François-Marie Arouet de Voltaire

Si Dieu n’existait pas, il faudrait l’inventer.

Editorial: If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him. Voltaire wrote this famous (and largely misunderstood) aphorism in 1768 in an epistle denouncing a group of atheists. Taken out of context it seems weirdly pragmatic and even cynical, and at odds with Voltaire’s faith in the sublime (in his words, the bridle to the wicked) and in a shared order in society (created by a heavenly architect). For those of us with less confidence than Voltaire, the question is not whether you might believe God actually exists, but rather whether the act of believing in a god is a right and good thing.

Addendum: A little anthropology will help with any confusion lurking out there.  Anthropology maintains that religious beliefs and the gods they create are extensions of old magic.  Therefore the human product of religion necessarily flows from economics, politics, relationships of power, and other such human idiosyncrasies.  As such you  might even say that God is dead.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Editorial, Quotes, Sureness

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s