Quotes about doubt

A collection of quotes on the topic of question.

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Maryam Mirzakhani photo

„It's not only the question, but the way you try to solve it.“

—  Maryam Mirzakhani Iranian mathematician 1977 - 2017

Interview with Research Fellow Maryam Mirzakhani | january 2008

Hermann Göring photo
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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

Thomas Sowell photo

„The most basic question is not what is best, but who shall decide what is best.“

—  Thomas Sowell American economist, social theorist, political philosopher and author 1930

Stephen King photo

„And the most terrifying question of all may be just how much horror the human mind can stand and still maintain a wakeful, staring, unrelenting sanity.“

—  Stephen King, Pet Sematary

Source: Pet Sematary (1983)
Context: It's probably wrong to believe there can be any limit to the horror which the human mind can experience. On the contrary, it seems that some exponential effect begins to obtain as deeper and deeper darkness falls - as little as one may like to support the idea that when the nightmare grows black enough, horror spawns horror, one coincidental evil begets other, often more deliberate evils, until finally blackness seems to cover everything. And the most terrifying question of all may be just how much horror the human mind can stand and still maintain a wakeful, staring, unrelenting sanity. That such events have their own Rube Goldberg absurdity goes almost without saying. At some point, it all starts to become rather funny. That may be the point at which sanity begins either to save itself or to buckle and break down; that point at which one's sense of humor begins to reassert itself.

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Mikhail Bakunin photo

„I allow neither the bootmaker nor the architect nor the savant to impose his authority upon me. I listen to them freely and with all the respect merited by their intelligence, their character, their knowledge, reserving always my incontestable right of criticism and censure. I do not content myself with consulting authority in any special branch; I consult several; I compare their opinions, and choose that which seems to me the soundest. But I recognize no infallible authority, even in special questions; consequently, whatever respect I may have for the honesty and the sincerity of such or such an individual, I have no absolute faith in any person. Such a faith would be fatal to my reason, to my liberty, and even to the success of my undertakings; it would immediately transform me into a stupid slave, an instrument of the will and interests of others.“

—  Mikhail Bakunin, book God and the State

God and the State (1871; publ. 1882)
Context: Does it follow that I reject all authority? Far from me such a thought. In the matter of boots, I refer to the authority of the bootmaker; concerning houses, canals, or railroads, I consult that of the architect or engineer. For such or such special knowledge I apply to such or such a savant. But I allow neither the bootmaker nor the architect nor the savant to impose his authority upon me. I listen to them freely and with all the respect merited by their intelligence, their character, their knowledge, reserving always my incontestable right of criticism and censure. I do not content myself with consulting authority in any special branch; I consult several; I compare their opinions, and choose that which seems to me the soundest. But I recognize no infallible authority, even in special questions; consequently, whatever respect I may have for the honesty and the sincerity of such or such an individual, I have no absolute faith in any person. Such a faith would be fatal to my reason, to my liberty, and even to the success of my undertakings; it would immediately transform me into a stupid slave, an instrument of the will and interests of others.

Bjarne Stroustrup photo
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Malala Yousafzai photo
Hannah Arendt photo
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Jacque Fresco photo
Jacque Fresco photo

„You can play a role in the shaping of tomorrow’s world by asking yourself questions like, “What kind of world do I want to live in?” and “What does democracy mean to me?”“

—  Jacque Fresco American futurist and self-described social engineer 1916 - 2017

There are many other options of organization for the future than those typically discussed today... In order to accomplish this task one must be free of bias and nationalism, and reflect those qualities in the design of policies. How would you approach that? This is a difficult project requiring input from many disciplines.
Source: Designing the Future (2007), p. 6-7

Hermann Hesse photo

„I do not consider myself less ignorant than most people. I have been and still am a seeker, but I have ceased to question stars and books; I have begun to listen to the teachings my blood whispers to me.“

—  Hermann Hesse, book Demian

Source: Demian (1919), p. 9 Prologue
Context: I do not consider myself less ignorant than most people. I have been and still am a seeker, but I have ceased to question stars and books; I have begun to listen to the teachings my blood whispers to me. My story is not a pleasant one; it is neither sweet nor harmonious, as invented stories are; it has the taste of nonsense and chaos, of madness and dreams — like the lives of all men who stop deceiving themselves.
Each man's life represents the road toward himself, and attempt at such a road, the intimation of a path. No man has ever been entirely and completely himself. Yet each one strives to become that — one in an awkward, the other in a more intelligent way, each as best he can.

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