Religious Hypocrisy In Voltaire's Candide

Religious Hypocrisy in Candide The concept of religious hypocrisy exists throughout the history of civilization and has led to strong opposition against organized religion. This theme was commonly addressed in the Enlightenment period, when Europeans began to evaluate the consequences of oppression caused by the Roman Catholic Church. Among these Europeans was a rebellious intellectual, Voltaire, who openly criticized the religious system in his literature. An example of his work is “Candide,” a story that portrays characters who hold positions in the church as immoral and disreputable. Through the use of religious antagonists in “Candide,” Voltaire reveals the hypocritical character of those who follow organized religion. To illustrate …show more content…
For example, Christianity has always experienced a disengagement with the Islamic religion, however after the events that occurred in America on September 11th, 2001, new prejudices began arising. Christians often assume Muslims to be inherently violent, lacking a rightful place in western society. Both the Grand Inquisitor and modern day Christians who express prejudice against other religious ideas are directly involved in practices that conflict with the biblical concept of refraining from judging others. By punishing worshippers for their religious views either by social oppression or physical force, The Grand Inquisitor and Christians in modern society are making judgements, valuing both as hypocritical figures that follow organized …show more content…
The protestant further symbolizes a hypocritical religious figure, in the way that he preaches about charity but lacks the ability to help Candide or attempt to convert him to Christianity, as the bible suggests. Additionally, this chapter attempts to illustrate the misconception that all Christians are charitable and good natured. Modern American society reflects this concept, for it is commonly assumed that Christians are of a higher standard in the country than atheists or those who worship other religions. Although the Holy Bible does suggest that Christians live a charitable, devoting way of life, this does not conclude that others lack this ability. As Candide concludes, “the fruits of the earth are of common heritage” (Voltaire, 113), meaning that all humans are created equally and are just as capable of being selfish as they are of being generous, regardless of religious

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