When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.
It is odd, when you have a secret belief of your own which you do not wish to acknowledge, the voicing of it by someone else will rouse you to a fury of denial. I burst immediately into indignant speech.
You can knock down a genuine belief, if you load up with enough facts that contradict it; but a belief that’s built on nothing except who the person wants to be, nothing can crumble that.
We ought to believe in marriage as we believe in the immortality of the soul.[Il faut croire au mariage comme à l’immortalité de l’âme.]
To him who feels himself preordained to contemplation and not to belief, all believers are too noisy and obtrusive; he guards against them.[Wer sich zum Schauen und nicht zum Glauben vorherbestimmt fühlt, dem sind alle Gläubigen zu lärmend und zudringlich: er erwehrt sich ihrer.]
When a belief vanishes, there survives it—more and more vigorously so as to cloak the absence of the power, now lost to us, of imparting reality to new things—a fetishistic attachment to the old things which it did once animate, as if it was in them and not in ourselves that the divine spark resided, and as if our present incredulity had a contingent cause—the death of the gods.[Quand disparaît une croyance, il lui survit — et de plus en plus vivace pour masquer le manque de la puissance que nous avons perdue de donner de la réalité à des choses nouvelles — un attachement fétichiste aux anciennes qu’elle avait animées, comme si c’était en elles et non en nous que le divin résidait et si notre incrédulité actuelle avait une cause contingente, la mort des Dieux.]
What we humans think we know is nothing compared to what we need to believe to numb the fear and pain.
What a man believes may be ascertained, not from his creed, but from the assumptions on which he habitually acts.
We may define “faith” as a firm belief in something for which there is no evidence. Where there is evidence, no one speaks of “faith”. We do not speak of faith that two and two are four or that the earth is round. We only speak of faith when we wish to substitute emotion for evidence. The substitution of emotion for evidence is apt to lead to strife, since different groups substitute different emotions.