Philosophers / Thinkers

63 Voltaire Quotes on Love & Friendship (CANDIDE)

118

Top 14 Most Famous Voltaire Quotes (FRENCH AUTHOR)

If you want to know who controls you, look at who you are not allowed to criticize.
If you want to know who controls you, look at who you are not allowed to criticize.
Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it.
Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it.
Judge of a man by his questions rather than by his answers.
Judge of a man by his questions rather than by his answers.
Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.
Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.
Think for yourself and let others enjoy the privilege of doing so too.
Think for yourself and let others enjoy the privilege of doing so too.
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.
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.
The more I read, the more I acquire, the more certain I am that I know nothing.
The more I read, the more I acquire, the more certain I am that I know nothing.
Every man is guilty of all the good he didn’t do.
Every man is guilty of all the good he didn’t do.
Love is a canvas furnished by nature and embroidered by imagination.
Love is a canvas furnished by nature and embroidered by imagination.
When it is a question of money, everybody is of the same religion.
When it is a question of money, everybody is of the same religion.
Don’t think money does everything or you are going to end up doing everything for money.
Don’t think money does everything or you are going to end up doing everything for money.
May God defend me from my friends: I can defend myself from my enemies.
May God defend me from my friends: I can defend myself from my enemies.
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.
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.
God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.
God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.

18 Voltaire Quotes on Government and Religion (FREEDOM OF SPEECH)

“So long as the people do not care to exercise their freedom, those who wish to tyrannize will do so; for tyrants are active and ardent, and will devote themselves in the name of any number of gods, religious and otherwise, to put shackles upon sleeping men.”

Voltaire
The right to free speech is more important than the content of the speech.
The right to free speech is more important than the content of the speech.
I disapprove of what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it.
I disapprove of what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it.
Dare to think for yourself.
Dare to think for yourself.
Beware of the words "internal security," for they are the eternal cry of the oppressor.
Beware of the words “internal security,” for they are the eternal cry of the oppressor.
Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world.
Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world.
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.
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.
It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.
It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.
It is better to risk saving a guilty person than to condemn an innocent one.
It is better to risk saving a guilty person than to condemn an innocent one.
It is not inequality which is the real misfortune, it is dependence.
It is not inequality which is the real misfortune, it is dependence.
Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.
Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.
Indeed, history is nothing more than a tableau of crimes and misfortunes.
Indeed, history is nothing more than a tableau of crimes and misfortunes.
The comfort of the rich depends upon an abundant supply of the poor.
The comfort of the rich depends upon an abundant supply of the poor.
In general, the art of government consists of taking as much money as possible from one class of citizens to give to another.
In general, the art of government consists of taking as much money as possible from one class of citizens to give to another.
It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.
It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.
It is clear that the individual who persecutes a man, his brother, because he is not of the same opinion, is a monster.
It is clear that the individual who persecutes a man, his brother, because he is not of the same opinion, is a monster.
Many are destined to reason wrongly; others, not to reason at all; and others, to persecute those who do reason.
Many are destined to reason wrongly; others, not to reason at all; and others, to persecute those who do reason.
Injustice in the end produces independence.
Injustice in the end produces independence.

31 Inspirational Voltaire Quotes About Life and Success (DREAM)

Life is too short, time too valuable, to spend it on what is useless.
Life is too short, time too valuable, to spend it on what is useless.
The pursuit of what is true and the practice of what is good are the two most important objects of philosophy.
The pursuit of what is true and the practice of what is good are the two most important objects of philosophy.
Everything you say should be true, but not everything true should be said.
Everything you say should be true, but not everything true should be said.
The more you read without thinking, the more you think you know a lot but the more you meditate, the more you see that you know very little.
The more you read without thinking, the more you think you know a lot but the more you meditate, the more you see that you know very little.
Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.
Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.
The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us.
The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us.
The most important decision you make is to be in a good mood.
The most important decision you make is to be in a good mood.
Work spares us from three evils: boredom, vice, and need.
Work spares us from three evils: boredom, vice, and need.
The mirror is a worthless invention. The only way to truly see yourself is in the reflection of someone else’s eyes.
The mirror is a worthless invention. The only way to truly see yourself is in the reflection of someone else’s eyes.
Men are equal; it is not birth but virtue that makes the difference.
Men are equal; it is not birth but virtue that makes the difference.
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.
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.
Optimism is the madness of insisting that all is well when we are miserable.
Faith consists in believing what reason cannot.
Faith consists in believing what reason cannot.
Common sense is not so common.
Common sense is not so common.
Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value - zero.
Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value – zero.
If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.
If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.
The secret of being a bore is to tell everything.
The secret of being a bore is to tell everything.
To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered.
To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered.
Love truth, but pardon error.
Love truth, but pardon error.
The more often a stupidity is repeated, the more it gets the appearance of wisdom.
The more often a stupidity is repeated, the more it gets the appearance of wisdom.
I don’t know where I am going, but I am on my way.
I don’t know where I am going, but I am on my way.
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.
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.
Chance is a word void of sense; nothing can exist without a cause.
Chance is a word void of sense; nothing can exist without a cause.
Is there anyone so wise as to learn by the experience of others?
Is there anyone so wise as to learn by the experience of others?
If there’s life on other planets, then the earth is the Universe’s insane asylum.
If there’s life on other planets, then the earth is the Universe’s insane asylum.
It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.
It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.
Prejudices are what fools use for reason.
Prejudices are what fools use for reason.
Doubt is an uncomfortable condition, but certainty is a ridiculous one.
Doubt is an uncomfortable condition, but certainty is a ridiculous one.
We are all full of weakness and errors; let us mutually pardon each other our follies.
We are all full of weakness and errors; let us mutually pardon each other our follies.
The happiest of all lives is a busy solitude.
The happiest of all lives is a busy solitude.
I’ve decided to be happy because it is good for my health.
I’ve decided to be happy because it is good for my health.

Voltaire (François-Marie Arouet) Short Biography

Born on 21 November 1694 in Paris, France, François-Marie Arouet was the French writer and philosopher more commonly known as Voltaire.

Voltaire was a student of Louis-le-Grand, a Jesuit college located in Paris. It was here that he formed a love for literature and theater, and from an early age displayed a love for writing.

After his studies he had decided to become a writer, defying his father who wanted him to take up law.

In 1713, he worked as a secretary at the French Embassy but fell in love with a French protestant girl and was ordered home.

Voltaire was known to be a vocal critic of the French government, so much so that he was imprisoned in Bastille in 1717 for mocking the Duke of Orleans.

After his release a year later, he adopted the name Voltaire, the origin of which is unknown. Voltaire released Oedipe in the same year, his first tragedy. He shortly began his career as a court poet following its success.

Voltaire was a prolific writer, having written more than 50 plays. But a lot of his work was banned by the French government for his views of the Roman Catholic Church. To counter this, he would have his work printed abroad.

Even after his death Voltaire is still being widely celebrated and read.

Further Reading:

Here are the best Voltaire quotes so you can be inspired to think for yourself and care for your needs when it is important. 

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Voltaire Quotes on Love & Friendship (CANDIDE) - Gracious Quotes

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