An Introduction to the annals of Marquis De Sade and the Enlightenment
Into the Abyss
Marquis de Sade and the Enlightenment
We are no guiltier in following a primitive impulses that govern us than may be the Nile on her behalf flood or the ocean on her behalf waves" - La Mettrie
The eighteenth century embraced a secularized France where the idea of utility, rather than of salvation, had been the principles where one lived. Nature and reason in lots of ways changed God. What this switch left however, was vacuum pressure for the motive of morality in culture. What would compel guys to behave if no omnipresent and all-powering God? The utilitarian idea that the best pleasure for the best good was able to reconcile the idea of a world questioning her religion but still seeking to affirm her old ideals and moral codes. Many enlightened thinkers like Montesquieu argued for an focus on social, over specific welfare, and offered it as a remedy left wide open by this vacuum.
This concept eventually developed to a redefinition of morality generally. Prior, morality and social laws and regulations were frigid and susceptible to the dictums of the Church. Now, these were accountable to general contemporary society, and not the individual's requirements. Voltaire writes, " Virtue and vice, moral very good and evil, is therefore in any country what's useful or bad for society Virtue may be the habit of doing those ideas which please men, and vice the behavior of doing those ideas which displease men." Consequentially, virtue and vice weren't occur stone decrees, but rather arbitrary notions designated to the whims of contemporary society.