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Either war is obsolete, or men are.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; this 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