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Doubter   /dˈaʊtər/   Listen
Doubter

noun
1.
Someone who habitually doubts accepted beliefs.  Synonyms: sceptic, skeptic.
2.
Someone who is doubtful or noncommittal about something.  Synonym: agnostic.






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"Doubter" Quotes from Famous Books



... "Poor, weak doubter!" said Mr. Carroll, in a tender, yet reproving voice. "Does not He who calls us to this labor know our wants? And is not He able to supply them? Have you forgotten that the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof? Whose are the cattle upon a thousand hills? Did not ...
— The Lights and Shadows of Real Life • T.S. Arthur

... for in many places he appends notes stating his opposition to them. But he heartily approved the substance of the work, though his object in the publication of the Fragments was more to feel the public pulse than to instill theological doctrines into the minds of the people. Reimarus had been a doubter like many others of his countrymen. He committed his mental phases to paper, though he thought that it was not yet time to issue them for public notice. The Fragments published by Lessing contain the gist of his ...
— History of Rationalism Embracing a Survey of the Present State of Protestant Theology • John F. Hurst

... production of the poet Rowe, 'that it does not discover much profundity or penetration,' we ought in common fairness always to add that nobody else has ever written about Shakspeare one-half so entertainingly. If this statement be questioned, let the doubter, before reviling me, re-read the preface, and if, after he has done so, he still demurs, we shall be content to withdraw the observation, which, indeed, has only been made for the purpose of introducing a quotation from the ...
— Obiter Dicta - Second Series • Augustine Birrell

... that when I wrote these clear words of an honest doubter there came to mind the old Arab saying: "Whosoever leaveth no male hath no memory," which is but a confession of that sense of doubt that has haunted the minds of men of all races and at all times while the people as a whole have professed their hope ...
— The Black Man's Place in South Africa • Peter Nielsen

... will surely save it, but that done, we have an arduous task before us. Christianity and love must take the place of expediency, machiavelism, and cunning diplomacy in the sphere of politics. We see the smile of scorn upon the lips of the doubter; he deems the thing impossible. So he would have pronounced our noble record of the last three years, three years ago. Nay, it is already half accomplished, since we now know it must be done. The black man free, the red man must at last receive attention. The protection ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 6, No. 6, December 1864 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... into strange conflict with his own character. His temperament was that of the ascetic and visionary religious. His intelligence had much the same acuteness and pliancy as that of another and more pronounced doubter—a South German also, like Father Benecke,—the author of the 'Leben Jesu.' But his character was the joint product of his temperament and his habits, and was often difficult to reconcile with the quick play ...
— Eleanor • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... the expense of quitting the prejudice of your whole precedent life. I will not forestall your judgment by saying anything more of this book, but only wish it may afford as much entertainment as it has me. This historic doubter dined with me yesterday, Williams, Lord March, Cadogan, and Fanshaw, qui m'a demande a diner, at ...
— George Selwyn: His Letters and His Life • E. S. Roscoe and Helen Clergue

... of the province of the New-Netherlands, when it was under the sway of Wouter Van Twiller, otherwise called the Doubter, the people of the Manhattoes were alarmed, one sultry afternoon, just about the time of the summer solstice, by a tremendous storm of thunder and lightning. The rain descended in such torrents, as absolutely ...
— Bracebridge Hall, or The Humorists • Washington Irving

... confined to the Jews alone. Every great world-faith experiences nowadays the throes of transformation and readjustment. Mistaking them for the final struggle, the believer wrings his hands in despair over the impending doom, and the doubter contemplates a religionless future with a great deal of glee. But both will be disappointed in their reckoning. Religion, as we shall see, is entirely too inherent in human life to be dispensable. The belief that it has served its purpose in the evolution ...
— The Menorah Journal, Volume 1, 1915 • Various

... Science for the growth of faith. That bold denier of accepted creeds - That mighty doubter of accepted truths - Shall yet reveal God's secrets to the world, And prove the facts it seeks to overthrow. And a new name shall Science henceforth bear - The Great Religion of ...
— Poems of Experience • Ella Wheeler Wilcox

... are for the nonce in agreement? The man of the street is not averse to feeling, as a rule, even when it is carried to egregious lengths of sentimentality. A stroll through a village when all the victrolas are in operation would settle this point unequivocally for any doubter. It seems that the philistine's quarrel with the poet arises from the fact that, unlike the makers of phonograph records, the poet dares to follow feeling in defiance of public sentiment. Like the conservative that he is, the philistine gloats over the poet's lapses ...
— The Poet's Poet • Elizabeth Atkins

