Spirituality-Religions Evils of Popular Ignorance

Evils of Popular Ignorance

Evils of Popular Ignorance
Catalog # SKU1094
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.50 lbs
Author Name John Foster


The Evils
Popular Ignorance

John Foster

Religion, particularly Christianity, has enslaved the world through ignorance. Religion permeates the culture, the politics, and the government, allowing ignorants to rule and control. Ignorance promotes war, inhumanity, disease, and poverty. Education ends religion's control of the people. It is hoped that this reprint in a popular form may serve the purpose of contributing something, in co-operation with the present exertions, to expose, and partially remedy, the lamentable and nationally disgraceful ignorance to which the people of our country have been so long abandoned.


The dreadful consequences of this "lack of knowledge," as appearing in the religion and morals of the nations, and through these affecting their welfare, equalled and even surpassed all that might by theory have been presaged from the cause.

This ignorance could not annihilate the principle of religion in the spirit of man; but in taking away the awful repression of the idea of one exclusive sovereign Divinity, it left that spirit to fabricate its religion in its own manner. And as the creating of gods might be the most appropriate way of celebrating the deliverance from the most imposing idea of one Supreme Being, depraved and insane invention took this direction with ardor The mind threw a fictitious divinity into its own phantasms, and into the objects in the visible world. It is amazing to observe how, when one solemn principle was taken away, the promiscuous numberless crowd of almost all shapes of fancy and of matter became, as it were, instinct with ambition, and mounted into gods.

They were alternately the toys and the tyrants of their miserable creator. They appalled him often, and often he could make sport with them. For overawing him by their supposed power, they made him a compensation by descending to a fellowship with his follies and vices. But indeed this was a condition of their creation; they must own their mortal progenitor by sharing his depravity, even amidst the lordly domination assigned to them over him and the universe. We may safely affirm, that the mighty artificer of deifications, the corrupt soul of man, never once, in its almost infinite diversification of device in their production, struck out a form of absolute goodness. No, if there were ten thousand deities, there should not be one that should be authorized by perfect rectitude in itself to punish him; not one by which it should be possible for him to be rebuked without having a right to recriminate.

Such a pernicious creation of active delusions it was that took the place of religion in the absence of knowledge. And to this intellectual obscuration, and this legion of pestilent fallacies, swarming like the locusts from the smoke of the bottomless pit in the vision of St. John, the fatal effect on morals and happiness corresponded. Indeed the mischief done there, perhaps even exceeded the proportion of the ignorance and the false theology; conformably to the rule, that anything wrong in the mind will be the most wrong where it comes the nearest to its ultimate practical effect-except when in this operation outward it is met and checked by some foreign counteraction.

The people of those nations (and the same description is applicable to modern heathens) did not know the essential nature of perfect goodness, or virtue. How should they know it? A depraved mind would not find in itself any native conception to give the bright form of it. There were no living examples of it. The men who held the pre-eminence in the community were generally, in the most important points, its reverse. It was for the Divine nature to have presented, in a manifestation of itself, the archetype of perfect rectitude, whence might have been derived the modified exemplar for human virtue. And so would the idea of perfect moral excellence have come to dwell and shine in the understanding, if it had been the True Divinity that men beheld in their contemplations of a superior existence. But when the gods of their heaven were little better than their own evil qualities, exalted to the sky to be thence reflected back upon them invested with Olympian charms and splendors, their ideas of deity would evidently combine with the causes which made it impossible for them to conceive a perfect model for human excellence. See the mighty labor of human depravity to confirm its dominion!

It would translate itself to heaven, and usurp divinity, in order to come down thence with a sanction for man to be wicked,-in order, by a falsification of the qualities of the Supreme Nature, to preclude his forming the true idea of what would be perfect rectitude in his own.

Softcover, 5 x 8, 240+ pages