31 Quotes by Voltaire to challenge your thinking

Quotes-by-VoltaireToday I am exploring the many quotes by Voltaire.

Voltaire was the pen name of François-Marie Arouet, who was an 18th-century French writer, historian and philosopher.

He was famous for his wit, his criticism of Christianity (particularly the Catholic Church) as well as his advocacy for freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the separation of church and state.

Voltaire was an outspoken advocate of civil liberties and he was at constant risk from the strict censorship laws of the Catholic French monarchy.

He was also one of the first authors to become renowned and commercially successful internationally.

For me, he was a great thinker and many of his observations provided great insight into the human condition.

So here are 31 quotes by Voltaire, which are interesting, thought-provoking and should challenge your thinking.

Enjoy them all and please feel free to share them with your friends.

Quotes by Voltaire (1-10):

  1. Better is the enemy of good.
  2. Common sense is not so common.
  3. Prejudices are what fools use for reason.
  4. Man is free at the moment he wishes to be.
  5. The secret of being a bore is to tell everything.
  6. Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do.
  7. It is said that the present is pregnant with the future.
  8. Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.
  9. It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.
  10. Doubt is not a pleasant condition but certainty is absurd.

Quotes by Voltaire (11-20):

  1. If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent Him.
  2. No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.
  3. Is there anyone so wise as to learn by the experience of others?
  4. When it is a question of money, everybody is of the same religion.
  5. Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too.
  6. It is better to risk saving a guilty man than to condemn an innocent one.
  7. Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.
  8. Optimism is the madness of insisting that all is well when we are miserable.
  9. Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.
  10. God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.

Quotes by Voltaire (21-31):

  1. Opinion has caused more trouble on this little earth than plagues or earthquakes.
  2. The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.
  3. It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.
  4. God is not on the side of the big battalions but on the side of those who shoot best.
  5. It is not sufficient to see and to know the beauty of a work. We must feel and be affected by it.
  6. We are all full of weakness and errors; let us mutually pardon each other our follies. It is the first law of nature.
  7. It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.
  8. In general, the art of government consists of taking as much money as possible from one class of citizens to give to another.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.

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