... only man to be troubled by any momentary fear that such might indeed be the solution of his riddle, and to feel or to fancy for the moment some kind of ease and relief in the sense of that very trouble. A born doubter would have doubted even of Horatio; hardly can all positive and almost palpable evidence of underhand instigation and inspired good intentions induce Hamlet for some time to doubt even ...
— A Study of Shakespeare • Algernon Charles Swinburne

... ever before, and could hear the voices of solitude; he was not the busy riding missionary of "The Bible in Spain," nor the feted author, but the unsocial morbid tinker, philologist, boxer, and religious doubter. It has been said that "he was a Celt of Celts. His genius was truly Celtic." {218a} It has been said that "he inherited nothing from Norfolk save his accent and his love of 'leg of mutton and turnips.'" ...
— George Borrow - The Man and His Books • Edward Thomas

... Letters paint the struggles of an ardent, enthusiastic, inquisitive spirit to deliver itself from the harassing uncertainties, to penetrate the dread obscurity, which overhangs the lot of man. The first faint scruples of the Doubter are settled by the maxim: 'Believe nothing but thy own reason; there is nothing holier than truth.' But Reason, employed in such an inquiry, can do but half the work: she is like the Conjuror that has pronounced the spell of invocation, but has forgot the counter-word; spectres and shadowy forms ...
— The Life of Friedrich Schiller - Comprehending an Examination of His Works • Thomas Carlyle

... his mother now! Unwise counsellors will persuade the half crazy doubter in his own faith, to believe that he does believe!—how much better to convince him that his faith is a poor thing, that he must rise and go and do the thing that Jesus tells him, and so believe indeed! When will men understand that it is neither thought nor talk, neither ...
— What's Mine's Mine • George MacDonald

... keen they are, the more contemptuous they become. What Wordsworth admirably called "the self-applauding sincerity of a heated mind" leaves them no loophole for doubt, and no understanding of the doubter. In their volcanic progress they bowl over the non-partisan—a man and a brother—with splendid unconcern. He, poor soul, stunned but not convinced, clings desperately to some pettifogging convictions which he calls truth, and refuses a clearer vision. His ...
— Americans and Others • Agnes Repplier

... The doubter may scoff, and the pessimist may croak, but even they must take hope at the picture presented in the simple and touching incident of eight Grand Army veterans, with their silvery heads bowed in sympathy, escorting the lifeless body of the ...
— America First - Patriotic Readings • Various

... dispute in the Socratic method; and soon after I procur'd Xenophon's Memorable Things of Socrates, wherein there are many instances of the same method. I was charm'd with it, adopted it, dropt my abrupt contradiction and positive argumentation, and put on the humble inquirer and doubter. And being then, from reading Shaftesbury and Collins, become a real doubter in many points of our religious doctrine, I found this method safest for myself and very embarrassing to those against whom I used it; therefore I took a delight ...
— The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin • Benjamin Franklin

... answered, in writing, the deaf man. "A little suspicion soon overspreads the whole nature, and yet, I think, one can be generous even with suspicion. Among the disciples were a traitor, a liar, a coward, and a doubter; but none upbraid the last, poor Thomas, and he is sainted in our faith. Do you know that suspicion made me deaf? Yes; if we mock Nature with distrust, she stops our ears. Do you not remember what happened ...
— Bohemian Days - Three American Tales • Geo. Alfred Townsend

... just God. In my worst trials I have never doubted that," replied Lord Cairnforth, solemnly. And then he repeated those words of St. Paul, to which many an agonized doubter has clung, as being the last refuge of sorrow—the only key to mysteries which sometime shake the firmest faith—"'For now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then shall I know even ...
— A Noble Life • Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

... achievement in coherence, but neither was Browett a coherent personality. It was, however, a swift, vivid sermon—a short and a busy one, with a reason for each of its parts, incoherent though the parts were. For Browett was a cynic doubter of his own faith; at once an admirer of Voltaire and a believer in the Established Order of Things; despising a radical and a conservative equally, but, hating more than either, a clumsy compromiser. ...
— The Seeker • Harry Leon Wilson

... out to do sooner than he had purposed. That intellectual quickening which had made him a doubter in religious matters had made him also a freethinker in politics. He brought down upon himself the wrath of the government by public expressions of opinion antagonistic to the policy of the hour; and, like others equally ...
— Kokoro - Japanese Inner Life Hints • Lafcadio Hearn

... thought confidently that this was a secure and permanent progressive system, and on the strength of some three hundred years of change and irregular improvement answered the doubter with, "Things always have gone ...
— The War in the Air • Herbert George Wells

