Home > Uncategorized > Pierre Bayle: The God of fratricide is a lunatic invention

Pierre Bayle: The God of fratricide is a lunatic invention

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

French writers on war and peace

Pierre Bayle: Men of blood not permitted to build temples

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Pierre Bayle
Historical and Critical Dictionary
Translated by Richard H. Popkin

From Spinoza

Let men hate one another, let them murder one another in a forest, let them meet in armies to kill one another, let the conquerors sometime eat the vanquished; this may be understood, because it is supposed that they are distinct from one another and that the mine and thine produce contrary passions in them. But that there should be wars and battles when men are only the modifications of the same being, when, consequently, only God acts, and when the God who modifies himself into a Turk is the same God in number who modifies himself into a Hungarian; this is what surpasses all monstrosities and chimerical disorders of the craziest people who were ever put away in lunatic asylums.

From Clarifications

People every day sign formularies of faith against their conscience in order to safeguard their wealth or to avoid jail, exile, death, or the like. A military man who has given up everything for his religion, and who finds himself in the dilemma of either offending God if he avenges himself for a blow, or of appearing a coward if he does not avenge himself, will not let himself rest until he has been righted for this affront, even at the risk of killing or being killed in a state that will be followed by eternal damnation.

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