DS:- The idea of man’s being redeemed only trough the crucifixion of God’s only son seems a fairly tragic view of life. And then there may be the carrot of beatitude but there’s also the threat of hell. Don’t you think that believing Christian who felt that he was damned would prefer not to have an immortal soul than to live in eternal torment?

FB- No, I don’t. I think that people are so attached to their egos that they’d probably rather have the torment than simple annihilation.

DS- You’d prefer the torment yourself?
FB- Yes, I would, because, if I was in hell I would always feel I had a chance of escaping. I’d always be sure that I’d be able to escape.


DS- you have, of course, a very positive distance for all forms of religion- as much for what you call modern mysticism as for Christianity- so I don’t know you feel about this, but for me the sort of shallow hedonism, the just wanting to have a good time, by which most people seem to live now is a way to make life utterly boring.

FB- I absolute agree with you. I think that most people who have the fear of God are much more interesting than people who just live a kind of hedonistic and drifting life. On other hand, I can’t help admiring but despising them, living by a total falseness, which I think they are living by with their religious views. But, after all, the only thing that makes anybody interesting least be dedication and when there was religion they could at least dedicated to their religion, which was something. But I do think that, if you can find a person totally without belief, but totally dedicated to futility, then you will find the more exciting person.

in David Sykvester, Interviews with Francis Bacon (1975).