Sunday, November 4, 2012

158 Monday Musings -Voltaire reloaded

158 Monday Musings -Voltaire reloaded

Voltaire is a 18th century philosopher who had an interesting life. I am not a student of philosophy as that is an esoteric pursuit, much beyond the limits of my comprehension and capacity, but many quotes attributed to Voltaire that i read or heard did leave me impressed. So one fine day i decided to search famous quotes on the net by Voltaire and i present here my top 10. Enjoy the breathtaking expanse of his comments, the dry wit of his observations, the fun he pokes at the establishment, the dig he takes at the norms and popular beliefs and it is precisely because of the levity and frivolity with which he observes life that he renders himself so profound. No wonder he was exiled in his life time - if he was around today much worse would have happened to him. Enjoy his quotes followed by my take on them in the spirit of Voltaire.

1. “To the living we owe respect, but to the dead we owe only the truth.” - it is absolutely fine to lie to the living because truth can hurt very badly, but a corpse is a different kettle of fish.

2. “Governments need to have both shepherds and butchers.” - and shepherds are mostly butchers in disguise. 

3.“Love truth, but pardon error.” - For those love truth too much are unimaginable bores or a intolerable prudes.

 4. “It is one of the superstitions of the human mind to have imagined that virginity could be a virtue.” - I will let Voltaire have the last word on this.

5. “It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong.” - Conscious stupidity can save lives. 

6. "There are truths which are not for all men, nor for all times.” - What they taught us in school about honesty can safely be regarded as redundant.

7. "The secret of being a bore is to tell everything.” - So just shut up.

8.“If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.” -God needs us more than we need him..

9.“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” - so that we one absurdity can be matched with yet greater absurdity.

10.“Illusion is the first of all pleasures.” - No wonder i feel so pleased these days.



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