable for the average student. This text is based on an undated English translation of "Le Bon Sens" published c. 1900.

Paul Henri THIRY, BARON D'HOLBACH (1723 - 1789), translated by UNKNOWN ( - ). In 1770, Baron D'Holbach published his masterpiece, "Systeme de la Nature", which for a long time passed as the posthumous work of M. de Mirabaud

Paul Henri THIRY, BARON D'HOLBACH (1723 - 1789), translated by UNKNOWN ( - ). That text-book of "Atheistical Philosophy" caused a great sensation, and two years later, 1772, the Baron published this excellent abridgment of it, freed from arbitrary ideas; and by its clearness of expression, facility, and precision of style, rendered it most suitable for the average student

In 1770, Baron D'Holbach published his masterpiece, "Systeme de la Nature", which for a long time passed as the .

Baron d'Holbach, Paul-Henri Thiry (8 December 1723 – 21 January 1789) was a French author, philosopher and encyclopedist. He was born Paul Heinrich Dietrich in Edesheim, Germany. He is most famous as being one of the first self-described atheists in Europe. We are all just cogs in a machine, doing what we were always meant to do, with no actual volition. It is thus superstition infatuates man from his infancy, fills him with vanity, and enslaves him with fanaticism.

Paul-Henri Thiry, Baron d'Holbach (French: ; was a French-German author, philosopher, encyclopedist and a 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.

Paul-Henri Dietrich, baron d’Holbach, French encyclopaedist and philosopher, a celebrated exponent of atheism and Materialism, whose inherited wealth allowed him to entertain many of the noted philosophers o. .

Paul-Henri Dietrich, baron d’Holbach, French encyclopaedist and philosopher, a celebrated exponent of atheism and Materialism, whose inherited wealth allowed him to entertain many of the noted philosophers of the day, some of whom (comte de Buffon, . J. Rousseau, d’Alembert) reportedly withdrew. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Paul-Henri Dietrich, baron d'Holbach.

LibriVox recording of Good Sense, by Baron Paul Henri Thiry d'Holbach. Read by Roger Melin  . We’re dedicated to reader privacy so we never track you.

Published in 1772 this discourse by Paul Henri Thiry challenges religion. His atheistic views on the nature of God, the existence of a soul, miracles, priests, heaven and hell, and the divine right of kings are discussed in detail. Good Sense is a comprehensive study of atheism.

Comments: (4)

Light out of Fildon
Baron d'Holbach was a man so ahead of his time it is absolutely amazing. Good Sense discusses on how we can get our morals and do right without religion and theology, rather than needing them to do good. He does address why a divinity does not exist, and the corruption of the church, but again the focus of this book is on morals. His work 'The System of Nature' written two years earlier discusses more about why there is no deity.

D'holbach writes of war, hatred, and the corruption that not just the institution of church has done, but he addresses that it is all based off their teachings and not radicalism (i.e. The Bible, Torah, Koran). He was a well educated man (as proof of his work in Paris), and used examples of all religions, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Chinese, Indian, and even Native American beliefs.

Like many other modern authors and activists who claim we don't need religion to know what is right, that we are instinctual animals who through reason and science we can discover morality, d'Holbach already believed this. What makes this man so amazing is that he knew so much about nature and humans place within it before Darwinism came along (which greatly changed the playing field of how people view religion).

