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  1. #21
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mal12345 View Post
    The rest of the quote goes on to say, "...But all nature cries aloud that He does exist."

    Voltaire had quite a way with rhetoric. Here he is just being dramatic about his theism in addressing some anti-God pamphlet he must have read.

    The quoted part about nature probably refers to St. Thomas Aquinas' fifth proof of the existence of God.

    http://www.saintaquinas.com/belief_in_God.html
    "Thomas Aquinas says that the order of nature presupposes a higher plan in creation. The laws governing the universe presuppose a universal legislature who authored the order of the universe. We cannot say that chance creates order in the universe. If you drop a cup on the floor it shatters into bits and has become disordered. But if you were to drop bits of the cup, they would not assemble together into a cup. This is an example of the inherent disorder prevalent in the universe when things are left to chance. The existence of order and natural laws presupposes a divine intelligence who authored the universe into being."
    He used the whole "if God did not exist..." thing several times. The time you mentioned was in a letter to the King of Prussia in 1770, but the first time he ever used it was in a poem called "Epistle to the Author of the Book the Three Imposters" (the Three Imposters being a reference to some atheist literature that he came across) in 1768. The whole thing goes like this:

    This sublime system is necessary to man.
    It is the sacred tie that binds society,
    The first foundation of holy equity,
    The bridle to the wicked, the hope of the just.
    If the heavens, stripped of this noble imprint,
    Could ever cease to attest to his being,
    If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.
    Let the wise man announce him and kings fear him.
    Artes, Scientia, Veritasiness

  2. #22
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mal12345 View Post
    The rest of the quote goes on to say, "...But all nature cries aloud that He does exist."

    Voltaire had quite a way with rhetoric. Here he is just being dramatic about his theism in addressing some anti-God pamphlet he must have read.

    The quoted part about nature probably refers to St. Thomas Aquinas' fifth proof of the existence of God.

    http://www.saintaquinas.com/belief_in_God.html
    "Thomas Aquinas says that the order of nature presupposes a higher plan in creation. The laws governing the universe presuppose a universal legislature who authored the order of the universe. We cannot say that chance creates order in the universe. If you drop a cup on the floor it shatters into bits and has become disordered. But if you were to drop bits of the cup, they would not assemble together into a cup. This is an example of the inherent disorder prevalent in the universe when things are left to chance. The existence of order and natural laws presupposes a divine intelligence who authored the universe into being."
    I was waiting for the complete quote.

    It is also what Bacon has to say about atheism, he suggests he'd believe every mythology there is before he'd believe in atheism but that he considers the natural order to be a final proof of God anyway.

    Voltaire seemed to wax lyrical about theism without actually liking any of the world religions, although with deism being popular at the time it seems kind of commonplace for that kind of view to have been expressed.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by mal12345 View Post
    Thomas Aquinas says that the order of nature presupposes a higher plan in creation.
    Saint Augustine taught that heretics should be killed. And they were.

    And Saint Thomas Aquinas taught heretics should be tortured. And they were.

  4. #24
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    Saint Augustine taught that heretics should be killed. And they were.

    And Saint Thomas Aquinas taught heretics should be tortured. And they were.
    We all have our little foibles.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

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