Voltaire essay on tolerance

Death of voltaire

There are those who say that humanity, indulgence, and liberty of conscience are Edition: current; Page: [19] horrible things. However much a man may wish to deceive himself, it is impossible to ascribe to intolerance the disaster that befell a few half-Jewish, half-Christian men and women at Rome under Nero. There are countless instances of this folly, once thought so important. He was a Protestant, as were also his wife and family, except one son, who had abjured the heresy, and was in receipt of a small allowance from his father. He confirmed himself in his resolution by reading everything that had been written upon the subject of suicide. But what is good and useful in a young colony is not suitable for a long-established kingdom. Did they wish all Christians to enter their confraternity? The inhabitants were busied in making preparations for the solemnity; this circumstance added fresh fuel to the heated imagination of the people; every one Cried out that a scaffold for the execution of the Calas family would be the greatest ornament of the ceremony; and that Providence itself seemed to have brought these victims to be sacrificed to our holy religion. I must confess that I do not know what the precise accusation was; I find only vagueness in his apology. On that point they never troubled either Jew, Syrian, Egyptian, Druid, or philosopher.

Never was philosophy so much avenged and honoured. I beg every impartial reader to weigh these truths, verify them, and add to them. And shall we take no account of the ridicule that attaches to-day to the enthusiasm of these good people? His exile was not a great injustice after that which they had been already so unfortunate as to commit.

As they sat, clothed in crape and bathed in tears, their judges were seen to weep. The Jew? It is not our place to tell the ministry what is to be done; we do but ask consideration for the unfortunate.

He found them inflexible. It is the usual method of calumniators, but a court would demand accredited facts and precise charges.

voltaire treatise on tolerance full text

This pen, in point of fact, signed the death-sentence of his father. The question was, Whether a father and mother had strangled their son to please God, a brother had strangled his brother, and a friend had strangled his friend; or whether the judges had incurred the reproach of breaking on the wheel an innocent father, or of sparing a guilty mother, brother, and friend.

treatise on tolerance voltaire meaning
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Voltaire, A Treatise on Tolerance,