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  1. If I steal money from any person, there may be no harm done from the mere transfer of possession; he may not feel the loss, or it may prevent him from using the money badly. But I cannot help doing this great wrong towards Man, that I make myself dishonest.
  2. The rule which should guide us in such cases is simple and obvious enough: that the aggregate testimony of our neighbours is subject to the same conditions as the testimony of any one of them.
  3. To sum up: it is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence.
  4. He who truly believes that which prompts him to an action has looked upon the action to lust after it, he has committed it already in his heart.
  5. Nor is it that truly a belief at all which has not some influence upon the actions of him who holds it.
  6. Our lives our guided by that general conception of the course of things which has been created by society for social purposes.
  7. To know all about anything is to know how to deal with it under all circumstances.
  8. If a belief is not realized immediately in open deeds, it is stored up for the guidance of the future.
  9. There is no scientific discoverer, no poet, no painter, no musician, who will not tell you that he found ready made his discovery or poem or picture — that it came to him from outside, and that he did not consciously create it from within.
  10. It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence.
  11. 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.
  12. When an action is once done, it is right or wrong for ever; no accidental failure of its good or evil fruits can possibly alter that.
  13. No simplicity of mind, no obscurity of station, can escape the universal duty of questioning all that we believe.
  14. 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.
  15. We feel much happier and more secure when we think we know precisely what to do, no matter what happens, then when we have lost our way and do not know where to turn.
  16. Every rustic who delivers in the village alehouse his slow, infrequent sentences, may help to kill or keep alive the fatal superstitions which clog his race.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. The danger to society is not merely that it should believe wrong things, though that is great enough; but that it should become credulous, and lose the habit of testing things and inquiring into them; for then it must sink back into savagery.
  20. To consider only one other such witness: the followers of the Buddha have at least as much right to appeal to individual and social experience in support of the authority of the Eastern saviour.

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