“God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.”



During the Enlightenment the rise against the church started. The famous philosophers Voltaire and Rousseau were two of the people who protested against the church in France. These two persons abandoned the Catholicism for a smaller religion called the deism. Deists believe that there is a God and that he created universe, but they believe that God have retired, which makes it pointless to pray and serve him. Rousseau also stated that the human is good and have a free will, and therefore it does not need to obey nor God or the church. I myself think it was quite a brave thing to do when they protested against church. The church had had great powers for over a millennium, a power which was so strong that you might think that it should be able to resist a wave of protests. They killed many protests hoping that it might scare off others protesters. But as you all should know by now there is one thing that is stronger than the sword – the pen. One man who was very good in using the competence of writing was Voltaire. He has written many famous quotes that he used against the church. These quotes became very popular and he became a sort of “leader” of the protesters.      A painting from the enlightenment showing a catholic church

One of these quotes is:
“All good Christians’ glory in the folly of the Cross. Nothing can be more contrary to religion and the clergy than reason and common sense.”
But the protesters did not only protest at the power of the church. They also protested against the persecution of the Protestants’ driven by the Catholicism. When the Protestantism began to spread across Europe, the Catholics tried to stop it by persecute the Protestants’ and kill them. Voltaire was against this, and he tried to gain more people to be against it.
Rousseau was both a philosopher and a politician, and he had several political quests, one among them was to make the individual will conform the general will (la volonté générale) of the citizens. What Rousseau was trying to say is that when you for instance are going to elect, you should vote for the party or that politician that is best for society, not the party or persons that is better for your own. If you follow this, you are acting as the General will want you to do. He was also against the church, although not as much as Voltaire was.

I think that the protesters formed the community into a new one including more choices of your own. Free choices also develop the world faster. I mean, what if we still would have had the feudal system like in the medieval? In the feudal system the church had a high and important role to control the people. The medieval developed almost nothing at all during an almost entire millennium. When the enlightenment started, new products and inventions were starting to be developed. The people were thinking different, which I believe led to the rise against the church. What do you think?

Here are some pages if you are interested in more facts about this! :)
Quotes from Voltaire: http://spirous5.blogspot.com/
Facts about Rousseau & the general will: http://www.idehist.uu.se/distans/ilmh/Ren/idehist-rousseau-volonte.htm

Erik Jonsson

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