Quotations are selected from this pool (and other quotation pools) in a pseudorandom way every hour and inserted at the top and bottom of some of the major pages on this website. Feel free to copy any of these quotes and paste them for whatever purpose you please, including on your own website, blog, social media page or forum debate posts.
Voice of God
I once heard the voice of God. It said Vrrrrmmmmm. Unless it was just a lawn mower.~ Age 11
Religion still wants to be at the forefront of our social consciousness, despite its inability to explain, discover or innovate.~ achromat666
Atheism ≠ Religion
If Atheism is a religion, then health is a disease!~ Clark Adams (1969-07-23 2007-05-21 age:37)
Definition of Radical Atheist
Yes, I think I use the term radical rather loosely, just for emphasis. If you describe yourself as atheist some people will say, Don’t you mean agnostic? I have to reply that I really do mean atheist, I really do not believe that there is a god; in fact, I am convinced that there is not a god (a subtle difference). I see not a shred of evidence to suggest that there is one…etc., etc. It’s easier to say that I am a radical atheist, just to signal that I really mean it, have thought about it a great deal and that it’s an opinion I hold seriously.~ Douglas Adams (1952-03-11 2001-05-11 age:49) Author of The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Last Chance to See
A Few Little Men
A man didn’t understand how televisions work and was convinced that there must be lots of little men inside the box, manipulating images at high speed. An engineer explained to him about high frequency modulations of the electromagnetic spectrum, about transmitters and receivers, about amplifiers and cathode ray tubes, about scan lines moving across and down a phosphorescent screen. The man listened to the engineer with careful attention, nodding his head at every step of the argument. At the end he pronounced himself satisfied. He really did now understand how televisions work. But I expect there are just a few little men in there, aren’t there?.~ Douglas Adams (1952-03-11 2001-05-11 age:49) Author of The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Last Chance to See
Gilding the Lily
Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?~ Douglas Adams (1952-03-11 2001-05-11 age:49) Author of The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Last Chance to See
[God] puts an apple tree in the middle of [the Garden of Eden] and says, do what you like guys, oh, but don’t eat the apple. Surprise surprise, they eat it and he leaps out from behind a bush shouting Gotcha. It wouldn’t have made any difference if they hadn’t eaten it… Because if you’re dealing with somebody who has the sort of mentality which likes leaving hats on the pavement with bricks under them you know perfectly well they won’t give up. They’ll get you in the end.~ Douglas Adams (1952-03-11 2001-05-11 age:49) Author of The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Last Chance to See
Hoping and Praying
He hoped and prayed that there wasn’t an afterlife. Then he realized there was a contradiction involved here and merely hoped that there wasn’t an afterlife.~ Douglas Adams (1952-03-11 2001-05-11 age:49) Author of The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Last Chance to See
Religious CensorshipReligion has certain ideas at the heart of it which we call sacred or holy or whatever. What it means is Here is an idea or notion that you are not allowed to say anything bad about; you’re just not. Why not? — because you’re not. If somebody votes for a party you don’t agree with, you’re free to argue about it as much as you like; everybody will have an argument, but nobody feels aggrieved by it. If somebody thinks taxes should go up or down, you are free to have an argument about it. But on the other hand, if somebody says I mustn’t move a light switch on Saturday you say, I respect that.
Why should it be that it’s perfectly legitimate to support the Labour party or the Conservative party, Republicans or Democrats, this model of economics versus that, Macintosh instead of Windows — but to have an opinion about how the Universe began, about who created the Universe… no, that’s holy?… We are used to not challenging religious ideas but it’s very interesting how much a furor Richard [Dawkins] creates when he does it! Everybody gets absolutely frantic about it because you are not allowed to say these things. Yet when you look at it rationally there is not reason why those ideas shouldn’t be as open to debate as any other, except that we have agreed somehow between us that they shouldn’t be.~ Douglas Adams (1952-03-11 2001-05-11 age:49), author of The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Last Chance to See
Taking Religion Seriously
I find the whole business of religion profoundly interesting. But it does mystify me that otherwise intelligent people take it seriously.~ Douglas Adams (1952-03-11 2001-05-11 age:49) Author of The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Last Chance to See
Not a Christian Nation
The United States is not a Christian nation any more than it is a Jewish or a Mohammedan nation.~ John Adams (1735-10-30 1826-07-04 age:90), second president of the United States, in the Treaty of Tripoli (1797)
The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis.~ Dante Alighieri (1265 1321-09-14 age:56)
I don’t believe in an after life, although I am bringing a change of underwear.~ Woody Allen (1935-12-01 age:82)
I don’t want to gain immortality through my work; I want to gain immortality through not dying.~ Woody Allen (1935-12-01 age:82)
Evidence for God
Believing would be easier if God would show himself by depositing a million dollars in a Swiss bank account in my name.~ Woody Allen (1935-12-01 age:82)
I don’t want to live on in the hearts of my countrymen; I want to live on in my apartment.~ Woody Allen (1935-12-01 age:82)
To you I’m an atheist; to God, I’m the Loyal Opposition.~ Woody Allen (1935-12-01 age:82)
Sex and Death
So then, what do you believe in?~ Woody Allen (1935-12-01 age:82)
Sex and death. Two things that come once in my lifetime. But at least after death you’re not nauseous.
The First Amendment
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.~ The First Amendment (1791-12-15 age:226)
This text is the source of whatever religious harmony America now enjoys. Traitors to their oath to defend the constitution, like Eric Cantor, Republican congressman from Virginia, want to ignore the constitution and prohibit Muslims from building mosques.
Definition of Deism
The definition of deism is the philosophical idea of God as a first cause of the universe, who lays down the laws of nature and lets them run like clockwork, indifferent to the fate of the people subject to them.~ Elizabeth S. Anderson (1959-12-05 age:58) If God Is Dead Is Everything Permitted
This is the religious view inspired by the Newtonian equations. In contrast deism is the belief in a deity who tinkers with the universe, like a boy with an ant farm.
Revolting Eternal Punishment
So revolting to my moral nature is the creed of eternal punishment that it, more than any other cause, produces the most widespread unbelief. Compared with this, all objections to Christianity fade to insignificance.~ Loren Anderson
~ Seth Andrews (1968-04-12 age:50)
- Time off work for religious holidays.
- Freedom to display nativities etc. on your property.
- religious television & TV channels.
- countless stores to sell religious items.
- over 300,000 Christian churches in the USA.
- worship freely any day of the week.
- religious bumper stickers are everywhere.
- religious jewelry and apparel.
- high probability your politician claims Christianity.
- Christian schools and home schools.
- freedom to evangelize and create converts.
- oaths sworn on the bible.
- a bible in most hotel rooms.
- freedom to write film, produce Christian material.
Christians complaining about not having enough rights is like complaining that Christmas music is censored on the radio and in shopping malls. About the only freedoms Christians do not have are:
- right to kill gays
- right to use the government to impose Christianity on non-believers.
- right to use the government to impose Christian superstitions on non-believers, such as denying gay marriage or denying abortion.
- They cannot get the government to put people in jail who disagree with them for hate speech.
Never sacrifice who you are just because someone has a problem with it.~ Seth Andrews (1968-04-12 age:50)
It is sad when you have imaginary friends, and even worse when you have imaginary enemies.~ Seth Andrews (1968-04-12 age:50)
If abstinence-only education failed the Virgin Mary, how do you expect it to work for your daughter?~ Anonymous
The Basis of Religion
The basis of religion isn’t faith; its fear.~ anonymous
Bible ≈ Software Licence
To most Christians, the Bible is like a software license. Nobody actually reads it. They just scroll to the bottom and click I agree.~ Anonymous
Telling a pagan they are going to hell is like telling a Christian they are going to Mordor.~ Anonymous
The first commandment contradicts the first amendment.~ Anonymous
Death After Life
Do I believe in life after death? No I believe in death after life.~ Anonymous
Definition of Faith
Faith does not give you the answers; it just stops you from asking questions.~ Anonymous
Joseph and Mary should have known better they would not be able to find accommodation. After all, its always busy near Christmas.~ Anonymous
Doctrine of Hell
I see the doctrine of hell as being probably the major stumbling block to the return of a de-Christianized world to Christ. The doctrine of eternal damnation, more than any other teaching of the church, produces atheism. If you examine closely all the big name atheists — like Feuerback and Nietzsche — it is this teaching more than any other that offended them and turned them away. Out of these famous atheists came all the movements that have caused so much hell here and now. If God is to practice what He preaches, then it makes it hard to believe in eternal damnation.~ Anonymous
Failure of Reason
You cannot reason people out of a position they have not reasoned themselves into.~ Anonymous
Futility of Prayer
Two hands working can do more than a thousand clasped in prayer.~ Anonymous
God and Oil
If Americans and Jews are God’s chosen people, why did He hide all their oil under Muslim soil?~ Anonymous
God of Diminishing Returns
- 10,000 years ago, creates the universe, man and animals.
- 5,000 years ago, parts the Red Sea.
- 2,000 years ago, virgin birth and the resurrection.
- 200 years ago, heals the sick, less frequently as medicine advances.
- 20 years ago, speaks to televangelists, usually to tell them to ask for money.
- 2 years ago, appears on toast.
- 2 years ago, causes a slight breeze to make a Christian flag wave. praying at a flagpole
How You know Christianity is Batshit Crazy
The definition of Christianity is the belief that some cosmic Jewish Zombie can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree.~ Anonymous 1890
How You know Christianity is Batshit Crazy II
The definition of liberal Christianity: All that Eve stuff is baloney, but I still have an imaginary friend who magically manipulates the world for me and he also magically impregnated a woman, 2000 years ago and she bore him a son who underwent an ancient ritual of blood sacrifice in order to dispel a curse laid upon me, thus ensuring I will be immortal.~ Anonymous 1890
The world contains two kinds of men: intelligent men without religion and religious men without intelligence.~ Anonymous
The Internet is where religion goes to die.~ Anonymous
Let’s Make a Deal
Don’t pray in my school and I won’t think in your church.~ Anonymous
Origin of Homosexuals
If god did not make homosexuals, there would be none.~ Anonymous
Philosophy vs Religion
Philosophy is questions that may never be answered; religion is answers that may never be questioned.~ Anonymous
Prayer for the USA
May the USA be taken down a peg so that learns to treat the people of other nations as equally important as Americans.~ Anonymous
Praying Takes Balls
You are basically telling an omnipotent, omniscient god, who has a history of petulance and mass murder, that his plan is wrong and needs changing.
Maybe it would be safer for you if your god weren’t real.
Oh wait…~ Anonymous
Religion and Morals
You don’t need religion to have morals. If you can’t determine right from wrong, then you lack empathy, not religion.~ Anonymous
I subscribe to shampoo theology. When a god stops working I try another one.~ Anonymous
Only sheep need a shepherd.~ Anonymous
God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve?… hmmmm…then who made Steve?~ Anonymous
Thinking About God
For some reason, whenever people think about God they get a pained expression as if someone had poked a broom up their ass.~ Anonymous
Promoting Blind Faith
The religious persecution of the ages has been done under what was claimed to be the command of God. I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do to their fellows, because it always coincides with their own desires.~ Susan B. Anthony (1820-02-15 1906-03-13 age:86)
Putting Words in God’s Mouth
I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.~ Susan B. Anthony (1820-02-15 1906-03-13 age:86)
Either there is a god (or gods), or there is not. If there is, then we should reasonably expect to find empirical evidence in favour of his existence. To date, however, all forms of evidence have been lacking and the assumption of God does nothing to quantifiably model a large body of observations or reliably predict future events. The God hypothesis therefore adds nothing to our understanding of nature and may as well be equivalent to no God at all. Unless this situation ever changes, the only rational conclusion is to assume that God does not exist.~ AnticitizenX
No Argument for Gods
Surely you don’t believe in the gods. What’s your argument? Where’s your proof?~ Aristophanes (446 BC 386 BC age:60)
A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side.~ Aristotle (384 BC 322 BC age:62)
The Most Potent Force for Atheism
Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.~ Isaac Asimov (1920-01-02 1992-03-06 age:72) Russian-born American scientist and prolific writer
The Most Unthinking People
Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all the centuries since the Bible was written. And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all… I personally resent it bitterly.~ Isaac Asimov (1920-01-02 1992-03-06 age:72) Russian-born American scientist and prolific writer
Baby Religion = Cult
Every religion started as a cult.~ Douglas Atkin The Culting of Brands: When Customers Become True Believers
We would rather be ruined than changed~ Wystan Hugh Auden (1907-02-21 1973-09-29 age:66)
We would rather die in our dread
Than climb the cross of the moment
And let our illusions die.
Unconditional Law of Love
You shall love your crooked neighbour, with your crooked heart.~ Wystan Hugh Auden (1907-02-21 1973-09-29 age:66)
The only reason the Protestants and Catholics have given up the idea of universal domination is because they’ve realised they can’t get away with it.~ Wystan Hugh Auden (1907-02-21 1973-09-29 age:66)
The Most Important Wealth
The only wealth which you will keep forever is the wealth you have given away.~ Marcus Aurelius (121-04-26 AD 180-03-17 AD age:58)
Why You Can Ignore the Gods
Live a good life. If there are gods & they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.~ Marcus Aurelius (121-04-26 AD 180-03-17 AD age:58)
Discover, not Imagine How Nature Works
For first of all we must prepare a Natural and Experimental History, sufficient and good; and this is the foundation of all; for we are not to imagine or suppose, but to discover, what nature does or may be made to do.~ Francis Bacon (1561-01-22 1626-04-09 age:65)
i hate these faggots they should be killed.~ Mussa Bagha
This is irrational. What other people do in their bedrooms does not affect you at all. It is none of your business any more that what positions heterosexual couples use and whether they enjoy oral or anal sex. Why not direct that anger at someone who does harm you, like polluters, rapists, thieves or drive by shooters?
In the Spirit Of Tolerance, Really?
In the spirit of tolerance, you should allow us to execute homosexuals.~ David Bahati (1973-08-06 age:44) Ugandan politician promoting a kill the gays bill designed by the C-street American lobby group. He also proposes a three year prison sentence for just knowing a gay person. He believes that gays and paedophiles are one in the same. He considers execution a beautiful loving punishment.
Craving a Conspiracy
People crave a conspiracy for the same reason they crave a god.~ Grand Master Arkady Balagan in Endgame played by Shawn Doyle (1960 age:57)
What could this reason be? Vanity. People like the idea that the creator of the universe or a vast group of people are fascinated with the trivial details of their lives.
When you turn your back on reason you are denying that which makes us human.~ Iain Banks (1954-02-16 2013-06-09 age:59)
Priests are Child Molesters
Show me one of them [priests] that doesn’t do it [molest children] and I’ll show you a flying pig.~ Lisa Bannerman fictitious character in The Commander Windows of the Soul episode.
I am an atheist because there is no evidence for the existence of god. That should be all that needs to be said about it: no evidence, no belief.~ Dan Barker (1949-06-25 age:68)
God is all powerful, and don’t you dare hurt his feelings.~ Dan Barker (1949-06-25 age:68)
Proof There is No Just God
All you have to do is walk into any children’s hospital and you know there is no God. Prayer doesn’t make any difference. Those people pray for their beloved children to live and they die.~ Dan Barker (1949-06-25 age:68)
Theists vs Atheists
Theists are afraid people will think for themselves; atheists are afraid they won’t.~ Dan Barker (1949-06-25 age:68)
The Dirty Book
The bible: every schoolboys’ favourite dirty book.~ Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby (1943-10-11 age:74) played by John Nettles
When Opinions Differ
Opinions differ most when there is least scientific warrant for having any.~ Daisy Bates (1914-11-11 1999-11-04 age:84)
Definition of Faith
Religious faith is believing good things are worth doing for their own sake. Even in a world that seems overpoweringly evil.~ Miner Searle Bates (1897 1978 age:81) Nanking
Though I applaud doing good deeds for their own sake, religious faith has nothing to do with it. Religious people are passive. They leave action up to god, and accept the world as it is, believing that god must, for some inscrutable reason, want it that way.
The Green Curtain
Don’t look behind the green curtain! Ignore the man behind the green curtain!~ Frank Baum (1856-05-15 1919-05-05 age:62) The Wizard of Oz
This is an allegory about religion. The wizard hides behind a green curtain, creating thunderclaps with his sound effects, trying to terrify the people. He tries to get Dorothy not to notice that he is just an ordinary human faking being the great Oz.
Right To Ridicule
To criticize a person for their race is manifestly irrational and ridiculous, but to criticize their religion, that is a right. That is a freedom. The freedom to criticize ideas, any ideas — even if they are sincerely held beliefs — is one of the fundamental freedoms of society. A law which attempts to say you can criticise, and ridicule ideas as long as they are not religious ideas is a very peculiar law indeed.
It all points to the promotion of the idea that there should be a right not to be offended. But in my view the right to offend is far more important than any right not to be offended. The right to ridicule is far more important to society than any right not to be ridiculed because one in my view represents openness — and the other represents oppression.~ Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean) (1955-01-06 age:63)
Living is easy with eyes closed~ The Beatles Strawberry Fields Forever
Misunderstanding all you see
simulacrum: something that is only an image of something either real or imagined but that is interacted with as if it really were what in represents.~ Jean Beaudriard (1929-07-27 age:88)
Consider than god may be a simulacrum.
The Holy Trinity
The modern holy trinity is money, sex and celebrity.~ William Beck The Murder Room by P.D. James
Definition of Delusion
A delusion is a belief that:
~ Professor Mike Begon (1951 age:66)
- is held even when there is no evidence to support it.
- is held on the basis of an assertion, not an axiom.
By this definition, Christians freely admit their god is a delusion, since they proudly proclaim that they believe purely on the basis of faith, not evidence and it is clear not everyone shares their basic assumptions are self-evident as an axiom demands.
The principle of asceticism never was, nor ever can be, consistently pursued by any living creature. Let but one tenth part of the inhabitants of the earth pursue it consistently and in a day’s time they will have turned it into a hell.~ Jeremy Bentham (1748-02-05 1832-06-06 age:84)
This is what religion does, forcing its misery and joylessness on others. Sometimes it is silly as when John Ashcroft spent $15,000 of taxpayer money for two gowns for statues, or when Mali rebels denied all music or really nasty — ripping out the clitorises of little girls without anaesthetic or any attempt at sanitation.
10% of priests are paedophiles. The other 90% just like to watch and help with the coverup.~ Amy Berg (1970 age:47) in documentary Deliver Us From Evil
The priesthood has become to the safe profession for paedophiles analogous to what hair dresser and florist are for effeminate gays.
Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fullness of bread and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.~ Ezekiel 16:49
That describes the USA to a tee. It is insanely conceited. It consumes the lion’s share of the earth’s resources and invades other countries to steal even more. It has exported its jobs so it no longer produces anything. It is the stingiest developed country on the planet in terms of per capita foreign aid and treats its own poor with utter contempt.
Learn From The Animals
But ask now the beasts and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air and they shall tell thee:~ Job 12:7
Or speak to the earth and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee.
If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.~ Leviticus 20:13
(literal word for word translation)
And a man who will lie down the man the woman’s naps abomination he does both-of-them death he will die their blood in them.
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.~ Matthew 7:15
Golden vials full of odours, which are prayers of the saints.~ Revelation 5:8
And the nations were angry and thy wrath is come and the time of the dead, that they should be judged and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets and to the saints and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.~ Revelation 11:18 warning the Robertsons that God will destroy them for destroying the earth.
Why You Can’t Enter HeavenAnd they sung as it were a new song before the throne and before the four beasts and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.
These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.~ Revelation 14:3-4
Definition of Ocean
Ocean: A body of water occupying 2/3 of a world made for man… who has no gills.~ Ambrose Bierce (1842-06-24 1914 age:72)
Definition of Pray
Pray: To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy.~ Ambrose Bierce (1842-06-24 1914 age:72)
You support gay equality. That means you must be a faggot yourself.~ a Christian Bigot
I also support black equality. Does that mean I must be black?
Overdoing Religious Freedom
Government shall not burden a person’s or religious organization’s freedom of religion; protect the right to act or refuse to act on religious grounds; specify that government shall prove by clear and convincing evidence prove a compelling governmental interest in establishing a burden on the freedom of religion; specify what constitutes a burden. A burden shall include indirect burdens such as withholding benefits, assessing penalties, or an exclusion from programs or access to facilities.~ Kentucky Religious Freedom Bill (2013-03-28 age:5)
This is an ill-conceived bill that muddies more than it clarifies. For example:
- May someone with a yard overrun with rats now claim they belong to the Hindu cult that worships rats?
- May someone caught with marijuana or peyote now claim they belong to cults for whom they are sacraments?
- May someone refuse to wear a hard hat or a motorcycle helmet now claiming it interferes with religious headdress?
- May known Sikh terrorists now be permitted to carry daggers on aircraft because they consider them a religious symbol?
- May Christians now legally crucify gay people the way Matthew Shepard was because their bible commands it?
- May a JW (Jehovah’s Witness) parents now withhold medical treatment from a 16-year-old child who wants it because of the religious belief that blood transfusions are wicked.
The government may not have compelling interest to interfere, but they are still other valid reasons.
Right to Build a Church
Whatever you may think of the proposed mosque and community center, lost in the heat of the debate has been a basic question — should government attempt to deny private citizens the right to build a house of worship on private property based on their particular religion? That may happen in other countries, but we should never allow it to happen here. This nation was founded on the principle that the government must never choose between religions, or favor one over another.~ Michael Bloomberg (1942-02-14 age:76) mayor of New York City. 2010-08-03
Bloomberg’s speech on religious tolerance for Muslims wanting to build a mosque in New York City is a classic. It is all the more amazing knowing Bloomberg is a Republican, a group not known for religious tolerance.
here is book called I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist, written by a couple of Christian apologists, which is essentially saying I don’t pretend enough to know things I don’t know to be an atheist.~ Dr. Peter Bogghossian Portland State University
Huh? Atheists are happy to admit ignorance. It is the Christians who make a virtue out of pretending to know things they cannot possibly know.
Definition of Faith
Faith: Pretending to know things you don’t know.~ Dr. Peter Bogghossian Portland State University
The Evil of Faith
You often speak out against faith, calling it a delusion and a cognitive sickness. How come?~ Dr. Peter Bogghossian Portland State University
Because enough is enough. A lot of people are sick and tired of being held hostage to the delusions of others and I’m one of those people. I think that people are hungry for a frank, honest discussion about things — particularly about faith. To profess things you don’t know for certain and then claim the reason for your justification is faith? That doesn’t contribute to the conversation. That’s the end of the conversation.
The Evil of Faith-Based Reasoning
Do you see faith-based reasoning as a larger problem? Bigger than just whether someone is a good person or not?~ Dr. Peter Bogghossian Portland State University
Oh absolutely. It affects our public policy today. You see it with the treatment of homosexual individuals. This is real. These are real people. These are people who are being denied civil rights on the basis of a book that was written in the freakin’ iron age. The creator of the world actually cares about where people put their penises? Just think about that from an objective point of view: We go to some planet and we see these green blobs. And half the green blobs have a celery stalk and the other half don’t . Some of these green blobs start sticking their celery stalks in some other holes and everybody’s up in arms. The creator of the universe doesn’t want the celery stalk in this hole. How do you respond to that? That is outside the bounds of reason. The only thing you can say is go to the children’s table. Those are the sorts of things that come up when we as a society don’t value critical rationality.
Pretending to Know
When one has a crisis of faith it means one is struck by the realisation than one has been pretending know things that one doesn’t know.~ Dr. Peter Bogghossian Portland State University
Religion Can be Cured
Help cure the world of the faith virus.~ Dr. Peter Bogghossian Portland State University
Excuse for Pretending to Know
Christians assert that because there is fundamental weirdness at the quantum level of the very very small one must pretend to know things one does not know, aka have faith.~ Dr. Peter Boghossian (1966-07-25 age:51) Portland State University
Faith is the Problem
Faith is the problem. Faith is unreliable way to think about problems that will not lead to the truth.~ Dr. Peter Boghossian (1966-07-25 age:51) Portland State University
Just as I am not upset with somebody who has caught a cold, so too I am not upset with somebody who’s caught the faith virus.~ Dr. Peter Boghossian (1966-07-25 age:51) Imagine no Religion
The Meaning of Life is Pretending to Know
Christians claim that life has no meaning if you stop pretending to know things you don’t know, though they phrase it more tersely as life has no meaning without faith.~ Dr. Peter Boghossian (1966-07-25 age:51) Portland State University
In post modern culture, people not only have their own views, they think they are entitled to their own facts.~ Dr. Peter Boghossian (1966-07-25 age:51)
A belief is not merely an idea the mind possesses it is an idea that possesses the mind.~ Robert Oxton Bolt (1924-08-15 1995-02-21 age:70)
There is no place in a fanatic’s head where reason can enter.~ Napoléon Bonaparte (1769-08-15 1821-05-05 age:51)
The Purpose of Religion
Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet.~ Napoléon Bonaparte (1769-08-15 1821-05-05 age:51)
I am surrounded by priests who repeat incessantly that their kingdom is not of this world and yet they lay their hands on everything they can get.~ Napoléon Bonaparte (1769-08-15 1821-05-05 age:51)
Biblical Definition of Marriage
If you can’t sell your daughter for four cows and a goat you have already changed the definition of marriage.~ Cecil Bothwell
David Bowie on God
I’m in awe of the universe, but I don’t necessarily believe there’s an intelligence or agent behind it. I do have a passion for the visual in religious rituals, though, even though they may be completely empty and bereft of substance. The incense is powerful and provocative, whether Buddhist or Catholic.~ David Bowie (1947-01-08 2016-01-10 age:69)
Holding Only One Idea
The minute you get a religion you stop thinking. Believe in one thing too much and you have no room for new ideas.~ Ray Bradbury (1920-08-22 2012-06-05 age:91) The October Country
Call to Inaction
Please do not stop praying for the people of Liberia and West Africa and for a quick end to this Ebola epidemic.~ Dr. Kent Brantly source
Playing to the Baser Nature
I resorted, like so many other pastors, to getting a cheap applause line, a cheap amen. [by gay bashing]~ Lesley Braxton (1961-08-02 age:56) Baptist minister in Renton Washington, 2012-06-12
Atheist? You Cannot be Serious
Many people have pretended to atheism or have been recorded atheist by the world. But it is justly questioned whether any man seriously adopted such a principle.~ Encyclopedia Britannica (1768 age:249) 1771
Ignoring Science is Slavery
The world today is made, it is powered by science; and for any man to abdicate an interest in science is to walk with open eyes towards slavery.~ Jacob Bronowski (1908-01-18 1974-08-22 age:66) Science and Human Values
Explaining the Known by the Unknown
To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy.~ Dr. David Marshall Brooks (1902-06-15 1994 age:92) The Necessity of Atheism
If God Had Wanted Us To…
If God had wanted us to fly, he would gave given us tickets.~ Mel Brooks (1926-06-28 age:91)
It is inappropriate to criticise someone’s religion. It is disrespectful.~ Brian S. Brown President of the National Organisation for Marriage.
He wants people to ignore the evil done in the name of Christianity. He wants others to conspire in the lie that the tenets of religion are true.
Atheism, the arrogant belief that the universe — wasn’t created for us.~ Bruce 2008-07-07 Quoted by Michael Nugent in his address Arrogant atheists and not collecting stamps at the World Atheist Convention in Dublin.
The Sun is a Star
The stars in the sky are really other suns like our own, around which orbit other planets. (paraphrase)~ Giordano Bruno (1548 1600-02-17 age:51)
For this discovery, the church imprisoned him for age years then burned him at the stake. What is the matter with modern Christians that they refuse to acknowledge they are just as aggressively ignorant today in rejecting objective scientific evidence?
Negative Effect of Religion
I have seldom met an intelligent person whose views were not narrowed and distorted by religion.~ James Buchanan, Jr. (1791-04-23 1868-06-01 age:77) 15th president of the USA
Believe nothing merely because you have been told it. Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher. But whatsoever, after due examination and analysis, you find to be kind, conducive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of all beings — that doctrine believe and cling to and take it as your guide.~ Gautama Buddha (563 BC 483 BC age:80)
This existence of ours is as transient as autumn clouds~ Gautama Buddha (563 BC 483 BC age:80)
To watch the birth and death of beings is like looking at the movements of a dance.
A lifetime is like a flash of lightning in the sky,
Rushing by, like a torrent down a steep mountain.
The literal truth of these words sink in with a vengeance when you hit retirement age.
Definition of Faith
Faith is believing in stuff that nobody in their right mind would believe.~ Archie Bunker played by Carroll O’Connor (1924-08-02 2001-06-21 age:76)
Definition of God
God is all that is. Since everything that exists is God, in one form or another, the only way that God can make a tree is by becoming the tree. Likewise, the way God made you was by becoming you.~ Tolly Burkan (1948-05-17 age:69)
Listen As If For the First Time
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.~ Edmund Burke (1729-01-12 1797-07-09 age:68)
Scoundrels invented religion to lull people into apathy, leaving it up to a god to oppose the evildoers, who, of course, does nothing at all.
Belief like any other moving body follows the path of least resistance.~ Samuel Butler (1835-12-04 1902-06-18 age:66)
Christ and Church Divorce
Christ and The Church: If he were to apply for a divorce on the grounds of cruelty, adultery and desertion, he would probably get one.~ Samuel Butler (1835-12-04 1902-06-18 age:66)
Christ the Crucifier
Christ was only crucified once and for a few hours. Think of the hundreds of thousands whom Christ has been crucifying in a quiet way ever since.~ Samuel Butler (1835-12-04 1902-06-18 age:66)
Highest Present Development
Man is God’s highest present development. He is the latest thing in God.~ Samuel Butler (1835-12-04 1902-06-18 age:66)
The Last Witch
God as now generally conceived of is only the last witch.~ Samuel Butler (1835-12-04 1902-06-18 age:66)
Christ: I dislike him very much. Still, I can stand him. What I cannot stand is the wretched band of people whose profession is to hoodwink us about him.~ Samuel Butler (1835-12-04 1902-06-18 age:66)
Virtue of Intoxication
If the headache would only precede the intoxication, alcoholism would be a virtue.~ Samuel Butler (1835-12-04 1902-06-18 age:66)
Slavery of Religion
As my ancestors are free from slavery, I am free from the slavery of religion.~ Thelma Butterfly McQueen (1911-01-08 1995-12-22 age:84)
God and Country
God and Country are an unbeatable team; they break all records for oppression and bloodshed.~ Luis Buñuel (1900-02-22 1983-08-29 age:83)
Christians Burning Christians
Christians have burnt each other, quite persuaded. That all the Apostles would have done as they did.~ Lord George Gordon Byron (1788-01-22 1824-04-19 age:36)
I do not believe in any religion, I will have nothing to do with immortality. We are miserable enough in this life without speculating upon another.~ Lord George Gordon Byron (1788-01-22 1824-04-19 age:36)
If you pray to St. Bartholomew of Cleves, the patron saint of fools and write three letters about it, one to your mother, one to your best friend and one to a high school teacher, your shampoo bottle will always have one more serving in it, even if you don’t buy any more. This also works for mayonnaise.~ Bambi C.
