Voltaire Wrote About Terrorism in France, 250 Years Ago

The Bataclan Attacks Occurred On A Street Bearing His Name!

In 1765 French philosopher Voltaire wrote: “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”*

He died just a few years later in a Paris residence that now bears the address 27 Quai Voltaire. The Bataclan theatre’s address, site of the recent tragedy:50 Boulevard Voltaire.

Two miles away, and 250 years later, we are still battling the problem of what Voltaire called the “crimes of religion which have overrun the world.”

Voltaire on Religious Terrorism:

Formerly there were those who said: You believe things that are incomprehensible, inconsistent, impossible because we have commanded you to believe them; go then and do what is injust because we command it. Such people show admirable reasoning. Truly, whoever can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. If the God-given understanding of your mind does not resist a demand to believe what is impossible, then you will not resist a demand to do wrong to that God-given sense of justice in your heart. As soon as one faculty of your soul has been dominated, other faculties will follow as well. And from this derives all those crimes of religion which have overrun the world.

Il y a eu des gens qui ont dit autrefois: Vous croyez des choses incompréhensibles, contradictoires, impossibles, parce que nous vous l’avons ordonné; faites donc des choses injustes parce que nous vous l’ordonnons. Ces gens-là raisonnaient à merveille. Certainement qui est en droit de vous rendre absurde est en droit de vous rendre injuste. Si vous n’opposez point aux ordres de croire l’impossible l’intelligence que Dieu a mise dans votre esprit, vous ne devez point opposer aux ordres de malfaire la justice que Dieu a mise dans votre coeur. Une faculté de votre âme étant une fois tyrannisée, toutes les autres facultés doivent l’être également. Et c’est là ce qui a produit tous les crimes religieux dont la terre a été inondée.

*François-Marie Arouet ‘Voltaire’ (d. 1778), ‘Questions sur les miracles’ (1765)

 

The Afghan Tribune | Damion Matthews| Published: November 16, 2015, 09:49 PM

Damion Matthews: Founder SFLUXE, Co-Founder Viroxoty Studios

This article originally appeared on  The Medium.

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