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148. 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. (God & Opinion & Superstition) Francis Bacon, Of Superstition
90,315. There is a superstition in avoiding superstition. ibid.
90,319. The general root of superstition : namely, that men observe when things hit, and not when they miss; and commit to memory the one, and forget and pass over the other. Francis Bacon
59,012. Atheism leaves a man to sense, to philosophy, to natural piety, to laws, to reputation; all which may be guides to an outward moral virtue, though religion were not; but superstition dismounts all these, and erecteth an absolute monarchy in the minds of men. Therefore atheism did never perturb states; for it makes men wary of themselves, as looking no further: and we see the times inclined to atheism (as the time of Augustus Cæsar) were civil times. But superstition hath been the confusion of many states, and bringeth in a new primum mobile, that ravisheth all the spheres of government. The master of superstition is the people; and in all superstition wise men follow fools; and arguments are fitted to practice, in a reversed order. (Atheism & Superstition) Francis Bacon
432. To become a popular religion, it is only necessary for a superstition to enslave a philosophy. (Religion & Superstition & Philosophy) William Ralph Inge
495. I have recently been examining all the known superstitions of the world, and do not find in our particular superstition [Christianity] one redeeming feature. They are all alike, founded upon fables and mythologies. (Religion & Superstition & Christianity) Thomas Jefferson
593. This stuff is not true and it’s not beautiful and it’s not symmetrical. It is superstition. It is the way that the mind searches for form, and will find it if it’s looking for it. And looks for symbols, and looks for miracles, and revelations where they are not really there. And is terribly easily satisfied by tiny bits of magic. (Religion & Superstition) Christopher Hitchens, Collision: Christopher Hitchens v Douglas Wilson
808. It is the customary fate of new truths to begin as heresies and to end as superstitious. (Truth & Superstition) Thomas Henry Huxley, Science and Culture and Other Essays 1881
2,738. Growing up in the universe partly means evolving from simple to complicated, inefficient to efficient, brainless to brainy. But it also means growing out of parochial and superstitious views of the universe. (Universe & Superstition) Dr Richard Dawkins, lecture 1: Waking Up in the Universe 1991
2,492. Science frees us from superstition and dogma, and enables us to base our knowledge on evidence. (Science & Superstition & Dogma & Knowledge & Evidence) Richard Dawkins, Enemies of Reason: Slaves to Superstition
2,264. Reason and a respect for evidence are the source for our progress. Our safeguard against fundamentalists. And those who profit from obscuring the truth. We live in dangerous times when superstition is gaining ground, and rational science is under attack. (Reason & Superstition & Evidence & Science & Irrational) ibid.
2,265. Today a war is being fought against reason. Science is treated with suspicion, perhaps born of fear, and medical advance is challenged by the march of irrational belief. (Reason & Science & Superstition & Irrational) ibid.
90,311. Are these superstitious behaviours a by-product of our evolution? ibid.
90,312. We constantly create false positives – we touch wood for luck; see faces in toasted cheese; fortunes in tea-leaves. These provide a comforting illusion of meaning. This is the human condition. We disparately want to feel there’s an organising force at work in our bewilderingly complex world. ibid.
2,267. Today a war is being fought against Reason. Science is treated with suspicion perhaps borne of fear. And medical advance is challenged by the march of irrational belief. (Reason & Alternative Medicine & Science & Superstition & Evidence & Irrational) Professor Richard Dawkins: Enemies of Reason: The Irrational Health Service
90,313. I want to find out why such superstitious nonsense is mounting a growing challenge to scientific medicine. ibid.
90,314. The indulgence of superstitious alternative remedies implicitly casts doubt on scientific advance, and undermines confidence in real medical progress. Yet as we’ve seen, the attack on medicine is just one small part of the creeping rise of irrational superstition. ibid.
2,268. A third of us now spend over £1.6 billion a year on superstitious alternative remedies which as far as the evidence can show don’t work. If any remedy is tested under controlled scientific conditions and proved to be effective it will cease to be alternative and will simply become medicine. So-called alternative medicine either hasn’t been tested or it has failed its tests. And some alternatives are funded by us taxpayers. (Reason & Alternative Medicine & Medicine & Remedy & Superstition & Evidence & Irrational) ibid.
2,270. It’s little wonder that alternative health fairs like this are flourishing across the country. People may come here with real health problems, but what do they get? Remedies that appear to have no basis in science or evidence ... Remember this is a multi-billion pound industry. Yet 80% of alternative remedies have never subjected themselves to controlled scientific trials. (Reason & Alternative Medicine & Medicine & Remedy & Superstition & Science & Irrational) ibid.
2,271. The indulgence of superstitious alternative remedies implicitly casts doubt on scientific advance, and undermines confidence in real medical progress. Yet as we’ve seen, the attack on medicine is just one small part of the creeping rise of irrational superstition. (Reason & Alternative Medicine & Medicine & Remedy & Superstition & Science & Irrational) ibid.
2,272. Reason has liberated us from superstition and given us centuries of progress. We abandon it at our peril. (Reason & Superstition) ibid.
2,646. Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition. (Science & Enthusiasm & Superstition) Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations: An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations
2,698. Every aspect of Nature reveals a deep mystery and touches our sense of wonder and awe. Those afraid of the universe as it really is, those who pretend to nonexistent knowledge and envision a Cosmos centered on human beings will prefer the fleeting comforts of superstition. They avoid rather than confront the world. But those with the courage to explore the weave and structure of the Cosmos, even where it differs profoundly from their wishes and prejudices, will penetrate its deepest mysteries. (Universe & Nature & Cosmology & Superstition & Mystery) Carl Sagan
4,581. Men would never be superstitious, if they could govern all their circumstances by set rules, or if they were always favoured by fortune: but being frequently driven into straits where rules are useless, and being often kept fluctuating pitiably between hope and fear by the uncertainty of fortune's greedily coveted favours, they are consequently, for the most part, very prone to credulity. (Man & Superstition & Fortune & Belief & Religion) Baruch Spinoza
9,079. Opposing one species of superstition to another set them a quarrelling; while we ourselves, during their fury and contention, happily make our escape into the calm, though obscure, regions of philosophy. (Philosophy & Superstition) David Hume
9,653. Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom. (Fear & Superstition & Wisdom & Cruelty) Bertrand Russell, Unpopular Essays