Doubt

Doubt is to certainty as neurosis is to psychosis. The neurotic is in doubt and has fears about persons and things; the psychotic has convictions and makes claims about them. In short, the neurotic has problems, the psychotic has solutions.

Doubt is not the opposite of faith; it is one element of faith.

Serious doubt is confirmation of faith. It indicates the seriousness of the concern, its unconditional character.

Human beings are perhaps never more frightened than when they are convinced beyond doubt that they are right.

Hatred of cant and doubt of human creeds may well be felt; the unpardonable sin is to deny the word of God from within.

If we didn’t live venturously, plucking the wild goat by the beard, and trembling over precipices, we should never be depressed, I’ve no doubt; but already should be faded, fatalistic, and aged

A lively, disinterested, persistent looking for truth is extraordinarily rare. Action and faith enslave thought, both of them in order not to be troubled or inconvenienced by reflection, criticism or doubt

There are two modes of acquiring knowledge, namely by reasoning and experience. Reasoning draws a conclusion and makes us grant the conclusion, but does not make the conclusion certain, nor does it remove doubt so that the mind may rest on the intuition of truth, unless the mind discovers it by the path of experience.

We need others. We need others to love and we need to be loved by them. There is no doubt that without it, we too, like the infant left alone, would cease to grow, cease to develop, choose madness and even death.

Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.

People may doubt what you say, but they will believe what you do.

The death of a child is the greatest reason to doubt the existence of God.

Freedom of speech and freedom of action are meaningless without freedom to think. And there is no freedom of thought without doubt.

Every child is a genius, but is enslaved by the misconceptions of self-doubt of the adult world, and spends much of his or her time having to unlearn that perspective.

There are two ways to slide easily through life; to believe everything or doubt everything. Both ways save us from thinking.

Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years. People grow old by deserting their ideals. You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair.

I have often asked myself whether I am not more heavily obligated to the hardest years of my life than to any others. As my inmost nature teaches me, whatever is necessary as seen from the heights and in the sense of a great economy is also the useful par excellence: one should not only bear it, one should love it. Amor fati: that is my inmost nature. And as for my long sickness, do I not owe it indescribably more than I owe to my health? I owe it a higher health, one which is made stronger by whatever does not kill it. I also owe my philosophy to it. Only great pain is the ultimate liberator of the spirit... Only great pain, that long, slow pain in which we are burned with green wood, as it were - pain which takes its time - only this forces us philosophers to descend into our ultimate depths and to put away all trust, all good-naturedness, all that would veil, all mildness, all that is medium - things in which formerly we may have found our humanity. I doubt that such pain makes us "better," but I know that it makes us more profound.

There lives more faith in honest doubt, believe me, than in half the creeds.

There lives more faith in honest doubt - believe me - than in half the creeds.

Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.