Superstition Quotes

Quotes tagged as "superstition" Showing 1-30 of 460
Alice Hoffman
“There are some things, after all, that Sally Owens knows for certain: Always throw spilled salt over your left shoulder. Keep rosemary by your garden gate. Add pepper to your mashed potatoes. Plant roses and lavender, for luck. Fall in love whenever you can.”
Alice Hoffman, Practical Magic

Groucho Marx
“If a black cat crosses your path, it signifies that the animal is going somewhere.”
Groucho marx

Bertrand Russell
“I do not pretend to be able to prove that there is no God. I equally cannot prove that Satan is a fiction. The Christian god may exist; so may the gods of Olympus, or of ancient Egypt, or of Babylon. But no one of these hypotheses is more probable than any other: they lie outside the region of even probable knowledge, and therefore there is no reason to consider any of them.”
Bertrand Russell , Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects

Chuck Palahniuk
“What we don't understand we can make mean anything.”
Chuck Palahniuk

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

Bertrand Russell
“Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.”
Bertrand Russell, Unpopular Essays

When my [author:husband|10538] died, because he was so famous and known for not being a
“When my husband died, because he was so famous and known for not being a believer, many people would come up to me-it still sometimes happens-and ask me if Carl changed at the end and converted to a belief in an afterlife. They also frequently ask me if I think I will see him again. Carl faced his death with unflagging courage and never sought refuge in illusions. The tragedy was that we knew we would never see each other again. I don't ever expect to be reunited with Carl. But, the great thing is that when we were together, for nearly twenty years, we lived with a vivid appreciation of how brief and precious life is. We never trivialized the meaning of death by pretending it was anything other than a final parting. Every single moment that we were alive and we were together was miraculous-not miraculous in the sense of inexplicable or supernatural. We knew we were beneficiaries of chance. . . . That pure chance could be so generous and so kind. . . . That we could find each other, as Carl wrote so beautifully in Cosmos, you know, in the vastness of space and the immensity of time. . . . That we could be together for twenty years. That is something which sustains me and it’s much more meaningful. . . . The way he treated me and the way I treated him, the way we took care of each other and our family, while he lived. That is so much more important than the idea I will see him someday. I don't think I'll ever see Carl again. But I saw him. We saw each other. We found each other in the cosmos, and that was wonderful.”
Ann Druyan

John Muir
“The world, we are told, was made especially for man — a presumption not supported by all the facts.”
John Muir, A Thousand-Mile Walk to the Gulf

Henry David Thoreau
“I was once reproved by a minister who was driving a poor beast to some meeting-house horse-sheds among the hills of New Hampshire, because I was bending my steps to a mountain-top on the Sabbath, instead of a church, when I would have gone farther than he to hear a true word spoken on that or any day. He declared that I was 'breaking the Lord's fourth commandment,' and proceeded to enumerate, in a sepulchral tone, the disasters which had befallen him whenever he had done any ordinary work on the Sabbath. He really thought that a god was on the watch to trip up those men who followed any secular work on this day, and did not see that it was the evil conscience of the workers that did it. The country is full of this superstition, so that when one enters a village, the church, not only really but from association, is the ugliest looking building in it, because it is the one in which human nature stoops the lowest and is most disgraced. Certainly, such temples as these shall erelong cease to deform the landscape. There are few things more disheartening and disgusting than when you are walking the streets of a strange village on the Sabbath, to hear a preacher shouting like a boatswain in a gale of wind, and thus harshly profaning the quiet atmosphere of the day.”
Henry David Thoreau, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers

Alice Walker
“What the mind doesn't understand, it worships or fears.”
Alice Walker

Michel de Montaigne
“Man is certainly stark mad; he cannot make a worm, and yet he will be making gods by dozens.”
Montaigne, The Complete Essays

Emma Goldman
“Patriotism ... is a superstition artificially created and maintained through a network of lies and falsehoods; a superstition that robs man of his self-respect and dignity, and increases his arrogance and conceit.”
Emma Goldman

Adam Smith
“Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition.”
Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations

J.K. Rowling
“Aaah ... said Ron, imitating Professor Trelawney’s mystical whisper, when two Neptunes appear in the sky it is a sure sign that a midget in glasses is being born, Harry...”
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Thomas Jefferson
“Altho' I rarely waste time in reading on theological subjects, as mangled by our Pseudo-Christians, yet I can readily suppose Basanistos may be amusing. Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. It is mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus. If it could be understood it would not answer their purpose. Their security is in their faculty of shedding darkness, like the scuttlefish, thro' the element in which they move, and making it impenetrable to the eye of a pursuing enemy, and there they will skulk.

