Voltaire The Rogue Thinker

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Voltaire: The Rogue Thinker "God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh" (New World Encyclopedia), once said the French Enlightenment writer, Voltaire. Ever since he began to become popular in Europe, Voltaire had an intense dedication to his beliefs. This offset the fact that he never created a philosophy of his own. He was a man of ideas rather than systems, and he used his works to criticize them. Attacking religion because of its systems, Voltaire gathered a great deal of attention both good and bad. Due to his controversies, Voltaire was exiled twice from France; yet, he continued to write more about his beliefs and gathered a massive following. Voltaire connected to his audience through many different outlets including…show more content…
One of his most famous works was Candide. It was written thirty years after his exile to England and inspired by influential people at the time, including Alexander Pope, Jonathan Swift, and Isaac Newton. In this novel, Voltaire expresses his disliking of optimism and how it is merely “false hope.” He believed that although we are sometimes put into bad situations, they would not always result in a greater good. The world is naturally evil, and evil is bound to exist in the universe one way or another. Voltaire also “expressed his contempt towards organized religion and its disregard for human suffering” (Khan). All of the novel’s characters were forced into tragic circumstances as they struggled to try to fit in with how the church viewed things. Phrases such as “all is for the best” and “the best of all possible worlds” was nonsense to Voltaire. Throughout the novel, he continued to debate about evil’s existence in the universe. In doing so, he also attacked other people’s philosophies and literary texts. Voltaire also discussed the absurdity of war, fanaticism, dogmatism, and stupidity. Another one of Voltaire’s works was in 1734 when he wrote Letters on the English Nation, which elaborated on Newton’s ideas in relation to Descartes’. It explained how Newton’s system is dependent on Descartes’ earlier work, a dependence deemed…show more content…
Even after being exiled two times from his home country, he still continued to encourage reform through multiple genres of writing. He was able to write any genres and express his philosophy. Although unoriginal, his philosophy still appealed to a wide range of people. Voltaire was a criticizer of the church who wrote multiple compositions, one of which was Candide, to attack them. Not only did he attack the Church, he also criticized other philosophers and their works as well. As a man of science, Voltaire looked up to and respected the works of Isaac Newton, writing many documents about his work. His works of the Enlightenment era eventually shaped Western philosophy as we know it today. Voltaire, although insane, was one of the most influential writers of the
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