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Quotations about Belief




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What matters is not the idea a man holds, but the depth at which he holds it.  ~Ezra Pound


This is how humans are:  we question all our beliefs, except for the ones we really believe, and those we never think to question.  ~Orson Scott Card


Every man prefers belief to the exercise of judgment.  ~Seneca


Not believing has a sickness which is believing a little.  ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin


We are all tattooed in our cradles with the beliefs of our tribe; the record may seem superficial, but it is indelible.  You cannot educate a man wholly out of the superstitious fears which were implanted in his imagination, no matter how utterly his reason may reject them.  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., The Poet at the Breakfast Table, 1872


He does not believe who does not live according to his belief.  ~Thomas Fuller


The eloquent man is he who is no beautiful speaker, but who is inwardly and desperately drunk with a certain belief.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies.  ~Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human, 1878


He who does not know how to believe, should not know.  ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin


Generally the theories we believe we call facts, and the facts we disbelieve we call theories.  ~Felix Cohen


Few really believe.  The most only believe that they believe or even make believe.  ~John Lancaster Spalding


Men never do evil so thoroughly and cheerfully as when they do it for conscience sake.  ~Blaise Pascal, Pensées, 1670


Not... what opinions are held, but... how they are held:  instead of being held dogmatically, [liberal] opinions are held tentatively, and with a consciousness that new evidence may at any moment lead to their abandonment.  ~Bertrand Russell, Unpopular Essays, 1950


When I believe in nothing I do not want to meet you when you believe in nothing.  ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin


Human beings are perhaps never more frightening than when they are convinced beyond doubt that they are right.  ~Laurens van der Post


Some things have to be believed to be seen.  ~Ralph Hodgson, The Skylark and Other Poems


Martyrdom has always been a proof of the intensity, never the correctness, of a belief.  ~Arthur Schweitzer, Out of My Life and Thought, 1932


It is easier to believe than to doubt.  ~E.D. Martin, The Meaning of a Liberal Education


Man tends to treat all his opinions as principles.  ~Herbert Agar


Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.  ~Bertrand Russell


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