Anyone who is already a freethinker and interested in a classic atheistic work on morality, I encourage you to please read.
lucky kitten
As the title states, it's a very good for skeptics of religion. Only beef is that the verses are seemingly scattered with no real connection from one to another and the titles in the index need to be present when presenting each verse of text.
Redfury
Colossal. Perhaps it is the merit of the translation --done around 1900s-- but whatever the reason, this mid-XVIII century philosopher reads as if he were our contemporary. Of course, the depth and brilliance of the ideas in this book belong wholly to the Baron, a man of such caliber as to be the host and friend of thinkers such as Diderot and Hume. I won't say more; I will leave Mr. D'Holbach to speak for himself. The following are a few assorted gems of his uniquely sharp mind:
<< Metaphysics teach us that God is a pure spirit. But is modern theology superior to that of the savages? The savages acknowledge a great spirit for the master of the world. The savages, like all ignorant people, attribute to spirits all the effects of which their experience cannot discover the true causes. Ask a savage: what works your watch? He will answer: it is a spirit. Ask the divines: what moves the universe? They answer it is a spirit.
The material Jupiter of the ancients could move, compose, destroy and create beings similar to himself; but the God of modern theology is sterile. He can neither occupy any place in space nor move matter, nor form a visible world, nor create humans or gods.
David Hume, speaking of theologians, has ingeniously observed that they have discovered the solution of the famous problem of Archimedes: a point in the heavens, from where they move the world.
… before we know that we must adore a God must we not know certainly that he exists? But how can we assure ourselves that he exists if we never examine whether he really has the various qualities attributed to him?
"God," they say, "has made humans intelligent but he has not made them omniscient;" hence it is inferred that he has not been able to give them faculties sufficiently enlarged to know his divine essence. In this case, it is evident that God has not been able nor willing to be known by his creatures. By what right then would God be angry with beings who were naturally incapable of knowing the divine essence?
All children are born Atheists; they have no idea of God.
It would be as difficult to instill into the mind of a forty year old person the extravagant notions that are given us of the divinity as to eradicate them from the mind of those who had imbibed them from infancy.
Nature, you say, is totally inexplicable without a God. That is to say, to explain what you understand very little, you have need of a cause which you understand not at all.
We laugh at the savage inhabitants of Paraguay for calling themselves the descendants of the moon. But the divines of Europe call themselves the descendants, or the creation, of a pure spirit. Is this pretension any more rational?
The intelligence of humans no more proves the intelligence of God than the malice of humans proves the malice of that God who is the pretended maker of humans.
To be astonished that a certain order reigns in the world is to be surprised that the same causes constantly produce the same effects.
Divine intelligence, ideas and views have, you say, nothing common with those of humans. Very well. How then can humans judge right or wrong of these views, reason upon these ideas or admire this intelligence? This would be to judge, adore and admire something of which we can't have ideas.
We are assured that God made the world only for his own glory, and that it was necessary that the human species should come into this plan, that there might be someone to admire his works and glorify him for them.[...] (but) A being who has no equal cannot be susceptible of glory; for glory can result only from the comparison of one's own excellence with that of others. […] God, notwithstanding all his endeavours, is not glorified but, on the contrary, all the religions in the world represent him as perpetually offended; the sole object (of the religions) is to reconcile the sinful, ungrateful, rebellious individual with his angry God.
We are told that in the formation of the universe, God's only object was the happiness of humans. But, in a world made purposely for them and governed by an omnipotent God, are humans in reality very happy? Are their enjoyments durable? Are not their pleasures mixed with pains? Are many persons satisfied with their fate? Are not humans continually the victims of physical and moral evils? Is not the human machine –which is represented as a masterpiece of the Creator's skill– liable to derangement in a thousand ways? Should we be surprised at the workmanship of a mechanic who should show us a complex machine, ready to stop every moment and which, in a short time, would break in pieces of itself?>>
Zacki
In 1770 Louis XV was nearing the end of his long and despotic reign in France. The law there called for execution of those who preached a religion other than Roman Catholicism. It was in this setting that Paul Thiry (Baron d'Holbach) published his "System of Nature." Two years later "Good Sense" appeared, expounding in 206 articles Thiry's opinions about religion previously expressed in the "System." It was printed anonymously and in a foreign country to forestall persecution of the writer.
The Author's Preface summarizes his argument. The incomprehensibility of the concept of God results in the elaboration of speculations about this supposed being, and the perplexity arising from attempts "to solve an insoluble problem" leads to fanaticism and violence. The servants of religion have promoted ignorance, fear, and submissiveness, which "make men wicked and unhappy. Knowledge, Reason, and Liberty, can alone reform and make men happier."
Thiry criticizes the concept of God from the standpoints of epistemology, logic, and ethics. He addresses the cosmological and teleological arguments for the existence of God, the allegation that people possess an "inward sense" of a deity, and the historical prevalence of theistic beliefs as evidence of their correctness. The concept of faith, and the notion of "truths above reason," are analyzed and criticized.
The author demonstrates the absence of a plausible motive for divine creation of the universe. He notes that "chance" means "ignorance of true causes" and criticizes the theological argument that the alternative to divine creation is "chance"--an argument that theologians have continued to make despite its invalidity. He points out the absence of any plausible concept of how an immaterial spirit can affect matter. Intellection, he writes, "depends upon a certain disposition of the material organs of the body" and not some incorporeal entity (a soul).
Thiry notes that the non-factual nature of all ideas about God leads to a proliferation of religions and sects that quarrel incessantly because none of their beliefs can be demonstrated to be correct, nor can opposing beliefs be shown to be false. He remarks, "If religion were necessary at all, it ought to be intelligible to all."
The effects of religion, the author states, have been negative: "Ignorance and fear are the two hinges of religion." Fanaticism has persistently led to persecution and violence. The union of church and state serves to prevent freedom; rulers whom religion declares to be the agents of God are not thereby rendered benevolent.
The allegation that religion is the source of morality is refuted. On the contrary, Thiry avers, religion is a principal cause of immorality. If human beings are enlightened and free, they will behave well because they perceive that doing so benefits them and avoids negative consequences in the real world. Notions of reward and punishment in a hypothetical post-mortem existence are not an effective basis of morality.
Finally, Thiry addresses the subject of atheism. He notes that children have no innate idea of God:
"Religion...passes...from parents to children." He refutes the allegations that atheism results only from unworthy motives and that it leads to wickedness.
"Good Sense" is arguably the best statement of non-theism ever written, in view of its rationality, comprehensiveness, clarity and power. Reprinting of Englisn translations by several publishers during the past decade makes this landmark work readily available to a new generation of readers.
Good SenseGood Sense Without God: Or Freethoughts Opposed To Supernatural Ideas A Translation Of Baron D'Holbach's "Le Bon Sens"Good Sense Without God: Freethoughts Opposed To Supernatural IdeasGood SenseGood Sense Without GodGood Sense Without God
Good Sense download epub
Literary
Author: Henri Paul Henri Thiry Baron D'Holbach,Paul Henri Thiry
ISBN: 1604243686
Category: Literature & Fiction
Subcategory: Literary
Language: English
Publisher: Book Jungle (October 12, 2007)
Pages: 140 pages