The Enlightenment Was Rife With Skepticism, Self-Reliance

1578 WordsApr 27, 20177 Pages
The Enlightenment was rife with skepticism, self-reliance and discovery. Voltaire’s Candide boasts each within its three main themes; the critique of philosophical systems (optimism, pessimism, and empiricism,) along with social criticism, and utopian ideologies. Voltaire viciously attacks the Church, the Aristocracy, and the Military. This was perfectly in line with the core ideals behind the enlightenment, a time where philosophers believed in using reason and scientific experiments in lieu of Christian dogma and tradition. Voltaires Candide perfectly encapsulates the ideology behind the Enlightenment through its’ illustrious acrimony and skepticism against the church, military, and philosophical systems. The Old Regime upheld…show more content…
It does him little good as he is then hung. Friars are to remain impoverished, it is ironic that this Friar so feverishly wanted over such possessions. Later on, Friar Giroflee admits he hates his profession and in addition, admits to caring only for personal wealth and gain, “It is true I have preached a few bad sermons the have brought me in a little money, of which the prior stole half, while the rest serves to maintain my girls.” (Voltaire: 68) Not only is this a confession of the money hungry church, it is also another example of promiscuity within the church, as he is using the money from his “bad” sermons to pay for prostitutes such as Paquette. Voltaire seeks to reveal the corruption in the old regime. Not only was there corruption in the church, there was corruption in the military hence the heavy criticism of the military abundant in Candide. An example of this scorning is when Candide is forced into the Bulgarian army after toasting to the Bulgarian King, “‘He is the best of kings, and we must drink to his health’” said the Bulgarian, to which Candide replied “Oh! Very willingly, gentlemen,’ and he drank. ‘That is enough’ they tell him. ‘Now you are the help - the hero of the bulgarians.’” (Candide: 4) With the sip of a drink, Candide is enlisted, tricked into joining the Bulgarian army where he is severely beaten and almost dies, until the Bulgarian King

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