Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Emphasis Mine

"All active mass movements strive to interpose a fact-proof screen between the faithful and the realities of the world. They do this by claiming that the ultimate and absolute truth is already embodied in their doctrine and that there is no truth nor certitude outside it...It is startling to realize how much unbelief is necessary to make belief possible. What we know as blind faith is sustained by innumerable unbeliefs...It is the true believer's ability to shut his eyes and stop his ears to facts that do not deserve to be either seen or heard which is the source of his unequaled fortitude and constancy...Strength of faith, as Bergson pointed out, manifests itself not in moving mountains but in not seeing mountains to move...The effectiveness of a doctrine does not come from its meaning but from its certitude...In order to be effective a doctrine must not be understood, but believed in. We can be absolutely certain only about things we do not understand."

-from "The True Believer" by Eric Hoffer