Credulity is a state of willingness to believe in one or many people or things in the absence of reasonable proof or knowledge. Credulity is not simply belief in something that may be false. The subject of the belief may even be correct, but a credulous person will believe it without good evidence.
- Quotes are arranged alphabetically by author
A - F
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- Mathematical Knowledge adds a manly Vigour to the Mind, frees it from Prejudice, Credulity, and Superstition.
- Interior design is a travesty of the architectural process and a frightening condemnation of the credulity, helplessness and gullibility of the most formidable consumers - the rich.
- Stephen Bayley, in Design your dream home:Interior design ideas for house and home makeovers, Infinite Ideas, 12 December 2011, p. 266
- What is history, after all, but the record of the periodical crusades for or against some bogey which believing men have evolved out of their credulity and fear?
- Ernest Boyd in: Raymond Woodbury Pence Essays of Today, Macmillan, 1935, p. 94
- The harm which is done by credulity in a man is not confined to the fostering of a credulous character in others, and consequent support of false beliefs.
- William Kingdon Clifford in: Joel Feinberg, Russ Shafer-Landau Reason and Responsibility: Readings in Some Basic Problems of Philosophy, Cloth: Readings in Some Basic Problems of Philosophy, Cengage Learning, 2008, p. 105
- Tell people there's an invisible man in the sky who created the universe, and the vast majority will believe you. Tell them the paint is wet, and they have to touch it to be sure.
- The most imaginative people are the most credulous, for them everything is possible.
- Alexander Chase in Fayek S. Hourani: Daily Bread for Your Mind and Soul: A Handbook of Transcultural Proverb and Sayings, Xlibris Corporation, 1 October 2012, p. 113
- ...if I let myself believe anything on insufficient evidence, there may be no great harm done by the mere belief; it may be true after all, or I may never have occasion to exhibit it in outward acts. But I cannot help doing this great wrong towards Man, that I make myself credulous. The danger to society is not merely that it should believe wrong things, though that is great enough; but that it should become credulous, and lose the habit of testing things and inquiring into them; for then it must sink back into savagery.
- William Kingdon Clifford in: Kelly James Clark Readings in the Philosophy of Religion, second edition, Broadview Press, 14-Feb-2008, p. 194
- The race of man, while sheep in credulity, are wolves for conformity.
- . . . the mysteries, on belief in which theology would hang the destinies of mankind, are cunningly devised fables whose origin and growth are traceable to the age of Ignorance, the mother of credulity.
- Edward Clodd in: The Wit and Blasphemy of Atheists: 500 Greatest Quips and Quotes from Freethinkers, Non-Believers and the Happily Damned, Ulysses Press, 1 March 2011, p. 27
- All ambitions are lawful except those that climb upward on the miseries or credulities of mankind.
- When people are bewildered they tend to become credulous.
- Calvin Coolidge in: Dennis R. Cooley Technology, Transgenics and a Practical Moral Code, Springer Science & Business Media, 28 September 2009, p. 47
- There are new words now that excuse everybody. Give me the good old days of heroes and villains, the people you can bravo or hiss. There was a truth to them that all the slick credulity of today cannot touch.
- Bette Davis in: Judith A. Schwartz, Richard B. Schwartz The Wounds that Heal: Heroism and Human Development. University Press of America, 23 September 2010, p. 55
- The characteristic of the present age is craving credulity.
- Benjamin Disraeli in: Joseph Twadell Shipley The Origins of English Words: A Discursive Dictionary of Indo-European Roots, JHU Press, 17-Dec-2009, p. 193
G - L
- ...it may be a very happy state and a little credulity helps one on through life very smoothly.- Better than always doubting and doubting, and seeing difficulties and disagreeables in everything.
- Elizabeth Gaskell in: Elizabeth Gaskell, Louisa May Alcott Stop What You’re Doing and Read…To Warm You in Cold Weather: Little Women And Good Wives & The Cranford Chronicles, Random House, 29 February 2012, p. 84
- The credulity of the church is decreasing, and the most marvelous miracles are not either 'explained,' or allowed to take refuge behind the mistakes of the translators, or hide in the drapery of allegory.
- The natural cause of the human mind is certainly from credulity to skepticism.
- Thomas Jefferson in: Festus Wale Ogunbitan Symposium On Epic Of Thomas Jefferson:Embargo Act Of 1807 & The Quest For Limited Government Over Big Government, Xlibris Corporation, 11 April 2014, p. 1498
- Credulity is the common failing of inexperienced virtue; and he who is spontaneously suspicious may justly be charged with radical corruption.
- Among the calamities of war may be jointly numbered the diminution of the love of truth, by the falsehoods which interest dictates and credulity encourages.
- There are indeed, in the present corruption of mankind, many incitements to forsake truth: the need of palliating our own faults and the convenience of imposing on the ignorance or credulity of others so frequently occur; so many immediate evils are to be avoided, and so many present gratifications obtained, by craft and delusion that very few of those who are much entangled in life have spirit and constancy sufficient to support in the steady practice of open veracity.
