I really like this book because it was written 127+ years before "On the Origin of Species", so in a way the arguments presented are of a purer nature using logic that is more understandable to theists. In a sense, it is a thesis on atheism by someone who spent his life as a theologian. Even during the time of "Enlightenment" it was dangerous to express atheistic ideas. Meslier takes on every conceivable argument against faith in God and does it within an Eighteenth Century context.


Men believe in God only upon the word of those who have no more idea of Him than they themselves. Our nurses are our first theologians; they talk to children of God as they talk to them of were-wolfs; they teach them from the most tender age to join the hands mechanically. Have the nurses clearer notions of God than the children, whom they compel to pray to Him?

Religion is handed down from fathers to children as the property of a family with the burdens. Very few people in the world would have a God if care had not been taken to give them one. Each one receives from his parents and his instructors the God which they themselves have received from theirs; only, according to his own temperament, each one arranges, modifies, and paints Him agreeably to his taste."

That is just a taste. This book is free on gutenberg.org:


Views: 32

Comment by Apple on July 18, 2011 at 5:26pm
That sounds really good.  I might have to give it a read through!
Comment by Jean Meslier on July 19, 2011 at 12:35pm
His life story alone, written by VOLTAIRE, is fascinating. Hope you like it.


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