• April 21, 2024

Ignorance is the mother of religious devotion

I love this quote from the erudite Rev. Dr. Geddes so much that it will be prominently featured in my book Did Moses Exist?

“On the whole, then, I think it may be laid down as an axiom that the bulk of Christians, whether Papists or Protestants, cannot be said to have a rational faith, because their motives of credibility are not rational motives but the positive assertions of an assumed authority, which they have never discussed or durst not question. Their religion is the fruit of unenlightened credulity. A very small number of curious and learned men, only, have thoroughly examined the motives of their religious belief, in any communion, and it will be found, I presume, that the more curious and learned they were, the less they generally believed. Hence, perhaps, the old adage: Ignorance is the mother of devotion…

“In the Hebrew scriptures are many beauties, many excellent precepts, much found morality, and they deserve the attentive perusal of every scholar, every person of curiosity and taste. All those good things I admit, and admire, and would equally admire them in the writings of Plato, Tully, or Marcus Antoninus. But there are other things in great abundance that I can neither admire nor admit, without renouncing common sense and superseding reason—a sacrifice which I am not disposed to make, for any writing in the world.”

Rev. Dr. Alexander Geddes, Critical Remarks on the Hebrew Scriptures (1.v-vi)

Thankfully, as we can see here, there have existed learned men who have broken out of the “good ol’ boys” cultic viewpoint and brought us some important truths.