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Tolerance

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Caroline Warman

46. Condorcet, Anti-superstitious Almanack1

Texte intégral

  • 1 Nicolas de Condorcet (1743-1794), Almanach anti-superstitieux, ed. Anne-Marie Chouillet, Pierre Cré (...)

1Condorcet, in full rebellion, details the foul punishments set out for those convicted of blasphemy.

2This is a record of Louis XIV’s 1666 blasphemy laws. Blasphemers are condemned to different punishments according to the number of repeat offences. On the sixth offence the upper lip will be cut off, on the seventh the lower lip, then the whole tongue on the eighth. These punishments are only for minor cases of swearing or blasphemy; for gross blasphemy, which according to theology comes under the heading of unbelief, judges are given the right to arbitrarily inflict more severe punishments.

3It is hard to decide what is more repellent about this edict – its cruelty, its stupidity, or the sheer ignorance it displays of the most elementary principles of jurisprudence.

4What is even stranger is that in a compilation published in 1765 (note the date), and under the title of Penal Code, the author urges his reader to peruse the disgusting list of our laws against blasphemy so as to be righteously horrified by a crime which has become all too common and which is barely any longer prosecuted to the extent that it should be.

Notes

1 Nicolas de Condorcet (1743-1794), Almanach anti-superstitieux, ed. Anne-Marie Chouillet, Pierre Crépel, and Henri Duranton, Université de Saint-Étienne/CNRS Éditions, 1992, pp. 1 and 14.