The Age of REASoN

Other writers, such as Swiss-born Jean-Jacques Rousseau (171278) in The Social Contract of 1762, likewise promoted the religion during a time in Europe that came to be called the Age of Reason. Rousseau argued for a secular religion that would alone be beneficial to society and would avoid the conflicts often engendered by Catholic or Protestant faiths. His religion would have just a few tenets that all people of goodwill would surely accept: There is a God who exists, and he is all-knowing. We have souls that survive death. God rewards the good and punishes the wicked, including those who do not live up to the obligations of their contracts.

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