Zitat des Tages von Denis Diderot:
Gaiety is a quality of ordinary men. Genius always presupposes some disorder in the machine.
Bad company is as instructive as licentiousness. One makes up for the loss of one's innocence with the loss of one's prejudices.
The decisions of law courts should never be printed: in the long run, they form a counter authority to the law.
The pit of a theatre is the one place where the tears of virtuous and wicked men alike are mingled.
The God of the Christians is a father who makes much of his apples, and very little of his children.
When science, art, literature, and philosophy are simply the manifestation of personality they are on a level where glorious and dazzling achievements are possible, which can make a man's name live for thousands of years.
Only passions, great passions can elevate the soul to great things.
Morals are in all countries the result of legislation and government; they are not African or Asian or European: they are good or bad.
Watch out for the fellow who talks about putting things in order! Putting things in order always means getting other people under your control.
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.
Skepticism is the first step on the road to philosophy.
There are things I can't force. I must adjust. There are times when the greatest change needed is a change of my viewpoint.
Poetry must have something in it that is barbaric, vast and wild.
All abstract sciences are nothing but the study of relations between signs.
From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step.
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.
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.
His hands would plait the priest's guts, if he had no rope, to strangle kings.
Although a man may wear fine clothing, if he lives peacefully; and is good, self-possessed, has faith and is pure; and if he does not hurt any living being, he is a holy man.
There is only one passion, the passion for happiness.
Evil always turns up in this world through some genius or other.
The general interest of the masses might take the place of the insight of genius if it were allowed freedom of action.
There is no good father who would want to resemble our Heavenly Father.
In order to shake a hypothesis, it is sometimes not necessary to do anything more than push it as far as it will go.
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.
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.
Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.
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.
We are far more liable to catch the vices than the virtues of our associates.
There are three principal means of acquiring knowledge... observation of nature, reflection, and experimentation. Observation collects facts; reflection combines them; experimentation verifies the result of that combination.
Only a very bad theologian would confuse the certainty that follows revelation with the truths that are revealed. They are entirely different things.
Every man has his dignity. I'm willing to forget mine, but at my own discretion and not when someone else tells me to.
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!
The first step towards philosophy is incredulity.
It is very important not to mistake hemlock for parsley, but to believe or not believe in God is not important at all.
One declaims endlessly against the passions; one imputes all of man's suffering to them. One forgets that they are also the source of all his pleasures.