Famous Quotes About Skepticism

Browse 123 famous quotes and sayings about Skepticism.

Top Quotes About Skepticism

1. "A majority of Americans support Social Security and Medicare, a progressive tax system and a government that regulates business in the public interest, but most share deep skepticism about the government's ability to do all this well."
Author: Adam Davidson
2. "Part of me remained forever at Latitude 80 degrees 08 minutes South: what survived of my youth, my vanity, perhaps, and certainly my skepticism. On the other hand, I did take away something that I had not fully possessed before: appreciation of the sheer beauty and miracle of being alive, and a humble set of values. All this happened four years ago. Civilization has not altered my ideas. I live more simply now, and with more peace."
Author: Admiral Richard E. Byrd
3. "...skepticism can never provide firm ground under a man's feet. And perhaps, after all, we need firm ground."
Author: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
4. "I think I've always had a certain amount of skepticism of this whole 'shut up and smile' theory. I haven't ever swallowed that pill so easily, although I tried."
Author: Amber Heard
5. "There is a horrifying loneliness at work in this time. No, listen to me. We lived six and seven to a room in those days, when I was still among the living. The city streets were seas of humanity; and now in these high buildings dim-witted souls hover in luxurious privacy, gazing through the television window at a faraway world of kissing and touching. It is bound to produce some great fund of common knowledge, some new level of human awareness, a curious skepticism, to be so alone."
Author: Anne Rice
6. "He may actually have been existing in the past and approximating a conceivable future, which brought even the assumption of his immediate perceptions as being in the present into doubt. And thus, he couldn't—beyond a hint of skepticism—say that he truly existed right now and in this moment, but instead it seemed more rational to assume that he simply existed and nothing more."
Author: Ashim Shanker
7. "To demand the absolute and to be content with absolutely nothing else results in a skepticism."
Author: Bernard J.F. Lonergan
8. "Few men speak humbly of humility, chastely of chastity, skeptically of skepticism."
Author: Blaise Pascal
9. "I'll admit, Jasnah, that I empathize with your skepticism, but I don't agree with it. I just think you've been looking for God in the wrong places.""I suppose that you're going to tell me where you think I should look.""You'll find God in the same place you're going to find salvation from this mess," Wit said. "Inside the hearts of men.""Curiously," Jasnah said, "I believe I can actually agree with that, though I suspect for different reasons than you imply."
Author: Brandon Sanderson
10. "We wish to find the truth, no matter where it lies. But to find the truth we need imagination and skepticism both. We will not be afraid to speculate, but we will be careful to distinguish speculation from fact."
Author: Carl Sagan
11. "I don't think science is hard to teach because humans aren't ready for it, or because it arose only through a fluke, or because, by and large, we don't have the brainpower to grapple with it. Instead, the enormous zest for science that I see in first-graders and the lesson from the remnant hunter-gatherers both speak eloquently: A proclivity for science is embedded deeply within us, in all times, places, and cultures. It has been the means for our survival. It is our birthright. When, through indifference, inattention, incompetence, or fear of skepticism, we discourage children from science, we are disenfranchising them, taking from them the tools needed to manage their future."
Author: Carl Sagan
12. "Nevertheless, (Jefferson) believed that the habit of skepticism is an essential prerequisite for responsible citizenship. He argued that the cost of education is trivial compared to the cost of ignorance, of leaving government to the wolves. He taught that the country is safe only when the people rule."
Author: Carl Sagan
13. "Cynicism is what happens when skepticism is given too much latitude."
Author: Chris Brady
14. "Somehow liberals have been unable to acquire from life what conservatives seem to be endowed with at birth: namely, a healthy skepticism of the powers of government agencies to do good."
Author: Daniel Patrick Moynihan
15. "Indeed, women like Peterman who admitted they joined the army for adventure as opposed to patriotism or love were often viewed with skepticism and derision by the press because their actions and motivations failed to conform to accepted romantic and cultural ideals."
Author: DeAnne Blanton And Lauren M. Cook
16. "What should we think of someone who never admits error, never entertains doubt but adheres unflinchingly to the same ideas all his life, regardless of new evidence? Doubt and skepticism are signs of rationality. When we are too certain of our opinions, we run the risk of ignoring any evidence that conflicts with our views. It is doubt that shows we are still thinking, still willing to reexamine hardened beliefs when confronted with new facts and new evidence."
Author: Diane Ravitch
17. "It is the press that has taken these charges and accusations and blown them up without any kind of skepticism whatsoever - blown them into realities and treated them as if they were true."
Author: Dixie Lee Ray
18. "Without such trust and safety, social relationships tend to become strategic rather than cooperative, increasingly full of skepticism and even anxiety and fear about others' intentions. (p. 27)"
Author: Donald Rothberg
