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Averroes and theologists about the masses In short, the philosophers believe that religious laws are necessary

political arts [].1 But to discuss these questions with the masses2 is like bringing poisons to the bodies of many animals, for which they are real poisons. Poisons, however, are relative, and what is poison for one animal is nourishment for another. The same applies to ideas in relation to men; that is, there are ideas which are poison for one type of men, but which are nourishment for another type. And the man who regards all ideas as fit for all types of men is like one who gives all things as nourishment for all people; the man, however, who forbids free inquiry to the mature is like one who regards all nourishment as poison for everyone. But this is not correct, for there are things which are poison for one type of man and nourishment for another type. And the man who brings poison to him for whom it is really poison merits punishment, although it may be nourishment for another, and similarly the man who forbids poison to a man for whom it is really nourishment so that this man may die without it, he too must be punished. And it is in this way that the question must be understood. But when the wicked and ignorant transgress and bring poison to the man for whom it is really poison, as if it were nourishment, then there is need of a physician who through his science will exert himself to heal that man, and for this reason we have allowed ourselves to discuss this problem in such a book as this, and in any other case we should not regard this as permissible to us; on the contrary, it would be one of the greatest crimes, or a deed of the greatest wickedness on earth, and the punishment of the wicked is a fact well known in the Holy Law. And since it is impossible to avoid the discussion of this problem, let us treat it in such a way as is possible in this place for those who do not possess the preparation and mental training needed before entering upon speculation about it3.4

Averroes, Tahafut al-tahafut (http://www.muslimphilosophy.com/ir/tt/), The Fourth Discussion (About the Natural Sciences). 2 To discuss if God is like some religions says (God is like a father that gives heaven to the good ones and hell to the bad ones), or like philosophers says (God as the formal cause of Nature: the only eternal beings). 3 Averroes could have said: The philosophers dont need fairy tales, their reason brings the better way to live for all of us. They are agreed with the religions moral essence, because they know that if all people wouldnt respect it (almost everybody is very irrational, they must live guided as children, few can safely be their own leader), the society and its members couldnt survive. 4 Id., The Sixth Discussion.