what did voltaire believe about mankind?

3 Answers

  • 9 years ago
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    Voltaire perceived the French bourgeoisie to be too small and ineffective, the aristocracy to be parasitic and corrupt, the commoners as ignorant and superstitious, and the church as a static and oppressive force useful only as a counterbalance since its "religious tax" or the tithe helped to create a strong backing for revolutionaries. Voltaire distrusted democracy, which he saw as propagating the idiocy of the masses. Voltaire long thought only an enlightened monarch could bring about change, given the social structures of the time and the extremely high rates of illiteracy, and that it was in the king's rational interest to improve the education and welfare of his subjects. But his disappointments and disillusions with Frederick the Great changed his philosophy somewhat, and soon gave birth to one of his most enduring works, his novella, Candide, ou l'Optimisme (Candide, or Optimism, 1759), which ends with a new conclusion: "It is up to us to cultivate our garden". His most polemical and ferocious attacks on intolerance and religious persecutions indeed began to appear a few years later. Candide was also subject to censorship and Voltaire jokingly claimed the actual author was a certain "Demad" in a letter, where he reaffirmed the main polemical stances of the text.

    Voltaire is also known for many memorable aphorisms, such as: "Si Dieu n'existait pas, il faudrait l'inventer" ("If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him"), contained in a verse epistle from 1768, addressed to the anonymous author of a controversial work, The Three Impostors. But far from being the cynical remark it is often taken for, it was meant as a retort to the atheistic clique of d'Holbach, Grimm, and others.

    Voltaire is remembered and honored in France as a courageous polemicist who indefatigably fought for civil rights—the right to a fair trial and freedom of religion—and who denounced the hypocrisies and injustices of the ancien régime. The ancien régime involved an unfair balance of power and taxes between the First Estate (the clergy), the Second Estate (the nobles), and the Third Estate (the commoners and middle class, who were burdened with most of the taxes).

    Voltaire has had his detractors among his later colleagues. The Scottish Victorian writer Thomas Carlyle argued that, while Voltaire was unsurpassed in literary form, not even the most elaborate of his works were of much value for matter and that he never uttered an original idea of his own.

    He often used China, Siam and Japan as examples of brilliant non-European civilizations and harshly criticized slavery.

    The town of Ferney, where Voltaire lived out the last 20 years of his life, is now named Ferney-Voltaire in honor of its most famous resident. His château is a museum.

    Voltaire's library is preserved intact in the National Library of Russia at St. Petersburg, Russia.

    In Zurich 1916, the theater and performance group who would become the early avant-garde movement Dada named their theater The Cabaret Voltaire. A late-20th-century industrial music group then named themselves after the theater.

    A character based on Voltaire plays an important role in The Age of Unreason, a series of four alternative history novels written by American science fiction and fantasy author Gregory Keyes.

    Voltaire was also known to have been an advocate for coffee, as he was purported to have drunk the beverage at least 30 times per day. It has been suggested that high amounts of caffeine acted as a mental stimulant to his creativity.

    His great grand-niece was the mother of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a famous writer and Jesuit priest.

  • Voltaire had an enormous influence on the development of historiography, through his demonstration of fresh new ways to look at the past. His best-known histories are The Age of Louis XIV (1752), and Essay on the Customs and the Spirit of the Nations (1756). He broke from the tradition of narrating diplomatic and military events, and emphasized customs, social history and achievements in the arts and sciences. The Essay on customs traced the progress of world civilization in a universal context, thereby rejecting both nationalism and the traditional Christian frame of reference. Influenced by Bossuet's Discourse on the Universal history (1682), he was the first scholar to make a serious attempt to write the history of the world, eliminating theological frameworks, and emphasizing economics, culture and political history. He treated Europe as a whole, rather than a collection of nations. He was the first to emphasize the debt of medieval culture to Arab civilization, but otherwise was weak on the Middle Ages. Although he repeatedly warned against political bias on the part of the historian, he did not miss many opportunities to ridicule the Catholic Church. Voltaire advised scholars that anything contradicting the normal course of nature was not to be believed. Although he found evil in the historical record, he fervently believed reason would lead to progress.

  • jigar
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    definitely i think of it is the corporate of ability it is greater divisive than something. think of roughly maximum worldwide places? what proportion wars have been waged by way of fact one team become greater useful than yet another team? Or one team of people become in poverty by way of oppression of yet another team? permit's placed the blame the place it extremely belongs. not on God, yet on the fact that people are self-searching for. in case you look on the coaching interior the bible, you will see that a individual who's following after God's heart does not seek for self-glory or egocentric skill. And from what I understand, maximum religions while practiced of their maximum staggering sort are actually not approximately egocentric motivations. What happens is that people corrupt those teachings or use faith by way of fact the excuse responsible for the ills in society. So, the corporate of ability is what corrupts society. And egocentric ambition isn't unique to any relgion. it is unique to human nature.

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