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Darwin Correspondence Project

DCP-LETT-11416

To James Grant   11 March 1878

Dear Sir,—

I should have been very glad to have aided you in any degree if it had been in my power. But to answer your question would require an essay, and for this I have not strength, being much out of health. Nor, indeed, could I have answered it distinctly and satisfactorily with any amount of strength.

The strongest argument for the existence of God, as it seems to me, is the instinct or intuition which we all (as I suppose) feel that there must have been an intelligent beginner of the Universe; but then comes the doubt and difficulty whether such intuitions are trustworthy.

I have touched on one point of difficulty in the two last pages of my “Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication,” but I am forced to leave the problem insoluble.

No man who does his duty has anything to fear, and may hope for whatever he earnestly desires.—

Dear sir, yours faithfully, | (Signed) Ch. Darwin.

Down, Beckenham, Kent, March 11th, 1878.

Summary

The strongest argument for the existence of God is the intuitive feeling that there must have been an intelligent beginner of the universe; "but then comes the doubt and difficulty whether such intuitions are trustworthy". CD is forced to leave the problem insoluble. "No man who does his duty has anything to fear, and may hope for whatever he earnestly desires."

Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-11416
From
Darwin, C. R.
To
Grant, James
Sent from
Down
Source of text
British Weekly 4 (1888): 233

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 11416,” accessed on 29 August 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-11416

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