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I am an honours graduate (BSc. Hons. Strath-Glasgow) coupled with an MBA-ICG (Paris) , experienced, Metallurgist - Materials Scientist and Engineer & Manager turned Consultant & Blogger. I specialised in Superalloys (aero-engine_Seminal Work peer reviewed & published IOM3_MST, Feb.1985, the 2nd issue of this now well known journal dedicated to the fundamental aspects in our multidisciplinary subject area ) My experience over a wide range of Special Alloys is extensive. (Cryogenic,Controlled Expansion-Dilatometric,Magnetic, Corrosion Resistant Grades and finally HSLA-Aircraft Undercarriage. (Great Stuff-I was lucky) My responibilities were especially in Melting & Refining to 1st Forming stage. Responsibilities include QC,QA & Accounting, Melt/Remelt Process  & Products, R&D.  Bilingual English-French. 
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Wednesday, 14 January 2015

ENTHOUSIASTIC or FANATIC _ FANATICISM - analysed and described by Votaire (translated to English)

Recent events here in France have prompted this post _ Voltaire's analysis and description has been recommended to us by a young but highly experienced and successful teacher. It is an excellent approach to improve awareness both in youngsters seeking guidance and for adults looked upon for guidance in response to current affairs involving increasing violence and now fanaticism and barbaric terrorism.

FANATICISM  - analysed and described by Voltaire (translated to English ref. web link below)
Extract of text often used for French Higher Certificate (BAC- Baccalaureate.
English Translation ref:
Fanaticism is, in reference to superstition, what delirium is to fever, or rage to anger. He who is involved in ecstasies and visions, who takes dreams for realities, and his own imaginations for prophecies, is a fanatical novice of great hope and promise, and will probably soon advance to the highest form, and kill man for the love of God.
Bartholomew Diaz was a fanatical monk. He had a brother at Nuremberg called John Diaz, who was an enthusiastic adherent to the doctrines of Luther, and completely convinced that the pope was Antichrist, and had the sign of the beast. Bartholomew, still more ardently convinced that the pope was god upon earth, quits Rome, determined either to convert or murder his brother; he accordingly murdered him! Here is a perfect case of fanaticism. We have noticed and done justice to this Diaz elsewhere.
Polyeuctes, who went to the temple on a day of solemn festival, to throw down and destroy the statues and ornaments, was a fanatic less horrible than Diaz, but not less foolish. The assassins of Francis, duke of Guise, of William, prince of Orange, of King Henry III., of King Henry IV., and various others, were equally possessed, equally labouring under morbid fury, with Diaz.
The most striking example of fanaticism is that exhibited on the night of St. Bartholomew, when the people of Paris rushed from house to house to stab, slaughter, throw out of the window, and tear in pieces their fellow citizens not attending mass. Guyon, Patouillet, Chaudon, Nonnotte, and the ex-Jesuit Paulian, are merely fanatics in a corner — contemptible beings whom we do not think of guarding against. They would, however, on a day of St. Bartholomew, perform wonders.
There are some cold-blooded fanatics; such as those judges who sentence men to death for no other crime than that of thinking differently from themselves, and these are so much the more guilty and deserving of the execration of mankind, as, not labouring under madness like the Clements, Châtels, Ravaillacs, and Damiens, they might be deemed capable of listening to reason.
There is no other remedy for this epidemical malady than that spirit of philosophy, which, extending itself from one to another, at length civilizes and softens the manners of men and prevents the access of the disease. For when the disorder has made any progress, we should, without loss of time, fly from the seat of it, and wait till the air has become purified from contagion. Law and religion are not completely efficient against the spiritual pestilence. Religion, indeed, so far from affording proper nutriment to the minds of patients labouring under this infectious and infernal distemper, is converted, by the diseased process of their minds, into poison. These malignant devotees have incessantly before their eyes the example of Ehud, who assassinated the king of Eglon; of Judith, who cut off the head of Holofernes while in bed with him; of Samuel, hewing in pieces King Agag; of Jehoiada the priest, who murdered his queen at the horse-gate. They do not perceive that these instances, which are respectable in antiquity, are in the present day abominable. They derive their fury from religion, decidedly as religion condemns it.
Laws are yet more powerless against these paroxysms of rage. To oppose laws to cases of such a description would be like reading a decree of council to a man in a frenzy. The persons in question are fully convinced that the Holy Spirit which animates and fills them is above all laws; that their own enthusiasm is, in fact, the only law which they are bound to obey.
What can be said in answer to a man who says he will rather obey God than men, and who consequently feels certain of meriting heaven by cutting your throat?

When once fanaticism has gangrened the brain of any man the disease may be regarded as nearly incurable. I have seen Convulsionaries who, while speaking of the miracles of St. Paris, gradually worked themselves up to higher and more vehement degrees of agitation till their eyes became inflamed, their whole frames shook, their countenances became distorted by rage, and had any man contradicted them he would inevitably have been murdered.
Yes, I have seen these wretched Convulsionaries writhing their limbs and foaming at their mouths. They were exclaiming, “We must have blood.” They effected the assassination of their king by a lackey, and ended with exclaiming against philosophers.
Fanatics are nearly always under the direction of knaves, who place the dagger in their hands. These knaves resemble Montaigne’s “Old Man of the Mountain,” who, it is said, made weak persons imagine, under his treatment of them, that they really had experienced the joys of paradise, and promised them a whole eternity of such delights if they would go and assassinate such as he should point out to them. There has been only one religion in the world which has not been polluted by fanaticism and that is the religion of the learned in China. 

The above text is often studied for French Higher Certificate (BAC- Baccalaureate.
Note on:-
The religion of the learned in China. (Buddhism rather than Confucianism)
But it continues…..
The different sects of ancient philosophers were not merely exempt from this pest of human society, but they were antidotes to it: for the effect of philosophy is to render the soul tranquil, and fanaticism and tranquillity are totally incompatible. That our own holy religion has been so frequently polluted by this infernal fury must be imputed to the folly and madness of mankind. Thus Icarus abused the wings which he received for his benefit. They were given him for his salvation and they insured his destruction:
Ainsi du plumage qu’il eut
Icare pervertit l’usage;
Il le reçut pour son salut,
Il s’en servit pour son dommage.
— Bertaut, bishop of Séez.

I feel it fitting that this translation was brought to us from the far off Australia thus spanning the numerous english speaking regions, countries and continents struggling to implement proper education and struggle against fanaticism.



Other recommended reading: "Peanuts" by Charles (Charlie)Shultz

In memoriam: Lockerbie 1988 

I shall post Voltaire's original "letter" in french in my next post.