An inquiry concerning human understanding. A dissertation on the passions. An inquiry concerning the principles of morals. The natural history of religion (Google eBook)

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Bell and Bradfute, 1825 - English essays
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Page 28 - Matters of fact, which are the second objects of human reason, are not ascertained in the same manner; nor is our evidence of their truth, however great, of a like nature with the foregoing. The contrary of every matter of fact is still possible; because it can never imply a contradiction, and is conceived by the mind with the same facility and distinctness, as if ever so conformable to reality.
Page 169 - When we run over libraries, persuaded of these principles, what havoc must we make ? If we take in our hand any volume ; of divinity or school metaphysics, for instance ; let us ask, Does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number ? No. Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence ? No. Commit it then to the flames ; for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion, DISSERTATION THE PASSIONS.
Page 133 - Our most holy religion is founded on Faith, not on reason; and it is a sure method of exposing it to put it to such a trial as it is, by no means, fitted to endure.
Page 117 - That no testimony is sufficient " to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such " a kind, that its falsehood would be more miraculous " than the fact which it endeavours to establish...
Page 118 - ... deceived, or that the fact, which he relates, should really have happened. I weigh the one miracle against the other; and according to the superiority which I discover, I pronounce my decision, and always reject the greater miracle. If the falsehood of his testimony would be more miraculous than the event which he relates; then, and not till then, can he pretend to command my belief or opinion.
Page 391 - There is an universal tendency among mankind to conceive all beings like themselves, and to transfer to every object, those qualities, with which they are familiarly acquainted, and of which they are intimately conscious.
Page 44 - If the mind be not engaged by argument to make this step, it must be induced by some other principle of equal weight and authority; and that principle will preserve its influence as long as human nature remains the same.
Page 77 - ... is carried by habit, upon the appearance of one event, to expect its usual attendant, and to believe that it will exist. This connexion, therefore, which we feel in the mind, this customary transition of the imagination from one object to its usual attendant, is the sentiment or impression from which we form the idea of power or necessary connexion.
Page 454 - The prevalence of the doctrine of liberty may be accounted for, from another cause, viz. a false sensation or seeming experience which we have, or may have, of liberty or indifference, in many of our actions. The necessity of any action, whether of matter or of mind, is not, properly speaking, a quality in the agent, but in any thinking or intelligent being, who may consider the action; and it consists chiefly in the determination of his thoughts to infer the existence of that action from some preceding...
Page 33 - These ultimate springs and principles are totally shut up from human curiosity and inquiry. Elasticity, gravity, cohesion of parts, communication of motion by impulse; these are probably the ultimate causes and principles which we shall ever discover in nature...

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