Near my home there used to be a beautiful lake, but then it was gone.
Tiny: Did the lake dry up?
Rockbiter: No, it just wasn't there anymore. Nothing was there anymore. Not even a dried up lake.
Tiny: A hole ?
Rockbiter: No, a hole would be something. Nah, it was nothing. And it got bigger and bigger. First there was no lake anymore and then finally, no rocks.
Nighthob: Hah! If he keeps stuffing his face like that, soon there won't be any rocks left here either! (Nighthob complains to the little man. As he starts to walk away, the little man grabs him.)
Tiny: Nighthob, this could be serious! Rockbiter, what you have told us is also occurring where I live in the west ! A strange sort of Nothing is destroying everything.
IMHO, the important thing to note is that "religion" was so ingrained in the concept of society that they made such statements. Franklin only ASSUMES that society is better to believe in xianity than no religion because he had no actual experience with a society without it. Do you think HE would say the same thing today?It's important to note that all of the Founding Fathers followed Christian doctrine for rules on how to conduct ones self, for it was so intertwined with the society. Benjamin Franklin probably explains it best when he, to paraphrase, said that although he is unsure of whether God exists or not, he felt it was better to believe in Christianity and the Christian God than not to, for the Christian teachings prevented moral anarchy. Thus, our nation was founded on Christian principles because the Founding Generation recognized the value in them to create a moral, virtuous society.
He is not mistaken as a deist, he was a deist who couldn't wrap his mind around a society without those teachings of Jesus. Even though Asia had the most advanced society without the teachings of Jesus. Regardless, it's obvious that he disagreed with the divinity, and miraculous notions in the bible; which is why he created his own bible.Even Thomas Jefferson, who is today often mistaken for a Deist or an atheist, said when speaking of Jesus' teachings in the NT,
"A more beautiful or precious morsel of ethics I have never seen. It is a document in proof that I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus"
I disagree completely and the vast majority of his writings on the subject paint a clear picture of his belief and it's dilemma.Jefferson's admonitions of Catholicism and what he saw as Platonic influence on Christianity should not be seen as a dismissal by Jefferson of Christianity as a whole.
Exactly... the politician in him forced him to say things to hide his true feelings. His public statements seem to endorse religion while his private correspondence exhibited his disdain for it.While running for President, Jefferson had to defend himself against charges that he was an atheist because there were laws throughout the country at that time that did not permit atheists, or anyone who did not practice Christian morality, to hold office.