Profession of a Savoyard Vicar

I don’t know the name of the Vicar.  Rousseau introduces this conversation in Emile. If you are going to read it, you may need to have coffee brewing, a lot of it, you will need it.

Before I say anything about it, I find this priest and Jean Messlier so apart in their conclusions. Messlier in his testament to his parishioners finds no use for religion and another thinks religion useful and that there is a god. Messlier concluded a people led by prelates were a very unhappy lot.

The Savoyard Vicar on the contrary tells his audience that reason has brought him to the conclusion there is a god. He says to ask a person to change his religion is unjust.

There are a few areas of great elucidation. For example the debate between reason and dogma. For a brief moment I thought he would arrive at a very reasonable conclusion only to tells us the bible is this and that.

The vicar can be forgiven for believing in intelligent design, writing many years before Darwin.

The priest is however proud of humanity. He says we should not insult ourselves by comparing our folk with other brutes. He says we should thank our maker for making us human.

Even with all his religion, I think this priest was a good man.