Friday, November 30, 2012

Voltaire and Religion

Why does Voltaire criticize organized religion throughout the book and then have Eldorado, a Utopia-esque society, seem like a religious place? He does halfway maintain this criticism by cutting out the popes and priests and bishops, but they still pray to God everyday. I think it would be interesting to see a place untouched by religion, and see if it is true when people say religion has cause many wars. I personally think that people would find something to fight about, regardless of whether or not religion is involved. But essentially why do you guys think Voltaire maintained this reference to God, and what do you think a place without religion would be like?

1 comment:

Laura N said...

The people of El Dorado seem almost offended when Candid suggests that they didnt have a god, or that they had multiple ones. So I think Voltaire has no problem with God. I think he has a major problem with organized religion and perversion of religion. He may favor more of an individualized relationship with god, rather than one with corrupt priests as spiritual intermediates. Voltaire might wonder as some people do today: how can a priest/clergy member absolve you of sins, interpret the bible for you and tell you how to live a good Christian life when they are human themselves, commits sins just like a lay person(perhaps worse)?

I sometimes wonder what the world would be like without religion too. I think it would not be lawless or lack morality. I think humans have a need for order and an innate sense of right and wrong so there really is no need for religion, except that it is comforting to believe someone/something cares about you and that you are part of something bigger. We'd still have war and atrocities but maybe not any more than what we already have had and do have.