Scepticism Quotes

Quotes tagged as "scepticism" Showing 1-30 of 66
Jean-Paul Sartre
“She believed in nothing. Only her scepticism kept her from being an atheist.”
Jean-Paul Sartre

Christopher Hitchens
What is it you most dislike? Stupidity, especially in its nastiest forms of racism and superstition.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

Douglas Adams
“Don't believe anything you read on the net. Except this. Well, including this, I suppose.”
Douglas Adams

Max Brooks
“Most people don't believe something can happen until it already has. That's not stupidity or weakness, that's just human nature.”
Max Brooks, World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

Christopher Hitchens
“To 'choose' dogma and faith over doubt and experience is to throw out the ripening vintage and to reach greedily for the Kool-Aid.”
Christopher Hitchens, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

“I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”
Stephen Roberts

Richard Lederer
“There once was a time when all people believed in God and the church ruled. This time was called the Dark Ages.”
Richard Lederer, Anguished English: An Anthology of Accidental Assaults Upon Our Language

Ricky Gervais
“A Christian telling an atheist they're going to hell is as scary as a child telling an adult they're not getting any presents from Santa.”
Ricky Gervais

Tim Minchin
“You know what they call alternative medicine that's been proved to work? - Medicine.”
Tim Minchin

Christopher Hitchens
“And here is the point, about myself and my co-thinkers. Our belief is not a belief. Our principles are not a faith. We do not rely solely upon science and reason, because these are necessary rather than sufficient factors, but we distrust anything that contradicts science or outrages reason. We may differ on many things, but what we respect is free inquiry, openmindedness, and the pursuit of ideas for their own sake.”
Christopher Hitchens, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

Denis Diderot
“Scepticism is the first step towards truth.”
Denis Diderot, Pensées philosophiques

David Hume
“Does a man of sense run after every silly tale of hobgoblins or fairies, and canvass particularly the evidence? I never knew anyone, that examined and deliberated about nonsense who did not believe it before the end of his enquiries.”
David Hume, The Letters of David Hume

Frank R. Stockton
“Most people are too silly to be truly interested in any thing. They herd together like cattle, and do not know what is good for them.”
Frank R. Stockton

Carl Sagan
“The business of scepticism is to be dangerous. Scepticism challenges established institutions. If we teach everybody, including, say, high school students, habits of sceptical thought, they will probably not restrict their scepticism to UFOs, aspirin commercials and 35,000-year-old channellees. Maybe they’ll start asking awkward questions about economic, or social, or political, or religious institutions. Perhaps they’ll challenge the opinions of those in power. Then where would we be?”
Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

Arthur Conan Doyle
“No ghosts need apply.

- Sherlock Holmes: The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire
Arthur Conan Doyle, The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes

Christopher Hitchens
“We have known for a long time that Prince Charles' empty sails are so rigged as to be swelled by any passing waft or breeze of crankiness and cant. He fell for the fake anthropologist Laurens van der Post. He was bowled over by the charms of homeopathic medicine. He has been believably reported as saying that plants do better if you talk to them in a soothing and encouraging way.”
Christopher Hitchens

William A. Dembski
Johnson is a radical skeptic, insisting, in the best Socratic tradition, that everything be put on the table for examination. By contrast, most skeptics opposed to him are selective skeptics, applying their skepticism to the things they dislike (notably religion) and refusing to apply their skepticism to the things they do like (notably Darwinism). On two occasions I’ve urged Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic Magazine, to put me on its editorial board as the resident skeptic of Darwinism. Though Shermer and I know each other and are quite friendly, he never got back to me about joining his editorial board.”
William A. Dembski

Franz Kafka
“Herr Kafka, essen Sie keine Eier." (As one and only piece of dialog K recalls from his meeting with Rudolf Steiner - "Mr. Kafka don't eat eggs.”
Franz Kafka, Diaries, 1910 1923

Christopher Hitchens
“In the controversy that followed the prince's remarks, his most staunch defender was professor John Taylor, a scholar whose work I had last noticed when he gave good reviews to the psychokinetic (or whatever) capacities of the Israeli conjuror and fraud Uri Geller. The heir to the throne seems to possess the ability to surround himself—perhaps by some mysterious ultramagnetic force?—with every moon-faced spoon-bender, shrub-flatterer, and water-diviner within range.”
Christopher Hitchens

