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  • Smoky
    • Jun 2013
    • 1849

    #31
    Pope Boniface VIII. (1235-1303)--charged with heresy after his death based on testimony that he had made these remarks:
    So that God gives me the good things of this life, I care not a bean for that to come. A man has no more a soul than a beast. Did you ever see any one who had risen from the dead?

    Christ! he was no Son of God; he was a man, eating and drinking like ourselves; he never rose from the dead; no man has ever risen. I am far mightier than he. I can bestow kingdoms and humble kings.

    Comment

    • Smoky
      • Jun 2013
      • 1849

      #32
      Leonardo da Vinci. Italian artist (1452-1519):
      Take no miracles on trust; always look for causes.

      Comment

      • Smoky
        • Jun 2013
        • 1849

        #33
        Pietro Pomponazzi. Italian philosopher (1462-1525):
        [The statesmen] have set up for the virtuous eternal rewards in another life, and for the vicious, eternal punishments, which frighten greatly. And the greater part of men, if they do good, do it more from fear of eternal punishment than from hope of eternal good, since punishments are better known to us than that eternal god. And since this last device can benefit all men, of whatever degree, the lawgiver regarding the proneness of men to evil, intending the common good, has decreed that the soul is immortal, not caring for truth but only for righteousness, that he may lead men to virtue.

        Note: As the most influential philosopher of the Italian Renaissance, Pomponazzi was able to make this statement by using Averroes' "double truth," a common rhetorical strategy at the time that let him justify heresy by contrasting it with orthodox arguments which could be ignored by readers aware of his intentions. Pomponazzi also argued in essays published after his death that the soul is mortal, that angels, demons and miracles are fictitious, that religions are born and die, and that prayers go unanswered.

        Comment

        • Smoky
          • Jun 2013
          • 1849

          #34
          Niccolo Machiavelli. Italian author (1467-1527):
          It is therefore the duty of princes and heads of republics to uphold the foundations of the religion of their countries, for then it is easy to keep their people religious and consequently well conducted and united. And therefore everything that tends to favor religion (even though it were believed to be false) should be received and availed of to strengthen it; and this should be done the more, the wiser the rulers are, and the better they understand the natural course of things.

          Comment

          • Smoky
            • Jun 2013
            • 1849

            #35
            Pope Leo X. The son of Lorenzo de' Medici (1475-1521):
            We owe all this to the fable of Jesus Christ.

            Note: It was widely held that Leo made this remark, but there is no solid evidence that he did.

            Comment

            • Smoky
              • Jun 2013
              • 1849

              #36
              Hermann van Ryswyck. Dutch priest burned at the stake in 1512:
              J.M. Robertson: In 1502, Ryswyck told his inquisitors "with his own mouth and with sane mind" that the world is eternal, and was not created as was alleged by "the fool Moses"; that there is no hell, and no future life; that Christ, whose whole career was flatly contrary to human welfare and reason, was not the son of Omnipotent God, but a fool, a dreamer, and a seducer of ignorant men, of whom untold numbers had been slain on account of him and his absurd evangel; that Moses had not physically received the law from God; and that "our" faith was shown to be fabulous by its fatuous Scripture, fictitious Bible, and crazy Gospel.

              I was born a Christian, but am no longer one: they are the chief fools.

              Note: A decade later Ryswyck was brought before the Inquisition once again, and, upon repeating his heretical argument, was burned at the stake later in the day.

              Comment

              • Smoky
                • Jun 2013
                • 1849

                #37
                Jacques Gruet. Swiss Protestant executed in 1547:
                All so-called laws, divine as well as human, are made at the will of men.

                Note: At the order of Calvin, Gruet was executed for this quotation and other infractions that were less obviously heretical. According to one account his execution was particularly violent: "His half-dead body was beheaded on the scaffold, the torso being tied and the feet nailed thereto."

                Comment

                • Smoky
                  • Jun 2013
                  • 1849

                  #38
                  Michel de Montaigne. French essayist (1533-1592):
                  Nothing is so firmly believed as what we least know.

                  Men make themselves believe what they believe.

