Calvin cites a number of thinkers in this vein:
Diagoras who mocked the religious through atheistic impiety
Dionysius who mocked heavenly judgment and Cicero who thinks religion can only gain strength with passing generations.
But Calvin mentions the approach taken by Plato that when the soul has grasped the knowledge of God it is transformed into his likeness. Gryllus (in the writings of Plutarch) reasons that if religion is absent then men are no different from brute beasts.
“Worship of God renders men higher than the brutes” .This is true today or is it?
So many people say that worship of God causes violence, division and hatred. Consider the evil of Islamic state violence or the divisions in South Africa or the Eastern bloc countries. Many of these have ideological or theological convictions at their roots. These are a diversion away from true religion to serve the desire of fallen human beings.
As Calvin says the world “tries as a far as it is able to cast away all knowledge of God and by every means corrupts the worship of him”. Whether this happens in the life of an individual or a nation the only certain thing would appear that it does happen. Calvin again shows us that his words and considerations are timeless. Can we heed his message?