About God – 4

June 16, 2010

Kindly read the first article of this series : https://rajeevne.wordpress.com/2010/06/14/about-god-1/


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Voltaire ran a tirade against dogmas and the then practices in church throughout his life. He tries to trace the Christian religion to Greece, Egypt and India. The distinction between religion and superstition is the main theme of his thinking.

It is very difficult to abridge his treaties which should be read in original. To summarize his early writings,

  • It is profligate to define what is God, Angels and Mind because we even do not know why we move our arms at will (- We know now a little!), and we do not know what matter is beyond what we see by a microscope. Let us first understand what matter is and then we can comment further.
  • Even the best of mathematicians only made romances with Philosophy. However, it seems very presumptuous to deny that He exists.
  • We can weigh, measure, observe – This is the natural Philosophy. Rest is fantasy.
  • The first divine was the first rogue who met his first fool. However, since the religion has lasted for (then) 1700 years, it must be divine.
  • I believe in a General Providence, a law which governs everything, but not a particular providence.
  • Why mankind boasts that they alone are gifted with immortality and spirituality? If a peacock could speak tomorrow, he will definitely say that he has soul and it is in his tail.
  • A society of atheists can exist, if only they are also philosophers.
  • If God did not exist, it would be good to invent it. There should be God for my tailor, lawyer and my wife so that they deceive me less.

Later however, he agrees about his faith in ‘his’ God, a universal God, which persuades a man to do good, and that it is everybody’s creed to submit to God.

On death bed when a first priest arrived, Voltaire asked for his credentials. When the second priest refused to absolve Voltaire unless he wrote a confession, Voltaire dictated his last words as follows: I die adoring God, loving my friends, not hating my enemies and detesting superstition.


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