Quotes About Proof

Quotes tagged as "proof" (showing 1-30 of 169)
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

Sigmund Freud
“Religious doctrines … are all illusions, they do not admit of proof, and no one can be compelled to consider them as true or to believe in them.”
Sigmund Freud, The Future of an Illusion

Shannon L. Alder
“The most confused you will ever get is when you try to convince your heart and spirit of something your mind knows is a lie.”
Shannon L. Alder

Toba Beta
“True love doesn't need proof.
The eyes told what heart felt.”
Toba Beta, My Ancestor Was an Ancient Astronaut

Blaise Pascal
“People almost invariably arrive at their beliefs not on the basis of proof but on the basis of what they find attractive.”
Blaise Pascal, De l'art de persuader

Thomas A. Edison
“...What I have denied and what my reason compels me to deny, is the existence of a Being throned above us as a god, directing our mundane affairs in detail, regarding us as individuals, punishing us, rewarding us as human judges might.

When the churches learn to take this rational view of things, when they become true schools of ethics and stop teaching fables, they will be more effective than they are to-day... If they would turn all that ability to teaching this one thing – the fact that honesty is best, that selfishness and lies of any sort must surely fail to produce happiness – they would accomplish actual things. Religious faiths and creeds have greatly hampered our development. They have absorbed and wasted some fine intellects. That creeds are getting to be less and less important to the average mind with every passing year is a good sign, I think, although I do not wish to talk about what is commonly called theology.

The criticisms which have been hurled at me have not worried me. A man cannot control his beliefs. If he is honest in his frank expression of them, that is all that can in justice be required of him. Professor Thomson and a thousand others do not in the least agree with me. His criticism of me, as I read it, charged that because I doubted the soul’s immortality, or ‘personality,’ as he called it, my mind must be abnormal, ‘pathological,’ in other, words, diseased... I try to say exactly what I honestly believe to be the truth, and more than that no man can do. I honestly believe that creedists have built up a mighty structure of inaccuracy, based, curiously, on those fundamental truths which I, with every honest man, must not alone admit but earnestly acclaim.

I have been working on the same lines for many years. I have tried to go as far as possible toward the bottom of each subject I have studied. I have not reached my conclusions through study of traditions; I have reached them through the study of hard fact. I cannot see that unproved theories or sentiment should be permitted to have influence in the building of conviction upon matters so important. Science proves its theories or it rejects them. I have never seen the slightest scientific proof of the religious theories of heaven and hell, of future life for individuals, or of a personal God. I earnestly believe that I am right; I cannot help believing as I do... I cannot accept as final any theory which is not provable. The theories of the theologians cannot be proved. Proof, proof! That is what I always have been after; that is what my mind requires before it can accept a theory as fact. Some things are provable, some things disprovable, some things are doubtful. All the problems which perplex us, now, will, soon or late, be solved, and solved beyond a question through scientific investigation. The thing which most impresses me about theology is that it does not seem to be investigating. It seems to be asserting, merely, without actual study.

...Moral teaching is the thing we need most in this world, and many of these men could be great moral teachers if they would but give their whole time to it, and to scientific search for the rock-bottom truth, instead of wasting it upon expounding theories of theology which are not in the first place firmly based. What we need is search for fundamentals, not reiteration of traditions born in days when men knew even less than we do now.

[Columbian Magazine interview]”
Thomas A. Edison

H.L. Mencken
“It is often argued that religion is valuable because it makes men good, but even if this were true it would not be a proof that religion is true. That would be an extension of pragmatism beyond endurance. Santa Claus makes children good in precisely the same way, and yet no one would argue seriously that the fact proves his existence. The defense of religion is full of such logical imbecilities. The theologians, taking one with another, are adept logicians, but every now and then they have to resort to sophistries so obvious that their whole case takes on an air of the ridiculous. Even the most logical religion starts out with patently false assumptions. It is often argued in support of this or that one that men are so devoted to it that they are willing to die for it. That, of course, is as silly as the Santa Claus proof. Other men are just as devoted to manifestly false religions, and just as willing to die for them. Every theologian spends a large part of his time and energy trying to prove that religions for which multitudes of honest men have fought and died are false, wicked, and against God.”
H.L. Mencken, Minority Report

Michael Crichton
“Absence of proof is not proof of absence.”
Michael Crichton, The Lost World

Dwight L. Moody
“The best way to show that a stick is crooked is not to argue about it or to spend time denouncing it, but to lay a straight stick alongside it”
Dwight L. Moody

Karl Lagerfeld
“Fashion does not have to prove that it is serious. It is the proof that intelligent frivolity can be something creative and positive”
Karl Lagerfeld

Richard Dawkins
“Science replaces private prejudice with public, verifiable evidence.”
Richard Dawkins

C.S. Lewis
“I do not think there is a demonstrative proof (like Euclid) of Christianity, nor of the existence of matter, nor of the good will and honesty of my best and oldest friends. I think all three are (except perhaps the second) far more probable than the alternatives. The case for Christianity in general is well given by Chesterton…As to why God doesn't make it demonstratively clear; are we sure that He is even interested in the kind of Theism which would be a compelled logical assent to a conclusive argument? Are we interested in it in personal matters? I demand from my friend trust in my good faith which is certain without demonstrative proof. It wouldn't be confidence at all if he waited for rigorous proof. Hang it all, the very fairy-tales embody the truth. Othello believed in Desdemona's innocence when it was proved: but that was too late. Lear believed in Cordelia's love when it was proved: but that was too late. 'His praise is lost who stays till all commend.' The magnanimity, the generosity which will trust on a reasonable probability, is required of us. But supposing one believed and was wrong after all? Why, then you would have paid the universe a compliment it doesn't deserve. Your error would even so be more interesting and important than the reality. And yet how could that be? How could an idiotic universe have produced creatures whose mere dreams are so much stronger, better, subtler than itself?”
C.S. Lewis

