All Time Famous Voltaire Quotes

Voltaire Quotes

Voltaire, born François-Marie Arouet in 1694, was a leading figure of the French Enlightenment. Known for his sharp wit and satirical writings, he championed reason, religious tolerance, and freedom of speech. Voltaire critiqued established institutions, including the Catholic Church and monarchy, advocating for the separation of church and state. His influential novella, “Candide” (1759), satirized optimism and exposed the absurdities of the world. Voltaire’s prolific output encompassed plays, essays, letters, and philosophical treatises. A staunch defender of intellectual freedom, his ideas had a profound impact on Enlightenment thinkers and contributed to shaping modern Western thought. He died in 1778, leaving a lasting legacy as a critical and influential voice of his era.

Voltaire Quotes

1. “Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.”
— Voltaire

2. “I don’t know where I am going, but I am on my way.”
— Voltaire

3. “The most important decision you make is to be in a good mood.”
— Voltaire

4. “The more I read, the more I acquire, the more certain I am that I know nothing.”
— Voltaire

5. “Common sense is not so common.”
— Voltaire

6. “Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do.”
— Voltaire

7. “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”
— Voltaire

8. “Writing is the painting of the voice.”
— Voltaire

9. “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”
— Voltaire

10. “Think for yourself and let others enjoy the privilege of doing so too.”
— Voltaire

11. “The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.”
— Voltaire

12. “Don’t think money does everything or you are going to end up doing everything for money.”
— Voltaire

13. “The best is the enemy of the good.”
— Voltaire

14. “The happiest of all lives is a busy solitude.”
— Voltaire

15. “No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.”
— Voltaire

16. “It is better to risk saving a guilty person than to condemn an innocent one.”
— Voltaire

17. “My life is a struggle.”
— Voltaire

18. “Present opportunities are not to be neglected; they rarely visit us twice.”
— Voltaire

19. “Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.”
— Voltaire

20. “If you want to know who controls you, look at who you are not allowed to criticize.”
— Voltaire

21. “To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid – one must also be well-mannered.”
— Voltaire

22. “Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world.”
— Voltaire

23. “The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us”
— Voltaire

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

25. “History never repeats itself. Man always does.”
— Voltaire

26. “It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.”
— Voltaire

27. “Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”
— Voltaire

28. “God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.”
— Voltaire

29. “Man is free at the moment he wishes to be.”
— Voltaire

30. “Work spares us from three evils: boredom, vice, and need.”
— Voltaire

31. “Prejudices are what fools use for reason.”
— Voltaire

32. “God is a circle whose center is everywhere and circumference nowhere.”
— Voltaire

33. “Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value – zero.”
— Voltaire

34. “May God defend me from my friends: I can defend myself from my enemies.”
— Voltaire

35. “Everything you say should be true, but not everything true should be said.”
— Voltaire

36. “Paradise is where I am.”
— Voltaire

37. “When it is a question of money, everybody is of the same religion.”
— Voltaire

38. “If you wish to converse with me, define your terms.”
— Voltaire

39. “Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it.”
— Voltaire

40. “Dare to think for yourself.”
— Voltaire

41. “Prejudice is opinion without judgement.”
— Voltaire

42. “The biggest reward for a thing well done is to have done it.”
— Voltaire

43. “Men argue. Nature acts.”
— Voltaire

44. “Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.”
— Voltaire

45. “Doubt is uncomfortable, certainty is ridiculous.”
— Voltaire

46. “A witty saying proves nothing.”
— Voltaire

47. “Be bold, proclaim it everywhere: They only live who dare.”
— Voltaire

48. “What is history? The lie that everyone agrees on…”
— Voltaire

49. “I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: ‘O Lord make my enemies ridiculous.’ And God granted it.”
— Voltaire

50. “The more often a stupidity is repeated, the more it gets the appearance of wisdom.”
— Voltaire

51. “The right to free speech is more important than the content of the speech.”
— Voltaire

52. “It is not more surprising to be born twice than once; everything in nature is resurrection.”
— Voltaire

53. “Let us cultivate our garden.”
— Voltaire

54. “God created woman to tame man.”
— Voltaire

55. “Fanaticism is a monster that pretends to be the child of religion.”
— Voltaire

56. “Life is a shipwreck but we must remember to sing in the lifeboats.”
— Voltaire

57. “Optimism is the madness of insisting that all is well when we are miserable.”
— Voltaire

58. “Liberty of thought is the life of the soul.”
— Voltaire

59. “Men will always be mad, and those who think they can cure them are the maddest of all.”
— Voltaire