19. "...Today the lack of faith is an expression of profound confusion and despair. Once skepticism and rationalism were progressive forces for the development of thought; now they have become rationalizations for relativism and uncertainty."
Author: Erich Fromm
20. "I have got, over the years, a sense of the immense sweep of creation, of the evolutionary process in everything, of how incomprehensible God must necessarily be to be the God of heaven and earth. You can't fit the Almighty into your intellectual categories…. What kept me a skeptic [of secularism] in college was precisely my Christian faith. It always said: wait, don't bite on this, get a wider picture, continue to read. If you want your faith, you have to work for it…. Even in the life of a Christian, faith rises and falls like the tides of an invisible sea. It's there, even when he can't see it or feel it, if he wants it to be there. You realize, I think, that it is more valuable, more mysterious, altogether more immense than anything you can learn or decide in college. Learn what you can, but cultivate Christian skepticism."
Author: Flannery O'Connor
21. "VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except what they see. They think nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus."
Author: Francis Pharcellus Church
22. "Skepticism regarding morality is what is decisive"
Author: Friedrich Nietzsche
23. "[On scientist Carl Friedrich Gauss][Carl Friedrich] Gauss told his friend Rudolf Wagner, a professor of biology at Gottingen University, that he did not believe in the Bible but that he had meditated a great deal on the future of the human soul and speculated on the possibility of the soul being reincarnated on another planet. Evidently, Gauss was a Deist with a good deal of skepticism concerning religion."
Author: Gerhard Falk
24. "I think that at that time none of us quite believed in the Time Machine. The fact is, the Time Traveler was one of those men who are too clever to be believed: you never felt that you saw all round him; you always suspected some subtle reserve, some ingenuity in ambush, behind his lucid frankness. Had Filby shown the model and explained the matter in the Time Traveller's words, we should have shown him far less skepticism. For we should have perceived his motives; a pork butcher could understand Filby."
Author: H.G. Wells
25. "Skepticism is thus a resting-place for human reason, where it can reflect upon its dogmatic wanderings and make survey of the region in which it finds itself, so that for the future it may be able to choose its path with more certainty. But it is no dwelling-place for permanent settlement. Such can be obtained only through perfect certainty in our knowledge, alike of the objects themselves and of the limits within which all our knowledge of objects is enclosed."
Author: Immanuel Kant
26. "My humor is my creativity, and my skepticism is a gift."
Author: J. Tillman
27. "We all approached doing a sequel with great trepidation and skepticism."
Author: Jason Biggs
28. "Doing a movie about Steve Jobs is just generally a provocative thing to do, whoever does it, and it begs a lot of questioning and skepticism only in that, what is this going to be? What am I going to be looking at? And curiosity as well. I think that's all positive in any film, because you want people to be curious about it."
Author: Joshua Michael Stern
29. "Flaubert teaches you to gave upon the truth and not blink from its consequences; he teaches you, with Montaigne, to sleep on the pillow of doubt; he teaches you to dissect out the constituent parts of reality, and to observe the Nature is always a mixture of genres; he teaches you the most exact use of language; he teaches you not to approach a book in search of moral or social pills -- literature is not a pharmacopoeia; he teaches the pre-eminence of Truth, Beauty, Feeling and Style. And if you study his private life, he teaches courage, stoicism, friendship; the importance of intelligence, skepticism and wit; the folly of cheap patriotism; the virtue of being able to remain by yourself in your own room; the hatred of hypocrisy; distrust of the doctrinaire; the need for plain speaking."
Author: Julian Barnes
30. "You want waffles?" I tried to keep the skepticism from my voice. "No firstborn or a pot of gold?""I'm not a leprechaun, Sam. And what would I do with a baby?" Her eyebrow shot back up, and she crossed her arms. "I want waffles. Take it or leave it."I glanced at Brid, who was staring at Ashley shrewdly."Let's talk numbers," she said. "Are we talking, like, twenty waffles all at once? Or a waffle a week for six months? What?""Every day for two years," Ashley said."That's outrageous," Brid sputtered."
Author: Lish McBride
31. "The faces of the panel listening were the very embodiment of skepticism made flesh."
Author: Lorrie Moore
32. "Don't be so concerned," he whispered. "We will get through this, I promise." "What makes you so certain?" I couldn't help my skepticism."We have no other choice," he replied matter-of-factly. "Is that really all you can come up with?" I scowled. "Couldn't you just lie and tell me you have some kind of secret badass weapon that is going to make this a piece of cake?"
Author: M.A. George
33. "We could speak about the meaning of life vis-a-vis non-consequential/deontological theories, apodictic transformation schemata, the incoherence of exemplification, metaphysical realism, Cartesian interactive dualism, revised non reductive dualism, postmodernist grammatology and dicey dichotomies. But we would still be left with Nietzsche's preposterous mustache which instills great anguish and skepticism in the brain, which leads (as it did in his case) to utter madness. I suggest we go to Paris instead."