... The re-writing of the first volume was completed in September 1835; the whole book in January 1837. The mood in which it was written throws a light on the excellences as on the defects of the history. The Reminiscences again record the gloom and defiance of "Thomas the Doubter" walking through the London streets "with a feeling similar to Satan's stepping the burning marl," and scowling at the equipages about Hyde Park Corner, sternly thinking, "Yes, and perhaps none of you could do what I am at. I shall finish this book, throw it at your feet, buy a rifle ...
— Thomas Carlyle - Biography • John Nichol

... us, I expect, boys!" exploded the doubter; "it sounds just like a fairy story to me. But then there was some one here, because we glimpsed him disappearing like a falling star. I wanted to give him a shot, but I remembered what Max here said about shooting when in doubt; and we didn't just know ...
— At Whispering Pine Lodge • Lawrence J. Leslie

... for ease or profit." If we accept all that is said of Earle's piety and devotion, and give its proper weight to the very significant epithet "innocent," used both by Walton and Clarendon, we shall, I think, be slow to suspect his motive in attacking the sceptic. The honest doubter, it must be remembered, was not the familiar—much less the fashionable—figure he has become since, and it is very certain that Earle described one type of sceptic both of his day and our own. That his sketch ...
— Microcosmography - or, a Piece of the World Discovered; in Essays and Characters • John Earle

... contemptible person,—not the labourer who digs the soil for the planting of corn which shall help to feed his fellows. And the most despicable creature of our time and century, is not the man who doubts Christ, or questions God—for Christ was patient with the doubter, and God answers, through the medium of science, every honest question—it is the man who pretends to believe and lives on the pretence, while his conduct gives the lie to his profession! That is why you—and why thousands ...
— The Master-Christian • Marie Corelli

... time-worn party fighter, with an experience going back to pre-confederation days, said to the writer: "Laurier will never make a leader; he has not enough of the devil in him." This meant, in the brisk terminology of to-day, that he could not deliver the rough stuff. This doubter and his fellows had yet to learn that the flashing rapier in the hands of the swordsman makes a completer and far less messy job than the bludgeon; and that there is in politics room for the delicate art of jiu-jitsu. Further, the Ontario mind was under ...
— Laurier: A Study in Canadian Politics • J. W. Dafoe

... the doubter gathered up his slippers, and backed out from the presence, when the pacha and his minister were, with an honest rivalry, endeavouring to remove at once their doubts and their thirst; and were so successful in their attempts, that they, in a short time, exchanged their state of dubiety ...
— The Pacha of Many Tales • Frederick Marryat

... spite of his failure, succeeded in the end. Tradition tells us that he died a martyr for his love and devotion to his Lord. How was he saved? How was he brought to the joy and usefulness that are born of certainty? Thomas, you know, was a doubter. A very thoroughgoing doubter he was. How then, in spite of his doubts, did he find his way into the fulness of ...
— Sermons on Biblical Characters • Clovis G. Chappell

... environments call for them. It may be laid down as an axiomatic truth that there has never been and there is not a perfect church. Of the twelve men who formed the nucleus of the Christian church and who had the advantage of the personal teaching of the Christ, one was a doubter, another was worldly-minded, a betrayer, and a son of perdition who sought relief from the stings of conscience by self-destruction; a third was a deserter and vacillator, who drew from the great apostle ...
— The Defects of the Negro Church - The American Negro Academy. Occasional Papers No. 10 • Orishatukeh Faduma

... Christian people the way opened to prepare myself for the ministry. But by this time many religious doubts and perplexities were in the way, and I decided that I would a thousand times rather be an honest doubter out of the church and ministry than a hypocrite in it. Thus my fond hope of entering the ministry had to be given up, and instead I determined to use the teaching profession as a stepping-stone to law, and law as a means of ...
— To Infidelity and Back • Henry F. Lutz

... development which become prominent at this period. And firstly we notice the rise of rationalism, that is of the impulse to criticise belief and to ask for that element in it which approves itself to the reflecting mind. Reason asserts its right to judge of tradition; the doubter suggests emendations in the legend; the piously inclined turn their attention to those parts only which are capable of lofty treatment. This tendency is fatal to polytheism. As reason knows not gods but only God, the gods can only hold their place on condition that they are what ...
— History of Religion - A Sketch of Primitive Religious Beliefs and Practices, and of the Origin and Character of the Great Systems • Allan Menzies

