Skepticism

Skepticism has never founded empires, established principles, or changed the world's heart. The great doers in history have always been men of faith.

The chief and most confounding objection to excessive skepticism, that no durable good can ever result from it; while it remains in its full force and vigor. We need only ask such a skeptic, what his meaning is? And what he proposes by all these curious researches? He is immediately at a loss, and knows not what to answer.

Neither acquiescence in skepticism nor acquiescence in dogma is what education should produce. What it should produce is a belief that knowledge is attainable in a measure, though with difficulty; that much of what passes for knowledge at any given time is likely to be more or less mistaken, but that the mistakes can be rectified by care and industry... Knowledge, like other good things, is difficult, but not impossible; the dogmatist forgets the difficulty, the skeptic denies the possibility. Both are mistaken, and their errors, when widespread, produce social disaster.

Superstition renders a man a fool, and skepticism makes him mad.

The great trouble with the skepticism of the age is, that it is not thorough enough. It questions everything but its own foundations.

One of the greatest pleasures of childhood is found in the mysteries which it hides from the skepticism of the elders, and works up into small mythologies of its own.

By the spirit of the age... the man of today is forced into skepticism about his own thinking, in order to make him receptive to truth which comes to him from authority... Truth taken over by skepticism which has become believing... is not capable of uniting itself with him to the very marrow of his being.

The fear of God is not the beginning of wisdom. The fear of God is the death of wisdom. Skepticism and doubt lead to study and investigation, and investigation is the beginning of wisdom.

The deepest, the only theme of human history, compared to which all others are of subordinate importance, is the conflict of skepticism with faith.

A sound belief is always accompanied by a sane skepticism. It is only by disbelieving in some things that we can ever believe in others things. Faith does not mean credulity.

Throughout human history, progress has come through the men and women who dared to challenge the precepts and dogmas that curtailed freedoms. Freethinking (which includes skepticism, rationalism, unbelief, atheism, agnosticism, humanism and so forth) has made great and lasting contributions to human freedom, human rights, and human equality.

Skepticism is more easily understood by asking "What do I know?"

Few men speak humbly of humility, chastely of chastity, skeptically of skepticism.

It is the tension between creativity and skepticism that has produced the stunning and unexpected findings of science.

What has not been examined impartially has not been well examined. Skepticism is therefore the step toward truth.

Skepticism is the chastity of the intellect, and it is shameful to surrender it too soon or to the first comer: there is nobility in preserving it coolly and proudly through a long youth, until at last, in the ripeness of instinct and discretion, it can be safely exchanged for fidelity and happiness.

Skepticism is the chastity of the intellect.

Religious minds prefer skepticism. The true saint is a profound skeptic; a total disbeliever in human reason, who has more than once joined hands on this ground with some one who were at best sinners.

Tolerance in the sense of moderation or superior knowledge or skepticism is actually the worst form of intolerance.

Do not let yourself be tainted with a barren skepticism.