Voltaire Vs. Hampson Essay

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The enlightenment was a period in history where certain ways of thought were developed. There were doubts of the existence of a supreme being and belief in the natural order of things. "The stability of a divinely-created and unchanging order was challenged by a new conception of life as a constant and shapeless flux" (89). Norman Hampson analyzes many famous philosophical books of the time and overall feels that "Only two attitudes seemed to remain: to follow Hume in denying man's access to objective knowledge of any kind, or to accept d'Holbach's conception of a universe of matter in motion, in which everything happened out of necessity and the answer to every question was `because it cannot be otherwise'" (95). Again, the existence of …show more content…
Another common point proved is that if people completely devote themselves to the church, ignoring society, then society will be ruined. Society/man should come before religion. Hampson says that during the Enlightenment, many felt that God just wanted man to be moral, while Voltaire's Candide agrees, but it does not always happen this way. Hampson speaks of the corruption in religious figures throughout the Enlightenment period, while Candide proves the hypocrisy of religion through examples of corrupt religious leaders exposed in the book. On the topic of Religion, Hampson says that, "The eunuchs - the ultimate example of corruption of man by evil institutions - seek compensation for their sexual deprivation in the abuse of their authority" (111), which goes with the idea in Candide, where Voltaire mocked revealed religion by introducing many corrupt, hypocritical religious leaders. Gordon's intro in Candide states that "His attitude toward the Catholic Church was one of uninterrupted hostility" (intro), and that "Some members of the clergy joined for profit and had only elementary notions of Catholic theology. They drank heavy, frequented prostitutes, engaged in brawls, and routinely skipped Mass. The inhabitants of certain parishes were so accustomed to the promiscuity of their priests that they had no idea that the clergy was supposed to be celibate" (intro). Through an innumerable amount of examples throughout Candide, Voltaire exposes the

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