IQ 190 - Voltaire

Virtue debases in justifying itself.

Man is free at the instant he wants to be.

What we find in books is like the fire in our hearths. We fetch it from our neighbors, we kindle it at home, we communicate it to others, and it becomes the property of all.

Love truth, but pardon error.

The secret of being a bore is to tell everything.

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

To hold a pen is to be at war.

To pray to God is to flatter oneself that with words one can alter nature.

If God has made us in his image, we have returned him the favor.

It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong.

A minister of state is excusable for the harm he does when the helm of government has forced his hand in a storm; but in the calm he is guilty of all the good he does not do.

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

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

When we hear news, we should always wait for the sacrament of confirmation.

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

There are truths which are not for all men, nor for all times.

There are truths which are not for all men, nor for all times.

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

Truly, whoever is able to make you absurd is able to make you unjust.

Doubt is not an agreeable condition, but certainty is an absurd one.

I always made one prayer to God, a very short one. Here it is: "O Lord, make our enemies quite ridiculous!" God granted it.

A witty saying proves nothing.

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

Life is bristling with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to cultivate one's garden.

It is said that God is always on the side of the big battalions.

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

If God did not exist, he would have to be invented. But all nature cries aloud that he does exist: that there is a supreme intelligence, an immense power, an admirable order, and everything teaches us our own dependence on it.

The better is the enemy of the good.

I die adoring God, loving my friends, not hating my enemies, and detesting superstition.

Let the punishments of criminals be useful. A hanged man is good for nothing; a man condemned to public works still serves the country, and is a living lesson.

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

The man, who in a fit of melancholy, kills himself today, would have wished to live had he waited a week.

Do not most of us resemble that old general of ninety who, having come upon some young officers debauching some girls, said to them angrily: "Gentlemen, is that the example I give you?"

Common sense is not so common

Such then is the human condition, that to wish greatness for one's country is to wish harm to one's neighbors.

Virtuous men alone possess friends.

If you want good laws, burn those you have and make new ones.

Prejudice is an opinion without judgement.

What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly — that is the first law of nature.

Virtue supposes liberty, as the carrying of a burden supposes active force. Under coercion there is no virtue, and without virtue there is no religion.

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.

Nothing is so common as to imitate one's enemies, and to use their weapons.

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