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.
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.
The superstition in which we were brought up never loses its power over us, even after we understand it.
To become a popular religion, it is only necessary for a superstition to enslave a philosophy.
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.
Has anyone at the end of the nineteenth century a distinct conception of what poets of strong ages call inspiration? If not, I will describe it. If one had the slightest residue of superstition left in one, one would hardly be able to set aside the idea that one is merely incarnation, merely mouthpiece, merely medium of overwhelming forces. The concept of revelation , in the sense that something suddenly, with unspeakable certainty and subtlety, becomes visible, audible, something that shakes and overturns one to the depths, simply describes the fact. One hears, one does not seek; one takes, one does not ask who gives; a thought flashes up like lightning, with necessity, unfalteringly formed - I have never had any choice... Everything is in the highest degree involuntary but takes place as in a tempest of a feeling of freedom, of absoluteness, of power, of divinity... The involuntary nature of image, of metaphor is the most remarkable thing of all; one no longer has any idea what is image, what metaphor, everything presents itself as the readiest, the truest, the simplest means of expression.
What the world needs is a fusion of the sciences and the humanities. The humanities express the symbolic, poetic and prophetic qualities of the human spirit. Without them we would not be conscious of our history; we would lose our aspirations and the graces of expression that move men's hearts. The sciences express the creative urge in man to construct a universe which is comprehensible in terms of the human intellect. Without them, mankind would find itself bewildered in a world of natural forces beyond comprehension, victims of ignorance, superstition and fear.
Religion worships God, while superstition profanes that worship.
Funerals are always occasions for pious lying. A deep vein of superstition and a sudden touch of kindness always lead people to give the departed credit for more virtues than he possessed.
We have a duty to perform, to cultivate the human soul, to adore the incomprehensible and reject the absurd; to purify faith and obliterate superstition from the face of religion, to remove the vermin from the garden of God.
He who sets out in search of Truth must leave Superstition forever and wander down into the land of Absolute Negation and Denial. He must then go… where the mountains of Stern Reality will rise before him. Beyond them lies Truth.
In the study of ideas, it is necessary to remember that insistence on hardheaded clarity issues from sentimental feeling, as it were a mist, cloaking the perplexities of fact. Insistence on clarity at all costs is based on sheer superstition as to the mode in which human intelligence functions.
Our civilization… is not devaluing its awareness of the unknowable; nor is it deifying it. It is the first civilization that has severed it from religion and superstition in order to question it.
I maintain that superstition is more hurtful to God than atheism is.
The mind is far from the nature of a clear and equal glass, wherein the beams of things should reflect according to their true incidence; nay, it is rather like an enchanted glass, full of superstition and imposture, if it be not delivered and reduced.
In all superstition wise men follow fools.
Superstition is the Reproach of the Deity... The Master of superstition is the People; and in all Superstition, Wise Men follow Fooles... There is a Superstition in avoiding Superstition.
It were better to have no opinion of God at all, than such an opinion as is unworthy of Him; for the one is unbelief, the other is contumely: and certainly superstition is the reproach of the Deity.
No sooner had Jesus knocked over the dragon of superstition than Paul boldly set it on its legs again in the name of Jesus.
This religion unhappily long ago ceased to be wisdom expressed in fancy order to become superstition overlaid with reasoning.