I would like to discuss with you a quote from Voltaire

“We murder to dissect.”

Pardon me, but I would much rather discuss/argue this idea after I have read your responses (really!). I still don’t quite understand that statement.

I think it roughly reffers to the fact that when we “murder” something (a concept, a belief, etc…) we do it in order to see what made it believable, what made it “alive”.

Thus, we kill to dissect. And we dissect to assimilate.

Do you think that we destroy the intentions of these beliefs when we try to analyze them?

At the time Voltaire was writing the Catholic church still had a great deal of influence over intellectual pursuits so he could be subtly referencing their faith based errors. That is, to murder an idea which is problematic and false, is to free oneself from the error, and move closer to the truth.

Murder is also a word that indicates violence, and so within the metaphor that I take the quote to be, it seems to be a statement that points to a strength of inquiry. We murder and dissect in order to know ourselves what it is. Their is a very personal element to it that seems to distinguish between heresay and personal discovery.

“Thus, we kill to dissect. And we dissect to assimilate.” Thats a good way of putting it Inward.

“Do you think that we destroy the intentions of these beliefs when we try to analyze them?”

I dont think we do, but it all depends on what kind of “beliefs” you are referencing. In certain cases I think the analysis has the ability to expand or reinforce them; in others it would probably do irrepairable harm to what you believed prior to the investigation.