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A delusion is a belief held with strong conviction despite superior evidence to the contrary.
- DELUSION, n. The father of a most respectable family, comprising Enthusiasm, Affection, Self-denial, Faith, Hope, Charity and many other goodly sons and daughters.
- Ambrose Bierce, The Cynic's Dictionary (1906); republished as The Devil's Dictionary (1911).
- No man is happy without a delusion of some kind. Delusions are as necessary to our happiness as realities.
- Christian Nestell Bovee, Intuitions and Summaries of Thought (1862), Volume I, p. 143.
- The easiest thing in the world is self-deceit; for every man believes what he wishes, though the reality is often different.
- A delusion, a mockery, and a snare.
- Thomas Denman, 1st Baron Denman, O'Connell v. The Queen (1841), 11 Clark and Finnelly Reports.
- What the Buddhists teach is to free yourself from the three great evils in life: greed — which means all kinds of craving — hatred, and delusion. But delusion is really the cause of the other two. We crave that which we delude ourselves into thinking will bring happiness; we hate those whom we delude ourselves into thinking stand to stop us from getting it.
- James P. Hogan, Paths to Otherwhere, Ch. 18 (1996).
- It is not by delusion, however exalted, that mankind can prosper, but only by unswerving courage in the pursuit of truth.
- Bertrand Russell, "The Pursuit of Truth" in The Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell (1993).
- Delusion will vanish as the light becomes more and more effulgent, load after load of ignorance will vanish, and then will come a time when all else has disappeared and the sun alone shines
- Swami Vivekananda, Pearls of Wisdom.
- We all have our little solipsistic delusions, ghastly intuitions of utter singularity: that we are the only one in the house who ever fills the ice-cube tray, who unloads the clean dishwasher, who occasionally pees in the shower, whose eyelid twitches on first dates; that only we take casualness terribly seriously; that only we fashion supplication into courtesy; that only we hear the whiny pathos in a dog's yawn, the timeless sigh in the opening of the hermetically-sealed jar, the splattered laugh in the frying egg, the minor-D lament in the vacuum's scream; that only we feel the panic at sunset the rookie kindergartner feels at his mother's retreat. That only we love the only-we. That only we need the only-we. Solipsism binds us together, J.D. knows. That we feel lonely in a crowd; stop not to dwell on what's brought the crowd into being. That we are, always, faces in a crowd.
- David Foster Wallace, "Westward The Course Of Empire Takes Its Way," Girl With Curious Hair (1989).