Quotations about   doubt

Note that not all quotations have been tagged, so the Search function may find additional quotations on this topic.



ONLY THE MADMAN IS ABSOLUTELY SURE.

Robert Anton Wilson (1932-2007) American author, futurist self-described "agnostic mystic" [pen name of Robert Edward Wilson]
The Eye in the Pyramid (1975) [with Robert Shea]
    (Source)
Added on 16-Nov-20 | Last updated 16-Nov-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Wilson, Robert Anton

It would never come into their [the masses’] heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying.

Adolph Hitler (1889-1945) German leader
Mein Kampf [My Struggle], Vol. 1, ch. 10 (1925)
Added on 13-Oct-20 | Last updated 13-Oct-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Hitler, Adolph

The dividing line between those who want to think and therefore have to judge by themselves, and those who do not, strikes across all social and cultural or educational differences. In this respect, the total moral collapse of respectable society during the Hitler regime may teach us that under such circumstances those who cherish values and hold fast to moral norms and standards are not reliable: we now know that moral norms and standards can be changed overnight, and that all that then will be left is the mere habit of holding fast to something. Much more reliable will be the doubters and skeptics, not because skepticism is good or doubting wholesome, but because they are used to examine things and to make up their own minds. Best of all will be those who know only one thing for certain: that whatever else happens, as long as we live we shall have to live together with ourselves.

Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) German-American philosopher, political theorist
“Personal Responsibility Under Dictatorship” (1964)
    (Source)
Added on 4-Aug-20 | Last updated 4-Aug-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Arendt, Hannah

ALCESTE: Doubts are more cruel than the worst of truths.

[Les doutes sont fâcheux plus que toute autre chose.]

Molière (1622-1673) French playwright, actor [stage name for Jean-Baptiste Poquelin]
Le Misanthrope, Act 3, sc. 5, l. 1122 (1666) [tr. Wormeley]

Alt. trans.: "Doubts are more torturing than any truth." [tr. Page]
Added on 8-May-20 | Last updated 8-May-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , ,
More quotes by Moliere

When we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago.

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) German philosopher and poet
(Attributed)

Frequently attributed to Nietzsche, starting in the late 1950s, but never cited and not found in any of his writings. More discussion here.
Added on 10-Apr-19 | Last updated 10-Apr-19
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Nietzsche, Friedrich

Men become civilized not in proportion to their willingness to believe but in proportion to their readiness to doubt.

H.L. Mencken (1880-1956) American writer and journalist [Henry Lewis Mencken]
“What I Believe,” sec. 4, Forum and Century (Sep 1930)
    (Source)
Added on 17-Apr-17 | Last updated 17-Apr-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Mencken, H.L.

The seed had sprouted into that most wonderful and horrible of fruits: doubt, which, like the strawberry, has a succulent taste, but has also a tendency to spread and spread, until it dominates whatever garden it has taken root in.

Steven Brust (b. 1955) American writer, systems programmer
The Phoenix Guards (1991)
Added on 20-Jan-17 | Last updated 20-Jan-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , ,
More quotes by Brust, Steven

I think Hell is something you carry around with you, not somewhere you go.

gaiman-hell-is-something-you-carry-around-wist_info-quote

Neil Gaiman (b. 1960) British fabulist
(Attributed)
Added on 1-Dec-16 | Last updated 1-Dec-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Gaiman, Neil

Doubt thou the stars are fire;
Doubt that the sun doth move;
Doubt truth to be a liar;
But never doubt I love.

Shakespeare - never doubt I love - wist_info quote

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
Hamlet, Act 2, sc. 2 (1603)
    (Source)
Added on 13-Jun-16 | Last updated 13-Jun-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Shakespeare, William

The world is made up for the most part of morons and natural tyrants, sure of themselves, strong in their own opinions, never doubting anything.

Clarence Darrow (1857-1938) American lawyer
Personal Liberty (1928)
Added on 25-Apr-16 | Last updated 25-Apr-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Darrow, Clarence

If you don’t have confidence, you’ll always find a way not to win.

