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Age of Reason Essay example

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An Age of Reason “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.” This brief quotation was spoken by the famous writer and philosopher Voltaire; I believe it vaguely points out that some people are full of absurd ideas, and for others to follow such nonsense is foolish. The quote is just a taste of Voltaire’s wisdom and knowledge of the world, during the Age of Reason. The Age of Reason or The Enlightenment is defined as a change in not just a way of thinking, but an establishment of values and rational actions. “Based on Immanuel Kant’s essay “What is Enlightenment?” it is the freedom to use one's own intelligence (Strathern 63). Enlightenment thinkers believed in the powers of humankind and saw…show more content…
According to WA State University Paul Brians, Voltaire was struggling to assert the values of freedom and tolerance in a culture where the twin fortresses of monarchy and Church opposed almost everything they stood for” (Para 10). Voltaire spent a great deal of time focusing on an attack The Church, because to speak out against the monarchy would almost certainly mean death. “Voltaire could skillfully cite one Christian against another to make his arguments…One way to undermine the power of the Church was to undermine its credibility, so Voltaire attacked the fundamentals of Christian belief: the inspiration of the Bible, the incarnation of God in Jesus Christ, and the damnation of unbelievers” (Brians 10). A great example of his attack and strong beliefs would be in his work, “Dictionnaire Philosophique” in this work Voltaire primarily focuses on the injustice of the Catholic Church. In my opinion, Voltaire’s hope of the world was for man to be unshackled from the chains that bind humanity in a pit of ignorance, and I believe that one of the shackles is the Catholic Church. The Churches power throughout history has kept the common man brainless and Voltaire recognized this; so he sought to fight with words the right for man to say or do what he wants. An example, of his religious views is his well known work, “L’Ingenu”. All though I think of Voltaire as an optimist in his own way, John Gray concludes from Voltaire’s magnificent writing, and
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