Single Idea 7648

[catalogued under 26. Natural Theory / A. Speculations on Nature / 2. Natural Purpose / c. Purpose denied]

Full Idea

The sun was not made in order to heat the earth and all its inhabitants - whom it sometimes burns - any more than the rain was created in order to grow seeds - which it often spoils.

Gist of Idea

The sun and rain weren't made for us; they sometimes burn us, or spoil our seeds


Julien Offray de La Mettrie (Machine Man [1747])

Book Reference

La Mettrie,Julien Offray de: 'Machine Man and Other Writings', ed/tr. Thomson,Ann [CUP 1996], p.25

A Reaction

This denial of Aristotelian (and divine) teleology is as much part of the movement against religion, as are concerns about natural evil, and about the weakness of arguments for God's existence. These facts were obvious long before La Mettrie.