Adebowale Ojowuro
“The terrible error in the course of human civilization is undoubtedly the defective judgment that allowed religious authorities usurp the foundation of societal morality, in which all collective ethics of humankind must take a cause. This appalling blunder is comparable only to assigning the leper exclusive franchise to run beauty clinics in the society; this can only lead to cycles upon cycles of common infection syndrome.”
Adebowale Babatunde Ojowuro, Echoes of Common Sense

Fulton J. Sheen
“Scepticism is never certain of itself, being less a firm intellectual position than a pose to justify bad behavior.”
Fulton J. Sheen, Life of Christ

Friedrich Nietzsche
“When we hear the old bells ringing out on a Sunday morning, we ask ourselves: can it be possible? This for a Jew, crucified two thousand years ago, who said he was the son of God. The proof of such a claim is wanting. Within our times the Christian religion is surely an antiquity jutting out from a far-distant olden time; and the fact that people believe such a perhaps the oldest part of this heritage. A god who conceives children with a mortal woman; a wise man who calls us to work no more; to judge no more; but to heed the signs of the imminent apocalypse; a justice that accepts the innocent man as a proxy sacrifice; someone who has his disciplines drink his blood; prayers for miraculous interventions; sins against a god, atoned for by a god; fear of the afterlife, to which death is the gate; the figure of the cross as a symbol, in a time that no longer knows the purpose and shame of the cross - how horribly all this wafts over us, as from the grave of the ancient past! Are we to believe that such things are still believed?”
Friedrich Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits

Carl Sagan
“I do not want to believe. I want to know.”
Carl Sagan, Cosmos

Aleister Crowley
“Cogitatur" depends on "Est;" and there's no avoiding it.”
Crowley Aleister

“A healthy dose of doubt, uncertainty, and scepticism is an essential preliminary of amelioration.”
Omar Cherif

Raheel Farooq
“The irony with mainstream atheism is that it does not deny but opposes the existence of God.”
Raheel Farooq, Why I Am a Muslim: And a Christian and a Jew

Erich Fromm
“The understanding of the operation of unconscious elements has taught us to be sceptical towards words and not to take them at face value.”
Erich Fromm, Escape from Freedom

Penelope Lively
“And yet I am by nature sceptical - a questioner, a doubter, an instinctive agnostic.”
Penelope Lively, Moon Tiger

Jonas Jonasson
“Η ανθρώπινη λογική λειτουργούσε ως εξής: πάρα πολλοί θεωρούσαν εαυτούς εξτρεμιστές. Οσο οι Σουηδοί Δημοκράτες ήταν ό,τι πιο εξτρεμιστικό είχε να προσφέρει η Σουηδία, θα υπήρχαν πάντα αρκετοί που δε θα τους ψήφιζαν, όσο δίκαιο και να συμφωνούσαν οτι είχαν. [...] Αν παρ'όλα αυτά συνέβαλλε σε μια εναλλακτική ψήφο, δεξιά απο αυτούς που ήταν στην άκρα δεξιά, τότε θα συνέβαιναν 2 πράγματα: πρώτον, οι Σουηδοί Δημοκράτες θα σήκωναν το δάχτυλο δείχνοντας τους νεοναζιστές και θα έλεγαν: «Κοιτάξτε πόσο απαίσιοι είναι! Εμείς, ασφαλώς, δεν είμαστε σαν κι αυτούς»· και δεύτερον, ο κόσμος θα συμφωνούσε. Το να ψηφίσει κανείς τους Σουηδούς Δημοκράτες θα ήταν μεμιάς πολύ περισσότερο ευπρεπές και κοινωνικά αποδεκτό.[...] Ο πολιτικός χάρτης ομως θα είχε αλλάξει όρια. Οι συντηρητικοί, οι φιλελεύθεροι και οι σοσιαλδημοκράτες θα είχαν λόγο να αλλάξουν την εξωτερική πολιτική τους. Ελάχιστοι θέλουν να πεθάνουν.”
Jonas Jonasson, The Accidental Further Adventures of the Hundred-Year-Old Man

H.R.F. Keating
“The ingrained scepticism of the cold North fought a battle against mysterious and exciting forces from the ancient East.”
H.R.F. Keating, The Perfect Murder

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