Voltaire Quotes: Religion, Politics and Pacifism

May 10, 2012

Voltaire philosophie

Best Quotes by Voltaire

Speak about Voltaire as a philosopher will make some people smile. But if he did not build a philosophical system like Hegel or Kant, Voltaire remains a major influence on the philosohy of the Enlightenment. His pacifism will influence Alain, he popularized the English liberalism of Locke, the empiricism of Hume and exchange conflictual views with Rousseau in his lifetime.

Here are famous quotes by Voltaire on the main themes of his philosophy: religion and politics.

Voltaire and religion:

- “As long as there are rogues and fools, there will be religious. Ours is unquestionably the most ridiculous and most absurd and bloodiest ever infected the world”

- “The world embarrasses me, and I can not think – that this clock exists and has developed a watchmaker”

- “Fanaticism is superstition that the transport is at a fever, that rage is to anger”

- “Superstition is to religion what astrology is to astronomy the mad daughter of a very wise mother”

- “If God did not exist it would have to invent”

- “Christianity is the most infamous superstition that ever stupid men and desolate the earth”

Voltaire and freedom of expression:

- “I do not agree with what you say but I will defend to the death for your right to say”

Voltaire and Metaphysics:

- “The human species is the only one who knows she must die”

- “We love life, but none do not let having a good”

- “I stop to die if I had a good word”

Voltaire and politics:

- “The art of government consists in taking as much money as possible to a class of citizens to give to another”

- “As is the abuse of despotism of the monarchy, anarchy is the abuse of democracy”

- “When the mob gets involved in reasoning, all is lost”

- “It is better to risk saving a guilty person than to convict an innocent man”

- “Men with wise laws, customs have always insane”

- “Politics has its source in evil than in the greatness of the human spirit”

Voltaire, equality and the people:

- “It is expedient that the people should be guided, and not that he is educated, he is not worthy of being”

- “The system of equality has always seemed a fool’s pride”

- “I do not know that Jean-Jacques Rousseau who can be blamed for these ideas of equality and independence, and all these dreams that are only ridiculous”

- “The work us from three great evils: boredom, vice and need”

Voltaire, Leibniz and optimism:

- “If this is the best of possible worlds, what are the others?”

- “Optimism is the madness of maintaining that all is well when it is wrong”

- “We must cultivate our garden”