Darwins autobiography: Further evidence that Charles Darwin was not an atheist

In his own words!

Another source of conviction in the existence of God, connected with the reason and not with the feelings, impresses me as having much more weight. This follows from the extreme difficulty or rather impossibility of conceiving this immense and wonderful universe, including man with his capacity of looking far backwards and far into futurity, as the result of blind chance or necessity. When thus reflecting I feel compelled to look to a First Cause having an intelligent mind in some degree analogous to that of man; and I deserve to be called a Theist.

Charles Darwin
Autobiography. Page 92-93.

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  1. #1 by Marius on January 13, 2014 - 12:40 PM

    If you continued to read rather than pick and choose texts which suit your argument perhaps you would have come upon this:

    “This conclusion was strong in my mind about the time, as far as I can remember, when I wrote the Origin of Species; and it is since that time that it has very gradually with many fluctuations become weaker. But then arises the doubt—can the mind of man, which has, as I fully believe, been developed from a mind as low as that possessed by the lowest animal, be trusted when it draws such grand conclusions? May not these be the result of the connection between cause and effect which strikes us as a necessary one, but probably depends merely on inherited experience? Nor must we overlook the probability of the constant inculcation in a belief in God on the minds of children producing so strong and perhaps an inherited effect on their brains not yet fully developed, that it would be as difficult for them to throw off their belief in God, as for a monkey to throw off its instinctive fear and hatred of a snake.”

    Charles Darwin
    Autobiography. Page 93.

    • #2 by Simon Peter Sutherland on January 13, 2014 - 11:06 PM

      I will ignore your first comment, since it is assumptive.

      There is not one iota of evidence in that quote for ‘atheism’ but doubt and critique of religious extremism. Which begs the question; do you trust your own depravity to make the grand assumption of atheism?

      Darwin is writing about harshly impressing God upon children as some did in his day, not allowing them to think for themselves and unable to shake those opinions off throughout life.

  2. #3 by Marius on January 18, 2014 - 2:40 AM

    I will ignore your assumption that i am depraved.

    Making a statement then picking only a few passages that suit and not including those that put it into context is dishonest.

    How do you define religious extremism?

    Inculcation: To impress (something) upon the mind of another by frequent instruction or repetition.
    Standard operating procedure of any religion today not just in his day.

    • #4 by Simon Peter Sutherland on January 20, 2014 - 11:05 AM

      1) All men are, by nature, depraved!

      2) You say; “Making a statement then picking only a few passages that suit and not including those that put it into context is dishonest.” So where does that leave you? I have answered your quote. I have taken nothing out of context. I have quoted Darwin’s words, which, you seem to dislike? He declared himself a “Theist” how can my quote of that be out of context?

      3) I define, ‘Religious extremism’ as a violent or aggressive demand for an absolute adherence to doctrines, which even in the face of reason do not adhere. Where no room is made for reasonable debate, or tolerance.

      4) Concerning “Inculcation”. In Darwin’s day, which is the historical context of his words, I have said nothing out of line. I repeat; “Darwin is writing about harshly impressing God upon children as some did in his day, not allowing them to think for themselves and unable to shake those opinions off throughout life.” Thus, it certainly was a reality in his time, which is the context of the quote. Darwin was not writing about the distant future of his day, but of his present, thus, with that in mind, I disagree with you on your shifting the meaning of my words to the present. It is not “Standard operating procedure of any religion today not just in his day”. The facts remain that ‘1688/1689 Bill of Rights’ and the ‘Act of Toleration 1689’ were passed by Protestants in Parliament and is still adhered to this day. Only some denominations of various religions practice “Inculcation”.

      The new atheist disinformation agents are guilty of ‘disinformation’. The facts remain that since the ‘Reformation’ there are more tolerant Christians today than there have been since the first 3 centuries of Christianity, especially since the Roman Catholic church lost its grip over Europe. The Church of England is now a better option.

      You say by definition of “Inculcation”; “To impress (something) upon the mind of another by frequent instruction or repetition”. Well, yes, but from where I stand, that sounds a lot like the new atheists.

      Your views are quite popular by those who adhere to the Disinformation of the New Atheists.

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