Why Men do not acknowledge God

This is the great object of the universe, wherein God, as it were in a glass, shows Himself to mankind. But some were bewildered in their own thoughts. Everything with them turned into vanity. By their subtle reasoning some of them overshot and lost a truth which a man finds naturally and simply in him without the help of philosophy.

Others, intoxicated by their passions, live in a perpetual avocation of thought. To perceive God in His works a man must, at least, consider them with attention. But passions cast such a mist before the eyes, not only of wild savages, but even of nations that seem to be most civilized and polite, that they do not so much as see the light that lights them. They lay, as it were, buried within sensible things without going up higher; and they cultivated their wit, only to tickle themselves with softer sensations, without observing from what spring they proceeded.

 In this manner the generality of men pass away their lives upon earth. Say nothing to them, and they will think on nothing except what flatters either their brutish passions or vanity. Their souls grow so heavy and unwieldy that they cannot raise their thoughts to any immaterial object. Whatever is not tangible and cannot be seen, tasted, heard, felt, or told, appears chimerical to them. This weakness of the soul, turning into unbelief, appears strength of mind to them; and their vanity glories in opposing what naturally strikes and affects the rest of mankind, just as if a monster prided in not being formed according to the common rules of Nature, or as if one born blind boasted of his unbelief with respect to light and colors, which other men perceive and distinguish.

God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World--and Why Their Differences Matter


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