Superstition

Faith without evidence is, properly, not faith, but prejudice or presumption; faith beyond evidence is superstition, and faith contrary to evidence is either insanity or willful perversity of mind.

Ceremonies in themselves are not sin; but whoever supposes that he can attain to life either by baptism or by partaking of bread is still in superstition.

Enthusiasm is an evil much less to be dreaded than superstition. Superstition is the disease of nations; enthusiasm that of individuals; the former grows inveterate by time; the latter is cured by it.

Weakness, fear, melancholy, together with ignorance, are the true sources of superstition. Hope, pride, presumption, a warm indignation, together with ignorance, are the true sources of enthusiasm.

Liberal minds are open to conviction. Liberal doctrines are capable of improvement. There are proselytes from atheism; but none from superstition.

Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold. Faith alone defends.

Nominally a great age of scientific inquiry, ours has actually become an age of superstition about the infallibility of science; of almost mystical faith in its nonmystical methods; above all... of external verities; of traffic-cop morality and rabbit-test truth.

Superstition always inspires littleness, religion grandeur of mind; the superstitious raises being inferior to himself to deities.

The superstition in which we were brought up never loses its power over us, even after we understand it.

They set the slave free, striking off his chains. Then he was as much of a slave as ever. He was still chained to servility. He was still manacled to indolence and sloth, he was still bound by fear and superstition, by ignorance suspicion and savagery. His slavery was not in the chains, but in himself. They can only set free men free. And there is no need of that. Free men set themselves free.

Fear is main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty.

A great fear... is the parent of superstition; but a discreet and well-guided fear produced religion.

Superstition is not, as has been defined, an excess of religious feeling, but a misdirection of it, an exhausting of it on vanities of man’s devising.

All religions are ancient monuments to superstition, ignorance, ferocity; and modern religions are only ancient follies rejuvenated.

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

Superstition is the poetry of life.

To become a popular religion, it is only necessary for a superstition to enslave a philosophy.

Security is mostly superstition. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright experience. Life is either daring adventure or nothing.

Pleasure, pride, dominion and superstition, these are the four afflictions which corrupt the spirit of a nation... The essence of nationality is the essence of a people's spirituality.

The superstition in which we grew up, though we may recognize it, does not lose its power over us. Not all are free who make mock of their chains.