Proving Nothing

Sunday, December 6, 2020 – Proving Nothing

The most confused you will ever get is when you try to convince your heart and spirit of something your mind knows is a lie. ~ Shannon L. Alder

People almost invariably arrive at their beliefs not on the basis of proof but on the basis of what they find attractive. ~ Blaise Pascal

The best way to show that a stick is crooked is not to argue about it or to spend time denouncing it, but to lay a straight stick alongside it. ~ D. L. Moody

In order to disprove the assertion that all crows are black, one white crow is sufficient. ~ William James

A witty saying proves nothing. ~ Voltaire

The interest I have to believe a thing is no proof that such a thing exists. ~ Voltaire

Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof. ~ John Kenneth Galbraith

Stubborn and ardent clinging to one’s opinion is the best proof of stupidity. ~ Michel de Montaigne

It is often argued that religion is valuable because it makes men good, but even if this were true it would not be a proof that religion is true. That would be an extension of pragmatism beyond endurance. Santa Claus makes children good in precisely the same way, and yet no one would argue seriously that the fact proves his existence. The defense of religion is full of such logical imbecilities. The theologians, taking one with another, are adept logicians, but every now and then they have to resort to sophistries so obvious that their whole case takes on an air of the ridiculous. Even the most logical religion starts out with patently false assumptions. It is often argued in support of this or that one that men are so devoted to it that they are willing to die for it. That, of course, is as silly as the Santa Claus proof. Other men are just as devoted to manifestly false religions, and just as willing to die for them. Every theologian spends a large part of his time and energy trying to prove that religions for which multitudes of honest men have fought and died are false, wicked, and against God. ~ H. L. Mencken, Minority Report

The English experience suggested that nobody really doubted the existence of God until theologians tried to prove it. ~ Alister E. McGrath

The folly of mistaking a paradox for a discovery, a metaphor for a proof, a torrent of verbiage for a spring of capital truths, and oneself for an oracle, is inborn in us. ~ Paul Valery

When men are most sure and arrogant, they are commonly most mistaken, giving views to passion without that proper deliberation which alone can secure them from the grossest absurdities. ~ David Hume

He that speaks much, is much mistaken. ~ Benjamin Franklin

A beautiful sunset that was mistaken for a dawn. ~ Claude Debussy

Back of every mistaken venture and defeat is the laughter of wisdom, if you listen. ~ Carl Sandburg

Seldom, very seldom, does complete truth belong to any human disclosure; seldom can it happen that something is not a little disguised, or a little mistaken. ~ Jane Austen

The individual is always mistaken. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do not judge, and you will never be mistaken. ~ Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Men are more apt to be mistaken in their generalizations than in their particular observations. ~ Niccolo Machiavelli

Even when the experts all agree, they may well be mistaken. ~ Bertrand Russell

Perhaps misguided moral passion is better than confused indifference. ~ Iris Murdoch

Everyone goes astray, but the least imprudent are they who repent the soonest. ~ Voltaire

I can think that you are mistaken, but I have to be ready to give my life to maintain your right to make mistakes. I have to, though, have the right to say that you’re mistaken. This is the principal of the liberal society. ~ Rocco Buttiglione

Except in a few well-publicized instances (enough to lend credence to the iconography painted on the walls of the media), the rigorous practice of rugged individualism usually leads to poverty, ostracism and disgrace. The rugged individualist is too often mistaken for the misfit, the maverick, the spoilsport, the sore thumb. ~ Lewis H. Lapham

The young fancy that their follies are mistaken by the old for happiness; and the old fancy that their gravity is mistaken by the young for wisdom. ~ Charles Caleb Colton

I have often met with happiness after some imprudent step which ought to have brought ruin upon me, and although passing a vote of censure upon myself I would thank God for his mercy. ~ Giacomo Casanova

There is nothing more imprudent than excessive prudence. ~ Charles Caleb Colton

A journalist is a person who has mistaken their calling. ~ Otto von Bismarck

The printing press was at first mistaken for an engine of immortality by everybody except Shakespeare. ~ Marshall McLuhan

Buying books would be a good thing if one could also buy the time to read them in: but as a rule, the purchase of books is mistaken for the appropriation of their contents. ~ Arthur Schopenhauer

Lack of pep is often mistaken for patience. ~ Kin Hubbard

He was so benevolent, so merciful a man that, in his mistaken passion, he would have held an umbrella over a duck in a shower of rain. ~ Douglas William Jerrold

I’ll never be mistaken for Pat Boone. ~ Sal Mineo

When two people are really happy about one another, one can generally assume that they are mistaken. ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Everybody lies, but it doesn’t matter because nobody listens. ~ Nick Diamos