Focusing on the Imaginary
As a rule, men worry more about what they can’t see than about what they can.~ Julius Gaius Caesar (100-07-13 BC 44-03-15 BC age:55)
Source of Belief
Men freely believe that which they desire.~ Julius Gaius Caesar (100-07-13 BC 44-03-15 BC age:55)
Eternal Life as an Imbecile
We could live forever, if we were willing to be stupid the whole time.~ Orson Scott Card (1951-08-24 age:66), Ender’s Shadow
Surely you’re not saying that God had to choose between long life and intelligence for human beings! It’s there in your own Bible, Carlotta. Two trees — knowledge and life. You eat of the tree of knowledge and you will surely die. You eat of the tree of life and you remain a child in the garden forever, undying.
Could it be the Christians got their metaphor right? Our too-rapidly-evolved intelligence is all but certain to result in our early extinction. Was Christianity a flat-footed attempt to dumb down humanity?
So Far, So Good
Christians have been expecting the imminent end of the world for millennia.~ Orson Scott Card (1951-08-24 age:66), Ender’s Shadow
But it keeps not ending.
So far, so good.
I advocate the abolition of all religions, without setting up anything new of the kind.~ Richard Carlile (1790-12-08 1843-02-10 age:52)
For saying this, he and his supporters were jailed for a total of hundreds of years.
George Carlin on Religion
When it comes to bullshit, big-time, major league bullshit, you have to stand in awe of the all-time champion of false promises and exaggerated claims, religion. No contest. No contest. Religion. Religion easily has the greatest bullshit story ever told. Think about it. Religion has actually convinced people that there’s an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever ’til the end of time!
But He loves you. He loves you, and He needs money! He always needs money! He’s all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, somehow just can’t handle money! Religion takes in billions of dollars, they pay no taxes, and they always need a little more. Now, you talk about a good bullshit story. Holy Shit!~ George Carlin (1937-05-12 2008-06-22 age:71)
Results like these [state of the earth] do not belong on the resumé of a supreme being.~ George Carlin (1937-05-12 2008-06-22 age:71)
Religion = Mind Control
Religion is just mind control.~ George Carlin (1937-05-12 2008-06-22 age:71)
I have as much authority as the Pope, I just don’t have as many people who believe it.~ George Carlin (1937-05-12 2008-06-22 age:71)
The Religious Crazy Con
Religion has actually convinced people that there’s an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever ’til the end of time! But He loves you!~ George Carlin (1937-05-12 2008-06-22 age:71)
If churches want to play the game of politics, let them pay admission like everyone else.~ George Carlin (1937-05-12 2008-06-22 age:71)
I would never want to be a member of a group whose symbol was a guy nailed to two pieces of wood.~ George Carlin (1937-05-12 2008-06-22 age:71)
I’ve begun worshiping the Sun for a number of reasons. First of all, unlike some other gods I could mention, I can see the Sun. It’s there for me every day. And the things it brings me are quite apparent all the time: heat, light, food, a lovely day. There’s no mystery, no one asks for money, I don’t have to dress up and there’s no boring pageantry. And interestingly enough, I have found that the prayers I offer to the sun and the prayers I formerly offered to God are all answered at about the same 50% rate.~ George Carlin (1937-05-12 2008-06-22 age:71)
God Made the Universe Just for Us
99.99999% of the universe is a lethal radiation-filled vacuum. That means god must really like radiation-filled vacuums.~ Dr. Richard Carrier (1969-12-01 age:48)
God Made the Universe Just for Us, Seriously?
99.99999% of the universe is a lethal radiation-filled vacuum.~ Dr. Richard Carrier (1969-12-01 age:48)
99.99999% of all the material in the universe composes stars and black holes on which nothing can live.
99.99999% of all the other material in the universe (space dust, asteroids, planets, moons) is barren of life or is inhospitable to life.
And Christians have the gall to claim their god designed every molecule of this universe purely for the convenience of his darling, man. If it were so designed, then most of it would be habitable, not just a microscopic sliver.
The Outsider Test For Faith
~ Dr. Richard Carrier (1969-12-01 age:48)
- You must test your own religious claims and texts by the same standards you apply to other religions.
- If your religion’s claims and texts fair no better, then your religion is just as false as theirs is.
This is really not God’s Universe
- 99.99999% of the universe is a lethal radiation-filled vacuum.
- 99.999999% of all the material in the universe composes starts and black holes on which nothing can live.
- 99.99999% of all the other material in the universe (space dust, asteroids, planets, moons) is barren of life or inhospitable to life.
But Christians tell use Yahweh created the entire universe purely for the delectation of man. Perhaps in their view the universe consisted of nothing but England.~ Dr. Richard Carrier (1969-12-01 age:48)
Death is Final
Claims that some form of consciousness persists after our bodies die and decay into their constituent atoms face one huge, insuperable obstacle: the laws of physics underlying everyday life are completely understood, and there’s no way within those laws to allow for the information stored in our brains to persist after we die. If you claim that some form of soul persists beyond death, what particles is that soul made of? What forces are holding it together? How does it interact with ordinary matter?~ Physicist Sean M. Carroll (1966-10-05 age:51)
Mechanism of the Soul
There is no life after death. If you believe in life after death, tell me what particles contain the information that moves your soul from place to place. Is it electrons? Because those would be easy to notice because electrons are electrically charged. It is actually quite a lot of charge. Is it atoms? But the atoms don’t move very much when you die. If you believe that there is some way you have an immortal soul, that travels from place to place, then you are not just saying we don’t know how it works, you are saying that current knowledge of the laws of physics is wrong [And by extension, all technology based on this knowledge does not work. For example, computers and nuclear weapons must be a sham.] which means you had better give me a good reason to believe our current knowledge of the laws of physics is wrong because it is not.~ Physicist Sean M. Carroll (1966-10-05 age:51)
Early scientists were convince all life contained some sort of vital force and in addition humans had a soul that left the body at death and went to have an afterlife. They searched and search and could find neither. Further, modern particle physicists on theoretical grounds say no particle could exist to support souls.
I have good news and bad news for you. The bad news is the universe does not care about you — qua universe. The universe is made of elementary particle that don’t have intelligence, don’t pass judgment, don’t have a sense of right and wrong. And the fear is, the existential anxiety is that if that purpose and meaningfulness is not given to me by the universe, then it cannot exist. The good news is that fear is a mistake. There is another option that we create purpose and meaning in the world. If you love somebody, it is not because that love is put into you by something outside. It’s because you created that from inside yourself. If you act good to somebody it’s not because you’re given instructions to do so. It’s a choice that you made. This is a very scary world. You should be affected at a very deep level by the thought that the universe does not care, does not pass judgment on you, but it is also challenging and liberating that we can create lives that are worth living. I have never met god, or any spirits or any angels, but I have met many human beings. Many of them were amazing people. And I truly believe if we accept the universe for what it is, if we approach reality with an open mind and an open heart, then we can create lives very much worth living.~ Physicist Sean M. Carroll (1966-10-05 age:51)
Rôle of God
God and spirituality don’t play a rôle in how the universe works.~ Physicist Sean M. Carroll (1966-10-05 age:51)
Faults Means Universe is Not Divine
The nature of the universe has by no means been made through divine power, seeing how great are the faults that mar it.~ Titus Lucretius Carus (94 BC 55 BC age:39)
Fear Creates Gods
Fear is the mother of all gods. Nature does all things without their meddling.~ Titus Lucretius Carus (94 BC 55 BC age:39)
Fear ⊃ Gods
Fear is the mother of all gods.~ Titus Lucretius Carus (94 BC 55 BC age:39)
Nature free at once of her haughty lords is seen to do all the things spontaneously of herself without the meddling of the gods.~ Titus Lucretius Carus (94 BC 55 BC age:39)
Religion ⇒ Evil
Tantum religio potuit suadere malorum.~ Titus Lucretius Carus (94 BC 55 BC age:39)
Only religion can lead to such evil.
Uses of Religion
All religions are equally sublime to the ignorant, useful to the politician and ridiculous to the philosopher.~ Titus Lucretius Carus (94 BC 55 BC age:39)
Common Sense Atheism
By simple common sense I don’t believe in God, in none.~ Sir Charles Spencer Charlie Chaplin (1889-04-06 1977-12-25 age:88)
Outrage To Common Sense
All Religions have this in common, that they are an outrage to common sense for they are pieced together out of a variety of elements, some of which seem so unworthy, sordid and at odds with man’s reason, that any strong and vigorous intelligence laughs at them.~ Pierre Charron (1541 1603-11-16 age:62) Catholic theologian.
Danger of Only One Idea
Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it’s the only one you have.~ Emilé-Auguste Chartier (1868-03-03 1951-06-02 age:83)
The Bible is one of the most genocidal books in history.~ Noam Chomsky (1928-12-07 age:89)
You can find things in the traditional religions which are very benign and decent and wonderful and so on, but I mean, the Bible is probably the most genocidal book in the literary canon. The God of the Bible — not only did He order His chosen people to carry out literal genocide — I mean, wipe out every Amalekite to the last man, woman, child and, you know, donkey and so on because hundreds of years ago they got in your way when you were trying to cross the desert — not only did He do things like that, but, after all, the God of the Bible was ready to destroy every living creature on earth because some humans irritated Him. That’s the story of Noah. I mean, that’s beyond genocide — you don’t know how to describe this creature. Somebody offended Him and He was going to destroy every living being on earth? And then He was talked into allowing two of each species to stay alive — that’s supposed to be gentle and wonderful.~ Noam Chomsky (1928-12-07 age:89)
Irrationality is the ability to have two contradictory ideas in your mind at the same time and to believe both of them. That’s the peak of irrationality.~ Noam Chomsky (1928-12-07 age:89)
One common example is a Christian who believes the bible is inerrant, but is uses modern science in preference to bible science.
Definition of Religion
Religion is a belief in supernatural entities or forces that have an effect on the natural world — A belief in forces that are invisible, intangible, inaudible and otherwise undetectable by any natural means.~ Greta Christina (1961-12-31 age:56)
Definition of Fanatic
A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.~ Winston Churchill (1874-11-30 1965-01-24 age:90)
Private vs Public Beliefs
On the subject of the nature of the gods, the first question is Do the gods exist or do the not? It is difficult you may say to deny that they exist. I would agree if we were arguing the matter in a public assembly, but in a private discussion of this kind, it is perfectly easy to do so.~ Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-01-03 BC 43-12-07 BC age:63)
The American theocracy owns 10,000 nuclear weapons.~ CircusOfBedlam
The USA is a theocracy in the sense most voters will only vote for a fellow Christian.
Hijacking of Morality
The greatest tragedy in mankind’s entire history may be the hijacking of morality by religion.~ Arthur C. Clarke (1917-12-16 2008-03-19 age:90)
Religion is a byproduct of fear. For much of human history, it may have been a necessary evil, but why was it more evil than necessary? Isn’t killing people in the name of God a pretty good definition of insanity?~ Arthur C. Clarke (1917-12-16 2008-03-19 age:90)
It is a truism that almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so.~ Arthur C. Clarke (1917-12-16 2008-03-19 age:90)
In reality, there are no biblical literalists, only selective literalists. By abolishing slavery and ordaining women, millions of Protestants have gone far beyond biblical literalism. It’s time we did the same for homophobia.~ William Sloane Coffin Jr. (1924-06-01 2006-04-12 age:81)
Absolute Beliefs ⇒ Cruelty
Cruel persecution and intolerance are not accidents, but grow out of the very essence of religion, namely, its absolute claims.~ Morris Raphael Cohen (1880-07-25 1947-01-28 age:66)
Collapse of the Protestants
The number of people who describe themselves as generically Protestant went from approximately 17 million in 1990 to 5 million in 2009.~ researchers at Trinity College reported in the Washington Post
Same God, Different Message
It seems to me that Islam and Christianity and Judaism all have the same god and he’s telling them all different things.~ Billy Connolly (1942-11-24 age:75)
Wee Parking Angel
I don’t believe in angels, no… But I do have a wee parking angel. It’s on my dashboard and you wind it up. The wings flap and it’s supposed to give you a parking space. It’s worked so far.~ Billy Connolly (1942-11-24 age:75)
Men Are Evil Enough On Their Own
The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.~ Joseph Conrad (1857-12-03 1924-08-03 age:66)
Ignorance ⇏ God
Just because your’re not smart enough to know what the fuck they’re [physicists] are talking about doesn’t mean god exists.~ Dr. Brian Cox (1968-03-03 age:50)
The problem with today’s world is that everyone believes they have the right to express their opinion and have others listen to it.
The correct statement of individual rights is that everyone has the right to an opinion, but crucially, that opinion can be roundly ignored and even made fun of, particularly if it is demonstrably nonsense!~ Dr. Brian Cox (1968-03-03 age:50)
The simple fables of the religious of the world have come to seem like tales told to children.~ Dr. Francis Crick (1916-06-08 2004-07-28 age:88)
Nothing really dies, I told him. It just turns into something else. Everything is always changing form. Do you remember the pumpkin that rotted into the earth in your garden? Tomatoes sprouted where it used to be. This bird will go back to the earth and turn into lavender flowers and butterflies.~ Anne Cushman
Nothing But Opinions
Ideas about god and what he may want are nothing but opinion and conjecture.~ Brian Dalton (1965-05-31 age:52)
The Majority Think you are Wrong
No matter what you believe about god, the majority of the people on earth are absolutely sure you are wrong.~ DarkMatter2525
God = Mother Goose
I don’t believe in God because I don’t believe in Mother Goose.~ Clarence Darrow (1857-04-18 1938-03-13 age:80)
Yahweh is a Devil
I am not afraid of any god in the universe who would send me or any other man or woman to hell. If there were such a being, he would not be a god; he would be a devil.~ Clarence Darrow (1857-04-18 1938-03-13 age:80)
When Darwin was asked why he abandoned Christianity, he replied It is not supported by evidence.~ Charles Darwin (1809-02-12 1882-04-19 age:73)
Christianity is a Barbaric Religion
I had gradually come, by this time [1839-01], to see that the Old Testament from its manifestly false history of the world, with the Tower of Babel, the rainbow as a sign, etc., etc. and from its attributing to God the feelings of a revengeful tyrant, was no more to be trusted than the sacred books of the Hindoos, or the beliefs of any barbarian.~ Charles Darwin (1809-02-12 1882-04-19 age:73)
With respect to the theological view of the question. This is always painful to me. I am bewildered. I had no intention to write atheistically. But I own that I cannot see as plainly as others do and as I should wish to do, evidence of design and beneficence on all sides of us. There seems to me too much misery in the world. I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidæ [parasitic wasps] with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of Caterpillars, or that a cat should play with mice. Not believing this, I see no necessity in the belief that the eye was expressly designed. On the other hand, I cannot anyhow be contented to view this wonderful universe and especially the nature of man and to conclude that everything is the result of brute force. I am inclined to look at everything as resulting from designed laws, with the details, whether good or bad, left to the working out of what we may call chance. Not that this notion at all satisfies me. I feel most deeply that the whole subject is too profound for the human intellect. A dog might as well speculate on the mind of Newton. Let each man hope and believe what he can. Certainly I agree with you that my views are not at all necessarily atheistical.~ Charles Darwin (1809-02-12 1882-04-19 age:73)
Darwin was not a brave man. He was terrified of Christians and suffered physically from that fear. He sucked up to them even as he wrote his books that, as a side effect, demolished their bullshit.
By further reflecting that the clearest evidence would be requisite to make any sane man believe in the miracles by which Christianity is supported, — and that the more we know of the fixed laws of nature the more incredible the miracle become; — that the men at the time were ignorant and credulous to a degree almost incomprehensible by us, — that the Gospels cannot be proved to have been written simultaneously with the events, — that they differ in many important details, far too important, as it seemed to me, to be admitted as the usual inaccuracies of eye-witnesses, — by such reflections as these, which I give not as having the least novelty or value, but as they influenced me, I gradually came to disbelieve in Christianity as a divine revelation.~ Charles Darwin (1809-02-12 1882-04-19 age:73)
The evidence for Christianity is very weak, nowhere near the quality that would be needed in a court of law to even convict a pickpocket, much less to substantiate so grandiose a claim.
The more we know of the fixed laws of nature the more incredible do miracles become, — that the men at that time were ignorant and credulous to a degree almost incomprehensible by us, — that the Gospels cannot be proved to have been written simultaneously with the events, — that they differ in many important details, far too important as it seemed to me to be admitted as the usual inaccuracies of eye-witnesses; — by such reflections as these… I gradually came to disbelieve in Christianity as a divine revelation.~ Charles Darwin (1809-02-12 1882-04-19 age:73)
When Darwin started his journey on the Beagle, he had been studying for the clergy and had no doubts about the absolute truth of every line of the bible. It was having a deep look at nature that shattered his belief.
Nor must we overlook the probability of the constant inculcation in a belief in God on the minds of children producing so strong and perhaps an inherited effect on their brains not yet fully developed, that it would be as difficult for them to throw off their belief in God, as for a monkey to throw off its instinctive fear and hatred of a snake.~ Charles Darwin (1809-02-12 1882-04-19 age:73)
Only Sadists Wish Christianity to be True
I can indeed hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true; for if so the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe and this would include my Father, Brother and almost all my best friends, will be everlastingly punished. And this is a damnable doctrine.~ Charles Darwin (1809-02-12 1882-04-19 age:73)
Atheism is Not a Religion
Atheism is not a religion. Abstinence is not a sex position.~ Dr. Richard Dawkins (1941-03-26 age:77), 2005-04-25, Salon
The Bible Itself is an Immoral Book
People who do not know the Bible well have been gulled into thinking it is a good guide to morality. This mistaken view may have motivated the millionaire Conservative party donors. I have even heard the cynically misanthropic opinion that, without the Bible as a moral compass, people would have no restraint against murder, theft and mayhem. The surest way to disabuse yourself of this pernicious falsehood is to read the Bible itself.~ Dr. Richard Dawkins (1941-03-26 age:77) Why I want all our children to read the King James Bible 2012-05-19 source, 2005-04-25, Salon
Birthplace determines Religion
If you have a faith, it is statistically overwhelmingly likely that it is the same faith as your parents and grandparents had. No doubt soaring cathedrals, stirring music, moving stories and parables, help a bit. But by far the most important variable determining your religion is the accident of birth. The convictions that you so passionately believe would have been a completely different and largely contradictory, set of convictions, if only you had happened to be born in a different place.~ Dr. Richard Dawkins (1941-03-26 age:77) Viruses of the Mind 1993, 2005-04-25, Salon
It is an absurd law [Section 295A of the Indian penal code] but also extremely dangerous because it gives fanatics, whether they are Hindus, Catholics or Muslims, a licence to be offended. It also allows people who are in dispute with you to make up false accusations of blasphemy.~ Dr. Richard Dawkins (1941-03-26 age:77) 2012-12-05, 2005-04-25, Salon
Blinding Trusting Parents
From a biological point of view, there are lots of different theories about why we have this extraordinary predisposition to believe in supernatural things. One suggestion is that the child mind is, for very good Darwinian reasons, susceptible to infection the same way a computer is. In order to be useful, a computer has to be programmable, to obey whatever it’s told to do. That automatically makes it vulnerable to computer viruses, which are programs that say, Spread me, copy me, pass me on. Once a viral program gets started, there is nothing to stop it.
Similarly, the child brain is preprogrammed by natural selection to obey and believe what parents and other adults tell it. In general, it’s a good thing that child brains should be susceptible to being taught what to do and what to believe by adults. But this necessarily carries the down side that bad ideas, useless ideas, waste of time ideas like rain dances and other religious customs, will also be passed down the generations. The child brain is very susceptible to this kind of infection. And it also spreads sideways by cross infection when a charismatic preacher goes around infecting new minds that were previously uninfected.~ Dr. Richard Dawkins (1941-03-26 age:77), 2005-04-25, Salon
In early times, the chance of a new idea being better that of tribal wisdom was remote. Today ideas held by parents are usually wrong.
Christians are Worse than Sexual Abusers
Who will say with confidence that sexual abuse is more permanently damaging to children than threatening them with the eternal and unquenchable fires of hell?~ Dr. Richard Dawkins (1941-03-26 age:77)
Religion: Together we can find the cure.~ Dr. Richard Dawkins (1941-03-26 age:77) (on a tee shirt), 2005-04-25, Salon
Definition of Religion
Religion is a mind virus.~ Dr. Richard Dawkins (1941-03-26 age:77)
Children believe what their parents tell them. Unfortunately, they are not clever enough to tell the useful apart from garbage information like religion. So they pass it on and pass it on, generation after generation. It is parasitic information., 2005-04-25, Salon
Delusion + Belief Without Evidence = Trouble
A delusion that encourages belief where there is no evidence is asking for trouble. Disagreements between incompatible beliefs cannot be settled by reasoned argument because reasoned argument is drummed out of those trained in religion from the cradle. Instead, disagreements are settled by other means which, in extreme cases, inevitably become violent. Scientists disagree among themselves but they never fight over their disagreements. They argue about evidence or go out and seek new evidence. Much the same is true of philosophers, historians and literary critics.~ Dr. Richard Dawkins (1941-03-26 age:77), 2005-04-25, Salon
There is an attitude in the culture that says that everybody is entitled to their opinion. You got to respect their opinion. No, you damn well haven’t got to respect their opinion.~ Dr. Richard Dawkins (1941-03-26 age:77)
You don’t have a right to kill or beat someone up just because espouse a silly opinion. On the other hand, you don’t have to pretend somebody’s foolish, baseless opinion is equal to those of informed people. Opinions are not created equal., 2005-04-25, Salon
It is not helpful to postulate a creator because the creator is the very kind of thing that needs an explanation and although it is difficult enough to explain how a very simple origin of the universe came into being, how matter and energy, how one or two physical constants came into existence. Although it is difficult enough to explain how simplicity came into existence, it is a hell of a lot harder to think how something as complicated as a god comes into existence, difficult enough to think of how a deist god comes into existence and even more difficult to think how a Christian god who actually cares about things like sin, who gets himself born of a virgin.~ Dr. Richard Dawkins (1941-03-26 age:77)
The notion of any god is highly improbable, but when you add all the silly tales from the bible and the thousands of biblical claims that fly in the face of observed reality, the whole notion of Yahweh becomes totally absurd. Even Paul Bunyan and Babe the blue ox is more plausible.
Faith Leads To Radicalisation
It is easy to blame radicalisation [for terrorism], but radicalisation is easy if people are brought up in the first place to believe that faith is a virtue. If you bring up children and tell them that believing without evidence, which is what faith is, is a virtue, then only a tiny minority of them may became radicalised but the ground has been fertilised for radicalisation. It’s easy radicalise if people have been pre-adapted, have been prepared with the view that faith is a virtue that what your religion teaches you is absolutely right. In a way, no wonder they are so easily radicalised because they are told from babyhood onwards, that their religion is the all-important thing and that’s what they have to believe, even if there is no evidence.~ Dr. Richard Dawkins (1941-03-26 age:77) CNN interview
The Great Cop-out
Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence.~ Dr. Richard Dawkins (1941-03-26 age:77), 2005-04-25, Salon
I Don’t Believe You
When I meet somebody who claims to be religious, my first impulse is I don’t believe you. I don’t believe you. I don’t believe you until you tell me, do you really believe, for example, if they say they are Catholics, do you believe that when a priest blesses a wafer it turns into the body of Christ? Are you seriously telling me you believe that? Are you seriously saying that wine turns into blood? Mock them! Ridicule them! [pause] In public! don’t fall for the convention that we’re all too polite to talk about religion. Religion is not off the table. Religion is not off-limits. Religion makes specific claims about the universe which need to be substantiated and need to be challenged and, if necessary, need to be ridiculed with contempt.~ Dr. Richard Dawkins (1941-03-26 age:77) Reason Rally 2012
Keeping People In Line Through Bogus Threats
The cynic about human nature might say that religious morality is an effective way of keeping people in line. The threat of hell, the reward of heaven, but the rules of the holy books are out of date and often barbaric.~ Dr. Richard Dawkins (1941-03-26 age:77) Sex Death and the Meaning of Life
Lacking Mental Immunity
With so many mind-bytes to be downloaded, so many mental codons to be replicated, it is no wonder that child brains are gullible, open to almost any suggestion, vulnerable to subversion, easy prey to Moonies, Scientologists and nuns. Like immune-deficient patients, children are wide open to mental infections that adults might brush off without effort.~ Dr. Richard Dawkins (1941-03-26 age:77) Viruses of the Mind 1993, 2005-04-25, Salon
Nobody would seriously describe a tiny child as a Marxist child or an Anarchist child or a Post-modernist child. Yet children are routinely labeled with the religion of their parents. We need to encourage people to think carefully before labeling any child too young to know their own opinions and our adverts will help to do that.~ Dr. Richard Dawkins (1941-03-26 age:77), 2005-04-25, Salon
By all means, let us be open-minded, but not so open-minded our brains drop out.~ Dr. Richard Dawkins (1941-03-26 age:77), 2005-04-25, Salon
The Penis Analogy
Religion is like a penis. It is a fine thing so long as you keep it do yourself, don’t wave it about and don’t thrust it down our children’s throats.~ Dr. Richard Dawkins (1941-03-26 age:77)
Poverty and Religion are Correlated
It has been convincingly demonstrated that countries where there are high rates of poverty, or high rates of economic inequality, are the countries with the highest rates of religious beliefs.~ Dr. Richard Dawkins (1941-03-26 age:77)
This is also true within the USA. The economically devastated states have the highest incidence of religion. Why would this be so? Believing in faulty science, superstition and things that are untrue make you do stupid things that harm your well being. Looking at is from the other end, poverty implies no education, no travel, no literacy, so people are susceptible to superstition and con men. Highly stratified societies create myths to justify injustice and those at the top of the caste system are the priests who sell the con to those at the bottom. What else could account for the correlation? that the deities punish those who believe in gods? or that people are believing in the wrong gods?
Poverty ⇒ Religion
It has been convincingly demonstrated that in countries with high rates of poverty, and high rates of economic inequality are the countries with the highest rates of religious belief.~ Dr. Richard Dawkins (1941-03-26 age:77)
That just shows correlation. Is it that economic desperation drives people to the last resort of religion, or is it that religion makes people waste time with prayer and other ineffective measures of improving ones’ lot rather than taking effective measures to increase wealth?, 2005-04-25, Salon
Promoting Blind Faith
The meme for blind faith secures its own perpetuation by the simple unconscious expedient of discouraging rational inquiry.~ Dr. Richard Dawkins (1941-03-26 age:77), 2005-04-25, Salon
Religion is Not the Root of All Evil
Religion is the root of quite a lot of evil.~ Dr. Richard Dawkins (1941-03-26 age:77), 2005-04-25, Salon
Religion: a Evolutionary Dead End
Religion is nothing more than a useless and sometimes dangerous, evolutionary accident. Religious behavior may be a misfiring, an unfortunate byproduct of an underlying psychological propensity which in other circumstances is, or once was, useful.~ Dr. Richard Dawkins (1941-03-26 age:77)
Religions Make False Scientific Claims
Religions do make claims about the universe — the same kinds of claims that scientists make, except they’re usually false.~ Dr. Richard Dawkins (1941-03-26 age:77), 2005-04-25, Salon
Satisfied With Ignorance
One of the truly bad effects of religion is that it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding.~ Dr. Richard Dawkins (1941-03-26 age:77)
It is a virtue to admit ignorance when you don’t know, but not to wallow in ignorance as an end in itself.
Having a debate with a modern Christian is like punching a sponge.~ Dr. Richard Dawkins (1941-03-26 age:77)
Surprising Lack of Influence of Atheists
If you divide Christians into denominations, agnostics and atheists come in third, behind Catholics and Baptists. That’s interesting when you contrast it with the lack of influence of nonbelievers.~ Dr. Richard Dawkins (1941-03-26 age:77) source, 2005-04-25, Salon
Teaching About Religion
I think there in a great deal to be said for religious education in the sense of teaching about religion and biblical literacy. Both those things, by the way, I suspect will prepare a child to give up religion. If you are taught comparative religion, you are more likely to realise that there are other religions than the one you have been brought up in. And if you are if you are taught to read the bible, I can think of almost nothing more calculated to turn you off religion.~ Dr. Richard Dawkins (1941-03-26 age:77) Westminster Faith Debate , 2005-04-25, Salon
Threats ⇒ Lack of Confidence
I have great difficulty having any respect for a religion that has so little confidence in the truth of its beliefs that it feels reduced to using threats in order to propagate those beliefs.~ Dr. Richard Dawkins (1941-03-26 age:77)
Torturing To Death A Lame Idea
It’s a truly disgusting idea that the creator of the universe — capable of inventing the laws of physics and designing the evolutionary process — that this protégé of supernatural intellect couldn’t think of a better way to forgive our sins than to have himself tortured to death.~ Dr. Richard Dawkins (1941-03-26 age:77) source, 2005-04-25, Salon
Two Religions Cannot Be Right
Two religions cannot both be right because they contradict each other, yet they can both be wrong.~ Dr. Richard Dawkins (1941-03-26 age:77)
Given that there are over 10,000 religions, the odds of picking the correct one are pretty poor, almost hopeless when you consider nearly everyone just blindly follows the choice of their parents, without even taking cursory look at any of the others, or looking for any evidence to support their choice or looking for evidence that any of the beliefs of any of the religions are plausible.
Is a Watcher God Necessary For Morality?
People say if we don’t believe god is watching over us, we abandon morality. Are they right?~ Dr. Richard Dawkins (1941-03-26 age:77) Sex Death and the Meaning of Life
There are two questions hidden in there.
- Are atheists more or less moral than believers? In my experience Christians and Muslims behave far worse than anyone else. Steven Pinker explains why in his book The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined. Research has shown that Christianity improves the behaviour of 1/3 of the people it touches and worsens the behaviour of the other 2/3. Then there is the matter of the Catholics formally forgiving sin, undoing the fear of the watcher in the sky.
- Does god exist? The assumed loss of morality is an argument for pretending there is a god, not for his actual existence.