                  Men of simple understanding, little inquisitive and little instructed, make good Christians.

                  Man is certainly stark mad; he cannot make a worm, yet he will make gods by the dozen.

                  To know much is often the cause of doubting more.

                  Philosophy is doubt.

                  Comment

                  • Smoky
                    • Jun 2013
                    • 1849

                    #39
                    Giordano Bruno. Italian philosopher (1548-1600):
                    Nothing appears to be really durable, eternal and worthy of the name of principle, save matter alone.

                    It is more appropriate to say, then, that matter contains the forms and implies them, than to think that it is empty of them and excludes them. That matter, then, which unfolds what it has enfolded must be called the divine and excellent progenitor, generator and mother of natural things; or, in substance, the entire nature.

                    There is then a kind of substratum from which, with which, and in which, nature effects its operations and its work; and which is by nature endowed with so many forms that it presents for our consideration such a variety of species.

                    The universe is, then, one, infinite, immobile.

                    The foolish renounce this world and pursue an imaginary world to come.

                    To his holy inquisitors upon being sentenced to burn at the stake: "You are more afraid to pronounce my sentence than I to receive it."

                    Last words: unspoken. Bruno's tongue was tied to prevent any final speech before he was burned at the stake. When a crucifix was presented for him to kiss, he pushed it aside.

                    Note: Like both Epicurus and Lucretius, Bruno proposed that we live in an infinite universe in which time, motion and location are relative. He also argued that the universe includes countless stars and planets similar to the sun and earth that move freely in space rather being limited to orbits around a central body such as the sun.

                    Comment

                    • Smoky
                      • Jun 2013
                      • 1849

                      #40
                      Sir Francis Bacon. English empirical philosopher (1561-1626):
                      In every age, natural philosophy had a troublesome adversary and hard to deal with; namely, superstition, and the blind and immoderate zeal of religion.

                      It addeth deformity to an ape to be so like a man, so the similitude of superstition to religion makes it the more deformed.

                      The general root of superstition is that men observe when things hit, and not when they miss, and commit to memory the one, and pass over the other.

                      The more contrary to reason the divine mystery, so much the more must it be believed for the glory of God.

                      The trinitarian believes a virgin to be the mother of a son who is her maker.

                      Comment

                      • Smoky
                        • Jun 2013
                        • 1849

                        #41
                        Ben Jonson. English playwright (1572-1637):
                        What excellent fools religion makes of man.

                        Comment

                        • Smoky
                          • Jun 2013
                          • 1849

                          #42
                          Matthew Hamount. English heretic burned at the stake in 1579:

                          J.M. Robertson: [Hamount was] charged with heresy for having declared his belief: "That the New Testament and Gospel of Christ is but foolishness, a mere fable; that Christ is not God or the Saviour of the world, but a mere man, a shameful man, and an abominable idol; that He did not rise again from death or ascend unto Heaven; that the Holy Ghost is not God; and that baptism is not necessary, nor the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ."

                          Comment

                          • Smoky
                            • Jun 2013
                            • 1849

                            #43
                            Lucilio Vanini. Italian philosopher (c. 1584-1619):
                            He [Christ] sweated with fear and weakness, and I, I die undaunted.

                            Note: This was spoken by Vanini just before he was burned at the stake. His executioner was reportedly so shocked and outraged by this remark that he obtained pincers and tore out Vanini's tongue before lighting his pyre.

                            Comment

                            • Smoky
                              • Jun 2013
                              • 1849

                              #44
                              Thomas Hobbes. English materialist philosopher (1588-1679):
                              Opinion of ghosts, ignorance of second causes, devotion to what men fear, and taking of things casual for prognostics, consisteth the natural seeds of religion.

                              For it is with the mysteries of our religion, as with wholesome pills for the sick; which swallowed whole have the virtue to cure; but chewed, are for the most part cast up again without effect.

                              Atheism: the sin of imprudence.

                              Comment

                              • Smoky
                                • Jun 2013
                                • 1849

                                #45
                                Sir Thomas Browne. English author (1605-82):
                                The religion of one seems madness unto another.

                                Comment

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