Skeptical Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 78 quotes )
It seems to me what is called for is an exquisite balance between two conflicting needs: the most skeptical scrutiny of all hypotheses that are served up to us and at the same time a great openness to new ideas...If you are only skeptical, then no new ideas make it through to you? On the other hand, if you are open to the point of gullibility and have not an ounce of skeptical sense in you, then you cannot distinguish the useful ideas from the worthless ones.
Uncertain as I was as I pushed forward, I felt right in my pushing, as if the effort itself meant something. That perhaps being amidst the undesecrated beauty of the wilderness meant I too could be undesecrated, regardless of the regrettable things I'd done to others or myself or the regrettable things that had been done to me. Of all the things I'd been skeptical about, I didn't feel skeptical about this: the wilderness had a clarity that included me.
Scully,' [Mulder] said, his voice quiet and serious, 'with the... unorthodox explanations I often find when studying the evidence, I know you're always skeptical-but every time you're at least fair to me. You respect my opinion, even when you don't agree with it.' He looked at his hands. 'I don't know if I've ever told you, but I really appreciate that.'She looked at him and smiled. 'You've told me, Mulder. Maybe not in words... but you've told me.
I am too inquisitive, too skeptical, too arrogant, to let myself be satisfied with an obvious and crass solution of things. God is such an obvious and crass solution; a solution which is a sheer indelicacy to us thinkers - at bottom He is really nothing but a coarse commandment against us: ye shall not think!
One Christmas at the very beginning of your twenties when your mother gives you a warm coat that she saved for months to buy, don’t look at her skeptically after she tells you she thought the coat was perfect for you. Don’t hold it up and say it’s longer than you like your coats to be and too puffy and possibly even too warm. Your mother will be dead by spring. That coat will be the last gift she gave you. You will regret the small thing you didn’t say for the rest of your life. Say thank you.
I prayed as we walked up the hill. I prayed and felt a measure of calm return. No visions. No angels singing. But a feeling of peace flowed over me. Ii took a deep breath, and something hard and tight and ugly in my heart let go. I took it as a good sign that I'd get to Jeff in time. But part of me was skeptical. God doesn't always save someone. Often He just helps you live through the loss. I guess I don't entirely trust God. I never doubt Him, but His motives are too beyond me. Through a glass darkly and all that. Just once I'd like to see through the damn glass clearly.
No justification of virtue will enable a man to be virtuous. Without the aid of trained emotions the intellect is powerless against the animal organism. I had sooner play cards against a man who was quite skeptical about ethics, but bred to believe that ‘a gentleman does not cheat’, than against an irreproachable moral philosopher who had been brought up among sharpers.
Moral certainty is always a sign of cultural inferiority. The more uncivilized the man, the surer he is that he knows precisely what is right and what is wrong. All human progress, even in morals, has been the work of men who have doubted the current moral values, not of men who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them. The truly civilized man is always skeptical and tolerant.
Scientists at first were skeptical that a kitten-type being could exist in the rare Martian atmosphere. As a test, two Earth kittens were put in a chamber that simulated the Martian air. The diary of this experiment is fascinating:6:00 A. M.: Kittens appear to sleep.7:02 A. M.: Kitten wakes, darts from one end of cage to another for no apparent reason.7:14 A. M.: Kitten runs up wall of cage, leaps onto other kitten for no apparent reason.7:22 A. M.: Kitten lies on back and punches other kitten for no apparent reason.7:30 A. M.: Kitten leaps, stops, darts left, abruptly stops, climbs wall, clings for two seconds, falls on head, darts right for no apparent reason.7:51 A. M.: Kitten parses first sentence of daily newspaper that is at bottom of chamber. With the exception of the parsing, all behavior is typical of Earth kitten behavior. The parsing activity, which was done with a small ball-point pen, was an anomaly.
We'll then," Enjd said. "What's the problem?"This," Mindy said. She opened her hand and held up a tiny green plastic toy solider thrusting a bayonet."I don't understand," Enid said."This morning, when I opened my door to get the newspaper, I found a whole troop of them arranged on the mat."And you think Paul Rice did it," Enid said skeptically."I don't think he did it. I know he did it," Mindy said. "He told me if I didn't approve his air conditioners, it was war...
The test of character posed by the gentleness of God's approach to us is especially dangerous for those formed by the ideas that dominate our modern world. We live in a culture that has, for centuries now, cultivated the idea that the skeptical person is always smarter than one who believes. You can be almost as stupid as a cabbage, as long as you doubt. The fashion of the age has identified mental sharpness with a pose, not with genuine intellectual method and character. Only a very hardy individualist or social rebel -- or one desperate for another life -- therefore stands any chance of discovering the substantiality of the spiritual life today. Today it is the skeptics who are the social conformists, though because of powerful intellectual propaganda they continue to enjoy thinking of themselves as wildly individualistic and unbearably bright.
At the age of twelve I had an attitude toward life that was to endure, that was to make me seek those areas of living that would keep it alive, that was to make me skeptical of everything while seeking everything, tolerant of all and yet critical. The spirit I had caught gave me insight into the suffering of others, made me gravitate toward those whose feelings were like my own, made me sit for hours while others told me of their lives, made me strangely tender and cruel, violent and peaceful.
I was a terrible believer in things, but I was also a terrible nonbeliever in things. I was as searching as I was skeptical. I didn't know where to put my faith, or if there was such a place, or even what the word faith meant, in all of it's complexity. Everything seemed to be possibly potent and possibly fake.
Those whose acquaintance with scientific research is derived chiefly from its practical results easily develop a completely false notion of the mentality of the men who, surrounded by a skeptical world, have shown the way to kindred spirits scattered wide through the world and through the centuries. Only one who has devoted his life to similar ends can have a vivid realization of what has inspired these men and given them the strength to remain true to their purpose in spite of countless failures. It is cosmic religious feeling that gives a man such strength. A contemporary has said, not unjustly, that in this materialistic age of ours the serious scientific workers are the only profoundly religious people.
...that kind of skeptical questioning, don't accept what authority tells you -attitude of science- is also nearly identical to the attitude of mind necessary for a functioning democracy. Science and democracy have very consonant values and approaches, and I don't think you can have one without the other.
She did not think it any coincidence that ideas denigrating literary authorship had taken center stage simultaneously with the emergence of formerly silent voices for whom the act of writing, and publishing, had the deepest and most delicious possible meaning, simultaneously with the emergence of an audience for whom the act of thinking and writing was an act of skeptical anger, sometimes a transitional act to violence.
History can come in handy. If you were born yesterday, with no knowledge of the past, you might easily accept whatever the government tells you. But knowing a bit of history--while it would not absolutely prove the government was lying in a given instance--might make you skeptical, lead you to ask questions, make it more likely that you would find out the truth.