It was on this date, February 28, 1533, that French essayist Michel de Montaigne was born. As his famous Essays were published, the 1572 St. Bartholomew’s Massacre was a fresh memory in France, so Montaigne professed to be a Catholic. Yet he made some risky statements in his most famous work:
• Man is certainly stark mad; he cannot make a flea, yet he makes gods by the dozen.
• Men of simple understanding, little inquisitive and little instructed, make good Christians.
• Nothing is so firmly believed as what we least know.
Montaigne was a Deist, but he may have been a secret Atheist…
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Originally published February 2003 by Ronald Bruce Meyer.