Socrates And Voltaire: Relation Between Reason And Religion

649 Words3 Pages
Jason Iloulian
Professor Farley
Second Paper
Nov 10th – 2015
Do Socrates and Voltaire have the same view of the relation between reason and religion?
For the most part, one can sufficiently argue that both Socrates and Voltaire have the same view of the relation between reason and religion. Such a view is best summarized as the notion that religion is within the bounds of reason. As such, each philosopher believes that religion—including its creeds and tenets—are subject to reason and to inquisitions that are based on reason. Moreover, these philosophers also subscribe to the notion that religion should not influence various areas of religion, such as government, unless it can do so in a way that is reasonable. Numerous people and institutions during the course of the respective lives of each of these thinkers would have argued differently: that religion could supersede reason in some instances and govern over aspects of life that have traditionally, and most prudently, been under the subjugation of reason. These two philosophers, however, would argue the converse and never put religion above reason.
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Voltaire certainly believed in freedom of religious expression, which he actually found pivotal to the propagation of religion and its very realm of existence. He did not believe in circumscribing the way that individuals expressed their religious conviction. More importantly, perhaps, Voltaire also held firm in the conviction that there should be a distinction between church and state. This notion has proved fairly controversial throughout the course of Westernization; one of the reasons that Voltaire maintained this conviction was because he was aware of the tendency of ecclesiastical powers to surmount reason in governing due to the unrestrained sort of influence the church could

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