A treacherous friend is the most dangerous enemy; and I will say boldly, that both religion and virtue have received more real discredit from hypocrites than the wittiest profligates or infidels could ever cast upon them: nay, farther, as these two, in their purity, are rightly called the bands of civil society, and are indeed the greatest of blessings; so when poisoned and corrupted with fraud, pretence, and affectation, they have become the worst of civil curses, and have enabled men to perpetrate the most cruel mischiefs to their own species.
Upon the whole, it is not religion or virtue, but the want of them, which is here exposed. Had not Thwackum too much neglected virtue, and Square, religion, in the composition of their several systems, and had not both utterly discarded all natural goodness of heart, they had never been represented as the objects of derision in this history; in which we will now proceed. (3.4.3-5)
These are pretty strong words on the subject of religion and goodness! The narrator is saying, basically, that the worst non-believers and smartest evil-doers in the world have done less harm to ideas of religion and virtue than hypocrites have. So, it's the people who pretend they care so much about these two ideals but who truly don't who do the biggest amount of damage. Why does the narrator make this claim? Why is it so much worse to do evil in the name of good than just to be evil, outright? Can you think of any examples that might support the narrator's claim? How about counterexamples?