Lewis - confidence - wist_info quote

Carl Lewis (b. 1961) American Olympic athlete
(Attributed)
Added on 16-Dec-15 | Last updated 16-Dec-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Lewis, Carl

If I want to stop a research program I can always do it by getting a few experts to sit in on the subject, because they know right away that it was a fool thing to try in the first place.

Charles F. Kettering (1876-1958) American inventor, engineer, researcher, businessman
(Attributed)
Added on 25-Sep-15 | Last updated 25-Sep-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Kettering, Charles F.

The trouble about God is that he is like a person who never acknowledges one’s letters and so, in time, one comes to the conclusion either that he does not exist or that you have got the address wrong. I admitted that it was of great moment: but what was the use of going on dispatching fervent messages — say to Edinburgh — if they all came back through the dead letter office: nay more, if you couldn’t even find Edinburgh on the map.

C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) English writer and scholar [Clive Staples Lewis]
Letter to Warren Lewis (1 Jul 1921)
Added on 2-Sep-15 | Last updated 2-Sep-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Lewis, C.S.

The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945) US President (1933-1945)
Speech (Undelivered) for Jefferson Day (13 Apr 1945)
    (Source)
Added on 6-May-15 | Last updated 6-May-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Roosevelt, Franklin Delano

The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely to be preferred to the presence of those who think they’ve found it.

Terry Pratchett (1948-2015) English author
Monstrous Regiment (2003)
Added on 6-May-15 | Last updated 6-May-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Pratchett, Terry

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting, too ….

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) English writer
“If–” st. 1 (1910)
    (Source)
Added on 16-Mar-15 | Last updated 3-Jul-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Kipling, Rudyard

The great leaders of the people of God, like Moses, have always left room for doubt. You must leave room for the Lord, not for our certainties; we must be humble. Uncertainty is in every true discernment that is open to finding confirmation in spiritual consolation.

Francis I (b. 1936) Argentinian Catholic Pope (2013- ) [b. Jorge Mario Bergoglio]
Interview with Antonio Spadaro, America Magazine (30 Sep 2013)
    (Source)
Added on 3-Mar-15 | Last updated 3-Mar-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Francis I (Pope)

If you can’t stop the bad thoughts from coming to visit, at least you can make fun of them while they’re hanging around.

Jim Butcher (b. 1971) American author
Turn Coat (2009)
Added on 14-Oct-14 | Last updated 14-Oct-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Butcher, Jim

Skepticism is the beginning of faith.

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) Irish poet, wit, dramatist
The Picture of Dorian Gray, ch. 17 (1891)

See also Emerson, Hesse, Tennyson.
Added on 8-Aug-14 | Last updated 29-Aug-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Wilde, Oscar

Where men are the most sure and arrogant, they are commonly the most mistaken, and have there given reins to passion, without that proper deliberation and suspense, which can alone secure them from the grossest absurdities.

David Hume (1711-1776) Scottish philosopher, economist, historian, empiricist
An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals, Sec. 9.13 “Conclusion, Pt. 1” (1751)
Added on 23-Dec-13 | Last updated 16-Sep-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Hume, David

I will not attack your doctrines nor your creeds if they accord liberty to me. If they hold thought to be dangerous — if they aver that doubt is a crime, then I attack them one and all, because they enslave the minds of men.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
“The Ghosts” (1877)
    (Source)
Added on 14-Aug-09 | Last updated 2-Feb-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Ingersoll, Robert Green

Moral certainty is always a sign of cultural inferiority. The more uncivilized a man, the surer he is that he knows precisely what is right and what is wrong. All human progress, even in morals, has been the work of men who have doubted the current moral values, not of men who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them. The truly civilized man is always skeptical and tolerant in this field as in all others. His culture is based on “I am not too sure.”

H.L. Mencken (1880-1956) American writer and journalist [Henry Lewis Mencken]
Minority Report : H.L. Mencken’s Notebooks (1956)
Added on 28-Oct-08 | Last updated 25-Sep-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Mencken, H.L.

In my religion there would be no exclusive doctrine; all would be love, poetry and doubt.

