"If you would be a real seeker after truth,
it is necessary that at least once in your life
you doubt, as far as possible, all things."
by:
Rene Descartes
(1596-1650) French philosopher
Source:
Principles of Philosophy, 1644
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- Anonymous      
Great qoute to define his view on the questions of cultural ethics
 -- Anonymous, Brooklyn, NY     
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    My favorite!
     -- Christine, North Miami Beach     
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    Excellent! Perhaps twice...
     -- RobertSRQ     
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    So what. Who wouldn't have said that.
     -- warren, olathe     
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    I know quite a few people, warren, who dare not question their 'faith' because to have been duped for so long by so many would be too much to bear.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Question Authority? Good Lord...would that make you a conspiracy theororist? We can't have that, no no no... :) ABSOLUTELY! QUESTION what passes for AUTHORITY these days.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    Far too many believe the most repeated lie which is: "Government spends money."They cannot get money from you when all that you have in banks is numbers and they have no need for money when everyone will risk or even lose their lives for more numbers. Pass this on and pray that doubt increases.
     -- Dave Wilber, St. Louis MO     
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    It is important to have a critical anaylsis on almost everything.
     -- Elce, Chicago     
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    OK, I will go along with, "at least once in your life". I personally would advocate more often than that. I remember as a young man a pastor challenged me to question everything, including the Lord. He said: put the Lord to the test every day and after a few years I would begin to know the difference between the spirit, emotions, intellectual absolutism, traditions of the fathers, social expectations and family traditions. Though perceptions be many, there is but one truth. The mores of descriptive morals or meta-ethical relativism may philosophically discuss the issue (each person has there own truth; one aspect of philosophy is nothing ever comes to a conclusion) while, such only proves the concept; ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Carlton, I like it.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    I would add more than once....
     -- Robert, St. Emilion, France     
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    At one time I was a confident liberal, until one day a person challenged me with facts reason and logic which started me down the road to seeking the truth of conservatism. Thank God I found my way into the light! Questioning one's belief is hard for some people call it cognitive dissidence or just plain stubbornness.
     -- Mike, Pleasant Hill     
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    If I doubt Rene's quote does that mean I agree or disagree with him? One of his most famous quotes is “Cogito ergo sum” (I think therefore I am.) In other words, I cannot doubt my own existence. So, according to his quote above, should he? Interestingly, today’s “intellectual” studiers of human consciousness mostly call it nothing more than a highly advanced computer that simply evaporates with death. Mike is correct in that philosophy is a topic with no conclusions (at least with the topics still being debated). But of course, that is because most philosophers are atheists who refuse to allow religion into the discussion.
     -- SCSURFR, La Mirada     
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    Secular humanism injected, doubt brings about the lack of faith in any given subject. Most must see to believe. When surrounded by uncertainty, there is no security. ( I learned to Question what they wished me to put My Faith in. ) Tear a nations faith apart brings about the fall of said faith. The common faith of Christianity being split down the middle from its beginning. One as with Paul, eternal security, the other doubt, by way of Peter, no security if you fall. Liberty and Freedom comes by way of Paul's 13 letters. No doubt, this Spirit of truth received through revelation ( super-natural ).
     -- Ronw13, Yachats Or     
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    Doubt and question everything. This includes talking snakes, virgin births, world wide floods, all animals in a boat, well, you see my point. The Buddha said a wise thing,"Believe nothing,no matter where you read it or who said it,unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense." And ask yourself, where did Cain get his wife.
     -- jim k, austin tx     
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    More pertinent Jim, who are those created in the first chapter ? Where is the bridge ? You have declared your faith, only in yourself. As Buddha. You are a little "g" god, and have that right to speak on behalf of yourself. "As much as lieth in you, live at peace with all men". Paul. Perhaps our founding fathers and their insights were foolishness also. I think not. They being taken from the milk and much more seasoned with salt. O how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men !
     -- Ronw13, Yachats Or     
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    jim, Cain got his wife from the neighborhood (-; it was a small neighborhood, hmmm; maybe found her on line ? ;-) I still smile at your comments. This is similar to another posting we had and thank you again; I'm still using the paraphrase that no-one needs a god when they have a gps to guide them ;-). Great stuff, and I'm with you, doubt and question everything.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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