Fame is a vapor; popularity an accident; the only earthly certainty is oblivion.
Remember your own childhood. That complete certainty you had, looking at the grown-ups, that you would never be like that. It was a lonely feeling, but euphoric, too.
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.
He doesn’t know how one proceeds under the circumstances, except with the certainty, pressed to the heart like a keepsake of love, that in the end nothing really matters.michael chabon
We may be for or against the South. But there is no doubt that Jefferson Davis and other leaders of the South have made an Army; they are making, it appears, a Navy; and they have made what is more than either they have made a Nation ... We may anticipate with certainty the success of the Southern States so far as regards their separation from the North.william ewart gladstone
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
“The mission I am on overrides all personal debts and loyalties.” “If so,” said the stranger with fierce certainty, “it is an immoral mission.”ursula k. le guin
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
Politics have always covered two distinct kinds of problems: problems of administrative routine, and those that may be called 'questions of the moment.'... A question of the moment is, indeed, a substitute for some notion, such as the idea of God, or hereditary monarchy, or national glory, that has hitherto acted as a symbol of human co-ordination. It provides no new positive certainty to replace the discredited certainty, but is what the name implies: the raising of a question which the old certainty no longer answers.laura riding
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
In the mental disturbance and effort of writing, what sustains you is the certainty that on every page there is something left unsaid.cesare pavese
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.
It is said to await certainty is to await eternity .Smith
In a world of certainty, the welfare state has only a small role.
By 'trading' (i.e. pooling), individuals can acquire certainty.
A common fallacy in much of the adverse criticism to which science is subjected today is that it claims certainty, infallibility and complete emotional objectivity. It would be more nearly true to say that it is based upon wonder , adventure and hope .
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.
The only certainty is that nothing is certain.
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.
Dogmatism and skepticism are both, in a sense, absolute philosophies; one is certain of knowing, the other of not knowing. What philosophy should dissipate is certainty, whether of knowledge or ignorance.
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.