The wisdom of Voltaire

The wisdom of Voltaire

I am a fan of Voltaire’s wisdom, even though he wasn’t a Christian.

Here are four examples of his wisdom that have in the past blown me away:

According to Wikipedia “François-Marie Arouet; 21 November 1694 – 30 May 1778), known by his nom de plume Voltaire, was a French Enlightenment writer, historian, and philosopher famous for his wit, his criticism of Christianity—especially the Roman Catholic Church—and of slavery, as well as his advocacy of freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and separation of church and state. Voltaire was a versatile and prolific writer, producing works in almost every literary form, including plays, poems, novels, essays, histories, and scientific expositions. He wrote more than 20,000 letters and 2,000 books and pamphlets. He was one of the first authors to become renowned and commercially successful internationally. He was an outspoken advocate of civil liberties and was at constant risk from the strict censorship laws of the Catholic French monarchy. His polemics witheringly satirized intolerance, religious dogma, and the French institutions of his day. His best-known work and magnum opus, Candide, is a novella which comments on, criticizes, and ridicules many events, thinkers, and philosophies of his time.”

One of my favourite books is “Candide” whose main character saw and experienced all sorts of suffering yet kept his optimism albeit somewhat fatalistic. I still smile at the way the book ended “”All that is very well,” answered Candide, “but let us cultivate our garden.”” One Google search came up with “Details “Candide” is Voltaire’s most famous work, a satirical masterpiece, which was first published in 1759. It is the story of its central character, the titular Candide, who lives a sheltered comfortable life and has been indoctrinated into the philosophy of Leibnizian optimism, by his mentor, Professor Pangloss.”

A Google search came up with the first “hit” seven more examples of Voltaire wisdom (no doubt there is lots more), which some three hundred years after he shared this with the world remains remarkably relevant.

“Judge of a man by his questions rather than by his answers.” – Voltaire

“Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.” – Voltaire

“Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” – Voltaire

“The secret of being a bore is to tell everything.” – Voltaire

“It is better to risk saving a guilty man than to condemn an innocent one.” – Voltaire

“Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in …

“Common sense is not so common.” – Voltaire


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