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Quotations on Belief

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As long as people believe in absurdities, they will continue to commit atrocities.

~ Voltaire

Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.

~ William James

Man can believe the impossible, but can never believe the improbable.

~ Oscar Wilde

Habits of thought persist through the centuries; and while a healthy brain may reject the doctrine it no longer believes, it will continue to feel the same sentiments formerly associated with that doctrine.

~ Charlotte Perkins Gilman

An idealist believes the short run doesn't count. A cynic believes the long run doesn't matter. A realist believes that what is done or left undone in the short run determines the long run.

~ Sydney J. Harris

Nothing is easier than self-deceit. For what each man wishes, that he also believes to be true.

~ Demosthenes

Myths which are believed in tend to become true.

~ George Orwell

Belief consists in accepting the affirmations of the soul; Unbelief, in denying them.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

We are born believing. A man bears beliefs, as a tree bears apples.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

What a man believes upon grossly insufficient evidence is an index into his desires -- desires of which he himself is often unconscious. If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence. The origin of myths is explained in this way.

~ Bertrand Russell

One person with a belief is equal to a force of ninety-nine who have only interests.

~ John Stuart Mill

To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.

~ Anatole France

If you must tell me your opinions, tell me what you believe in. I have plenty of doubts of my own.

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

When men destroy their old gods they will find new ones to take their place.

~ Pearl S. Buck

I feel no need for any other faith than my faith in the kindness of human beings. I am so absorbed in the wonder of earth and the life upon it that I cannot think of heaven and angels.

~ Pearl S. Buck

I always try to believe the best of everybody - it saves so much trouble.

~ Rudyard Kipling

What do I believe? As an American I believe in generosity, in liberty, in the rights of man. These are social and political faiths that are part of me, as they are, I suppose, part of all of us. Such beliefs are easy to express. But part of me too is my relation to all life, my religion. And this is not so easy to talk about. Religious experience is highly intimate and, for me, ready words are not at hand.

~ Adlai E. Stevenson

- speech, Libertyville, Illinois, May 21, 1954

In religion and politics people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing.

~ Mark Twain

It is not bigotry to be certain we are right; but it is bigotry to be unable to imagine how we might possibly have gone wrong.

~ G.K. Chesterton

In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can't build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery and death.

~ Anne Frank

The practical effect of a belief is the real test of its soundness.

~ James A. Froude

Nothing else matters much - not wealth, nor learning, nor even health - without this gift: the spiritual capacity to keep zest in living. This is the creed of creeds, the final deposit and distillation of all important faiths: that you should be able to believe in life.

~ Harry Emerson Fosdick

It is always easier to believe than to deny. Our minds are naturally affirmative.

~ John Burroughs

A person will worship something, have no doubt about that. We may think our tribute is paid in secret in the dark recesses of our hearts, but it will out. That which dominates our imaginations and our thoughts will determine our lives, and our character. Therefore, it behooves us to be careful what we worship, for what we are worshipping we are becoming.

~ Neenah Ellis

Nothing is so firmly believed as that which we least know.

~ Michel de Montaigne

Give to us clear vision that we may know where to stand and what to stand for - because unless we stand for something, we shall fall for anything.

~ Peter Marshall

Every time a child says "I don't believe in fairies" there is a little fairy somewhere that falls down dead.

~ James Matthew Barrie

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