"I have made but one prayer to God, a very short one: 'O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.' And God granted it."
"God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh."
"If God has created us in His image, we have more than returned the compliment."
"Superstition is to religion what astrology is to astronomy; the mad daughter of a wise mother."
"He is a hard man who is only just, and a sad one who is only wise."
"Truth is a fruit which should not be plucked until it is ripe."
"Let us therefore reject all superstition in order to become more human; but in speaking against fanaticism, let us not imitate the fanatics: they are sick men in delirium who want to chastise their doctors. Let us assuage their ills, and never embitter them, and let us pour drop by drop into their souls the divine balm of toleration, which they would reject with horror if it were offered to them all at once."
"As you know, the Inquisition is an admirable and wholly Christian invention to make the pope and the monks more powerful and turn a whole kingdom into hypocrites."
"The son of God is the same as the son of man; the son of man is the same as the son of God. God, the father, is the same as Christ, the son; Christ, the son, is the same as God, the father. This language may appear confused to unbelievers, but Christians will readily understand it."
"Christianity is the most ridiculous, the most absurd and bloody religion that has ever infected the world."
"The truths of religion are never so well understood as by those who have lost the power of reasoning."
"If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him."
"Which is more dangerous: fanaticism or atheism? Fanaticism is certainly a thousand times more deadly; for atheism inspires no bloody passion whereas fanaticism does; atheism is opposed to crime and fanaticism causes crimes to be committed."
"It is reported in the supplement of the council of Nicaea that the fathers, being very perplexed to know which were the cryphal or apocryphal books of the Old and New Testaments, put them all pell-mell on an altar, and the books to be rejected fell to the ground. It is a pity that this eloquent procedure has not survived."
"What concern to me are humanity, benevolence, modesty, temperance, gentleness, wisdom, piety, so long as half an ounce of lead shatters my body, and I die at twenty in torments unspeakable, surrounded by five or six thousand dead and dying while my eyes, opening for the last time, see the town I was born in delivered to fire and sword, and the last sounds that reach my ears are the shrieks of women and children expiring in the ruins -- and the whole for the pretended interest of men that we do not know?"