Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Birthday Voltaire !

Today is the birthday of a French Enlightenment writer, historian and philosopher Voltaire (21 November 1694 – 30 May 1778), famous for his wit and for his advocacy of civil liberties, including freedom of religion, freedom of expression, free trade and separation of church and state. Voltaire was a prolific 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 supporter of social reform, despite strict censorship laws with harsh penalties for those who broke them. As a satirical polemicist, he frequently made use of his works to criticize intolerance, religious dogma, and the French institutions of his day. Voltaire was one of several Enlightenment figures (along with Montesquieu, John Locke, Richard Price, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Émilie du Châtelet) whose works and ideas influenced important thinkers of both the American and French Revolutions. Presenting some Quotations : Being Poet
  • A witty saying proves nothing.
  • Love truth, and pardon error.
  • Regimen is superior to medicine.
  • Anything too stupid to be said is sung.
  • Prejudice is opinion without judgement.
  • History is a pack of lies we play on the dead.
  • The multitude of books is making us ignorant.
  • The secret of being boring is to say everything.
  • Every man is guilty of all the good he didn't do.
  • God is always on the side of the big battalions.
  • Indolence is sweet, and its consequences bitter.
  • Marriage is the only adventure open to the cowardly.
  • If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.
  • Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.
  • It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.
  • Judge of a man by his questions rather than by his answers.
  • God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.
  • Men are equal; it is not birth but virtue that makes the difference.
  • Love is a canvas furnished by Nature and embroidered by imagination.
  • Indeed, history is nothing more than a tableau of crimes and misfortunes.
  • Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.
  • The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.
  • Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.
  • There is a wide difference between speaking to deceive, and being silent to be impenetrable.
  • All sects are different, because they come from men; morality is everywhere the same, because it comes from God.
  • I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: 'O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.' And God granted it.
  • It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.
  • The safest course is to do nothing against one's conscience. With this secret, we can enjoy life and have no fear from death.
  • 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.