Contradictions


I find it interesting that Voltaire who tirelessly fought for freedom of expression/ speech and against the church could suppress the writings of Jean Messlier.

Is atheism a dangerous idea? If yes, in what ways is this the case?

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

24 thoughts on “Contradictions

  1. Nan says:

    Dangerous only to believers …

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  2. Ron says:

    Perhaps. But in a world filled with authoritarians and conformists, the very act of thinking for oneself is considered a dangerous idea.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, as an atheist myself, I’m pretty fuckin dangerous and scary cause I often eat babies in pizza parlor basements with Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, and that rotten fuckin atheist/Muslim pig, Obama! Yeah! You betcha! We are some dangerous mother fuckers!!!! But, babies taste SOOOO god damned good, all I can say is, if ya ain’t eaten one, don’t mock it til ya tried it!!!

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  4. Barry says:

    Did Voltaire suppress or did he distort Messlier’s work? Voltaire was a deist and it seems to me that he was prepared lie in order to make it appear that Messlier was arguing for deism and not atheism.

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    • makagutu says:

      He wasn’t a deist. And wasn’t amused with neither Messlier’s nor d’Holdbach’s outspoken atheism. I will give you a reference if I can remember where I read it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Barry says:

        In my own notes written decades ago I have recorded “Voltaire advanced the idea of a supernatural being or force that created the Universe and set it in motion much like a celestial watchmaker (Kagan, Ozment, Turner & Frank).” Unfortunately I can no longer find the source.

        He was certainly strongly opposed the existence of an Abrahamic type god and to organised religion of the time, but I see little evidence that he was an atheist.
        In his “Extraits des sentiments de Jean Meslier” he adds a passage that does not appear in Meslier’s work but does seem similar to ideas put forth by Voltaire at other times:

        “I will finish by begging God, so outraged by that sect, to deign to recall us to natural religion, of which Christianity is the declared enemy. To that simple religion that God placed in the hearts of all men, which teaches us that we only do unto others what we want to have done unto us. Then the universe will be composed of good citizens, of just fathers, of submissive children, of tender friends. God gave us this religion in giving us reason. May fanaticism no longer pervert it! I die more filled with these wishes than with hopes. This is the exact summary of the in-folio testament of Jean Meslier. We can judge how weighty is the testimony of a dying priest who asks God’s forgiveness.”

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        • makagutu says:

          In a sketch of his life by Wheeler, he notes Voltaire said

          โ€œthe atheist, in his error, preserves reason, which cuts his
          claws, while those of the fanatic are sharpened in the incessant madness
          which afflicts him.โ€

          and on d’Holdbach’s system of nature, he wrote

          has made all the philosophers execrable in the eyes of the King and
          his court. Through this fatal work philosophy is lost for ever in the
          eyes of all magistrates and fathers of families

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        • makagutu says:

          And that paragraph looks very strange. I will check my copy of the Testament to see how Messlier finished but I think it was with a poem or a chant which in part reads

          I would like to be able to make my voice heard from one end of the kingdom to the other, or rather from one extremity of the earth to the other. I would cry out with all my force; O men, you are crazy! You are crazy to let yourselves be led in this way and to believe so blindly in so many stupidities.
          [ ] religion and politics are united in cooperation to hold you always captive under their tyrannical laws.
          Banish from your minds this crazy and blind belief in its false mysteries, put no faith in it, mock everything your self interested priests tell you.
          Set your minds and hearts completely at ease in this matter and banish all these vain and superstitious offices of priests and sacrificers, and reduce them all to living and working usefully like you, or at least to being busy in something good and useful

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  5. basenjibrian says:

    Disappointing to read that Voltaire still couldn’t take that final step. Of course, to his “victims” he was a damnable heretic, so he couldn’t win that way, either.

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