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Erik Örjan Emilsson

Erik Örjan Emilsson on Chapter 9:

I don’t find it particularly ironic that a work of satirical fiction attacking the prejudices of a racist, bigoted and oppressive era falls short of establishing relevant norms for a contemporary moral correctness. Furthermore, enlightenment thinkers could often sympathize with the humanist tendencies of Christianity, while attacking the authoritarian aspects of the Mosaic heritage. These circumstances hardly favoured an open-minded view of judaism.

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Erik Örjan Emilsson on Chapter 4:

Bernard Mandeville’s THE FABLE OF THE BEES, OR PRIVATE VICES, PUBLICK BENEFITS, which is widely held to have introduced this line of resoning was first published in 1714, and was twice presented by a Grand Jury as a public nuisance. During the three years Voltaire spent in England it was yearly reprinted and an object of heated moral debate.

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Erik Örjan Emilsson on Chapter 3:

Also: Throughout the book Voltaire insists on depicting rapes as an integral aspect of warfare. General debate has only quite recently (was it in the the 90’s?) caught up with Voltaire’s unblinkered viewpoint.

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Erik Örjan Emilsson on Chapter 3:

compare, for instance, Emir Kusturica’s UNDERGROUND

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Erik Örjan Emilsson on Chapter 3:

Also the phrase is perfectly true: the bayonets WERE sufficient reasons for these peoples deaths, and this fact IS a strong philosophic counterargument against Panglossian optimism. The successful application of scientific logic (cause and effect) to human society in no way guarantees that we will build ‘the best possible’ of all societies. (Besides, I take the acrimonious humour of his formulation to be deeply humane, rather than cynical or splatter-farcical)

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Erik Örjan Emilsson on Chapter 1:

This discussion threatens to stray too far from the subject, BUT: is not the popular tendency to ‘explain’ religious taboos as functional an interesting example of Panglossian logic?

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Total comments in book: 226