We Conform to the Universe, Not the Reverse
To illustrate the vain conceit that the universe must be somehow pre-ordained for us because we are so well-suited to live in it, he [Douglas Adams] mimed a wonderfully funny imitation of a puddle of water, fitting itself snugly into a depression in the ground, the depression uncannily being exactly the same shape as the puddle.~ Dr. Richard Dawkins (1941-03-26 age:77) Lament for Douglas 2001-05-14
Yahweh is No Moral Role Model
Do those people who hold up the Bible as an inspiration to moral rectitude have the slightest notion of what is actually written in it? … What makes my jaw drop is that people should base their lives on such as appalling model as Yahweh, and even worse that they should bossily try to force that evil monster, whether fact or fiction, on the rest of us.~ Dr. Richard Dawkins (1941-03-26 age:77), 2005-04-25, Salon
The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous, proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.~ Dr. Richard Dawkins (1941-03-26 age:77), The God Delusion chapter 2, page 31 Yahweh the serial killer
If any of this surprises you, it is because you have yet to read the bible cover to cover. Dawkins is not giving his personal opinion of Yahweh, as most Christians presume. He is merely reporting what the bible has to say about him. Most Christians are exposed only to a few cherry-picked verses that put Yahweh in a much better light. Christians assert Yahweh wrote the bible himself. It is thus astounding that he would paint himself in such a bad light. It seems the ancient believers were proud Yahweh was such a bad-ass. After all, he started out life as a war god.
You are the Flow
Matter flows from place to place and momentarily comes together to be you. Some people find that thought disturbing. I find the reality thrilling.~ Dr. Richard Dawkins (1941-03-26 age:77)
We have had plenty of atheist presidents; they just wouldn’t admit it.~ Daniel C. Dennett (1942-03-28 age:76)
Belief in Belief In God
I have a feeling that not that many people actually believe in God. Many people believe in belief in God. That is, they think it is a Good Thing™ and they try to believe in God, they hope to believe in God, they wish they could believe in God, they go through all the motions, they try very hard to be devout. Sometimes they succeed and for some periods of their life they actually do, in some sense, believe there is a God and they think they are the better for it. Otherwise, they behave like people who probably don’t believe in God. Very few people behave as if they really believe in God. A lot of people behave as if they believe they should believe in god. How would you behave if you believed in God? You would, perhaps — and some people do this — be prepared to take what other people would consider suicidal risks because you believe God is going to be there to save you. You would be prepared to give away everything you owned because God commanded you to do it and so forth.~ Daniel C. Dennett (1942-03-28 age:76)
Believing in God
There are no good reasons to believe in god.~ Daniel C. Dennett (1942-03-28 age:76)
Definition Of Religion
Religion is defined as social systems whose participants avow a supernatural agent or agents whose approval is to be sought.~ Daniel C. Dennett (1942-03-28 age:76)
I don’t think there is any religious revival. I think what we are hearing, the furor, is merely the hysterical response of the churches the handwriting on the wall that they are seeing.~ Daniel C. Dennett (1942-03-28 age:76)
The Hurt Feelings Card
It’s a no win situation. It’s a mug’s game. The religions have contrived to make it impossible to disagree with them critically without being rude. They play the hurt feelings card at every opportunity.~ Daniel C. Dennett (1942-03-28 age:76)
No Reasons for God
There are no good reasons to believe in god.~ Daniel C. Dennett (1942-03-28 age:76)
Reasons for Declaring Belief
Reasons for declaring belief is not are not the same as reasons for believing in god.~ Daniel C. Dennett (1942-03-28 age:76)
Religions have depended on the relative isolation and ignorance of their flocks, forever and this is all breaking down.~ Daniel C. Dennett (1942-03-28 age:76)
Seminaries Destroy Belief in God
You can’t get through seminary and come out believing in God!~ Daniel C. Dennett (1942-03-28 age:76)
The best thing about saying thank goodness in place of thank God this that here really are lots of ways of repaying your debt of goodness — by setting to create more of it, for the benefit of those to come.~ Daniel C. Dennett (1942-03-28 age:76)
Ways to Lead Better Lives
I even agree that the concept of god helps some people lead better lives. That does happen. Don’t ever forget it. I just think there are better ways to help people lead better lives.~ Daniel C. Dennett (1942-03-28 age:76)
I have always considered Pascal’s Wager, a questionable bet to place, since any god worth believing in would prefer an honest agnostic, to a calculating hypocrite.~ Alan M. Dershowitz (1938-09-01 age:79)
Definition of Reality
Reality is that which doesn’t go away when you change your mind.~ Phillip K. Dick (1928-12-16 1982-03-02 age:53)
The universe, he observed, makes rather an indifferent parent, I am afraid.~ Charles Dickens (1812-02-07 1870-06-09 age:58) Bleak House
The Birth Of Religion
A man had been betrayed by his children, by his wife and by his friends; some disloyal partners had ruined his fortune and had plunged him into poverty. Pervaded with a profound hatred and contempt for the human race, he left society and took refuge alone in a cave. There, pressing his fists into his eyes and contemplating a revenge proportional to his grievances, he said: Evil people! What shall I do to punish them for their injustice and to make them all as unhappy as they deserve? Ah! if it were possible to imagine it — to intoxicate them with a great fantasy to which they would attach more importance than to their lives and about which they would never be able to agree! Instantly he rushed out of the cave, shouting, God! God! Echoes without number repeated around him, God! God! This fearful name was carried from pole to pole, and heard everywhere with astonishment. At first men prostrated themselves, then they got up again, asked each other, argued with each other, became bitter, cursed each other, hated each other, cut each other’s throats and the fatal wish of the misanthropist was fulfilled. For such has been in the past, such will be in the future, the story of a being at all times equally important and incomprehensible.~ Denis Diderot (1713-10-05 1784-07-31 age:70) French philosopher Addition to the Philosophical Thoughts
Only a very bad theologian would confuse the certainty that follows revelation with the truths that are revealed. They are entirely different things.~ Denis Diderot (1713-10-05 1784-07-31 age:70) French philosopher
Destruction of Passions
To attempt the destruction of our passions is the height of folly. What a noble aim is that of the zealot who tortures himself like a madman in order to desire nothing, love nothing, feel nothing and who, if he succeeded, would end up a complete monster!~ Denis Diderot (1713-10-05 1784-07-31 age:70) French philosopher
In Praise of Bad Company
Bad company is as instructive as licentiousness. One makes up for the loss of one’s innocence with the loss of one’s prejudices.~ Denis Diderot (1713-10-05 1784-07-31 age:70) French philosopher
The philosopher has never killed any priests, whereas the priest has killed a great many philosophers.~ Denis Diderot (1713-10-05 1784-07-31 age:70) French philosopher
Kings and Priests
Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.~ Denis Diderot (1713-10-05 1784-07-31 age:70) French philosopher
MisconceptionsMme La Maréchale: Are you not Monsieur Crudeli?
Crudeli: Yes, Madame
Mme La Maréchale: Then you’re the man who doesn’t believe in anything.
Crudeli: In person, madame.
Mme La Maréchale: Yet your moral principles are the same as those of a believer?
Crudeli: Why should they not be — as long as the believer is an honest man?~ Denis Diderot (1713-10-05 1784-07-31 age:70) French philosopher, Conversation with a Christian Lady 1774
Mme La Maréchale: And do you act upon your principles?
Crudeli: To the best of my ability.
Mme La Maréchale: What? You don’t steal? You don’t kill people? You don’t rob them?
Crudeli: Very rarely.
Mme La Maréchale: Then what do you gain by not being a believer?
Crudeli: Nothing at all, madame. Is one a believer from motives of profit?
Money as National God
In any country where talent and virtue produce no advancement, money will be the national god. Its inhabitants will either have to possess money or make others believe that they do. Wealth will be the highest virtue, poverty the greatest vice. Those who have money will display it in every imaginable way. If their ostentation does not exceed their fortune, all will be well. But if their ostentation does exceed their fortune they will ruin themselves. In such a country, the greatest fortunes will vanish in the twinkling of an eye. Those who don’t have money will ruin themselves with vain efforts to conceal their poverty. That is one kind of affluence: the outward sign of wealth for a small number, the mask of poverty for the majority and a source of corruption for all.~ Denis Diderot (1713-10-05 1784-07-31 age:70) French philosopher
The Most Dangerous Madmen
The most dangerous madmen are those created by religion and… people whose aim is to disrupt society always know how to make good use of them on occasion.~ Denis Diderot (1713-10-05 1784-07-31 age:70) French philosopher
Watch out for the fellow who talks about putting things in order! Putting things in order always means getting other people under your control.~ Denis Diderot (1713-10-05 1784-07-31 age:70) French philosopher
There is not a Musselman[Muslim] alive who would not imagine that he was performing an action pleasing to God and his Holy Prophet by exterminating every Christian on earth, while the Christians are scarcely more tolerant on their side.~ Denis Diderot (1713-10-05 1784-07-31 age:70) French philosopher
Scepticism is the first step towards truth.~ Denis Diderot (1713-10-05 1784-07-31 age:70) French philosopher
I have only a small flickering light to guide me in the darkness of a thick forest. Up comes a theologian and blows it out.~ Denis Diderot (1713-10-05 1784-07-31 age:70) French philosopher
Unquestioning Acceptance is not Evidence
A thing is not proved just because no one has ever questioned it. What has never been gone into impartially has never been properly gone into. Hence scepticism is the first step toward truth. It must be applied generally, because it is the touchstone.~ Denis Diderot (1713-10-05 1784-07-31 age:70) French philosopher
Oh well, I suppose she is enjoying eternal bliss, but I wish you would not talk about such unpleasant subjects.~ A Woman whose daughter had recently died An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish Unpopular Essays
Science is the only thing that disproves science, and it does it all the time.~ Matt Dillahunty (1969-03-31 age:49)
Faith is the excuse people give for believing something when they don’t have a good reason.~ Matt Dillahunty (1969-03-31 age:49)
If I have done wrong to another person, the correct course of action is to apologize and make amends to that person and not blow it all off and hope that some God is going to forgive me and make it all go away. That sort of mentality is what allows people to not treat others in a way that is good.~ Matt Dillahunty (1969-03-31 age:49)
A God That Does Nothing
A god that does not manifest in reality is indistinguishable from a god that does not exist.~ Matt Dillahunty (1969-03-31 age:49)
Motive for Proselytising
An Inuit hunter asked the local missionary priest: If I did not know about God and sin, would I go to hell? No, said the priest, not if you did not know. Then why, asked the Inuit earnestly, did you tell me?~ Annie Dillard (1945 age:72) Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
Cult vs Religion
In a cult, there’s a person at the top who knows its a scam. In a religion, that person is dead.~ Dusty
Respecting bad beliefs on the whole is far too close to affirming them for my taste.~ J. T. Eberhard (1981 age:36)
Science vs Religion
The history of understanding the world has been a one-way erosion of religion. There have been countless examples of where a religious answer has been replaced by a scientific answer. There has never been an example of when a scientific answer was replaced by a religious answer.~ J. T. Eberhard (1981 age:36)
Where Does the Universe Come From?
You will say to me But where does the universe come from if not from God? Where does life come from if not from God? And I don’t know. I don’t have the first clue. Neither do cosmologists. But neither, dear Christian, do you.~ J. T. Eberhard (1981 age:36)
Death = Before Birth
I know it is coming and I do not fear it because I believe there is nothing on the other side of death to fear. I hope to be spared as much pain as possible on the approach path. I was perfectly content before I was born and I think of death as the same state.~ Roger Ebert (1942-06-18 2013-04-04 age:70)
Descent into Fantasy
For many, the regressive belief in superstitions and miracles is an escape from the hardships of life. Once trapped into irrationalism, they become more incapable of mastering reality. It is a vicious circle, like an addiction. They become vulnerable to exploitation by astrologers, godmen, dubious pseudo-psychologists, corrupt politicians and the whole mega-industry of irrationalism.~ Sanal Edamaruku (1955 age:62)
Religion is all bunk.~ Thomas Alva Edison (1847-02-11 1931-10-18 age:84)
Reading The Bible
If god wrote a book, wouldn’t you want to read what he had to say?~ Bart D. Ehrman (1955-10-05 age:62)
It is odd that almost no Christians have had the courtesy to read a book they claim god wrote and they claim to believe, and claim to be the guiding principle of their life. The only people you run across who have read it cover to cover are atheists (often formerly Christian). Even atheists will read at least one book by a famous author before meeting him.
Bases for Moral Behaviour
A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.~ Albert Einstein (1879-03-14 1955-04-18 age:76)
Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.~ Albert Einstein (1879-03-14 1955-04-18 age:76)
Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age 18.~ Albert Einstein (1879-03-14 1955-04-18 age:76)
Dismissing the Bible
The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this. These subtilised interpretations are highly manifold according to their nature and have almost nothing to do with the original text. For me the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions. And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people. As far as my experience goes, they are also no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything chosen about them.
In general I find it painful that you claim a privileged position and try to defend it by two walls of pride, an external one as a man and an internal one as a Jew. As a man you claim, so to speak, a dispensation from causality otherwise accepted, as a Jew the privilege of monotheism. But a limited causality is no longer a causality at all, as our wonderful Spinoza recognized with all incision, probably as the first one. And the animistic interpretations of the religions of nature are in principle not annulled by monopolisation. With such walls we can only attain a certain self-deception, but our moral efforts are not furthered by them. On the contrary.
Now that I have quite openly stated our differences in intellectual convictions it is still clear to me that we are quite close to each other in essential things, i.e. in our evaluations of human behaviour. What separates us are only intellectual props and rationalisation in Freud’s language. Therefore I think that we would understand each other quite well if we talked about concrete things.
With friendly thanks and best wishes.~ Albert Einstein (1879-03-14 1955-04-18 age:76) from a letter to Eric Gutkind, translated from German.
Einstein on the Origin of Gods
During the youthful period of mankind’s spiritual evolution human fantasy created gods in man’s own image, who, by the operations of their will were supposed to determine, or at any rate to influence, the phenomenal world. Man sought to alter the disposition of these gods in his own favour by means of magic and prayer.~ Albert Einstein (1879-03-14 1955-04-18 age:76)
Einstein on Personal Gods
The idea of a personal God is quite alien to me and seems even naïve.~ Albert Einstein (1879-03-14 1955-04-18 age:76)
Einstein was an Atheist
It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal god and I have never denied this, but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.~ Albert Einstein (1879-03-14 1955-04-18 age:76)
Fear of Death is Unjustified
The fear of death is the most unjustified of all fears, for there’s no risk of accident for someone who’s dead.~ Albert Einstein (1879-03-14 1955-04-18 age:76)
Follow Your Conscience
Never do anything against conscience even if the state demands it.~ Albert Einstein (1879-03-14 1955-04-18 age:76)
God is a Reflection of Human Frailty
I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own — a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty.~ Albert Einstein (1879-03-14 1955-04-18 age:76) in a column for The New York Times 1930-11-09
Good for Reward Alone
If people are good only because they fear punishment and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.~ Albert Einstein (1879-03-14 1955-04-18 age:76)
Morality is an Exclusively Human Concern
I do not believe in immortality of the individual and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority behind it.~ Albert Einstein (1879-03-14 1955-04-18 age:76)
No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.~ Albert Einstein (1879-03-14 1955-04-18 age:76)
Compare that with a religious man. No amount of evidence can ever convince him he is wrong.
Rewards and Punishments are so Childish
I do not believe in the God of theology who rewards good and punishes evil.~ Albert Einstein (1879-03-14 1955-04-18 age:76)
Souls are Meaningless
Since our inner experiences consist of reproductions and combinations of sensory impressions, the concept of a soul without a body seem to me to be empty and devoid of meaning.~ Albert Einstein (1879-03-14 1955-04-18 age:76)
There is Nothing Chosen About the Jews
For me the Jewish religion like all others is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions and the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people. As far as my experience goes, they are no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything chosen about them.~ Albert Einstein (1879-03-14 1955-04-18 age:76) from a letter to Eric Gutkind, translated from German.
Unthinking Resect for Authority
Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.~ Albert Einstein (1879-03-14 1955-04-18 age:76)
We Live For Other People
What an extraordinary situation is that of us mortals! Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he sometimes thinks he feels it. But from the point of view of daily life, without going deeper, we exist for our fellow-humans — in the first place for those on whose smiles and welfare all our happiness depends and next for all those unknown to us personally with whose destinies we are bound up by the tie of sympathy. A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life depend on the labours of other people, living and dead and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.~ Albert Einstein (1879-03-14 1955-04-18 age:76)
Hypnosis and Religion Are Intimately Linked
There is a very intimate connection between hypnotic phenomena and religion.~ Havelock Ellis (1859-02-02 1939-07-08 age:80)
Jerusalem Needs a Lunatic Asylum
The whole religious complexion of the modern world is due to the absence from Jerusalem of a lunatic asylum.~ Havelock Ellis (1859-02-02 1939-07-08 age:80).
Everybody has opinions: I have them, you have them. And we are all told from the moment we open our eyes, that everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. Well, that’s horsepuckey, of course. We are not entitled to our opinions; we are entitled to our informed opinions. Without research, without background, without understanding, it’s nothing. It’s just bibble-babble. It’s like a fart in a wind tunnel, folks.~ Harlan Ellison (1934-05-27 age:83)
You may have a right to hold a foolish, baseless opinion, but you don’at have a right to insist everyone treat you and your foolish opinion with respect.
What is Death Like?
Death is absolutely safe. It is like taking off an old shoe.~ Emmanuel channeled by Pat Rodegast
One of the central teachings of the Reformed Pastafarian Church is that 50 to 1 is balanced. There is no greater gift that parents can give their children than the gift of faith in Pastafarianism. To give this gift, the best and indeed most balanced education should have for every 50 hours of religious instruction, praising FSM, one hour of criticism of heathen and heretical faiths, some atheist and agnostic bashing should also take place. Then the children will grow into well rounded young adults and they will see the truth in the Pastafarian Gospel.~ Wikiality, the Truthiness Encyclopedia
Death is Nothing to Fear
Accustom yourself to believe that death is nothing to us, for good and evil imply awareness and death is the privation of all awareness; therefore a right understanding that death is nothing to us makes the mortality of life enjoyable, not by adding to life an unlimited time, but by taking away the yearning after immortality. For life has no terror; for those who thoroughly apprehend that there are no terrors for them in ceasing to live.~ Epicurus (341 BC 270 BC age:71) Greek philosopher.
Why should I fear death? If I am, death is not. If death is, I am not. Why should I fear that which cannot exist when I do?~ Epicurus (341 BC 270 BC age:71) Greek philosopher.
God is Logically Inconsistent
The Riddle of Epicurus~ Epicurus (341 BC 270 BC age:71)
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?
From a mathematician’s point of view, anything inconsistent is false or does not exist. Christians deal with Epicurus by ignoring him. But this is a knockout blow for Christianity.
I am Not a Tadpole
I did not evolve. I am not a tadpole. I am just the way I always was.~ evangelist ,
This poor boob does not understand even the basics of evolution. Nothing evolves during its lifetime. Offspring are slightly different from parents.
Contributions of Religion
Science has given us more in 200 years that religion has in 2000.~ Pi’s father Life of Pi
Not Knowing Is Better than Being Wrong
You see, one thing is, I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of certainty about different things. But I’m not absolutely sure of anything and there are many things I don’t know anything about, such as whether it means anything to ask why we’re here and what the question might mean. I might think about it a little bit; if I can’t figure it out, then I go onto something else. But I don’t have to know an answer. I don’t feel frightened by not knowing things, by being lost in the mysterious universe without having any purpose, which is the way it really is, as far as I can tell — possibly. It doesn’t frighten me.~ Richard P. Feynman (1918-05-11 1988-02-15 age:69)
Not Knowing is Just Fine
I don’t have to know an answer. I don’t feel frightened by not knowing things; by being lost in a mysterious universe without any purpose — which is the way it really is, as far as I can tell, possibly. It doesn’t frighten me.~ Richard P. Feynman (1918-05-11 1988-02-15 age:69)
Science is what we do to keep from lying to ourselves.~ Richard P. Feynman (1918-05-11 1988-02-15 age:69)
I would rather I have questions that can’t be answered than answers that can’t be questioned.~ Richard P. Feynman (1918-05-11 1988-02-15 age:69)
The Virtue of Uncertainty
This attitude of mind — this attitude of uncertainty — is vital to the scientist and it is this attitude of mind which the student must first acquire. It becomes a habit of thought. Once acquired, we cannot retreat from it anymore.~ Richard P. Feynman (1918-05-11 1988-02-15 age:69)
Men have had the vanity to pretend that the whole creation was made for them, while in reality the whole creation does not suspect their existence.~ Camille Flammarion (1842 1925 age:83) French astronomer
The bullshitter is neither on the side of the true nor on the side of the false. His eye is not on the facts at all, as the eyes of the honest person and the liar are, except insofar as they may be pertinent to his interest in getting away with what he says. He does not care whether the things he says describe reality correctly. He just picks them out, or makes them up, to suit his purpose.~ Harry G. Frankfurt (1929-05-29 age:88) On Bullshit
Faith is Blind
To Follow by faith alone is to follow blindly.~ Benjamin Franklin (1706-01-17 1790-04-17 age:84)
If we look back in history for the character of the present sects in Christianity, we shall find a few that have not in their turns been persecutors and complainers of persecution. The primitive Christians thought persecution extremely wrong in the Pagans, but practised it on one another. The first Protestants of the Church of England blamed persecution in the Romish Church, but practised it upon the Puritans. They found it wrong in Bishops, but fell into the practice themselves both there (England) and New England.~ Benjamin Franklin (1706-01-17 1790-04-17 age:84)
Seeing by Faith
The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason.~ Benjamin Franklin (1706-01-17 1790-04-17 age:84)
I have found Christian dogma unintelligible. Early in life, I absenteed myself from Christian assemblies.~ Benjamin Franklin (1706-01-17 1790-04-17 age:84)
Only sheep need a shepherd.~ Southeast Wisconsin FreeThinkers
Christianity is a myth that has been literalised.~ Timothy Freke (1959 age:58)
Freud Was An Atheist
Neither in my private life nor in my writings, have I ever made a secret of being an out-and-out unbeliever.~ Sigmund Freud (1856-05-06 1939-09-23 age:83)
God the Superfather
At bottom God is nothing more than an exalted father.~ Sigmund Freud (1856-05-06 1939-09-23 age:83)
Religion = OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
It could be ventured to understand obsessive compulsive neurosis as the pathological counterpart of religious development, to define neurosis as an individual religiosity; to define religion as a universal obsessive compulsive neurosis.~ Sigmund Freud (1856-05-06 1939-09-23 age:83)
Religion Generated Dishonesty
Where questions of religion are concerned, people are guilty of every possible sort of dishonesty and intellectual misdemeanor.~ Sigmund Freud (1856-05-06 1939-09-23 age:83)
Religion in Patently Infantile
The whole thing [religion] is so patently infantile, so foreign to reality, that to anyone with a friendly attitude to humanity it is painful to think that the great majority of mortals will never be able to rise above this view of life.~ Sigmund Freud (1856-05-06 1939-09-23 age:83)
Religion is a Neurosis
Religion is comparable to a childhood neurosis.~ Sigmund Freud (1856-05-06 1939-09-23 age:83)
Consider the Totality
You can’t just say there is a God because the world is beautiful.
You have to account for bone cancer in children.
You have to account for the fact that almost all animals in the wild, live under stress, with not enough to eat and will die violent and bloody deaths.
There is not any way that you can just choose just the nice bits and say that means there is a God and ignore the true fact of what nature is.
The wonder of nature must be taken in its totality.~ Stephen Fry (1957-08-24 age:60) Intelligent Design
Actually, being eaten by wild dogs is considerably kinder than being kept barely alive in pain for months or years by busy-body Christians. At least you get it over with quickly.
It’s now very common to hear people say, I’m rather offended by that. As if that gives them certain rights. It’s actually nothing more… than a whine. I find that offensive. It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. I am offended by that. Well, so fucking what.~ Stephen Fry (1957-08-24 age:60)
The Nature of God
The god that created this universe, if it was created by god, is quite clearly a maniac, an utter maniac, totally selfish.~ Stephen Fry (1957-08-24 age:60)
On Being Offended
You’re offended. So fucking what!~ Stephen Fry (1957-08-24 age:60)
Religious people imagine they have the right to silence others from saying anything that offends them such as god is fictional, evolution is true, gay people should have equal rights, women should have equal rights…
The only people who are obsessed with food are anorexics and the morbidly obese. That, in erotic terms, is the Catholic church, in a nutshell.~ Stephen Fry (1957-08-24 age:60) Stephen Fry dismantles the Roman Catholic Church
Why Man Created God
In the beginning, man created god and saw that it was profitable.~ fsx23
We tend to focus debates on whether god exists. This is the least important question. We should focus on the motives and tactics of preachers as con men, the craziness of what they claim their god wants us to do, how they allegedly know the mind of god, the foolish behaviours of believers, how they allegedly know each of the other 60,000 gods are bogus, how priests abuse their authority for force children into sex and how they intimidate the parents into looking the other way…
I Seem To Be a Verb
I seem to be a verb —~ Richard Buckminster (Bucky) Fuller (1895-07-12 1983-07-01 age:87)
an evolutionary process —
an integral function of the universe,
and so are you.
Commanding Refuting Observations
To command their professors of astronomy to refute their own observations is to command them not to see what they do see and not to understand what they do understand.~ Galileo Galilei (1564-02-15 1642-01-08 age:77)
How To Maintain a Paradox
By denying scientific principles one may maintain any paradox.~ Galileo Galilei (1564-02-15 1642-01-08 age:77)
Reason over Authority
In questions of science the authority of a thousand is not worth the reasoning of a single individual.~ Galileo Galilei (1564-02-15 1642-01-08 age:77)
Eppur is muove. (Yet it moves.)~ Galileo Galilei (1564-02-15 1642-01-08 age:77)
What Galileo muttered after being forced by Christians to recant his scientific observation that the earth moved around the sun.
The Incompetent Tinkerer God
A god whose creation is so imperfect that he must be continually adjusting it to make it work properly seems to me a god of relatively low order, hardly worthy of any worship.~ Martin Gardner (1914-10-21 2010-05-22 age:95)
Why Can’t God Use Physics?
If God creates a world of particles and waves, dancing in obedience to mathematical and physical laws, who are we to say that he cannot make use of those laws to cover the surface of a small planet with living creatures?~ Martin Gardner (1914-10-21 2010-05-22 age:95)
Making up BS
Experiments on split-brain patients reveal how readily the left brain interpreter can make up stories and beliefs. In one experiment, for example, when the word walk was presented only to the right side of a patient’s brain, he got up and started walking. When he was asked why he did this, the left brain (where language is stored and where the word walk was not presented) quickly created a reason for the action: I wanted to go get a Coke.~ Michael Gazzaniga (1939-12-12 age:78) The Ethical Brain: The Science of Our Moral Dilemmas
In other words, there is a part of your brain whose job it is to make up bullshit when it does not know the answer.
Roots of Extremism
When someone’s neural network in unbalanced, they are ripe for conquest by a belief system they feel is going to bring about homeostasis. The brain craves homeostasis. So when the neural network is in a condition of severe disharmony, the person will be drawn toward extreme beliefs and practices that promise a small amount of relief from the imbalance.~ Lee Gerdes brainStateTech.com.
No wonder religions find the best prospecting among drug addicts, alcoholics and the down and out.
A low to protect an all-powerful, supernatural deity from getting its feelings hurt.~ Ricky Gervais (1961-06-25 age:56)
Ignorance might be bliss for the ignorant, but for the rest of us, it’s a fucking pain in the ass.~ Ricky Gervais (1961-06-25 age:56)
You are Wrong
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but if you believe in god, you’re wrong.~ Ricky Gervais (1961-06-25 age:56)
False Argument For God
I have compelling reasons to believe in god. My parents are deeply committed Christians, and would be devastated to reject my faith. My wife and children believe in god. Abandoning belief in god would be disruptive. sending my life completely off the rails.~ Karl Giberson (1957-05-05 age:60)
Mr. Giberson already long abandoned his religion for evolution. This is not an argument for the existence god, but for pretending to believe in god to avoid making waves. There is no way he can actually fool himself. He would cause far more internal turmoil attempting to simultaneously believe two incompatible world views. It would be much easier to settle on the belief he believes to be true. His parents may be distressed if he abandoned his religious beliefs, but his children would take it in stride.
People Don’t Know Their Own Motivations
Research suggests that people are typically unaware of the reasons why they are doing what they are doing, but when asked for a reason, they readily supply one.~ Daniel Todd Gilbert (1957-11-05 age:60), Professor of Psychology at Harvard
Everything you read signed God is just somebody putting their words in My mouth.~ God
God Defends Himself
Many people, most notably Steven Fry, have tongue lashed God for such cruelty as creating eye worms that eat out the eyes of children. Here God Defends himself.
There are always a worst thing in the world and worst thing in the universe. You should have seen the previous draft. There were bats that bored through your walls and drank your blood. Do you give me credit for cancelling them? If I were to get rid of all of the diseases, parasites and congenital defects, there would still be a worst thing in the world. You might start bitching and moaning that bananas were not big enough, and feel very hard done by because, after all, that was the worst thing in the world.~ God
Who said the bible is true? It certainly wasn’t me. Have you read that thing, I mean all of it? It is positively libelous. The nerve of those twits trying to pass their work off as mine. It is an utterly laughable forgery.~ God
Definition of Hell
Hell begins the day that God grants you the vision to see all that you could have done, should have done and would have done, but did not do.~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-08-28 1832-03-22 age:82), German author, scientist and statesman, 1749-1832
I Am As God Wanted
If God had wanted me otherwise, He would have created me otherwise.~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-08-28 1832-03-22 age:82)
God Evolved Out Of Fear
The conception of gods originated in fear and curiosity. Primitive man, unable to understand the phenomena of nature and harassed by them, saw in every terrifying manifestation some sinister force expressly directed against him; and as ignorance and fear are the parents of all superstition, the troubled fancy of primitive man wove the God idea.~ Emma Goldman (1869-06-27 1940-05-14 age:70)
Gods are how Humanity Punishes Itself
The philosophy of Atheism has its root in the earth, in this life; its aim is the emancipation of the human race from all God-heads, be they Judaic, Christian, Mohammedan, Buddhistic, Brahmanistic, or what not. Mankind has been punished long and heavily for having created its gods, nothing but pain and persecution, have been man’s lot since gods began. There is but one way out of this blunder. Man must break his fetters which have chained him to the gates of heaven and hell, so that he can begin to fashion out of his reawakened and illumined consciousness a new world upon the earth.~ Emma Goldman (1869-06-27 1940-05-14 age:70)
In Goldman’s time, knowledge of Buddhism was weak. She did not even know it is an atheistic philosophy.
