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The Best of All Possible Worlds

Nobody is at a good position to explain how the world works and why it works the way it works. Many scholars have tried to explain how the world works, but it has all depended on how they interpret the meaning of the actions in the world as it varies from person to person. In an essay titled “Candide” by Voltaire, the author explores his own interpretation on how the world works and why it works that way. Similarly, the biblical Book of Job records how the world works and why it works that way. These sources present different meanings, which vary from individual to individual. This essay will focus on the two works above in explaining how the world works and why it works that way.

Voltaire has used various characters in his essay to provide different scenarios on how the world works and why it works that way. In this essay, the author has used a character called Candide who has a lot of experience related, and works against him. Through him, he gets tortured, becomes captured and kills several men in his journey all around the world. Despite Candide experienced several scenes of suffering in the essay, he maintained his philosophy and believed that all things were happening for the good end. He believes that a situation is only as serious as an individual believes it is bad. He stresses that more bad things happen to the good people, and there is little one can do in reversing the situation.

Throughout the essay, Voltaire has used numerous quotations to justify why the world works this way. There is a quote “we are going to another universe: the one that all is well….”. The quote is used in the episode when they were reunited with the old women (Voltaire 20). The author has used this quotation to show that despite the characters undergoing after horrific scenes, they still have to believe in their philosophy of optimism. In this quote, the author explains that all that happens in the world is beyond the person’s control. Characters of the book can do little about it but to remain optimistic about their philosophy. According to the author, bad things are not lasting as they are overridden by the good ones when the time reaches. It is true no situation is lasting, and all that happens in the world is just to upgrade one to another stage in life either through death, or developing the mechanism of dealing with the situation. Developing mechanisms to deal with the world’s scenes has become the result of bad experiences that humanity has undergone in the world.

In another quote “for private misfortunes are for the public good” suggests that every bad thing that happens to an individual is for the public interest and good (Voltaire 10). This view is right, owing to what takes place in the world today in terms of war and death. The misfortune, which takes place when there is war, leads to death, and death is for the public good. As people die individually, the public benefits through reduced competition from resources and more spaces are created. It, therefore, implies that private misfortunes lead to the public good through the additional options which are available for the public at the individual’s expense.

The writer of the Book of Job explains much on how the humanity interprets how the world works. Humanity has a lot of explanations regarding where the water comes from, the distinction between light and darkness, the occurrence of lightening among others. In the Book of Job, God communicates with Job telling him that he does not know where his best explanations come from, and they are all guesses. All the best explanations by men are based on guess work, and all the activities of man are directed at honoring God without necessarily having the surety that these activities please him.     

One of the quotes in the Book of Job: 38 is “Have you been shown the gates of death .....” which was asked by God (Newsom 45). This means that God is not aware of man’s imagination about death but instead should get the words from God.  According to the writer of the Book of Job, humanity keeps on guessing what is good for God, observing at the same time what is happening in the world, and wishes to please God with the actions done. In this quote, God asks the man if he has shown them the gates of death to bring down man’s speculations on the interpretation of what’s taking place in the world and why it is happening.

There is a similar quote “Who is this that obscures my plans with words without my knowledge” in the Book of Job: 38 (Newsom 43).  Mankind keeps on guessing God’s activities and going ahead of God in determining the Lord’s plan without his knowledge. These are used in guessing scenes which can be used in explaining the phenomena taking place in the world and why they are taking place. According to this quote, the writer of the Book of Job wanted to explain the extent of man in his imaginations about what’s taking place in the world without including the knowledge of God.

From the above facts and interpretation, it is evident that everyone has his or her own way of interpreting what’s taking place in the world. According to the essay of Voltaire, the misfortunes happen for the sake of public good and individuals have little or no control over them. The writer of the Book of Job views what is happening in the world in view of man’s interpretation. People do not know what is happening and keep on guessing against the wishes of God.

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