A Biographical Dictionary of Modern Rationalists.

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A BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY OF MODERN RATIONALISTS, compiled by Joseph McCabe. This Biographical Dictionary should be in the collection of every Atheist, Freethinker, and honest Thinker of any stripe. For it is a collection of short Biographies of many of the greater thinkers and leaders of the world, at least the Western World. For the definition of Rationalists I will quote from the Preface of this book the words of Mr. McCabe himself: "PREFACE: THE term “Rationalist” first appears in English letters about the middle of the seventeenth century (Clarendon, State Papers, II, App. XL). It denotes a sect who follow “what their reason dictates to them in Church or State.” Bacon had a little earlier (Apophthegms, II, s 21) applied the term “Rationalists” to the philosophers who sought to attain truth by deductions
from the first principles which reason was supposed to perceive rather than by induction from the observed facts of nature. In neither sense did the term pass into general currency at the time; but in the course of the nineteenth century it has been adopted as the most fitting name for those who uphold what is vaguely called the supremacy of reason in the discovery and establishment of truth." Very good Mr. McCabe, and we will offer other such books of Freethought Biographies to supplement this one. It is not unusual that the Biographies of famous people will leave out the religious opinions of these people if they do not conform to the "accepted" religious beliefs of the time and place where they lived. This omission is blatantly dishonest on the part of the Biographer or Historian, but I must agree such censorship is necessary to the survival of supernatural religions.
Emmett F. Fields

  • Model: McCDict
  • Author: McCabe, Joseph

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