Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by Voltaire. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.
François-Marie Arouet (French: [fʁɑ̃swa maʁi aʁwɛ]; 21 November 1694 – 30 May 1778), known by his nom de plume Voltaire (also US: ; French: [vɔltɛːʁ]), was a French Enlightenment writer, historian, and philosopher famous for his wit, his criticism of Christianity—especially the Roman Catholic Church—as well as his advocacy of freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and separation of church and state.
Voltaire was a versatile and prolific writer, producing works in almost every literary form, including plays, poems, novels, essays, histories, and scientific expositions. He wrote more than 20,000 letters and 2,000 books and pamphlets. He was one of the first authors to become renowned and commercially successful internationally. He was an outspoken advocate of civil liberties, and he was at constant risk from the strict censorship laws of the Catholic French monarchy. His polemics witheringly satirized intolerance, religious dogma, and the French institutions of his day.
Titles are of no value to posterity; the name of a man who has achieved great deeds imposes more respect than any or all epithets.
It must be slow, for I have been drinking it for sixty-five years and I am not yet dead.
Labor rids us of three great evils poverty, vice, and boredom.
Dress changes the manners.
The post is the grand connecting link of all transactions, of all negotiations. Those who are absent, by its means become present; it is the consolation of life.
It is not known precisely where angels dwell -- whether in the air, the void, or the planets. It has not been God's pleasure that we should be informed of their abode.
One day everything will be well, that is our hope. Everything's fine today, that is our illusion.
There are two things for which animals are to be envied: they know nothing of future evils, or of what people say about them.
The opportunity for doing mischief is found a hundred times a day, and of doing good once in a year.
All people are equal, it is not birth, it is virtue alone that makes the difference.
All the citizens of a state cannot be equally powerful, but they may be equally free.
Will is wish, and liberty is power.
All kinds are good except the kind that bores you.
The punishment of criminals should serve a purpose. When a man is hanged he is useless.
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.
Every man is guilty of all the good he didn't do.
All is for the best in the best of all possible ways.
A woman can keep one secret -- the secret of her age.
Society therefore is as ancient as the world.
We look to Scotland for all our ideas of civilization.
The heart has its own reasons that reason can't understand.
Great men have all been formed either before academies or independent of them.
One should always aim at being interesting, rather than exact.
If mankind were born tomorrow it would divide into groups; each would scramble to invent their one and only god, and set about butchering each-other.
When one man speaks to another man who doesn't understand him, and when a man who's speaking no longer understands, it's metaphysics.
People will continue to commit atrocities as long as they believe in absurdities.
Those who can be made to believe absurdities can be made to commit atrocities.
If we believe absurdities, we shall commit atrocities.
What would constitute useful history? That which should teach us our duties and our rights, without appearing to teach them.
How I like the boldness of the English, how I like the people who say what they think!
But nothing is more estimable than a physician who, having studied nature from his youth, knows the properties of the human body, the diseases which assail it, the remedies which will benefit it, exercises his art with caution, and pays equal attention to the rich and the poor.
Better is the Enemy of Good.
In the beginning God created man in His own image, and man has been trying to repay the favor ever since.
FANATICISM is, to superstition, what delirium is to fever, and fury to anger : he who has ecstasies and visions, who takes dreams for realities, and imaginations for prophecies, is an enthusiast ; and he, who sticks not at supporting his folly by murder, is a fanatic.
Fanaticism, to which men are so much inclined, has always served not only to render them more brutalized but more wicked.
They soothed him with words of flattery, and they gave him hope--the two traps into which people the world over will always fall.
Wisdom must yield to superstition's rules,
Who arms with bigot zeal the hand of fools.
We are all guilty of the good we did not do.
I shall relate quite simply how things happened and without adding anything of my own, which is no small feat for an historian.
If God created us in his own image, we have more than reciprocated.
The most amazing and effective inventions are not those which do most honour to the human genius.
It is not inequality which is the real misfortune, it is dependence.
Whatever you do, crush the infamous thing, and love those who love you.