When Preachers Take Over the Republican Party…
Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them. … The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom… I’m frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’ and ‘D’. Just who do they think they are?… I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of conservatism.~ Barry Goldwater (1909-01-02 1998-05-29 age:89) five-term US Senator, Republican Party nominee for President in 1964 Major General, US Air Force Reserves, author of The Conscience of a Conservative
No Extraordinary Evidence
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, but I have not seen any.~ Eliza Goroya (1987 age:30)
Choosing Hope over Logic is The Human Frailty
But we all recognise the primary foible of frail humanity — our propensity for embracing hope and shunning logic, our tendency to believe what we desire rather than what we observe.~ Dr. Stephen Jay Gould (1941-09-10 2002-05-20 age:60), Rocks of Ages: Science and Religion in the Fullness of Life
Confusing Correlation with Causation
The invalid assumption that correlation implies cause is probably among causation three most serious and common errors of human reasoning.~ Dr. Stephen Jay Gould (1941-09-10 2002-05-20 age:60)
Definition of Fact
In science, fact can only mean confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent. I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.~ Dr. Stephen Jay Gould (1941-09-10 2002-05-20 age:60)
Dethronement of Human Arrogance
The most important scientific revolutions all include, as their only common feature, the dethronement of human arrogance from one pedestal after another of previous convictions about our centrality in the cosmos.~ Dr. Stephen Jay Gould (1941-09-10 2002-05-20 age:60)
Evils of Dogmatism
Nothing is more dangerous than a dogmatic worldview — nothing more constraining, more blinding to innovation, more destructive of openness to novelty.~ Dr. Stephen Jay Gould (1941-09-10 2002-05-20 age:60)
Hope leads to Manipulation
When people learn no tools of judgment and merely follow their hopes, the seeds of political manipulation are sown.~ Dr. Stephen Jay Gould (1941-09-10 2002-05-20 age:60).
Teddy Bear Planet
We long to situate ourselves on a benevolent, warm, furry, encompassing planet, created to provide our material needs and constructed for our dominion and delectation. Unfortunately, this pipedream of succor from the realm of meaning (and therefore the magisterium of religion), imposes definite and unrealistic demands upon the factual construction of nature (under the magisterium of science). But nature, who is as she is and who existed in earthly form for 4.5 billion years before we arrived to impose our interpretations upon her, greets us with sublime indifference and no preference for accommodating our yearnings.~ Dr. Stephen Jay Gould (1941-09-10 2002-05-20 age:60), Rocks of Ages: Science and Religion in the Fullness of Life
But the religionists have no intention of staying on their side of the fence. They impose crackpot religious ideas on important scientific issues such as global warming and overpopulation. Further, they want to enlist the law to aid them with their superstitious hatred of gays. They want to subjugate women.
If you talk about your faith you risk thinking you are much better than you actually are.~ Judy Graves (1949 age:68)
In the beginning there was Adam and Eve and Adam and Eve had two sons, Cain and Abel. And Cain and Abel got married [presumably not to each other]. To who? Where did these mystery bitches come from?~ Eddie Griffin (1968-07-15 age:49)
Atheism is the Wake Up Call
Christians are afraid atheism is the real truth. They hate the non-believers (a form of fear) for this reason. Atheism is the wake-up call they don’t want.~ Stan Grimes
Downside of Morality
Morality binds and blinds.~ Jonathan Haidt (1963-10-19 age:54) The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
Queerer Than We Can Suppose
I have no doubt that in reality the future will be vastly more surprising than anything I can imagine. Now my own suspicion is that the universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose.~ J.B.S. Haldane (1892-11-05 1964-12-01 age:72)
Respecting You ≠ Respecting Your Beliefs
I have so much respect for you, I respect you too much to respect your ridiculous beliefs.~ Johann Eduard Hari (1979-01-21 age:39) British journalist
Believing in Bad Evidence
It is a very strange sort of loving god that would make salvation depend on believing in him on bad evidence.~ Sam Harris (1967-01-01 age:51)
Bible is Ordinary
It is utterly astonishing how ordinary a book can be and still be thought the product of omniscience.~ Sam Harris (1967-01-01 age:51) Letter to a Christian Nation
Bible a Poor Book of Morality
If god loves us and wanted to guide up with a book of morality it is very strange to have given us a book that supports slavery and that demands that we murder people for imaginary crimes like witchcraft.~ Sam Harris (1967-01-01 age:51)
Religion allows perfectly decent and sane people to believe by the billions, what only lunatics could believe on their own.~ Sam Harris (1967-01-01 age:51)
If you wake up tomorrow morning thinking that saying a few Latin words over your pancakes is gonna turn them into the body of Elvis Presley, you have lost your mind. But if you think more or less the same thing about a cracker and the body of Jesus, you’re just a Catholic.~ Sam Harris (1967-01-01 age:51)
Creation Happened After the Discovery of Beer
Some 46 percent of Americans take a literalist view of creation… This means 120 million of us place the big bang 2,500 years after the Babylonians and Sumerians learned to brew beer.~ Sam Harris (1967-01-01 age:51) The End of Faith: Religion, Terror and the Future of Reason
How can you have any respect at all for a people so willfully ignorant? They are behaving like illiterate, superstitious, medieval peasants.
Cult of Human Sacrifice
Christianity is a cult of human sacrifice. Christianity is not a religion that repudiates human sacrifice. It is a religion that celebrates a single human sacrifice as though it were effective.~ Sam Harris (1967-01-01 age:51)
Definition of Faith
Faith is the permission religious people give one another to believe ridiculous things.~ Sam Harris (1967-01-01 age:51)
Desperate for the Ridiculous
Most of the people, most of the time, are desperate to believe ridiculous and divisive ideas for patently emotional reasons.~ Sam Harris (1967-01-01 age:51)
When considering the truth of a proposition, one is either engaged in an honest appraisal of the evidence and logical arguments, or one isn’t. Religion is one area of our lives where people imagine some other standard of intellectual integrity applies.~ Sam Harris (1967-01-01 age:51)
Religion is the only area of our lives where having no reasons, or having very tenuous reasons, is considered a boon, really. It is often considered even more ennobling to take things on faith. This is the parable of Doubting Thomas.~ Sam Harris (1967-01-01 age:51)
God is Cruel and Unjust
When someone like myself points out the rather obvious and compelling evidence that God is cruel and unjust, because he visits suffering on innocent people of a scope and scale that would embarrass the most ambitious psychopath, we’re told that? God is mysterious.~ Sam Harris (1967-01-01 age:51)
Hell Indicates God is not Looking out for You
If having half of your people systematically delivered to the furnace does not count as evidence against the notion that an all-powerful God is looking out for your interests, it seems reasonable to assume that nothing could.~ Sam Harris (1967-01-01 age:51) The End of Faith: Religion, Terror and the Future of Reason page 67.
Implications Of Knowing We Will Die
We do not know what awaits each of us after death, but we know that we will die. Clearly, it must be possible to live ethically — with a genuine concern for the happiness of other sentient beings — without presuming to know things about which we are patently ignorant. Consider it: every person you have ever met, every person you will pass in the street today, is going to die. Living long enough, each will suffer the loss of his friends and family. All are going to lose everything they love in this world. Why would one want to be anything but kind to them in the meantime?~ Sam Harris (1967-01-01 age:51)
Just Us Chickens
To not believe in God is to know that it falls to us to make the world a better place.~ Sam Harris (1967-01-01 age:51)
Mad Core Beliefs
While religious people are not generally mad, their core beliefs absolutely are. This is not surprising, since most religions, have merely canonised a few products of ancient ignorance and derangement and passed them down to us as if they were primordial truths. This leave billions of us believing what no sane person could believe on his own. In fact, it is difficult to imagine a set of beliefs more suggestive of mental illness than those that lie at the heart of many of our religious traditions.~ Sam Harris (1967-01-01 age:51) The End of Faith: Religion, Terror and the Future of Reason page 67.
Mormonism in a Nutshell
Mormonism, it seems to me, objectively is just a little bit more idiotic than Christianity is. It has to be. It is Christianity plus some very stupid ideas.~ Sam Harris (1967-01-01 age:51)
Religion allows perfectly decent and sane people to believe by the billions what only lunatics could believe on their own.~ Sam Harris (1967-01-01 age:51)
Perpetual Immunity from Criticism
Religion is the only form of thinking in which bad ideas are held in perpetual immunity from criticism and doing so is considered sacred — this is the act of faith.~ Sam Harris (1967-01-01 age:51)
Religion Creates Lunatics
This is the true horror of religion. It allows perfectly decent and sane people to believe by the billions, what only lunatics could believe on their own.~ Sam Harris (1967-01-01 age:51)
Science Supersedes Scripture
Every one of our specific sciences has superseded and surpassed the wisdom of scripture, from cosmology to ecology to economics. We know more about ourselves than anyone writing in the bible or the Qur’an did.~ Sam Harris (1967-01-01 age:51)
Stop Rewarding Faith
People should no longer win points in our culture for pretending to be certain about things they manifestly cannot be certain about.~ Sam Harris (1967-01-01 age:51)
I think when you say to someone You are fool not to believe in evolution or a fool to believe the universe is 6000 years old. I think that gets translated as You are a fool to think that your daughter who died in a car accident is really in heaven with god.~ Sam Harris (1967-01-01 age:51)
Difference Between Liberal and Conservative
One of the essential differences between the liberal and conservative worldview is that the liberals believe in rationality, whereas conservative believe that human events are ordered by forces that are beyond the ability of our rational mind to understand or control.~ Thom Hartmann (1951-05-07 age:66) Cracking the Code: How to Win Hearts, Change Minds and Restore America’s Original Vision page 58.
Biology is Also Determined
Though we feel we can choose what we do, our understanding of the molecular basis of biology shows that biological processes are governed by the laws of physics and chemistry and therefore are as determined as the orbits of the planets.~ Stephen Hawking (1942-01-08 2018-03-13 age:76) The Grand Design
In other words, Hawking says free will is an illusion, just as much as the illusion that characters on celluloid have free will. Since nobody can help what they do, you might say punishment makes no sense, but punishment too can be part of the conditioning that controls ultimately what someone does. A car does not enjoy the illusion of free will, but you can still do things that influence its behaviour. Since reality is far to complicated to predict reliable, the fact you don’t have free will does not make any practical difference. If you realise others are not really choosing to behave as they do, you can focus instead on what you can do that will influence them to behave the way you want, rather than just screaming at them for making idiotic choices. When you realise that your attempts to influence others are not really choices either, it makes your head spin.
Religion is a Fairy Story
I’m not afraid of death, but I’m in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first. I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.~ Stephen Hawking (1942-01-08 2018-03-13 age:76)
Certainty Does Not Guarantee Correctness
Certainty is no guarantor of correctness.~ Margaret Heffernan (1955 age:62)
Historically the Puritans left England to escape religious persecution, and they promptly turned around and started persecuting the people they didn’t agree with — the scarlet letter A, and the stocks and the dunking board came from that. That Puritanism is still there.~ Hugh Hefner (1926-04-09 2017-09-27 age:91)
Religious Child Abuse
Religious child maltreatment is child abuse or neglect that is enabled by religious beliefs held by perpetrators, victims or the surrounding community.~ Janet Heimlich (1962-02-08 age:56)
Most gods have the morals of a spoiled child.~ Robert A. Heinlein (1907-07-07 1988-05-08 age:80)
Yahweh, Creator of Loose Bowels
How much reverence can you have for a Supreme Being who finds it necessary to include such phenomena as phlegm and tooth decay in His divine system of Creation? What in the world was running through that warped, evil, scatological mind of His when He robbed old people of the power to control their bowel movements?~ Joseph Heller (1923-05-01 1999-12-12 age:76)
Thinking Causes Atheism
All thinking men are atheists.~ Ernest Hemingway (1899-07-21 1961-07-02 age:61) A Farewell To Arms
If you Don’t think I am Infinitely Loving, I will Torture You
According to Christianity, eternal suffering awaits anyone who questions God’s infinite love. That’s the message we’re brought up with, believe or die. Thank you, forgiving Lord, for all those options.~ Bill Hicks (1961-12-16 1994-02-26 age:32)
Pie In The Sky
You’ll get pie in the sky when you die — that’s a lie!~ Joe Hill (1879-10-07 1915-11-19 age:36), IWW (Industrial Workers of the World) folk song performed by Woody Guthrie.
Himmler on Homosexuality
Roughly 7 to 8 percent of men in Germany are homosexual. If that is how things remain, our nation will fall to pieces because of that plague. Those who practice homosexuality deprive Germany of the children they owe her.~ Heinrich Himmler (1900-10-07 1945-05-23 age:44)
So in the Nazi view, homosexuality was wicked because gay people failed to hand kids over as cannon fodder to the state. You would think they would be equality upset with unmarried, sterile or childless couples.
Bald a Hair Colour?
Calling atheism a religion is like calling bald a hair colour.~ Don Hirschberg
An atheist is anyone who says that the evidence presented for the existence of a god is not convincing. An atheist is not necessarily even sure there is no god. That’s it.
In contrast, a religion has a set of supernatural beliefs that must be accepted on faith without evidence. There are inerrant holy books, songs, rituals and ceremonies. Believers are expected to tithe to the church. Religions require you to believe in invisible, undetectable beings who may or may not interfere in human affairs.
Avoiding Cognitive Dissonance
The only position that leaves me with no cognitive dissonance is atheism. It is not a creed. Death is certain, replacing both the siren-song of Paradise and the dread of Hell. Life on this earth, with all its mystery and beauty and pain, is then to be lived far more intensely: we stumble and get up, we are sad, confident, insecure, feel loneliness and joy and love. There is nothing more; but I want nothing more.~ Christopher Hitchens (1949-04-13 2011-12-15 age:62) The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Non-Believer
Bible Champions Evils
The Bible may, indeed does, contain a warrant for trafficking in humans, for ethnic cleansing, for slavery, for bride-price and for indiscriminate massacre, but we are not bound by any of it because it was put together by crude, uncultured human mammals.~ Christopher Hitchens (1949-04-13 2011-12-15 age:62) God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything
Billy Graham is a boring, racist charlatan.~ Christopher Hitchens (1949-04-13 2011-12-15 age:62)
The gods we create are the gods you would expect to be created by a species half a chromosome away from chimpanzees.~ Christopher Hitchens (1949-04-13 2011-12-15 age:62)
Only the most extraordinarily self-centered species could imagine all this was going on for our sake. That is why I don’t like people saying their religious faith is modest or humble. Its the reverse. It is unbelievably solipsistic. You get people, abject, much too abject for my taste, like Mother Theresa, Oh, I am so humble, I can hardly bother to feed myself. But Out of my way. I’m on a mission for god. No. This is arrogance as a matter of fact. It claims to know what it cannot know. … To claim we know what god wants us to eat, or not. We know in what positions he wants us to make love or with whom. We know his instructions on… is an unbelievable piece of conceit.~ Christopher Hitchens (1949-04-13 2011-12-15 age:62)
The Christian Art of Torture
The museums of medieval Europe, from Holland to Tuscany, are crammed with instruments and devices upon which the holy men labored devoutly, in order to see how long they could keep someone alive while being roasted. It is not needful to go into further details, but there were also religious books of instruction in this art and guides for the detection of heresy by pain.~ Christopher Hitchens (1949-04-13 2011-12-15 age:62)
Church Discourages Morality
We keep on being told that religion, whatever its imperfections, at least instills morality. On every side, there is conclusive evidence that the contrary is the case and that faith causes people to be more mean, more selfish and perhaps above all, more stupid.~ Christopher Hitchens (1949-04-13 2011-12-15 age:62)
Church-Sponsored Child Abuse
The Shia fundamentalists in Iran lowered the age of consent to nine, perhaps in admiring emulation of the age of the youngest wife of the Prophet Mohammed. Hindu child brides in India are flogged and sometimes burned alive, if the pathetic dowry they bring is judged to be too small. The Vatican and its vast network of dioceses, has in the past decade alone been forced to admit complicity in a huge racket of child rape and child torture, mainly but by no means exclusively homosexual, in which known pederasts and sadists were shielded from the law and reassigned to parishes where the pickings of the innocent and defenseless were often richer. In Ireland alone — once an unquestioning disciple of Holy Mother Church — it is now estimated that the unmolested children of religious schools were probably the minority.~ Christopher Hitchens (1949-04-13 2011-12-15 age:62)
Only a humorless tyrant could want a perpetual chanting of praises that, one has no choice but to assume, would be the innate virtues and splendors furnished him by his creator, infinite regression, drowned in praise!~ Christopher Hitchens (1949-04-13 2011-12-15 age:62)
I pose a hypothetical question. As a man of some fifty-seven years of age, I am discovered sucking the penis of a baby boy. I ask you to picture your own outrage and revulsion. Ah, but I have my own explanation all ready. I am a mohel: an appointed circumciser and foreskin remover. My authority comes from an ancient text, which commands me to take a baby boy’s penis in hand, cut around the prepuce and complete the action by taking his penis in my mouth, sucking off the foreskin and spitting out the amputated flap along with a mouthful of blood and saliva.~ Christopher Hitchens (1949-04-13 2011-12-15 age:62)
Dismissed Without Evidence
Forgotten were the elementary rules of logic, that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and that what can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence.~ Christopher Hitchens (1949-04-13 2011-12-15 age:62)
Divine Warrants are Bogus
No one has the right to tell me what to do because he has a divine warrant.~ Christopher Hitchens (1949-04-13 2011-12-15 age:62)
Dogs vs Cats
Owners of dogs will have noticed that if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are a god. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realise that, if you provide the with food and shelter and water and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are god.~ Christopher Hitchens (1949-04-13 2011-12-15 age:62) The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Non-Believer
Effect of Religion
Religion makes nice people do unkind things.~ Christopher Hitchens (1949-04-13 2011-12-15 age:62)
Establishing A Dictatorship
The easiest way to establish a dictatorship is to claim you are God’s representative on earth.~ Christopher Hitchens (1949-04-13 2011-12-15 age:62)
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence where rather daringly [Christianity] provides not even ordinary evidence for its extraordinary supernatural claims.~ Christopher Hitchens (1949-04-13 2011-12-15 age:62)
Faith Is Not Virtue
If I could do just one thing, it would be to dissociate faith from virtue, now and for good and to expose it for what it is, a servile weakness, a refuge in cowardice, and a willingness to follow, with credulity, people who are in the highest degree unscrupulous.~ Christopher Hitchens (1949-04-13 2011-12-15 age:62)
God loved Ospreys Better
[Yet another argument against intelligent design.] Though it is true we are the highest and smartest animals, ospreys have eyes we have calculated to be sixty times more powerful and sophisticated than our own and that blindness, often caused by microscopic parasites that are themselves miracles of ingenuity, is one of the oldest and most tragic disorders known to man. And why award the superior eye (or in the case of cat or bat, also the ear) to the inferior species.~ Christopher Hitchens (1949-04-13 2011-12-15 age:62)
Hitler the Christian
If Nazism’s an atheistic regime, then how come that in the first chapter of Mein Kampf, that Hitler says that he is doing God’s work and executing God’s will in destroying the Jewish people? How come the fuhrer oath that every officer of the Party and the Army had to take, making Hitler into a minor god, begins I swear in the name of almighty God, my loyalty to the Fuhrer? How come that on the belt buckle of every Nazi soldier it says Gott mit uns, God on our side? How come that the first treaty made by the Nationalist Socialist dictatorship, the very first is with the Vatican? It’s exchanging political control of Germany for Catholic control of German education. How come that the church has celebrated the birthday of the Fuhrer every year, on that day until democracy put an end to this filthy, quasi-religious, superstitious, barbarous, reactionary system.~ Christopher Hitchens (1949-04-13 2011-12-15 age:62)
You might also ask why Hitler’s plan for the Jews was plagiarised from Martin Luther’s.
Implausibility a Pregnant Girl Would Lie
I think it was David Hume who put it slightly vulgarly, this was again about the virgin birth I think. Which is more likely… that the whole natural order is suspended or that a Jewish minx should tell a lie?~ Christopher Hitchens (1949-04-13 2011-12-15 age:62)
In Praise of Skepticism
Skepticism rather than credulity is the highest principle that the human intellect can use to ennoble our existence.~ Christopher Hitchens (1949-04-13 2011-12-15 age:62)
To reflect upon the event horizon is a great deal more awe-inspiring than a burning bush or a wooden statue that weeps or pees or bleeds.~ Christopher Hitchens (1949-04-13 2011-12-15 age:62)
Jerry Falwell Was Full of It
If you gave Falwell an enema, he could be buried in a matchbox.~ Christopher Hitchens (1949-04-13 2011-12-15 age:62)
The pluralism of religion is attributable to the fact that man created God and not the other way around. If you accept the posture that man makes gods, there is no mystery in the proliferation of gods and religions that has always existed in human society.~ Christopher Hitchens (1949-04-13 2011-12-15 age:62)
Meaning Without God
About once or twice every month I engage in public debates with those whose pressing need it is to woo and to win the approval of supernatural beings. Very often, when I give my view that there is no supernatural dimension and certainly not one that is only or especially available to the faithful and that the natural world is wonderful enough — and even miraculous enough if you insist — I attract pitying looks and anxious questions. How, in that case, I am asked, do I find meaning and purpose in life? How does a mere and gross materialist, with no expectation of a life to come, decide what, if anything, is worth caring about?
Depending on my mood, I sometimes but not always refrain from pointing out what a breathtakingly insulting and patronizing question this is. (It is on a par with the equally subtle inquiry: Since you don’t believe in our god, what stops you from stealing and lying and raping and killing to your heart’s content?) Just as the answer to the latter question is: self — respect and the desire for the respect of others — while in the meantime it is precisely those who think they have divine permission who are truly capable of any atrocity — so the answer to the first question falls into two parts. A life that partakes even a little of friendship, love, irony, humor, parenthood, literature and music and the chance to take part in battles for the liberation of others cannot be called meaningless except if the person living it is also an existentialist and elects to call it so. It could be that all existence is a pointless joke, but it is not in fact possible to live one’s everyday life as if this were so. Whereas if one sought to define meaninglessness and futility, the idea that a human life should be expended in the guilty, fearful, self-obsessed propitiation of supernatural nonentities — but there, there. Enough.~ Christopher Hitchens (1949-04-13 2011-12-15 age:62)
Mockery of religion is one of the most essential things… one of the beginnings of human emancipation is the ability to laugh at authority.~ Christopher Hitchens (1949-04-13 2011-12-15 age:62)
Motto Of the Catholic Church
No child’s behind left.~ Christopher Hitchens (1949-04-13 2011-12-15 age:62) motto of the Catholic church.
No Worse than Hitler
[On Catholic sex abuse scandals.] It is interesting to find that people of faith now seek defensively to say that they are no worse than Nazis or Stalinists.~ Christopher Hitchens (1949-04-13 2011-12-15 age:62)
I have met some highly intelligent believers, but history has no record to say that [s]he knew or understood the mind of god. Yet this is precisely the qualification which the godly must claim — so modestly and so humbly — to possess. It is time to withdraw our respect from such fantastic claims, all of them aimed at the exertion of power over other humans in the real and material world.~ Christopher Hitchens (1949-04-13 2011-12-15 age:62) The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Non-Believer
Postpone Until the Age of Reason
If religious instruction were not allowed until the child had attained the age of reason, we would be living in a quite different world.~ Christopher Hitchens (1949-04-13 2011-12-15 age:62)
Pretending To Know More Than You Do
It is amazing how relaxing it is not to pretend to know more than you do. I’m surprised that those who claim to speak in the name of God, don’t take more advantage of this.~ Christopher Hitchens (1949-04-13 2011-12-15 age:62)
Price of Redemption
Redemption is promised at the low price of surrender of your critical faculties.~ Christopher Hitchens (1949-04-13 2011-12-15 age:62)
[On the moral deficiency of the Old Testament.] Is it too modern to notice that there is nothing about rape, nothing about the protection of children from cruelty and nothing about genocide? Or is it exactingly in context to notice that some of these very offenses are about to be positively recommended?~ Christopher Hitchens (1949-04-13 2011-12-15 age:62)
Religion Needed for Evil
If you want to get good people to do wicked things, you need religion. What do I mean by that? I mean to say, who when they see a new-born baby arriving in their life, if anyone has ever thought, even myself, well maybe there is something to this, look at the perfection of this little bundle. But they say this, I tell you what though, before we go any further, we need to get a sharp knife or a stone from somewhere and start hacking away at the genitalia of this little bundle because if we don’t we won’t be doing god’s will.
No moral person would do such a thing unless they thought it was divinely warranted.~ Christopher Hitchens (1949-04-13 2011-12-15 age:62)
Religions Were Founded in Ignorance
One must state it plainly. Religion comes from the period of human prehistory where nobody-not even the mighty Democritus who concluded that all matter was made from atoms-had the smallest idea what was going on. It comes from the bawling and fearful infancy of our species and is a babyish attempt to meet our inescapable demand for knowledge (as well as for comfort, reassurance and other infantile needs). Today the least educated of my children knows much more about the natural order than any of the founders of religion and one would like to think-though the connection is not a fully demonstrable one — that this is why they seem so uninterested in sending fellow humans to hell.~ Christopher Hitchens (1949-04-13 2011-12-15 age:62) God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything
Religions Were Founded in Ignorance
Religion comes from the period of human prehistory where nobody — not even the mighty Democritus who concluded that all matter was made from atoms — had the smallest idea of what was going on. It comes from the bawling and fearful infancy of our species and is a babyish attempt to meet our inescapable demand for knowledge. Today the least educated of my children knows much more about the natural order than any of the founders of religion.~ Christopher Hitchens (1949-04-13 2011-12-15 age:62)
Religion, it is true, still possesses the huge if cumbersome and unwieldy advantage of having come first.~ Christopher Hitchens (1949-04-13 2011-12-15 age:62)
If you think all this is going on, all these gigantic fields of gravity and light with you in mind, then you really do have a self-centredness problem.~ Christopher Hitchens (1949-04-13 2011-12-15 age:62)
It is a horrible idea that there is somebody who owns us, who makes us, who supervises us — waking and sleeping — who knows our thoughts, who can convict us of thought crime, thought crime, just for what we think, who can judge us while we sleep for things that might occur to us in our dreams, who can create us sick, as apparently we are — and then order us, on pain of eternal torture to be well again.
To demand this, to wish this to be true is to wish to live as an abject slave.~ Christopher Hitchens (1949-04-13 2011-12-15 age:62)
Source of Morality
Religion gets its morality from us. We don’t get our morality from religion.~ Christopher Hitchens (1949-04-13 2011-12-15 age:62)
Let’s say that the consensus is that our species, being the higher primates, Homo Sapiens, has been on the planet for at least 100,000 years, maybe more. Francis Collins says maybe 100,000. Richard Dawkins thinks maybe a quarter-of-a-million. I’ll take 100,000. In order to be a Christian, you have to believe that for 98,000 years, our species suffered and died, most of its children dying in childbirth, most other people having a life expectancy of about 25 years, dying of their teeth. Famine, struggle, bitterness, war, suffering, misery, all of that for 98,000 years. Heaven watches this with complete indifference. And then 2000 years ago, thinks That’s enough of that. It’s time to intervene and the best way to do this would be by condemning someone to a human sacrifice somewhere in the less literate parts of the Middle East. Don’t lets appeal to the Chinese, for example, where people can read and study evidence and have a civilization. Let’s go to the desert and have another revelation there. This is nonsense. It can’t be believed by a thinking person.~ Christopher Hitchens (1949-04-13 2011-12-15 age:62)
There Is No God
The discovery there is no god is a great relief because if there were, it would be like living in a celestial North Korea if there was one. You would never be able to escape.~ Christopher Hitchens (1949-04-13 2011-12-15 age:62)
The pre-history of our species is hag-ridden with episodes of nightmarish ignorance and calamity, for which religion used to identify, not just the wrong explanation, but the wrong culprit. Human sacrifices were made preeminently in times of epidemics, useless prayers were uttered, bogus miracles attested to, and scapegoats — such as Jews or heretics or witches — hunted down and burned.~ Christopher Hitchens (1949-04-13 2011-12-15 age:62) The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Non-Believer
I think the teachings of Christianity are immoral. The central one [teaching] is the most immoral of all and that is the one of vicarious redemption. You can throw your sins onto somebody else, vulgarly known as scapegoating. In fact, originating as scapegoating in the same area, the same desert. I can pay your debt if I love you. I can serve your term in prison if I love you very much. I can volunteer to do that. I can’t take your sins away because I can’t abolish your responsibility and I shouldn’t offer to do so. Your responsibility has to stay with you. There’s no vicarious redemption. There very probably, in fact, is no redemption at all. It’s just a part of wish-thinking and I don’t think wish-thinking is good for people either.~ Christopher Hitchens (1949-04-13 2011-12-15 age:62)
What is more probable, that there was a virgin birth or that a little Jewish vixen lied?~ Christopher Hitchens (1949-04-13 2011-12-15 age:62)
What Do Humans Exist?
Why do humans exist? A major part of the answer: because Pikaia Gracilens survived the Burgess decimation.~ Christopher Hitchens (1949-04-13 2011-12-15 age:62) God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything
What You Can Dismiss
What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof.~ Christopher Hitchens (1949-04-13 2011-12-15 age:62)
Why So Many Different Religions?
We [antitheists] maintain the pluralism of faith, and the schisms within existing faiths, all churches, synagogues or mosques, gudwaras or temples, claiming to possess or open an avenue to the truth, and competing with one another is susceptible of a very simple explanation: the pluralism of religion is attributable to the fact that man created god, not the reverse.~ Christopher Hitchens (1949-04-13 2011-12-15 age:62)
Every schism indicates a matter than could not be resolved by argument or direct study of where the truth lay in the matter. It was one made up story against another, one delusion competing with another. If religion were absolutely true, all religions would gradually converge on the same story. The very opposite happened.
Christianity = Extinguish Jews
I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.~ Adolf Hitler (1889-04-20 1945-04-30 age:56)
Hitler Hates Atheists
We were convinced that the people need and require this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations; we have stamped it out.~ Adolf Hitler (1889-04-20 1945-04-30 age:56)
Hitler on Faith
We are convinced that the people need and require this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheist movement.~ Adolf Hitler (1889-04-20 1945-04-30 age:56) 1933-10-24 Berlin
It is amazing how many Christians will lie that Hitler was an atheist not a Christian, trying to pretend his evil was caused by rejecting rather than embracing their infinitely cruel god.
