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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.
  • 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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