Whatever you do, trample down abuses, and love those who love you. Different translation: Whatever you do, crush the infamous thing superstition, and love those who love you.
Independence in the end is the fruit of injustice.
We are going to a new world... and no doubt it is there that everything is for the best; for it must be admitted that one might lament a little over the physical and moral happenings of our own world.
If you want good laws, burn those you have and make new ones.
Mortals are equal; their mask differs.
A multitude of laws in a country is like a great number of physicians, a sign of weakness and malady.
Fanaticism is a monster that pretends to be the child of religion.
When he to whom one speaks does not understand, and he who speaks himself does not understand, that is Metaphysics.
I hold firmly to my original views. After all I am a philosopher.
The comfort of the rich depends upon an abundant supply of the poor.
A yawn may not be polite, but at least it is an honest opinion.
I have seen so many extraordinary things that nothing seems extraordinary to me.
The Pope is an idol whose hands are tied and whose feet are kissed.
The multiplicity of facts and writings is become so great that every thing must soon be reduced to extracts and dictionaries.
Luxury has been railed at for two thousand years, in verse and in prose, and it has always been loved.
The discovery of what is true and the practice of that which is good are the two most important aims of philosophy.
In cities where peace and the arts flourish, men are more consumed by jealousy, worry, and anxiety than they are in cities under the blight of a besieging army. Private sorrows are more bitter than public suffering.
The pursuit of pleasure must be the goal of every rational person.
Everywhere the weak execrate the powerful, before whom they cringe; and the powerful beat them like sheep whose wool and flesh they sell.
Every one should be his own physician. We ought to assist, and not to force nature. Eat with moderation...Nothing is good for the body but what we can digest. What medicine can procure digestion? Exercise. What will recruit strength? Sleep.
It is not enough to be exceptionally mad, licentious and fanatical in order to win a great reputation; it is still necessary to arrive on the scene at the right time.
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.
Religion began when the first scoundrel met the first fool.
The policy of man consists, at first, in endeavoring to arrive at a state equal to that of animals, whom nature has furnished with food, clothing, and shelter.
Every evil begets some good.
Sect and error are synonymous.
We are at the end of all our troubles, and at the beginning of happiness.
Life is bristling with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to cultivate one's garden.
The best way to be boring is to include everything.
Is politics nothing other than the art of deliberately lying?
To make a vow for life is to make oneself a slave.
Your destiny is that of a man, your vows those of a god.
Perfect is the enemy of good.
Perfect is the enemy of good. ".
Antiquity is full of the praises of another antiquity still more remote.
The worthy administrators of justice are like a cat set to take care of a cheese, lest it should be gnawed by the mice. One bite of the cat does more damage to the cheese than twenty mice can do.
But in this country it is necessary, now and then, to put one admiral to death in order to inspire the others to fight.
An admiral should be put to death now and then to encourage the others.
He who can lead you to believe an absurdity can lead you to commit an atrocity.
History is only the pattern of silken slippers descending the stairs to the thunder of hobnailed boots climbing upward from below.
A man loved by a beautiful woman will always get out of trouble.
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.
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.
Indolence is sweet, and its consequences bitter.
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.
Reading nurtures the soul, and an enlightened friend brings it solace.
Exaggeration, the inseparable companion of greatness.
So it is the human condition that to wish for the greatness of one's fatherland is to wish evil to one's neighbors. The citizen of the universe would be the man who wishes his country never to be either greater or smaller, richer or poorer.
Candide listened attentively and believed innocently; for he thought Miss Cunegonde extremely beautiful, though he never had the courage to tell her so.
War is the greatest of all crimes; and yet there is no aggressor who does not color his crime with the pretext of justice.
Why, since we are always complaining of our ills, are we constantly employed in redoubling them?
All the ancient histories, as one of our wits say, are just fables that have been agreed upon.
I am convinced that everything has come down to us from the banks of the Ganges, astronomy, astrology, metempsychosis, etc. It does not behoove us, who were only savages and barbarians when these Indians and Chinese peoples were civilized and learned, to dispute their antiquity.
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.