Voltaire’s Candide: Prejudices Against Religion and State

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Prejudices Against Religion and State in Candide Voltaire has strong viewpoints that become very obvious when reading his work Candide. Candide is a collection of criticisms that immortalize Voltaire's Controversial thoughts and prejudices against religion and state. Voltaire had a negative view on government as he wrote in Candide: "let us work without arguing, that is the only way to make life endurable." Voltaire accepted the Royalists and rejected the parliamentary interpretation of the French constitution, but he was willing to concede that the legal position was not clear. (Gay 111) Voltaire said," the very word parliament makes up part of it's power and parliament is nothing under a vigorous government, it is every thing under a feeble king. All the more reason for kings to be feeble with their rebellious magistrates. (Gay 111) Supreme authority which may be abused, is dangerous, but a divided authority is even more so. Voltaire admitted that his own gratitude was dimmed by Louis XIV's numberless failures, and the king's achievements fell short of what he might have done. (Gay 113) Measured against Louis's opportunities, his accomplishments became less impressive. Voltaire put criticism in the mouth of a Roman citizen addressing his county's officials."o you, who take pride in being good, why do you not do all the good you can do?" Voltaire expresses in chapter twenty one in Candide, his anti-war campaign which ultimately translates to anti government. In the 1760's Voltaire developed the philosophy that repression is necessary, but it must be rational. Voltaire's land of Eldarado,in Candide, has no prisons but, it is a utopia. The only justification for repression is political rather t... ... middle of paper ... ..., incoherent maxims, without taste, without selection, and without design. If the Song of Songs in an inept rhapsody, what shall we think of a religion that urges men to believe them to be of divine inspiration? In a word, the vileness and absurdity of the biblical Jews demonstrates the vileness and absurdity of Christianity." (Gay 354) These statements illustrate Voltaire's views toward religion. Voltaire strong viewpoints are clearly expressed throughout his work Candide. Candide is a collection of criticisms that immortalize Voltaire's controversial thoughts and prejudices against religion and state. Bibliography Andrews, Wayne. Voltaire. New York: New Directions Pub. 1981 Gay, Peter. Voltaire's Politics.New York: Random House,1965 Weitz, Morris. Philosophy in literature. Detroit: Wayne State Univ. Press.1963

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