Dennis Cooper
“When I started writing
I was a sick teenaged
fuck inside who partly
thought I was the new
Marquis de Sade, a body
doomed to communicate
with Satan who was us-
ing my sickness as his
home away from home,
and there’s your proof.”
Dennis Cooper

Elizabeth Gaskell
“It was her brother,' said Mr. Thornton to himself. 'I am glad.I may never see her again; but it is comfort-a relief-to know that much. I knew she could not be unmaidenly; and yet I yearned for conviction. Now I am glad!' It was a little golden thread running through the dark web of his present fortunes; which were growing ever gloomier and more gloomy.”
Elizabeth Gaskell, North and South

Jonathan Safran Foer
“...and when is enough proof enough?”
Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated

Amit Abraham
“Love need not speak volumes. It need not demand proof. It never has a happy ending - simply because it doesn't end as long as love is pure and true”.”
Amit Abraham

Toba Beta
“Impossibility only lasts until you find new unbelievable hard evidences.”
Toba Beta

“A witty saying proves nothing.”

Jonah Lehrer
“Just because an idea is true doesn't mean it can be proved. And just because an idea can be proved doesn't mean it's true.”
Jonah Lehrer

“Never judge someone's character based on the words of another. Instead, study the motives behind the words of the person casting the bad judgment. An honest woman can sell tangerines all day and remain a good person until she dies, but there will always be naysayers who will try to convince you otherwise. Perhaps this woman did not give them something for free, or at a discount. Perhaps too, that she refused to stand with them when they were wrong — or just stood up for something she felt was right. And also, it could be that some bitter women are envious of her, or that she rejected the advances of some very proud men. Always trust your heart. If the Creator stood before a million men with the light of a million lamps, only a few would truly see him because truth is already alive in their hearts. Truth can only be seen by those with truth in them. He who does not have Truth in his heart, will always be blind to her.”
Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

Criss Jami
“I always make sure that the world will prove me right. It gives me the freedom to contradict myself.”
Criss Jami, Killosophy


I was born into
A religion of Light,
But with so many other
Religions and
How do I know which
Is right?

Is it not
My birthright
To seek out the light?
To find Truth
After surveying all the proof,
Am I supposed
To love
Or fight?
And why do all those who
Try to guide me,
Always start by dividing
And multiplying me –
From what they consider
Wrong or right?
I thought,
There were no walls
For whoever beams truth and light.
And how can one speak on Light's behalf,
lf all they do
Is act black,
But talk WHITE?”
Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

“The interest I have to believe a thing is no proof that such a thing exists.”

Douglas R. Hofstadter
“[...] provability is a weaker notion than truth”
Douglas R. Hofstadter, Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid

Henri Poincaré
Deviner avant de démontrer! Ai-je besoin de rappeler que c'est ainsi que se sont faites toutes les découvertes importantes.

Guessing before proving! Need I remind you that it is so that all important discoveries have been made?”
Henri Poincaré, The Value of Science: Essential Writings of Henri Poincare

Phil Hine
“The system loves resistance. Resistance is often creative and it feeds on creativity until the subversive becomes just another pre-packaged lifestyle on special offer. So Cease to Resist. Relax and enjoy the PandaemonAeon. Believe everything and anything. Seek not proof, but take pleasure in your choice of belief. Wipe that superior sneer of your face and try smiling (if only inwardly) at the people/institutions/beliefs that you've waged your personal war against. Wouldn't it be more fun if you didn't run around quite so hard trying to be an individual, or fighting to prove or uphold your chosen belief-system?”
Phil Hine, Rebels and Devils: The Psychology of Liberation

Percy Bysshe Shelley
“God is an hypothesis, and, as such, stands in need of proof: the onus probandi rests on the theist.”
Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Necessity of Atheism and Other Essays

Brooke Foss Westcott
“Indeed taking all the evidence together, it is not too much to say that there is no single historic incident better or more variously supported than the Resurrection of Christ. Nothing but the antecedent assumption that it must be false could have suggested the idea of deficiency in the proof of it.”
Brooke Foss Westcott

“The first and most important field of philosophy is the application of principles such as “Do not lie.” Next come the proofs, such as why we should not lie. The third field supports and articulates the proofs, by asking, for example, “How does this prove it? What exactly is a proof, what is logical inference, what is contradiction, what is truth, what is falsehood?” Thus, the third field is necessary because of the second, and the second because of the first. The most important, though, the one that should occupy most of our time, is the first. But we do just the opposite. We are preoccupied with the third field and give that all our attention, passing the first by altogether. The result is that we lie – but have no difficulty proving why we shouldn’t.”
Epictetus, The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness and Effectiveness

Percy Williams Bridgman
“Not only are there meaningless questions, but many of the problems with which the human intellect has tortured itself turn out to be only 'pseudo problems,' because they can be formulated only in terms of questions which are meaningless. Many of the traditional problems of philosophy, of religion, or of ethics, are of this character. Consider, for example, the problem of the freedom of the will. You maintain that you are free to take either the right- or the left-hand fork in the road. I defy you to set up a single objective criterion by which you can prove after you have made the turn that you might have made the other. The problem has no meaning in the sphere of objective activity; it only relates to my personal subjective feelings while making the decision.”
Percy Williams Bridgman, The Nature of Physical Theory

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