From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step.
Our observation of nature must be diligent, our reflection profound, and our experiments exact. We rarely see these three means combined; and for this reason, creative geniuses are not common.
You have to make it happen.
The enjoyment of freedom which could be exercised without any motivation would be the real hallmark of a maniac.
The philosopher has never killed any priests, whereas the priest has killed a great many philosophers.
People praise virtue, but they hate it, they run away from it. It freezes you to death, and in this world you’ve got to keep your feet warm.
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.
Time, matter, space – all, it may be, are no more than a point.
The pit of a theatre is the one place where the tears of virtuous and wicked men alike are mingled.
Whatever dressing one gives to mushrooms, to whatever sauces our Apiciuses put them, they are not really good but to be sent back to the dungheap where they are born.
You risk just as much in being credulous as in being suspicious.
There is no good father who would want to resemble our Heavenly Father.
If a misplaced admiration shows imbecility, an affected criticism shows vice of character. Expose thyself rather to appear a beast than false.
In any country where talent and virtue produce no advancement, money will be the national god. Its inhabitants will either have to possess money or make others believe that they do. Wealth will be the highest virtue, poverty the greatest vice.
To prove the Gospels by a miracle is to prove an absurdity by something contrary to nature.
Genius is present in every age, but the men carrying it within them remain benumbed unless extraordinary events occur to heat up and melt the mass so that it flows forth.
The Christian religion teaches us to imitate a God that is cruel, insidious, jealous, and implacable in his wrath.
There is no true sovereign except the nation; there can be no true legislator except the people.
There’s a bit of testicle at the bottom of our most sublime feelings and our purest tenderness.
Whether God exists or does not exist, He has come to rank among the most sublime and useless truths.
The decisions of law courts should never be printed: in the long run, they form a counter authority to the law.
Mankind have banned the Divinity from their presence; they have relegated him to a sanctuary; the walls of the temple restrict his view; he does not exist outside of it.
It is not human nature we should accuse but the despicable conventions that pervert it.
If there are one hundred thousand damned souls for one saved soul, the devil has always the advantage without having given up his son to death.
I have only a small flickering light to guide me in the darkness of a thick forest. Up comes a theologian and blows it out.
The bad gives rise to the good, the good inspires the better, the better produces the excellent, the excellent is followed by the bizarre
Ignorance is less remote from the truth than prejudice.