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Unbelief is a lack (or rejection) of belief, especially religious belief, but extending to anything in which belief can be held.


  • All we have gained then by our unbelief
    Is a life of doubt diversified by faith,
    For one of faith diversified by doubt;
    We called the chessboard white,— we call it black.
  • The fearful Unbelief is unbelief in yourself.
    • Thomas Carlyle, Sartor Resartus (1833–1834), The Everlasting No, Book II, Chapter VII.
  • Anti-clericalism and non-belief have their bigots just as orthodoxy does.
  • The trouble is I don't believe my unbelief.
    • Graham Greene, reported in Leopoldo Duran, Graham Greene: An intimate portrait by his closest friend and confidant, translated by Euan Cameron. HarperCollins, 1994, p. 38.
  • Now let it be written in history and on Mr. Lincoln's tombstone: "He died an unbeliever."
    • William H. Herndon, Abraham Lincoln's law partner in Springfield, Abraham Lincoln: The True Story of a Great Life, 1896. Quoted in Freethinkers by Susan Jacoby, 2004.
  • There seems to be a terrible misunderstanding on the part of a great many people to the effect that when you cease to believe you may cease to behave.
    • Louis Kronenberger, Company Manners: A Cultural Inquiry into American Life. Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs-Merrill, 1954, p. 14.
  • With most men, unbelief in one thing springs from blind belief in another.
  • There is no stretch in unbelief. Even the unbelief of what is false is no source of might. It is the truth shining from behind that gives the strength to disbelieve.
  • I'm from Missouri; you must show me.
    • Col. Willard D. Vandiver; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 826, which references Literary Digest (Jan. 28, 1922), p. 42, where origin is discussed at length.

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