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Voltaire quotes (showing 1-30 of 599)

“Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world.”
“Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.”
“‎Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.”
“It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.”
“The more I read, the more I acquire, the more certain I am that I know nothing.”
“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.”
Voltaire, Questions sur les Miracles à M. Claparede, Professeur de Théologie à Genève, par un Proposant: Ou Extrait de Diverses Lettres de M. de Voltaire
“Common sense is not so common.”
Voltaire, A Pocket Philosophical Dictionary
“Love truth, but pardon error.”
“I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: Oh Lord, make my enemies ridiculous. And God granted it."

(Letter to Étienne Noël Damilaville, May 16, 1767)”
“I have wanted to kill myself a hundred times, but somehow I am still in love with life. This ridiculous weakness is perhaps one of our more stupid melancholy propensities, for is there anything more stupid than to be eager to go on carrying a burden which one would gladly throw away, to loathe one’s very being and yet to hold it fast, to fondle the snake that devours us until it has eaten our hearts away?”
Voltaire, Candide: or, Optimism
“I don’t know where I am going, but I am on my way.”
“God is a comedian playing to an audience that is too afraid to laugh.”
“Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do.”
“Dare to think for yourself.”
“Despite the enormous quantity of books, how few people read! And if one reads profitably, one would realize how much stupid stuff the vulgar herd is content to swallow every day.”
“Now, now my good man, this is no time to be making enemies."
(Voltaire on his deathbed in response to a priest asking him that he renounce Satan.)”
“Fools have a habit of believing that everything written by a famous author is admirable. For my part I read only to please myself and like only what suits my taste.”
Voltaire, Candide
“God is a circle whose center is everywhere and circumference nowhere.”
“It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.”
Voltaire, The Age of Louis XIV
“The most important decision you make is to be in a good mood.”
“Doubt is an uncomfortable condition, but certainty is a ridiculous one.”
“The secret of being a bore is to tell everything.”
“It is better to risk saving a guilty person than to condemn an innocent one.”
Voltaire, Zadig
“Think for yourself and let others enjoy the privilege of doing so too.”
Voltaire, Traité sur la tolérance, à l'occasion de la mort de Jean Calas
“Faith consists in believing what reason cannot.”
Voltaire, The Works: Voltaire
“Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it.”
“Ice-cream is exquisite. What a pity it isn't illegal.”
tags: food
“Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”
“Our wretched species is so made that those who walk on the well-trodden path always throw stones at those who are showing a new road.”
Voltaire, Philosophical Dictionary
“If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.”

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