Hitler Professes His Christian Faith
Besides that, I believe one thing: there is a Lord God! And this Lord God creates the peoples.~ Adolf Hitler (1889-04-20 1945-04-30 age:56)
The Party, as such, stands for positive Christianity, but does not bind itself in the matter of creed to any particular confession.~ Adolf Hitler (1889-04-20 1945-04-30 age:56)
Fear of the Invisible
Fear of the invisible is the natural seed which everyone in himself calleth religion.~ Thomas Hobbes (1588-04-05 1679-12-04 age:91) Leviathan
Choice of Bogeyman
You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.~ Eric Hoffer (1902-07-25 1983-05-21 age:80)
Faith and Terror
Both Faith and Terror are instruments for the elimination of individual self-respect. Terror crushes the autonomy of self-respect, where Faith obtains its more or less voluntary surrender. In both cases, the result of the elimination of individual autonomy is — automatism. Both Faith and Terror reduce the human entity to a formula that can be manipulated at will.~ Eric Hoffer (1902-07-25 1983-05-21 age:80)
Absolute faith corrupts as absolutely as absolute power.~ Eric Hoffer (1902-07-25 1983-05-21 age:80)
Haters of Human Nature
The savior who wants to turn men into angels is as much a hater of human nature as the totalitarian despot who wants to turn them into puppets.~ Eric Hoffer (1902-07-25 1983-05-21 age:80)
Lovers of the Present are Not Vicious
Those who are in love with the present can be cruel and corrupt but not genuinely vicious. They cannot be methodically and consistently ruthless.~ Eric Hoffer (1902-07-25 1983-05-21 age:80)
To be ruthless requires belief that our life on earth is but a brief prelude to an afterlife, or a temporary sacrifice before some utopia can be instituted.
Where there is the necessary technical skill to move mountains, there is no need for the faith that moves mountains.~ Eric Hoffer (1902-07-25 1983-05-21 age:80)
Religion is Self Hate
Religion is not a matter of God, church, holy cause, etc. These are but accessories. The source of religious preoccupation is in the self, or rather the rejection of the self. Dedication in the obverse side of self-rejection. Man alone is a religious animal because, as Montaigne points out, it is a malady confined to man, and not seen in any other creature, to hate and despise ourselves.~ Eric Hoffer (1902-07-25 1983-05-21 age:80)
Religion: Enemy of Joy
Not only does a mass movement depict the present as mean and miserable — it deliberately makes it so. It fashions a pattern of individual existence that is dour, hard, repressive and dull. It decries pleasures and comforts and extols the rigorous life. It views ordinary enjoyment as trivial or even discreditable and represents the pursuit of personal happiness as immoral. To enjoy oneself is to have truck with the enemy — the present. The prime objective of the ascetic ideal preached by most movements is to breed contempt for the present. The campaign against the appetites is an effort to pry loose tenacious tentacles holding on to the present. That this cheerless individual life runs its course against a colorful and dramatic background of collective pageantry serves to accentuate its worthlessness.~ Eric Hoffer (1902-07-25 1983-05-21 age:80)
There are two main problems with utopian movements:
- There is no sacrifice too great for an utterly perfect future.
- Utopian movements like to make the present as miserable as possible e.g. Communists and Christians.
The Yahweh of the Jews is a suspicious tyrant, who breathes nothing but blood, murder and carnage and who demands that they should nourish him with the vapours of animals. The Jupiter of the Pagans is a lascivious monster. The Moloch of the Phoenicians is a cannibal. The pure mind of the Christians resolved, in order to appease his fury, to crucify his own son. The savage god of the Mexicans cannot be satisfied without thousands of mortals which are immolated to his sanguinary appetite.~ Paul-Henri Thiry, Baron d’Holbach (1723-12-08 1789-01-21 age:65)
Clouds and Phantoms of Religion
It is only by dispelling the clouds and phantoms of religion that we shall discover truth, reason and morality.~ Paul-Henri Thiry, Baron d’Holbach (1723-12-08 1789-01-21 age:65)
Ignorance and Fear Created the Gods
If we go back to the beginnings of things, we shall always find that ignorance and fear created the gods; that imagination, rapture and deception embellished them; that weakness worships them; that custom spares them; and that tyranny favors them in order to profit from the blindness of men.~ Paul-Henri Thiry, Baron d’Holbach (1723-12-08 1789-01-21 age:65)
Ignorance Gave Birth To Gods
If the ignorance of nature gave birth to gods, the knowledge of nature is calculated to destroy them.~ Paul-Henri Thiry, Baron d’Holbach (1723-12-08 1789-01-21 age:65)
Suns are extinguished or become corrupted, planets perish and scatter across the wastes of the sky; other suns are kindled, new planets formed to make their revolutions or describe new orbits and man, an infinitely minute part of a globe which itself is only an imperceptible point in the immense whole, believes that the universe is made for himself.~ Paul-Henri Thiry, Baron d’Holbach (1723-12-08 1789-01-21 age:65)
Nothing in Nature is Contemptible
In Nature nothing; is mean or contemptible and it is only pride, originating in a false idea of our superiority, which causes our contempt for some of her productions. In the eyes of Nature, however, the oyster that vegetates at the bottom of the sea is as dear and perfect as the proud biped who devours it.~ Paul-Henri Thiry, Baron d’Holbach (1723-12-08 1789-01-21 age:65)
Religion Consecrates the Revolting
If experience be consulted, it will be found there is no action, however, abominable, that has not received the applause of some people. Parricide — the sacrifice of children — robbery — usurpation — cruelty — intolerance — prostitution, have all in their turn been licensed actions and have been deemed laudable and meritorious deeds with some nations of the earth. Above all, Religion has consecrated the most unreasonable, the most revolting customs.~ Paul-Henri Thiry, Baron d’Holbach (1723-12-08 1789-01-21 age:65)
Suffering from After-Death Fears
People have suffered and become insane for centuries by the thought of eternal punishment after death. Wouldn’t it be better to depend on blind matter… than a god who puts out traps for people, invites them to sin and allows them to sin and commit crimes he could prevent. Only to finally get the barbarian pleasure to punish them in an excessive way, of no use for himself, without them changing their ways and without their example preventing others from committing crimes.~ Paul-Henri Thiry, Baron d’Holbach (1723-12-08 1789-01-21 age:65)
Why Fear and Infinitely Good God?
If God be infinitely good, what reason have we to fear him? If he be infinitely wise, wherefore disturb ourselves with our condition? If he be omniscient, wherefore inform him of our wants and fatigue him with our prayers? If he be omnipresent, wherefore erect temples to him? If he be Lord of all, wherefore make sacrifices and offerings to him? If he be just, wherefore believe that he punishes those creatures whom he has filled with imbecility? If his grace works every thing in man, what reason has he to reward him? If he be omnipotent, how can he be offended; and how can we resist him? If he be rational, how can he be enraged against those blind mortals to whom he has left the liberty of acting irrationally? If he be immutable, by what right shall we pretend to make him change his decrees? If he be inconceivable, wherefore should we occupy ourselves with him? If he has spoken, wherefore is the universe not convinced? If the knowledge of a God be the most necessary thing, wherefore is it not more evident and more manifest?~ Paul-Henri Thiry, Baron d’Holbach (1723-12-08 1789-01-21 age:65)
You Start Out Atheist
All children are atheists — they have no idea of God.~ Paul-Henri Thiry, Baron d’Holbach (1723-12-08 1789-01-21 age:65)
Alternative To God
Religion is the most powerful alternative to God.~ Richard Holloway (1933-11-26 age:84) Bishop of Edinburgh
The world is big enough for us. No ghosts need apply.~ Sherlock Holmes (1859-05-22 1930-07-07 age:71) in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire
Bogus Argument for God
Punishment is evidence for God. No punishment is evidence for God. You have an interesting argument.~ Gregory House played by Hugh Laurie (1959-06-11 age:58), TV MD
Bogus Argument for God
Punishment is proof of god. No punishment is proof of god. Ingenious argument.~ Gregory House played by Hugh Laurie (1959-06-11 age:58), TV MD
Faith is a Disease
Responding to the assertion that faith is not a disease, House replies On other hand it is communicable and kills a lot of people.~ Gregory House played by Hugh Laurie (1959-06-11 age:58), TV MD
God Gets Credit
How come God always gets the credit if something good happens?~ Gregory House played by Hugh Laurie (1959-06-11 age:58), TV MD
The Holey People
You know it’s all nice when people start to dig these holes, but then they start to live in these holes and get angry when someone pushes dirt into those holes. Come out of your holes people!!!~ Gregory House played by Hugh Laurie (1959-06-11 age:58), TV MD
Inexplained vs Inexplicable
Just because it is inexplained, does not mean it is inexplicable.~ Gregory House played by Hugh Laurie (1959-06-11 age:58), TV MD
Placebo of the Masses
Religion is not the opiate of the masses, its the placebo.~ Gregory House played by Hugh Laurie (1959-06-11 age:58), TV MD
Reasoning With Religious People
If you could reason with religious people, there would be no religious people.~ Gregory House played by Hugh Laurie (1959-06-11 age:58), TV MD
Religion and Insanity
Isn’t it interesting… religious behavior is so close to being crazy that we can’t tell them apart.~ Gregory House played by Hugh Laurie (1959-06-11 age:58), TV MD
Settling for a Stupid Answer
We are hard wired to need answers… The problem is when we don’t find a logical answer we settle for a stupid one. Ritual is what happens when we run out of rational.~ Gregory House played by Hugh Laurie (1959-06-11 age:58), TV MD
There is Only This
What do you think you are going to do? Get out and start flying around with the other angels? There is no after. There is only this.~ Gregory House played by Hugh Laurie (1959-06-11 age:58), TV MD
What it Means If God Talks To You
If you talk to God you’re religious. If God talks to you, you’re psychotic.~ Gregory House played by Hugh Laurie (1959-06-11 age:58), TV MD
People pray to God so he won’t crush them like bugs.~ Gregory House played by Hugh Laurie (1959-06-11 age:58), TV MD
Definition of a Miracle
Miracle: An event described by those to whom it was told by men who did not see it.~ Elbert Hubbard (1856 1915 age:59)
Start A Religion for the Money
I’d like to start a religion. That’s where the money is.~ L. Ron Hubbard (1911-03-13 1986-01-24 age:74) to Lloyd Eshbach, in 1949; quoted by Eshbach in Over My Shoulder: Reflections on a Science Fiction Era, Donald M. Grant Publisher. 1983
Exploring the Universe
Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure science.~ Edwin Hubble (1889-11-20 1953-09-28 age:63)
Equipped with his five senses, the Christian refuses to use them and instead imagines the universe as it might be and calls the adventure faith.
Just Grow Up
Why be born again, when you can just grow up?~ Jack Huberman
Torch vs Extinguisher
There is in every village a torch — the schoolteacher and an extinguisher: the priest.~ Victor Hugo (1802-02-26 1885-05-22 age:83)
Chaos Impresses Christians
Convulsions in nature, disorders, prodigies, miracles, though the most opposite of the plan of a wise superintendent, impress mankind with the strongest sentiments of religion.~ David Hume (1711-04-26 1776-08-25 age:65) The Natural History of Religion
Crimes are Compatible with Piety
The greatest crimes have been found, in many instances, to be compatible with a superstitious piety and devotion; hence it is justly regarded as unsafe to draw any inference in favor of a man’s morals, from the fervor or strictness of his religious exercises, even though he himself believe them sincere.~ David Hume (1711-04-26 1776-08-25 age:65)
Generally speaking, errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy are only ridiculous.~ David Hume (1711-04-26 1776-08-25 age:65)
Establishing a Miracle
That no testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of a kind, that its falsehood would be more miraculous than the fact which it endeavours to establish.~ David Hume (1711-04-26 1776-08-25 age:65)
Which is more likely: that the whole natural order is suspended, or that a Jewish minx should tell a lie?~ David Hume (1711-04-26 1776-08-25 age:65)
Behaviour of Gods
Gods always behave like the people who create them.~ Zora Neale Hurston (1891-01-07 1960-01-28 age:69)
An Unfounded Rumour
A belief in hell and the knowledge that every ambition is doomed to frustration at the hands of a skeleton have never prevented the majority of human beings from behaving as though death were no more than an unfounded rumour and survival a thing beyond the bounds of possibility.~ Aldous Huxley (1894-07-26 1963-11-22 age:69)
Animals Are Too Smart For Religion
You never see animals going through the absurd and often horrible fooleries of magic and religion… Dogs do not ritually urinate in the hope of persuading heaven to do the same and send down rain. Asses do not bray a liturgy to cloudless skies. Nor do cats attempt, by abstinence from cat’s meat, to wheedle the feline spirits into benevolence. Only man behaves with such gratuitous folly. It is the price he has to pay for being intelligent but not, as yet, quite intelligent enough.~ Aldous Huxley (1894-07-26 1963-11-22 age:69)
Definition of God
God: a gaseous vertebrate.~ Aldous Huxley (1894-07-26 1963-11-22 age:69)
All gods are homemade and it is we who pull their strings and so, give them the power to pull ours.~ Aldous Huxley (1894-07-26 1963-11-22 age:69)
The Most Unnatural Perversion
Chastity — the most unnatural of all the sexual perversions.~ Aldous Huxley (1894-07-26 1963-11-22 age:69)
The Secret Doubt of the Fanatic
A fanatic is a man who consciously over compensates a secret doubt.~ Aldous Huxley (1894-07-26 1963-11-22 age:69)
God as Cheshire Cat
Operationally, God is beginning to resemble not a ruler but the last fading smile of a cosmic Cheshire Cat.~ Julian Huxley (1887-06-22 1975-02-14 age:87)
The Deepest Sin
The deepest sin against the human mind is to believe things without evidence. Science is simply common sense at its best — that is, rigidly accurate in observation and merciless to fallacy in logic.~ Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-05-04 1895-06-29 age:70)
Difficulty of Expression the Truth
It ought not to be unpleasant to say that which one honestly believes or disbelieves. That it so constantly is painful to do so, is quite enough obstacle to the progress of mankind in that most valuable of all qualities, honesty of word or of deed.~ Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-05-04 1895-06-29 age:70)
Faith is an Unpardonable Sin
Skepticism is the highest duty and blind faith the one unpardonable sin.~ Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-05-04 1895-06-29 age:70)
Shame of the Fear of Truth
I would rather be the offspring of two apes than be a man and afraid to face the truth.~ Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-05-04 1895-06-29 age:70)
In 1976 god gave me this song.~ Ron Hynes (1950-12-07 age:67)
He is bragging This song I wrote is so good, you can only explain it by divine intervention.
God the Psychopath
God says do what you wish, but make the wrong choice and you will be tortured for eternity in hell. That’s not free will. It’s like a man telling his girlfriend, do what you wish, but if you choose to leave me, I will track you down and blow your brains out. When a man says this we call him a psychopath. When god says the same we call him loving and build churches in his honor.~ William C. Easttom II
You Are Not That Special
We are not privileged in any way. The Copernican Revolution, if it is telling us anything, it is saying Get over yourselves. You are not that special. You are not that important.~ Dr. Christopher D. Impey (1956-01-25 age:62)
Early Call For Gender Equality
The rights of men and women should be equal and sacred-marriage should be a perfect partnership.~ Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-08-11 1899-07-21 age:65)
This in the exact opposite of what the bible declares in I Timothy 2:12
Evidence for an Afterlife
The only evidence, so far as I know, about another life is, first, that we have no evidence; and secondly, that we are rather sorry that we have not and wish we had.~ Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-08-11 1899-07-21 age:65)
God is a Stinking Parent
Why should I allow the same god to tell me how to raise my kids, who had to drown his own?~ Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-08-11 1899-07-21 age:65)
And yet this same Deity says to me, resist not evil; pray for those that despitefully use you; love your enemies, but I will eternally damn mine. It seems to me that even gods should practice what they preach.~ Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-08-11 1899-07-21 age:65)
Ignorance is the soil in which belief in miracles grows.~ Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-08-11 1899-07-21 age:65)
How about A Single Fact to Support Religion
We have heard talk enough. We have listened to all the drowsy, idealess, vapid sermons that we wish to hear. We have read your Bible and the works of your best minds. We have heard your prayers, your solemn groans and your reverential amens. All these amount to less than nothing. We want one fact. We beg at the doors of your churches for just one little fact. We pass our hats along your pews and under your pulpits and implore you for just one fact. We know all about your mouldy wonders and your stale miracles. We want a this year’s fact. We ask only one. Give us one fact for charity. Your miracles are too ancient. The witnesses have been dead for nearly two thousand years.~ Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-08-11 1899-07-21 age:65)
They say that when god was in Jerusalem he forgave his murderers, but now he will not forgive an honest man for differing with him on the subject of the Trinity. They say that God says to me, Forgive your enemies. I say, I do; but he says, I will damn mine. God should be consistent. If he wants me to forgive my enemies he should forgive his. I am asked to forgive enemies who can hurt me. God is only asked to forgive enemies who cannot hurt him. He certainly ought to be as generous as he asks us to be.~ Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-08-11 1899-07-21 age:65)
Just One Little Fact
We have heard talk enough. We have listened to all the drowsy, idealess, vapid sermons that we wish to hear. We have read your Bible and the works of your best minds. We have heard your prayers, your solemn groans and your reverential amens. All these amount to less than nothing. We want one fact. We beg at the doors of your churches for just one little fact. We pass our hats along your pews and under your pulpits and implore you for just one fact. We know all about your mouldy wonders and your stale miracles. We want a this year’s fact. We ask only one. Give us one fact for charity. Your miracles are too ancient. The witnesses have been dead for nearly two thousand years. Their reputation for truth and veracity in the neighborhood where they resided is wholly unknown to us. Give us a new miracle, and substantiate it by witnesses who still have the cheerful habit of living in this world. Do not send us to Jericho to hear the winding horns, nor put us in the fire with Shadrach, Meshech and Abednego. Do not compel us to navigate the sea with Captain Jonah, nor dine with Mr. Ezekiel. There is no sort of use in sending us fox-hunting with Samson. We have positively lost all interest in that little speech so eloquently delivered by Balaam’s inspired donkey. It is worse than useless to show us fishes with money in their mouths, and call our attention to vast multitudes stuffing themselves with five crackers and two sardines. We demand a new miracle, and we demand it now. Let the church furnish at least one, or forever after hold her peace.~ Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-08-11 1899-07-21 age:65)
If they [Christian dogmas] were reasonable, there would be no virtue in believing.~ Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-08-11 1899-07-21 age:65)
Religion is Slavery
Religion can never reform mankind because religion is slavery.~ Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-08-11 1899-07-21 age:65)
Why Churches Hate Thinkers
The church hates a thinker precisely for the same reason a robber dislikes a sheriff, or a thief despises the prosecuting witness.~ Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-08-11 1899-07-21 age:65)
Evidence for Non-Existence of God
If there were a god, don’t you think he would have flicked Hitler’s head off?~ Eddie Izzard (1962-02-07 age:56)
Leaving Religion Alone
Why can’t I leave religion alone? Because it storms its way into my children’s schools, it weasels its way into my government, and it followers demand I can’t do what I want with my body. Right now people are being tortured, beaten, raped and murdered in the name of religion. Is that reason enough?~ Allie Jackson
The extreme agnostics insist that we can’t know that there isn’t an invisible 10.16 cm (4 in) winged pig that determines the weather living in the tree in front of my house. OK. Now what?~ G. B. James source
There are infinitely many things you could imagine might exist, but there is no evidence at all they actually do. It is idle speculation to wonder if such things exist when there is not a scrap of evidence for them. This includes all the gods man has created. Wishing in your gut they existed is not evidence. Godists have no more right to demand proof of the non existence of Yahweh the god than they would have to demand proof of the non-existence of weather-controlling pig.
I have recently been examining all the known superstitions of the world and do not find in our particular superstition (Christianity) one redeeming feature. They are all alike, founded on fables and mythologies.~ Thomas Jefferson (1743-04-13 1826-07-04 age:83), third president of the United States.
Christianity and Common Law
We may safely affirm (though contradicted by all the judges and writers on earth) that Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.~ Thomas Jefferson (1743-04-13 1826-07-04 age:83), third president of the United States.
Jefferson on Calvinist Lunacy
These are the demoralizing dogmas of Calvin:
~ Thomas Jefferson (1743-04-13 1826-07-04 age:83), third president of the United States.
- That there are three Gods.
- That good works, or the love of our neighbor, are nothing.
- That faith is every thing and the more incomprehensible the proposition, the more merit in its faith.
- That reason in religion is of unlawful use.
- That God, from the beginning, elected certain individuals to be saved and certain others to be damned; and that no crimes of the former can damn them; no virtues of the latter save.
Jefferson on God
The Christian god is a being of terrific character — cruel, vindictive, capricious and unjust.~ Thomas Jefferson (1743-04-13 1826-07-04 age:83), third president of the United States.
Jefferson on Religion
On the dogmas of religion as distinguished from moral principles, all mankind, from the beginning of the world to this day, have been quarrelling, fighting, burning and torturing one another, for abstractions unintelligible to themselves and to all others, and absolutely beyond the comprehension of the human mind.~ Thomas Jefferson (1743-04-13 1826-07-04 age:83) Letter to Matthew Carey, 1816-11-11 , third president of the United States.
Jefferson on Yahweh
The Christian god is a being of terrific character, cruel, vindictive, capricious and unjust.~ Thomas Jefferson (1743-04-13 1826-07-04 age:83), third president of the United States.
Logically, God should Approve of Reason more than Fear
Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because if there be one he must approve of the homage of reason more than that of blindfolded fear.~ Thomas Jefferson (1743-04-13 1826-07-04 age:83), third president of the United States, letter to Peter Carr, 1787-08-10
Neither Picks My Pocket
The rights of conscience we never submitted, we could not submit. We are answerable for them to our God. The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg. … Reason and free enquiry are the only effectual agents against error.~ Thomas Jefferson (1743-04-13 1826-07-04 age:83), third president of the United States.
But Christians do not behave in this benign way. They harass and kill gays. They force their religion on others. They interfere with birth control, abortion, euthanasia and organ transplant decisions of others.
Ridicule the Unintelligible
Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions.~ Thomas Jefferson (1743-04-13 1826-07-04 age:83), third president of the United States.
On the dogmas of religion, as distinguished from moral principles, all mankind, from the beginning of the world to this day, have been quarrelling, fighting, burning and torturing one another, for abstractions unintelligible to themselves and to all others, and absolutely beyond the comprehension of the human mind.~ Thomas Jefferson (1743-04-13 1826-07-04 age:83), third president of the United States.
Here’s the thing about people who believe in god… They’re idiots.~ Jim Jeffries (1977-02-14 age:41)
God built the world, but he did not know it was round.~ Jim Jeffries (1977-02-14 age:41)
I can tell you for sure that god does not love you unconditionally. I have already given you a condition. If you don’t put a small amount of water on a baby’s forehead, it burns for eternity. That’s the condition of a fucking psychopath.~ Jim Jeffries (1977-02-14 age:41)
Dealing with Gay Marriage
If you hate gay marriage, then don’t marry a gay person.~ Jim Jeffries (1977-02-14 age:41)
God = Santa
Christians are like a thirteen year old kid who still believes in Santa.~ Jim Jeffries (1977-02-14 age:41)
There is no god, and that’s the simple truth. If every trace of any single religion were wiped out and nothing were passed on, it would never be created exactly that way again. There my be some other nonsense in its place, but not that exact nonsense. If all of science were wiped out, it would still be true and someone would find a way to figure it all out again.~ Penn Jillette (1955-03-05 age:63)
If the bible were published as fiction, no reviewer would give it a passing grade. There are some vivid scenes and quotable phrases but there’s no plot, no structure, a tremendous amount of filler and the characters are painfully one dimensional. Whatever you do, don’t read the bible for a moral code. It advocates prejudice, cruelty, superstition and murder. Read it because we need more atheists.~ Penn Jillette (1955-03-05 age:63)
When you add everlasting life as the reward and everlasting torment as the punishment, there can be no morality.~ Penn Jillette (1955-03-05 age:63)
Prayer is Rude
It seems just rude to beg the invisible for more.~ Penn Jillette (1955-03-05 age:63) illusionist
Birds born in a cage think flying is an illness.~ Alejandro Jodorowsky (1929-02-17 age:89)
Imagine someone with a closet full of clothes, who insisted on wearing the same underwear, unwashed, for a lifetime. That is like a Christian who refuses to read anything but the bible.
Freedom to Think
Birds born in a cage think flying is an illness.~ Alejandro Jodorowsky (1929-02-17 age:89)
There is no heresy or no philosophy which is so abhorrent to the church as a human being.~ James Joyce (1882-02-02 1941-01-13 age:58)
Limitation of Books
Reading books everyone died, none became any wise.~ Kabir (1398 1518 age:120), mystic Hindi poet.
One who reads the word of Love, only becomes wise.
Intensity is Evidence of Truth, Really?
What makes fantastic declarations believable is, in part, the vehemence with which they’re proffered. Again, in the world of spirituality as well as of pop psychology, intensity of personal belief is evidence of truth. It is considered very bad form — even abuse — to challenge the veracity of any personal testimony that might be offered in a twelve-step group or on a talk show, unless the testimony itself is equivocal… Whatever sells, whatever many people believe strongly, must be true.~ Wendy Kaminer (1950 age:67)
Kant’s Definition of the Good
Act that your principle of action might safely be made a law for the whole world.~ Immanuel Kant (1724-04-22 1804-02-12 age:79)
Universe without Purpose
The human heart refuses to believe in a universe without purpose.~ Immanuel Kant (1724-04-22 1804-02-12 age:79)
Kant thinks the only possibility is a tyrant god imposing a single purpose on the universe. What if there were two purposes and you got to choose? What if there were an infinite number? What if you get to make up your own purpose? What if the universe has no a priori purpose until you choose one? The universe has a purpose means god has a purpose. It can’t very well have one without god. Only life can have a purpose for something.
Death is What Makes Us Human
Human life without death would be something other than human; consciousness of mortality gives rise to out deepest longings and greatest accomplishments.~ Leon Kass (1939-02-12 age:79)
God Gave You a Secret and Not Me. Really?
And do you think that unto such as you~ Omar Kayyám (1048-05-18 1131-12-04 age:83)
A maggot minded, starved, fanatic crew;
God gave a secret and denied it me?
Oh Well well — What matters it? Believe that too!
No Other But Here
Men talk of heaven, — there is no heaven but here;~ Omar Kayyám (1048-05-18 1131-12-04 age:83)
Men talk of hell, — there is no hell but here;
Men of hereafters talk and future lives, —
O love, there is no other life — but here.
A man is walking across a bridge, when he sees another guy about to jump off. Hey, man he says, you don’t have to do that.~ Garrison Keillor (1942-08-07 age:75)
Why not? the other guy says, I’ve got nothing to live for. I lost my job, I’m bankrupt, my wife left me and took the kids, my car threw a rod and my dog just died. My life totally sucks.
But God still loves you, the man says, you believe in God, don’t you?
Well, I guess so, the guy says.
Tell me, are you a Christian?
Yes the guy answers.
Well, so am I! the man says. Catholic or Protestant?
Well, so am I!. Methodist, or Baptist, or Presbyterian
Well, so am I. Northern or Southern Baptist?
Well so am I!. Northern fundamentalist, liberal, or reformed?
Well, so am I!. Northern fundamentalist eastern region, or Great Lakes region?
Northern fundamentalist, eastern region.
Well, so am I!. Northern fundamentalist, eastern region conference of 1898, or conference of 1912?
Northern fundamentalist, eastern region, conference of 1912.
Die, heretic! the man says and pushes him off the bridge.
Christian Depiction of Hell
Hell is having to execute a pointless act from which nothing ever comes except the need to do it again.~ Timothy Keller (1950 age:67) Christian apologist
That sounds pretty much like the Christian conception of heaven.
Kennedy’s Dream of Religious Equality
Finally, I believe in an America where religious intolerance will someday end — where all men and all churches are treated as equal — where every man has the same right to attend or not attend the church of his choice — where there is no Catholic vote, no anti-Catholic vote, no bloc voting of any kind — and where Catholics, Protestants and Jews, at both the lay and pastoral level, will refrain from those attitudes of disdain and division which have so often marred their works in the past and promote instead the American ideal of brotherhood.~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917-05-29 1963-11-22 age:46)
If somebody harbours delusions, I think that should disqualify them from office, regardless whether the delusions are religious. Letting someone who thinks the god Yahweh will bail him out serve in public office is like letting a man who believes in Santa Claus run a Toys ’R Us.
Myths vs Lies
The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie — deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917-05-29 1963-11-22 age:46)
Stephen King’s Delusion
If you say, Well, OK, I don’t believe in God. There’s no evidence of God, then you’re missing the stars in the sky and you’re missing the sunrises and sunsets and you’re missing the fact that bees pollinate all these crops and keep us alive and the way that everything seems to work together. Everything is sort of built in a way that to me suggests intelligent design.~ Stephen King (1947-09-21 age:70)
Accepting It On Their Say-So
Faith is the acceptance of claims for which there is no good evidence; when someone invites you to take something on faith, they are actively telling you not to challenge it, not to question it, not to inquire whether it is really true: they are telling you to simply accept it on their say-so. And this accepting it on their say-so is at the very heart of Christianity.~ Paula Kirby Breaking Out Of the Prison of Religion
The gospel has become more common and open to laymen and even to women to know how to read than it customarily is to moderately well-educated clergy of good intelligence. The pearl of the Gospel is scattered abroad and trodden underfoot by swine.~ Henry Knighton canon at the Abbey of St. Mary
Decrying Wyclif translating the bible from Latin to English so that people could read it for themselves. At this time in history even most clergy could not/did not read the bible in Latin.
Common sense is not a guide to the universe.~ Lawrence Krauss (1954-05-27 age:63)
90% of the mass in your body comes from empty space.~ Lawrence Krauss (1954-05-27 age:63)
We know the universe is so incredibly strange, yet Christians mindlessly repeat false mantras like something cannot come from nothing except god.
Ignorant Bible Authors
[The writers of the holy books] did not even know the earth revolves around the sun. Why are we listening?~ Lawrence Krauss (1954-05-27 age:63)
Lack Of Understanding
The lack of understanding of something is not evidence for God. It is evidence for lack of understanding.~ Lawrence Krauss (1954-05-27 age:63)
The Purpose of Education
The purpose of education is not to validate ignorance, but to overcome it.~ Lawrence Krauss (1954-05-27 age:63)
So why are schools still teaching things that are not true such as Christianity, creationism and the magic power of smudging?
Studying the Bible
Why do we have to spend so much time interpreting the bible? What is special about that book that is different from anything else? What’s the point? We should not waste our time trying to interpret what people who didn’t even know that there were dinosaurs, or that the earth orbited the sun or that evolution happened. Why should we try interpret those ignorant beliefs in a modern world where we actually understand things?~ Lawrence Krauss (1954-05-27 age:63)
When we were taught common sense, nearly all our mom’s knew nothing of quantum mechanics or cosmology. No wonder our common sense balks at any modern physics.
