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Voltaire Quotes


François-Marie Arouet, better known by the pen name Voltaire, was a French Enlightenment writer, essayist, and philosopher known for his wit and his defence of civil liberties, including both freedom of religion and free trade.
(1694 - 1778)

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...the safest course is to do nothing against one's conscience. With this secret, we can enjoy life and have no fear from death.
[Against]
 

A clergyman is one who feels himself called upon to live without working at the expense of the rascals who work to live.
 

A good imitation is the most perfect originality.
[Imitation]
 

A great writer possesses, so to speak, an individual and unchangeable style, which does not permit him easily to preserve the anonymous.
[Style]
 

A multitude of laws in a country is like a great number of physicians, a sign of weakness and malady.
[Law]
 

A witty saying proves nothing.
 

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

All murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.
 

All sects are different, because they come from men; morality is everywhere the same, because it comes from God.
[Morality]
 

All styles are good except the tiresome kind.
 

All the known world, excepting only savage nations, is governed by books.
[Books]
 

All the makers of dictionaries, and all compilers who do nothing else than repeat backwards and forwards the opinions, the errors, the impostures, and the truths already printed, we may term plagiarists; but they are honest plagiarists, who do not arrogate the merit of invention. - Call them, if you please, book-makers, not authors; rather second­hand dealers than plagiarists.
[Plagiarism]
 

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

An ideal form of government is democracy tempered with assassination.
 

Animals have these advantages over man: they never hear the clock strike, they die without any idea of death, they have no theologians to instruct them, their last moments are not disturbed by unwelcome and unpleasant ceremonies, their funerals cost them nothing, and no one starts lawsuits over their wills.
 

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

Anyone who seeks to destroy the passions instead of controlling them is trying to play the angel.
 

Anything too stupid to be said is sung.
 

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

As long as people believe in absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities.
[Absurdities]
 


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