Voltaire, also known as François-Marie Arouet, was a French Enlightenment writer, historian, and philosopher. He was born on November 21, 1694, in Paris, France. His father was a notary, and Voltaire was educated by the Jesuits before studying law in Paris.
Throughout his life, Voltaire was a prolific writer and commentator on a wide range of subjects, including religion, politics, and philosophy. He was known for his sharp wit and satirical writing style, which often targeted the French aristocracy and the Catholic Church.
Despite his controversial views, Voltaire achieved great success and popularity during his lifetime. He was a member of the prestigious French Academy and was often invited to the salons of wealthy and influential patrons. However, he also faced criticism and censorship for his work, and was imprisoned in the Bastille for several months in 1717.
Voltaire died on May 30, 1778, in Paris, at the age of 83. He was a tireless advocate for freedom of speech and thought, and his works continue to be studied and celebrated today for their wit, humor, and enduring relevance. He is often remembered as one of the most influential thinkers of the Enlightenment, and his ideas helped to shape modern conceptions of democracy, human rights, and the role of religion in society.
I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: Oh Lord, make my enemies ridiculous. And God granted it.
Common sense is not so common.
Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.
Doubt is an uncomfortable condition, but certainty is a ridiculous one.
The perfect is the enemy of the good.
Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.
We are all full of weakness and errors; let us mutually pardon each other our follies.
It is not enough to conquer; one must learn to seduce.
Prejudices are what fools use for reason.
Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.
The more I read, the more I acquire, the more certain I am that I know nothing.
To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered.
It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.
We must cultivate our own garden.
Love truth, and pardon error.
If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.
The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.
Superstition sets the whole world in flames; philosophy quenches them.
We are free at the moment we wish to be.
Optimism is the madness of insisting that all is well when we are miserable.
The true triumph of reason is that it enables us to get along with those who do not possess it.
I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend to the death your right to say it.
Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.
All men are born with a nose and ten fingers, but no one was born with a knowledge of God.
The secret of being a bore is to tell everything.
The more often a stupidity is repeated, the more it gets the appearance of wisdom.
Work saves us from three great evils: boredom, vice and need.
It is better to risk saving a guilty person than to condemn an innocent one.
The happiest of all lives is a busy solitude.
The instruction we find in books is like fire. We fetch it from our neighbours, kindle it at home, communicate it to others, and it becomes the property of all.
It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.
God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.
It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.
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.
We are rarely proud when we are alone.
Man is free at the moment he wishes to be.
We have a natural right to make use of our pens as of our tongue, at our peril, risk and hazard.