Voltaire (1694-1778) quotes

 

  • A witty saying proves nothing.
  • All men are born with a nose and ten fingers, but no one was born with a knowledge of God.
  • All murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.
  • Anyone who seeks to destroy the passions instead of controlling them is trying to play the angel.
  • Anything too stupid to be said is sung.
  • Appreciation is a wonderful thing: it makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.
  • As long as people believe in absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities.
  • Behind every successful man stands a surprised mother-in-law.
  • Chance is a word void of sense; nothing can exist without a cause.
  • Common sense is not so common.
  • Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game.
  • Every man is guilty of the good he did not do.
  • Every one goes astray, but the least imprudent are they who repent the soonest.
  • Everything's fine today, this is our illusion.
  • Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.
  • Fear follows crime and is its punishment.
  • God is not on the side of the big battalions, but on the side of those who shoot best.
  • He must be very ignorant for he answers every question he is asked.
  • I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it.
  • If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.
  • It is better to risk saving a guilty man that to condemn an innocent one.
  • It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.
  • It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.
  • It is lamentable, that to be a good patriot one must become the enemy of the rest of mankind.
  • It is vain for the coward to flee; death follows close behind; it is only by defying it that the brave escape.
  • Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.
  • Life is thickly sown with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to pass quickly through them. The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us.
  • Man is free at the moment he wishes to be.
  • Men hate the individual whom they call avaricious only because nothing can be gained from him.
  • No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.
  • Nothing can be more contrary to religion and the clergy than reason and common sense.
  • One great use of words is to hide our thoughts.
  • Opinion has caused more trouble on this little earth than plague or earthquakes.
  • Optimism is the madness of insisting that all is well when we are miserable.
  • Our country is that spot to which our heart is bound.
  • Prejudices are what fools use for reason.
  • The Holy Roman Empire is neither Holy, nor Roman, nor an Empire.
  • The safest course is to do nothing against one's conscience. With this secret, we can enjoy life and have no fear from death.
  • The secret of being a bore.. is to tell everything.
  • The true triumph of reason is that it enables us to get along with those who do not possess it.
  • Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the priviledge to do so, too.
  • Time, which alone makes the reputaiton of men, ends by making their defects respectable.
  • To the living we owe respect, but to the dead we owe only the truth.
  • We are rarely proud when we are alone.
  • When it is a question of money, everybody is of the same religion.
  • Whoever serves his country well has no need for ancestors.

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