Summary of The Essay Of Atheism by Francis Bacon
As stated in the essay, Bacon was instrumental in the invention of the scientific method, and as a philosophical giant of his day, atheists have attempted to recruit him as a supporter of unbelief. In several of his works, he expresses his religious convictions fairly clearly, and they are definitely representative of Christian values. Ironically, he also showed his contempt for atheism; Bacon did not believe in atheism or the reality of atheists.
“It is true, that a little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism; but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion.,” Bacon writes. In the philosophical section of his essay, he asserts that atheists plainly have a limited intellect when it comes to logical explanations, as they do not consider the possibility of the inexplicable. Then he asserts unequivocally that the only reason any philosophy would sway folks toward religion is that it confirms religion.
On the political front, Bacon stated, “Nay more, you shall have atheists strive to get disciples, as it fareth with other sects. And, which is most of all, you shall have of them that will suffer for atheism, and not recant; whereas if they did truly think, that there was no such thing as God, why should they trouble themselves?” He emphasises the importance of atheists “spread their word,” emphasising the importance of opposing the Church’s institution in their day.
Bacon writes about religion, “The causes of atheism are: divisions in religion, if they be many; for any one main division, addeth zeal to both sides; but many divisions introduce atheism” Another is the scandal of priests; as St. Bernard states, ‘One cannot today say the priest is like the people, for the truth is that the people are not quite as bad as the priest.’ A third is the practise of profane mockery in sacred issues, which gradually erodes religious devotion. Finally, learned times are those marked by peace and prosperity; for difficulties and adversity tend to draw men’s minds more closely to religion.” Bacon cites religious divisions, clergy scandals, and ill-behavior toward rituals as grounds for atheism’s existence. Indeed, Bacon performs the role of a psychotherapist. Rather than arguing against Atheism, he constructs an argument for why people accept it, but omitting other essential grounds.
Understanding religion, understanding what it preaches, understanding its dogmas and superstitions, its intolerance and stupidity has resulted in the creation of an infinite number of people who despise religion. Atheists were also generated via critical thought and scepticism. Rather of relying on these philosophical justifications, Bacon dismisses Atheism as a product of contemporary events, rather than admitting that it has existed for as long as doubt has existed, for as long as men have been defiant of authority, men who seek the truth, men who are reasonable.
Additionally, Albert Einstein articulates: “With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.” Additionally, rebutting Bacon’s inadequacy, there is no reason for humanity to be dependent on organised religion. Morality is not just determined by the existence of a deity, but also by the diverse ways in which people live; similarly, culture is not solely defined by organised religion, but also by beliefs. Belief cannot be mistaken with organised religion, as the former is concerned with developing an understanding of the world, whilst the latter is concerned with sacrificing or even suppressing one’s belief in favour of a deeply ingrained desire to believe institution. Thus, Atheism promotes free thought by not confining a person to a particular moral perspective.
Atheists’ statements are listed in order to refute Francis Bacon’s assertions in his essay “Of Atheism.” As previously discussed, atheism holds the view that there is no reason to believe in God or religion, primarily due to the fallacies of anti-atheist propaganda, religious atheism, and the denial of freethinking for humanity. Furthermore, Bacon made no direct attack on Atheism in this essay. Rather than that, his arguments and apologetics were devoted to denying its reality. An Atheist would most surely not be convinced by this essay that Atheism is incorrect. Only the most gullible Atheists would believe this statement’s thesis: those Atheists do not exist. Bacon’s justifications were not mutually exclusive. Apart from rejecting the existence of Atheists, he contended that an Atheist would have no incentive to defend it.
As a psychologist would, he presented rationalisations for Atheism, but only from the standpoint of a believer. Additionally, Bacon advanced the Appeal to Belief argument. He said that because everyone believed in gods — and because we should follow suit – Atheists should believe in god as well. However, the truth is that Atheists are simply more courageous and bold because they are challenging popularly held beliefs on the basis of truth. Bacon made a case that Atheism reconciles man and non-human animal on an equal footing. He uses this as a cause to oppose Atheism, but it is really a reason to oppose organised religion: its cruel and tortuous ideology against people who have the same capacity for feeling as man but lack a soul.