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Whence the Opinion of innate Principles.       §24. When Men have found some general Propositions that could
not be doubted of, as soon as understood, it was, I know, a short and
easy way to conclude them innate. This being once received, it eased
the lazy from the pains of search, and stopp’d the enquiry of the
doubtful, concerning all that was once stiled innate: And it was of
no small advantage to those who affected to be Masters and
Teachers, to make this the Principle of Principles, That Principles
must not be questioned: For having once established this Tenet,
That there are innate Principles, it put their Followers upon a
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necessity of receiving some Doctrines as such; which was to take
them off from the use of their own Reason and Judgment, and put
them upon believing and taking them upon trust, without farther
examination: In which posture of blind Credulity, they might be
more easily governed by, and made useful to some sort of Men, who
had the skill and office to principle and guide them. Nor is it a
small power it gives one Man over another, to have the Authority
to be the Dictator of Principles, and Teacher of unquestionable
Truths; and to make a Man swallow that for an innate Principle,
which may serve to his purpose, who teacheth them. Whereas had
they examined the ways, whereby Men came to the knowledge of
many universal Truths, they would have found them to result in the
minds of Men, from the being of things themselves, when duly
considered; and that they were discovered by the application of
those Faculties, that were fitted by Nature to receive and judge of
them, when duly employ’d about them.
Locke Hum I, 4, §24, pp. 101-102