Voltaire And Rousseau : A Byproduct Of The Lisbon Earthquake Essay

1002 Words Mar 22nd, 2016 5 Pages
The argument between Voltaire and Rousseau is a byproduct of the Lisbon earthquake. The Lisbon earthquake becomes a notion of evil that no one can fully understand. It’s really the start of secularization in the early 18th century. Voltaire and Rousseau interpret the Lisbon earthquake in two very different ways both of which start to question man’s relationship with evil. Voltaire’s faith in a transcendental god is shaken. Voltaire doesn’t understand Lisbon. He’s furious at god for letting this happen and it begins to make him question whether or not god is actually benevolent. Although he still accepts a metaphysical god he begins to push away from the church. The Lisbon earthquake is a true turning point for man and a major shift in worldview takes place at the end of the 18th and the beginning of 19th century. Rousseau brings a new way of thinking into the 19th century which gives him the title, father of modernity. Rousseau’s argument is even further than the mind can grasp at the time, he believes man is the sole cause of all destruction, equating such evil (Lisbon earthquake) as a consequence of man. This is the first time evil is really seen as a direct result of man’s actions. By giving people a sense of causality for sheer destruction and leaving god as an outside observer Rousseau starts the beginning of man’s separation from a theological god. Nevertheless, Rousseau’s faith in god remains strong. Rousseau sees Lisbon as a consequence to man acting poorly and…

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