Analysis Of Voltaire 's Candide By One Of The Most Famous Works Of Enlightenment

2128 Words Sep 22nd, 2016 9 Pages
Voltaire’s Candide is one of the most famous works of the Enlightenment. Voltaire questions a huge variety of ideas and social establishments through his satire, including the philosophy of Optimism promoted by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. It is generally accepted that Candide disputes Leibniz ' optimism; there are many instances that indicate this in the text, especially surrounding the Eldorado episode.
Optimism is the idea that God created the “best of all possible worlds” (Leibniz 228), and that the presence of evil is not something that God cooperates in but is something that God merely permits and directs at good (183). He makes the assumption that “we have no need of revealed faith to know that there is such a sole principle of things [a God], entirely good and wise” (98), not questioning whether God is both good and wise. He moves from this argument into arguing that it must be accepted that everything happens for a reason, and that we are simply not capable of understanding it (99). Since, he argues, God is unquestionably all-good and all-wise, he concludes that evil must have been summarily unavoidable, thus his philosophy of “all is well” and “this is the best of all possible worlds.”
Leibniz starts his Theodicy with the question of “the conformity of faith with reason” (73).

He defines reason like so:

. . . that two truths cannot contradict each other; that the object of faith is the truth God has revealed in an extraordinary way; and that reason is the linking…

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