The Marquis de Sade and religion
The « essays » of Sade’s characters are usually made of a collection of all the reasons advanced against the reality of God as in the Dialogue between a priest and a dying man which ends by « a tongue in the cheek », as says Jacques Lacan in his Kant with Sade, when finally, after all, we must keep in « the love of our fellow creature ».The priest yields to the temptation of six women sensually in charge of the dying man who tells him : « Take your share, try to forget, on the pillow of their bosoms, all the empty fallacies of religious belief ».
What is left if God does not exist ? There still is the might of the Nature World unconcerned by right or wrong, unrolling its fixed laws. But precisely, it is too immutable for the spirit of negation became the spirit of destruction : we should alter this too regular course of the stars ( it is what Madame d’Esterval asks for in the New Justine and to what agrees Sade in a foot-note ! ).
However there is an even more paradoxical figure, it’s the character of Saint-Fond who sustains the assertion of the soul and of a God in the Story of Juliette. Why ?
It is, says he, « when I sacrifice someone to my ambition or my lust, I would like to extend the sufferings beyond the immenseness of time, make them eternal, and I will delight in the delicious pleasure of extending them far outside the bounds of eternity, if eternity could have such bounds ».As far sadism can go, is clear enough !
So comes the argument of Saint-Fond, not of atheism, but of « the Supreme Being of wickedness » which is not a Manicheism, because there is only one god ( Manicheism is the religious system that represents two equal eternal forces : Goodness and Evil ), « the Supreme Being of malfeasance » !
The spirit of negation takes here a special form.
Patrice Tardieu, writer and translator of this text.
: reasons advanced against the reality of God, priest yielding to the temptation, women sensually in charge of a dying man, the pillow of their bosoms, the empty fallacies of religious belief, might of the Nature World, unconcerned by right or wrong, Nature’s fixed laws, spirit of negation, spirit of destruction, regular course of stars, to insult Nature, belief, blasphemy, free thinkers, impious words, challenge to God, remains of religion, ambition, lust, extend the sufferings beyond the immenseness of time, beyond the bounds of eternity, sadism, atheism, Manicheism, the Supreme Being of Wickedness, the supreme Being of maleficence, the Supreme Being of malfeasance.
: Sade, Lacan.
Key works: Dialogue between a priest and a dying man, Kant with Sade, the new Justine, Story of Juliette, Writings
( of Jacques Lacan).
Key word ( Greek):