Author: Maira Kalman
34. "[T]he downside of skepticism: it can easily turn into an arrogant position of a priori rejection of any new phenomenon or idea, a position that is as lacking in critical thinking as the one of the true believer, and that simply does not help either science or the public at large."
Author: Massimo Pigliucci
35. "By now the valley of the shadow of doubt was overrunneth with skepticism, so God became angry, so angry that God lost His temper and cursed the first humans, telling them to go forth and multiply themselves (but not in those words). But the humans took God literally and now there are six billion of them."
Author: Michael Shermer
36. "Uncertain of uncertainty, skeptical of skepticism, it seems that the most important question is whether there is an important question."
Author: Mitchell Heisman
37. "Realism is punishing. Probabilistic skepticism is worse."
Author: Nassim Nicholas Taleb
38. "I have a lot of skepticism about marriage and monogamy."
Author: Rashida Jones
39. "Most institutions demand unqualified faith; but the institution of science makes skepticism a virtue."
Author: Robert K. Merton
40. "Skepticism, riddling the faith of yesterday, prepared the way for the faith of tomorrow."
Author: Romain Rolland
41. "Having faith in the existence of the paranormal, like faith in anything, means believing that it can stand up to honest skepticism."
Author: Ryan Buell
42. "But then the subject turned to the spiritual life and Meg talked about her many visits to ashrams in India and her admiration for Swami Muktananda and Gurumayi. That got in the way, especially because he told her of his skepticism regarding the guru industry, and suggested she might profitably read Gita Mehta's book Karma Cola. "Why are you so cynical?" she asked him, as if she genuinely wanted to know the answer, and he said that if you grew up in India it was easy to conclude that these people were fakes. "Yes, of course there are lots of charlatans," she said, reasonably, "but can't you discriminate?" He shook his head sadly. "No," he said. "No, I can't." That was the end of their chat."
Author: Salman Rushdie
43. "He was learning that to win a fight like this, it was not enough to know what one was fighting against. That was easy. He was fighting against the view that people could be killed for their ideas, and against the ability of any religion to place a limiting point on thought. But he needed, now, to be clear of what he was fighting for. Freedom of speech, freedom of the imagination, freedom from fear, and the beautiful, ancient art of which he was privileged to be a practitioner. Also skepticism, irreverence, doubt, satire, comedy, and unholy glee. He would never again flinch from the defense of these things. p. 285"
Author: Salman Rushdie
44. "Skepticism is an important historical tool. It is the starting point of all revision of hitherto accepted history."
Author: Samuel E. Morison
45. "I was perplexed by the failure of teachers at school to address what seemed the most urgent matter of all: the bewildering, stomach-churning insecurity of being alive. The standard subjects of history, geography, mathematics, and English seemed perversely designed to ignore the questions that really mattered. As soon as I had some inkling of what 'philosophy' meant, I was puzzled as to why we were not taught it. And my skepticism about religion only grew as I failed to see what the vicars and priests I encountered gained from their faith. They struck me either as insincere, pious, and aloof or just bumblingly good-natured. (p. 10)"
Author: Stephen Batchelor
46. "Creationists argue that natural selection is only a negative process, and therefore cannot create anything. Chopra argues that skepticism is only a negative process, and therefore does not lead to knowledge. Both are wrong for the same reasons. They ignore the generation of diversity and new ideas upon which natural selection and skepticism acts. Weeding out the unfit is critical to both – natural selection allows evolution to proceed, and skepticism allows science to advance."
Author: Steven Novella
47. "In post-Nietzschean spirit, the West appears to be busily undermining its own erstwhile metaphysical foundations with an unholy mélange of practical materialism, political pragmatism, moral and cultural relativism, and philosophical skepticism."
Author: Terry Eagleton
48. "How do we distinguish between the legitimate skepticism of those who scoffed at cold fusion, and the stifling dogma of the seventeenthcentury clergymen who, doubting Galileo's claim that the earth was not the center of the solar system, put him under house arrest for the last eight years of his life? In part, the answer lies in the distinction between skepticism and closed-mindedness. Many scientists who were skeptical about cold fusion nevertheless tried to replicate the reported phenomenon in their own labs; Galileo's critics refused to look at the pertinent data."
Author: Thomas Gilovich
49. "I discourage passive skepticism, which is the armchair variety where people sit back and criticize without ever subjecting their theories or themselves to real field testing."
Author: Tim Ferriss
50. "I encourage active skepticism - when people are being skeptical because they're trying to identify the best course of action. They're trying to identify the next step for themselves or other people."
Author: Tim Ferriss

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Worst ideas? Me? Whatever do you mean? There are no bad ideas."
Author: Christian Audigier

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