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Voltaire’s Vision of Religion and Enlightenment

Philosophers and thinkers have always been the main contributors to the evolution of scientific thought and promoted the further evolution of our society. It is impossible to imagine the modern world without the discoveries made by outstanding people. They changed the image of the world and promoted the blistering development of human thought. Voltaire was one of these people. Being a great philosopher and thinker, he contributed to the growth of the consciousness of people, their intelligence, and mentality. Moreover, Voltaires vision of religion, society, and the main moving forces of its development resulted in the formation of the modern mentality.

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Voltaire lived in the epoch of great changes. The society entered the period characterized by the reconsideration of the approaches to several significant concerns. The scientific progress also triggered the shifts in the mentality of people. That is why the society was not stable. Voltaire was not able to ignore it. For this reason, he outlined his vision of the evolution of humanity. He was sure that society could be improved in various ways (Kagan, Ozment, Turner and Frank 515). However, he doubted that the change for good would be permanent and stated that only the barbarism was an integral part of human society. This fact also conditioned Voltaires attitude to the Enlightenment.

Traditionally, he is taken as one of the main characters of the above-mentioned phenomenon. He highlighted the mood of society and promoted the further development of its ideas. At the same time, he had the pessimistic feelings about it. He was not sure whether Enlightenment could help humanity to evolve and preserve civilization. His ideas of inequality also contradicted the main points of that cultural phenomenon. Voltaire was sure that the society was not equal as it was comprised of the educated privileged class and the majority that had to guarantee their existence. This idea was not appreciated by the rest of the thinkers; however, Voltaire did not refuse it, being sure that the working class should not be educated.

Therefore, Voltaires attitude to religion promoted the increase in peoples consciousness and influenced the decrease in the significance of the Church. He was the admirer of the idea of Deism. He suggested the idea that God was some supernatural creature that created the Universe and aligned the mechanisms according to which it functioned (Kagan, Ozment, Turner and Frank 518). However, he did not accept the overwhelming dominance of the Church and its dogmas as an individual was born to be free. Yet, he also criticized atheism and highlighted the existence of supernatural power determining the life of millions of people. These ideas promoted further discussions about the role of religion and contributed to the increase in the importance of the scientific approach.

To summarize, Voltaire was one of the most outstanding philosophers of his age. His ideas triggered the reconsideration of the approaches to several important concerns. He accepted the ideas of Enlightenment and tried to promote the development of this phenomenon. At the same time, he was sure that inequality was the logical step of the evolution of society as there should be people promoting the development of the privileged class and satisfying their needs. Finally, his unusual approach to religion resulted in the appearance of numerous changes in the mentality of people. In these regards, Voltaire could be taken as the unique personality whose works determined the evolution of human thought.

Works Cited

Kagan, Donald, Steven Ozment, Frank Turner and Alison Frank. The Western Heritage. London: Pearson. 2012. Print.

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