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Quotes About Doubt

Quotes tagged as "doubt" (showing 1-30 of 533)
Bram Stoker
“We learn from failure, not from success!”
Bram Stoker, Dracula

Sylvia Plath
“I talk to God but the sky is empty.”
Sylvia Plath

Bertrand Russell
“The fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”
Bertrand Russell

William Shakespeare
“Our doubts are traitors,
and make us lose the good we oft might win,
by fearing to attempt.”
William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure

William Goldman
“We’ll never survive!”
“Nonsense. You’re only saying that because no one ever has.”
William Goldman, The Princess Bride

Gautama Buddha
“Doubt everything. Find your own light.”
Gautama Buddha

Dorothy Parker
Inventory:

"Four be the things I am wiser to know:
Idleness, sorrow, a friend, and a foe.
Four be the things I'd been better without:
Love, curiosity, freckles, and doubt.
Three be the things I shall never attain:
Envy, content, and sufficient champagne.
Three be the things I shall have till I die:
Laughter and hope and a sock in the eye.”
Dorothy Parker, The Complete Poems of Dorothy Parker

George Carlin
“Tell people there's an invisible man in the sky who created the universe, and the vast majority will believe you. Tell them the paint is wet, and they have to touch it to be sure.”
George Carlin

Walt Whitman
“I like the scientific spirit—the holding off, the being sure but not too sure, the willingness to surrender ideas when the evidence is against them: this is ultimately fine—it always keeps the way beyond open—always gives life, thought, affection, the whole man, a chance to try over again after a mistake—after a wrong guess.”
Walt Whitman, Walt Whitman's Camden Conversations

Friedrich Nietzsche
“Doubt as sin. — Christianity has done its utmost to close the circle and declared even doubt to be sin. One is supposed to be cast into belief without reason, by a miracle, and from then on to swim in it as in the brightest and least ambiguous of elements: even a glance towards land, even the thought that one perhaps exists for something else as well as swimming, even the slightest impulse of our amphibious nature — is sin! And notice that all this means that the foundation of belief and all reflection on its origin is likewise excluded as sinful. What is wanted are blindness and intoxication and an eternal song over the waves in which reason has drowned.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, Daybreak: Thoughts on the Prejudices of Morality

Kurt Vonnegut
“Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night

Douglas Adams
“We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!”
Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Voltaire
“Doubt is an uncomfortable condition, but certainty is a ridiculous one.”
Voltaire

Gautama Buddha
“Now, Kalamas, don’t go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, ‘This contemplative is our teacher.’ When you know for yourselves that, ‘These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness’ — then you should enter & remain in them.

[Kalama Sutta, AN 3.65]”
Gautama Buddha

René Descartes
“If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.”
René Descartes

Paul Tillich
“Doubt isn't the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith.”
Paul Tillich

Tahereh Mafi
“For so many years I lived in constant terror of myself. Doubt had married my fear and moved into my mind, where it built castles and ruled kingdoms and reigned over me, bowing my will to its whispers until I was little more than an acquiescing peon, too terrified to disobey, too terrified to disagree. I had been shackled, a prisoner in my own mind.

But finally, finally, I have learned to break free.”
Tahereh Mafi, Ignite Me

Yann Martel
“If Christ spent an anguished night in prayer, if He burst out from the Cross, 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?' then surely we are also permitted doubt. But we must move on. To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation.”
Yann Martel, Life of Pi

Gustave Flaubert
“Doubt … is an illness that comes from knowledge and leads to madness.”
Gustave Flaubert, Memoirs of a Madman

Richard Feynman
“Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.”
Richard Feynman

Marsilio Ficino
“In these times I don't, in a manner of speaking, know what I want; perhaps I don't want what I know and want what I don't know.”
Marsilio Ficino, The Letters of Marsilio Ficino, Vol. 3

Robert M. Pirsig
“You are never dedicated to something you have complete confidence in. No one is fanatically shouting that the sun is going to rise tomorrow. They know it's going to rise tomorrow. When people are fanatically dedicated to political or religious faiths or any other kinds of dogmas or goals, it's always because these dogmas or goals are in doubt.”
Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values

Clarence Darrow
“I have always felt that doubt was the beginning of wisdom, and the fear of God was the end of wisdom.”
Clarence Darrow, The Story of My Life

Robert Hughes
“The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize."

[Modernism's Patriarch (Time Magazine, June 10, 1996)]”
Robert Hughes

J.R.R. Tolkien
“A hunted man sometimes wearies of distrust and longs for friendship.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

Charles Darwin
“...Whilst on board the Beagle I was quite orthodox, and I remember being heartily laughed at by several of the officers... for quoting the Bible as an unanswerable authority on some point of morality... But I had gradually come by this time, i.e., 1836 to 1839, to see that the Old Testament from its manifestly false history of the world, with the Tower of Babel, the rainbow at sign, &c., &c., and from its attributing to God the feelings of a revengeful tyrant, was no more to be trusted than the sacred books of the Hindoos, or the beliefs of any barbarian.

...By further reflecting that the clearest evidence would be requisite to make any sane man believe in the miracles by which Christianity is supported, (and that the more we know of the fixed laws of nature the more incredible do miracles become), that the men at that time were ignorant and credulous to a degree almost uncomprehensible by us, that the Gospels cannot be proved to have been written simultaneously with the events, that they differ in many important details, far too important, as it seemed to me, to be admitted as the usual inaccuracies of eyewitnesses; by such reflections as these, which I give not as having the least novelty or value, but as they influenced me, I gradually came to disbelieve in Christianity as a divine revelation. The fact that many false religions have spread over large portions of the earth like wild-fire had some weight with me. Beautiful as is the morality of the New Testament, it can be hardly denied that its perfection depends in part on the interpretation which we now put on metaphors and allegories.

But I was very unwilling to give up my belief... Thus disbelief crept over me at a very slow rate, but was at last complete. The rate was so slow that I felt no distress, and have never since doubted even for a single second that my conclusion was correct. I can indeed hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true; for if so the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe, and this would include my Father, Brother and almost all of my friends, will be everlastingly punished.

And this is a damnable doctrine.”
Charles Darwin, The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, 1809–82

David Hume
“In our reasonings concerning matter of fact, there are all imaginable degrees of assurance, from the highest certainty to the lowest species of moral evidence. A wise man, therefore, proportions his belief to the evidence.”
David Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding

William Shakespeare
“Doubt thou the stars are fire
Doubt thou the sun doth move
Doubt truth to be a liar
But never doubt I love”
William Shakespeare, Hamlet

Miguel de Unamuno
“Life is doubt,
And faith without doubt is nothing but death.”
Miguel de Unamuno

P.G. Wodehouse
“It was one of those cases where you approve the broad, general principle of an idea but can't help being in a bit of a twitter at the prospect of putting it into practical effect. I explained this to Jeeves, and he said much the same thing had bothered Hamlet.”
P.G. Wodehouse, Jeeves in the Morning

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