What are the main arguments in Bacon's "Of Superstition?" Does he use a counterargument?

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Bacon, in short, argues that superstition—by which, we should be clear, he means Catholicism—is a corrupting influence in society. He goes so far as to say that even atheism is better than superstition, because, in his words, it is "better to have no opinion of God at all, than such...

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Bacon, in short, argues that superstition—by which, we should be clear, he means Catholicism—is a corrupting influence in society. He goes so far as to say that even atheism is better than superstition, because, in his words, it is "better to have no opinion of God at all, than such an opinion as is unworthy of him." Atheism at least leaves open the possibility that a man might embrace philosophy, laws, and other avenues for critical thought, whereas superstition blunts these things. He argues that superstition is a corrupting influence on the minds of men, leading them to shape their observations and theories about the workings of nature around already-held beliefs, rather than the other way around.

In other words, Bacon sees superstition as antithetical to the process of inductive reasoning and critical thinking he so valued. Ultimately, superstition actually deformed the very religious belief it was supposed to buttress. So superstition, in Bacon's view, was destructive to man's intellectual, religious, and civil life. His counterargument, such as it is, is that in eliminating superstition from religion, people should be careful not to quash belief itself:

There is a superstition in avoiding superstition, when men think to do best if they go furthest from the superstition formerly received; therefore care would be had that (as if fareth in ill purgings) the good be not taken away with the bad; which commonly is done when the people is the reformer.

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