60. “We must cultivate our own garden. When man was put in the garden of Eden he was put there so that he should work, which proves that man was not born to rest.”
— Voltaire

61. “I would rather obey a fine lion, much stronger than myself, than two hundred rats of my own species.”
— Voltaire

62. “All the reasonings of men are not worth one sentiment of women.”
— Voltaire

63. “It is clear that the individual who persecutes a man, his brother, because he is not of the same opinion, is a monster.”
— Voltaire

64. “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

65. “The only way to comprehend what mathematicians mean by Infinity is to contemplate the extent of human stupidity.”
— Voltaire

66. “We’re neither pure, nor wise, nor good; we do the best we know.”
— Voltaire

67. “One should always aim at being interesting, rather than exact.”
— Voltaire

68. “Perfection is attained by slow degrees; it requires the hand of time.”
— Voltaire

69. “It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.”
— Voltaire

70. “To enjoy life we must touch much of it lightly.”
— Voltaire

71. “I have chosen to be happy because it is goo for my health.”
— Voltaire

72. “Tears are the silent language of grief.”
— Voltaire

73. “We adore, we invoke, we seek to appease, only that which we fear.”
— Voltaire

74. “The instinct of a man is to pursue everything that flies from him, and to fly from all that pursue him.”
— Voltaire

75. “We look to Scotland for all our ideas of civilisation.”
— Voltaire

76. “Wherever my travels may lead, paradise is where I am.”
— Voltaire

77. “God is a comedian playing to an audience that is too afraid to laugh.”
— Voltaire

78. “There are some that only employ words for the purpose of disguising their thoughts.”
— Voltaire

79. “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.”
— Voltaire

80. “If God did not exist, He would have to be invented. But all nature cries aloud that he does exist: that there is a supreme intelligence, an immense power, an admirable order, and everything teaches us our own dependence on it.”
— Voltaire

81. “Language is a very difficult thing to put into words.”
— Voltaire

82. “History is the lie commonly agreed upon.”
— Voltaire

83. “A witty saying proves nothing, but saying something pointless gets people’s attention.”
— Voltaire

84. “Give me the patience for the small things of life, courage for the great trials of life. Help me to do my best each day and then go to sleep knowing God is awake.”
— Voltaire

85. “The composition of a tragedy requires testicles.”
— Voltaire

86. “Meditation is the dissolution of thoughts in Eternal awareness or Pure consciousness without objectification, knowing without thinking, merging finitude in infinity.”
— Voltaire

87. “Constant happiness is the philosopher’s stone of the soul.”
— Voltaire

88. “A long dispute means both parties are wrong.”
— Voltaire

89. “Doctors put drugs of which they know little into bodies of which they know less for diseases of which they know nothing at all.”
— Voltaire

90. “The comfort of the rich depends upon an abundant supply of the poor.”
— Voltaire

91. “History is nothing but a pack of tricks that we play upon the dead.”
— Voltaire

92. “History consists of a series of accumulated imaginative inventions.”
— Voltaire

93. “Why are the Jews hated? It is the inevitable result of their laws; they either have to conquer everybody or be hated by the whole human race…”
— Voltaire

94. “If there’s life on other planets, then the earth is the Universe’s insane asylum.”
— Voltaire

95. “It is not the answers you give, but the questions you ask.”
— Voltaire

96. “The world embarrasses me, and I cannot dream that this watch exists and has no watchmaker.”
— Voltaire

97. “Every man is a creature of the age in which he lives and few are able to raise themselves above the ideas of the time.”
— Voltaire

98. “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

99. “Man is not born wicked; he becomes so, as he becomes sick.”
— Voltaire

100. “I am convinced that everything has come down to us from the banks of the Ganges, astronomy, astrology, metempsychosis, etc…”
— Voltaire

101. “The mirror is a worthless invention. The only way to truly see yourself is in the reflection of someone else’s eyes.”
— Voltaire

102. “We are all full of weakness and errors; let us mutually pardon each other our follies – it is the first law of nature.”
— Voltaire

103. “We never live; we are always in the expectation of living.”
— Voltaire

104. “Love truth, but pardon error.”
— Voltaire

105. “Atheism is the vice of a few intelligent people.”
— Voltaire

106. “Is there anyone so wise as to learn by the experience of others?”
— Voltaire

107. “The institution of religion exists only to keep mankind in order, and to make men merit the goodness of God by their virtue. Everything in a religion which does not tend towards this goal must be considered foreign or dangerous.”
— Voltaire

