FACT CHECK: Did Voltaire Say, ‘God Is A Comedian Playing To An Audience Too Afraid To Laugh’?
An image shared on Facebook claims that French philosopher Voltaire said, “God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.”
There is no evidence that Voltaire authored this saying. It may be a version of a statement written by American author H.L. Mencken.
François-Marie Arouet, better known by his pen name “Voltaire,” was one of the most influential figures of the Enlightenment, an intellectual movement that championed human reason. A poet, satirist and philosopher, Voltaire is perhaps best known for his 1759 novella “Candide.”
“This quote is very widely attributed to Voltaire, and is certainly in his style, but in fact it is from H.L. Mencken, who has a certain similarity to Voltaire in his expression,” City University of New York theatre historian Marvin Carlson, an expert on Voltaire’s theatrical works, told The Daily Caller in an email.
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