The popular mind often associates scepticism with irreligion, and critical distance with unbelief. In this view, reason and faith, or scientific method and religious dogma, are not only different but indeed antagonistic means of viewing the world, understanding human existence, and conducting ones life. Pierre Bayles scepticism was of a singularly distinct sort. He argued not that religion is untrue, but that the discourses proper to theology and the discourses proper to philosophy are incapable of any meaningful exchange. Bayle sought to advance a secular morality that would be independent of both speculative theism and religious revelation. Bayle blazed a philosophical path that Denis Diderot, David Hume, and other Enlightenment thinkers would follow. The continuing significance of this work is its vigorous defence of complete religious toleration. It is in itself a primary historical source of our modern tradition of religious tolerance.
Pierre Bayle; Edited by John Kilcullen