Francois-Marie Arouet de Voltaire, commonly known by his pen name Voltaire was a satirical polemicist, who criticized many of the intolerant, religious dogmas that were practiced in France and on the European continent.
He was a strong intellectual challenger to the French government, laws, & its officials. For his free thinking and outspokenness he was jailed several times and even sent into exile. His books and commentaries on civil liberties, freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and most important of all his arguments on separation of church and state helped shape the world in many respects.
Voltaire’s arguments, principles and maxims are embodied in the written Constitutions of many free democratic countries.
Voltaire is credited with the following quotes –
(a) “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it”.
(b) “I detest what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write”
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