- Credulity is the man's weakness, but the child's strength.
M - R
- A little doubt is better than total credulity.
- I will not avoid doing what I think is right, though it should draw on me the whole artillery that falsehood and malice can invent, or the credulity a deluded population can swallow.
- Lord Mansfield in: Joseph Story The miscellaneous writings of Joseph Story ..., Volume 3, C. C. Little and J. Brown, 1852, p. 211
- How I suffered when I had to preach to you those pious lies that I detest in my heart. What remorse your credulity caused me! A thousand times I was on the point of breaking out publicly and opening your eyes, but a fear stronger than myself held me back, and forced me to keep silence until my death.
- The man who is free from credulity, but knows the uncreated, who has cut all ties, removed all temptations, renounced all desires, he is the greatest of men.
- Friedrich Max Muller in: James d' Alwis Buddhist Nirvána: A Review of Max Müller's Dhammapad, Skeen, 1871
- One of the peculiar sins of the twentieth century which we've developed to a very high level is the sin of credulity. It has been said that when human beings stop believing in God they believe in nothing. The truth is much worse: they believe in anything.
- I myself am convinced that the theory of evolution, especially to the extent to which it has been applied, will be one of the greatest jokes in the history books of the future. Posterity will marvel that so very flimsy and dubious an hypothesis could be accepted with the incredible credulity it has.
- Let the credulous and the vulgar continue to believe that all mental woes can be cured by a daily application of old Greek myths to their private parts.
- Vladimir Nabokov in: Lucy Huskinson Dreaming the Myth Onwards: New Directions in Jungian Therapy and Thought, Routledge, 14 January 2008, p. 81
- One would think that a system loaded with such gross and vulgar absurdities as Scripture religion is could never have obtained credit; yet we have seen what priest craft and fanaticism can do, and credulity believe.
- I prefer credulity to skepticism and cynicism for there is more promise in almost anything than in nothing at all
- Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.
- Bertrand Russell in: Trevor Silvester Cognitive Hypnotherapy: What's that about and how Can I Use It?, Troubador Publishing Ltd, 2010, p. 46
S - Z
- The idea that the UN system could provide real leadership on the great development challenges will strain credulity in some quarters.
- The raising of storms by witches is attested by so many, that I think it needless to recite them. The theologian Meric Casaubon argued – in his 1668 book Of "Credulity and Incredulity", that witches must exist because, after all, everyone believes in them. Anything that a large number of people believe must be true.
- When an apparent miracle happened.it proved divine mission to the credulous, and proved a contract with the devil to the skeptical.
- George Bernard Shaw in: Yahya R. Kamalipour, Nancy Snow The Bodley Head Bernard Shaw: collected plays with their prefaces, Bodley Head, 1973, p. 64
- The math is dead simple: it seems that the frequency of planets able to support life is roughly one percent. In other words, a billion or more such worlds exist in our galaxy alone. That's a lot of acreage, and it takes industrial-strength credulity to believe it's all bleakly barren.
- The only disadvantage of an honest heart is credulity.
- Philip Sidney in: The Monthly Religious Magazine and Independent Journal, Volume 19, Leonard C. Bowles, 1858, p. 386
- If men were but to read the New Testament with the same tone and emphasis, with which they do other books, and were to keep out of mind the idea of its being sacred, they would be disgusted with the credulity, and the want of intellect, reason and judgment, that is apparent in it.
- Lysander Spooner in: William O. Reichert Partisans of Freedom: A Study in American Anarchism, Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1976, p. 118
- The New Age movement looks like a mixed bag. I see much in it that seems good: It's optimistic; it's enthusiastic; it has the capacity for belief. On the debit side, I think one needs to distinguish between belief and credulity.
- Huston Smith in: Emily D. Bilski, et al., Objects of the Spirit: Ritual and the Art of Tobi Kahn, Hudson Hills, 2004, p. 69
- You must not know too much or be too precise or scientific about birds and trees and flowers and watercraft; a certain free-margin, and even vagueness - ignorance, credulity - helps your enjoyment of these things.
- Henry David Thoreau in: Thoreau and the Art of Life: Precepts and Principles, Heron Dance Press, 2006, p. 48
- Women suffer more from disappointment than men, because they have more of faith and are naturally more credulous.
- Some jerk infected the Internet with an outright lie. It shows how easy it is to do and how credulous people are.
- If elephants didn’t exist, you couldn’t invent one. They belong to a small group of living things so unlikely they challenge credulity and common sense. Compared to them, we are primitive, hanging on to a stubborn, unspecialised, five-fingered state, clever but destructive. They are models of refinement, nature’s archangels, the oldest and largest land mammals, touchstones to our imagination
- Lyall Watson (2003) in Elephantoms: Tracking the Elephant, quoted in: Photography exhibition ‘Elephant Emotional Intelligence’, bring-the-elephant-home.org
- Credulity is belief in slight evidence, with no evidence, or against evidence.