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Gullibility

  • Credulity is always a ridiculous, often a dangerous failing: it has made of many a clever man, a fool; and of many a good man, a knave.

  • The cure-alls of the present day are infinitely various and infinitely obliging. Applied psychology, autosuggestion, and royal roads to learning or to wealth are urged upon us by kindly, if not altogether disinterested, reformers. Simple and easy systems for the dissolution of discord and strife; simple and easy systems for the development of personality and power. Booklets of counsel on 'How to Get What We Want,' which is impossible; booklets on 'Visualization,' warranted to make us want what we get, which is ignoble.

  • The age of credulity is every age the world has ever known. Men have always turned from the ascertained, which is limited and discouraging, to the dubious, which is unlimited and full of hope for everybody.

    • Agnes Repplier,
    • "The Public Looks at Pills," Times and Tendencies ()
  • People who cannot recognize a palpable absurdity are very much in the way of civilization.

  • ... all social relations exist and grow in the human mind. That one despot can rule over a million other men rests absolutely on their state of mind. They believe that he does; let them change their minds, and he does not.

  • In the field of economics we maintain to this day some of the most primitive ideas, some of the most radically false ideas, some of the most absurd ideas a brain can hold. ... but all this give no uneasiness to the average brain. That long-suffering organ has been trained for more thousands of years than history can uncover to hold in unquestioning patience great blocks of irrelevant idiocy and large active lies.

  • People on the whole are very simple-minded, in whatever country one finds them. They are so simple as to take literally, more often than not, the things their leaders tell them.

  • ... a little credulity helps one on through life very smoothly ...

  • Martyrdom is often the result of excessive gullibility.

  • ... credulity is the sister of innocence ...

  • Credulity as a character trait is encouraged in every child who grows up with religious training, which invariably insists on the virtue of blind faith and the sinfulness of doubting and questioning.

    • Barbara G. Walker,
    • in Annie Laurie Gaylor, ed., Women Without Superstition "No Gods--No Masters": The Collected Writings of Women Freethinkers of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries ()
  • ... the most important quality of an inept person is to rely on popular belief and hearsay.

  • Religions, which are often nothing more than cults that grew, set the stage for the credulity and gullibility required for membership in cults.

  • On close scrutiny, the beast within us looks suspiciously like a sheep.

  • There is apparently only one trait in human nature which is stronger than curiosity. It is credulity. The things people will believe are unbelievable!

  • ... if we don't stand for something, you may be sure we will fall for anything.

  • Beware: / All too often, / We say / What we hear others say, / We think / What we're told that we think. / We see / What we're permitted to see. / Worse! / We see what we're told that we see.

  • When emotion supersedes reason ... gullibility must follow.