Random Thought

Credulity is not a crime for the individual — but it is clearly a crime as regards the race. Just look at the actual consequences of credulity. For years men believed in the foul superstition of witchcraft and many poor people suffered for this foolish belief. There was a general belief in angels and demons, flying familiarly, yet skittishly through the air, and that belief caused untold distress and pain and tragedy. The most holy Catholic church (and, after it, the various Protestant sects) enforced the dogma that heresy was terribly sinful and punishable by death. Imagine — but all you need do is to recount — the suffering entailed by that belief. When one surveys the causes and consequences of credulity, it is apparent that this easy believer in the impossible, this readiness toward false and fanatical notions, has been indeed a most serious and major crime against humanity. The social life in any age, it may be said, is about what its extent of credulity guarantees. In an extremely credulous age, social life will be cruel and dark and treacherous. In a skeptical age, social life will be more humane. We assert that the philosophy of humanity — that the best interests of the human race — demand a strong statement and a repeated, enlightening statement of atheism.

— E. Haldeman-Julius

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