Voltaire Quotes

Quotes tagged as "voltaire" Showing 1-30 of 80
Voltaire
“God is a comedian playing to an audience that is too afraid to laugh.”
Voltaire

Voltaire
“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

Voltaire
“I should like to know which is worse: to be ravished a hundred times by pirates, and have a buttock cut off, and run the gauntlet of the Bulgarians, and be flogged and hanged in an auto-da-fe, and be dissected, and have to row in a galley -- in short, to undergo all the miseries we have each of us suffered -- or simply to sit here and do nothing?'
That is a hard question,' said Candide.”
Voltaire, Candide

Christopher Hitchens
“Thus, though I dislike to differ with such a great man, Voltaire was simply ludicrous when he said that if god did not exist it would be necessary to invent him. The human invention of god is the problem to begin with.”
Christopher Hitchens, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

Voltaire
“Behind every successful man stands a surprised mother-in-law.”
voltaire

Voltaire
“You are very harsh.'
'I have seen the world.”
Voltaire, Candide

Voltaire
“But there must be some pleasure in condemning everything--in perceiving faults where others think they see beauties.'
'You mean there is pleasure in having no pleasure.”
Voltaire, Candide

Voltaire
“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, Candide

“Carpe diem: Enjoying the "instants" as they emerge. When living is too comfy or glitzy, it may not be easy to appreciate the humblest things in life. Being happy with the small gifts we receive can be a bliss, but we can, even more, expand it through voluntary action and exalting Voltaire's words, "today, I have decided to be happy." (« Is that all there is?")”
Erik Pevernagie

Christopher Hitchens
“As a convinced atheist, I ought to agree with Voltaire that Judaism is not just one more religion, but in its way the root of religious evil. Without the stern, joyless rabbis and their 613 dour prohibitions, we might have avoided the whole nightmare of the Old Testament, and the brutal, crude wrenching of that into prophecy-derived Christianity, and the later plagiarism and mutation of Judaism and Christianity into the various rival forms of Islam. Much of the time, I do concur with Voltaire, but not without acknowledging that Judaism is dialectical. There is, after all, a specifically Jewish version of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, with a specifically Jewish name—the Haskalah—for itself. The term derives from the word for 'mind' or 'intellect,' and it is naturally associated with ethics rather than rituals, life rather than prohibitions, and assimilation over 'exile' or 'return.' It's everlastingly linked to the name of the great German teacher Moses Mendelssohn, one of those conspicuous Jewish hunchbacks who so upset and embarrassed Isaiah Berlin. (The other way to upset or embarrass Berlin, I found, was to mention that he himself was a cousin of Menachem Schneerson, the 'messianic' Lubavitcher rebbe.) However, even pre-enlightenment Judaism forces its adherents to study and think, it reluctantly teaches them what others think, and it may even teach them how to think also.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

Voltaire
“Vous craignez les livres comme certaines bourgades ont craint les violons. Laissez lire, et laissez danser; ces deux amusements ne feront jamais de mal au monde.”
Voltaire

Victor Hugo
“Joie est mon caractere,
C'est la faute a Voltaire;
Misere est mon trousseau
C'est la faute a Rousseau.
[Joy is my character,
'Tis the fault of Voltaire;
Misery is my trousseau
'Tis the fault of Rousseau.]
- Gavroche”
Victor Hugo

Thomas Henry Huxley
“There are some men who are counted great because they represent the actuality of their own age, and mirror it as it is. Such an one was Voltaire, of whom it was epigrammatically said: 'he expressed everybody's thoughts better than anyone.' But there are other men who attain greatness because they embody the potentiality of their own day and magically reflect the future. They express the thoughts which will be everybody's two or three centuries after them. Such as one was Descartes.”
Thomas Henry Huxley

Martin Gardner
“There are, and always have been, destructive pseudo-scientific notions linked to race and religion; these are the most widespread and damaging. Hopefully, educated people can succeed in shedding light into these areas of prejudice and ignorance, for as Voltaire once said: 'Men will commit atrocities as long as they believe absurdities.”
Martin Gardner

Voltaire
“My dear young lady, when you are in love, and jealous, and have been flogged by the Inquisition, there's no knowing what you may do.”
Voltaire, Candide

“The multitude of books is making us ignorant.

