“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.”
What did Voltaire mean by this? He meant to warn us against demagogues and populists. Charismatic liars such as these are capable of convincing you to believe things that you know to be wrong. Once they can convince you to believe an absurdity, it is a small step to convince you to act on it. For example: If I can convince you that gravity has been reversed, then it will be an easy thing to convince you that you will fly instead of fall if you just jump off the top of the tallest building around. This is why you should reject people who try to convince you that the absurd is actually true and that the truth is absurd.
Now, consider this:
If you hear someone — anyone, even the President — telling…
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