Beliefs - Quotes


Smart people believe weird things because they are better at rationalizing their beliefs that they hold for non-smart reasons.

Michael Shermer

Only a fool of a scientist would dismiss the evidence and reports in front of him and substitute his own beliefs in their place.

Paul Kurtz

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

Bertrand Russell

People are not stupid. They believe things for reasons. The last way for skeptics to get the attention of bright, curious, intelligent people is to belittle or condescend or to show arrogance toward their beliefs.

Carl Sagan

What we call rational grounds for our beliefs are often extremely irrational attempts to justify our instincts.

Thomas Henry Huxley

I know of no society in human history that ever suffered because its people became too desirous of evidence in support of their core beliefs.

Sam Harris

Beliefs are what divide people. Doubt unites them.

Peter Ustinov

An old joke about behaviorists is that they don't believe in beliefs, they think that nothing can think, and in their opinion nobody has opinions.

Daniel Dennett

Two things may happen when we meet someone: either we become friends or we try to convince that person to accept our beliefs. The same thing happens when a hot coal meets another piece of coal: it either shares its fire with it or is overwhelmed by the other`s size and is extinguished.


If history and science have taught us anything, it is that passion and desire are not the same as truth. The human mind evolved to believe in the gods. It did not evolve to believe in biology. Acceptance of the supernatural conveyed a great advantage throughout prehistory, when the brain was evolving. Thus it is in sharp contrast to biology, which was developed as a product of the modern age and is not underwritten by genetic algorithms. The uncomfortable truth is that the two beliefs are not factually compatible. As a result those who hunger for both intellectual and religious truth will never acquire both in full measure.

Edward O. Wilson

Scientific beliefs are supported by evidence, and they get results. Myths and faiths are not and do not.

Richard Dawkins

Think of how many religions attempt to validate themselves with prophecy. Think of how many people rely on these prophecies, however vague, however unfulfilled, to support or prop up their beliefs. Yet has there ever been a religion with the prophetic accuracy and reliability of science? There isn't a religion on the planet that doesn't long for a comparable ability - precise, and repeatedly demonstrated before committed skeptics - to foretell future events. No other human institution comes close.

Carl Sagan


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