The Absurdity of Religious Prohibitions

I find these singular precepts opposed to nature and contrary to reason: they needs must multiply the number of crimes and continually annoy the old workman, who has made everything without the help of head, hands, or tools, who exists everywhere and is to be seen nowhere; who endures to-day and to-morrow and is never a day the older; who commands and is never obeyed; who can prevent and does not do so. These precepts are contrary to nature because they presuppose that a thinking, feeling, free being can be the property of another like himself. Upon what can this right be founded? Do you not see that, in your country,you have mixed up two different things? That which has neither feeling, thought, desire nor will, and which one can take, keep or exchange, without its suffering or complaining; and that which cannot be exchanged or acquired; which has liberty, will, desires; which can give itself and refuse itself for a single instant, or for ever; which complains and suffers; which could not become a mere article of commerce without its character being forgotten and violence done to its nature? These precepts are contrary to the general law of existence. Does anything really appear to thee more senseless than a precept which refuses to admit the change which is in ourselves; which insists on a constancy which has no counterpart in us and which violates the liberty of male and female, by chaining them for ever one to theother; more senseless than a constancy which confines the most capricious of pleasures to a single person, than an oath of immutability between two fleshly beings in the face of a heaven which is not a moment the same: under caverns that threaten ruin, beneath a rock that falls in powder, at the foot of a tree that cracks, upon a stone that breaks in pieces? Believe me, you have made the condition of men worse than that of animals. I know not who thy great workman is.But I am glad he has never spoken to our fathers and I hope he never speaks to our children. For he might say the same silly things to them and they might be sillyenough to believe him. Yesterday at supper thou toldest of magistrates and priests,whose authority rules your conduct. But tell me, are they lords of good and evil? Can they make what is just unjust, and what is unjust just?


Dialog from a foreigner confused by religious laws.

Folksonomies: religion morals

/society/social institution/divorce (0.810463)
/family and parenting/children (0.750981)
/religion and spirituality (0.698973)

Single person (0.917900): dbpedia_resource
Religion (0.862445): dbpedia_resource
Morality (0.848181): dbpedia_resource
Law (0.766351): dbpedia_resource
Ontology (0.740762): dbpedia_resource
Grammatical person (0.711741): dbpedia_resource
Existence (0.709369): dbpedia_resource
God (0.686975): dbpedia_resource

 Voyage of Bougainville
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Diderot, Denis (1772), Voyage of Bougainville, Retrieved on 2021-10-17
Folksonomies: philosophy pleasure