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BELIEF
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[ Also see Christianity Confidence Conviction Credulity Creed Disbelief Doctrine Doubt Expectation Faith Hope Impression Knowledge Opinion Philosophy Prejudice Principles Religion Sects Sentiment Superstition Theology Theories Thought Trust Truth Unbelief ]

O thou, whose days are yet all spring,
  Faith, blighted once, is past retrieving;
    Experience is a dumb, dead thing;
      The victory's in believing.
      - James Russell Lowell, To------

The region of the senses is the unbelieving part of the human soul.
      - George MacDonald

If an idiot were to tell you the same story every day for a year, you would end by believing it.
      - Horace Mann

One seldom discovers a true believer that is worth knowing.
      - Henry Louis Mencken

If men cease to believe that they will one day become gods then they will surely become worms.
      - Henry Miller

What distinguishes the majority of men from the few is their ability to act according to their beliefs.
      - Henry Miller

A man may be a heretic in the truth; and if he believe things only because his pastor says so, or the assembly so determines, without knowing other reason, though his belief be true, yet the very truth he holds becomes his heresy.
      - John Milton, Areopagitica

Nothing is so firmly believed as what we least know.
      - Michel Eyquem de Montaigne,
        Essays--Of Divine Ordinances
         (bk. I, ch. XXXI)

You're not free until you've been made captive by supreme belief.
      - Marianne Craig Moore

Belief means not wanting to know what is true.
      - Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

I would only believe in a god who understood how to dance.
      - Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

One's belief in truth begins with doubt of all truths one has believed hitherto.
      - Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Never believe in mirrors or newspapers.
      - John Osborne

We are slow to believe what if believed would hurt our feelings.
  [Lat., Tarde quae credita laedunt credimus.]
      - Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso), Heroides
         (II, 9)

The incredulous are the more credulous. They believe the miracles of Vespasian that they may not believe those of Moses.
  [Fr., Incredules les plus credules. Ils croient les miracle de Vespasien, pour ne pas croire ceux de Moise.]
      - Blaise Pascal, Pensees (II, XVII, 120)

And when religious sects ran med,
  He held, in spite of all his learning,
    That if a man's belief is bad,
      It will not be improved by burning.
      - Winthrop Mackworth Praed,
        Poems of Life and Manners
         (pt. II, The Vicar, st. 9)

Do not believe what I tell you here any more than if it were some tale of a tub.
      - Francois Rabelais, Works
         (bk. IV, ch. XXXVIII)

Man makes holy what he believes, as he makes beautiful what he loves.
      - Joseph Ernest Renan

Men ascribe a great value in the sight of God to their barren belief. Why are we so anxious that our neighbor should have our faith and not our practice?
      - Jean Paul Friedrich Richter (Johann Paul Richter) (used ps. Jean Paul)

When, in your last hour (think of this), all faculty in the broken spirit shall fade away, and sink into inanity,--imagination, thought, effort, enjoyment,--then will the flower of belief, which blossoms even in the night, remain to refresh you with its fragrance in the last darkness.
      - Jean Paul Friedrich Richter (Johann Paul Richter) (used ps. Jean Paul)

To believe is to be happy; to doubt is to be wretched. To believe is to be strong. Doubt cramps energy. Belief is power. Only so far as a man believes strongly, mightily, can he act cheerfully, or do any thing that is worth the doing.
      - Frederick William Robertson

I never cease being dumbfounded by the unbelievable things people believe.
      - Leo Rosten

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 Arthur William Russell

What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the wish to find out, which is its exact opposite.
      - Bertrand Arthur William Russell

You can't convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it's based on a deep seated need to believe.
      - Carl Sagan


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