Voltaire On God Essay, Research Paper
Voltaire said that “If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him” and I concur. Voltaire was trying to say that civilizations need a “higher power” to successfully work. Throughout history, every civilization (with the exception of those developed in the twentieth century) has had a god, or gods to explain the wonders of the natural world and provide guidance. From the ancient cultures of the Middle East and Asia to modern day western civilization, gods have played a major role in daily life.
Voltaire more than likely knew that a civilization without order and a governing force would most certainly fail. As much as people turn to these gods for direction and explanation, they also turn to those same gods for discipline. What could possibly keep a person form committing wrong more than a person or thing with the capability (or fabled capability) of striking them down where they stand? Gods stand as method of “keeping people in line” so to speak. I know that as a child in a semi-devout roman catholic family, the “fear of God” idea may very well have stopped me from performing terrible atrocities (that is, atrocious in the scope of being a small child). No matter what, that “fear of God” has, and may very well always stand as the one supreme police force in the world.
There have even been examples of godless societies throughout this century in literature, and even reality. Orwell’s classic 1949 novel 1984 depicts a twisted dystopia in which the government has eradicated gods and any other non-governmental aspect of life. The book, in one of the many sub-concepts of the work, shows the quality of life of the broken-spirited souls who have nothing to turn to for hope, or an end after the means. Orwell, like many other authors including Aldus Huxley in A Brave New World, shows that a society without god will imminently dissolve to failure. In the real world the godless states have failed as well. Marx’s idea of socialism, when distorted by the power-hungry, was in the early twentieth century developed into modern-day communism. Communism was based around a communal society without a deity for guidance and a full confidence in the state. Countries in the early part of the last century, especially post revolution countries, adopted communism as their own