Religious Hypocrisy In Voltaire's Candide

Improved Essays
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

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Alice Cooper has another great quote, “When you’re a Christian, it doesn’t mean you’re going to be good; it means you’ve got a harder road to pull” (Viola). Being a Christian is no easy task and creating stereotypes does not help the problem. Popular stereotypes include Christians don’t drink, everything we say must come from the Bible, and we only care about you becoming a Christian. All of these stereotypes effect Christians deeply because we are all not the same. A Stern Baptists does not drink, however; Lutherans drink as well as Catholics.…

    • 892 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    During the Enlightenment period the philosophers began questioning various topics; one of which they challenged is religion. In his novel Candide, Enlightenment thinker Voltaire criticizes the religious beliefs of the times. In fact, organized religion is one of the largest target of critique in Candide. His criticism of religion is carried out throughout the entire plot through the corruption of the church, ironic religious figures, and utopian-like beliefs. By generating characters and situations that emphasize the corruption and greed of the church, Voltaire is exposing the hypocrisy of religion.…

    • 1058 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    That message would reach to Christians and non-Christians alike. “It is not believable that the popes who proclaimed crusades and the more respectable preachers who whipped up enthusiasm for them did not grasp the complexity of the Christian position. They must have presented their one-sided version of love deliberately, with a view to the audience they were addressing. It could be that they dared not do otherwise.”(Crusading as an Act of Love) Even with this statement there is an admittance to the pragmatic use of a manipulated…

    • 1347 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Why, he asks, would it be able to be God 's will that such awful things keep on happening? Using different abstract procedures, Molière and Voltaire have effectively passed on their perspectives about the negative parts of religion in Tartuffe and Candide. By cautioning individuals to the threats of religion, they would have liked to improve society. In spite of the fact that Tartuffe and Candide were both composed a couple of hundreds of years prior, their messages stay applicable today. Our reality is torn by religious clashes in many places, for example, the Middle East and the previous Yugoslavia.…

    • 1406 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The speech provides evidence of the constant strife over religious beliefs and shows glimpses of the darker side of religion, with the mention of hell and “Lucifer” (5.131). Faustus is stubborn in his belief that “hell’s a fable” (5.127) and that signing his soul to the devil is “mere old wives’ tales” (5.135) , yet in his eventual traverse to eternal damnation, he sees the role it plays in the fate of his soul. The speech also reflects on the context of the play, as it was produced at a time of religious conflict between Protestants and Catholics in England (Marlowe's Literary Scepticism). This affects the way the audience is expected…

    • 836 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The Romans saw the Christians as paria that would infect their way of life, and the Christians rejected all Roman ways of thinking so extremely, that they wouldn’t even associate on an intellectual level. It is devastating knowing that people were killed over something that was simple a matter of opinion. People were, and still are today, so willing to shut others out because they think differently than you. Ultimately though, I believe there are many lessons learned from this time, that have shaped many ways of thinking within the Christian faith as far as controversy. That different is ok and respecting those differences is essential to…

    • 728 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    However, because some of the beliefs that come with Christianity, Christian’s are given a bad name. The media likes to slander Christian’s because they do not believe in same sex marriage or, in some rare cases, interracial marriages. However, not all of us think that if you get married to someone of a different race or of the same sex that you are going to hell. This is a very outdated way of thinking. Yes, it is true that we were brought up believing that this was a major sin, but, most of us won’t look at you any different.…

    • 845 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    This would become especially so after events in Medieval Europe that especially weakened the power of the Pope such as the Western Schism and the subsequent Avignon Papacy. And so, it would be obvious that the church would actively persecute or endorse attitudes towards persecution of religious minorities to such a degree. This, combined with the strong adherence to the church as the ultimate religious authority in Europe, inclined much of the European populace to in turn hold tendencies which allowed for the persecution of different religious groups throughout the Middle…

    • 1878 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Discrimination Against Christianity Christians are labeled as uneducated, judged for their beliefs, and discriminated against in the mainstream culture. It is absurd that people have a problem with the right to Freedom of religion, considering that our founding fathers found it so important that it they set in place as an amendment. It is hard to understand why people think that it is ok to discriminate against Christians. The Bible states that we will be persecuted for our beliefs. For example, in Second Timothy 3:12 it says “ Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ jesus shall suffer persecution (Bible KJV).” but that does not mean that it is ok to put forth discrimination on Christians.…

    • 1212 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Frustration with religious doctrine and practice brought open criticism from men such as John Wycliffe, who started to openly argue against traditional practices in the late fourteenth century. Jan Hus, having been influenced by Wycliffe, also began to outwardly express similar beliefs. These beliefs being the restoration of the Church’s true doctrines, and the disintegration of a corrupt and greedy Catholic Church. Both of these men, and their ideology, formed the groundwork for Protestantism. And their vocal religious dissatisfaction proved crucial precursors to the Reformation, which began in 1517 when Martin Luther launched his…

    • 956 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays