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February 13, 2006

Jean Meslier

Meslier's Church.bmp
The story of this French priest (This was his church) is surely one of the great tales in the history of disbelief. After performing his duties irreproachably until his death in 1733, Father Meslier left beyond three copies of a Memoire, addressed to his parishioners, with his true thoughts:

"...As a priest I had no choice but to fulfill my ministry, but how I suffered when I was forced to preach to you those pious falsehoods that I detested with all my heart. What contempt I felt for my ministry, and particularly for the superstitious mass and the ridiculous administration of the sacraments, especially when they had to be carried out with a solemnity that attracted your piety and excited your credulity? A thousand times I was on the point of publicly exploding. I wanted to open your eyes, but a fear stronger than my strength suddenly held me back, and forced me to remain silent until my death...."

Makes you wonder: How much disbelief was being hidden? What thoughts today are being hidden? Or has humankind suddenly developed moral courage?

Posted by Mitchell Stephens at February 13, 2006 10:27 PM


Is your book going to propose that disbelievers are better (more courageous, more highly evolved) than believers?

Posted by: K.G. Schneider at February 16, 2006 11:48 AM

Gee, K.G., I hope not. What I meant by moral courage is the strength to stand up for what you believe -- no matter what the cost. Lots more believers have shown that than nonbelievers, but, of course, it may be easier to suffer for your beliefs if you think your suffering will eventually be rewarded. Don't want to be too high and mighty here. Can't say I would be any more willing to ruin my life for the sake of saying what I believed than Meslier (before he died) was.

Posted by: mitch at February 16, 2006 4:44 PM

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