... the remnant and the waste, Can you absolve me,—me, the doubter, one Who challenged what God spent His genius on, His genius and His pride; ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... doubter who had introduced the subject, thick-set, stoop-shouldered, showed in its attitude that he was lowering and ill at ease. "Waal, you-uns hev made a powerful botch of the simple little trick of drawing a bead on a revenuer anyhow. Takin' one man fur another—I never dreamed o' the beat! ...
— The Ordeal - A Mountain Romance of Tennessee • Charles Egbert Craddock

... rebellion would be accepted, tried, and defeated by a counter rebellion, both peaceable. It is simply leaving things to the will of the majority. Right ideas will win, no matter what the opposition to them. Better change the arena of conflict. A single champion of an idea would once challenge a doubter and prove his hypothesis by the blood of the disputant; you do the same thing on a great scale. The Southern people—very good people as you and I have cause to know—think the constitution gives them the right, or rather cannot take away the right, to withdraw from ...
— Who Goes There? • Blackwood Ketcham Benson

... certainty. Firm ground was discovered. He could doubt the existence of the external world, and treat it as a phantasm. He could doubt the existence of God, and treat the belief as a superstition. But of the existence of his own thinking, doubting mind, no sort of doubt was possible. He, the doubter, existed if nothing else existed. The existence that was revealed to him in his own consciousness, was the primary fact, the first indubitable certainty. Hence his famous Cogito ergo Sum: I think, therefore I am." (Lewes's Bio. ...
— Ancient and Modern Celebrated Freethinkers - Reprinted From an English Work, Entitled "Half-Hours With - The Freethinkers." • Charles Bradlaugh, A. Collins, and J. Watts

... York, from the Beginning of the World to the End of the Dutch Dynasty; containing, among Many Surprising and Curious Matters, the Unutterable Ponderings of Walter the Doubter, the Disastrous Projects of William the Testy, and the Chivalric Achievements of Peter the Headstrong,—the Three Dutch Governors of New Amsterdam: being the Only Authentic History of the Times that ever hath been ...
— Atlantic Monthly Volume 6, No. 34, August, 1860 • Various

... is to hone the knife flat on the surface next the scion and with a bevel on the upper edge. I found that this made scion cutting so much easier that I thought it was the whole secret. But one day I saw another doubter come up to Mr. Jones and ask him if it was true that he could cut a scion with two strokes of the knife. Mr. Jones said he thought he could but he had no knife just then. The man pulled out his pocket knife and asked if that would do. Mr. Jones looked at it, took a stick and with two strokes ...
— Northern Nut Growers Association Report of the Proceedings at the Fifteenth Annual Meeting • Various

... "Not guilty!" with an eye that flashed and a voice which rang, and a look in his pale, proud face that no murderer's face ever wore on this earth, and with those two words he had carried conviction to many a doubter. ...
— The Baronet's Bride • May Agnes Fleming

... ahere? Now see, here is dust, dry dust on her hull. She ahain't ben in the water mor'n ten minutes, I sware," It required but a moment's investigation of my Chincoteague audience to discover that the dust was mud from the tide, and the doubter brought down the ridicule of his more discriminating neighbors upon him, and slunk away ...
— Voyage of The Paper Canoe • N. H. Bishop

... argument for the authenticity of the portraits is the portraits themselves. They are beautiful, they are skilful, done in Stuart's style and entirely worthy of him. To suppose them done by any one else involves the doubter at once in a maze of improbabilities and impossibilities. The present writer is willing to put himself on record as quite convinced that they were painted by Stuart and are wholly by his own hand and are unusually important specimens ...
— McClure's Magazine, Vol 31, No 2, June 1908 • Various

... apologized the doubter, now fully reassured by the above shrewdly fashioned answer, "but Anna was always so infernally jealous of you, and made herself so wretched over the fear of losing your affection, that I could think of no other ...
— The Masked Bridal • Mrs. Georgie Sheldon

... is a great evil thus to be in doubt, but it is at least an indispensable duty to seek when we are in such doubt; and thus the doubter who does not seek is altogether completely unhappy and completely wrong. And if besides this he is easy and content, professes to be so, and indeed boasts of it; if it is this state itself which is the subject ...
— Pascal's Pensees • Blaise Pascal

... to whose house should these Diabolic doubters go, but to that of Old Evil-questioning. So he made them welcome. Well, said he, be of what shire yon will, you have the very length of my foot, are one with my heart. So they thanked him. I, said one, am an election-doubter; I, said another, am a vocation-doubter; then said the third, I am a salvation-doubter; and the fourth said, I am a grace-doubter. I am persuaded you are down boys, and are one with my heart, said ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan



Words linked to "Doubter" :   soul, agnostic, somebody, doubting Thomas, doubt, individual, pessimist, intellect, mortal, intellectual, sceptic, person, someone



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