121 Wise and Inspiring Quotes by Philosopher Voltaire

Collection of famous quotes by Voltaire.

François-Marie Arouet, known by his nom de plume Voltaire, 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

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Best Quotes by Voltaire

What most persons consider as virtue after the age of 40 is simply a loss of energy.

— Voltaire

He who has not the spirit of this age has all the misery of it.

— Voltaire

We are rarely proud when we are alone.

— Voltaire

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

Time which alone makes the reputation of men ends by making their defects respectable.

— Voltaire

The ancient Romans built their greatest masterpieces of architecture their amphitheaters for wild beasts to fight in.

— Voltaire

In general the art of government consists of taking as much money as possible from one class of citizens to give to another.

— Voltaire

The art of government is to make two-thirds of a nation pay all it possibly can pay for the benefit of the other third.

— Voltaire

The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.

— Voltaire

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

— Voltaire

God is not on the side of the big battalions but on the side of those who shoot best.

— Voltaire

Never argue at the dinner table for the one who is not hungry always gets the best of the argument.

— Voltaire

The best is the enemy of the good.

— Voltaire

The best government is a benevolent tyranny tempered by an occasional assassination.

— Voltaire

The best way to be boring is to leave nothing out.

— Voltaire

God gave us the gift of life it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.

— Voltaire

Business is the salt of life.

— Voltaire

I do not agree with what you have to say but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.

— Voltaire

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

It is vain for the coward to flee death follows close behind it is only by defying it that the brave escape.

— Voltaire

Nature has always had more force than education.

— Voltaire

Is there anyone so wise as to learn by the experience of others?

— Voltaire

Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.

— Voltaire

What a heavy burden is a name that has become too famous.

— Voltaire

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

Fear follows crime and is its punishment.

— Voltaire

Friendship is the marriage of the soul and this marriage is liable to divorce.

— Voltaire

The superfluous a very necessary thing.

— Voltaire

It is said that the present is pregnant with the future.

— Voltaire

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

God gave us the gift of life it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.

— Voltaire

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

— Voltaire

God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.

— Voltaire

All men are born with a nose and ten fingers but no one was born with a knowledge of God.

— Voltaire

God is not on the side of the big battalions but on the side of those who shoot best.

— Voltaire

If God did not exist it would be necessary to invent Him.

— Voltaire

Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity.

— Voltaire

If there were no God it would be necessary to invent him.

— Voltaire

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.

— Voltaire

If God created us in his own image we have more than reciprocated.

— Voltaire

The very impossibility in which I find myself to prove that God is not discovers to me his existence.

— Voltaire

To believe in God is impossible not to believe in Him is absurd.

— Voltaire

Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do.

— Voltaire

It is lamentable that to be a good patriot one must become the enemy of the rest of mankind.

— Voltaire

Better is the enemy of good.

— Voltaire

The best is the enemy of the good.

— Voltaire

The opportunity for doing mischief is found a hundred times a day and of doing good once in a year.

— Voltaire

All styles are good except the tiresome kind.

— Voltaire

In this country it is a good thing to kill an admiral from time to time to encourage the others.

— Voltaire

In general the art of government consists of taking as much money as possible from one class of citizens to give to another.

— Voltaire

An ideal form of government is democracy tempered with assassination.

— Voltaire

The art of government is to make two-thirds of a nation pay all it possibly can pay for the benefit of the other third.

— Voltaire

The ideal form of government is democracy tempered with assassination.

— Voltaire

The best government is a benevolent tyranny tempered by an occasional assassination.

— Voltaire

One great use of words is to hide our thoughts.

— Voltaire

The infinitely little have a pride infinitely great.

— Voltaire

History is only the register of crimes and misfortunes.

— Voltaire

Indeed history is nothing more than a tableau of crimes and misfortunes.

— Voltaire

History should be written as philosophy.

— Voltaire

The instruction we find in books is like fire. We fetch it from our neighbours kindle it at home communicate it to others and it becomes the property of all.

— Voltaire

Love is a canvas furnished by nature and embroidered by imagination.

— Voltaire

Common sense is not so common.

— Voltaire

All men are born with a nose and ten fingers but no one was born with a knowledge of God.

