Meslier

1991 PY5. Discovered 1991 Aug. 6 by E. W. Elst at La Silla.

Named for the French priest and philosopher Jean Meslier (1664-1729). After his death, a 1200-page manuscript Lettres aux Cures du Voisinage was discovered. This showed him as a fervent atheist, materialist and revolutionist: "The real original sin of men is to be born in poverty, in misery, in dependence and tyranny of the mighty one. We must do everything to free them from this disgusting and damned sin." Although some copies of the manuscript circulated throughout the eighteenth century (eliciting comments from Voltaire and Holbach {see planets (5676) and (6956)}), the work was finally published only in 1864. (M 29148)

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