Know then thyself, presume not God to scan; The proper study of mankind is man. Placed on this isthmus of a middle state, A being darkly wise, and rudely great: With too much knowledge for the sceptic side, With too much weakness for the stoic's pride, He hangs between; in doubt to act or rest, In doubt to deem himself a god, or beast; In doubt his mind or body to prefer, Born but to die, and reas'ning but to err; Alike in ignorance, his reason such, Whether he thinks too little, or too much.
Seeing clearly within himself and always able to dodge around the ends of any position, including his own, Shaw assumed from the start the dual role of prophet and gadfly. To his contemporaries it appeared frivolous and contradictory to perform as both superman and socialist, sceptic and believer, legalist and heretic, high-brow and mob-orator. But feeling the duty to teach as well as to mirror mankind, Shaw did not accept himself as a contradictory being.jacques barzun
The majority of mankind is lazy-minded, incurious, absorbed in vanities, and tepid in emotion, and is therefore incapable of either much doubt or much faith; and when the ordinary man calls himself a sceptic or an unbeliever, that is ordinarily a simple pose, cloaking a disinclination to think anything out to a conclusion.
I am too much of a sceptic to deny the possibility of anything especially as I am now so much occupied with theology but I don't see my way to your conclusion.thomas henry huxley
The positive thing about the sceptic is that he considers everything possible!thomas mann
This, I feel, is missing a vital point: that the sceptic is often a totally honest person who, for perfectly good, sound reasons, simply cannot see a case for belief. In fact many -- like Courty Bryan -- admit that they would like to be convinced, but find it impossible.colin wilson