The universe does not care what we want.~ Lawrence Krauss (1954-05-27 age:63)
Designing a Just Society
We should try to create a society each of us would want if we didn’t know in advance who we would be.~ Paul Krugman (1953-02-28 age:65)
There is not one iota of history as we know it in the entire Bible!~ Alvin Boyd Kuhn (1880-09-22 1963-09-14 age:82) Biblical scholar
Stated simply belief perseverance is the tendency to stick with an initial belief, even after receiving contradictory or disconfirming information about that belief.~ Dr. Caleb Lack (1966-10-05 age:51)
Pretending We Never Die
Religion used to try,~ Philip Larkin (1922-08-02 1985-12-02 age:63) Aubade
That vast, moth-eaten musical brocade
Created to pretend we never die
The problem with relying on sacrifice to right wrongs in that no one tells you when you have sacrificed enough goats.~ Phil Laut
Bible Admonishes Straights More than Gays
The Bible contains 6 admonishments to homosexuals and 362 to heterosexuals. This doesn’t mean God doesn’t love heterosexuals, it’s just that they need more supervision.~ Lynn Lavner , a lesbian comic
There once was a time when all people believed in God and the church ruled. This time was called the Dark Ages.~ Richard Lederer (1938-05-26 age:79)
Futility of Prayer
Praying is like a rocking chair — it’ll give you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere.~ Gypsy Rose Lee (1911-01-08 1970-04-26 age:59)
Imagine there’s no Heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today
Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace
You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one
Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world
You may say that I’m a dreamer~ John Lennon (1940-10-09 1980-12-08 age:40)
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one
Imagine No Religion
Imagine there’s no countries~ John Lennon (1940-10-09 1980-12-08 age:40)
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace…
Pretending To Know The Answer
Is it not better to place a question mark upon a problem while seeking an answer than to put the label God there and consider the matter closed?~ Joseph Lewis (1889-06-11 1968 age:79)
Cosmic love is absolutely Ruthless and Highly Indifferent: it teaches its lessons whether you like/dislike them or not.~ Dr. John Cunningham Lilly (1915-01-06 2001-09-30 age:86)
ECCO (Earth Coincidence Control Office)
I call God ECCO. It’s much more satisfying to call it that. A lot of people accept this and they don’t know that they’re just talking about God. I finally found a God that was big enough. As the astronomer said to the Minister, My God’s astronomical. The Minister said, How can you relate to something so big? The astronomer said, Well, that isn’t the problem, your God’s too small!~ Dr. John Cunningham Lilly (1915-01-06 2001-09-30 age:86)
Lincoln on Christianity
My earlier views of the unsoundness of the Christian scheme of salvation and the human origin of the scriptures have become clearer and stronger with advancing years, and I see no reason for thinking I shall ever change them.~ Abraham Lincoln (1809-02-12 1865-04-15 age:56), sixteenth president of the United States.
Definition of Truth
Truth in science can be defined as the working hypothesis best suited to open the way to the next better one.~ Konrad Zacharias Lorenz (1903-11-07 1989-02-27 age:85)
Discard a Hypothesis
It is a good morning exercise for a research scientist to discard a pet hypothesis every day before breakfast. It keeps him young.~ Konrad Zacharias Lorenz (1903-11-07 1989-02-27 age:85)
Personification of Evil
We had better dispense with the personification of evil because it leads, all too easily, to the most dangerous kind of war: religious war.~ Konrad Zacharias Lorenz (1903-11-07 1989-02-27 age:85)
I am disillusioned enough to know that no man’s opinion on any subject is worth a damn unless backed up with enough genuine information to make him really know what he's talking about.~ H. P. Lovecraft (1890-08-20 1937-03-15 age:46)
The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.~ H. P. Lovecraft (1890-08-20 1937-03-15 age:46)
If Religion Were True
If religion were true, its followers would not try to bludgeon their young into an artificial conformity; but would merely insist on their unbending quest for truth, irrespective of artificial backgrounds or practical consequences.~ H. P. Lovecraft (1890-08-20 1937-03-15 age:46)
Strong Religious Feelings
Bunch together a group of people deliberately chosen for strong religious feelings, and you have a practical guarantee of dark morbidities expressed in crime, perversion, and insanity.~ H. P. Lovecraft (1890-08-20 1937-03-15 age:46)
Excuses for Discrimination
What we need is a clear and unequivocal statement in cities and counties and states and at the federal level that discrimination is wrong. It is wrong to matter what the excuse is, no matter what the justification is.~ Reverend Barry W. Lynn (1948 age:69)
Disillusioned With Christianity
The story of genesis and the bible in general did not correlate with anything I saw in the natural world.~ Xavier Mack (1996 age:21) ex Christian
When men wish to construct or support a theory, how they torture facts into their service!~ John Mackay (1814-03-27 1889-12-24 age:75) Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds 1852
Madison on Christianity
During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity, in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution.~ James Madison (1751-03-16 1836-06-28 age:85) fourth president of the United States, A Memorial and Remonstrate Against Religious Assessments 1785-06-20
Madison on Effect of Christianity
What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; in many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient allies.~ James Madison (1751-03-16 1836-06-28 age:85), fourth president of the United States, A Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments, addressed to the Virginia General Assembly, 1785-06-20.
Madison on Separation of Church and State
The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries.~ James Madison (1751-03-16 1836-06-28 age:85) fourth president of the USA.
An atheist is I think impossible, most who would be thought atheists are so out of indolence because they will not give themselves time to reason.~ London Magazine 1774
Magellan on Trusting the Church
The church says the earth is flat; but I have seen its shadow on the moon and I have more confidence even in a shadow than in the church.~ Ferdinand Magellan (1480 1521-04-27 age:40) Some claim it was Robert Green Ingersoll (1833 1899 age:66)
Advantages of Being the Catholic Church
What other business could get caught running a child sex ring since forever and you still keep your customers?~ Bill Maher (1956-01-20 age:62)
Atheism is Not A Religion
Atheism is a religion the way abstinence is a sex position.~ Bill Maher (1956-01-20 age:62)
Consequences of Yahweh Worship
Conservatives are always going on about how Americans are always losing their values and morality. Maybe it is because you a worship a guy who drowns babies.~ Bill Maher (1956-01-20 age:62)
Flying Planes into Buildings
I think flying planes into a building was a faith-based initiative. I think religion is a neurological disorder.~ Bill Maher (1956-01-20 age:62)
Jonah and Jack, Equally Nuts
If the bible myth of Jonah in the whale and the Mother Goose myth of Jack and the Beanstalk were switched at birth so that Jack in the Beanstalk were in the bible, do you think any child would notice?~ Bill Maher (1956-01-20 age:62)
Letting the Ignorant Lead
Do I want to make real-world policy decided on the basis on proven facts and the outer reaches of what humans have gotten to do in science? Or do I want real world decisions made based on ancient myths, written by men who didn’t know what a germ or an atom was, or where the sun went at night? I pick choice A.~ Bill Maher (1956-01-20 age:62)
Liberty University is a school you flunk out of when you get the answers right.~ Bill Maher (1956-01-20 age:62)
Religion Does Not Hurt Anything Except…
most wars, the crusades, the inquisition, 9/11, arranged marriages to minors, blowing up girls’ schools, the suppression of women and homosexuals, fatwas, ethnic cleansing, honour rape, human sacrifice, burning witches, suicide bombings, condoning slavery and the systematic fucking of children. There are a few little things I have trouble with.~ Bill Maher (1956-01-20 age:62)
Robbing god~ a Christian con man
This is a term for failing to hand over 10% of one’s income to the Christian con man who passes none of it over to God.
Infinite complexity can be described by simple rules.~ Benoit Mandelbrot (1924-11-20 2010-10-14 age:85), mathematician, discoverer of fractals.
Church as Stockbroker
The Catholic Church, once all her assets have been put together, is the most formidable stockbroker in the world.~ Avro Manhattan The Vatican Billions
Death in Part of Life
The only religious way to think of death is as part and parcel of life.~ Thomas Mann (1875-06-06 1955-08-12 age:80)
A harmful truth is better than a useful lie.~ Thomas Mann (1875-06-06 1955-08-12 age:80)
Definition of Satanism
What nearly everybody in my life… had misunderstood about Satanism was that it’s not about ritual sacrifices, digging up graves and worshiping the devil. The devil doesn’t exist. Satanism is about worshiping yourself because you’re responsible for your own good and evil.~ Marilyn Manson (1969-01-05 age:49) The Long Hard Road Out of Hell
Hidden Biblical Agenda
When I was a firm believer in Christianity, the only thing that wavered my faith was finding out how the bible was written and why certain things were left out of it. The thing that broke through the barrier was learning that King James, who wrote the divine right of kings was obsessed with proving monarchy legitimacy ordained by god and instructed his team of chosen scholars to make sure his new translation strongly included proof of this divine right. It throws the whole written by god notion out the window and sheds light on the little man behind the curtain, trying desperately to maintain power.~ M. Marieden
Religion and Opium
Religion is the opium of the people translated from the German Die Religion … ist das Opium des Volkes sometimes misquoted as opiate of the people.~ Karl Marx (1818-05-05 1883-03-14 age:64), Contribution to Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right
Religion Needs To Be Abolished
The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness.~ Karl Marx (1818-05-05 1883-03-14 age:64)
Truth and Authority
They must find it difficult… those who have taken authority as the truth rather than the truth as authority.~ Gerald Massey (1828-05-09 1907-10-09 age:79) Egyptologist
Give me the child for the first seven years and I’ll give you the man.~ Jesuit Maxim
This thinking propels Christians to try to enact mandatory Christian prayer in public schools and other prosletysing aimed at children. Without indoctrination of children before they have developed reason to detect how nonsensical Christianity is, Christianity would quickly die out.
Is Atheism a Religion?
If atheism is a religion, then off is a TV channel and bald is a hair colour.~ Hemant Mehta (1983 age:34)
Put your trust in god are the most dangerous words in the English language.~ Hemant Mehta (1983 age:34)
By that he means following this advice will inevitably cause yourself harm by failing to act or by taking unnecessary risk.
Atheists think the devil is just a silly as God is.~ Hemant Mehta (1983 age:34)
An Answer for Every Problem
For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple and wrong.~ Henry Louis Mencken (1880-09-12 1956-01-29 age:75)
Belief in the Palpably Not True
The most common of all follies is to believe passionately in the palpably not true.~ Henry Louis Mencken (1880-09-12 1956-01-29 age:75)
Belief in the Palpably Not True
The most costly of all follies is to believe passionately in the palpably not true. It is the chief occupation of mankind.~ Henry Louis Mencken (1880-09-12 1956-01-29 age:75)
Communism is a Revealed Religion
Communism, like any other revealed religion, is largely made up of prophecies.~ Henry Louis Mencken (1880-09-12 1956-01-29 age:75)
Definition of Archbishop
Archbishop: A Christian ecclesiastic of a rank superior to that attained by Christ.~ Henry Louis Mencken (1880-09-12 1956-01-29 age:75)
Definition of Church
A church is a place in which gentlemen who have never been to heaven brag about it to persons who will never get there.~ Henry Louis Mencken (1880-09-12 1956-01-29 age:75)
Definition of Faith
Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable.~ Henry Louis Mencken (1880-09-12 1956-01-29 age:75)
Definition of Idealist
An idealist is one who, on noticing that roses smell better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.~ Henry Louis Mencken (1880-09-12 1956-01-29 age:75)
Definition of Morality
Morality is the theory that every human act must be either right or wrong and that 99% of them are wrong.~ Henry Louis Mencken (1880-09-12 1956-01-29 age:75)
Definition of Puritanism
Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.~ Henry Louis Mencken (1880-09-12 1956-01-29 age:75)
Fifty Ways To Prepare Crabs
There is a saying in Baltimore that crabs may be prepared in fifty ways and that all of them are good.~ Henry Louis Mencken (1880-09-12 1956-01-29 age:75)
One horse-laugh is worth ten thousand syllogisms. It is not only more effective; it is also vastly more intelligent.~ Henry Louis Mencken (1880-09-12 1956-01-29 age:75)
Legality of Birth Control
It is now quite lawful for a Catholic woman to avoid pregnancy by a resort to mathematics, though she is still forbidden to resort to physics or chemistry.~ Henry Louis Mencken (1880-09-12 1956-01-29 age:75)
Morality vs Religion
Morality is doing right, no matter what you are told. Religion is doing what you are told, no matter what is right.~ Henry Louis Mencken (1880-09-12 1956-01-29 age:75)
Religion Opposes the Good
Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration — courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness and, above all, love of the truth.~ Henry Louis Mencken (1880-09-12 1956-01-29 age:75)
Respecting Other Religions
We must respect the other fellow’s religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.~ Henry Louis Mencken (1880-09-12 1956-01-29 age:75)
Can Religion and Science Coexist?
Can religion and science coexist? Yes they can, in the same sense humans and tapeworms can coexist, which is not necessarily to our benefit.~ PZ Meyers (1957-03-09 age:61)
Squatting in between those on the side of reason and evidence and those worshiping superstition and myth is not a better place. It just means you’re half way to crazy town.~ PZ Meyers (1957-03-09 age:61)
Truth as Moral Value
The truth is often uncomfortable. You have to value truth because it is true, not because it makes you feel good.~ PZ Meyers (1957-03-09 age:61)
Any Evil Comes from Emulating God
Is there any moral enormity which might not be justified by imitation of such a Deity?~ John Stuart Mill (1806-05-20 1873-05-08 age:66)
Christianity: Ultimate Wickedness
The ne plus ultra of wickedness is embodied in what is commonly presented to mankind as the creed of Christianity.~ John Stuart Mill (1806-05-20 1873-05-08 age:66)
Definition of God
God is a word to express, not our ideas, but the want of them.~ John Stuart Mill (1806-05-20 1873-05-08 age:66)
The world would be astonished if it knew how great a proportion of its brightest ornaments, of those distinguished even in popular estimation for wisdom and virtue, are complete sceptics in religion.~ John Stuart Mill (1806-05-20 1873-05-08 age:66)
Reject Bloody Faith
Cleave to no faith when faith brings blood.~ Arthur Miller (1915-10-17 2005-02-10 age:89) The Crucible
Cranking Out Gods
Man is certainly stark mad. He can’t make a flea, but makes gods by the dozen.~ Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (1533 1592 age:59)
We are, I know not how, double in ourselves, so that what we believe we disbelieve, and cannot rid ourselves of what we condemn.~ Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (1533 1592 age:59)
I prefer the company of peasants because they have not been educated sufficiently to reason incorrectly.~ Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (1533 1592 age:59)
To Christians: 1 + 1 + 1 = 1
[The Pope] will make the king believe that three are only one, that the bread he eats is not bread… and a thousand other things of the same kind.~ Charles de Secondat, baron de Montesquieu (1689-01-19 1755-02-10 age:66)
In this respect, the pope is a sort of hypnotist, of the sort depicted in the Hans Christian Andersen’s story of the Emperor’s New Clothes
The free exercise clause of the constitution does not apply to any religion but Christianity. [because none of the other religions are legitimate religions.].~ Roy Moore (1947-02-11 age:71) head of the supreme court of Alabama
Miracles, Everything But True
Ye shall have miracles, aye, sound ones too,~ Thomas Moore (1779-05-28 1852-02-25 age:72)
Seen, heard, attested, everything but true.
There is that special pleading again. We can believe this because it’s faith. But, we can’t believe anything that you’ve said without a mountain of evidence, that we will still reject.~ D. M. Murdock biblical scholar
False hope may provide a genuine feeling of peace, but that doesn’t make the hope any less false.~ NDDave
Logically you would think if you knew a comforting lie was lie, it would have no ability to comfort, yet Christians are like children, who still gain comfort from teddy bears, even though they are under no delusions Teddy could actually come to their aid. It also a little bit like people who fantasize some movie or porn star will come into their life. They know it would never happen, but they get pleasure pretending it could.
Religion = Breaking Heads
India is supposed to be a religious country above everything else and Hindu and Muslim and Sikh and others take pride in their faiths and testify to their truth by breaking heads. The spectacle of what is called religion, or at any rate organised religion, in India and elsewhere has filled me with horror and I have frequently condemned it and wished to make a clean sweep of it. Almost always it seems to stand for blind belief and reaction, dogma and bigotry, superstition and exploitation and the preservation of vested interests. And yet I knew well that there was something else in it, something which supplied a deep inner craving of human beings. How else could it have been the tremendous power it has been and brought peace and comfort to innumerable tortured souls? Was that peace merely the shelter of blind belief and absence of questioning, the calm that comes from being safe in harbour, protected from the storms of the open sea, or was it something more?~ Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-11-14 1964-05-27 age:74)
Ah Knows It In Ma Bones
If you can’t show it, you don’t know it.~ Aron Ra (pronounced R.N. Raw) (née L. Aron Nelson) (1962-10-15 age:55)
Belief vs Truth
Within the deeply religious mindset, whether you believe it is more important than if it is true.~ Aron Ra (pronounced R.N. Raw) (née L. Aron Nelson) (1962-10-15 age:55)
When your loved ones die, nothing is going to bring them back. When you die, all that you are will be reduced to a few dozen pounds of ape meat, going bad.~ Aron Ra (pronounced R.N. Raw) (née L. Aron Nelson) (1962-10-15 age:55)
Definition of Faith
Faith in an unreasonable conviction that is assumed without reason and defended against all reason.~ Aron Ra (pronounced R.N. Raw) (née L. Aron Nelson) (1962-10-15 age:55)
Definition of a Fool
A fool is one who too readily accepts improbable claims from questionable sources on insufficient evidence or one who believes such claims completely without question or reservation as the sacred scriptures all require. So it is not at all surprising that the bible and the Qur’an both use the opposite definition of fool than the dictionary does. They say you are a fool if you don’t swallow it all and believe all on gullibility and faith simply because they say so.~ Aron Ra (pronounced R.N. Raw) (née L. Aron Nelson) (1962-10-15 age:55)
Faith is, on every level, is the most dishonest position it is possible to have.~ Aron Ra (pronounced R.N. Raw) (née L. Aron Nelson) (1962-10-15 age:55)
Everything Is Possible
Everything is possible. Monkeys might fly out of my ass? No, that is not possible.~ Aron Ra (pronounced R.N. Raw) (née L. Aron Nelson) (1962-10-15 age:55)
Everything Is Possible
If you want your life to be meaningful, try making someone else’s life meaningful.~ Aron Ra (pronounced R.N. Raw) (née L. Aron Nelson) (1962-10-15 age:55)
Ignorance is not just what you don’t know. It’s also what you won’t know.~ Aron Ra (pronounced R.N. Raw) (née L. Aron Nelson) (1962-10-15 age:55)
If you can’t show it, you don’t know it.~ Aron Ra (pronounced R.N. Raw) (née L. Aron Nelson) (1962-10-15 age:55)
Science doesn’s know everything, but religion doesn’t know anything.~ Aron Ra (pronounced R.N. Raw) (née L. Aron Nelson) (1962-10-15 age:55)
Science doesn’t know everything.~ Aron Ra (pronounced R.N. Raw) (née L. Aron Nelson) (1962-10-15 age:55)
Religion does not know anything.
There is no truth in any religious belief.~ Aron Ra (pronounced R.N. Raw) (née L. Aron Nelson) (1962-10-15 age:55)
On Being Wrong
It is better to be proven wrong than to be wrong and never know it.~ Aron Ra (pronounced R.N. Raw) (née L. Aron Nelson) (1962-10-15 age:55)
Prayer in Schools
In 1963, they [the supreme court] took prayer out of school. No, they didn’t. At no time has prayer ever been removed from schools. What they did was stop teachers from forcing children to pray to the teachers’ particular religion.~ Aron Ra (pronounced R.N. Raw) (née L. Aron Nelson) (1962-10-15 age:55)
If you think about it, it is, with current technology, absolutely impossible to ban prayer. There is no way to know or control another’s private thoughts.
The Problem With Christians
Christians feel oppressed when they are not allowed to oppress others.~ Aron Ra (pronounced R.N. Raw) (née L. Aron Nelson) (1962-10-15 age:55)
All of the claims religion makes fall into one of two categories:
~ Aron Ra (pronounced R.N. Raw) (née L. Aron Nelson) (1962-10-15 age:55)
- Not evidently true.
- Evidently not true.
You want me to believe some outrageous claim? You will have to show me the truth of it and it better not require an ounce of faith because if it requires faith, that is the admission there is no reason to believe it and having no reason to believe it is the same as having one good reason not to believe it.~ Aron Ra (pronounced R.N. Raw) (née L. Aron Nelson) (1962-10-15 age:55)
What Do We Know?
Science doesn’t know everything. Religion doesn’t know anything.~ Aron Ra (pronounced R.N. Raw) (née L. Aron Nelson) (1962-10-15 age:55)
Why Religion Requires Belief
Deceivers need believers.~ Aron Ra (pronounced R.N. Raw) (née L. Aron Nelson) (1962-10-15 age:55)
Truth Admits Only Approximations
Truth is much too complicated to allow anything but approximations.~ John von Neumann (1903-12-28 1957-02-08 age:53)
Science is about finding ever better approximations rather than pretending you have already found ultimate truth.
God Spared Me
People survive an accident and say, God spared us. Well, what about the other 136 people who died miserably and in flames? It’s a selective use of data and is not only not scientific, it’s really anti-scientific. It’s superstition.~ Joe Nickell (1944-12-01 age:73) The Science of Miracles: Investigating the Incredible
The Importance of Coming Out
If people don’t know if the people they know are non religious they can’t know if they like non-religious people.~ Max Nielsen (1999 age:18)
Convictions are Worse that Lies
Convictions are more dangerous foes of truth than lies.~ Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-10-15 1900-08-25 age:55)
Dangers of those Who Think Alike
The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.~ Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-10-15 1900-08-25 age:55)
Definition of Faith
Faith: not wanting to know what is true.~ Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-10-15 1900-08-25 age:55)
Faith means not wanting to know what is true.~ Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-10-15 1900-08-25 age:55)
Faith: not wanting to know what is true.~ Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-10-15 1900-08-25 age:55)
God Could Not Be So Vain as Advertised
I cannot believe in a God who wants to be praised all the time.~ Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-10-15 1900-08-25 age:55)
God is Dead
God is dead and we have killed him.~ Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-10-15 1900-08-25 age:55)
The Importance of Why
He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.~ Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-10-15 1900-08-25 age:55)
A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.~ Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-10-15 1900-08-25 age:55)
Everyone Deserves Hell
The whole point of Christianity is that everyone in the world, from Charles Manson to Mother Teresa, deserves to go to hell.~ Sean Ningen
Longing For A Phony God
If no god existed, would you still want to believe in one? If you answered yes to that question, by your own admission, you don’t care if your beliefs are true or not. You just want to believe what makes you comfortable or happy or feel superior to other people. You have no desire to get closer to the truth. You just want to push your ideas on other people.~ Not1Delusion
Obama’s Idiot Tolerance
We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.~ Barack Obama (1961-08-04 age:56)
Obama is thinking of the video Innocence of Muslims whose whole point was to rile Muslims to violence, but it does not take a scurrilous attack on religion to generate insane and violent responses. Christians and Muslims all over the world have recently jailed and killed people for saying simply I don’t believe in any religion. Obama goes too far in his request for restraint. If he wants us to avoid anyone taking offence, literally he is asking us:
- Not to report priests molesting children.
- Not to poke fun at the goofy claims of Scientologists and Mormons.
- Not to debunk phony miracles.
- Not to report the financial scams and hypocrisy of the TV evangelists.
- Not to interfere with female circumcision.
- Not to stop herpes-infected rabbis from killing infants with unsanitary circumcisions.
Darwin’s Proof of God
Darwin’s theory of evolution is proof of God. Anything that good must come of God. God whispered it into Darwin’s ear. God even made a major earthquake happen in Conceptión so that Darwin could see how the earth is in flux, an idea he borrowed for the tree of life, yet another idea he borrowed from the bible.~ Ann Onimus (1940-12-25 1953-12-25 age:13)
One cannot really be a Catholic and grown up.~ George Orwell (1903-06-25 1950-01-21 age:46)
The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns, as it were, instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish squirting out ink.~ George Orwell (1903-06-25 1950-01-21 age:46)
Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously and accepting both of them.~ George Orwell (1903-06-25 1950-01-21 age:46)
Christianity’s Psychic Damage of Children
But the most heinous crime of the Church has been perpetrated not against churchmen but against churchgoers. With its poisonous concepts of sin and divine punishment, it’s warped and brainwashed countless millions. It would be impossible to calculate the psychic damage this has inflicted on generations of children who might have grown up into healthy, happy, productive, zestful human beings but for the burden of antisexual fear and guilt ingrained in them by the Church. This alone is enough to condemn religion.~ Madalyn Murray O’Hair (1919-04-13 1995-09-29 age:76) 1965-10
Fear Of Hell
The fear of hell is the basis for the Christian faith.~ Madalyn Murray O’Hair (1919-04-13 1995-09-29 age:76)
Religion = Inactivity
An Atheist believes that a hospital should be built instead of a church. An atheist believes that a deed must be done instead of a prayer said. An atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death. He wants disease conquered, poverty vanished, war eliminated.~ Madalyn Murray O’Hair (1919-04-13 1995-09-29 age:76)
I am God
When did I realize I was God? Well, I was praying and I suddenly realized I was talking to myself.~ Peter O’Toole (1932-08-02 2013-12-14 age:81) playing Jack Gurney, the 14th Earl of Gurney in The Ruling Class
Author of Genesis
Take away from Genesis the belief that Moses was the author, on which only the strange believe that it is the word of God has stood and there remains nothing of Genesis but an anonymous book of stories, fables and traditionary or invented absurdities, or of downright lies.~ Thomas Paine (1737-01-29 1809-06-08 age:72) The Age of Reason.
The Bible can Lie
That God cannot lie, is no advantage to your argument because it is no proof that priests can not, or that the Bible does not.~ Thomas Paine (1737-01-29 1809-06-08 age:72).
It is far better that we admitted a thousand devils to roam at large than that we permitted one such imposter and monster as Moses, Joshua, Samuel and the Bible prophets, to come with the pretended word of God and have credit among us.~ Thomas Paine (1737-01-29 1809-06-08 age:72).
Bible Inspires Cruelty
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.~ Thomas Paine (1737-01-29 1809-06-08 age:72).
Christianity is a Parody of Sun Worship
The Christian religion is a parody on the worship of the sun, in which they put a man called Christ in the place of the sun and pay him the adoration originally paid to the sun.~ Thomas Paine (1737-01-29 1809-06-08 age:72)
Cruel With God
Belief in a cruel god makes a cruel man.~ Thomas Paine (1737-01-29 1809-06-08 age:72)
Definition of Profesying
Prophesying is lying professionally.~ Thomas Paine (1737-01-29 1809-06-08 age:72).
Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we called it the word of a demon, than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness, that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind; and, for my part, I sincerely detest it, as I detest everything that is cruel.~ Thomas Paine (1737-01-29 1809-06-08 age:72) The Age of Reason.
Fatal Articles of Faith
No falsehood is so fatal as that which is made an article of faith.~ Thomas Paine (1737-01-29 1809-06-08 age:72).
Accustom a people to believe that priests, or any other class of men can forgive sins and you will have sins in abundance.~ Thomas Paine (1737-01-29 1809-06-08 age:72).
What is it the Bible teaches us? — raping, cruelty and murder. What is it the New Testament teaches us? — to believe that the Almighty committed debauchery with a woman engaged to be married and the belief of this debauchery is called faith.~ Thomas Paine (1737-01-29 1809-06-08 age:72).
It is necessary to the happiness of man that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving; it consists in professing to believe what one does not believe. It is impossible to calculate the moral mischief, if I may so express it, that mental lying has produced in society. When man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind, as to subscribe his professional belief to things he does not believe, he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime.~ Thomas Paine (1737-01-29 1809-06-08 age:72) The Age of Reason.
Outrage to Common Sense
The Christian system of religion is an outrage on common sense.~ Thomas Paine (1737-01-29 1809-06-08 age:72).
Paine on the book of lies called the Bible
As to the book called the bible, it is blasphemy to call it the Word of God. It is a book of lies and contradictions and a history of bad times and bad men.~ Thomas Paine (1737-01-29 1809-06-08 age:72).
Priests Are Like Conjurors
Priests and conjurors are of the same trade.~ Thomas Paine (1737-01-29 1809-06-08 age:72) The Age of Reason.
Is it more probable that nature should go out of her course or that a man should tell a lie? We have never seen, in our time, nature go out of her course. But we have good reason to believe that millions of lies have been told in the same time. It is therefore at least millions to one that the reporter of a miracle tells a lie.~ Thomas Paine (1737-01-29 1809-06-08 age:72) The Age of Reason.
[Revelation] is revelation to the first person only, and hearsay to every other, and consequently, they are not obliged to believe it.~ Thomas Paine (1737-01-29 1809-06-08 age:72)
Some people can be reasoned into sense and others must be shocked into it. Say a bold thing that will stagger them and they will begin to think.~ Thomas Paine (1737-01-29 1809-06-08 age:72).
There are matters in the Bible, said to be done by the express commandment of God, that are shocking to humanity and to every idea we have of moral justice.~ Thomas Paine (1737-01-29 1809-06-08 age:72).
Word of a Demon
Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and tortuous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we call it the word of a demon than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize humankind.~ Thomas Paine (1737-01-29 1809-06-08 age:72).
You Cannot Argue With The Irrational
To argue with a man who has renounced his reason is like giving medicine to the dead.~ Thomas Paine (1737-01-29 1809-06-08 age:72).
God being thus hidden, any religion that does not say God is hidden is not true, and any religion that does not explain why [God is hidden] does not instruct.~ Blaise Pascal (1623-06-19 1662-08-19 age:39)
God is far more than hidden; God is undetectable. We know that hidden, but detectable things like neutrinos exist. However, unicorns are both hidden and undetectable, so there is no reason of any kind to claim they are real. Unicorns are thus creatures of fiction, like gods. I will leave out the complication of undetectable particles mathematically predicted to exist.
The chains men bear they forged themselves. Strike off their chains and they will weep for their lost security.~ John Passmore (1914 2004 age:90) Australian philosopher
Golden Rule Revised
Do unto others 20% better than you would expect them do unto you, to correct for subjective error.~ Linus Pauling (1901-02-28 1994-08-19 age:93) (1901-02-28 1994-08-19 age:93), the golden rule updated.
Why Human Sacrifice?
Their primitive world was full of dangers, suffering and nasty surprises, including plagues, famines and wars. It would be natural for them to ask What kind of god would create such a world? A plausible answer was: a sadistic god, a god who liked to see people bleed and suffer.~ James Payne Superstitious Rationale For Human Sacrifice
Abraham presumed Yahweh was sadistic. Why else would he have tried to placate him by sacrificing his son?
