Pages 4 and 5 of Jeremiah Head's diary

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Diary of Jeremiah Head, railway engineer for Robert Stephenson and Co, part founder of Fox, Head and Co
Head, Jeremiah

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[Page 4]

Are they to be debarred from justice because they are silly? The idiot & the madman pleads by his next friend or “committee” Surely the foolish sceptic ought not to be simply kicked out of court under fire of abuse from an attorney”. [2]

It seems to me unjust that any man should denied justice on account of his religious opinions, whether they are the result of ignorance, weakness of mind, or honest conviction & this shows the desirableness of substituting affirmation for oaths in all cases.

But the editor despises the skeptic on the ground of his not being able to

[Page 5]

understand [underlined] the doctrine of a future state.

Have there never existed, & do there not now exist, men who disbelieve in a future state, not because they cannot understand [underlined] the doctrine but because they cannot believe it? [underlined]

It seems highly probable that the term sceptic, is derived from the Greek word σκεπτομάί to look about, to examine.

It certainly is intolerant & some might think that it betokened ignorance of men and manners, as well as of Greek, to set down all [underlined] religious sceptics as having either “imperfectly instructed minds” or “imperfectly developed intellects”.

[2] The full report appears in the Illustrated London News, Saturday 17 January 1857, p.33.

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