[Letter to Francis Adrian Van der Kemp on 30 July 1810 denouncing the Christian doctrine of the Trinity]”
Thomas Jefferson, Letters of Thomas Jefferson

Steven Pinker
“It's natural to think that living things must be the handiwork of a designer. But it was also natural to think that the sun went around the earth. Overcoming naive impressions to figure out how things really work is one of humanity's highest callings.

[Can You Believe in God and Evolution? Time Magazine, August 7, 2005]”
Steven Pinker

Michel de Montaigne
Combien de choses nous servoyent hier d’articles de foy, qui nous sont fables aujourd’huy?

How many things served us yesterday for articles of faith, which today are fables for us?”
Michel de Montaigne, The Complete Essays

Cormac McCarthy
“The man who believes that the secrets of the world are forever hidden lives in mystery and fear. Superstition will drag him down. The rain will erode the deeds of his life. But that man who sets himself the task of singling out the thread of order from the tapestry will by the decision alone have taken charge of the world and it is only by such taking charge that he will effect a way to dictate the terms of his own fate.”
Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West

Robert G. Ingersoll
“Give me the storm and tempest of thought and action, rather than the dead calm of ignorance and faith! Banish me from Eden when you will; but first let me eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge!”
Robert G. Ingersoll, The Works Of Robert G. Ingersoll, Vol. Iii

Rowan Atkinson
“As hatred is defined as intense dislike, what is wrong with inciting intense dislike of a religion, if the activities or teachings of that religion are so outrageous, irrational or abusive of human rights that they deserve to be intensely disliked?”
Rowan Atkinson

Abraham H. Maslow
“We need not take refuge in supernatural gods to explain our saints and sages and heroes and statesmen, as if to explain our disbelief that mere unaided human beings could be that good or wise.”
Abraham Maslow

Bram Stoker
“Oh, my dear, if you only knew how strange is the matter regarding which I am here, it is you who would laugh. I have learned not to think little of any one's belief, no matter how strange it may be. I have tried to keep an open mind, and it is not the ordinary things of life that could close it, but the strange things, the extraordinary things, the things that make one doubt if they be mad or sane.”
Bram Stoker, Dracula

Thomas Jefferson
“May it [American independence] be to the world, what I believe it will be, (to some parts sooner, to others later, but finally to all,) the signal of arousing men to burst the chains under which monkish ignorance and superstition had persuaded them to bind themselves, and to assume the blessings and security of self-government. That form which we have substituted, restores the free right to the unbounded exercise of reason and freedom of opinion. All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately... These are grounds of hope for others. For ourselves, let the annual return of this day forever refresh our recollections of these rights, and an undiminished devotion to them.

[Letter to Roger C. Weightman on the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, 24 June 1826. This was Jefferson's last letter]”
Thomas Jefferson, Letters of Thomas Jefferson

Hippocrates
“People think that epilepsy is divine simply because they don't have any idea what causes epilepsy. But I believe that someday we will understand what causes epilepsy, and at that moment, we will cease to believe that it's divine. And so it is with everything in the universe”
Hippocrates

Deborah Leblanc
“He'd died. Plain and simple. And it pissed him off. Left him frustrated and disappointed. Where had all , the guardian angel crap they'd fed him in catechism gone to? He'd seen no angels, seraphim, archangels or pearly gates. No one to show him the ropes now that he was dead. What the hell was he supposed to do?”
Deborah Leblanc, Toe to Toe

Bernard Beckett
“Human spirit is the ability to face the uncertainty of the future with curiosity and optimism. It is the belief that problems can be solved, differences resolved. It is a type of confidence. And it is fragile. It can be blackened by fear, and superstition. By the year 2050, when the conflict began, the world had fallen upon fearful, superstitious times.”
Bernard Beckett, Genesis

Fyodor Dostoyevsky
“Since man cannot live without miracles, he will provide himself with miracles of his own making. He will believe in witchcraft and sorcery, even though he may otherwise be a heretic, an atheist, and a rebel.”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

Deborah Leblanc
“Although this scouting gig sounded like a financial hit, it made Nonie extremely nervous. She feared someone slip--that someone being Buggy--and others would find out Nonie's secret. And if the wrong person caught wind that she could see and speak to the dead, word would spread through Clay Point like ants at a picnic.”
Deborah Leblanc, Toe to Toe

Thomas A. Edison
“Nature is what we know. We do not know the gods of religions. And nature is not kind, or merciful, or loving. If God made me — the fabled God of the three qualities of which I spoke: mercy, kindness, love — He also made the fish I catch and eat. And where do His mercy, kindness, and love for that fish come in? No; nature made us — nature did it all — not the gods of the religions.

[October 2, 1910, interview in the NY Times Magazine]”
Thomas Edison

Francis Bacon
“The general root of superstition : namely, that men observe when things hit, and not when they miss; and commit to memory the one, and forget and pass over the other.”
Francis Bacon, The Collected Works of Sir Francis Bacon

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