Despots govern by terror. They know that he who fears God fears nothing else; and therefore they eradicate from the mind, through their Voltaire, their Helvetius, and the rest of that infamous gang, that only sort of fear which generates true courage.— Edmund Burke
Powerful Voltaire quotations
Voltaire expected that within fifty years of his lifetime there would not be one Bible in the world. His house is now a distribution center for Bibles in many languages.
I sympathize afresh with the mighty Voltaire who, when badgered on his deathbed and urged to renounce the devil, murmured that this was no time to be making enemies.
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.)
It is impossible to imitate Voltaire without being Voltaire.
I have never played the lottery in my life and never will.
Voltaire described lotteries as a tax on stupidity. More specifically, I think, on innumeracy.
Thus, though I dislike to differ with such a great man, Voltaire was simply ludicrous when he said that if god did not exist it would be necessary to invent him. The human invention of god is the problem to begin with.
Jesus wept; Voltaire smiled. From that divine tear and from that human smile is derived the grace of present civilization.
I must give you a piece of intelligence that you perhaps already know, namely that the ungodly arch-villain Voltaire has died miserably like a dog, just like a brute. That is his reward!
The new religion without any secrets is philosophy.
The old religion, said Aristotle, is necessary only for the uneducated; Confucius, Buddha, Voltaire and Lessing were of the same opinion.
I know where there is more wisdom than is found in Napoleon, Voltaire, or all the ministers present and to come - in public opinion.
There's a Bible on that shelf there. But I keep it next to Voltaire - poison and antidote.
My passion for gardening may strike some as selfish, or merely an act of resignation in the face of overwhelming problems that beset the world. It is neither. I have found that each garden is just what Voltaire proposed in Candide: a microcosm of a just and beautiful society.
There are, and always have been, destructive pseudo-scientific notions linked to race and religion; these are the most widespread and damaging. Hopefully, educated people can succeed in shedding light into these areas of prejudice and ignorance, for as Voltaire once said: "Men will commit atrocities as long as they believe absurdities."
It was either Voltaire or Charlie Sheen who said, 'We are born alone.
We live alone. We die alone. And anything in between that can give us the illusion that we're not, we cling to.'
Méret Oppenheim was a very erotic woman.
She also liked provocation, and if you could provoke surrealists at the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich, or similar Dadaist hangouts in Basel, where you could normally get away with these things, you were truly a provocateur.
Voltaire's novel [Candid] offers us parallel universes, the possibility of entering into alternative worlds existing side by side, and this is something quite modern. Nested narratives and parallel universes are popular at the moment in many different art forms.
Optimism and happiness are not the same thing, but they are becoming interchangeable, and it seemed to me that Voltaire's Candide gave me a way into something important happening in modern-day culture.
Like Rousseau, whom he resembles even more than he resembles Voltaire, Shaw never gave a social form to his assertiveness, never desired to arrive and to assimilate himself, or wield authority as of right.
Even within single sentences, there are sudden changes of register.
And when the travellers go to Venice, they see a play by Voltaire! This is a novel [Candid] which has narratives within narratives, such as when Cunégonde recounts her story.
There is something frightful in being required to enjoy and appreciate all masterpieces; to read with equal relish Milton, and Dante, and Calderon, and Goethe, and Homer, and Scott, and Voltaire, and Wordsworth, and Cervantes, and Molière, and Swift.
There are in life conjunctions of circumstances when the reproach that we are not Voltaires is least of all appropriate.
I expressed just now my mistrust of what is called Spiritualism — .
.. I owe it a trifle for a message said to come from Voltaire's Ghost. It was asked, Are you not now convinced of another world? and rapped out, There is no other world — Death is only an incident in Life.
I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.N. B.: This quote is commonly attributed to Voltaire, but it is not found in his writing.
Throughout History, Empires have persecuted the great agitators;
Noah, Socrates, Jesus, Columbus, Voltaire, Charles Darwin, Gandhi, the US Founding Fathers, Martin Luther King, Jr. et. al.
You may be able to read Bernard Shaw's plays, you may be able to quote Shakespeare or Voltaire or some new philosopher; but if you in yourself are not intelligent, if you are not creative, what is the point of this education?
Life is a beta. Voltaire said that the perfect is the enemy of the good. Google lives the rule as it introduces every new product as a beta. That is Google's way to say that it trusts us to help it finish its products. It is Google's way to open up its design process to our wisdom.
I discovered lots of music; electronic synth bands from the mid-'80s like Depeche Mode, Soft Cell and Cabaret Voltaire. My friends and I used to take two-hour trips to the record store in Newcastle and we started buying copies of The Face and i-D. And then I went to art school and as time progressed, I ended up where I am now.
Translating Candide into tweets has really deepened my appreciation of his writing - it wouldn't work so well with nineteenth-century authors. Every single sentence in Voltaire seems to advance the story, and yet stand alone as a sound-bite.
There is a remarkable nimbleness of style, a balancing act of tone, in Voltaire, which is hard to bring off on stage. When you speak the words out loud, the effect is very different from when you read them. So one needs to do something new with a stage performance, not simply 'tell the story'.
Even if that statement was ambiguous, we kind of wanted to cause a stir.
We thought that by having the name "Cabaret Voltaire", that with it came a certain responsibility. It wasn't meant to be purely entertainment; it was meant to be something a little bit more serious - and to provoke people - wrapped within an outer wrapping of entertainment.
I love that Voltaire was so willing to shock his readers with arbitrary cruelty.
And I can completely relate to it.
I tend to look at the world more from Voltaire's perspective.
Incidentally, if you haven't read Candide lately, it's a fabulous book. It's riotously, laugh-out-loud funny in a way that no Shakespeare comedy will ever be.
We think we live in a global village.
We don't. The world is a big and beautiful and incredibly varied place. It can only be known locally, with your two feet on the ground. We should stick to our own gardens, as Voltaire said.
The faithful witness, like...Socrates, Voltaire, and Swift and Christ himself, is at his best when he is questioning and clarifying and avoiding the specialists obsession with solution. He betrays society when he is silent...He is true to himself and to people when his clarity causes disquiet.