Ignorance is less remote from the truth than prejudice.
Patriotism is an ephemeral motive that scarcely ever outlasts the particular threat to society that aroused it.
No man has received from nature the right to give orders to others. Freedom is a gift from heaven, and every individual of the same species has the right to enjoy it as soon as he is in enjoyment of his reason.
Only a very bad theologian would confuse the certainty that follows revelation with the truths that are revealed. They are entirely different things.
The arbitrary rule of a just and enlightened prince is always bad. His virtues are the most dangerous and the surest form of seduction: they lull a people imperceptibly into the habit of loving, respecting, and serving his successor, whoever that successor may be, no matter how wicked or stupid.
When we know how to read our own hearts, we acquire wisdom of the hearts of others.
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.
The general interest of the masses might take the place of the insight of genius if it were allowed freedom of action.
Philosophy is as far separated from impiety as religion is from fanaticism.
All abstract sciences are nothing but the study of relations between signs.
Virtue is praised, but hated. People run from it, for it is ice-cold and in this world you have to keep your feet warm.
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.
The following general definition of an animal: a system of different organic molecules that have combined with one another, under the impulsion of a sensation similar to an obtuse and muffled sense of touch given to them by the creator of matter as a whole, until each one of them has found the most suitable position for its shape and comfort.
We swallow greedily any lie that flatters us, but we sip only little by little at a truth we find bitter.
The blood of Jesus Christ can cover a multitude of sins, it seems to me.
Distance is a great promoter of admiration!.
I like better for one to say some foolish thing upon important matters than to be silent. That becomes the subject of discussion and dispute, and the truth is discovered.
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.
Topics: Revolution, Revolutions, Revolutionaries
It is the man who is cool and collected, who is master of his countenance, his voice, his actions, his gestures, of every part, who can work upon others at his pleasure.
What has not been examined impartially has not been well examined. Skepticism is therefore the first step toward truth.
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.
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!
We swallow with one gulp the lie that flatters us, and drink drop by drop the truth which is bitter to us.
Impenetrable in their dissimulation, cruel in their vengeance, tenacious in their purposes, unscrupulous as to their methods, animated by profound and hidden hatred for the tyranny of man—it is as though there exists among them an ever-present conspiracy toward domination, a sort of alliance like that subsisting among the priests of every country.
Black-letter record of the ages.
The possibility of divorce renders both marriage partners stricter in their observance of the duties they owe to each other. Divorces help to improve morals and to increase the population.
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
- Voltaire French Philosopher, Author
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- Jean-Paul Sartre French Philosopher
- Simone de Beauvoir French Philosopher
- Roland Barthes French Literary Theorist
- Jean-Jacques Rousseau French Philosopher
- Michel de Montaigne French Essayist
- Pierre Teilhard de Chardin French Jesuit Scientist