108. “Where some states possess an army, the Prussian Army possesses a state.”
— Voltaire

109. “God created sex. Priests created marriage.”
— Voltaire

110. “You have no control over the hand that life deals you, but how you play that hand is entirely up to you.”
— Voltaire

111. “In France every man is either an anvil or a hammer; he is a beater or must be beaten.”
— Voltaire

112. “Errors flies from mouth to mouth, from pen to pen, and to destroy it takes ages.”
— Voltaire

113. “Weakness on both sides is, as we know, the motto of all quarrels.”
— Voltaire

114. “To the living we owe respect, but to the dead we owe only the truth.”
— Voltaire

115. “It is not enough to conquer; one must learn to seduce.”
— Voltaire

116. “Whoever serves his country well has no need of ancestors.”
— Voltaire

117. “It is not sufficient to see and to know the beauty of a work. We must feel and be affected by it.”
— Voltaire

118. “Changing a habit is hard work. But it’s harder to find work that would be more fulfilling.”
— Voltaire

119. “Virtuous men alone possess friends.”
— Voltaire

120. “There can be no happiness without good health.”
— Voltaire

121. “Shun idleness. It is rust that attaches itself to the most brilliant metals.”
— Voltaire

122. “He was my equal in beauty, a paragon of grace and charm, sparkling with wit, and burning with love. I adored him to distraction, to the point of idolatry: I loved him as one can never love twice.”
— Voltaire

123. “The human brain is a complex organ with the wonderful power of enabling man to find reasons for continuing to believe whatever it is that he wants to believe.”
— Voltaire

124. “The progress of rivers to the ocean is not so rapid as that of man to error.”
— Voltaire

125. “He was not the greatest of men but he was the greatest of kings.”
— Voltaire

126. “History is only the pattern of silken slippers descending the stairs to the thunder of hobnailed boots climbing upward from below.”
— Voltaire

127. “There is no such thing as an accident. What we call by that name is the effect of some cause which we do not see.”
— Voltaire

128. “Give me a few minutes to talk away my face and I can seduce the Queen of France.”
— Voltaire

129. “An ideal form of government is democracy tempered with assassination.”
— Voltaire

130. “The darkness is at its deepest. Just before the sunrise.”
— Voltaire

131. “Life is bristling with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to cultivate one’s garden.”
— Voltaire

132. “The hallmark of a free society is that I may totally disapprove of what you say, but I’ll defend your right to say it until I die.”
— Voltaire

133. “Earth is an insane asylum, to which the other planets deport their lunatics.”
— Voltaire

134. “Reading nurtures the soul, and an enlightened friend brings it solace.”
— Voltaire

135. “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

136. “Very often, say what you will, a knave is only a fool.”
— Voltaire

137. “Men hate the individual whom they call avaricious only because nothing can be gained from him.”
— Voltaire

138. “Wine is the divine juice of September.”
— Voltaire

139. “Persistence with patience and prayer pays with profits, prosperity and peace of mind.”
— Voltaire

140. “Poetry is the music of the soul, and, above all, of great and feeling souls.”
— Voltaire

141. “All men have equal rights to liberty, to their property, and to the protection of the laws.”
— Voltaire

142. “Indolence is sweet, and its consequences bitter.”
— Voltaire

143. “Clever tyrants are never punished.”
— Voltaire

144. “It is not love that should be depicted as blind, but self-love.”
— Voltaire

145. “The safest course is to do nothing against one’s conscience. With this secret, we can enjoy life and have no fear from death.”
— Voltaire

146. “Nature has always had more force than education.”
— Voltaire

147. “You must have the devil in you to succeed in the arts.”
— Voltaire

148. “I have no morals, yet I am a very moral person.”
— Voltaire

149. “Ideas are like beards; men do not have them until they grow up.”
— Voltaire

150. “He who thinks himself wise, O heavens! is a great fool.”
— Voltaire

151. “It is lamentable, that to be a good patriot one must become the enemy of the rest of mankind.”
— Voltaire

152. “When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the morning light, for your life and strength. Give thanks for your food, and the joy of living. Tecumseh Appreciation is a wonderful thing; it makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”
— Voltaire

153. “All is for the best in the best of all possible worlds.”
— Voltaire

154. “Opinion has caused more trouble on this little earth than plagues or earthquakes.”
— Voltaire

155. “The man who, in a fit of melancholy, kills himself today, would have wished to live had he waited a week.”
— Voltaire

