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Voltaire's Candide is a satiric work that promulgates the philosophy of the Enlightenment by satirizing its opponents. It can be read as a defense of Epicureanism (a classical philosophical system revived by Enlightenment scholars in Britain) against competing philosophical systems of Leibniz, Christianity, Plato, and other organized religions, with the concluding notion of cultivating one's garden referring to the Garden of Epicurus. Voltaire's attacks on Christianity focus on the senseless cruelty of the Inquisition, the dogmatism of other parts of the Roman Catholic Church, and the naive sentimentality of pietism. He also argues against the notion of divine providence giving meaning to good and evil events, but instead by showing how disasters affect good and evil humans alike, argues the Enlightenment position of purely material scientific theories of causation.
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