Cyril Connolly (1903-1974) English intellectual, literary critic and writer.
The Unquiet Grave (1945)
Added on 11-Dec-07 | Last updated 17-Jul-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Connolly, Cyril

A man’s most valuable trait is a judicious sense of what not to believe.

Euripides (485?-406? BC) Greek tragic dramatist
Helen (412 BC)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 2-Nov-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Euripides

In my opinion, any faith that cannot withstand a little shaking isn’t constructed too well to begin with. Jesus built his church on a rock, not on swampland.

John Russell (contemp.) ("jr")
Belief-L
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 10-Feb-19
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Russell, John "jr"

Doubt is not an agreeable condition, but certainty is an absurd one.

[Le doute n’est pas une condition agréable, mais la certitude est absurde.]

Voltaire (1694-1778) French writer [pseud. of Francois-Marie Arouet]
Letter to Frederick II of Prussia (6 Apr 1767)

Alt trans.
  • "Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd."
  • "Doubt is not a very agreeable state, but certainty is a ridiculous one."
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 9-May-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Voltaire

We know accurately only when we know little, with knowledge doubt increases.

[Eigentlich weiss man nur wenn man wenig weiss; mit dem Wissen wachst des Zweifel.]

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) German poet, statesman, scientist
Spruche in Prosa [Proverbs in Prose] (1819)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 21-May-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , ,
More quotes by Goethe, Johann von

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 (1596-1650) French philosopher, mathematician
Discourse on Method [Discours de la méthode] (1637)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 30-Nov-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Descartes, René

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

Russell - stupid cocksure - wist_info

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) English mathematician and philosopher
“The Triumph of Stupidity” (10 May 1933)

Often paraphrased, "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure, and the intelligent are full of doubt."
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 18-Dec-19
Link to this post | 5 comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Russell, Bertrand

If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin in doubts, he shall end in certainties.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626) English philosopher, scientist, author, statesman
De Augmentis Scientiarum [Advancement of Learning], Book 1, ch. 5, sec. 8 (1605)

Alt trans. (Willey Book ed., (1944)): "If we begin with certainties, we shall end in doubts; but if we begin with doubts, and are patient with them, we shall end in certainties."
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 30-Jul-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Bacon, Francis

Freedom of speech and freedom of action are meaningless without freedom to think. And there is no freedom of thought without doubt.

Bergen Evans (1904-1978) American educator, writer, lexicographer
The Natural History of Nonsense, ch. 19 (1946)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 13-May-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Evans, Bergen

Those who believe that they believe in God, but without passion in their hearts, without anguish in mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, without an element of despair even in their consolation, believe only in the God idea, not in God Himself.

[Los que sin pasión de ánimo, sin congoja, sin incertidumbre, sin duda, sin la desesperación en el consuelo, creen creer en Dios, no creen sino en la idea de Dios, más no en Dios mismo.]

Miguel de Unamuno (1864-1936) Spanish philosopher and writer [Miguel de Unamuno y Jugo]
The Tragic Sense of Life [Del sentimiento trágico de la vida], ch. 9 “Faith, Hope, and Charity” (1912) [tr. Flitch (1921)]
    (Source)

Alt. trans. [tr. Kerrigan (1972)]: "Whoever believes he believes in God, but believes without passion, without anguish, without uncertainty, without doubt, without despair-in-consolation, believes only in the God-Idea, not in God Himself."

Original Spanish.

In Unamuno's earlier, unpublished work Treatise on the Love of God [Tratado del amor de Dios], ch. 3 "What is Faith?" (1905-08) [tr. Orringer], he used this same phrase and surrounding text: "Those without passion in their soul, without anguish, without uncertainty, without doubt, without despair in consolation, think they believe in God; they believe only in the idea of God, but not in God Himself."
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 19-May-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Unamuno, Miguel de

Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence God; because, if there be one, He must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) American political philosopher, polymath, statesman, US President (1801-09)
Letter to Peter Carr (10 Aug 1787)
    (Source)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 12-Jun-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Jefferson, Thomas

In all affairs it’s a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) English mathematician and philosopher
(Attributed)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 9-May-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Russell, Bertrand