Doubt is the feeling of uncertainty about something, calling into question whether something is true or possible. Uncertainty is a feeling or status where something is not known, and can also signal a lack of conviction. Doubt and uncertainty usually carry a connotation of less intensity than skepticism.

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Do not worry about tomorrow’s trouble, for you do not know what the day may bring. Tomorrow may come and you will be no more, and so you will have worried about a world that is not yours!

— Talmud Bavli

Men are never convinced of your reasons, of your sincerity, of the seriousness of your sufferings, except by your death. So long as you are alive, your case is doubtful; you have a right only to their skepticism.

— Albert Camus

An intellectual? Yes. And never deny it. An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself. I like this, because I am happy to be both halves, the watcher and the watched. “Can they be brought together?” This is a practical question. We must get down to it. “I despise intelligence” really means: “I cannot bear my doubts.”

— Albert Camus

If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?

— Albert Einstein

A man who doubts himself is like a man who enlists in the ranks of the enemy and bears arms against himself. He makes his failure certain by being the first to be convinced of it.

— Alexander Dumas

There are two ways to slide easily through life: to believe everything or to doubt everything; both ways save us from thinking.

— Alfred Korzybski

For nothing worthy proving can be proven,
Nor yet disproven: wherefore thou be wise,
Cleave ever to the sunnier side of doubt.

— Alfred Lord Tennyson

In every crisis, doubt or confusion, take the higher path — the path of compassion, courage, understanding and love.

— Amit Ray, Nonviolence: The Transforming Power

It is better to understand a little than to misunderstand a lot.

— Anatole France

Believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it.

— Andre Gide

In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can’t build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery and death.

— Anne Frank

I have a lot of faith. But I am also afraid a lot and have no real certainty about anything. I remembered something Father Tom had told me — that the opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty. Certainty is missing the point entirely. Faith includes noticing the mess, the emptiness and discomfort, and letting it be there until some light returns.

— Anne Lamott

Our life is a faint tracing on the surface of mystery.

— Annie Dillard

When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.

— Arthur C. Clarke, Clarke’s First Law

Expect the unexpected.

— Bear Bryant

What a man believes upon grossly insufficient evidence is an index into his desires — desires of which he himself is often unconscious. If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence. The origin of myths is explained in this way.

— Bertrand Russell

I think we ought always to entertain our opinions with some measure of doubt. I shouldn’t wish people dogmatically to believe any philosophy, not even mine.

— Bertrand Russell

William James used to preach the “will to believe”. For my part, I should wish to preach the “will to doubt”…. What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite.

— Bertrand Russell, Skeptical Essays

The trouble with the world is that the stupid are so confident while the intelligent are full of doubt.

— Bertrand Russell

When one admits that nothing is certain one must, I think, also add that some things are more nearly certain than others.

— Bertrand Russell

Everything is vague to a degree you do not realize till you have tried to make it precise.

— Bertrand Russell

To deny, to believe, and to doubt absolutely — this is for man what running is for a horse.

— Blaise Pascal

We must learn our limits. We are all something, but none of us are everything.

— Blaise Pascal

Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome.

— Brené Brown

It seems to me what is called for is an exquisite balance between two conflicting needs: the most skeptical scrutiny of all hypotheses that are served up to us and at the same time a great openness to new ideas. If you are only skeptical, then no new ideas make it through to you. On the other hand, if you are open to the point of gullibility and have not an ounce of skeptical sense in you, then you cannot distinguish useful ideas from the worthless ones.

— Carl Sagan, 1987 lecture “The Burden of Skepticism”

But then arises the doubt, can the mind of man, which has, as I fully believe been developed from a mind as low as that possessed by the lowest animal, be trusted when it draws such grand conclusions?

— Charles Darwin

Habits of thought persist through the centuries; and while a healthy brain may reject the doctrine it no longer believes, it will continue to feel the same sentiments formerly associated with that doctrine.

— Charlotte Perkins Gilman

I have always felt that doubt was the beginning of wisdom, and the fear of God was the end of wisdom.

— Clarence Darrow

The fear of God is not the beginning of wisdom. The fear of God is the death of wisdom. Skepticism and doubt lead to study and investigation, and investigation is the beginning of wisdom.

— Clarence Darrow

Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.

— Dale Carnegie
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