Friday, May 10, 2013

Voltaire has always been one of my favorites.
To this day I still love reading his books like Candide.

I think teachers would get their students inspired to study more if they included things
like the history of the times, with a literature book, and the life of the author who wrote it.
It's a slow process but a richer one leaving a lasting impression on the kids.
I like it better than speed reading, where they learn nothing.
To develop a love for history and the study of life and living, the earlier one begins, the better and who better with than with a rounded introduction to the classics,through people like Voltaire?

Here we have a young man who refused to accept the status quo.
He is known for his wit and criticism of both the church and the government.
Basically, I think he was a thorn in both organizations' asses. lol

He accused both institutions of intolerance and hypocrisy and abhorred being governed by
ignorance, bigotry and superstition.
He believed in reason and common sense.
He published a book called the Philosophical Dictionary where he airs his views on war and religion.

Reading some of the articles with respect to drugs in the Vancouver Sun, I often wonder if some of these reporters have any reason or common sense or if they even care to have any.
They promote marijuana knowing it will be abused by children and for every doctor that says it's harmless, there is one who says it isn't, and yet they put a full page to promote it rather than a full page to show how society will be affected by the side effects.
The evidence is right there in every movie that behavior changes in a person, under the influence of
marijuana. I have seen people driving drinking beer, smoking a joint and talking on the phone, in old beat up trucks, not giving a hoot about the damage they might cause and the people they might kill on the road.
Where is the reason and common sense here?
And ................the bigger question.....
Do these reporters not know that the people using drugs also use other things and
are a danger to society even sober because their brains are fried?
They can't make good judgement decisions on or off the roads.
They don't care about rules or laws or reason or common sense.

They further more, become parents to confused kids who follow in their tracks and have
no sense of direction or raison d'etre.

To develop a functioning healthy society is in every one's interest.

Now Voltaire was willing to visit Bastille for his views. lol
As a member of the Society of the Temple of Voltaire he criticized the Regent of France and was sent to jail.

After his release he wrote the Oedipus and adopted a "de" in front of Voltaire which brought him ridicule by the Chevalier de Rohan and another prison term.

He was told to leave France, so he went to England and learned English and loved the customs of the English society. So he wrote another book Letters Concerning the English Nation, which irked the French again. (something similar going on in Quebec right now lol)

This time he took refuge at the home of Mme du Chatelet, in Lorraine, Fr.
He kept active writing a treatise on the Principles of Newtonian Physics, tragedies, and a satirical poem called: Man of the World."
One can do a life study on this figure alone.

It was here that he was appointed by Louis XV as a royal historiographer and he joined the French Academy.
Then he went to Prussia to live with King Ferdinand the Great. This again infuriated France.
So he went to live in Switzerland and towards the end of his life sneaked across the border to
Ferney, France, where he felt safe from persecution.

As much as I love Voltaire and his ideologies, I still believe some things should be left alone.
When it comes to superstition, there is more than meets the eye and some things science just can't discredit to this day.
When it comes to drugs and alcohol, the evidence is right there and quite clear.
Every rational man with common sense, can see it and understand it, so why are we helping to pass laws for those who can't see it or understand it or even care one way or another?

When a man is sick and refuses help, do we not try to help him?
When a person tries to commit suicide, is this not against the law?
Is not the abuse of drugs and alcohol a form of quiet suicide?
So when people do drugs over and above the alcohol problem, is it bad to be intolerant to it and say
we need to protect the children and not have such things be seen as ok because our Mother and Father do it?

When is it ok to say no?
After someone dies.?
Here in BC, we have people who go to the city and tell them for example: There is a park abused by kids. They smoke, drink, put fires, have sex hidden behind the bushes, and gangs tend to overtake these areas so others can't walk through it. The park is surrounded by homes at risk of being affected by this behavior. Solution? Cut the trees, clean it up so it becomes less dangerous.
Well 10 years later  a girl was killed there and then the city felt sorry and cleaned it up.
If the girl was not killed, nothing would have  been done and no rational person of reason would be able to use this area around his/her home, to this day.

Where was the rationality and common sense here on the side of the municipality?
They were warned something would happen and they waited till it did.
Should they be held accountable for the death of this child as well as the person who did it?

We all want freedom but we are freer when we also have the right to be intolerant to things which is bad for society as a whole.
Sometimes things viewed as hypocrisy, ignorance and superstition is there for a reason because it saves lives.


Rick Watson said...

It's too late for action once someone is lost. Sad but true.

Sandy Carlson said...

It's a challenge to convince kids that these greats have lived our lives and have valuable insights.

Thanks for this post.

Anonymous said...

love. love your comments,

Annie v.

Gattina said...

I would be curious to see how Voltaire would behave today ?? He had already a quiet adventurous life at his time ! Besides his mother tongue French and then English he also spoke fluently Italian and Spanish. He had a very agitated love life and even had an affair with his own niece ! He was against all religions and was a real troublemaker. Therefore he was also chased from country to country. Maybe he also smoked Canabis, at least he loved wine very, very much !! All that made him to an excellent writer who wasn't appreciated at all in his time !
His father was desperate with him, he absolutely wanted to be him a lawyer !! Lol !

A Lady's Life said...

Rick it is always the same story.
There always has to be a tragedy before things get done.
Short of getting a petition going, no one cares and yet they stand as leaders and upstanding members of our community who should care.
Even churches today collect tons of money and then lock doors .There is no refuge to be found for the homeless and the poor which God said he stands up for.

A Lady's Life said...

Sandy - I find students are taught and have to sit with missing links because first off, they don't know why literature and history is important. Its boring cause they can't relate. The same with math and science but if you show them how it relates then you capture the interest. But if you tell them about this guy who went through all this and then wrote a book and then this book explains how the person viewed life when there was say a waretc... you kill three birds with one stone.

A Lady's Life said...

Gattina I think Voltaire would be in his element.
Probably no one would even care what he had to say. He could smoke and drink himself to kingdom come and no leader would care.
As times change so do people. When we pass laws we do it thinking it will be great but we don't realize they are great because people are good people on the whole.
Today we pass laws and no one cares.The ones who break them have no money and really don't care if they spend time in jail.When they get out they again have no job and no money and do the same things all over again.With drugs and booze they fry their brains and political parties love these people cause they vote for drugs and alcohol and leave them alone .
It's destructive all around.
Our aim is to live in a free and beautiful world and we need good, clear headed, smart people, if this is ever to happen.