An atmosphere of beliefs and conceptions has been formed by the labours and struggles of our forefathers, which enables us to breathe amid the various and complex circumstances of our life.
This sense of power is the highest and best of pleasures when the belief on which it is founded is a true belief, and has been fairly earned by investigation.
A little reflection will show us that every belief, even the simplest and most fundamental, goes beyond experience when regarded as a guide to our actions.
Into this, for good or ill, is woven every belief of every man who has speech of his fellows. A awful privilege, and an awful responsibility, that we should help to create the world in which posterity will live.
The harm which is done by credulity in a man is not confined to the fostering of a credulous character in others, and consequent support of false beliefs.
Nor is it that truly a belief at all which has not some influence upon the actions of him who holds it.
If a belief is not realized immediately in open deeds, it is stored up for the guidance of the future.
In like manner, if I let myself believe anything on insufficient evidence, there may be no great harm done by the mere belief; it may be true after all, or I may never have occasion to exhibit it in outward acts.