We swallow greedily any lie that flatters us, but we sip only little by little at a truth we find bitter.

— Denis Diderot

The most irresistibly Denis Diderot quotes that will activate your inner potential

Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.

87

Disturbances in society are never more fearful than when those who are stirring up the trouble can use the pretext of religion to mask their true designs.

66

Those who fear the facts will forever try to discredit the fact-finders.

64
Denis Diderot quote There is no civil nor religios law, that

There is no civil nor religios law, that has broken, nor can break the bond of fraternity which nature has established between men.

7

Pithy sentences are like sharp nails which force truth upon our memory.

59

Oh! how near are genius and madness! Men imprison them and chain them, or raise statues to them.

52

I picture the vast realm of the sciences as an immense landscape scattered with patches of dark and light. The goal towards which we must work is either to extend the boundaries of the patches of light, or to increase their number. One of these tasks falls to the creative genius; the other requires a sort of sagacity combined with perfectionism.

50

A thing is not proved just because no one has ever questioned it.

What has never been gone into impartially has never been properly gone into. Hence scepticism is the first step toward truth. It must be applied generally, because it is the touchstone.

50

Although a man may wear fine clothing, if he lives peacefully;

and is good, self-possessed, has faith and is pure; and if he does not hurt any living being, he is a holy man.

49

Doctors are always working to preserve our health and cooks to destroy it, but the latter are the more often successful.

47

From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step.

46

There is only one passion, the passion for happiness.

34

What a hell of an economic system! Some are replete with everything while others, whose stomachs are no less demanding, whose hunger is just as recurrent, have nothing to bite on. The worst of it is the constrained posture need puts you in. The needy man does not walk like the rest; he skips, slithers, twists, crawls.

28

About Denis Diderot

Quotes 173 sayings
Nationality French
Profession Editor
Birthday October 16

Distance is a great promoter of admiration!

26

Give, but, if possible, spare the poor man the shame of begging.

26

The philosopher has never killed any priests, whereas the priest has killed a great many philosophers.

25

Our observation of nature must be diligent, our reflection profound, and our experiments exact. We rarely see these three means combined; and for this reason, creative geniuses are not common.

24

Instinct guides the animal better than the man.

In the animal it is pure, in man it is led astray by his reason and intelligence.

24

To describe women, the pen should be dipped in the humid colors of the rainbow, and the paper dried with the dust gathered from the wings of a butterfly.

23

First move me, astonish me, break my heart, let me tremble, weep, stare, be enraged-only then regale my eyes.

20

Wandering in a vast forest at night, I have only a faint light to guide me.

A stranger appears and says to me: 'My friend, you should blow out your candle in order to find your way more clearly.' This stranger is a theologian.

20

The world is the house of the strong.

I shall not know until the end what I have lost or won in this place, in this vast gambling den where I have spent more than sixty years, dicebox in hand, shaking the dice.

20

The most dangerous madmen are those created by religion, and people whose aim is to disrupt society always know how to make good use of them on occasion.

18

Genius is present in every age, but the men carrying it within them remain benumbed unless extraordinary events occur to heat up and melt the mass so that it flows forth.

18

Poetry must have something in it that is barbaric, vast and wild.

18

The Christian religion teaches us to imitate a God that is cruel, insidious, jealous, and implacable in his wrath.

15

First of all move me, surprise me, rend my heart;

make me tremble, weep, shudder; outrage me; delight my eyes afterwards if you can.

14

But if you will recall the history of our civil troubles, you will see half the nation bathe itself, out of piety, in the blood of the other half, and violate the fundamental feelings of humanity in order to sustain the cause of God: as though it were necessary to cease to be a man in order to prove oneself religious!

13

Only passions, great passions can elevate the soul to great things.

12

It is not human nature we should accuse but the despicable conventions that pervert it.

12

Isn't it better to have men being ungrateful than to miss a chance to do good?

12

Scepticism is the first step towards truth.

12

The good of the people must be the great purpose of government.

By the laws of nature and of reason, the governors are invested with power to that end. And the greatest good of the people is liberty. It is to the state what health is to the individual.

11

Morals are in all countries the result of legislation and government;

they are not African or Asian or European: they are good or bad.

11

There is no kind of harassment that a man may not inflict on a woman with impunity in civilized societies.

11

We are all instruments endowed with feeling and memory. Our senses are so many strings that are struck by surrounding objects and that also frequently strike themselves.

11

If you want me to believe in God, you must make me touch him.

8

There is no true sovereign except the nation; there can be no true legislator except the people.

8

Patriotism is an ephemeral motive that scarcely ever outlasts the particular threat to society that aroused it.

8

Justice is the first virtue of those who command, and stops the complaints of those who obey.

8

In order to shake a hypothesis, it is sometimes not necessary to do anything more than push it as far as it will go.

7

When superstition is allowed to perform the task of old age in dulling the human temperament, we can say goodbye to all excellence in poetry, in painting, and in music.

7

I have often seen an actor laugh off the stage, but I don't remember ever having seen one weep.

7

Gaiety is a quality of ordinary men. Genius always presupposes some disorder in the machine.

7

To attempt the destruction of our passions is the height of folly.

What a noble aim is that of the zealot who tortures himself like a madman in order to desire nothing, love nothing, feel nothing, and who, if he succeeded, would end up a complete monster!

7

Are we not madder than those first inhabitants of the plain of Sennar? We know that the distance separating the earth from the sky is infinite, and yet we do not stop building our tower.

6

There's a bit of testicle at the bottom of our most sublime feelings and our purest tenderness.

6

People praise virtue, but they hate it, they run away from it.

It freezes you to death, and in this world you've got to keep your feet warm.

6

The blood of Jesus Christ can cover a multitude of sins, it seems to me.

5

If there are one hundred thousand damned souls for one saved soul, the devil has always the advantage without having given up his son to death.

5
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