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Candide. Everything Has a Cause Essay

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Candide is a novel that makes sarcasm on lots of aspects. For example, it satirizes one philosophical idea that “there is no effect without a cause”. As a philosopher who believes that everything has its own purpose, I feel offended by Voltaire’s Candide after reading this novel at my local Salon, since what Voltaire attacked, cause and effect, had been proved in our real life hundreds of years ago by scientific revolution, from which the idea of cause and effect emerged: events take place for specific reasons and they follow their unique laws, not operated by supernatural force or just happened to be there.
Pangloss is one of the most significant figures around Candide. His central philosophy that “things cannot be other than they are, since everything was made for a purpose” (Voltaire 20) has been attacked by Voltaire in Candide. Voltaire criticized Pangloss’s philosophy by using the story of Candide killing Baron’s son – Cunégonde’s brother. Candide told Baron that he wanted to marry his sister, and Baron exclaimed to disagree. Irritated by Baron’s words, Candide killed him. Later Candide and his servant escaped, but they were caught by Oreillons and were ready to be eaten until Candide told them that he was not a Jesuit as he killed one Jesuit – Baron. Because of this, Candide was freed from being eaten, and he said:
What grand people they are! What fine fellows! And what culture! If I had not been lucky enough to spit Lady Cunégonde’s brother, I should infallibly have been eaten. What all is said and done, there is a sterling goodness in an unsophisticated Nature…
Candide believed that the effect of him not being eaten is caused by the fact that he killed Baron and hence he was naively “full of admiration” to those peopl...


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...ongly influenced by scientific revolution, the spirit of skepticism, brought forward by Pierre Bayle, also showed to us that there is cause and effect. He emphasized that nothing can ever be known beyond all doubt, and being skeptic encourages people to discover people why things take place. In other words, people should begin to focus more on reasoning rather than accepting the fact that “natural force” affects our life.
From scientific revolution to our current era of Enlightenment to the emergence of skepticism, cause and effect kept playing a great role in leading scientists and philosophers to move forward. Consequently, Voltaire’s attack of cause and effect seemed to be gossamer and powerless since in our daily life, cause and effect can help us understand things that happen in our life and its impact on everyone living in Enlightenment cannot be overlooked.



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