François-Marie Arouet, known by his nom de plume Voltaire, was a French Enlightenment writer, historian, and philosopher. His intelligence, wit, and style made him one of the greatest writers. His greatest works include the satirical novella Candide and the tragic play Zaïre. Famous Voltaire quotes will broaden your thinking and inspire you to be free.
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If you want to know who controls you, look at who you are not allowed to criticize
One great use of words is to hide our thoughts.
Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers
If you want to know who controls you, look at who you are not allowed to criticize.
Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.
The more often a stupidity is repeated, the more it gets the appearance of wisdom.
Dare to think for yourself.
Common sense is genius in homespun.
When it is a question of money, everybody is of the same religion
Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.
For can anything be sillier than to insist on carrying a burden one would continually much rather throw to the ground?
Man is free at the moment he wishes to be.
Men must have somewhat altered the course of nature; for they were not born wolves, yet they have become wolves. God did not give them twenty four pounders or bayonets, yet they have made themselves bayonets and guns to destroy each other. In the same category I place not only bankruptcies, but the law which carries off the bankrupts’ effects, so as to defraud their creditors
It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets
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.
If there were no God, it would be necessary to invent him.
Men will always be mad, and those who think they can cure them are the maddest of all
Optimism the obstinacy of maintaining that everything is best when it is worst. Voltaire
History never repeats itself. Man always does
When a man is in love, jealous, and just whipped by the Inquisition, he is no longer himself. Voltaire
There are some that only employ words for the purpose of disguising their thoughts.
Come! Your presence will either give me life or kill me with pleasure. Voltaire
Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world
It is love; love, the comfort of the human species, the preserver of the universe, the soul of all sentient beings, love, tender love. Voltaire
The secret of being a bore is to tell everything.
If this is the best of possible worlds, what then are the others? Voltaire
Wherever my travels may lead, paradise is where I am.
Fools admire everything in an author of reputation. Voltaire
Use, do not abuse; neither abstinence nor excess ever renders man happy
I hold firmly to my original views. After all, I am a philosopher. Voltaire
We all look for happiness, but without knowing where to find it: like drunkards who look for their house, knowing dimly that they have one
I too, have known love, that ruler of hearts, that soul of our soul: it’s never brought me anything except one kiss and twenty kicks in the rump. How could such a beautiful cause produce such an abominable effect on you? Voltaire
It is not inequality which is the real misfortune, it is dependence.
Men must have somewhat altered the course of nature, for they were not born wolves, yet they have become wolves. God did not give them twenty four pounders or bayonets, yet they have made themselves bayonets and guns to destroy each other. In the same category, I place not only bankruptcies but the law which carries off the bankrupts’ effects, to defraud their creditors. Voltaire
Everything you say should be true, but not everything true should be said
Just for the sake of amusement, ask each passenger to tell you his story, and if you find a single one who hasn’t often cursed his life, who hasn’t told himself he’s the most miserable man in the world, you can throw me overboard head first. Voltaire
The comfort of the rich depends upon an abundant supply of the poor
Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats. Voltaire
It is better to risk saving a guilty person than to condemn an innocent one
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. Voltaire
Prejudices are what fools use for reason
Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd. Voltaire
Men argue. Nature acts.
Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world. Voltaire
The only way to make men speak well of us is to do it.
God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well. Voltaire
What most people consider as virtue, after the age of 40 is simply a loss of energy.
God has punished the knave, and the devil has drowned the rest. Voltaire
When man was put into the garden of eden, he was put there with the idea that he should work the land; and this proves that man was not born to be idle
God is a comedian playing to an audience that is too afraid to laugh. Voltaire
It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong.
Faith consists in believing what reason cannot. Voltaire
Don’t think money does everything or you are going to end up doing everything for money
Religion began when the first scoundrel met the first fool. Voltaire
Work keeps at bay three great evils: boredom, vice, and need
Superstition is to religion what astrology is to astronomy the mad daughter of a wise mother. These daughters have too long dominated the earth. Voltaire
One day everything will be well, that is our hope. Everything’s fine today, that is our illusion.
I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: Oh Lord, make my enemies ridiculous. And God granted it. Voltaire
In general, the art of government consists of taking as much money as possible from one class of citizens to give to another.
Of all religions, the Christian should, of course, inspire the most tolerance, but until now Christians have been the most intolerant of all men. Voltaire
Irregularity is inherent in our very nature; expecting people to be perfectly wise is as crazy as putting wings on dogs or horns on eagles.
If you have two religions in your land, the two will cut each other’s throats; but if you have thirty religions, they will dwell in peace. Voltaire
The pursuit of pleasure must be the goal of every rational person.
If God created us in his own image, we have more than reciprocated Voltaire
Madness is to think of too many things in succession too fast, or of one thing too exclusively
It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong Voltaire
The more a man knows, the less he talks.
Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. Voltaire
To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid one must also be polite.
Politics has its source in evil than in the greatness of the human spirit. Voltaire