Quotes by Enlightenment Thinkers

“Being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions.” – Second Treatise on Government, John Locke

“Though the earth and all inferior creatures be common to all men, yet every man has a “property” in his own “person.” This nobody has any right to but himself. The “labour” of his body and the “work” of his hands, we may say, are properly his. Whatsoever, then, he removes out of the state that Nature hath provided and left it in, he hath mixed his labour with it, and joined to it something that is his own, and thereby makes it his property. It being by him removed from the common state Nature placed it in, it hath by this labour something annexed to it that excludes the common right of other men. For this “labour” being the unquestionable property of the labourer, no man but he can have a right to what that is once joined to, at least where there is enough, and as good left in common for others.” – Second Treatise on Government, John Locke

“In the state of nature, indeed, all men are born equal, but they cannot continue in this equality. Society makes them lose it, and they recover it only by the protection of the law.”- The Spirit of Laws, Baron de Montesquieu

“There is no greater tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of the law and in the name of justice.” – The Spirit of Laws, Baron de Montesquieu

“Every man having been born free and master of himself, no one else may under any pretext whatever subject him without his consent. To assert that the son of a slave is born a slave is to assert that he is not born a man.” – The Social Contract, Jean-Jacques Rousseau

“In truth, laws are always useful to those with possessions and harmful to those who have nothing; from which it follows that the social state is advantageous to men only when all possess something and none has too much.” – The Social Contract, Jean-Jacques Rousseau

“What, then, is the government? An intermediary body established between the subjects and the sovereign for their mutual communication, a body charged with the execution of the laws and the maintenance of freedom, both civil and political.” – The Social Contract, Jean-Jacques Rousseau

“Now, now my good man, this is no time to be making enemies.” – Voltaire (on his deathbed in response to a priest asking him that he renounce Satan.)

“In default of any other proof, the thumb would convince me of the existence of a God.”– Isaac Newton

“God created everything by number, weight and measure.” – Isaac Newton

“Nature hath made men so equal in the faculties of body and mind as that, though there be found one man sometimes manifestly stronger in body or of quicker mind than another, yet when all is reckoned together the difference between man & man is not so considerable as that one man can thereupon claim to himself any benefit to which another may not pretend as well as he. For as to the strength of body, the weakest has strength enough to kill the strongest, either by secret machination or by confederacy with others that are in the same danger with himself.” – Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes

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