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The fanatic is incorruptible: if he kills for an idea, he can just as well get himself killed for one; in either case, tyrant or martyr, he is a monster.

Emil Cioran (1911-1995) Romanian philosopher and essayist.

In the fevered state of our country, no good can ever result from any attempt to set one of these fiery zealots to rights, either in fact or principle. They are determined as to the facts they will believe, and the opinions on which they will act. Get by them, therefore, as you would by an angry bull; it is not for a man of sense to dispute the road with such an animal.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) Third president of the United States.

If you see one cold and vehement at the same time, set him down for a fanatic.

Johann Kaspar Lavater (1741-1801) Swiss theologian and poet.

Fanatics are picturesque, mankind would rather see gestures than listen to reasons.

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) German-Swiss philosopher and writer.

The worst of madmen is a saint run mad.

Alexander Pope (1688-1744) English poet and satirist.


Throughout human history, the apostles of purity, those who have claimed to possess a total explanation, have wrought havoc among mere mixed-up human beings.

Salman Rushdie (1948-?) Anglo-Indian novelist.

Fanaticism consists in redoubling your efforts when you have forgotten your aim.

George Santayana (1863-1952) American philosopher and poet.

I carry from my mother's womb a fanatic's heart.

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) Irish poet, and playwright.

Fanaticism soberly defined, is the false fire of an over heated mind.

William Cowper (1731-1800) British poet.

The most dangerous madmen are those created by religion, and people whose aim is to disrupt society always know how to make good use of them on occasion.

Denis Diderot (1713-1784) French philosopher.