Aphorisms on Peace and War

“Our humanity is trapped by moral adolescents. The world has achieved brilliance without wisdom, power without conscience.”   

~ General Omar Bradley 

Peace is the virtue of civilization. War is its crime.    

~ Victor Hugo

I do not want the peace that passeth understanding. I want the understanding which bringeth peace. 

~       Helen Keller

War does not determine who is right  –  only who is left.

~ Bertrand Russell

Even philosophers will praise war as enobling mankind, forgetting the Greek who said:  ‘War is bad in that it begets more evil than it kills.’

~ Immanuel Kant

Indonesian sisters / by Jimmy Nelson

It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets. 

~ Voltaire

I am not only a pacifist but a militant pacifist. I am willing to fight for peace. Nothing will end war unless the people themselves refuse to go to war. 

~ Albert Einstein

The most disadvantageous peace is better than the most just war. 

~ Desiderius Erasmus

War is only a cowardly escape from the problems of peace. 

~ Thomas Mann

There was never a good war, or a bad peace. 

~ Benjamin Franklin

What is more immoral than war?

~ Marquis de Sade

In time of war the laws are silent.

~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

War is never fatal but always lost. Always lost. 

~ Gertrude Stein

Peace is not an absence of war; it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice. 

~ Baruch Spinoza

If we have no peace it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. 

~ Mother Teresa

As long as war is regarded as wicked, it will always have its fascination. When it is looked upon as vulgar, it will cease to be popular. 

~ Oscar Wilde

War is not an adventure. It is a disease. It is like typhus. 

~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery

War is a defeat for humanity. 

~ Pope John Paul II

If we don’t end war, war will end us. 

~ H. G. Wells

Sometime they’ll give a war and nobody will come. 

~ Carl Sandburg

What is absurd and monstrous about war is that men who have no personal quarrel should be trained to murder one another in cold blood.

~ Aldous Huxley

No more war! Never again war! If you wish to be brothers, drop your weapons. 

~ Pope Paul VI

The only way human beings can win a war is to prevent it. 

~ George C. Marshall

There have been only 268 of the past 3,421 years free of war. 

~ Will Durant

Either war is obsolete, or men are.

~ R. Buckminster Fuller

Migrants in a small, makeshift boat headed
from Sfax, Tunisia toward Italy, 2022
(Fethi Belaid/AFP via Getty Images)

There is no way to peace. Peace is the way. 

~ A. J. Muste

War is so unjust and ugly that all who wage it must try to stifle the voice of conscience within themselves. 

~ Leo Tolstoy

He who is the author of war lets loose the whole contagion of hell and opens a vein that bleeds a nation to death. 

~ Thomas Paine

I have a scheme for stopping war. It’s this  –  no nation is allowed to enter a war till they have paid for the last one.

~ Will Rogers

I cannot believe that war is the best solution. No one won the last war, and no one will win the next war.

~ Eleanor Roosevelt

You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war. 

~ Albert Einstein

Man has no right to kill his brother. It is no excuse that he does so in uniform: he only adds the infamy of servitude to the crime of murder. 

~ Percy Bysshe Shelley

Ohhh. Great warrior. Wars not make one great. 

~ Yoda

I was once asked why I don’t participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.

~ Mother Teresa

Peace at home, peace in the world.

~  Mustafa Kemal Atatürk , as quoted in many sources including, Atatürk(1963) by Uluğ İğdemir, p. 200; and Small Nations and Great Powers: A Study of Ethnopolitical Conflict in the Caucasus (2000) by Svante E. Cornell, p. 287. It later became the motto of the Republic of Turkey.

The only way to abolish war is to make peace heroic.

~  James HintonPhilosophy and Religion: Selections from the Manuscripts of the Late James Hinton, ed. Caroline Haddon, (2nd ed., London: 1884), p. 267.

It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it.

~  Eleanor Roosevelt, Voice of America broadcast (11 November 1951).

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

~  Gandhi