Freethought of the Day

Would you like to start your day on a freethought note? "Freethought of the Day" is a daily freethought calendar brought to you courtesy of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, highlighting birthdates, quotes, and other historic tidbits.

If you would like to be placed on the "Daily Freethought" e-mail list to automatically receive the calendar notice, log in and edit your email settings (My Membership). Or, email  and include your first and last name with your request for verification purposes. This email service is limited to members of the Freedom From Religion Foundation or subscribers to Freethought Today. To become an FFRF member, click here.


There are 2 entries for this date: David Hume and Eugene Delacroix
David Hume

David Hume

On this date in 1711, David Hume was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. The influential empiricist philosopher was raised by his widowed mother, a strict Calvinist. Hume entered the University of Edinburgh at age 11, and studied there for three years, after which he was self-educated. His first philosophical book, A Treatise of Human Nature (1739-40), was guardedly skeptical (making references to "monkish virtues"). Critics used the book to deny Hume a teaching position at the University of Edinburgh, and later at Glasgow University. Through this controversy, Hume humorously wrote a friend that he was "a sober, discreet, virtuous, frugal, regular, quiet, good-natured man, of a bad character." (Cited in 2000 Years of Disbelief by James A. Haught). Hume was finally granted a relatively congenial position as librarian at Edinburgh University in 1752.

In Essays, Moral, Political and Literary (1741), Hume dismissed priests as "the pretenders to power and dominion, and to a superior sanctity of character, distinct from virtue and good morals." In An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (1748), Hume famously asserted that "a miracle can never be proved, so as to be the foundation of a system of religion." Hume defined a miracle as "a violation of the laws of nature." His other books include The Natural History of Religion, which Hume, who was dying of cancer, arranged to be published posthumously. In The Natural History of Religion, Hume wrote: "Examine the religious principles which have, in fact, prevailed in the world, and you will scarcely be persuaded that they are anything but sick men's dreams." In the same work, Hume called the god of the Calvinists "a most cruel, unjust, partial and fantastical being." Hume also wrote History of England (1754-62). The charitable and cheerful Hume was well-respected by his countrypeople, ministers excepted, and was on friendly terms with Adam Smith and Edward Gibbon. D. 1776.

“. . . The Christian religion not only was at first attended with miracles, but even at this day cannot be believed by any reasonable person without one.”

—David Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, 1748

Compiled by Annie Laurie Gaylor

© Freedom From Religion Foundation. All rights reserved.

Eugene Delacroix

Eugene Delacroix

On this date in 1798, Eugene Delacroix was born in France. The French painter was part of the Romantic movement and was known for such swash-buckling and colorful canvases as "Liberty Leading the People to the Barricades," which marked the Revolution of 1830. One of Delacroix' quieter canvases was a poignant, unfinished portrait of Chopin, which hangs in the Louvre. Biographer E. Moreauy-Nelaton wrote that Delacroix read and agreed with Diderot and Voltaire, and had a secular funeral. (Cited by Joseph McCabe in Dictionary of Modern Rationists, 1920.) D. 1863.

Compiled by Annie Laurie Gaylor

© Freedom From Religion Foundation. All rights reserved.

Freethought of the Day

Would you like to start your day on a freethought note? "Freethought of the Day" is a daily freethought calendar brought to you courtesy of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, highlighting birthdates, quotes, and other historic tidbits.

If you would like to be placed on the "Daily Freethought" e-mail list to automatically receive the calendar notice, log in and edit your email settings (My Membership). Or, email  and include your first and last name with your request for verification purposes. This email service is limited to members of the Freedom From Religion Foundation or subscribers to Freethought Today. To become an FFRF member, click here.


FFRF is a non-profit, educational organization. All dues and donations are deductible for income-tax purposes.

FFRF has received a 4 star rating from Charity Navigator

 

FFRF privacy statement

AAI-LOGO

FFRF is a member of Atheist Alliance International.