"Happy is the one who can feel their different merits" I came across several articles relating to Brexit where Voltaire and Adams were quoted (I link to one dealing with Voltaire in the context of our current dark ages)
"Though Voltaire wrote in a private letter that ‘our religion [Christianity] is without a doubt the most ridiculous and the most absurd’ he was able to publicly present convincing arguments for tolerance by carefully quoting the Gospels.
Even men in the highest positions felt free to mock the religious dogmas of the time, such as Cicero when he spoke of hell; ‘Not even an old imbecile would believe in it’.
There is an 18th-century quote, most often attributed to Voltaire, that could pass muster today were he a 21st-century philosopher seeking to warn us about a religion political correctness sensitivities disallow identifying by name: “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.”
“Dare to Know! Have courage to use your own reason!”Both Voltaire and Kant would be appalled that 21st century democracies have, by their own actions, slipped back into the Dark Ages, banning knowledge and free thought...
In a 1985 article in the New York Times titled “One Too Many for the Muse,” J. Anthony Lukas noted that “an exhaustive roster of literary scrooders would be too long to publish here.” He then provided a partial list of some 60 American writers whose drinking was noteworthy. Most are among the usual suspects—Poe, Faulkner, Hemingway, Kerouac, Capote. But the drinking of some—James Whitcomb Riley, Katherine Anne Porter, Wallace Stevens—is less well-known.
“The Writer and Addiction”: The relationship between literature and alcoholism
America Isn’t as Powerful as It Thinks It Is Stephen Walt, Foreign Policy (Re Silc: “It’s why guys in sandals and ak47s always beat us”).