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Friday, March 23, 2007

This extraordinary hoax (Durkheim)

When the philosophers of the eighteenth century made religion out to be an enormous error conceived by priests, at least they were able to explain its persistence by the interest the sacerdotal caste had in deceiving the masses. But if the peoples themselves have been the artisans of these systems of erroneous ideas, at the same time that they were their dupes, how has this extraordinary hoax been able to perpetuate itself throughout the course of history?

Émile Durkheim

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