— Voltaire

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

God gave us the gift of life it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.

— Voltaire

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

Life is thickly sown with thorns and I know no other remedy than to pass quickly through them. The longer we dwell on our misfortunes the greater is their power to harm us.

— Voltaire

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

Love is a canvas furnished by nature and embroidered by imagination.

— Voltaire

It is not love that should be depicted as blind but self-love.

— Voltaire

Love has features which pierce all hearts he wears a bandage which conceals the faults of those beloved. He has wings he comes quickly and flies away the same.

— Voltaire

Divorce is probably of nearly the same date as marriage. I believe however that marriage is some weeks the more ancient.

— Voltaire

Friendship is the marriage of the soul and this marriage is liable to divorce.

— Voltaire

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

All the reasonings of men are not worth one sentiment of women.

— Voltaire

All men are born with a nose and ten fingers but no one was born with a knowledge of God.

— Voltaire

Men use thought only as authority for their injustice and employ speech only to conceal their thoughts.

— Voltaire

Time which alone makes the reputation of men ends by making their defects respectable.

— Voltaire

There are truths which are not for all men nor for all times.

— Voltaire

Men hate the individual whom they call avaricious only because nothing can be gained from him.

— Voltaire

Satire lies about literary men while they live and eulogy lies about them when they die.

— Voltaire

In general the art of government consists of taking as much money as possible from one class of citizens to give to another.

— Voltaire

When it is a question of money everybody is of the same religion.

— Voltaire

Love is a canvas furnished by nature and embroidered by imagination.

— Voltaire

What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error let us pardon reciprocally each other’s folly – that is the first law of nature.

— Voltaire

The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.

— Voltaire

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

— Voltaire

Nature has always had more force than education.

— Voltaire

How pleasant it is for a father to sit at his child’s board. It is like an aged man reclining under the shadow of an oak which he has planted.

— Voltaire

It is lamentable that to be a good patriot one must become the enemy of the rest of mankind.

— Voltaire

One merit of poetry few persons will deny: it says more and in fewer words than prose.

— Voltaire

Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.

— Voltaire

Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices.

— Voltaire

Life is thickly sown with thorns and I know no other remedy than to pass quickly through them. The longer we dwell on our misfortunes the greater is their power to harm us.

— Voltaire

What then do you call your soul? What idea have you of it? You cannot of yourselves without revelation admit the existence within you of anything but a power unknown to you of feeling and thinking.

— Voltaire

The truths of religion are never so well understood as by those who have lost the power of reason.

— Voltaire

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

Nothing can be more contrary to religion and the clergy than reason and common sense.

— Voltaire

When it is a question of money everybody is of the same religion.

— Voltaire

The truths of religion are never so well understood as by those who have lost the power of reason.

— Voltaire

To the living we owe respect but to the dead we owe only the truth.

— Voltaire

He is a hard man who is only just and a sad one who is only wise.

— Voltaire

He who is not just is severe he who is not wise is sad.

— Voltaire

Society therefore is an ancient as the world.

— Voltaire

Tears are the silent language of grief.

— Voltaire

Time which alone makes the reputation of men ends by making their defects respectable.

— Voltaire

In this country it is a good thing to kill an admiral from time to time to encourage the others.

— Voltaire

Perfection is attained by slow degrees it requires the hand of time.

— Voltaire

To the living we owe respect but to the dead we owe only the truth.

— Voltaire

I am very fond of truth but not at all of martyrdom.

— Voltaire

It is forbidden to kill therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.

— Voltaire

To hold a pen is to be at war.

— Voltaire

All the reasonings of men are not worth one sentiment of women.

— Voltaire

I hate women because they always know where things are.

— Voltaire

Very learned women are to be found in the same manner as female warriors but they are seldom or ever inventors.

— Voltaire

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

— Voltaire

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

The flowery style is not unsuitable to public speeches or addresses which amount only to compliment. The lighter beauties are in their place when there is nothing more solid to say but the flowery style ought to be banished from a pleading a sermon or a didactic work.

— Voltaire

Let us work without theorizing tis the only way to make life endurable.

— Voltaire

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