What is “an argument against the abolishing of Christianity?
The full title of “An Argument Against the Abolishing of Christianity” is “An Argument to Prove That the Abolishing of Christianity in England May, As Things Now Stand, Be Attended With Some Inconveniences, and Perhaps Not Produce Those Many Good Effects Proposed Thereby.”
What is Swift’s argument against Abolishing Christianity?
One way of approaching an answer is to consider the historical context. In 1708, when the Argument Against Abolishing Christianity was written, Swift was in England representing the interests of the Irish (Anglican) Church.
What are the advantages of abolishing the church?
Besides, churches give everyone a chance to meet and make business deals, to dress up for one another, or at least to sleep. The narrator says that the best advantage of abolishing Christianity, people say, if it would really happen, would be the end of party divisions, both religious and political. This would be wonderful.
What would happen if Christianity was abolished?
Yet, if Christianity were abolished altogether, this kind of person who would enjoy the ornery nature of being an atheist would, instead, rail against the nobility and the government.
What would happen if the unfashionable and impoverished parsons were to disappear?
If the unfashionable and impoverished parsons were to disappear, wits would need some other target of mockery. Similarly, freethinkers would lack religion as the ideal topic for flaunting their mental abilities. Abolishing Christianity might put the Church in danger and force Parliament to find another supporting vote. Lastly, abolishing Christianity would lead to the introduction of “popery,” for Jesuits have been known to disguise themselves as Dissenters and even freethinkers, and people will seek some method of worship.
What are the advantages of abolishing Christianity?
First, it would considerably “enlarge and establish liberty of conscience.” His reply is that nominal Christianity is useful as a subject of mockery for “great wits” who would otherwise target an important institution such as the government. A second supposed advantage is that freethinkers would no longer be required to believe things they find difficult. The response is that the English can already believe and publish whatever they please without endangering their careers or being prosecuted for blasphemy.
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What is the real goal of the abolishers?
The real goal of the abolishers being freedom of action, not just freedom of thought, religion in any form must be eradicated.
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This essay examines Jonathan Swift’s satire An Argument against Abolishing Christianity in order to re-evaluate the conventions of sincerity.
Alphen, Ernst van, and Mieke Bal. “Introduction.” In The Rhetoric of Sincerity, edited by Carel Smith, Ernst van Alphen, and Mieke Bal, 1–16. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2009.