— 719 —
Men not in so many Errours as is imagined.
      §18. But notwithstanding the great Noise is made in the World
about Errours and Opinions, I must do Mankind that Right, as to
say, There are not so many Men in Errours, and wrong Opinions, as is
commonly supposed. Not that I think they embrace the Truth; but
indeed, because, concerning those Doctrines they keep such a stir
about, they have no Thought, no Opinion at all. For if any one
should a little catechize the greatest part of the Partisans of most of
the Sects in the World, he would not find, concerning those Matters
they are so zealous for, that they have any Opinions of their own:
much less would he have Reason to think, that they took them
upon the Examination of Arguments, and Appearance of Probability.
They are resolved to stick to a Party, that Education or Interest has
engaged them in; and there, like the common Soldiers of an Army,
shew their Courage and Warmth, as their Leaders direct, without
ever examining, or so much as knowing the Cause they contend
for. If a Man’s Life shews, that he has no serious Regard to Religion;
for what Reason should we think, that he beats his Head about the
Opinions of his Church, and troubles himself to examine the grounds
of this or that Doctrine? ’Tis enough for him to obey his Leaders,
to have his Hand and his Tongue ready for the support of the com-
mon Cause, and thereby approve himself to those, who can give
him Credit, Preferment, or Protection in that Society. Thus Men
become Professors of, and Combatants for those Opinions, they
were never convinced of, nor Proselytes to; no, nor ever had so
much as floating in their Heads: And though one cannot say, there
are fewer improbable or erroneous Opinions in the World than
there are; yet this is certain, there are fewer, that actually assent to
them, and mistake them for truths, than is imagined.
Locke Hum IV, 20, §18, p. 719