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Voltaire Quotes to Inspire Free Thought

This collection of Voltaire quotes, like the man himself, encourage freedom of speech and thought.

François-Marie Arouet, known by his pen name Voltaire, is considered one of France’s greatest writers from the Age of Enlightenment period.

Voltaire was a man of reason, a deist who loathed fanaticism, superstition, idolatry and mostly the fact that men are capable of killing each other to defend a religious doctrine that they scarcely understand.

Voltaire strongly believed in freedom of speech and heavily criticized the heavy influence of religion in Government affairs.

His words are straightforward, witty and encourage questioning thoughts and opinions. You will find them separated in regards to Voltaire’s most famous quotes on freedom of speech, Government and religious powers and plain old human stupidity! Enjoy.

 

Famous Voltaire Quotes

Common sense is not so common. Voltaire

 

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

 

Perfect is the enemy of good. Voltaire

 

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

 

Everything you say should be true, but not everything true should be said. Voltaire

 

Prejudices are what fools use for reason. Voltaire

 

Dare to think for yourself. Voltaire

 

Man is free at the instant he wants to be. Voltaire

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Opinion has caused more trouble on this little earth than plagues or earthquakes. Voltaire

 

To the living we owe respect, but to the dead we owe only the truth. Voltaire

 

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

 

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

 

The mirror is a worthless invention. The only way to truly see yourself is in the reflection of someone else’s eyes. Voltaire

 

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

 

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

 

Let us cultivate our garden. 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

 

Voltaire Quotes on Freedom of Speech

 

If you want to know who controls you, look at who you are not allowed to criticize. Voltaire

 

The right to free speech is more important than the content of the speech. Voltaire

 

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

 

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

 

No opinion is worth burning your neighbor for. Voltaire

 

I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it. Voltaire

 

Many are destined to reason wrongly; others, not to reason at all; and others, to persecute those who do reason. Voltaire

 

Voltaire Quotes about Government

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Is politics nothing other than the art of deliberately lying? Voltaire

 

In general, the art of government consists of taking as much money as possible from one class of citizens to give to another. Voltaire

 

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

 

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

 

Voltaire Quotes on Religion

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

 

God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well. Voltaire

 

Those who can make you believe absurdities; can make you commit atrocities. Voltaire

 

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

 

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

 

Faith consists in believing what reason cannot. Voltaire

 

Funny Voltaire Quotes

 

If there’s life on other planets, then the earth is the Universe’s insane asylum. Voltaire

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

The secret of being a bore is to tell everything. Voltaire

 

The more often a stupidity is repeated, the more it gets the appearance of wisdom. Voltaire

 

If you’re interested in more famous quotes, inspiring and positive words, be sure to check out: