Marginalia, no.142

I agreed with what was said, but I did not believe a word of it.

~ V.S. Pritchett, A Cab at the Door

A possibly helpful distinction.  Assent is sufficient if the intent is to convince (oneself or others) of solidarity; it is social lubrication.  Belief, on the other hand, is something more.  I wonder if we can ever decide for ourselves what we will believe.  Perhaps we only discover and rediscover it.  It may be, as Montaigne says, that we vary as much in ourselves as we do from others, but I’m struck sometimes by my own inevitability.

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