Quotes by Ernest Renan

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Ernest Renan (February 28, 1823 October 12, 1892) was a French philosopher and writer. more

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He whom God has touched will always be a being apart: he is, whatever he may do, a stranger among men; he is marked by a sign.

I can die when I wish to: that is my elixir of life.
Never has any one been less a priest than Jesus, never a greater enemy of forms, which stifle religion under the pretext of protecting it. By this we are all his disciples and his successors; by this he has laid the eternal foundation-stone of true religion; and if religion is essential to humanity, he has by this deserved the Divine rank the world has accorded him.
Our opinions become fixed at the point where we stop thinking.
The simplest school boy is now familiar with truths for which Archimedes would have sacrificed his life.
As soon as sacrifice becomes a duty and necessity to mankind. I see no limit to the horizon which opens before him.
No idea can succeed except at the expense of sacrifice; no one ever escapes without enduring strain from the struggle of life.
Let us pardon him his hope of a vain apocalypse, and of a second coming in great triumph upon the clouds of heaven. Perhaps these were the errors of others rather than his own; and if it be true that he himself shared the general illusion, what matters it, since his dream rendered him strong against death, and sustained him in a struggle to which he might otherwise have been unequal?
As a rule, all heroism is due to a lack of reflection, and thus it is necessary to maintain a mass of imbeciles. If they once understand themselves the ruling men will be lost.
The greatest men of a nation are those it puts to death.
To conceive the good, in fact, is not sufficient; it must be made to succeed among men. To accomplish this less pure paths must be followed.
When people complain of life, it is almost always because they have asked impossible things of it.
Communism is in conflict with human nature.
Man makes holy what he believes.
To be free in an age like ours, one must be in a position of authority. That in itself would be enough to make me ambitious.

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