Dear Kim Davis
The fact that you can’t sell your daughter for three goats and a cow means we’ve already redefined marriage.~ Planting Peace (2004-01-01 age:14)
Religion Freedom Denied
Religious freedom does not mean freedom from religion.~ Rick Perry (1950-03-04 age:68)
In Perry’s view, religious freedom refers to the right of Christians to force the word of god down the throats of unwilling non-believers by all conceivable means.
The bible tells you no more about the stars than a child could tell you.~ Philhellenes
If God is against adultery, why did he have a child with a married woman?~ Philosoraptor (2005-06-01 age:12)
If I have an imaginary friend, I am probably mentally ill. But if you have one with magical powers, you’re not because?~ Philosoraptor (2005-06-01 age:12)
Hates Your Sin
Christians will say God loves you but he hates your sin.. The fact is God doesn’t exist. So the person that hates you, your so-called sin is them and they don’t hate your sin, they hate your difference. They hate you because you are different than them and that makes them fucking assholes.~ Pimpunkx
Belief in the Supernatural
All over the world, belief in the supernatural has authorised the sacrifice of people to propitiate bloodthirsty gods and the murder of witches for their malevolent powers.~ Steven Pinker (1954-09-18 age:63) The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined
Catholicism still promotes the notion of demonic possession and updated its exorcism ritual on 1999-01-26. Christian churches still murder witches in Africa, not to mention homosexuals, egged on by American evangelicals.
Modern biblical scholars have established that the bible is a wiki. It was compiled over half a millennium from writers with different styles, dialects, character names, and conceptions of God and was subjected to haphazard editing that left it with many contradictions, duplications and non-sequiturs.~ Steven Pinker (1954-09-18 age:63) The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined
God as Copout
I think that using the word God or the attitude of faith toward that which you do’t know is a copout. It’s a way of slapping a label on something rather than trying to understand it. Or since we may not understand everything, just say there are some things we don’t understand. To invent stories that sound as if they were true or could be true, to pretend that they’re true just so that we can have a story I think is unsatisfying, and it could even be immoral because it could lead you to mistaken policies to getting in the way of your best understanding of how the world works, to doing things that lead to more harm than good. A concrete example would be treating a cancer with some cockamamie herbal or homeopathic formula instead of the best medicine that we have. Or justifying invasions, and murders, and sacrifices on the grounds of appeasing some god or carrying out some divine mandate. There’s nothing but mischief that can come from inventing stories for that which we don’t understand. There’s nothing wrong with saying there are some things we don’t understand.~ Steven Pinker (1954-09-18 age:63)
God as Source of Morality
Going back more than 2000 years to an argument from Plato, which I believe is still a knock-down argument today, which runs as follows: Imagine that someone said that the source of right and wrong is divine decree. Killing is wrong because god said it is wrong. Then you have to ask, Why did god say that it was wrong?. If it was wrong, did he have a good reason, or was it just a whim? Could he just as easily have it is right to go out to kill and rape and torture, in which case it would be right because he said it was right. If you recoil at that suggestion, if you say No, it would still be wrong, even if he said it was right. Or if you say god wouldn’t have commanded us to kill and rape because he had a reason not to give us that command, well we can appeal directly to the reason and skip the middle man.~ Steven Pinker (1954-09-18 age:63)
The die-hard religionist will insist the morality was a whim. This is how he justifies all the genocide Yahweh gets up to in the old Testament. If god does it, by definition it is righteous.
Harms Inflicted vs Harms Suffered
People consider the harms they inflict to be justified and forgettable and the harms they suffer to be unprovoked and grievous.~ Steven Pinker (1954-09-18 age:63) The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined
Religion makes this effect even more pronounced. We are the God’s chosen people, they are devil-worshiping insects. Even if each side thinks it is inflicting equal pain for equal pain, it has actually ratcheted up the revenge spiral a notch. Further, the teach them a lesson effect requires inflicting double pain in revenge, which guarantees escalation.
Every historic civilisation has practiced human sacrifice. You take an innocent person, you subject him to prolonged torture until he is dead. Why would so many cultures do this apparently bizarre thing that offers them no benefit? All of the ancient civilisations believed in sadistic blood-thirsty gods. They lived their lives. They saw it was full of nasty surprises. People died of accidents, people got sick, children got sick, crops would fail… What kind of god would visit all of this suffering on humans? Well, the answer would obviously be a sadistic blood-thirsty god. If God has a minimum daily requirement of human gore. Why not be pro-active about it? Better him than me.~ Steven Pinker (1954-09-18 age:63)
It could also have a been a primitive population control mechanism, though often the victims were the healthiest and most beautiful.
Human Sacrifice Sect
After their return from Babylon, the practice of human sacrifice died out among the Jews, but survived as an ideal in one of its break-away sects, which believed that God accepted the torture-sacrifice of an innocent man in exchange for not visiting a worse fate on the rest of humanity. The sect is called Christianity.~ Steven Pinker (1954-09-18 age:63) The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined
The Moral Sense
The human moral sense can excuse any atrocity in the minds of those who commit it, and it furnishes them with motives for acts of violence that bring them no tangible benefit.~ Steven Pinker (1954-09-18 age:63) The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined
In many Muslim countries, witchcraft is not only on the books as a crime, but is commonly prosecuted. In 2009, for example, Saudi Arabia convicted a man for carrying a phone booklet with characters in an alphabet from his native Eritrea, which the police interpreted as occult symbols. He was lashed three hundred times and imprisoned for more than three years.~ Steven Pinker (1954-09-18 age:63) The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined
We are dealing with Muslim societies that froze themselves in amber in 900 AD. It is like going in a time machine to reason with the Spanish Inquisition. Yet there are people who assert as self-evident that only religion can make people behave morally. Religion almost invariably makes people behave irrationally and cruelly.
The scriptures present a God who delights in genocide, rape, slavery and the exclusion of nonconformists and for millennia those writings were used to rationalise the massacre of infidels, the ownership of women, the beating of children, dominion over animals and the persecution of heretics and homosexuals.~ Steven Pinker (1954-09-18 age:63) The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined
The doctrine of the sacredness of the soul sounds vaguely uplifting, but in fact it is highly malignant. It discounts life on earth as just a temporary phase that people pass through, indeed, an infinitesimal fraction of their existence. Death becomes a mere rite of passage, puberty or a midlife crisis.~ Steven Pinker (1954-09-18 age:63) The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined
All of our traditional sources of belief are in fact generators of error and should be dismissed as source of knowledge. These include faith, revelation, dogma, authority, charisma, augury, prophesy, intuition, clairvoyance, conventional wisdom and that warm invigorating glow of subjective certainty.~ Steven Pinker (1954-09-18 age:63)
He’s not Dead, He’s Resting
May they rest in eternal peace.~ Gordon Pinsent (1930-07-12 age:87) at the centennial commemoration of the sinking of the Titanic.
They are dead you idiot, not resting! Pinsent reminds me of the Monty Python Norwegian Blue parrot sketch. ‘VOOM?!?’ Mate, this bird wouldn’t voom if you put four million volts through it! E’s bleedin’ demised!~ Mr. Praline played by John Cleese.
You are never dedicated to do something you have complete confidence in. No one is fanatically shouting that the sun is going to rise tomorrow. They know it’s going to rise tomorrow. When people are fanatically dedicated to political or religious faiths or any other kind of dogmas or goals, it’s always because these dogmas or goals are in doubt.~ Robert M. Pirsig (1928-09-06 age:89) the author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Insanity vs Religion
When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion, it is called Religion.~ Robert M. Pirsig (1928-09-06 age:89) the author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Banning Gross Sex
Imagine two very very ugly people having sex. Disgusting! But would you ever think to make it illegal for ugly people to have sex? Well of course not. Maybe it is a case where we might be able to say You know I am grossed out by what you are doing but that has nothing to do with whether you should be put in prison for it.~ David A. Pizarro Sex Death and the Meaning of Life
Opinions vs Facts
There’s an old phrase among critical thinkers: you’re entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts. The idea is that these are two different things: opinions are matters of taste or subjective conclusions, while facts stand outside that, independent of what you think or how you may be biased.
You can have an opinion that Quisp cereal is, to you, the best breakfast food of all time. But you can’t have the opinion that evolution isn’t real. That latter is not an opinion; it’s objectively wrong. You can have the opinion that the evidence for evolution doesn’t satisfy you, or that evolution feels wrong to you. But disbelieving evolution is not an opinion.~ Phil Plait (1964-09-30 age:53)
Jocos et Dii amant — Even the gods love jokes.~ Plato (428 BC 348 BC age:80)
Destroying the Present
Fanatics are swept up in the urge to destroy the present in pursuit of a utopia.~ Bernard Pliers
We Are All Ignorant of the Hereafter
No man who ever lived knows any more about the hereafter… than you and I; and all religion… is simply evolved out of chicanery, fear, greed, imagination and poetry.~ Edgar Allan Poe (1809-01-19 1849-10-07 age:40)
23% of Canadians say that they do not believe in any god. For young Canadians under age 25, the figure was 36%. This is by far the largest religious minority demographic and by far the fastest growing in terms of sheer size.~ Harris-Decima poll 2008-05
The beliefs of the young become the beliefs of everyone in a few decades. Religion requires people to avoid thinking. As soon as they have a close look at their religious beliefs, they realise not only that they are false, but that they are preposterous. The people are gaining courage from each other on the Internet to proclaim emperor has no clothes.
The Old Man kept at his court such boys of twelve years old as seemed to him destined to become courageous men. When the Old Man sent them into the garden in groups of four, ten or twenty, he gave them hashish [probably mixed with belladonna] to drink. They slept for three days, then they were carried sleeping into the garden where he had them awakened.~ Marco Polo (1254 1324 age:70)
When these young men woke and found themselves in the garden with all these marvelous things, they truly believed themselves to be in paradise. And these damsels were always with them in songs and great entertainments; they; received everything they asked for, so that they would never have left that garden of their own will.
And when the Old Man wished to kill someone, he would take him and say: Go and do this thing. I do this because I want to make you return to paradise. And the assassins go and perform the deed willingly.
Pie In the Sky
Hope springs eternal in the human breast;~ Alexander Pope (1688-05-21 1744-05-30 age:56)
Man never Is, but always To be blest.
The old pie in the sky con.
Modified Serenity Prayer
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,~ Modified Serenity Prayer
The courage to change the things I must,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
I give you this
One thought to keep
I am with you still
I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow
I am the diamond glints on snow
I am the sunlight on ripened grain
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken
In the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight
I am the soft stars
That shine at night
Do not think of me as gone~ Native American prayer
I am with you still
In each new dawn
Speculation is not knowledge.~ Robert Price (1954-07-07 age:63)
Any time Christians lack evidence or the evidence contradicts their expectations, they let their imaginations go wild to create a scenario to explain. Then they act is if they have proved that is what indeed happened.
The Sloth Objection
How could the sloth travel after the Flood all the way from Mount Ararat in Peru, considering the extreme tardiness of its locomotion?~ A Jesuit Priest An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish Unpopular Essays
Not to mention its inability to swim across large oceans.
Certain or Uncertain
To be uncertain is to be uncomfortable, but to be certain is to be ridiculous.~ Chinese proverb
Greed is Good
If any civilization is to survive, it is the morality of altruism that men have to reject.~ Ayn Rand (1905-02-02 1982-03-06 age:77)
Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority on earth is the individual).~ Ayn Rand (1905-02-02 1982-03-06 age:77)
Belief is not Evidence
No amount of belief makes something a fact.~ James Randi (1928-08-07 age:89)
There exists in society a very special class of persons that I have always referred to as the Believers. These are folks who have chosen to accept a certain religion, philosophy, theory, idea or notion and cling to that belief regardless of any evidence that might, for anyone else, bring it into doubt. They are the ones who encourage and support the fanatics and the frauds of any given age. No amount of evidence, no matter how strong, will bring them any enlightenment. They are the sheep who beg to be fleeced and butchered and who will battle fiercely to preserve their right to be victimized. The U.S. Patent Office handles an endless succession of inventors who still produce perpetual-motion machines that don’t work, but no number of idle flywheels will convince these zealots of their folly; dozens of these patent applications flow in every year. In ashrams all over the world, hopping devotees of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi will never abandon their goal of blissful levitation of their bodies by mind power, despite bruises and sprains aplenty suffered as they bounce about on gym mats like demented (though smiling) frogs, trying to get airborne. Absolutely nothing will discourage them.~ James Randi (1928-08-07 age:89)
To make sure that my blasphemy is thoroughly expressed, I hereby state my opinion that the notion of a god is a basic superstition, that there is no evidence for the existence of any god(s), that devils, demons, angels and saints are myths, that there is no life after death, heaven nor hell, that the Pope is a dangerous, bigoted, medieval dinosaur and that the Holy Ghost is a comic-book character worthy of laughter and derision. I accuse the Christian god of murder by allowing the Holocaust to take place — not to mention the ethnic cleansing presently being performed by Christians in our world — and I condemn and vilify this mythical deity for encouraging racial prejudice and commanding the degradation of women. (This comprehensive statement was arrived at by examining the statutes of those seven states that have remained in the Dark Ages, so that I might satisfy their definitions of blasphemy.)~ James Randi (1928-08-07 age:89)
I suggest that we might want to depose this incumbent God and start dealing with The Real World. He’s proven — time and again — to be cruel, capricious, and vindictive. He drowns, crushes, burns and starves millions of us every day. He created cancer, viruses and germs to invade and destroy our bodies as He sees fit and uses them very effectively. In His wisdom, He directed those in charge to impede stem cell research so that such a powerful approach would not be available to us and He wouldn’t have to strain the Divine Intellect to disarm that defense. We amuse Him as we flail about vainly trying to appease Him. I vote that we dump Him.~ James Randi (1928-08-07 age:89)
How Conjurors Con Scientists
The conjuror or con man is a very good provider of information. He supplies lots of data, by inference or direct statement, but it’s false data. Scientists aren’t used to that scenario. An electron or a galaxy is not capricious, nor deceptive; but a human can be either or both.~ James Randi (1928-08-07 age:89)
Magic Does Not Work
Science is best defined as a careful, disciplined, logical search for knowledge about any and all aspects of the universe, obtained by examination of the best available evidence and always subject to correction and improvement upon discovery of better evidence. What’s left is magic. And it doesn’t work.~ James Randi (1928-08-07 age:89)
Catholic Church More Crooked than Enron
These guys [the Catholic church] make Enron look like altar boys.~ Dan Rather (1931-10-31 age:86)
Churches Screw Victims of Priestly Predators
Catholic dioceses typically spent hundreds of thousands of dollars recklessly, then filed for bankruptcy. The goal was to avoid the money going to the hands of victims of predator priests.~ Dan Rather (1931-10-31 age:86)
Definition of Religion
It’s the old shell game.~ Dan Rather (1931-10-31 age:86)
It is a mystery why priests and other church officials abused children entrusted in their care, undermining faith in the church in an appalling way.~ Ex-Pope Ratzinger (1927-04-16 age:91) source
Oh come now. Before he was pope, Ratzinger personally arranged coverups and transfers to fresh pastures for paedophile priests. What other employer but the Catholic church does that for its employees?
Errors in Religion
Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous.~ John Rawls (1921-02-21 2002-11-24 age:81) Lectures on the History of Moral Philosophy
Is Atheism a Religion?
Every religion … has rituals, practices, holy writings or traditions, etc. Nothing like that has ever developed from Atheism. There are no holy men, holidays or holy books and no agreed-upon canons of faith. In fact, the only thing you can get some Atheists to agree upon is that there is no god.~ Darrel Ray in The God Virus: How religion infects our lives and culture.
Fundamentalist groups like Christian Embassy have infiltrated the very top of the U.S. military and gained positions of influence in the Pentagon.~ Darrel Ray in The God Virus: How religion infects our lives and culture.
Christians Love Porn
Religious people use 10% more pornography than secular people. The biggest consumers of pornography are Utah and Mississippi. All that religious preaching does no good.~ Darrel Ray Sex Death and the Meaning of Life
Why would this be? To religious folk, pornography is an exciting forbidden fruit, that gets guilt-fueled adrenalin racing. To secular people, it is ho-hum.
Simply disabling specific critical thinking skills is all that is necessary for the god virus [to take control of a person].~ Darrel Ray in The God Virus: How religion infects our lives and culture.
Many of them [people who escaped religion] recounted both the terror and the relief they felt after leaving religion behind. Terror at realizing there was no longer an imaginary friend; relief that no one was looking over their shoulder any more. Several described the experience as similar to that of a child learning to go to sleep without a favorite teddy bear. Others described it as simply growing up or outgrowing the need for the imaginary friends of childhood.~ Darrel Ray in The God Virus: How religion infects our lives and culture.
Some people who experience a religious conversion seem to undergo a personality change. They can be quite congenial and easygoing when talking about mundane things, but when they start talking about their faith, their demeanor changes. Their tone of voice modifies, their smile becomes tense and they become defensive when questioned about their evidence for belief. It becomes difficult to have a friendly conversation with them.~ Darrel Ray in The God Virus: How religion infects our lives and culture.
Fundamentalism in most of its forms is the active creation of antibodies to some threatening [god] virus. As long as threatening religions or mutations [heresies] are present, fundamentalism will churn out antibodies to keep the population under control and prevent mutations from getting out of hand.~ Darrel Ray in The God Virus: How religion infects our lives and culture.
Lingering God Virus
Just as the chicken pox virus continues to live quietly in the body after the disease is gone, the god virus may live quietly in the host until something evokes it.~ Darrel Ray in The God Virus: How religion infects our lives and culture.
Religion Escape Factors
Most of their [people who escaped religion] stories reflect the following four themes:
~ Darrel Ray in The God Virus: How religion infects our lives and culture.
- Events that opened their eyes to religious manipulation in their life or family.
- Long hidden or suppressed doubts about the teachings.
- Their ultimate act or declaration of liberation from organized religion.
- The double-edged sword of living without the crutch of a supernatural friend and learning to accept full responsibility for life.
Religion is like a Disease
Once it (a God virus) gets in somebody’s head it doesn’t give a damn about you. All it wants to do is get to another person. That other person can be your children, grandchildren or your next door neighbour. It wants to go from your brain to somebody else’s brain just like Toxoplasma gondii wants to get from one rat’s brain to a cat’s gut and then into another rat’s brain. The organism is only using you as what we call a vector and a mosquito passes on malaria. It is just the vector for the malaria plasmodium. So we see this. Religions are just parasites. And they act like parasites. Once you realise that metaphor it just makes so much sense.~ Darrel Ray in The God Virus: How religion infects our lives and culture.
Religion Spreads Via Education
Education is the key to perpetuation of the [god] virus for the Taliban, Baptist or Catholic. If the virus cannot control public education, it will seek to divert resources from public coffers to fundamentalist school funding. From the madrassa schools of Pakistan to the Christian push for school vouchers in the United States and the religious home school movement, religions seek to control education or to control the resources for education.~ Darrel Ray in The God Virus: How religion infects our lives and culture.
Religious Mind Control
The lancet fluke (Dicrocoelium) infects the brain of ants by taking control and driving them to climb to the top of a blade of grass where they can be eaten by a cow. The ingested fluke then lays eggs in the cow gut. Eventually, the eggs exit the cow, and hungry snails eat the dung (and fluke eggs). The fluke enters the snail’s digestive gland and gets excreted in sticky slime full of a seething mass of flukes to be drunk by ants as a source of moisture.~ Darrel Ray in The God Virus: How religion infects our lives and culture.
In a similar way a religion takes over a person’s mind and makes him behave in life-denying ways such as going to war, suicide bombing, celibacy or handing over his wealth to the church.
Once infected, the individual [infected with a god virus] cannot detect major contradictions in his beliefs and behavior. Belief systems become self-evident to him, and no amount of logical discourse will move him from his belief. If a Mormon and Catholic were to debate the merits of their respective religions, neither could see his own inconsistencies and logical fallacies, but would see the other’s quite clearly.~ Darrel Ray in The God Virus: How religion infects our lives and culture.
Symptoms of Religious Conversion
Have you ever observed somebody go through a religious conversion? The person seems perfectly reasonable to you and has no particular concern for religion. Then a parent, friend or child dies or he gets a serious illness or is involved in a car accident. In just a matter of weeks, he seeks out and finds the answers to all of life’s questions and starts studying and spouting all sorts of doctrine. During such a window of vulnerability, religion can commandeer a person’s brain.~ Darrel Ray in The God Virus: How religion infects our lives and culture.
Downside of Religion
Religion may indeed inspire acts of great kindness and courage. But it also trains people to believe things for which there is no evidence. This makes religion’s intrusion into the political sphere all the more troubling.~ Ron Prescott Reagan (1958-05-20 age:59)
It’s on the Internet
I’m not making this up. It’s on the Internet.~ A Republican
He was defending his claim that the budget for Obama’s trip to India was $200 million dollars a day and that 1/10 of the US Navy was accompanying him. He is correct, of course, that you find evidence for any bizarre claim on the Internet. As Rachel Maddow pointed out On the Internet, you can even buy canned unicorn meat.
How can souls, which fly through walls like ghosts and spirits, possibly be burned in a Lake of Fire?~ K. Richardson (2002 age:15) at age 10.
One Fewer Gods
I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.~ Stephen F. Roberts (1967 age:50)
What is the point of this argument? It is not so much to convince Christians there is no god. Christians have a heck of a time believing that atheists do not believe in Yahweh. They routinely accuse us of pretending not to believe in Yahweh. With Stephen Roberts’ argument, we atheists are merely explaining how easily we atheists reject Yahweh. He is just one of many ancient gods. We atheists have no more difficulty dispensing with Yahweh than Christians have trouble dispensing with Zeus. The only reason Christians see Yahweh as special, different from Zeus, is because their sadistic mothers beat them to teach them to fear Yahweh. Christian Moms were similarly physically beaten or psychologically browbeaten as children. They were lied to that beating children was the most ethical thing to do. You cannot expect rational behaviour from PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) victims.
Pretending to Love God
I can understand why people believe in God, Jacob, I just can’t understand why they are not trying to kill the motherfucker.~ Spider Robinson (1948-11-24 age:69) character Doc Webster, about to die of a brain tumor, Callahan’s Con.
A man is only as faithful as his options.~ Chris Rock (1965-02-07 age:53)
God Blames People for His Mistakes
We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty humans and then blames them for his own mistakes.~ Gene Roddenberry (1921-08-19 1991-10-24 age:70)
It is an interesting and demonstrable fact that all children are atheists and were not religion inculcated in their minds, they would remain so.~ Ernestine Louise Rose (1810-01-12 1892-08-04 age:82)
Futility of Life
Life is like stepping into a boat which is about to sail out to sea and sink.~ Suzuki Roshi (1904-05-18 1971-12-04 age:67)
When Belief Evaporates…
When the whole world doesn’t believe in God, it’ll be a great place.~ Philip Roth (1933-03-19 age:85)
Christianity is Training for Slavery
Christ preaches only servitude and dependence… True Christians are made to be slaves.~ Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712 1778-07-02 age:66)
Nobody is really seriously rendered unhappy about something that is going to happen millions and millions of years hence, therefore although it is, of course, a gloomy view to suppose that life will die out, at least I suppose I may say so, although sometimes when I contemplate the things people do with their lives I think it is almost a consolation.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97) Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects
We all have a tendency to think that the world must conform to our prejudices. The opposite view involves some effort of thought, and most people would die sooner than think — in fact they do so.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97)
Believing In Falsehood
Q: Do you think there’s a practical reason for having a religious belief, for many people?
Russell: Well, there can’t be a practical reason for believing what isn’t true. That’s quite… at least, I rule it out as impossible. Either the thing is true, or it isn’t. If it is true, you should believe it, and if it isn’t, you shouldn’t. And if you can’t find out whether it’s true or whether it isn’t, you should suspend judgment. But you can’t… it seems to me a fundamental dishonesty and a fundamental treachery to intellectual integrity to hold a belief because you think it’s useful, and not because you think it’s true.
Q: I was thinking of those people who find that some kind of religious code helps them to live their lives. It gives them a very strict set of rules, the rights and the wrongs.
Russell: Yes, but those rules are generally quite mistaken. A great many of them do more harm than good. And they would probably be able to find a rational morality that they could live by if they dropped this irrational traditional taboo morality that comes down from savage ages.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97)
Believing In Falsehood
There can’t be a practical reason for believing something that is not true.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97)
Russell rejects the notion of believing a religion because it is comforting.
Believing In Falsehood
Well, there can’t be a practical reason for believing what isn’t true. That’s quite… at least, I rule it out as impossible. Either the thing is true, or it isn’t. If it is true, you should believe it, and if it isn’t, you shouldn’t. And if you can’t find out whether it’s true or whether it isn’t, you should suspend judgment. But you can’t… it seems to me a fundamental dishonesty and a fundamental treachery to intellectual integrity to hold a belief because you think it’s useful, and not because you think it’s true.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97)
The Bible does Not Value Intelligence
So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97)
Cause of God
If everything must have a cause, then god must have a cause. If there can be anything without a cause, it may just as well be the world as god.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97)
Further, we have discovered that at a quantum level, events do not have causes. They just happen for no reason. Ditto for precisely when and which atom radio-active decay occurs. We can predict averages, but not the details. One consequence of this is the purely random ticking of a Geiger counter. You cannot predict when the next tick will occur.
Certainty as Evil
Most of the greatest evils that man has inflicted upon man have come through people feeling quite certain about something which, in fact, was false.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97) Ideas That Have Harmed Mankind Unpopular Essays
Christian and Homeric Gods Are Equally Probable
There is exactly the same degree of possibility and likelihood of the existence of the Christian God as there is of the existence of the Homeric god. I cannot prove that either the Christian god or the Homeric gods do not exist, but I do not think that their existence is an alternative that is sufficiently probable to be worth serious consideration.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97) Am I An Atheist Or An Agnostic? Bertrand Russell Bundle: The Basic Writings of Bertrand Russell
Christians, Atheists and Agnostics
An atheist, like a Christian, holds that we can know whether or not there is a God. The Christian holds that we can know there is a God; the atheist, that we can know there is not. The Agnostic suspends judgment, saying that there are not sufficient grounds either for affirmation or for denial. At the same time, an Agnostic may hold that the existence of God, though not impossible, is very improbable; he may even hold it so improbable that it is not worth considering in practice. In that case, he is not far removed from atheism. His attitude may be that which a careful philosopher would have towards the gods of ancient Greece. If I were asked to prove that Zeus and Poseidon and Hera and the rest of the Olympians do not exist, I should be at a loss to find conclusive arguments. An Agnostic may think the Christian God as improbable as the Olympians; in that case, he is, for practical purposes, at one with the atheists.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97) What is an Agnostic? 1953 Bertrand Russell Bundle: The Basic Writings of Bertrand Russell
Church Is the Enemy of Morality
I say quite deliberately that the Christian religion, as organized in its Churches, has been and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97)
Churches Oppose Moral Progress
You find as you look around the world that every single bit of progress in humane feeling, every improvement in the criminal law, every step toward the diminution of war, every step toward better treatment of the colored races, or every mitigation of slavery, every moral progress that there has been in the world, has been consistently opposed by the organized churches of the world. I say quite deliberately that the Christian religion, as organized in its churches, has been and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97) Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects
The immense majority of intellectually eminent men disbelieve in the Christian religion, but they conceal the fact in public because they are afraid of losing their incomes.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97)
Collective fear stimulates herd instinct and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97)
Contemplate Something Else
The wise man is as happy as circumstances permit and if he finds the contemplation of the universe painful beyond a point, he will contemplate something else instead.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97)
This is a profoundly wise thing to say. You are not obligated to keep thinking about the destruction of earth, the corruption of politicians, the rising power of corporations… You will just make yourself miserable. It is perfectly OK to think about something else.
There is something feeble and a little contemptible about a man who cannot face the perils of life without the help of comfortable myths. Almost inevitably some part of him is aware that they are myths and that he believes them only because they are comforting. But he dares not face this thought! Moreover, since he is aware, however dimly, that his opinions are not rational, he becomes furious when they are disputed.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97) Bertrand Russell Bundle: Human Society in Ethics and Politics (Routledge Classics)
What men want is not knowledge, but certainty.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97)
Damned by Probability
Even if we could be certain that one of the world’s religions were perfectly true, given the sheer number of conflicting faiths on offer, every believer should expect damnation purely as a matter of probability.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97)
Definition of Obscenity
Obscenity is whatever happens to shock some elderly and ignorant magistrate.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97)
No Carthaginian denied Moloch because to do so would have required more courage than was required to face death in battle.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97) An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish Unpopular Essays
Modern American politicians have the same cowardice about denying an equally bloodthirsty even sillier god, Yahweh.
Desiring the Unhappiness of Others
If there were in the world today any large number of people who desired their own happiness more than they desired the unhappiness of others, we could have a paradise in a few years.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97)
This desire to see unhappiness in others is the primary cause of homelessness. It costs more to maintain homelessness than to fix it, but then the undeserving homeless would be warm and comfortable.
For example those whose primary goal in life is to make homosexuals miserable and kept in their place.
I think we ought always to entertain our opinions with some measure of doubt. I shouldn’ t wish people dogmatically to believe any philosophy, not even mine.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97)
Eccentric Opinions are Just Fine
Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97)
Emotion Conquers with Emotion Not Reason
I do not think that the real reason why people accept religion has anything to do with argumentation. They accept religion on emotional grounds.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97) Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects
End of Life
This, however, is a passing nightmare; in time the earth will become again incapable of supporting life and peace will return.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97)
Enemy of Moral Progress
I say, quite deliberately, the Christian religion, as organised in its churches, has been and still is the principle enemy of moral progress in the world.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97)
Enjoy Wasting Time
The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97)
Expect No Reward
My whole religion is this: do every duty and expect no reward for it, either here or hereafter.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97)
When you are studying any matter, or considering any philosophy, ask yourself only what are the facts and what is the truth that the facts bear out. Never let yourself be diverted either by what you wish to believe, or by what you think would have beneficent social effects if it were believed. But look only, and solely, at what are the facts.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97)
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97)
Fear ⇒ Superstition and Cruelty
Fear is the main source of superstition and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97) An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish Unpopular Essays
Forgo Imaginary Allies
Science can teach us and, I think, our own hearts can teach us, no longer to look around for imaginary supports, no longer to invent allies in the sky, but rather to look to our own efforts here below, to make this world a fit place to live in, instead of the sort of place that churches in all these centuries have made it.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97) Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects
God’s Uneasy Vanity
And if there were a God, I think it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97)
None of us would seriously consider the possibility that all the gods of Homer really exist… I think that all of us would say in regard to those gods that we were atheists. In regard to the Christian God, I should, I think, take exactly the same line.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97) Am I an Atheist or an Agnostic? Bertrand Russell Bundle: The Basic Writings of Bertrand Russell
How Scientists Argue
When two men of science disagree, they do not invoke the secular arm; they wait for further evidence to decide the issue because, as men of science, they know that neither is infallible. But when two theologians differ, since there is no criteria to which either can appeal, there is nothing for it but mutual hatred and an open or covert appeal to force.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97) Can Religion Cure our Troubles 1954
Intellectual and Moral Objections to Religion
The objections to religion are of two sorts — intellectual and moral. The intellectual objection is that there is no reason to suppose any religion true; the moral objection is that religious precepts date from a time when men were more cruel than they are and therefore tend to perpetuate inhumanities which the moral conscience of the age would otherwise outgrow.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97)
I mean by intellectual integrity the habit of deciding vexed questions in accordance with the evidence, or of leaving them undecided where the evidence is inconclusive. This virtue, though it is underestimated by almost all adherents of any system of dogma, is to my mind of the very greatest social importance and far more likely to benefit the world than Christianity or any other system of organized beliefs.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97) Can Religion Cure Our Troubles? Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects
Justifying the Bully
I found one day in school a boy of medium size ill-treating a smaller boy. I expostulated, but he replied: The bigs hit me, so I hit the babies; that’s fair. In these words he epitomized the history of the human race.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97) Education and the Social Order
This is how Israelis justify mistreating Palestinians. It is all Hitler’s fault.
