Voltaire Quotes

Voltaire

French author, humanist, rationalist, & satirist (1694 - 1778)

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The multitude of books is making us ignorant.

Categorized under Books

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The secret of being a bore is to tell everything.

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Chance is a word void of sense; nothing can exist without a cause.

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Whoever serves his country well has no need of ancestors.

Categorized under Family

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Very often, say what you will, a knave is only a fool.

Categorized under Fool

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I know many books which have bored their readers, but I know of none which has done real evil.

Categorized under Literature

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Love is a canvas furnished by Nature and embroidered by imagination.

Categorized under Love

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Love has features which pierce all hearts, he wears a bandage which conceals the faults of those beloved. He has wings, he comes quickly and flies away the same.

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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.

Categorized under Misfortune

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Opinion has caused more trouble on this little earth than plagues or earthquakes.

Categorized under Opinion

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You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time - but most of the time they will make fools of themselves.

Categorized under People

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Poetry is the music of the soul, and, above all, of great and feeling souls.

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To believe in God is impossible not to believe in Him is absurd.

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The world embarrasses me, and I cannot dream that this watch exists and has no watchmaker.

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Nothing can be more contrary to religion and the clergy than reason and common sense.

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The public is a ferocious beast; one must either chain it or flee from it.

Categorized under Society

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As long as people believe in absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities.

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Men use thought only to justify their wrong doings, and speech only to conceal their thoughts.

Categorized under Thoughts

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When is a question of money, everybody is of the same religion.

Categorized under Wealth

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Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.

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God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.

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To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered.

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"Animals have these advantages over man: they never hear the clock strike, they die without any idea of death, they have no theologians to instruct them, their last moments are not disturbed by unwelcome and unpleasant ceremonies, their funerals cost them nothing, and no one starts lawsuits over their wills.

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It is an infantile superstition of the human spirit that virginity would be thought a virtue and not the barrier that separates ignorance from knowledge

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I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: "O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous." And God granted it.

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The superfluous is very necessary.

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It is one of the superstitions of the human mind to have imagined that virginity could be a virtue.

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A witty saying proves nothing.

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Anything too stupid to be said is sung.

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A witty saying proves nothing.

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To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid; you must also be well-mannered.

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If God created us in his own image, we have more than reciprocated.

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England has forty-two religions and only two sauces.

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Work saves us from three great evils: boredom, vice and need.

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Canada: A few acres of snow.

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I was never ruined but twice: once when I lost a lawsuit, and once when I won one.

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Animals have these advantages over man: they never hear the clock strike, they die without any idea of death, they have no theologians to instruct them, their last moments are not disturbed by unwelcome and unpleasant ceremonies, their funerals cost them nothing, and no one starts lawsuits over their wills.

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Marriage is the only adventure open to the cowardly.

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It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.

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When it is a question of money, everyone is of the same religion.

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The Holy Roman Empire was neither holy, nor Roman nor an Empire.

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The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.

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A witty saying proves nothing.

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A clergyman is one who feels himself called upon to live without working at the expense of the rascals who work to live.

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It is one of the superstitions of the human mind to have imagined that virginity could be a virtue.

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Once the people begin to reason, all is lost.

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The art of government consists in taking as much money as possible from one class of the citizens to give to the other.

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Anything that is too stupid to be spoken is sung.

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This poem will never reach its destination.

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May God defend me from my friends; I can defend myself from my enemies.

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Since the whole affair had become one of religion, the vanquished were of course exterminated.

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Doctors are men who prescribe medicines of which they know little, to cure diseases of which they know less in human beings of whom they know nothing.

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This is no time to make new enemies.

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The secret of being boring is to say everything.

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Men are equal; it is not birth but virtue that makes the difference.

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God created sex. Priests created marriage.

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There is an astonishing imagination, even in the science of mathematics... We repeat, there was far more imagination in the head of Archimedes than in that of Homer.

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The multitude of books is making us ignorant.

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Love truth, and pardon error.

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Use, do not abuse; neither abstinence nor excess ever renders man happy.

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As long as there are fools and rascals, there will be religions.

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Now, now my good man, this is no time for making enemies.

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Indeed, history is nothing more than a tableau of crimes and misfortunes.

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A witty saying proves nothing.

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A witty saying proves nothing.

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Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

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Judge of a man by his questions rather than by his answers.

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Prejudice is opinion without judgement.

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All sects are different, because they come from men; morality is everywhere the same, because it comes from God.

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You despise books; you whose lives are absorbed in the vanities of ambition, the pursuit of pleasure or indolence; but remember that all the known world, excepting only savage nations, is governed by books.

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There is a wide difference between speaking to deceive, and being silent to be impenetrable.

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The man who leaves money to charity in his will is only giving away what no longer belongs to him.

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Marriage is the only adventure open to the cowardly.

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True greatness consists in the use of a powerful understanding to enlighten oneself and others.

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It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.

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Regimen is superior to medicine.

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It is better to risk saving a guilty person than to condemn an innocent one.

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I have lost the half of myself

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I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

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Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.

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Do well and you will have no need for ancestors.

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Indeed, history is nothing more than a tableau of crimes and misfortunes.

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Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too.

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When its a question of money, everybody is of the same religion.

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I disapprove of what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it.

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If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.

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All is for the best in the best of all possible ways.

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Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so too.

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In general, the art of government consists in taking as much money as possible from one part of the citizens to give to the other.

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God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.

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To be absolutely certain about something, one must know everything or nothing about it.

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God is a circle whose center is everywhere and circumference nowhere.

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God is always on the side of the big battalions.

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Animals have these advantages over man: they never hear the clock strike, they die without any idea of death, they have no theologians to instruct them, their last moments are not disturbed by unwelcome and unpleasant ceremonies, their funerals cost them nothing, and no one starts lawsuits over their wills.

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It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.

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When it is a question of money, everyone is of the same religion.

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[Optimism is] the obstinacy of maintaining that everything is best when it is worst.

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I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: "O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous." And God granted it.

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To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered.

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The public is a ferocious beast -- one must either chain it up or flee from it.

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Man is free at the moment he wishes to be.

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Common sense is not so common.

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Doubt is not a pleasant condition but certainty is an absurd one.

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It is far better to be silent than merely to increase the quantity of bad books.

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We never live; we are always in the expectation of living.

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Love is a canvas furnished by Nature and embroidered by imagination.

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The history of human opinion is scarcely anything more than the history of human errors.

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Anything too stupid to be said is sung.

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I believe that there never was a creator of a philosophical system who did not confess at the end of his life that he had wasted his time. It must be admitted that the inventors of the mechanical arts have been much more useful to men that the inventors of syllogisms. He who imagined a ship towers considerably above him who imagined innate ideas.

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Verses which do not teach men new and moving truths do not deserve to be read.

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The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.

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He is a hard man who is only just, and a sad one who is only wise.

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