Skeptic Quotes

Quotes tagged as "skeptic" Showing 1-30 of 43
Douglas Adams
“Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?”
Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Christopher Hitchens
“That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.”
Christopher Hitchens

Bertrand Russell
“The opinions that are held with passion are always those for which no good ground exists; indeed the passion is the measure of the holders lack of rational conviction. Opinions in politics and religion are almost always held passionately.”
Bertrand Russell, Sceptical Essays

Sam Harris
“Man is manifestly not the measure of all things. This universe is shot through with mystery. The very fact of its being, and of our own, is a mystery absolute, and the only miracle worthy of the name.”
Sam Harris, The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason

“Religion is like a blind man looking in a black room for a black cat that isn't there, and finding it.”

Sam Harris
“We know enough at this moment to say that the God of Abraham is not only unworthy of the immensity of creation; he is unworthy even of man.”
Sam Harris

Thomas Jefferson
“If we could believe that he [Jesus] really countenanced the follies, the falsehoods, and the charlatanism which his biographers [Gospels] father on him, and admit the misconstructions, interpolations, and theorizations of the fathers of the early, and the fanatics of the latter ages, the conclusion would be irresistible by every sound mind that he was an impostor... We find in the writings of his biographers matter of two distinct descriptions. First, a groundwork of vulgar ignorance, of things impossible, of superstitions, fanaticisms and fabrications... That sect [Jews] had presented for the object of their worship, a being of terrific character, cruel, vindictive, capricious and unjust... Jesus had to walk on the perilous confines of reason and religion: and a step to right or left might place him within the gripe of the priests of the superstition, a blood thirsty race, as cruel and remorseless as the being whom they represented as the family God of Abraham, of Isaac and of Jacob, and the local God of Israel. They were constantly laying snares, too, to entangle him in the web of the law... That Jesus did not mean to impose himself on mankind as the son of God, physically speaking, I have been convinced by the writings of men more learned than myself in that lore.

[Letter to William Short, 4 August, 1820]”
Thomas Jefferson, Letters of Thomas Jefferson

Criss Jami
“Trustful people are the pure at heart, as they are moved by the zeal of their own trustworthiness.”
Criss Jami, Healology

Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
“Be aware of this truth that the people on this earth could be joyous, if only they would live rationally and if they would contribute mutually to each others' welfare.

This world is not a vale of sorrows if you will recognize discriminatingly what is truly excellent in it; and if you will avail yourself of it for mutual happiness and well-being. Therefore, let us explain as often as possible, and particularly at the departure of life, that we base our faith on firm foundations, on Truth for putting into action our ideas which do not depend on fables and ideas which Science has long ago proven to be false.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Palm Sunday: An Autobiographical Collage

Charlotte Brontë
“Am I a liar in your eyes?" he asked passionately. "Little skeptic, you shall be convinced. What love have I for Miss Ingram? None: and that you know. What love has she for me? None: as I have taken pains to prove; I caused a rumor to reach her that my fortune was not a third of what was supposed, and after that I presented myself to see the result; it was coldness both from her and her mother. I would not-I could not-marry Miss Ingram. You-you strange-you almost unearthly thing!-I love as my own flesh. You-poor and obscure, and small and plain as you are-I entreat to accept me as a husband.”
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

“I am metaphysical being, mystical and emotional, skeptical and cynical, happy and boisterous, loud and bawdy, quiet and melancholy, tender and cruel, full of mirth and despair. Inherent inconsistences mark me as part of nature, which is neither cruel nor fair, or reliable or predictable.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
“Bertrand Russell declared that, in case he met God, he would say to Him, "Sir, you did not give us enough information." I would add to that, "All the same, Sir, I'm not persuaded that we did the best we could with the information we had. Toward the end there, anyway, we had tons of information.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Palm Sunday: An Autobiographical Collage

Joris-Karl Huysmans
“To love at a distance and without hope; never to possess; to dream chastely of pale charms and impossible kisses extinguished on the waxen brow of death: ah, that is something like it. A delicious straying away from the world, and never the return. As only the unreal is not ignoble and empty, existence must be admitted to be abominable. Yes, imagination is the only good thing which heaven vouchsafes to the skeptic and pessimist, alarmed by the eternal abjectness of life.”
Huysmans Joris-Karl Huysmans, Là-Bas

Joris-Karl Huysmans
“Ah; but my courage fails me, and my heart is sick within me! —Lord, take pity on the Christian who doubts, on the skeptic who would fain believe, on the galley-slave of life who puts to sea alone, in the darkness of night, beneath a firmament illumined no longer by the consoling beacon-fires of the ancient hope.”
Joris-Karl Huysmans, Against Nature

George Bernard Shaw
“The seriousness of throwing over hell whilst still clinging to the Atonement is obvious. If there is no punishment for sin there can be no self-forgiveness for it. If Christ paid our score, and if there is no hell and therefore no chance of our getting into trouble by forgetting the obligation, then we can be as wicked as we like with impunity inside the secular law, even from self-reproach, which becomes mere ingratitude to the Savior. On the other hand, if Christ did not pay our score, it still stands against us; and such debts make us extremely uncomfortable. The drive of evolution, which we call conscience and honor, seizes on such slips, and shames us to the dust for being so low in the scale as to be capable of them. The 'saved' thief experiences an ecstatic happiness which can never come to the honest atheist: he is tempted to steal again to repeat the glorious sensation. But if the atheist steals he has no such happiness. He is a thief and knows that he is a thief. Nothing can rub that off him. He may try to sooth his shame by some sort of restitution or equivalent act of benevolence; but that does not alter the fact that he did steal; and his conscience will not be easy until he has conquered his will to steal and changed himself into an honest man...

