Quotation by John Locke

For men..., however apparently contradictory to common sense, and the very principles of all their knowledge; have let loose their fancies and natural superstition; and have been by them led into so strange opinions, and extravagant practices in religion, that a considerate man cannot but stand amazed at their follies, and judge them so far from being acceptable to the great and wise God, that he cannot avoid thinking them ridiculous, and offensive to a sober man. So that in effect religion, which should most distinguish us from beasts, and ought most peculiarly to elevate us, as rational creatures, above brutes, is that wherein men often appear most irrational and more senseless than beasts themselves.
John Locke (1632–1704), British philosopher. An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, bk. 4, ch. 18, sect. 11, p. 696, ed. P. Nidditch, Oxford, Clarendon Press (1975).
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