This is the discussion. Candide is a most vivid and often absurd tale revealing the immorality in a fair number of moral presuppositions.

This passage reminds me of another great work by Thomas More titled Utopia.  In Utopia, “criminals who are to bear the mark of some disgraceful act are forced to wear golden rings in their ears and on their fingers, golden chains around their necks, and even gold headbands.  Thus they hold gold and silver up to scorn in every conceivable way.”(More 2167).  In these two passages, two concepts are highlighted: the focus on material wealth fostered in Europe, and the assumption that people of other cultures find the same items valuable.  Gold, emeralds, and rubies do not have any other value except that which is placed on them by men.  In other cultures, these items are nothing but rocks and minerals.  European conquest of indigenous people depended on exploiting their natural resources; while treating them as inferior because they did not have the same values.  The huge appetite for material wealth continues today and contributes to many of the world’s problems.  In Voltaire’s Candide, the reader is shown through satire how ridiculous and destructive the drive for material wealth can be.