Voltaire Quotes – The Wit and Wisdom of a Master of the Enlightenment.

The French philosopher Voltaire is best known for his scathing wit and sharp insight. His quotes are as relevant today as they were centuries ago, and offer a unique perspective on life and the world around us. Here are a few of our favorite Voltaire quotes on happiness, wisdom, and living life to the fullest.

voltaire quotes

François-Marie Arouet, better known by his pen name Voltaire, was born on November 21, 1694 in Paris, France. A French Enlightenment writer, historian, and philosopher.

 Voltaire is considered one of the most influential thinkers of the eighteenth century. His many works, which include plays, novels, poems, and philosophical essays, address a wide range of topics, including religion, politics, and society.

The life of Voltaire is a divinely inspired biography. He was a prolific writer, and his work covered a wide range of topics. He was an outspoken critic of religious intolerance and persecution. He was also a strong advocate of freedom of speech and freedom of thought. He was a leading figure in the Enlightenment movement.

Voltaire moved to Ferney, France, where he spent the last 20 years of his life. He continued to write prolifically, producing plays, poems, and essays. In 1764, he published his “Dictionnaire Philosophique,” a collection of essays that attacked religious superstition and championed reason and progress.

Whether you’re looking for motivation or just some laughs, Voltaire quotes are a great source of inspiration.

94 Voltaire Quotes

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

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

3. “The more I read, the more I acquire, the more certain I am that I know nothing.”

4. “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.”

5. “History never repeats itself. Man always does.”

6. “Faith consists in believing what reason cannot.”

7. “Man is free at the instant he wants to be.”

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

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

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

11. “In the beginning God created man in His own image, and man has been trying to repay the favor ever since.”

12. “Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”

voltaire atrocities quote

Famous Voltaire Quotes

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

14. “Perfect is the enemy of good.”

15. “Liberty of thought is the life of the soul.”

16. “The secret of being a bore is to tell everything.”

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

18. “Common sense is not so common.”

19. “Is politics nothing other than the art of deliberately lying?”

20. “If we do not find anything very pleasant, at least we shall find something new.”

21. “Morality is everywhere the same for all men, therefore it comes from God; sects differ, therefore they are the work of men.”

22. “Dare to think for yourself.”

23. “If you have two religions in your land, the two will cut each other’s throats; but if you have thirty religions, they will dwell in peace”

24. “God is a comedian playing to an audience that is too afraid to laugh.”

voltaire sayings

Best Voltaire Quotes

25. “He must be very ignorant for he answers every question he is asked.”

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

27. Opinions have caused more ills than the plague or earthquakes on this little globe of ours.

28. “We never live; we are always in the expectation of living.”

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

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

31. “To hold a pen is to be at war.”

32. “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.”

33. “‎Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.”

34. “It is not enough to conquer; one must learn to seduce.”

Voltaire Quotes on Life

35. “Whatever you do, crush the infamous thing, and love those who love you.”

36. “ach 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 cars in order to win the game.”

37. “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?”

38. “Love truth, but pardon error.”

39. “It is with books as with men: a very small number play a great part.”

40. “May God defend me from my friends: I can defend myself from my enemies. ”

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

42. “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.”

43. “The heart has its own reasons that reason can’t understand.”

44. “To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid – one must also be polite.”

45. “The comfort of the rich depends upon an abundant supply of the poor.”

Mind-Provoking Voltaire Quotes

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

47. “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.”

48. “The multitude of books is making us ignorant. ”

49. “Let us work without reasoning,’ said Martin; ‘it is the only way to make life endurable.”

50. “The pursuit of pleasure must be the goal of every rational person. ”

51. “The husband who decides to surprise his wife is often very much surprised himself.”

52. “Reading nurtures the soul, and an enlightened friend brings it solace. ”

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

54. “I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health.”

55. “Injustice in the end produces independence.”

56. “I know many books which have bored their readers, but I know of none which has done real evil.”

Voltaire Quotes on Solitude, Happiness and Reading

57. “Sometimes we are less unhappy in being deceived by those we love, than in being undeceived by them.”

58. “The happiest of all lives is a busy solitude.”

59. “The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.”

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

61. “It is as impossible to translate poetry as it is to translate music.”

62. “One day everything will be well, that is our hope. Everything’s fine today, that is our illusion”

63. “Only your friends steal your books.”

64. “One great use of words is to hide our thoughts.”

65. “Beware of the words “internal security,” for they are the eternal cry of the oppressor.”

66. “To learn who rules over you simply look to those you cannot criticize.”

67. “The happiest of all lives is a busy solitude.”

68. “We are rarely proud when we are alone.”

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

70. “Secret griefs are more cruel than public calamities.”

71. “The interest I have to believe a thing is no proof that such a thing exists.”

72. “Marriage is the only adventure open to the cowardly.”

73. “Fools admire everything in an author of reputation.”

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

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

76. “Discord is the great ill of mankind; and tolerance is the only remedy for it.”

77. “I read only to please myself, and enjoy only what suits my taste.”

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

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

80. “There is some pleasure in having no pleasure.”

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

82. “In every province, the chief occupations, in order of importance, are lovemaking, malicious gossip, and talking nonsense.”

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

84. “No problem can stand the assault of sustained thinking.”

85. “When it is a question of money, everybody is of the same religion.”

86. “A man loved by a beautiful woman will always get out of trouble.”

87. “I hold firmly to my original views. After all I am a philosopher. ”

88. “When a man is in love, jealous, and just whipped by the Inquisition, he is no longer himself.”

89. “Writing is the painting of the voice.”

90. “It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.”

91. “The truths of religion are never so well understood as by those who have lost the power of reasoning.”

92. “The man who leaves money to charity in his will is only giving away what no longer belongs to him”

93. “By appreciation, we make excellence in others our own property.”

94. “when man was put into the garden of eden, he was put there with the idea that he should work the land; and this proves that man was not born to be idle.”

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