Voltaire Foundation, Fran�oise de Graffigny, Femme de Lettres: Ecriture Et Reception

Voltaire
“The first step, my son, which one makes in the world, is the one on which depends the rest of our days.”
Voltaire

Christopher Hitchens
“Kissinger projects a strong impression of a man at home in the world and on top of his brief. But there are a number of occasions when it suits him to pose as a sort of Candide: naive, and ill-prepared for and easily unhorsed by events. No doubt this pose costs him something in point of self-esteem. It is a pose, furthermore, which he often adopts at precisely the time when the record shows him to be knowledgeable, and when knowledge or foreknowledge would also confront him with charges of responsibility or complicity.”
Christopher Hitchens, The Trial of Henry Kissinger

Voltaire
“It is man´s faith to live either on agonies of fear and turmoil or in the prostration of boredom.”
Voltaire, Candide

Christopher Hitchens
“In the aftermath of the recent wave action in the Indian Ocean, even the archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williamson [sic], proved himself a latter-day Voltairean by whimpering that he could see how this might shake belief in a friendly creator. Williamson is of course a notorious fool, who does an almost perfect imitation of a bleating and frightened sheep, but even so, one is forced to rub one's eyes in astonishment. Is it possible that a grown man could live so long and still have his personal composure, not to mention his lifetime job description, upset by a large ripple of seawater?”
Christopher Hitchens

Walt Whitman
“Shocked? I consider Bob one of the constellations of our time — of our country — America — a bright, magnificent constellation. Besides, all the constellations—not alone of this but of any time—shock the average intelligence for a while. In one respect that helps to prove it a constellation. Think of Voltaire, Paine, Hicks, not to say anything of modern men whom we could mention.

{Whitman's thoughts on his close friend, the great Robert Ingersoll}”
Walt Whitman, Walt Whitman's Camden Conversations

David Lee Roth
“You've got to roll with the punches to get to what's real.”
David Lee Roth

Robert Ingersoll's character was as nearly perfect as it is possible for the character of mortal man to be... none sweeter or nobler had ever blessed the world. The example of his life was of more value to posterity than all the sermons that were ever written on the doctrine of original sin... The genius for humor and wit and satire of a Voltaire, a wide amplitude of imagination, and a greatness of heart and brain that placed him upon an equal footing with the greatest thinkers of antiquity. He stands, at the close of his career, the first great reformer of the age.

{Thomas' words at the funeral of the great Robert Ingersoll}”
Charles Spalding Thomas

Will Durant
“To rise again - to be the same person that you were - you must have your memory perfectly fresh and present; for it is memory that makes your identity.

If your memory be lost, how will you be the same man?

Why do mankind flatter themselves that they alone are gifted with a spiritual and immortal principle?

Perhaps from their inordinate vanity.

I am persuaded that if a peacock could speak he would boast of his soul, and would affirm that it inhabited his magnificent tail.”
Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the World's Greatest Philosophers

Will Durant
“History,” [Voltaire] concludes, “is after all nothing but a pack of tricks which we play upon the dead”;40 we transform the past to suit our wishes for the future, and in the upshot “history proves that anything can be proved by history.”
Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the World's Greatest Philosophers

Haruki Murakami
“Ideas are like beards. Men don’t have them until they grow up”
Haruki Murakami, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

Will Durant
“Perhaps, "for the common people a rewarding and avenging God" is necessary.

Bayle had asked, If a society of atheists could subsist? Voltaire answers, "Yes, if they are also philosophers".

But men are seldom philosophers.”
Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the World's Greatest Philosophers

“Hoy nos quejamos de tener un exceso de libros; pero de esto no deben quejarse los lectores, porque nadie les obliga a leer. A pesar de la cantidad enorme de libros que se publica, es escasísimo el número de lectores que leen; y si leyeran con fruto, se dirian las deplorables tonterias que llenan tantas cabezas?”
Roberto R Aramayo

Voltaire
“Candide: "Çok acımasızsınız" dedi. Martin: "Hayatın ne olduğunu biliyorum da ondan" diye yanıtladı.”
Voltaire

Salman Rushdie
“Earthquakes, I point out, have always made men eager to placate the gods. After the great Lisbon earthquake of November 1, 1755—that catastrophe which Voltaire saw as an irrefutable argument for the tragic view of life and against Leibnizian optimism—the locals decided on a propitiatory auto-da-fé.”
Salman Rushdie, The Ground Beneath Her Feet

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