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Quote Author Cited
Skepticism, like chastity, should not be relinquished too readily. George Santayana
Disinterested intellectual curiosity is the life blood of real civilization. G. M. Trevelyan
To acquire immunity to eloquence is of the utmost importance to the citizens of a democracy. Bertrand Russell
To have doubted one's own first principles is the mark of a civilized man. Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
The danger to society is not merely that it should believe wrong things, though that is great enough; but that it should become credulous, and lose the habit of testing things and inquiring into them; for then it must sink back into savagery. William Kingdon Clifford
The legitimacy of the West is contested by the very skepticism it holds so dear. Jochen Bittner
Authoritarian leadership and therefore a lack of democracy have led to a certain apathy among the people, to a sort of civil nihilism, a skepticism. Boris Yeltsin
Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because if there be one he must approve of the homage of reason more than that of blindfolded fear. Thomas Jefferson
It takes a full quarter for economic improvement to effect the electorate as they are skeptical. Robert Teeter
It is important that students bring a certain …, irreverence to their studies; they are not here to worship what is known, but to question it. Jacob Bronowski
There was never an age in which useless knowledge was more important than in our own. Cyril Joad
He who knows nothing doubts nothing. Anonymous
We read occasionally in conservative literature alternations of sentences, the first appeal to the coarsest prejudice—the next a subtle hint to a craving and insatiable skepticism. Walter Bagehot
Richard Nixon will go down in history as a true folk hero, who struck a vital blow to the whole diseased concept of the revered image and gave the American virtue of irreverence and skepticism back to the people. William S. Burroughs
It is such an important thing to shake the public's faith in justice so that we take greater concern with justice. Without skepticism, we tend to believe that justice is always done and that you can trust the legal system. Alan Dershowitz
Faith is Doubt. Emily Dickinson
Skepticism is the first step towards truth. Denis Diderot
The liberation of the human mind has never been furthered by dunderheads; it has been furthered by gay fellows who heaved dead cats into sanctuaries and then went roistering down the highways of the world, proving to all men that doubt, after all, was safe H. L. Mencken
Healthy skepticism is necessary to the continuation of our democracy. When it turns to paranoia, it becomes destructive. American history has alternated between the two .... A nation where cynicism toward government prevails cannot function effectively. Abner Mikva
Somehow liberals have been unable to acquire from birth what conservatives seem to be endowed with at birth: namely, a healthy skepticism of the powers of government to do good. Daniel P. Moynihan
If the opportunity offers, the Cynic [philosopher] must speak up on the public platform …. You must be able to explain to individuals as well as to a crowd of people the battle they're embroiled in Epictetus
True science teaches, above all, to doubt Miguel de Unamuno
Faith is a poison that paralyzes the mind. In all the days of your life, seek knowledge! Mark Mirabello
Do not be idolatrous about or bound to any doctrine, theory, or ideology, even Buddhist ones. All systems of thought are guiding means; they are not absolute truth. Thich Nhat Hanh
One reason you tend to doubt conspiracy theories when you've worked in government is because you know government is not nearly competent enough to carry off elaborate theories Philip Zelikow
Beliefs are what divide people. Doubt unites them. Peter Ustinov
When a man is required to believe certain doctrines, he is not free to think. A creed is to keep the mind from inquiry. Questions lead to doubt, and doubt is the death of faith. Lemuel K. Washburn
The most patriotic and American thing you can do is to distrust your government Penn Jillette
He who knows nothing, doubts nothing Spanish Proverb
Constant and frequent questioning is the first key to wisdom … For through doubting we are led to inquire, and by inquiry we perceive the truth. Peter Abelard
The temptation to inculcate rather than to educate is understandably strong among long frustrated populations. In many such places, public emotions fluctuate between bitter impatience and indifferent skepticism - and neither impatience nor indifference are favorable atmospheres for encouraging reasoned thought. Aga Khan IV
We ought to remain skeptical of our own institutions. Barry McCaffrey
Be skeptical, question authority, be a rebel. Do not conform and don’t be ordinary. Remember, all human progress is the result of far-sighted people challenging orthodoxy, tradition and rich, powerful, vested interests. Peter Gary Tatchell
The habit of an opinion often leads to the complete conviction of its truth, it hides the weaker parts of it, and makes us incapable of accepting the proofs against it. Jons Jacob Berzelius
We need a world where the values of science are celebrated: free inquiry, free speech and a healthy skepticism, all coupled with a sense of wonder, a respect for truth and an ability to reason. Ismail Serageldin
A healthy skepticism, regularly exercised… Thomas J. Curry
Racism is not merely a simplistic hatred. It is, more often broad sympathy toward some and broader skepticism toward others. Black America ever lives under that skeptical eye. Ta-Nehisi Coates
I accept that climate change is a challenge, I accept the broad theory about global warming. I am skeptical about a lot of the more gloomy predictions. John Howard
To accept anything on trust, to preclude critical application and development, is a grievous sin; Vladimir Lenin; Nikolai
The concept of military necessity is seductively broad, and has a dangerous plasticity. Because they invariably have the visage of overriding importance, there is always a temptation to invoke security "necessities" to justify an encroachment upon civil liberties. For that reason, the military-security argument must be approached with a healthy skepticism. William J. Brennan, Jr.
Skepticism about authority turns into corrosive cynicism. David Brooks
Skepticism is the lifeblood of scientific progress. By constantly asking whether there is a different answer, a better approach or an alternative view, scientists drive improvements and innovations that ultimately benefit everyone. It is not “antiscience” to be skeptical—it’s definitively pro-science. Susan Desmond-Hellmann
But whereas skepticism and uncertainty have always been the heart and soul of science, confidence and certainty are the coin of the realm in much of today’s public discourse. Unquestioning confidence is deeply troubling for the scientific community because it is not the currency we trade in, and it has led people in America and around the world to question scientific enterprise itself. We should all be troubled when science is treated as if it were an ideology rather than a discipline. Susan Desmond-Hellmann
New technologies are often met with skepticism. But if the world is to continue the remarkable progress of the past few decades, it is vital that scientists, subject to safety and ethics guidelines, be encouraged to continue taking advantage of such promising tools as CRISPR. Bill Gates