Quotes about Beliefs and What It Means to Believe

Most popular beliefs quotes

To recognize, accept, and live with all ways of thinking and being does not imply the renunciation of one's own beliefs.

diversity tolerance

Believe nothing merely because you have been told it. Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher. But whatsoever, after due examination and analysis, you find to be kind, conducive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of all beings — that doctrine believe and cling to, and take it as your guide.


It is not belief to say God exists and then continue sinning and hoarding your wealth while innocent people die of starvation. When belief does not control your most important decisions, it is not belief in the underlying reality, it is belief in the usefulness of believing.


Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it - even if I have said it - unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.

common sense

Any year that passes in which you don't destroy one of your best loved ideas is a wasted year.

change ideas

Man is what he believes.
I do not believe in Belief.
They conquer who believe they can.
Don't believe everything you think.


Belief is the death of intelligence.


Every conviction was a whim at birth.


If God be for us, who can be against us?
— Romans 8:31


A belief is not true because it is useful.
Men freely believe that which they desire.
The trouble is I don't believe my unbelief.
Unless you believe, you will not understand.
I'd rather be strongly wrong than weakly right.
The only completely consistent people are dead.
Dogma is the sacrifice of wisdom to consistency.


Surely the Lord is in this place; I knew it not.
— Genesis 28:16


Old beliefs die hard even when demonstrably false.
Mix a conviction with a man and something happens.


Nothing is so firmly believed as what we least know.
I don't believe anything, but I have many suspicions.


Nothing is so firmly believed as what is least known.
We have to believe in free-will. We've got no choice.
Man is made by his beliefs. As he believes, so he is.
— Bhagavad Gita

human nature

I would believe only in a God that knows how to Dance.


A man must not swallow more beliefs than he can digest.
Convictions are more dangerous foes of truth than lies.
Initiates and guides action—
Or it does nothing.
Preconceived notions are the locks on the door to wisdom.

ignorance wisdom

Face what you think you believe and you will be surprised.

take for gospel
things that are
Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.


You're not free
until you've been made captive by
supreme belief.
We are born believing. A man bears beliefs, as a tree bears apples.
Belief is the thermostat that regulates what we accomplish in life.
Faith is about doing. You are how you act, not just how you believe.


Belief like any other moving body follows the path of least resistance.
All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.

faith God

Belief is as necessary to the soul as pleasures are necessary to the body.
Belief, in my own case anyway, is the engine that makes perception operate.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist.
Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.
Unbelief is a terrible thing. And so is the hurt we cause others unknowingly.
This is why it is so difficult to believe: because it is so difficult to obey.
Whether you are really right or not doesn't matter; it's the belief that counts.
When I transfer my knowledge, I teach. When I transfer my beliefs, I indoctrinate.
Human psychology has a near-universal tendency to let belief be colored by desire.
Belief consists in accepting the affirmations of the soul; unbelief, in denying them.


A belief which does not spring from a conviction in the emotions is no belief at all.


A belief is a lever that, once pulled, moves almost everything else in a person's life.

leverage vision

One person with a belief is a social power equal to ninety-nine who have only interests.
A belief is not merely an idea the mind possesses; it is an idea that possesses the mind.
We are inclined to believe those whom we do not know because they have never deceived us.
Faith is not a belief. Faith is what is left when your beliefs have all been blown to hell.


Beware of the community in which blasphemy does not exist: underneath, atheism runs rampant.


A red-hot belief in eternal glory is probably the best antidote to human panic that there is.

afterlife immortality

Our firmest convictions are apt to be the most suspect; they mark our limitations and our bounds.
In order to be free I must not believe anything. Then all things can be freely commanded in the mind.


It is always better to have no ideas than false ones; to believe nothing than to believe what is wrong.
Another thing I think should be avoided is extremely intense ideology because it cabbages up one's mind.

flexible thinking open-mindedness

The wish to believe, even against evidence, fuels all the pseudo-sciences from astrology to creationism.
Do not cling to anything, to any idea; because clinging is the bondage, even to the idea of enlightenment.


There is no belief, however foolish, that will not gather its faithful adherents who will defend it to the death.


The moment a person forms a theory, his imagination sees, in every object, only the traits which favor that theory.
There's nothing that can help you understand your beliefs more than trying to explain them to an inquisitive child.

children communication

I have no faith in the sense of comforting beliefs which persuade me that all my troubles are blessings in disguise.
My own education operated by a succession of eye-openers each involving the repudiation of some previously held belief.


"What I believe" is a process rather than a finality. Finalities are for gods and governments, not for the human intellect.

flexible thinking

To believe in something not yet proved and to underwrite it with our lives: it is the only way we can leave the future open.
Belief is a curious reaction to the present at hand. It isn't to be believed, it's to be dealt with—experienced and modeled.
A set of beliefs is at once a way of seeing the world more clearly while, at the same time, foreclosing an alternative vision.
This is how humans are: We question all our beliefs, except for the ones we really believe, and those we never think to question.
To doubt everything or to believe everything are two equally convenient solutions; both dispense with the necessity of reflection.


