03 April 2010

There was no effect without cause

Pangloss taught metaphysico-theologico-cosmo-nigology. He could prove to wonderful effect that there was no effect without cause, and that, in this best of all possible worlds, His Lordship, the Baron's castle was the finest of castles and the Ladyship the best of all possible baronesses.'

It is demonstratable,' he would say, 'that things cannot be other than as they are: for, since everything is made to serve an end, everything is necessarily for the best of ends. Observe how noses were formed to support spectacles, therefore we have spectacles. Legs are clearly devised for the wearing of breeches, therefore we wear breeches. Stones were formed to be hewn and made into castles, hence his Lordship's beautiful castle, for the greatest baron in the province must perforce be the best housed; and since pigs were made to be eaten, we eat pork all year around; consequently, those who argued that all is well have been talking nonsense; they should have said that all is for the best.

'From 'Candide' by Voltaire.

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