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Single Idea 19852

[catalogued under 25. Society / B. The State / 8. Religion in Society]

Full Idea

Dogmas of civil religion should be simple. The existence of a powerful, intelligent, beneficent divinity that foresees and provides; the life to come; the happiness of the just; the punishment of the wicked; the sanctity of the social contract and laws.

Gist of Idea

Civil religion needs one supreme god, an afterlife, justice, and the sanctity of the social contract


Jean-Jacques Rousseau (The Social Contract (tr Cress) [1762], IV.8)

A Reaction

Notice that he gratuitously makes the social contract sacred (even though it can be voluntarily abandoned, and the general will can be changed). Presumably the foundation of any society, such as the ballot box, has to be sacred.

Book Reference

Rousseau,Jean-Jacques: 'The Basic Political Writings', ed/tr. Cress,Donald A. [Hackett 1987], p.226