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"François-Marie Arouet", known by his Pen name/nom de plume "Voltaire" (; ), was a French Age of Enlightenment/Enlightenment writer, historian, and philosophy/philosopher famous for his wit, his attacks on the established Catholic Church, and his advocacy of freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and separation of church and state. Voltaire was a versatile writer, producing works in almost every literary form, including plays, poems, novels, essays, and historical and scientific works. He wrote more than 20,000 letters and more than 2,000 books and pamphlets. He was an outspoken advocate, despite the risk this placed him in under the strict censorship laws of the time. As a Satire/satirical polemicist, he frequently made use of his works to criticize intolerance, religious dogma, and the French institutions of his day.

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Now, now my good man, this is no time for making enemies.

The secret of being boring is to say everything.

The superfluous is very necessary.

Every man is guilty of all the good he didn't do.

May God defend me from my friends; I can defend myself from my enemies.

A witty saying proves nothing.

We're neither pure; nor wise; nor good; we do the best we know.

Man is free at the moment he wishes to be.

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

As long as there are fools and rascals, there will be religions.

...the safest course is to do nothing against one's conscience. With this secret, we can enjoy life and have no fear from death.

The art of government consists in taking as much money as possible from one class of the citizens to give to the other.

The man who leaves money to charity in his will is only giving away what no longer belongs to him.

Do well and you will have no need for ancestors.

Anything too stupid to be said is sung.

True greatness consists in the use of a powerful understanding to enlighten oneself and others.

If there were no God, it would have been necessary to invent him.

Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game.

If God created us in his own image, we have more than reciprocated.

Canada: A few acres of snow.

I was never ruined but twice: once when I lost a lawsuit, and once when I won one.

The Holy Roman Empire was neither holy, nor Roman nor an Empire.

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

In general, the art of government consists in taking as much money as possible from one part of the citizens to give to the other.

This is no time to make new enemies.

Monsieur l'abbé, I detest what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write.

All is for the best in the best of all possible ways.

If we can't find something pleasant, we will at least find something new.

Everything's fine today, that is our illusion.

It is an infantile superstition of the human spirit that virginity would be thought a virtue and not the barrier that separates ignorance from knowledge.

The history of human opinion is scarcely anything more than the history of human errors.

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

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

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

To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered.

Common sense is not so common.

I have lost the half of myself – a soul for which mine was made.

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

Work saves us from three great evils: boredom, vice and need.

Regimen is superior to medicine.

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

Men are equal; it is not birth but virtue that makes the difference.

You despise books; you whose lives are absorbed in the vanities of ambition, the pursuit of pleasure or indolence; but remember that all the known world, excepting only savage nations, is governed by books.

All sects are different, because they come from men; morality is everywhere the same, because it comes from God.

Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too.

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

This agglomeration which was called and which still calls itself the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire.

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

Life is thickly sown with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to pass quickly through them. The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us.

The best government is a benevolent tyranny tempered by an occasional assassination.

Prejudices are what fools use for reason.

Indolence is sweet, and its consequences bitter.

History is a pack of lies we play on the dead.

[Optimism is] the obstinacy of maintaining that everything is best when it is worst.

God is always on the side of the big battalions.

It is one of the superstitions of the human mind to have imagined that virginity could be a virtue.

I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: 'O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.' And God granted it.

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

Prejudice is opinion without judgement.

He is a hard man who is only just, and a sad one who is only wise.

A clergyman is one who feels himself called upon to live without working at the expense of the rascals who work to live.

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

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

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

Marriage is the only adventure open to the cowardly.

Love is a canvas furnished by Nature and embroidered by imagination.

'Animals have these advantages over man: they never hear the clock strike, they die without any idea of death, they have no theologians to instruct them, their last moments are not disturbed by unwelcome and unpleasant ceremonies, their funerals cost them nothing, and no one starts lawsuits over their wills.

England has forty-two religions and only two sauces.

I believe that there never was a creator of a philosophical system who did not confess at the end of his life that he had wasted his time. It must be admitted that the inventors of the mechanical arts have been much more useful to men that the inventors of syllogisms. He who imagined a ship towers considerably above him who imagined innate ideas.

Verses which do not teach men new and moving truths do not deserve to be read.

It is amusing that a virtue is made of the vice of chastity; and it's a pretty odd sort of chastity at that, which leads men straight into the sin of Onan, and girls to the waning of their color.

Once the people begin to reason, all is lost.

It is far better to be silent than merely to increase the quantity of bad books.

Use, do not abuse; neither abstinence nor excess ever renders man happy.

The multitude of books is making us ignorant.

There is an astonishing imagination, even in the science of mathematics... We repeat, there was far more imagination in the head of Archimedes than in that of Homer.

God created sex. Priests created marriage.

Indeed, history is nothing more than a tableau of crimes and misfortunes.

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

Since the whole affair had become one of religion, the vanquished were of course exterminated.

Doubt is not a pleasant condition but certainty is an absurd one.

Life resembles the banquet of Damocles; the sword is ever suspended.

There is a wide difference between speaking to deceive, and being silent to be impenetrable.

This poem will never reach its destination.

The public is a ferocious beast - one must either chain it up or flee from it.

There are some that only employ words for the purpose of disguising their thoughts.

Doctors are men who prescribe medicines of which they know little, to cure diseases of which they know less in human beings of whom they know nothing.

To be absolutely certain about something, one must know everything or nothing about it.

It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.

Love truth, and pardon error.