156. “Madness is to think of too many things in succession too fast, or of one thing too exclusively.”
— Voltaire

157. “Originality is nothing but judicious imitation. The most original writers borrowed one from another.”
— Voltaire

158. “Stand upright, speak thy thoughts, declare The truth thou hast, that all may share; Be bold, proclaim it everywhere: They only live who dare.”
— Voltaire

159. “One always speaks badly when one has nothing to say.”
— Voltaire

160. “The supposed right of intolerance is absurd and barbaric. It is the right of the tiger; nay, it is far worse, for tigers do but tear in order to have food, while we rend each other for paragraphs.”
— Voltaire

161. “Time is man’s most precious asset. All men neglect it; all regret the loss of it; nothing can be done without it.”
— Voltaire

162. “I was never ruined but twice: once when I lost a lawsuit, and once when I won one.”
— Voltaire

163. “Most of my life has been one tragedy after another, most of which hasn’t happened.”
— Voltaire

164. “To hold a pen is to be at war.”
— Voltaire

165. “Men are equal; it is not birth but virtue that makes the difference.”
— Voltaire

166. “Being unable to make people more reasonable, I preferred to be happy away from them.”
— Voltaire

167. “Historians are gossips who tease the dead.”
— Voltaire

168. “Sensual pleasure passes and vanishes, but the friendship between us, the mutual confidence, the delight of the heart, the enchantment of the soul, these things do not perish and can never be destroyed.”
— Voltaire

169. “If God created us in his own image, we have more than reciprocated.”
— Voltaire

170. “Everything’s fine today, that is our illusion.”
— Voltaire

171. “It is said that the present is pregnant with the future.”
— Voltaire

172. “To achieve a goal, a dream, a wish, you must plan it out for success!”
— Voltaire

173. “Men will commit atrocities as long as they believe absurdities.”
— Voltaire

174. “A multitude of laws in a country is like a great number of physicians, a sign of weakness and malady.”
— Voltaire

175. “I envy animals for two things – their ignorance of evil to come, and their ignorance of what is said about them.”
— Voltaire

176. “Use, do not abuse; neither abstinence nor excess ever renders man happy.”
— Voltaire

177. “In the case of news, we should always wait for the sacrament of confirmation.”
— Voltaire

178. “Satire lies about literary men while they live and eulogy lies about them when they die.”
— Voltaire

179. “History is filled with the sound of silken slippers going downstairs and wooden shoes coming up.”
— Voltaire

180. “The true triumph of reason is that it enables us to get along with those who do not possess it.”
— Voltaire

181. “Providence has given us hope and sleep as a compensation for the many cares of life.”
— Voltaire

182. “Marriage is the only adventure open to the cowardly.”
— Voltaire

183. “The Bible. That is what fools have written, what imbeciles commend, what rogues teach and young children are made to learn by heart.”
— Voltaire

184. “Is politics nothing other than the art of deliberately lying?”
— Voltaire

185. “The passions are the winds which fill the sails of the vessel; they sink it at times, but without them it would be impossible to make way.”
— Voltaire

186. “The man who says to me, “Believe as I do, or God will damn you,” will presently say, “Believe as I do, or I shall assassinate you.””
— Voltaire

187. “Superstition sets the whole world in flames, but philosophy douses them.”
— Voltaire

188. “Christianity is the most ridiculous, the most absurd and bloody religion that has ever infected the world.”
— Voltaire

189. “History is the study of the world’s crime.”
— Voltaire

190. “Another century and there will not be a Bible on earth!”
— Voltaire

191. “This agglomeration which was called and which still calls itself the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire.”
— Voltaire

192. “The more you know, the less sure you are.”
— Voltaire

193. “Philosopher: A lover of wisdom, which is to say, Truth.”
— Voltaire

194. “By appreciation, we make excellence in others our own property.”
— Voltaire

195. “What can you say to a man who tells you he prefers obeying God rather than men, and that as a result he’s certain he’ll go to heaven if he cuts your throat?”
— Voltaire

196. “Dogs, monkeys, and parrots are a thousand times less miserable than we are.”
— Voltaire

197. “It is as impossible to translate poetry as it is to translate music.”
— Voltaire

198. “Let us meet four times a year in a grand temple with music, and thank God for all his gifts. There is one sun. There is one God. Let us have one religion. Then all mankind will be brethren.”
— Voltaire

199. “The way to become boring is to say everything.”
— Voltaire

200. “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.”
— Voltaire

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