Source: Superstition In All Ages, Jean Meslier

Does it require the efforts of genius to comprehend that what is beyond man, is not made for men; that what is supernatural, is not made for natural beings;

that impenetrable mysteries are not made for limited minds?

If theologians are foolish enough to dispute about subjects which they acknowledge to be unintelligible to themselves, should society take a part in their foolish quarrels? Must human blood flow in order to give value to the conjectures of a few obstinate visionists? If it is very difficult to cure the theologians of their mania and the people of their prejudices, it is at least very easy to prevent the extravagances of the one and the folly of the other from producing pernicious effects. Let each one be allowed to think
as he chooses, but let him not be allowed to annoy others for their mode of thinking.

If the chiefs of nations were more just and more sensible, theological opinions would not disturb the public tranquillity any more than the disputes of philosophers, physicians, grammarians, and of critics. It is the tyranny of princes which makes theological quarrels have serious consequences. When kings shall cease to meddle with theology, theological quarrels will no longer be a thing to fear.

Those who boast so much upon the importance and usefulness of religion, ought to show us its beneficial results, and the advantages that the disputes and abstract speculations of theology can bring to porters, to artisans, to farmers, to fishmongers, to women, and to so many depraved servants, with whom the large cities are filled. People of this kind are all religious, they have implicit faith; their priests believe for them; they accept a faith unknown to their guides; they listen assiduously to sermons; they assist regularly in ceremonies; they think it a great crime to transgress the ordinances to which from childhood they have been taught to conform.
What good to morality results from all this? None whatever; they have no idea of morality, and you see them indulge in all kinds of rogueries, frauds, rapine, and excesses which the law does not punish. The masses, in truth, have no idea of religion; what is called religion, is but a blind attachment to unknown opinions and mysterious dealings. In fact, to deprive the people of religion, is depriving them of nothing. If we should succeed in destroying their prejudices, we would but diminish or annihilate the dangerous
confidence which they have in self−interested guides, and teach them to beware of those who, under the pretext of religion, very often lead them into fatal excesses.

Source: Superstition In All Ages, Jean Meslier

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: