Random Quote #65 topic: voltaire-dict, Philosophical Dictionary by Voltaire, 1694-1778


Who are the impious? those who give a white beard, feet and hands to the
Being of beings, to the great Demiourgos, to the eternal intelligence by
which nature is governed. But they are only excusably impious, poor
impious people against whom one must not grow wroth.

If even they paint the great incomprehensible Being born on a cloud
which can bear nothing; if they are foolish enough to put God in a mist,
in the rain, or on a mountain, and to surround him with little chubby,
flushed faces accompanied by two wings; I laugh and I pardon them with
all my heart.

The impious persons who attribute to the Being of beings preposterous
predictions and injustices would anger me if this great Being had not
given me a reason which quells my wrath. The silly fanatic repeats to
me, after others, that it is not for us to judge what is reasonable and
just in the great Being, that His reason is not like our reason, that
His justice is not like our justice. Eh! how, you mad demoniac, do you
want me to judge justice and reason otherwise than by the notions I have
of them? do you want me to walk otherwise than with my feet, and to
speak otherwise than with my mouth?

The impious man who supposes the great Being jealous, arrogant,
malignant, vindictive, is more dangerous. I would not want to sleep
under the same roof as this man.

But how would you treat the impious man who says to you: "See only
through my eyes, do not think; I announce to you a tyrannical God who
has made me to be your tyrant; I am his well-beloved: during all
eternity he will torture millions of his creatures whom he detests in
order to gladden me; I shall be your master in this world, and I shall
laugh at your torments in the other."

Do you not feel an itching to thrash this cruel, impious fellow? If you
are born gentle, will you not run with all your might to the west when
this barbarian utters his atrocious reveries in the east?


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