“I never meant to write atheistically” : reevaluating religion in the writings of Charles Darwin.
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Pickles, Morrissey G., 1991-
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This thesis will argue that although much has been written about Charles Darwin, his religion has often been misrepresented or oversimplified into a linear trend of secularization leading to atheism. Instead, I will argue here that the best classification for Charles Darwin’s religion is as a theistic agnostic who experienced times of belief as well as times of doubt throughout his entire life. This work will focus primarily on Darwin’s private correspondence and after arguing Darwin was a theistic agnostic, will examine how this theistic agnosticism affected his thoughts on the subjects of slavery, design in nature, and aesthetic beauty.