Page:Toleration and other essays.djvu/105

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On Toleration

their insolent ignorance, would it be improper to speak of them as wild beasts?

The more the superstitions of the monks are despised, the more the bishops and priests are respected; while they do good, the monkish superstitions from Rome do nothing but evil. And of all these superstitions, is not the most dangerous that of hating one's neighbour on account of his opinions? And is it not evident that it would be even more reasonable to worship the sacred navel, the sacred prepuce, and the milk and dress of the Virgin Mary, than to detest and persecute one's brother?


The less we have of dogma, the less dispute; the less we have of dispute, the less misery. If that is not true, I am wrong.

Religion was instituted to make us happy in this world and the next. What must we do to be happy in the next world? Be just.[1] What must we do to be happy in this world, as far as the misery of our nature allows? Be indulgent.

It would be the height of folly to pretend to bring all men to have the same thoughts in metaphysics. It would be easier to subdue the whole universe by arms than to subdue all the minds in a single city.

Euclid easily persuaded all men of the truths of

  1. It may be useful to recall that, as earlier pages show, Voltaire did not believe in the "next world." Much of the phrasing of this part is, when it is not ironical, merely an argumentum ad hominem.—J. M.