Religion in Candide

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Hypocrisy in Religion In this paper I will elaborate on the hypocrisy of religion from the book Candide. In this novel the author Voltaire focuses a lot on the judgmental aspects of religion and how certain people in charge are immoral to what they stand and believe in. There are many points in the novel where Voltaire makes certain comments which picks at the false virtue by certain leaders. Within Candie, Voltaire uses characters who actions are caused by what are told and what they believe in and sometimes that falls into bad situations for that individual which then turn into horrific moment from the church’s perspective. In the book the main character is Candide, a boy who is the protagonist, has a good heart and is also viewed as na??ve young man. He is being mentored by a man named Pangloss who teaches him that the life in which they live is the best possible life. Candide’s faith in Pangloss has kept his optimism tested. Meanwhile Pangloss on the other hand is a Philosopher and is an optimistic person but from his own life experiences it contradicts his own beliefs, but at the end of the day he still is faithful. The third character is Jacques/John- The Anabaptist who is a Dutch Anabaptist who cares a lot for Candide and Pangloss and is also willing to help anyone. The fourth, fifth and sixth person were the Franciscan friar who a thief, the Catholic Inquisitor who was supposed to be a faithful and honest to his wife but had a mistress and the last one was the Catholic priest who apparently lying to the congregation when he told them that he was celibate but was out having sex. The hypocrisy of religion can be viewed from when an earthquake had occurred, and people believed that they must sacrifice innocent lives in order to please God, but in that aspect they are disobeying God because they are killing people. But from my perspective what happens if an earthquake incident occurs rapidly does that mean you keep sacrificing innocent people to save yourself?

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This book is can be view with some socialist perspectives because it has similarity of social class division meaning it shows examples on those who are classified with the terms ?wealthy and non weatlhty but in this case you are seeing this between religious groups. One example I can start of with is there was a storm which led to the ship being in danger of being destroyed and James the Anabaptist rushes to help a sailor who is in danger of falling of the ship and into the water and being the Anabaptist that he is, the sailor tries to save himself but in return James falls in the water and doesn’t receive in help. So, this where the hypocrisy starts because it shows how the good can perish while evil prevails and continue to live. We see that outside the book in our own society where priest, bishop and fellow worshipers can be so righteous and follow any book and whatever it says, and state that everything that is done in the dark will come to the light, but in this case within the book, the Anabaptist looses his life by someone who was only looking out for themselves but then, you may ask yourself But John the Anabaptist is supposed to be one step higher than man but one step lower than God. The second example is from when Candide thought everyone who was Christian were good people and always sought out to help others. But in this case Candide attends a sermon about religious views giving by the Pope and asks for some food but instead of being shown hospitality, he is denied and laughed at. In this scenario of hypocrisy of religion, it shows you how some people assume Christians are always good and vow to be good but don’t follow through their actions. The last example I can think of is when Candide is robbed at Saint’s fare in France. In this case, I’m pretty sure that no one who attends a religious event would think of being robbed because from my perspective and others I assume, you should be doing good towards other instead of hurting someone. Not only does this book focus on religion itself but social issues whereas there is a colonel who is supposed to be a heterosexual and against homosexual but, he has some characteristic of a homosexual person. A lot of these men that I have stated from the book are examples of religious leaders who claim to be good but, are hypocritical of their own moral standards or beliefs.

But in the end my main problem and this is coming from the book is that whether you believe in something or have different moral beliefs is you don’t need to be judgmental and discriminative because someone is different. To me that is the best part of being different, it allows you to be true to yourself. I believe it’s exhausting to be someone else and following certain traditions. It’s also stressful because you unable to live your life and be happy because your stuck in a system where you have restrictions. I can just imagine myself having so much anxiety because of making the wrong move repeatedly. Another thing I’ve come across while reading Candide and the hypocrisy of religion is that some people in novel are dealing with regrets because of decision they made that they believe were good to them and was the right thing to do but to certain groups/organizations you have disobeyed them and God and now have to live with regret for the rest of your life because you made decision that you thought was good. Just thinking back to when Candide was denied food from the Priest, in his mind he knew he didn’t do anything wrong but still searching for answer on why he was turned plays a big part on a person self-esteem.

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Religion in Candide. (2019, Jul 09). Retrieved February 5, 2023 , from

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