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A delusion is a belief held with strong conviction despite superior evidence to the contrary.


  • No man is happy without a delusion of some kind. Delusions are as necessary to our happiness as realities.
  • The easiest thing in the world is self-deceit; for every man believes what he wishes, though the reality is often different.
    • Demosthenes, Third Olynthiac (349 BC), as translated by Charles Rann Kennedy (1852)
    • Variant: There is nothing easier than self-delusion. Since what man desires, is the first thing he believes.
  • 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.
  • Adam: Nature mandates that mankind will eventually succumb to its poison. However, humans created their own poison, called medicine. It's delusional to believe you can poison Nature to avoid your fate.
Stiles: No... It's delusional to dismiss people's deaths as "fate."
  • 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

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