From the French Dictionnaire Philosophique, translated by William F. Fleming. The Philosophical Dictionary is not a sustained work, but a compilation of articles contributed to Diderot's Encyclopédie. The quality of the articles bear witness to the great genius and intellect of François-Marie Arouet, more known as Voltaire.
ip on earth; just as we draw the masterpieces of heaven--those spirits which we call angels, and which we paint and sculpture in our churches--adorned sometimes with two wings, sometimes with four, and sometimes even with six.
We have already asked, with the judicious Locke, what is the boundary of distinction between the human and merely animal figure; what is the point of monstrosity at which it would be proper to take your stand against baptizing an infant, against admitting it as a member of the human species, against according to it the possession of a soul? We have seen that this boundary is as difficult to be settled as it is difficult to ascertain what a soul is; for there certainly are none who know what it is but theologians.
Why should the satyrs which St. Jerome saw, the offspring of women and baboons, have been reputed monsters? Might it not be thought, on the contrary, that their lot was in reality happier than ours? Must they not have possessed more strength and more agility? and