Quotes about doubt

A collection of quotes on the topic of question.

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Rich Mullins photo

„The Bible is such an interesting book to me, because it says so many things that you can't really follow it all, I don't think, can you? So I guess that's why God invented highlighters, so we could find the parts we especially like and mark them up and just follow that, cause I think if you follow any of it, you're doing pretty good, except for the part - my favorite part - did you know the most reiterated command in the whole Bible is the command to sing? Now there must be a reason for that. And uh, that's why I sing. I don't really enjoy it, I think it's hard work. I like writing, but I sing because I figure if you find a command that easy to follow you should do it a whole lot. Cause the rest of them are kinda rough, except the first command, the one to be fruitful and multiply. Most people I know have trouble not keeping that command. That's the thing that cracks me up about you know, proof-texting too. Everyone's proof-texting this book about Christ and Christ Himself said, you know, you search the Scriptures to find life, and you're not gonna find it there. But no one underlined that part, not even my folks, because we live in a time when we have come to believe that there are answers… and I don't know why we believe that. And even more worrisome is I'm not even sure why we ever came to believe that questions are all that important.“

—  Rich Mullins American christian musician 1955 - 1997

Wheaton, Illinois http://www.kidbrothers.net/words/concert-transcripts/wheaton-illinois-sep1590-backup-copy.html (April 11, 1997)
In Concert

Protagoras photo

„There are two sides to every question.“

—  Protagoras pre-Socratic Greek philosopher -486 - -411 BC

As quoted in Lives of Eminent Philosophers, by Diogenes Laërtius, Book IX, Sec. 51

Arthur Conan Doyle photo
Georges Perec photo
Timothy Leary photo

„Think for yourself and question authority.“

—  Timothy Leary American psychologist 1920 - 1996

Timothy Leary's track on Sound Bites from the Counter Culture (1989)

Randy Pausch photo
Sally Brampton photo

„Once they have you asking the wrong questions. They don't have to worry about the answers.“

—  Thomas Pynchon, book Gravity's Rainbow

Variant: If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers.
Source: Gravity's Rainbow

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov photo
Joel Osteen photo

„Quit questioning God and start trusting Him!“

—  Joel Osteen American televangelist and author 1963

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Max Planck photo
Martin Heidegger photo

„Why are there beings at all, and why not rather nothing? That is the question.“

—  Martin Heidegger, book Introduction to Metaphysics

Warum ist überhaupt Seiendes und nicht vielmehr Nichts? Das ist die Frage.
What is Metaphysics? (1929), p. 110
Cf. Gottfried Leibniz, De rerum originatione radicali (1697)ː "cur aliquid potius extiterit quam nihil."
Source: Introduction to Metaphysics

Kwame Nkrumah photo

„I learnt to see philosophical systems in the context of the social milieu which produced them. I therefore learnt to look for social contention in philosophical systems. It is of course possible to see the history of philosophy in diverse ways, each way of seeing it being in fact an illumination of the type of problem dealt with in this branch of human thought. It is possible, for instance, to look upon philosophy as a series of abstract systems. When philosophy is so seen, even moral philosophers, with regrettable coyness, say that their preoccupation has nothing to do with life. They say that their concern is not to name moral principles or to improve anybody's character, but narrowly to elucidate the meaning of terms used in ethical discourse, and to determine the status of moral principles and ru1es, as regards the obligation which they impose upon us. When philosophy is regarded in the light of a series of abstract systems, it can be said to concern itself with two fundamental questions: first, the question 'what there is'; second, the question how 'what there is' may be explained. The answer to the first question has a number of aspects. It lays down a minimum number of general under which every item in the world can and must be brought. It does this without naming the items themselves, without furnishing us with an inventory, a roll-call of the items, the objects in the world. It specifies, not particu1ar objects, but the basic types of object. The answer further implies a certain reductionism; for in naming only a few basic types as exhausting all objects in the world, it brings object directly under one of the basic types.“

—  Kwame Nkrumah Pan Africanist and First Prime Minister and President of Ghana 1909 - 1972

Source: Consciencism (1964), Philosophy In Retrospect, pp. 5-6.

„The question is not whether humans will become extinct, but rather when they will. If the anti-natalist arguments are correct, it would be better, all things being equal, if this happened sooner rather than later for, the sooner it happens, the more suffering and misfortune will be avoided.“

—  David Benatar South African philosopher 1966

" Kids? Just say no: You don’t have to dislike children to see the harms done by having them. There is a moral case against procreation https://aeon.co/essays/having-children-is-not-life-affirming-its-immoral", Aeon (2017)

J. M. Barrie photo

„If you ask your mother whether she knew about Peter Pan when she was a little girl she will say, "Why, of course, I did, child," and if you ask her whether he rode on a goat in those days she will say, "What a foolish question to ask; certainly he did."“

—  J. M. Barrie, book The Little White Bird

Then if you ask your grandmother whether she knew about Peter Pan when she was a girl, she also says, "Why, of course, I did, child," but if you ask her whether he rode on a goat in those days, she says she never heard of his having a goat. Perhaps she has forgotten, just as she sometimes forgets your name and calls you Mildred, which is your mother's name. Still, she could hardly forget such an important thing as the goat. Therefore there was no goat when your grandmother was a little girl. This shows that, in telling the story of Peter Pan, to begin with the goat (as most people do) is as silly as to put on your jacket before your vest.
Of course, it also shows that Peter is ever so old, but he is really always the same age, so that does not matter in the least.
Source: The Little White Bird (1902), Ch. 14

Robert Oppenheimer photo
Karl Dönitz photo
Pink (singer) photo
Emil M. Cioran photo

„There are questions which, once approached, either isolate you or kill you outright.“

—  Emil M. Cioran Romanian philosopher and essayist 1911 - 1995

On the Heights of Despair (1934)

Emil M. Cioran photo

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“