Graduate studies at Western
|Abstract||The case for toleration as Bayle presents it seems closely tied to the proposition that if we do what we sincerely think right then we do a morally good act, even if that act is actually wrong. The prominence of this proposition in his book would have made it seem unpersuasive to some of the people most important to convince, namely those who followed "the principles of St Augustine". Arnauld, for example, rejects the Jesuits' thesis that an act cannot be morally bad unless we do it in the belief that it is wrong, for reasons that imply rejection of Bayle's thesis that an act must be morally good if we do it in the belief that it is right. In fact, neither proposition is needed as a premiss in Bayle's main argument for toleration, but the difference over this matter is a suitable starting-point for reflection on some of the features of Bayle's moral theory.|
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