Authors: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A collection of Voltaire quotes about life, love, wisdom, religion, philosophy, money, God, and much more.

99 Top Voltaire Quotes That Will Broaden Your Horizon

Quick Facts

Famous As: Writer

Born On: November 21, 1694

Died On: May 30, 1778

Born In: Paris

Died At Age: 83

Historian, Philosopher and one of the greatest French Enlightenment writers, Voltaire is famous for his satirical novel Candide, tragic plays Zaire, Nanine, Mahomet, historical works Essay on the Customs and the Spirit of the Nations, The age of Louise XIV and philosophical compilation Micromegas and Plato’s Dream. He showed his literary talents in diverse fields. An alumni of Jesuit Secondary School (Paris), Voltaire received his classical education at College Louis le Grand, where he started his career as an author. At odds with the French authorities due to his political publication “Letters on the English”, he had to flee to safer pastures. He angered both the government and the church for which, he spent fifteen years in exile and was twice imprisoned. Despite these hardships, Voltaire acquired a unique approach towards arts and social history by tracing the progression of ancient and modern world civilizations. While at Prussia, he served Frederick the Great’s court. Paris witnessed his homecoming in 1778 for his contemporary thinking. His encyclopedic dictionary ‘Dictionnaire Philosophique’ rejected the Roman Catholic Church and embraced Enlightenment’s progressive ideals, for which, he’s appreciated all over the world. Voltaire’s life taught us a valuable lesson on condemning baseless practices and thinking out of the box. Voltaire's intelligence and wit is still commended by many, which makes him one of the greatest French writers and philosophers. He was a prolific writer and attracted controversies due to his thoughts and views about social reforms. His thoughts and words were so iconic and became very famous quotes. We have excerpted Voltaire’s greatest quotes from his work, thoughts and general life observations. Presenting a collection of quotes by Voltaire, one of the greatest philosophers and thinkers.

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

Voltaire

Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.

Voltaire

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

Voltaire

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

Voltaire

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

Voltaire

Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

Voltaire

Common sense is not so common.

Voltaire

Love truth, but pardon error.

Voltaire

I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: Oh Lord, make my enemies ridiculous. And God granted it." (Letter to tienne Nol Damilaville, May 16, 1767)

Voltaire

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

Voltaire

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

Voltaire

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

Voltaire

Dare to think for yourself.

Voltaire

Despite the enormous quantity of books, how few people read! And if one reads profitably, one would realize how much stupid stuff the vulgar herd is content to swallow every day.

Voltaire

Now, now my good man, this is no time to be making enemies." (Voltaire on his deathbed in response to a priest asking him that he renounce Satan.)

Voltaire

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.

Voltaire

It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.

Voltaire

God is a circle whose center is everywhere and circumference nowhere.

Voltaire

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

Voltaire

Doubt is an uncomfortable condition, but certainty is a ridiculous one.

Voltaire

The secret of being a bore is to tell everything.

Voltaire

It is better to risk saving a guilty person than to condemn an innocent one.

Voltaire

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

Voltaire

Faith consists in believing what reason cannot.

Voltaire

Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it.

Voltaire

Ice-cream is exquisite. What a pity it isn't illegal.

Voltaire

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

Voltaire

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.

Voltaire

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

Voltaire

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.

Voltaire

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.

Voltaire

Prejudices are what fools use for reason.

Voltaire

Optimism," said Cacambo, "What is that?" "Alas!" replied Candide, "It is the obstinacy of maintaining that everything is best when it is worst.

Voltaire

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

Voltaire

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

Voltaire

You're a bitter man," said Candide. That's because I've lived," said Martin.

Voltaire

What is history? The lie that everyone agrees on...

Voltaire

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

Voltaire

Don't think money does everything or you are going to end up doing everything for money.

Voltaire

Man is free at the instant he wants to be.

Voltaire

Let us cultivate our garden.

Voltaire

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

Voltaire

Sensual pleasure passes and vanishes, but the friendship between us, the mutual confidence, the delight of the heart, the enchantment of the soul, these things do not perish and can never be destroyed.

Voltaire

No opinion is worth burning your neighbor for.

Voltaire

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

Voltaire

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

Voltaire

But for what purpose was the earth formed?" asked Candide. "To drive us mad," replied Martin.

Voltaire

The only way to comprehend what mathematicians mean by Infinity is to contemplate the extent of human stupidity.

Voltaire

If this is the best of possible worlds, what then are the others?

Voltaire

It is clear that the individual who persecutes a man, his brother, because he is not of the same opinion, is a monster.

Voltaire

I loved him as we always love for the first time; with idolatry and wild passion.

Voltaire

Liberty of thought is the life of the soul.

Voltaire

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

Voltaire

One day everything will be well, that is our hope. Everything's fine today, that is our illusion

Voltaire

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

Voltaire

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

Voltaire

Perfect is the enemy of good.

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

One great use of words is to hide our thoughts.

Voltaire

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

Voltaire

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

Voltaire

History never repeats itself. Man always does.

Voltaire

She blushed and so did he. She greeted him in a faltering voice, and he spoke to her without knowing what he was saying.

Voltaire

Our labour preserves us from three great evils -- weariness, vice, and want.

Voltaire

Behind every successful man stands a surprised mother-in-law.

Voltaire

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

Voltaire

The happiest of all lives is a busy solitude.

Voltaire

To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid - one must also be polite.

Voltaire

Injustice in the end produces independence.

Voltaire

If God created us in his own image, we have more than reciprocated." (Notebooks)

Voltaire

The best is the enemy of good.

Voltaire

To hold a pen is to be at war.

Voltaire

We are rarely proud when we are alone.

Voltaire

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

Voltaire

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

Voltaire

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?

Voltaire

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

Voltaire

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

Voltaire

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

Voltaire

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

Voltaire

It is hard to free fools from the chains they revere.

Voltaire

Minds differ still more than faces.

Voltaire

It is not inequality which is the real misfortune, it is dependence.

Voltaire

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

Voltaire

The discovery of what is true and the practice of that which is good are the two most important aims of philosophy.

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 cars in order to win the game.

Voltaire

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

Voltaire

Come! you presence will either give me life or kill me with pleasure.

Voltaire

Le mieux est l'ennemi du bien. (The perfect is the enemy of the good.)

Voltaire

Being unable to make people more reasonable, I preferred to be happy away from them

Voltaire

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

Voltaire

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

Voltaire

Martin in particular concluded that man was born to live either in the convulsions of misery, or in the lethargy of boredom.

Voltaire

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

Voltaire

There is a wide difference between speaking to deceive, and being silent to be impenetrable.

Voltaire

In general, the art of government consists in taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other.

Voltaire

Four thousand volumes of metaphysics will not teach us what the soul is.

Voltaire

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

Voltaire

The greatest consolation in life is to say what one thinks.

Voltaire