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.

As a member, to receive Freethought of the Day in your email inbox, contact us here. To become an FFRF member, click here. To learn more about FFRF, request information here.


There are 2 entries for this date: Arthur Schopenhauer (Quote) and Marie-Henri Beyle (Stendhal)
Arthur Schopenhauer (Quote)

Arthur Schopenhauer (Quote)

"All religions promise a reward for excellences of the will or heart, but none for excellences of the head or understanding."

—-German philospher Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860), The World as Will and Idea, 1819

Compiled by Annie Laurie Gaylor

© Freedom From Religion Foundation. All rights reserved.

Marie-Henri Beyle (Stendhal)

Marie-Henri Beyle (Stendhal)

On this date in 1783, Marie-Henri Beyle, a French writer better known by his pen name Stendhal, was born in Grenoble, France. Stendhal’s mother fell ill and passed away in 1790 when he was only 7. His mother served as an important, nurturing influence, and losing her meant the loss of a vital buffer between him and his father, who seemed to lack imagination or any of the same interests as his son. His father had other individuals help care for Stendhal, including a Jesuit tutor who prevented him from gaining a sense of independence by blocking him from achieving some important personal goals, such as learning how to swim. The tutor belittled and dissuaded him by insisting he would drown if he tried. Such events resulted in his loss of faith in religion.
Stendhal’s quest for personal autonomy was a motivating factor in his journey toward becoming one of the most original and complex writers of his time. He is best known for his critical analysis of consciousness among his characters. His writing communicates radical ideas on romanticism and realism, two concepts that tend to be seen as mutually exclusive. The coexistence of such principles is best represented through his work, The Red and The Black. In this novel, Stendhal states that “the idea which tyrants find most useful is the idea of God.” He also published a collection of stories known as The Italian Chronicles around the same time. One particular story discusses the issues of female emancipation and the relationship of women to the institutions of marriage and the church. Centuries later, his insightful and persuasive writing remains provocative and relevant. D. 1842

 

 “All religions are founded on the fear of the many and the cleverness of the few.”

—Stendhal, cited in "On the Mind and Freedom" by Elliot Murphy (2011)

Compiled by Tolulope Igun

© Freedom From Religion Foundation. All rights reserved.

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 is a member of the Secular Coalition for America

FFRF privacy statement