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Our Non-Religious Beliefs Page 39 of  131

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  • Our misunderstandings of what others say, and their misunderstandings of what we say, are probably both in excess of the understandings.

  • Were it not for our insecurities about what we are and what we believe, we’d have no interest in whether others share our opinions or not.

  • Though we may possess many insights we lack any final answers.

  • We build our bodies one pound at a time with the foods that we eat; and we build our character one belief at a time by the concepts that we accept. For this reason we need to be at least as discerning of what concepts we accept as to what foods that we eat, and we should accept neither merely because they are presented to us.

  • Security, in the absolute sense, is no more real than Santa Claus, in the absolute sense.

  • Some people’s deepest beliefs have a chameleon-like character in that they appear the same as whatever group that they happen to be in.

  • Many seem to think that life operates like a vending machine; in that if you insert a good deed at the top that benefits will drop out at the bottom.

  • For some strange reason, an allegation will more likely be assumed to be fact when it is reported as coming from an unknown source than if it comes from a known source.

  • There are many things that if we believe we have them, we will soon have what we believe: freewill, the value of living, and happiness are examples.

  • Awareness of our ignorance tends to nurture our minds while our certainties tend to be toxic.

  • Whenever we believe that we have discovered something that is perfect, we have only found a case where mankind has defined what perfection is.

  • In the timeless marathon run between facts and beliefs, facts always win.

  • When we hear others complain about the difficulty of life, they are really talking about how life turned out compared to their expectations. It is their expectations that should be blamed and not life, as most of the world’s peoples would gladly accept the difficulties of an average American in exchange for their own.

  • There are far more falsehoods that come from ignorance than come from deceit.

  • Whether everything happens for the best is unknowable since we can’t have a control study to find out; but whether it is or isn’t, it’s a heck of a good assumption to make for adapting to new circumstances.

  • We accept a delusion whenever we believe that we’ve understood anything because all that we’ve done is stop asking “Why?”

  • Some seem to have a penchant for minimizing their reasoning in order to maximize their intolerances.

  • We see evidence of the Sun all about us, but seldom do we stare at it without the risk of blindness. So it must have been long ago with many truths of which we are blinded of yet today, even though we see evidence of their existence daily.

  • We lead young people into a bottomless quagmire when we knowingly teach them beliefs that will evolve into the delusions that are certain to fail them later in life. It is easy for children to grasp and deal with reality if they are not “protected” from it.

  • The significance of our discontent isn’t known at the moment of discontent but by its lasting impression years later. Most will become nonexistent in memory.

  • Everything that will happen in the future is theoretically impossible; because it all depends on the theory.

  • Many like to claim that they’re not responsible for what they believe, and if we grant them that, how can they then be considered not responsible for what they continue to believe?

  • It is a source of continual amazement how many have opinions that they hold as absolute fact when there is so much verifiable evidence that there is no basis for believing, and much evidence to believe the opposite.

  • The average individual would much rather believe his own deduction than the accurate observations of others.

  • The moral precepts of right and wrong could be easily swept away should there be long-term successes in their violation. Fortunately these moral principles have largely coincided with the way that things evolved, but the danger to them still remains, always lurking in our future.

  • What is real isn’t dependent on the belief of even one person; for gravity, like all other things that are real, will always evoke disharmony on those that believe in anything that opposes that which is.

  • Science is like a great slaughterhouse for commonly held beliefs.

  • Those that abide by their own council will always seem threatening to those that abide only by the council of the many.

  • To coexist happily with others, it seems vital that we possess the self-delusion that we understand them.

  • The more superficial our understandings are of anything, the easier it is to become certain. The more in depth our understandings are, the more certain that we are, that we shouldn’t be certain.

  • Those that want to receive perfectly equal treatment can do so by living among lions but not among men.

  • Some are so imbued with the principle of offering the greatest good for the greatest number that they often ignore the terrible injury that they bring to the few.

  • Statistics that don’t reinforce existing beliefs almost always requires a new study.

  • A new idea that doesn’t evoke immediate opposition is unworthy of the name “new”.

  • Many beliefs that are held as facts are only hearsay that fits comfortably with biases.

  • The most obscure fact will outlive the most popular falsehood.

  • Doubt is the tool that must always be kept razor sharp if one is ever going to discover a new path that leads to worthwhile discovery. Lack of doubt is like driving without ever leaving our Super Highway System.

  • There is no wisdom like homemade wisdom, especially the kind prepared for us when we were young.


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