Without Any Evidence

Sunday, May 27, 2018 – Without Any Evidence

We are all tattooed in our cradles with the beliefs of our tribe; the record may seem superficial, but it is indelible. You cannot educate a man wholly out of the superstitious fears which were implanted in his imagination, no matter how utterly his reason may reject them. ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., The Poet at the Breakfast Table, 1872

Just as no one can be forced into belief no one can be forced into unbelief. ~ Sigmund Freud

Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance. ~ H. L. Mencken

The characteristic political attitude of today is not one of positive belief, but of despair. ~ Herbert Read

Faith: Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel. ~ Ambrose Bierce

Optimism – the doctrine or belief that everything is beautiful, including what is ugly. ~ Ambrose Bierce

It has always been the prerogative of children and half-wits to point out that the emperor has no clothes. But the half-wit remains a half-wit, and the emperor remains an emperor. ~ Neil Gaiman

They were so strong in their beliefs that there came a time when it hardly mattered what exactly those beliefs were; they all fused into a single stubbornness. ~ Louise Erdrich

I confused things with their names: that is belief. ~ Jean-Paul Sartre

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 Russell

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

You always admire what you really don’t understand. ~ Blaise Pascal

All money is a matter of belief. ~ Adam Smith

Every man who attacks my belief, diminishes in some degree my confidence in it, and therefore makes me uneasy; and I am angry with him who makes me uneasy. ~ Samuel Johnson

Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth, and every other man has a right to knock him down for it. ~ Samuel Johnson

No one has the right to destroy another person’s belief by demanding empirical evidence. ~ Ann Landers

A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence. ~ David Hume

It is, I think, an indisputable fact that Americans are, as Americans, the most self-conscious people in the world, and the most addicted to the belief that the other nations of the earth are in a conspiracy to undervalue them. ~ Henry James

Belief is a moral act for which the believer is to be held responsible. ~ Lillian Hellman

The effect of the mass media is not to elicit belief but to maintain the apparatus of addiction. ~ Christopher Lasch

The goal of modern propaganda is no longer to transform opinion but to arouse an active and mythical belief. ~ Jacques Ellul

Need is not quite belief. ~ Anne Sexton

Capitalism has destroyed our belief in any effective power but that of self-interest backed by force. ~ George Bernard Shaw

Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone. ~ John Maynard Keynes

The want of belief is a defect that ought to be concealed when it cannot be overcome. ~ Jonathan Swift

A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure. ~ Segal’s Law

There are no whole truths: all truths are half-truths. It is trying to treat them as whole truths that plays the devil. ~ Alfred North Whitehead

Most truths are so naked that people feel sorry for them and cover them up, at least a little bit. ~ Edward R. Murrow

The truth will set you free. But first, it will piss you off. ~ Gloria Steinem

Like all dreamers I confuse disenchantment with truth. ~ Jean-Paul Sartre

Unity without verity is no better than conspiracy. ~ John Trapp

If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. ~ Mark Twain

There are many more wrong answers than right ones, and they are easier to find. ~ Michael Friedlander

Insanity is often the logic of an accurate mind overtasked. ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Truth always rests with the minority, and the minority is always stronger than the majority, because the minority is generally formed by those who really have an opinion, while the strength of a majority is illusory, formed by the gangs who have no opinion – and who, therefore, in the next instant (when it is evident that the minority is the stronger) assume its opinion while Truth again reverts to a new minority. ~ Soren Kierkegaard

I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth. ~ Umberto Eco

Truth has very few friends and those few are suicides. ~ Antonio Porchia

The truth is more important than the facts. ~ Frank Lloyd Wright

The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth. ~ Niels Bohr

Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened. ~ Sir Winston Churchill

A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it. ~ Oscar Wilde

It is hard to believe that a man is telling the truth when you know that you would lie if you were in his place. ~ H. L. Mencken

There are only two ways of telling the complete truth – anonymously and posthumously. ~ Thomas Sowell

People who are brutally honest get more satisfaction out of the brutality than out of the honesty. ~ Richard J. Needham

If we were all given by magic the power to read each other’s thoughts, I suppose the first effect would be to dissolve all friendships. ~ Bertrand Russell

Reality is bad enough. Why should I tell the truth? ~ Patrick Sky

There’s one way to find out if a man is honest. Ask him. If he says, “Yes,” you know he is a crook. ~ Groucho Marx

It is always the best policy to tell the truth, unless, of course, you are an exceptionally good liar. ~ Jerome K. Jerome

Solitaire is the only thing in life that demands absolute honesty. ~ Hugh Wheeler

Men are able to trust one another, knowing the exact degree of dishonesty they are entitled to expect. ~ Stephen Butler Leacock

For the merchant, even honesty is a financial speculation. ~ Charles Baudelaire

Americans have an abiding belief in their ability to control reality by purely material means. Airline insurance replaces the fear of death with the comforting prospect of cash. ~ Cecil Beaton

Honesty is the rarest wealth anyone can possess, and yet all the honesty in the world ain’t lawful tender for a loaf of bread. ~ Josh Billings

No such thing as a man willing to be honest – that would be like a blind man willing to see. ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

It’s discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit. ~ Noel Coward

Human beings are perhaps never more frightening than when they are convinced beyond doubt that they are right. ~ Laurens van der Post

Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand. ~ Kurt Vonnegut

A belief is like a guillotine, just as heavy, just as light. ~ David Hockney

Sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast. ~ Lewis Carroll

I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong. ~ Bertrand Russell

There used to be a real me, but I had it surgically removed. ~ Peter Sellers