Pierre Bayle

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In existographies, Pierre Bayle (308-249 BE) (1647-1706 ACM) (IQ:175|#233) (Cattell 1000:413) (PR:3,205|65AE / philosopher:179) (FA:61) (CR:28) (LH:6) (TL:34) was a French philosopher, free thinker, and encyclopedist, noted for []


Thoughts on the Comet

In 1682, Bayle, in his Various Thoughts on the Occasion of the Comet, in commentary on the famous comet of 1680, argued that comets were a natural phenomenon, that comets did not presage disaster, after which he presented the “first-ever all-out defense of the morals of an atheist” (Hecht, 2003).[1]

Critical Dictionary

In 1695 to 1702, Bayle wrote his Historical and Critical Dictionary, with 3,000-entries in 3-volumes, one of the first encyclopedia prototypes, notable for being crypto-atheism siding critical of religion, and for having articles with footnotes, that had their own footnotes, the latter of which running 20+ pages in length. Bayle's Dictionary later came to be characterized as the "arsenal of the enlightenment" and or a "bible for doubters". He discussed things, such as the "three impostors" legend, which he attributed to Averroes (Ѻ), and upheld Michel Montaigne's claim that religious claims are not confirmed by any inner principle, but are fed to people as children.



Bayle was influenced by: Michel Montaigne and Averroes.


Bayle influenced: Voltaire, Denis Diderot, and Baron Holbach.


Quotes | On

The following are quotes on Bayle:

“The illustrious Bayle [Thoughts on Various Subjects (§:21)], who teaches us so ably to think, says, with abundant reason, that ‘there is nothing but a good and solid philosophy, which can like another Hercules, exterminate those monsters called popular errors: it is that alone which can set the mind at liberty’.”
Baron Holbach (1770), The System of Nature (pg. 313)

Quotes | By

The following are quotes by Bayle:

“They are not the general opinions of the mind, which determine us to act, but the passions.”
— Pierre Bayle (1682), Various Thoughts on the Occasion of the Comet (§:177); cited by Baron Holbach (1770) in The System of Nature (pg. 309-310)
“Spinoza was the greatest atheist there ever was and who was so infatuated with certain principles of philosophy that, to meditate on them better he went into retirement, renouncing all that may be called the pleasures and vanities of the world and concerning himself only with abstruse meditations. Sensing that he was near his end [see: atheist deathbed deconversions], he had his landlady come and begged her to prevent any minister from coming to see him in that condition. His reason was, as is known from one of his friends [Adriaan Paets, according to Verniere], that he wished to die without a dispute and that he feared falling into some weakness of the understanding which would make him say something that could be used against his principles. This is to say that he feared that it would be spread about in the world that, when facing death, his conscience having awoken, it made him give the lie to his bravery and renounce his sentiments. Can a more ridiculous and more extreme vanity be seen than this one, and a crazier passion for the false idea one forms of constancy?”
— Pierre Bayle (1628), Various Thoughts on the Occasion of the Comet (pg. 227)
“In matters of religion it is very easy to deceive a man, and very hard to undeceive him.”
— Pierre Bayle (c.1685), Publication; cited by David Fitzgerald (2010) in Nailed (pg. #) [2]

End matter


  1. (a) Bayle, Pierre. (1682). Various Thoughts on the Occasion of the Comet (Pensées Diverses sur l'Occasion de la Comète) (pg. 227) (translator: Robert Barlett). SUNY, 2000.
    (b) Hecht, Jennifer M. (2003). Doubt: A History: The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas Jefferson and and Emily Dickinson (Bayle, pg. 328; Foe, pg. 330; bible for doubters, pg. 331). HarperOne.
  2. Fitzgerald, David. (2010). Nailed: Ten Christian Myths That Show Jesus Never Existed (Amz). LuLu.

External links

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