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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 ]

The brute necessity of believing something so long as life lasts does not justify any belief in particular.
      - George Santayana

Now God be praised, that to believing souls,
  Gives light in darkness, comfort in despair!
      - William Shakespeare

The Thane of Cawdor lives,
  A prosperous gentleman; and to be King
    Stands not within the prospect of belief,
      No more than to be Cawdor.
      - William Shakespeare, Macbeth
         (Macbeth at I, iii)

It is not disbelief that is dangerous to our society; it is belief.
      - George Bernard Shaw

The moment we want to believe something, we suddenly see all the arguments for it, and become blind to the arguments against it.
      - George Bernard Shaw

A thing that nobody believes cannot be proved too often.
      - George Bernard Shaw, Devil's Disciple
         (act III)

Zealous men are ever displaying to you the strength of their belief, while judicious men are showing you the grounds of it.
      - William Shenstone

I am not afraid of those tender and scrupulous consciences, who are ever cautious of professing and believing too much; if they are sincerely in the wrong, I forgive their errors, and respect their integrity. The men I am afraid of are the men who believe everything, subscribe to everything, and vote for everything.
      - Rev. William Davies Shipley

Or it needs only to look back over past centuries and the iniquities alike of populace, nobles, kings, and popes to perceive an almost incomprehensible futility of the beliefs everywhere held and perpetually insisted upon.
      - Herbert Spencer

Let any man speak long enough, he will get believers.
      - Robert Louis Stevenson

If that impression does not remain on this intrepid and powerful people, into whose veins all nations pour their mingling blood it will be our immense calamity. Public action, without it, will lose the dignity of consecration. Eloquence, without it, will miss what is loftiest, will give place to a careless and pulseless disquisition, or fall to the flatness of political slang. Life, without it, will lose its sacred and mystic charm. Society, without it, will fail of inspirations, and be drowned in an animalism whose rising tides will keep pace with its wealth.
      - Richard Salter Storrs

The want of belief is a defect which ought to be concealed where it cannot be overcome.
      - Jonathan Swift

You believe that easily which you hope for earnestly.
      - Terence (Publius Terentius Afer)

I believe it because it is absurd.
  [Lat., Credo quia absurdum est.]
      - Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullian,
        "Credo Quia Absurdum" is motto of the organization, E Clampus Vitus

Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around.
      - Henry David Thoreau

While some men believe in the infinite, some ponds will be thought to be bottomless.
      - Henry David Thoreau

Principles have no real force except when one is well-fed.
      - Mark Twain (pseudonym of Samuel Langhorne Clemens)

Man can believe the impossible, but can never believe the improbable.
      - Oscar Wilde (Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde)

At the core of all well-founded belief, lies belief that is unfounded.
      - Ludwig Wittgenstein

There littleness was not; the least of things
  Seemed infinite; and there his spirit shaped
    Her prospects, nor did he believe,--He saw.
      - William Wordsworth, Excursion
         (bk. I, st. 12)

I have believed the best of every man,
  And find that to believe it is enough
    To make a bad man show him at his best,
      Or even a good man swing his lantern higher.
      - William Butler Yeats, Deirdre

What ardently we wish, we soon believe.
      - Edward Young, Night Thoughts
         (night VII, pt. II, l. 1311)


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