Now though the state of the believers in the atonement may thus be the happier, it is most certainly not more desirable from the point of view of the community. The fact that a believer is happier than a sceptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality of happiness, and by no means a necessity of life. Whether Socrates got as much happiness out of life as Wesley is an unanswerable question; but a nation of Socrateses would be much safer and happier than a nation of Wesleys; and its individuals would be higher in the evolutionary scale. At all events it is in the Socratic man and not in the Wesleyan that our hope lies now.

Consequently, even if it were mentally possible for all of us to believe in the Atonement, we should have to cry off it, as we evidently have a right to do. Every man to whom salvation is offered has an inalienable natural right to say 'No, thank you: I prefer to retain my full moral responsibility: it is not good for me to be able to load a scapegoat with my sins: I should be less careful how I committed them if I knew they would cost me nothing.'
George Bernard Shaw, Androcles and the Lion

Thomas Jefferson
“[n regard to Jesus believing himself inspired]
This belief carried no more personal imputation than the belief of Socrates that he was under the care and admonition of a guardian demon. And how many of our wisest men still believe in the reality of these inspirations while perfectly sane on all other subjects (Works, Vol. iv, p. 327).”
Thomas Jefferson

Abhijit Naskar
“Be skeptic, be doubtful, be rebellious towards every single dogma of the society. Only then there will be hope of progress for humanity.”
Abhijit Naskar, Illusion of Religion: A Treatise on Religious Fundamentalism

“We discover truth by asking rapier-like questions that cut through the thick fog of doctrinarism. Artists and philosophers must be subversive: we need these rebellious cynics to ask questions, they must resist cultural norms; seek out truths that are not self-evident and challenge everything. Doubt, not blind belief, is essential for discovering truth.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“Regardless of how you came to doubt, doubt itself is not the problem, but what can be problematic and even tragic is what you do with your doubt.”
Ben Young, Room for Doubt: How Uncertainty Can Deepen Your Faith

Abhijit Naskar
“Searching for truth without skepticism, is like having sex without a genital.”
Abhijit Naskar, Illusion of Religion: A Treatise on Religious Fundamentalism

Augusten Burroughs
“He sees the shit that happens around me - or because of me - so now he is only 99.99 percent certain I can't turn him into a frog.”
Augusten Burroughs, Toil & Trouble

“Frankly, the whole concept was a little too New Age—y for me.”
Kristen Roupenian, You Know You Want This

Jacqueline E. Smith
“We’ll actually be staying several nights in Dunadhar Castle but one night, we’re going to be camping out at Loch Ness, just to see if we can catch a glimpse of Nessie.”
“Branching out, huh?” Mikey asked.
“Don’t tell me you’re not a believer, Mikey.”
“In a massive sea dragon?”
Luke sighed.
Everyone's a skeptic.”
Jacqueline E. Smith, Lost Souls

Brownell Landrum
“You can choose between having an open mind and being a skeptic. There is no in-between.”
Brownell Landrum, Repercussions: DUET stories Volume IV - Adult Version

“Doubting is biblical, historical, and normal for many Christians who are trying to follow God in their lifetimes. It takes courage to face uncertainty and to live with doubts that may never completely go away.”
Ben Young, Room for Doubt: How Uncertainty Can Deepen Your Faith

“It is far harder to make a believer into a skeptic than to make a skeptic into a believer.”
Mike Klepper

“When it comes to doubt, there is not one size that fits all. Some people struggle with it and some people don’t. Some people scream their way into doubt through pain and suffering, while others seem to drift into doubt. It’s that simple and that complex.”
Ben Young, Room for Doubt: How Uncertainty Can Deepen Your Faith

“Doubting is not unique to a person or a time period. It is the nature of being a finite human living in a complex world filled with pain and disappointment and questions about existence that will never be answered.”
Ben Young, Room for Doubt: How Uncertainty Can Deepen Your Faith

“Although Dissociative Disorders have been observed from the beginnings of psychiatry, the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R Dissociative Disorders (Steinberg 1985) was the first diagnostic instrument for the comprehensive evaluation of dissociative symptoms and to diagnose the presence of Dissociative Disorders.”
Marlene Steinberg, Structured Clinical Interview for Dsm-Iv(r) Dissociative Disorders

Jeff Provine
“Skepticism is key to a good ghost story”
Jeff Provine, Campus Ghosts of Norman, Oklahoma

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