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Doubt: see Scepticism & Criticism & Cynicism & Dissent & Opposition & Pessimism & Nihilism & Trial & Court & Faith & Belief & Religion & Inquiry & Investigation & Science

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy 2011 - Charles Darwin - Christopher Hitchens - Robert G Ingersoll - John Henry Newman - Richard Dawkins TV - Rene Descartes - Michael Mosley TV - Miguel de Unamuno - Alfred Lord Tennyson - Dorothy Parker - Richard P Feynman - J Robert Oppenheimer - Bertrand Russell - Anton LaVey - Albert Camus - Gustave Flaubert - William Shakespeare - Star Trek: The Next Generation TV - Star Trek: Deep Space Nine TV - Proverbs - Friedrich Nietzsche - Jim Al-Khalili - Salman Rushdie - Robert Lindner - Blaise Pascal - Lord Byron - Philip Yorke - Diamaid MacCulloch TV - W S Gilbert - Christian Nestell Bovee - Albert Pike - Oliver Wendell Holmes - Thomas Hardy - Merchants of Doubt 2014 - Roman J Israel Esq 2017 -    

 

 

118,105.  The fanatic is always concealing a secret doubt.  (Spy Films & Doubt)  Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy ***** 2011 starring Gary Oldman & Colin Firth & Tom Hardy & Mark Strong & Ciaran Hinds & Benedict Cumberbatch & David Dencik & Stephen Graham & Simon McBurney & Toby Jones & John Hurt & Kathy Burke et al, director Tomas Alfredson, George

 

 

192.  Another source of conviction in the existence of God, connected with the reason and not with the feelings, impresses me as having much more weight.  This follows from the extreme difficulty or rather impossibility of conceiving this immense and wonderful universe, including man with his capacity of looking far backwards and far into futurity, as the result of blind chance or necessity.  When thus reflecting I feel compelled to look to a First Cause having an intelligent mind in some degree analogous to that of man; and I deserve to be called a Theist.

 

This conclusion was strong in my mind about the time, as far as I can remember, when I wrote the Origin of Species; and it is since that time that it has very gradually with many fluctuations become weaker.  But then arises the doubt – can the mind of man, which has, as I fully believe, been developed from a mind as low as that possessed by the lowest animal, be trusted when it draws such grand conclusions?  May not these be the result of the connection between cause and effect which strikes us as a necessary one, but probably depends merely on inherited experience?  Nor must we overlook the probability of the constant inculcation in a belief in God on the minds of children producing so strong and perhaps an inherited effect on their brains not yet fully developed, that it would be as difficult for them to throw off their belief in God, as for a monkey to throw off its instinctive fear and hatred of a snake.  (God & Belief & Disbelief & Doubt & Mind & Cause & Effect)  Charles Darwin, Autobiography: Religious Belief 

 

 

286.  The only respectable intellectual position is one of doubt, scepticism, reservation and free – I stress free – and unfettered enquiry.  (God & Doubt & Scepticism)  Christopher Hitchens v Dinesh D’Souza: The God Debate

 

 

394.  Progress is born of doubt and inquiry.  The Church never doubts, never inquires.  To doubt is heresy, to inquire is to admit that you do not know – the Church does neither.  (Religion & Progress & Doubt)  Robert G Ingersoll

 

 

474.  Ten thousand difficulties do not make one doubt.  (Religion & Doubt)  John Henry Newman, Apologia Pro Vita Sua 1864

 

 

533.  People like to say that faith and science can live together side by side, but I don’t think they can.  They’re deeply opposed.  Science is a discipline of investigation and constructive doubt, questing with logic, evidence and reason to draw conclusions; faith by stark contrast demands a positive suspension of critical faculties.  Science proceeds by setting up hypotheses, ideas or models and then attempts to disprove them, so a scientist is constantly asking questions, being sceptical.  Religion is about turning untested belief into unshakable truth through the power of institutions and the passage of time.  (Religion & Faith & Science & Doubt & Criticism & Scepticism & Truth)  Professor Richard Dawkins, The Root of All Evil? The God Delusion

 

 

927.  If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.  (Truth & Doubt)  Rene Descartes

 

 

53,244.  I doubt therefore I think; I think therefore I am.  [Dubito ergo cogito; cogito ergo sum]  (Existence & I & Self & Doubt & Think)  Rene Descartes

