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Darwin Correspondence Project

To James Grant   11 March 1878

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

March 11. 1878

Private

Dear Sir

I shd. have been very glad to have aided you in any degree, if it had been in my power.—1 But to answer your question, would require an essay, & for this I have not strength being much out of health. Nor indeed could I have answered it distinctly & 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 designer of the Universe; but then comes the doubt & difficulty whether such intuitions are trustworthy.—

I have touched on one point of difficulty in the two last pages of my “Variation of Animals & Plants under Domestication”, but I am forced to leave the problem insoluble.—2

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

Dear Sir | Yours faithfully | Ch. Darwin

Your letter dated March 6th was received only this morning.—

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
Charles Robert Darwin
To
James Miller (James) Grant
Sent from
Down
Source of text
Sotheby’s, New York (dealers) (12 December 2017)

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 11416,” accessed on 20 September 2018, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-11416

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