Beliefs are dangerous. Beliefs allow the mind to stop functioning. A non-functioning mind is clinically dead. Believe in nothing...
No theory, no ready-made system, no book that has ever been written will save the world, I cleave to no system, I am a true seeker.
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one.

atheist religion

Conversion for me was not a Damascus Road experience. I slowly moved into an intellectual acceptance of what my intuition had always known.
Once you touch the biographies of human beings, the notion that political beliefs are logically determined collapses like a pricked balloon.


Where is the world whose people don't prefer a comfortable, warm, and well-worn belief, however illogical, to the chilly winds of uncertainty?


I once said to the mushroom: Why me? Why are you telling me all this stuff? And it without hesitation said 'because you don't believe anything.'
To change the way a person responds to life, change what a person believes about life. The most important thing about you is your belief system.
To have a reason to get up in the morning, it is necessary to possess a guiding principle.  A belief of some kind.  A bumper sticker, if you will.
There seems to be a terrible misunderstanding on the part of a great many people to the effect that when you cease to believe you may cease to behave.


I would not say I believe. I know. I have had the experience of being gripped by something that is stronger than myself, something that people call God.
We are so constituted that we believe the most incredible things; and, once they are engraved upon the memory, woe to him who would endeavor to erase them.
We're all entitled to our opinions and religious beliefs, but we are not entitled to make shit up and then use the shit we made up to oppress other people.

atheism religion

Unbelief: attempting to help others without calling on Jesus. Belief: pounding on God's door at midnight. Doing whatever it takes to present people to Jesus.


You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
We can call the attempt to refute theism by displaying the continuity of the belief in God with primitive delusion the method of Anthropological intimidation.
Challenge a person's beliefs, and you challenge his dignity, standing, and power. And when those beliefs are based on nothing but faith, they are chronically fragile.


The longer I live the more I see that I am never wrong about anything, and that all the pains that I have so humbly taken to verify my notions have only wasted my time.
There's a difference between opinion and conviction. My opinion is something that is true for me personally; my conviction is something that is true for everybody—in my opinion.


There is a phase in life when you figure out how to unlearn things, discarding beliefs with the same secret pleasure you get peeling scabs, picking your nose or squeezing blisters.
The true believer is in a high degree protected against the danger of certain neurotic afflictions; by accepting the universal neurosis he is spared the task of forming a personal neurosis.


All my life I'd been told what to believe about politics, coloreds, being a girl. But with Constantine's thumb pressed in my hand, I realized I actually had a choice in what I could believe.
They clung to their rock-bottom opinions. They were so strong in their beliefs that there came a time when it hardly mattered what exactly those beliefs were; they all fused into a single stubbornness.
The less depth a belief system has, the greater the fervency with which its adherents embrace it. The most vociferous, the most fanatical are those whose cobbled faith is founded on the shakiest grounds.
People kill and are killed because they cling too tightly to their own beliefs and ideologies. When we believe that ours is the only faith that contains the truth, violence and suffering will surely be the result.


Why abandon a belief merely because it ceases to be true. Cling to it long enough, and it will turn true again, for so it goes. Most of the change we think we see in life is due to truths being in and out of favor.


We all are learning, modifying, or destroying ideas all the time. Rapid destruction of your ideas when the time is right is one of the most valuable qualities you can acquire. You must force yourself to consider arguments on the other side.

change ideas

No matter what the belief, if it had modestly said, "This is our best thought, go on, think farther!" then we could have smoothly outgrown our early errors and long since have developed a religion such as would have kept pace with an advancing world.
My technique, which I recommend to you, is don't believe anything. If you believe in something, you are automatically precluded from believing its opposite. Therefore you have given up a portion of your freedom, and freedom is the dearest thing we've got.


'I can't believe that!' said Alice. 'Can't you?' the Queen said in a pitying tone. 'Try again: draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.' Alice laughed. 'There's no use trying,' she said 'one can't believe impossible things.' 'I daresay you haven't had much practice,' said the Queen.  'When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.'
Sin is unbelief, an insult to the truthfulness of God. It is unbelief that shuts the door to Heaven and opens the door to Hell. It is unbelief that rejects the Word of God and refuses Christ as Savior. It is unbelief that causes people to turn a deaf ear to the Gospel and to reject the miracles of Christ. And it is unbelief that causes us to turn a blind eye to our own sin: "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us" (1 John 1:8)

atheism Christianity religious

Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.
Paradigms power perception and perceptions power emotions. Most emotions are responses to perception—what you think is true about a given situation. If your perception is false, then your emotional response to it will be false too. So check your perceptions, and beyond that check the truthfulness of your paradigms—what you believe. Just because you believe something firmly doesn't make it true. Be willing to reexamine what you believe. The more you live in the truth, the more your emotions will help you see clearly. But even then, you don't want to trust them more than me.