Fame is a vapor; popularity an accident; the only earthly certainty is oblivion.
A science only advances with certainty, when the plan of inquiry and the object of our researches have been clearly defined; otherwise a small number of truths are loosely laid hold of, without their connexion being perceived, and numerous errors, without being enabled to detect their fallacy.jean-baptiste say
He is no wise man that will quit a certainty for an uncertainty.samuel johnson
If I am fool, it is, at least, a doubting one; and I envy no one the certainty of his self-approved wisdom.lord byron
I am, somehow, less interested in the weight and convolutions of Einstein’s brain than in the near certainty that people of equal talent have lived and died in cotton fields and sweatshops.stephen jay gould
To explain all nature is too difficult a task for any one man or even for any one age. 'Tis much better to do a little with certainty, & leave the rest for others that come after you, than to explain all things by conjecture without making sure of any thing.isaac newton
When one admits that nothing is certain one must, I think, also admit that some things are much more nearly certain than others. It is much more nearly certain that we are assembled here tonight than it is that this or that political party is in the right. Certainly there are degrees of certainty, and one should be very careful to emphasize that fact, because otherwise one is landed in an utter skepticism, and complete skepticism would, of course, be totally barren and completely useless.bertrand russell
Give us that calm certainty of truth, that nearness to Thee, that conviction of the reality of the life to come, which we shall need to bear us through the troubles of this.henry ward beecher
For my part, I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream in the same simple way as I dream about the black dots representing towns and villages on a map.vincent van gogh
We may not be able to get certainty, but we can get probability, and half a loaf is better than no bread
Protestantism itself, in its early phases, was plainly a movement toward mysticism: its purpose, at least in theory, was to remove the priestly veil separating man from the revealed Word of God. But that veil was restored almost instantly, and by the year 1522, five years after Wittenberg, Luther was damning the Anabaptists with all the ferocious certainty of a medieval Pope, and his followers were docily accepting his teaching.
Although our intellect always longs for clarity and certainty, our nature often finds uncertainty fascinating.
Tempt me no more; for I Have known the lightning's hour, The poet's inward pride, The certainty of power.cecil day lewis
Ich bin so weit, dass ich Gewissheit gar nicht haben will. I have reached the stage where I no longer wish to have certainty.Franz Kafka
Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.václav havel
You have changed a certainty into a possibility, and I hate possibilities — God of God! I have lived on possibilities, and infernally near starved on them.rafael sabatini
To believe with certainty we must begin with doubting.
Power tends to corrupt , and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority : still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority. There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it.
Organisms [...] are directed and limited by their past. They must remain imperfect in their form and function, and to that extent unpredictable since they are not optimal machines. We cannot know their future with certainty, if only because a myriad of quirky functional shifts lie within the capacity of any feature, however well adapted to a present role.stephen jay gould
Man's quest for knowledge is an expanding series whose limit is infinity, but philosophy seeks to attain that limit at one blow, by a short circuit providing the certainty of complete and inalterable truth. Science meanwhile advances at its gradual pace, often slowing to a crawl, and for periods it even walks in place, but eventually it reaches the various ultimate trenches dug by philosophical thought, and, quite heedless of the fact that it is not supposed to be able to cross those final barriers to the intellect, goes right on.stanisław lem
It seemed perfectly possible that, in spite of my certainty of my own genius, I might die of some illness, or perhaps even in a street accident, before I had ever glimpsed the meaning of life. My moods of happiness and self-confidence convinced me that I had a "destiny" to become a famous writer, and to be remembered as one of the most important thinkers of the century.colin wilson
Is there any evidence to the contrary? I don’t need certainty in order to act on a well-founded suspicion.robert charles wilson
Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is an absurd one. What is most repellent in the System of Nature after the recipe for making eels from flour is the audacity with which it decides that there is no God, without even having tried the impossibility. If God did not exist, he would have to be invented." But all nature cries aloud that he does exist: that there is a supreme intelligence, an immense power, an admirable order, and everything teaches us our own dependence on it.
By 'trading' (i.e. pooling), individuals can acquire certainty.
It is the duty of the Court not to alter a decision brought in review before it, merely because another view, perhaps as good, may be presented. In matters involving discretion it is often very difficult to say with certainty which decision is right.
All speech should be presumed to be protected by the Constitution, and a heavy burden should be placed on those who would censor to demonstrate with relative certainty that the speech at issue, if not censored, would lead to irremediable and immediate serious harm.
Nihil facit error nominis owm de corpore constat : An error as to a name is nothing when there is certainty as to the person.
The essence of our God is obscure. It ripens continuously; perhaps victory is strenghened with our every valorous deed, but perhaps even all these agonizing struggles toward deliverance and victory are inferior to the nature of divinity. Whatever it might be, we fight on without certainty, and our virtue, uncertain of any rewards, acquires a profound nobility.