 

 

86,387.  Decartes was beginning to doubt everything, down to the question of whether he existed at all ... One thing he could be absolutely certain of was the existence of his thinking, doubting mind.  He summed it up in a neat philosophical phrase: ‘I think therefore I am’.  (Reality & Doubt & Think)  Michael Mosley, The Story of Science: Power, Proof and Passion

 

 

1,009.  Life is doubt,

And faith without doubt is nothing but death.  (Faith & Doubt)  Miguel de Unamuno, Poesias 1907

 

 

1,043.  There lives more faith in honest doubt, believe me, than in half the creeds.  (Faith & Doubt & Religion)  Alfred Lord Tennyson

 

 

70,639.  For nothing worthy proving can be proven,

Nor yet disproven wherefore thou be wise,

Cleave ever to the sunnier side of doubt.  Alfred Lord Tennyson, The Ancient Sage 1885

 

 

1,052.  Four be the things I’d been better without:
Love, curiosity, freckles, and doubt.  (Life’s Like That & Love & Doubt)  Dorothy Parker, Inventory 1937

 

 

2,329.  [Doubt] is not a new idea; this is the idea of the age of reason.  This is the philosophy that guided the men who made the democracy that we live under.  The idea that no one really knew how to run a government led to the idea that we should arrange a system by which new ideas could be developed, tried out, and tossed out if necessary, with more new ideas bought in - a trial-and-error system.  This method was a result of the fact that science was already showing itself to be a successful venture at the end of the eighteenth century.  Even then it was clear to socially minded people that the openness of possibilities was an opportunity, and that doubt and discussion were essential to progress into the unknown.  If we want to solve a problem that we have never solved before, we must leave the door to the unknown ajar ... doubt is not to be feared, but welcomed and discussed.  (Reason & Doubt & Democracy & Problem)  Richard P Feynman

 

 

2,446.  One thing is that I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing.  I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong.  I have approximate answers and possible beliefs, in different degrees of certainty, about different things.  But I’m not absolutely sure of anything and of many things I don’t know anything about, such as whether it means anything to ask why we’re here and what the question might mean.  I might think about it a little bit, if I can’t figure it out, then I go on to something else.  But I don’t have to know an answer.  I don’t feel frightened by not knowing things, by being lost in the mysterious universe without having any purpose, which is the way it really is, as far as I can tell, possibly.  It doesn’t frighten me.  (Science & Doubt & Certainty & Knowledge & Meaning of Life & Universe & Answer & Mystery)  Richard Feynman, interview BBC Horizon 1981

 

 

2,448.  The scientist has a lot of experience with ignorance and doubt and uncertainty, and this experience is of very great importance, I think.  When a scientist doesn’t know the answer to a problem, he is ignorant.  When he has a hunch as to what the result is, he is uncertain.  And when he is pretty damn sure of what the result is going to be, he is still in some doubt.  We have found it of paramount importance that in order to progress, we must recognize our ignorance and leave room for doubt.  Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty – some most unsure, some nearly sure, but none absolutely certain.  (Science & Doubt & Certainty & Answer & Progress & Knowledge)  Richard Feynman, The Value of Science 1955

 

 

87,688.  There is no harm in doubt and scepticism, for it is through these that new discoveries are made.  (Scepticism & Doubt & Discovery)  Richard Feynman, letter to Armando Garcia 1985    

 

 

2,379.  There must be no barriers to freedom of inquiry ... There is no place for dogma in science.  The scientist is free, and must be free to ask any question, to doubt any assertion, to seek for any evidence, to correct any errors.  (Science & Inquiry & Dogma & Doubt & Evidence & Error)  J Robert Oppenheimer

 

 

4,185.  The fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.  (World & Trouble & Stupid & Intelligent & Doubt)  Bertrand Russell

 

 

5,542.  It has been said, ‘the truth will make men free’.  The truth alone has never made anyone free.  It is only doubt which will bring mental emancipation.  (Freedom & Doubt)  Anton LaVey

 

 

6,681.  An intellectual?  Yes.  And never deny it.  An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself.  I like this, because I am happy to be both halves, the watcher and the watched.  ‘Can they be brought together?’  This is a practical question.  We must get down to it.  ‘I despise intelligence’ really means: ‘I cannot bear my doubts’.  (Intelligence & Doubt)  Albert Camus

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