Adonis Diaries

The critical mind of Voltaire could condense an entire philosophical book into a sentence

Posted on: August 22, 2019

The critical mind of Voltaire could summarize an entire philosophical book into a sentence

I just read a tiny story called “Micromegas” of 15 pages that condensed Voltaire highly critical mind.

In short, two men from far away stellar systems, both at least a mile tall and can live over 10,000 years and are endowed with 3 dozen sensory organs… and still Not satisfied and banned from their huge planet, still worried about the nature of their souls…). They haphazardly landed on earth, after boarding comets and earth arboreal light.

They had to look into a microscope to discover that these insects of humans do exist. The two men are interested in figuring out if these “insects” have soul and how different is their understanding of what is “The soul”.

At first, the giants were convinced that earth had no living creatures since they walked it quickly and crossed its shallow oceans without seeing anything that moves.

Actually the giants comprehended French but Not Greek to communicate with these French adventures in the North pole.

The giants discovered that these human insects have vast knowledge in geometry, algebra, and enough adequate instrument to measure their length and the circumference of earth and the distance to the sun…

“Since you know many things of what is external to you, how good are you in knowing what’s inside you?

One French in the boat described the state of human cruelty, of the perpetual wars among the human. Thousands in turbans, under a Sultan who never stepped out of his palace, massacre and burn villages of thousands of soldiers in metal headgear, under another king named Caesar or King and with different religious mythical ideology. And vice versa.

These human Princes are meant to eradicate the human species. Wars that will kill far more humans from famine and diseases for a piece of muddy land. Those barbarous urban oligarchies, who have never knew or seen who is being killed, keep thanking their Gods for their war achievement.

On the definitions of the Soul of a few philosophers of the period, such as Descartes, Leibniz, Locke…

One philosopher mentions Aristotle and his “entelechie”, a reason that extends the power to exist as is, and he quotes in Greek the definition, a language he doesn’t master, but he has to quote in order to impress.

The Descartes disciple claims that the soul is a pure spirit that is formed in the womb, but the person loses its meaning as he starts attending schools. It is then useless to have a soul if we end up totally ignorant about it, as we go on living. “And what you say about the spirit?” It is Not matter that can be divided and measured and described… “You can describe a few attributes of a matter, but do you know the deepest structure of any matter and the consequences of lacking of it?”

A Malebranche disciple claims that it is God that thinks and do everything for him and he doesn’t have to worry about anything. “Then there is no point for your existence”.

A disciple of the British Locke said: “I think only at the instigation of my senses. That there are immaterial and intelligent substances, I have no doubts about them. I hardly doubt that it is impossible for God can communicate spirit to material elements, if He wishes it. I contend that there are far more possible events that can occur and which I cannot think about or fathom…”

Among these insects, there was someone wearing a square bonnet (a Jesuit?) who vehemently repeated St. Thomas claim in the “Somme”:” Every thing in the sky and on earth were created for the humans”. The giants laughed their heart out and had a great moment on hearing this.

The giant from star Sirius decided to write a philosophical book, with as small characters as it was possible for him to reduce, and offered it to the human insects. The scholars at Paris Academy opened the book and discovered it was mostly blank.

Note: I will be reading Zadig by Voltaire and might review this other short story.

 

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adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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