MISCELLANEA: Écrasez l’infâme: Voltaire’s Philosophy of Religion
Sabina Kruszyńska 1 1 - Uniwersytet Gdański MAeS 2015; 16 (1): ICID: 1150849 Article type: Original article IC™ Value: 3.00
Abstract provided by Publisher
The author presents the basic premises of Voltaire’s philosophy of religion, based on a recreation
of its historical and philosophical context, as well as an analysis of source texts.
This includes: the declared elitism of Voltaire and les philosophes, referring to the “brilliant”
philosophical and scientific mind; their affirmation of the necessity to separate elite
and common knowledge; and their conviction that religious faith (religious fanaticism)
is obviously the source of all evil in the world. Such a discursive field renders the dispute
between deists and atheists insignificant, as both deism and atheism are included as forms
of “philosophical religion”, that is, two forms of religious knowledge meriting popularization.
Elite philosophical knowledge considers deism to be safer than atheism, nonetheless
regarding the “brilliant” human mind as the proper object of worship in the so-called
“religion of les philosophes”. One of the dogmas in this “religion” is a ruthless, albeit bloodless,
war on evil.