To him the saying is attributed "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." He was perhaps the most influential propagandist for deism. He personified the skepticism of the French Enlightenment. Above all others, Voltaire popularized Newton’s science, fought for personal liberty and freedom of the press, and spread the cult of reason. He turned out a prodigious number of works: histories, plays, pamphlets, essays, and novels. In his correspondence — estimated at 10,000 letters — he wittily spread the virtues of Enlightenment and scathingly attacked the abuses of his day. Voltair was a relentless critic of established churches, Protestant and Catholic alike. He was sickened by the intolerance of organized Christianity and disgusted by the petty squabbles that seemed to monopolize the time of many priests and clergymen. Yet his aim was not religion’s destruction. He once said that if a God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent one. Perhaps his only serious rival in spreading the gospel of Deism was a set of books, the famous French Encyclopedia edited by Denis Diderot.
[tags]BlogRodent, church-history, ChurchRodent, Deism, Denis-Diderot, Enlightenment, history, Voltaire[/tags]