Random Quote #37 topic: voltaire-dict, Philosophical Dictionary by Voltaire, 1694-1778


Why does one hardly ever do the tenth part of the good one might do?

Why in half Europe do girls pray to God in Latin, which they do not

Why in antiquity was there never a theological quarrel, and why were no
people ever distinguished by the name of a sect? The Egyptians were not
called Isiacs or Osiriacs; the peoples of Syria did not have the name of
Cybelians. The Cretans had a particular devotion to Jupiter, and were
never entitled Jupiterians. The ancient Latins were very attached to
Saturn; there was not a village in Latium called Saturnian: on the
contrary, the disciples of the God of truth taking their master's title,
and calling themselves "anointed" like Him, declared, as soon as they
could, an eternal war on all the peoples who were not anointed, and made
war among themselves for fourteen hundred years, taking the names of
Arians, Manicheans, Donatists, Hussites, Papists, Lutherans, Calvinists.
And lastly, the Jansenists and the Molinists have had no more poignant
mortification than that of not having been able to slaughter each other
in pitched battle. Whence does this come?

Why is the great number of hard-working, innocent men who till the land
every day of the year that you may eat all its fruits, scorned,
vilified, oppressed, robbed; and why is it that the useless and often
very wicked man who lives only by their work, and who is rich only
through their poverty, is on the contrary respected, courted,

Why is it that, the fruits of the earth being so necessary for the
conservation of men and animals, one yet sees so many years and so many
countries where there is entire lack of these fruits?

Why is the half of Africa and America covered with poisons?

Why is there no land where insects are not far in excess of men?

Why does a little whitish, evil-smelling secretion form a being which
has hard bones, desires and thoughts? and why do these beings always
persecute each other?

Why does so much evil exist, seeing that everything is formed by a God
whom all theists are agreed in naming "good?"

Why, since we complain ceaselessly of our ills, do we spend all our time
in increasing them?

Why, as we are so miserable, have we imagined that not to be is a great
ill, when it is clear that it was not an ill not to be before we were

Why and how does one have dreams during sleep, if one has no soul; and
how is it that these dreams are always so incoherent, so extravagant, if
one has a soul?

Why do the stars move from west to east rather than from east to west?

Why do we exist? why is there anything?


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