Living Biographies of Great Philosophers, Garden City, NY: Garden City Books (1959); Other source: "Late in life Voltaire wrote considerably against religious injustice and was quite opposed to the Catholic Church and Christianity in general."Voltaire made an official deathbed affirmation of Catholic beliefs, but his intentions in doing so are disputed.
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In 1704, sometwo years after the death of his mother, Voltaire was packed off to the CollègeLouis-le-Grand in Paris,where he was educated by the Jesuits for seven years. He was an unusual pupil,caring little for games or sport, mixing little with his peers and spendingmuch of his time talking to the teachers. Although he later claimed that helearned nothing but Latin and the Stupidities" there this period was almostcertainly important in the early development of his literary talents. Here hewrote poetry and was introduced to theatre. There was a tradition at Jesuitschools, dating back to the Renaissance, of performing plays in Latin and inthe vernacular and the young Voltaire took to the stage with enthusiasm. This lefta deep impression on him, so much so that by the time he left the Collège atthe age of 17 he had decided that he wanted to become a writer.
What were Voltaire's religious views
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Unlike most other Enlightenment thinkers, Voltaire did not consider himself a Christian and openly mocked established religions--Christianity in particular.
What Were Some of Voltaire's Beliefs? | Synonym
I am going to introduce you to Voltaire, poet, novelist, playwright, historian,scientist and philosopher. Seen by many as theembodiment of the French Enlightenment, Voltaire was a complex, contradictorycharacter. A tireless campaigner against injustice and advocate of religiousand social tolerance, he was also fiercely anti-Semitic, describing the Jews asan ignorant and barbarous people" and arguing that Africans are a separatespecies as different from ours as the breed of spaniels is from that ofgreyhounds." A great polemicist, who persistently denounced the hypocrisy ofthe ruling class and the Catholic Church, he rarely stood by his own words,choosing instead to claim his works were falsely attributed to him. However,none of these things should be taken out of context. This was a time when theideas of universal humanity and equality were mere babes in arms and the Francethat Voltaire grew up in was one in which the monarchy, nobility and clergyruled with an iron hand, keeping the majority of the people in a state ofpoverty and virtual slavery. It was an age of burning of books and imprisonmentwithout trial at the whim of the ruling class. No wonder then that Voltaire,especially after some of his early experiences of the injustices of the regime,chose not to acknowledge his own words. Less of an original thinker than manyof the Enlightenment thinkers, he is particularly important forchallenging the church and promoting the ideas of and Isaac Newton in France.
"What Were Some of Voltaire's Beliefs?" ..
To capture Voltaire's unconventional place in the history ofphilosophy, this article will be structured in a particularway. First, a full account of Voltaire's life is offered, not merelyas background context for his philosophical work, but as an argumentabout the way that his particular career produced his particularcontributions to European philosophy. Second, a survey of Voltaire'sphilosophical views is offered so as to attach the legacy of whatVoltaire did with the intellectual viewpoints that his activitiesreinforced.