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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Trust him not with your secrets, who, when left alone in your room, turns over your papers.

— Johann Kaspar Lavater

If you must tell me your opinions, tell me what you believe in. I have plenty of douts of my own.

— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

It is always easier to believe than to deny. Our minds are naturally affirmative.

— John Burroughs

The interval between the decay of the old and the formation and the establishment of the new, constitutes a period of transition which must always necessarily be one of uncertainty, confusion, error, and wild and fierce fanaticism.

— John C. Calhoun

And new Philosophy calls all in doubt, the element of fire is quite put out; the Sun is lost, and the earth, and no mans wit can well direct him where to look for it.

— John Donne

In order to solve problems, information has to be shared; and not only information, but doubts, fears and questions.

— John Harvey-Jones

We are drowning in information but starved for knowledge.

— John Naisbitt

Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.

— John Wooden

Remember then: there is only one time that is important – Now! It is the most important time because it is the only time when we have any power. The most necessary man is he with whom you are, for no man knows whether he will ever have dealings with anyone else: and the most important affair is, to do him good, because for that purpose alone was man sent into this life!

— Leo Tolstoy

I cannot believe that the inscrutable universe turns on an axis of suffering; surely the strange beauty of the world must somewhere rest on pure joy!

— Louise Bogan

No idea is above scrutiny and no people are beneath dignity.

— Maajid Nawaz

To listen is to continually give up all expectation and to give our attention, completely and freshly, to what is before us, not really knowing what we will hear or what that will mean. In the practice of our days, to listen is to lean in, softly, with a willingness to be changed by what we hear.

— Mark Nepo

When even the brightest mind in our world has been trained up from childhood in a superstition of any kind, it will never be possible for that mind, in its maturity, to examine sincerely, dispassionately, and conscientiously any evidence or any circumstance which shall seem to cast a doubt upon the validity of that superstition. I doubt if I could do it myself.

— Mark Twain

Every generalization is dangerous, especially this one.

— Mark Twain

To be a good human being is to have a kind of openness to the world, an ability to trust uncertain things beyond your own control, that can lead you to be shattered in very extreme circumstances for which you were not to blame. That says something very important about the condition of the ethical life: that it is based on a trust in the uncertain and on a willingness to be exposed; it’s based on being more like a plant than like a jewel, something rather fragile, but whose very particular beauty is inseparable from that fragility.

— Martha Nussbaum

Modern science should indeed arouse in all of us a humility before the immensity of the unexplored and a tolerance for crazy hypotheses.

— Martin Gardner

Once you become self-conscious, there is no end to it; once you start to doubt, there is no room for anything else.

— Mignon McLaughlin

The skeptic does not mean him who doubts, but him who investigates or researches, as opposed to him who asserts and thinks that he has found.

— Miguel de Unamuno

Peace is an invitation to breathe deep, right here, in the uncertainty.

— Morgan Harper Nichols

Doubt yourself and you doubt everything you see. Judge yourself and you see judges everywhere. But if you listen to the sound of your own voice, you can rise above doubt and judgment. And you can see forever.

— Nancy Kerrigan

To have doubted one’s own first principles is the mark of a civilized man.

— Oliver Wendell Holmes

The deeper our faith, the more doubt we must endure; the deeper our hope, the more prone we are to despair; the deeper our love, the more pain its loss will bring: these are a few of the paradoxes we must hold as human beings. If we refuse to hold them in the hopes of living without doubt, despair, and pain, we also find ourselves living without faith, hope, and love.

— Parker J. Palmer

When men destroy their old gods they will find new ones to take their place.

— Pearl S. Buck

Letting there be room for not knowing is the most important of all.

— Pema Chödrön

When we meet with an open-ended question that has no conceptual answer, we also encounter our heart.

— Pema Chödrön

We can never know what will happen to us next. We can try to control the uncontrollable by looking for security and predictability, always hoping to be comfortable and safe. But the truth is that we can never avoid uncertainty. This not-knowing is part of the adventure… Sticking with that uncertainty, getting the knack of relaxing in the midst of chaos, learning not to panic — this is the spiritual path.

— Pema Chödrön, Comfortable with Uncertainty

It’s not a terrible thing that we feel fear when faced with the unknown. It is part of being alive, something we all share.

— Pema Chödrön

Beliefs are what divide people. Doubt unites them.

— Peter Ustinov

The key to wisdom is this constant and frequent questioning for by doubting we are led to question and by questioning we arrive at the truth.

— Pierre Abelard

The beginning of wisdom is found in doubting; by doubting we come to the question, and by seeking we may come upon the truth.

— Pierre Abelard
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