Lying to Children Teaches Children to Lie
There is no excuse for deceiving children. And when, as must happen in conventional families, they find that their parents have lied, they lose confidence in them and feel justified in lying to them.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97) Our Sexual Ethics 1936 Bertrand Russell Bundle: The Basic Writings of Bertrand Russell
Lying to children is a particularly filthy thing to do when parents inculcate religious myths as truth into children when they are not old enough to have developed intellectual defences. I consider it a form of child abuse.
I know a parson who frightened his congregation terribly by telling them the second coming was very imminent indeed, but they were much consoled when they found he was planting trees in his garden.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97)
Man, the Credulous Animal
Man is a credulous animal and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97) An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish Unpopular Essays
Natural vs Man Made Disasters
The misfortunes of human beings may be divided into two classes: First, those inflicted by the non-human environment and, second, those inflicted by other people. As mankind have progressed in knowledge and technique, the second class has become a continually increasing percentage of the total. In old times, famine, for example, was due to natural causes and although people did their best to combat it, large numbers of them died of starvation. At the present moment large parts of the world are faced with the threat of famine, but although natural causes have contributed to the situation, the principal causes are human. For six years the civilized nations of the world devoted all their best energies to killing each other and they find it difficult suddenly to switch over to keeping each other alive. Having destroyed harvests, dismantled agricultural machinery and disorganized shipping, they find it no easy matter to relieve the shortage of crops in one place by means of a superabundance in another, as would easily be done if the economic system were in normal working order
As this illustration shows, it is now man that is man’s worst enemy. Nature, it is true, still sees to it that we are mortal, but with the progress in medicine it will become more and more common for people to live until they have had their fill of life. We are supposed to wish to live forever and to look forward to the unending joys of heaven, of which, by miracle, the monotony will never grow stale.
But in fact, if you question any candid person who is no longer young, he is very likely to tell you that, having tasted life in this world, he has no wish to begin again as a new boy in another. For the future, therefore, it may be taken that much the most important evils that mankind have to consider are those which they inflict upon each other through stupidity or malevolence or both.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97) Ideas That Have Harmed Mankind, from Unpopular Essays
No Fear Of God
Are you never afraid of God’s judgment in denying him? Most certainly not. I also deny Zeus and Jupiter and Odin and Brahma, but this causes me no qualms. I observe that a very large portion of the human race does not believe in God and suffers no visible punishment in consequence. And if there were a God, I think it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97) What Is an Agnostic? Bertrand Russell Bundle: The Basic Writings of Bertrand Russell
Persecution in Religious Controversies
The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way. Persecution is used in theology, not in arithmetic.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97) Ideas That Have Harmed Mankind Unpopular Essays
The Philosophy Game
The point of philosophy is to start with something so simple as not to seem worth stating and to end with something so paradoxical that no one will believe it.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97)
Power is the Vice of the Ascetic
Religions, which condemn the pleasures of sense, drive men to seek the pleasures of power. Throughout history power has been the vice of the ascetic.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97)
Pretending to be Safe
There are two ways of avoiding fear: one is by persuading ourselves that we are immune from disaster and the other is by the practice of sheer courage. The latter is difficult and to everybody becomes impossible at a certain point. The former has therefore always been more popular. Primitive magic has the purpose of securing safety, either by injuring enemies, or by protecting oneself by talismans, spells, or incantations.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97)
Belief in a heavenly afterlife sometimes helps people cope with frightening events, but the belief in hell is much stronger than the belief in heaven so this dodge usually backfires.
Rather Die Than Think
Most people would rather die than think; in fact, they do so.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97)
Religion is Based on Fear
Religion is based, I think, primarily and mainly upon fear. It is partly the terror of the unknown and partly, as I have said, the wish to feel that you have a kind of elder brother who will stand by you in all your troubles and disputes. Fear is the basis of the whole thing — fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the parent of cruelty and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion have gone hand in hand. It is because fear is at the basis of those two things. In this world we can now begin a little to understand things and a little to master them by help of science, which has forced its way step by step against the Christian religion, against the churches and against the opposition of all the old precepts. Science can help us to get over this craven fear in which mankind has lived for so many generations. Science can teach us and I think our own hearts can teach us, no longer to look around for imaginary supports, no longer to invent allies in the sky, but rather to look to our own efforts here below to make this world a better place to live in, instead of the sort of place that the churches in all these centuries have made it.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97) Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects
Religion is a Disease
My own view on religion is that of Lucretius. I regard it as a disease born of fear and as a source of untold misery to the human race. I cannot, however, deny that it has made some contributions to civilisation. It helped in early days to fix the calendar, and it caused Egyptian priests to chronicle eclipses with such care that in time they became able to predict them. These two services I am prepared to acknowledge, but I do not know of any others.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97) Has Religion Made Useful Contributions to Civilization? Bertrand Russell Bundle: The Basic Writings of Bertrand Russell
Religion Generates Cruelty
You find this curious fact, that the more intense has been the religion of any period and more profound has been the dogmatic belief, the greater has been the cruelty and the worse has been the state of affairs. In the so called age of faith, when men really did believe the Christian religion in all its completeness, there was the Inquisition, with its tortures; there were millions of unfortunate women burnt as witches; and there was every kind of cruelty practised upon all sorts of people in the name of religion.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97) Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects
Religion Makes Men Virtuous, Seriously?
One is often told that it is a very wrong thing to attack religion because religion makes men virtuous. So I am told; I have not noticed it.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97) Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects
Religions are both Untrue and Harmful
I am as firmly convinced that religions do harm as I am that they are untrue.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97) 1927 Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects
Many orthodox people speak as though it were the business of sceptics to disprove received dogmas rather than of dogmatists to prove them. This is, of course, a mistake. If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97) Is there a God?
Savage Controversies Lack Evidence
The most savage controversies are about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97)
Truth vs Social Utility
When you are studying any matter, or considering any philosophy, ask yourself only What are the facts? and What is the truth that the facts bear out? Never let yourself be diverted either by what you wish to believe or by what you think would have beneficent social effects if it were believed. Look only and solely at what are the facts.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97)
War Does Not Determine Who Is Right
War does not determine who is right-only who is left.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97)
Widely Held Opinions are Often Absurd
The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not entirely absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97) Christian Ethics 1950 Marriage and Morals
The Addiction to Belief
You can’t convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it’s based on a deep seated need to believe.~ Carl Sagan (1934-11-09 1996-12-20 age:62)
One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we have been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We are no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves. We have been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back. So the old bamboozles tend to persist as the new ones rise.~ Carl Sagan (1934-11-09 1996-12-20 age:62)
What is faith? It is belief in the absence of evidence… Believing when there is no compelling evidence is a mistake.~ Carl Sagan (1934-11-09 1996-12-20 age:62)
Churches Perpetuated the Belief in Witchcraft
In Italy, the Inquisition was condemning people to death until the end of the eighteenth century and inquisitional torture was not abolished in the Catholic Church until 1816. The last bastion of support for the reality of witchcraft and the necessity of punishment has been the Christian churches.~ Carl Sagan (1934-11-09 1996-12-20 age:62) The Demon-haunted World: Science As a Candle in the Dark
The Church’s Expense Account Scam
Some are willing to forgive the church for burning witches on the grounds they did not know any better. They did it in good faith. It turns out that is not so.
What the Malleus Malefecarum [the most popular manual on witchcraft] comes down to, pretty much, is that if you’re accused of witchcraft, you’re a witch. Torture is an unfailing means to demonstrate the validity of an accusation. There are no rights of the defendant. There is no opportunity to confront the accusers. Little attention is given to the possibility that the accusations might be made for impious purposes — jealousy, say, or revenge, or the greed of the inquisitors who routinely confiscated for their own private benefit the property of the accused. This technical manual for torturers also includes methods of punishment tailored to release demons from the victim’s body before the process kills her. The Malleus in hand, the Pope’s encouragement guaranteed, inquisitors began springing up all over Europe.
It quickly became an expense account scam. All costs of investigations, trial and execution were borne by the accused or her relatives — down to per diems for the private detectives hired to spy on her, wine for her guards, banquets for her judges, the travel expenses of a messenger sent to fetch a more experienced torturer from a another city and the faggots, tar and hangman’s rope. Then there was a bonus to the members of the tribunal for each witch burned. The convicted witch’s remaining property, if any, was divided between Church and State. As this legally and morally sanctioned mass murder and theft became institutionalised, as a vast bureaucracy rose to serve it, attention was turned from poor hags and crones to the middle class and well — to — do of both sexes.~ Carl Sagan (1934-11-09 1996-12-20 age:62)
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proofs.~ Carl Sagan (1934-11-09 1996-12-20 age:62)
Give Me The Raw Truth
For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however, satisfying and reassuring.~ Carl Sagan (1934-11-09 1996-12-20 age:62)
I Prefer Truth
Better the hard truth, I say, than comforting fantasy. And in the final tolling it often turns out that the facts are more comforting than the fantasy.~ Carl Sagan (1934-11-09 1996-12-20 age:62)
I Was Wrong
In science it often happens that scientists say, You know that’s a really good argument; my position is mistaken, and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn’t happen as often as it should because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion.~ Carl Sagan (1934-11-09 1996-12-20 age:62)
Illusion of Design
There is in this Universe much of what seems to be design.
But instead, we repeatedly discover that natural processes—collisional selection of worlds, say, or natural selection of gene pools, or even the convection pattern in a pot of boiling water—can extract order out of chaos, and deceive us into deducing purpose where there is none.
The significance of our lives and our fragile planet is then determined only by our own wisdom and courage. We are the custodians of life’s meaning. We long for a Parent to care for us, to forgive us our errors, to save us from our childish mistakes. But knowledge is preferable to ignorance. Better by far to embrace the hard truth than a reassuring fable.
If we crave some cosmic purpose, then let us find ourselves a worthy goal.~ Carl Sagan (1934-11-09 1996-12-20 age:62)
No Sacred Truths
[Science’s] only sacred truth is that there are no sacred truths. All assumptions must be critically examined. Arguments from authority are worthless. Whatever is inconsistent with the facts — no matter how fond of them we are — must be discarded or revised.~ Carl Sagan (1934-11-09 1996-12-20 age:62)
Emerging from a particularly credulous Southern California culture, Nancy and Ronald Reagan relied on an astrologer in private and public matters — unknown to the voting public. Some portion of the decision-making that influences the future of our civilization is plainly in the hands of charlatans.~ Carl Sagan (1934-11-09 1996-12-20 age:62)
Rejecting a Bigger God
How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, This is better than we thought! The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant? Instead they say No, no, no! My god is a little god and I want him to stay that way, A religion, old or new that stressed the magnificence of the Universe as revealed by modern science might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths.~ Carl Sagan (1934-11-09 1996-12-20 age:62) Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space
For me, it is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however, satisfying and reassuring.~ Carl Sagan (1934-11-09 1996-12-20 age:62)
Save a Step
In many cultures it is customary to answer that God created the universe out of nothing. But this is mere temporizing [avoid making a decision or committing oneself in order to gain time]. If we wish courageously to pursue the question, we must, of course ask next where God comes from. And if we decide this to be unanswerable, why not save a step and decide that the origin of the universe is an unanswerable question? Or, if we say that God has always existed, why not save a step and conclude that the universe has always existed?~ Carl Sagan (1934-11-09 1996-12-20 age:62)
Whence Came God?
Where did God come from? If we decide this is an unanswerable question why not save a step and conclude that the origin of the universe is an unanswerable question.~ Carl Sagan (1934-11-09 1996-12-20 age:62)
Flowers When You are Dead
Who wants flowers when you’re dead? Nobody.~ J. D. Salinger (1919-01-01 2010-01-27 age:91) The Catcher in the Rye
Religion is a Product of the Imagination
Religion is the natural reaction of the imagination when confronted by the difficulties in a truculent world.~ George Santayana (1863-12-16 1952-09-26 age:88) Atlantic Monthly
When Faith Appeals
Faith in the supernatural is a desperate wager made by man at the lowest ebb of his fortunes.~ George Santayana (1863-12-16 1952-09-26 age:88) Supernaturalism
Ignoring Bible BS
The Bible. We’ll just talk about the Bible for a second. People often point out that they can’t help it — they can’t help with the anti-gay bullying because it says right there in Leviticus; it says right there in Timothy; it says right there in Romans, that being gay is wrong.
We can learn to ignore the bullshit in the Bible about gay people. The same way, the same way we have learned to ignore the bullshit in the Bible about shellfish, about slavery, about dinner, about farming, about menstruation, about virginity, about masturbation. We ignore bullshit in the Bible about all sorts of things.
The Bible is a radically pro-slavery document. Slave owners waved Bibles over their heads during the Civil War and justified it. The shortest book in the New Testament is a letter from Paul to a Christian slave owner about owning his Christian slave. And Paul doesn’t say Christians don’t own people. Paul talks about how Christians own people.~ Dan Savage (1964-10-07 age:53)
People like me and they were neurologically deformed [by Christian indoctrination]. We were trained in such a closed environment, such a small microcosm, our families, our homeschools, even our Christian schools, then on to Christian colleges, and so forth that there are so many people that when they question and emerge their entire identities are at stake, their family relationships are at stake, everything they were trained to believe in. You know back in the day, we always thought these sorts of things were psychological issues, but actually neuroscience now tells us that we actually change the pathways in your brains whether it is alcohol addiction or what I call certainty addiction. People get so used to having pat answers to everything, that when they wander from that they literally feel naked and bereft.~ Frank Schaeffer (1952-08-03 age:65)
Monotheism generates Intolerance, Polytheism, Tolerance
Indeed, intolerance is essential only to monotheism; an only God is by nature a jealous God who will not allow another to live. On the other hand, polytheistic gods are naturally tolerant, they live and let live.~ Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-02-22 1860-09-21 age:72)
When I was in grade 7, I questioned my history textbook that considered monotheism as more advanced than polytheism. To me they were equally absurd.
Monotheistic religions alone furnish the spectacle of religious wars, religious persecutions, heretical tribunals, that breaking of idols and destruction of images of the gods, that razing of Indian temples and Egyptian colossi, which had looked on the sun 3,000 years: just because a jealous god had said, Thou shalt make no graven image.~ Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-02-22 1860-09-21 age:72) Religion: a Dialogue
Imagine a human with a psychological disorder that made them assert they were the only living being and who killed anyone else they encountered, just to keep their delusion going.
Necessity of Resignation
A good supply of resignation is of the first importance in providing for the journey of life.~ Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-02-22 1860-09-21 age:72)
Religion as Animal Training
Religion is the masterpiece of the art of animal training, for it trains people as to how they shall think.~ Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-02-22 1860-09-21 age:72)
Religion is Like the Appendix
Religion is like our appendix, a vestigial remnant from a primitive past. Perhaps in a few millennia the god of Abraham will invoke the same curious amusement as rain and sun gods do today. Or perhaps our god will simply be shelved along with Zeus and Jupiter. Some day. But until then, we suffer the consequences of a population that believes in the absence of evidence and, more curiously, rejects an objective reality that conflicts with beliefs easily proven false.~ Jeff Schweitzer (1957 age:60) source
By the way, why are we wearing bras on our heads.~ Wyatt
It’s ceremonial.~ Gary
~ Weird Science (1985 age:32) with Anthony Michael Hall as Gary Wallace and Ilan Mitchell-Smith as Wyatt Donnelly
Evils of Inaction
Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph.~ Haile Selassie (1892-07-23 1975-08-27 age:83)
Uses of Religion
Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false and by the rulers as useful.~ Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 BC 65 AD age:68)
No More Wit Than A Christian
Methinks sometimes I have no more wit than a Christian.~ William Shakespear (1564-04-23 1616-04-23 age:52) Twelfth Night act I, scene iii
Stirring Up Needless Trouble
A plague o’ both your houses!~ William Shakespear (1564-04-23 1616-04-23 age:52) Mercutio Romeo and Juliet Act III Scene i
Rev. Terry Jones tried to trick Christians and Muslims into killing each other over a purely symbolic act that harmed no one, by threatening to burn some copies of the Qur’an. Why would he do such a stupid thing?
- Jones is brain damaged and did not understand the consequences of his actions.
- Jones is an attention — seeking psychopath.
- Right now the Christians have most of the nukes. If the fight got big enough, the Muslims could be vapourised and the Christians would win the age old conflict.
If you read the bible cover to cover, you will discover it is absurd, erroneous and self-contradictory. Trying to claim it is the literal word of god is like trying to pass off a poem by William McGonagall as the work of William Shakespear. If you doubt this, use my guide to the bible that points out some of the more absurd passages. There is no evidence at all the bible is the literal word of god (e.g. some titanium plates). Its authors are largely anonymous.
The only evidence the Qur’an is the literal word of god is that the poetry is alleged to be better than any other in Arabic. It seems to me a simpler explanation is that Mohammed was like Milton and exquisite poetry just flowed out of him without conscious effort.
Both sides are utterly convinced, without evidence, they are speaking for God. They both know in their hearts they have no evidence for their extravagant claims. All they have is endless repeated assertion and threats to those who point out the lack of evidence. They both know they are lying about their certainty. But that does not stop them killing each other.
God Cannot Be a Calm Observer
There cannot possibly be a god in heaven watching all of this calmly.~ Revi Shankar
Yet humans can watch ant armies tear each other to bits with equanimity.
I’m not going to have a tombstone. I’m going to be tossed in the air. Ashes, tossed like a salad.~ William Shatner (1931-03-22 age:87)
Happiness in Irrelevant to Truth
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one.~ George Bernard Shaw (1856-07-26 1950-11-02 age:94)
Interpreting the Bible
No public man in these islands ever believes that the Bible means what it says: he is always convinced that it says what he means.~ George Bernard Shaw (1856-07-26 1950-11-02 age:94)
Prayer = Begging
Most people do not pray; they only beg.~ George Bernard Shaw (1856-07-26 1950-11-02 age:94)
Tarnish the Golden Rule
Do not do unto others as you would that they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same.~ George Bernard Shaw (1856-07-26 1950-11-02 age:94)
I was an infant when my mother went~ Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-08-04 1822-07-08 age:29) Queen Mab: A Philosophical Poem 1813
To see an atheist burned. She took me there.
The dark — robed priests were met around the pile;
The multitude was gazing silently;
And as the culprit passed with dauntless mien,
Tempered disdain in his unaltering eye,
Mixed with a quiet smile, shone calmly forth;
The thirsty fire crept round his manly limbs;
His resolute eyes were scorched to blindness soon;
His death — pang rent my heart! the insensate mob
Uttered a cry of triumph and I wept.
Weep not, child! cried my mother, for that man
Has said, There is no God.
And priests dare babble of a God of peace,~ Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-08-04 1822-07-08 age:29) Queen Mab: A Philosophical Poem 1813
Even whilst their hands are red with guiltless blood,
Murdering the while, uprooting every germ
Of truth, exterminating, spoiling all,
Making the earth a slaughter — house!
Design Must Be Proved
Design must be proved before a designer can be inferred.~ Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-08-04 1822-07-08 age:29)
On the contrary, we have overwhelming evidence of lack of foresight, and the most bailing wire of solutions.
Destruction of the Gods
If ignorance of nature gave birth to gods, knowledge of nature is made for their destruction.~ Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-08-04 1822-07-08 age:29)
A God Made By Man
A God made by man undoubtedly has need of man to make himself known to man.~ Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-08-04 1822-07-08 age:29)
Smart People Believe Weird Things
Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they have arrived at for non-smart reasons.~ Michael Shermer (1954-09-08 age:63)
Stupid Gullible Christians
In four studies on more than 800 subjects, the authors found that the higher the intelligence and analyticity of subjects, the less likely they were to rate such statements (BS) as profound. Conversely, and revealingly, they concluded that those most receptive to pseudo-profound BS are also more prone to conspiratorial ideation, are more likely to hold religious and paranormal beliefs, and are more likely to endorse complementary and alternative medicine. Apropos of one of this column’s skeptical leitmotifs, detecting BS, according to the authors, is not merely a matter of indiscriminate skepticism but rather a discernment of deceptive vagueness in otherwise impressive sounding claims.~ Michael Shermer (1954-09-08 age:63)
Bigotry learned from religion is no different from bigotry learned from family, or peers or culture.~ Steve Shives
Proving Santa Does Not Exist
I cannot prove Santa Claus does not exist. Maybe he has a secret invisible castle at the North Pole.~ John Shook
Divorce Rate Among Christians
In many parts of the Bible Belt, the divorce rate was discovered to be roughly 50 percent above the national average.~ Ronald J. Sider (1939-09-17 age:78) Christianity Today source
So how dare Christians assert their filthy religion is necessary for decent behaviour?
Atheists Know the Bible Better than Christians
Atheism is an effect of that knowledge [a poll showed atheists knew more about religion than anyone else], not a lack of knowledge. I gave a bible to my daughter. That is how you make atheists.~ Dave Silverman (1966-08-13 age:51) President American Atheists
Respect is earned. Religion has not earned any.~ Dave Silverman (1966-08-13 age:51) President American Atheists
Suppose we’ve chosen the wrong god? Every time we go to church, we’re just making him madder and madder.~ Homer J. Simpson
Mighty Fortress of Graft
There are a score of great religions in the world, each with scores or hundreds of sects, each with its priestly orders, its complicated creed and ritual, its heavens and hells. Each has its thousands or millions or hundreds of millions of true believers each damns all the others with more or less heartiness — and each is a mighty fortress of graft.~ Upton Sinclair (1878-09-20 1968-11-25 age:90)
For Cosmologists God in Not Necessary
For most cosmologists, a supernatural God is an unnecessary hypothesis. For most Americans, He is an unassailable fact. The American belief machine apparently has a fail-safe component. Nothing shuts it down.~ Gary Sloan The Bible-Belting of America
Improbable Does Not Mean Magical
One can’t logically argue that because something highly improbable happens, some occult force had to make it happen that way.~ Gary Sloan The ABCs of Nontheistic Evolution
Science and God
Science not only hasn’t found God, it isn’t even looking for him.~ Gary Sloan The Bible-Belting of America
God is Deaf To Jews
With all due respect to those dear people, my friend, God Almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew.~ Bailey Eugene Smith (1939-01-30 age:79) evangelist con man
Yes, that is true, but not in the bigoted sense Mr. Bailey intended. Deities never answer prayers of Jews, Christians or anyone else because there are no deities to answer prayers.
Airs About Ancestors
Modernity sees humanity as having ascended from what is inferior to it — life begins in slime and ends in intelligence — whereas traditional cultures see it as descended from its superiors. As the anthropologist Marshall Sahlins put the matter: We are the only people who assume that we have ascended from apes. Everybody else take it for granted that they are descended from gods.~ Huston Smith (1919-05-31 age:98)
Prejudice Is Immune to Reason
Never try to reason the prejudice out of a man. It was not reasoned into him and cannot be reasoned out.~ Sydney Smith (1771-06-03 1845-02-22 age:73)
The attempt to silence a man is the greatest honour you can bestow on him. It means that you recognise his superiority to yourself.~ Joseph Sobran (1946-02-23 age:72)
Good Ends by Evil Means
Never let a man imagine that he can pursue a good end by evil means, without sinning against his own soul. The evil effect on himself is certain.~ Robert Southey (1774-08-12 1843-03-21 age:68)
The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one.~ Mr. Spock played by Leonard Nimoy (1931-03-26 2015-02-27 age:83) in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan
Anti-gay, Pro-slavery and Anti-women
…secular journalists… tend to accept uncritically the oft — repeated Evangelical Protestant and Conservative Roman Catholic definitions that the Bible is anti-gay. If these people were honest, they would have to admit that the Bible is also pro-slavery and anti-women.~ John Shelby Spong (1931-06-13 age:86)
Christian Justification of Slavery
Spoon fed this religion from the slave ship. They used faith to justify bringing slaves here. All the conducts and rules in the good book. You swear by it, but failed to take a good look. You’re completely sold. Just two centuries ago slave owners swore you didn’t even have a soul. (consciousness, the ability to feel pain.) Now you blindly defend a faith, That was used to plunder pillage and rape a whole entire race.~ Greydon Square (1981-09-28 age:36)
The British made no bones that the purpose of sending missionaries was to soften up the natives in North America and Africa for conquest. Any black person today who does not vomit up Christianity has a serious case of Stockholm syndrome.
The Use of Myth
The poets were not alone in sanctioning myths, for long before the poets the states and the lawmakers had sanctioned them as a useful expedient… They needed to control the people by superstitious fears and these cannot be aroused without myths and marvels.~ Stabo (58 BC 24 AD age:81) Greek geographer
Atheism Is Not A Religion
If atheism is a religion, then not playing football is a sport.~ Dr. Stamp
Bible Is No Proof of God
Even if there is a god, the bible proves his existence just as much as the Star Wars series proves the existence of Darth Vader.~ Dr. Stamp
Batty as the Apostles of Old
I’m going to go all about in a Ford van. Like the apostles of old, I’ll go about the land.~ Amos Starkadder played by Ian McKellen (1939-05-25 age:78) in Cold Comfort Farm
Science in the Cause of Murder
Science leads you to killing people.~ Ben Stein (1944-11-25 age:73)
I think even Mr. Stein would not want to live in the middle ages when the godists ran everything. Since then science has stopped the witch trials, ended the inquisition, eliminated smallpox, invented clean water, antibiotics, hot showers… More accurate it would be to say that Christians kill each other with weapons they hire scientists to produce.
Advantage of Separation
Scientists have practical reasons for wishing that religion and science be kept separate. They can see nothing but trouble … if they venture into the deeply divisive issue of religion — especially when their results tend to support a highly unpopular, atheistic conclusion.~ Victor J. Stenger (1935-01-29 2014-08-27 age:79)
A Causeless Universe
But, as we have seen, movement does not require a mover and modern quantum mechanics has shown that not all effects require a cause. And even if they did, why would the Prime Mover need to be a supernatural anthropomorphic deity such as the Judeo-Christian God? Why could it not just as well be the material universe itself?~ Victor J. Stenger (1935-01-29 2014-08-27 age:79)
Evidence For God
If there were evidence for god, we are taking about scientific evidence, it would be in the textbooks. You would find it in the textbooks along with the evidence for neutrinos and electrons.~ Victor J. Stenger (1935-01-29 2014-08-27 age:79)
Evolution, the Fact
In short, evolution is as close to being a scientific fact as is possible for any theory, given that science is open-ended and no one can predict with certainty what may change in the future. The prospect that evolution by natural selection, at least as a broad mechanism, will be overthrown in the future is about as likely as the prospect of finding out some day that the Earth is really flat. Unfortunately, those who regard these scientific facts as a threat to faith have chosen to distort and misrepresent them to the public.~ Victor J. Stenger (1935-01-29 2014-08-27 age:79)
Hold of Supernatural Belief
Any attempt at understanding humanity must include an explanation of the hold that supernatural belief continues to have on most of the human race.~ Victor J. Stenger (1935-01-29 2014-08-27 age:79)
I wish, therefore it is
To most theistic believers, human life can have no meaning in a universe without God. Quite sincerely and with understandable yearning for a meaning to their existence, they reject the possibility of no God. In their minds, only a purposeful universe based on God is possible and science can do nothing else but support this truth.~ Victor J. Stenger (1935-01-29 2014-08-27 age:79)
Lack of Evidence
Proof is not required to believe [in a god]. But some sign, some evidence is needed. None exists… Find some inkling of evidence. There is none.~ Victor J. Stenger (1935-01-29 2014-08-27 age:79)
No Yahweh, Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
Until recent times, absence of evidence for his [Yahweh’s] existence has not been sufficient to rule him out. However, we now have enough knowledge that we can identify many places where there should be evidence, but there is not. The absence of that evidence allows us to rule out the existence of this God beyond a reasonable doubt.~ Victor J. Stenger (1935-01-29 2014-08-27 age:79)
Park Your Brains
Is there a place in a church where you leave your brains when you enter?~ Victor J. Stenger (1935-01-29 2014-08-27 age:79)
Consider the supposed power of intercessory prayer. Well-executed experiments by reputable institutions such as Harvard, Duke and the Mayo Clinic have failed to find that prayer improves the recovery of hospital patients. Apologists simply say God did not choose to respond to this test. But you can bet they would have changed their tune if the results had been positive. Trillions of prayers have been tendered over millennia. Of course, most sick people get better anyway, except once. If the God most people worship and pray to does exist, intercessory prayer would have a better batting average than what you would get from the normal operation of the natural world, including luck. It doesn’t.~ Victor J. Stenger (1935-01-29 2014-08-27 age:79)
If God refused to co-operate with the experiment, oddly, it would be his intention to debunk the power of prayer. It is also important to note that the results are completely in line with informal experience.
Just because quantum mechanics is weird does not mean that everything that is weird is quantum mechanics.~ Victor J. Stenger (1935-01-29 2014-08-27 age:79)
This is pot shot at phonies like Deepak Chopra who try to dress up their mumbo-jumbo with a bit of quantum mechanical vocabulary or argue from stretched quantum mechanical analogies to shore up their pop psychology.
Requirements on Evidence
Scientific evidence for God’s existence is being claimed today by theists, many of whom carry respectable scientific or philosophical credentials. He who is neither a she nor an it supposedly answers prayers and otherwise dramatically affects the outcome of events. If these consequences are as significant as believers say, then the effects should be detectable in properly controlled experiments.~ Victor J. Stenger (1935-01-29 2014-08-27 age:79)
Science vs Religion
Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings.~ Victor J. Stenger (1935-01-29 2014-08-27 age:79)
Any strategy that attempts to reinforce faith by undermining science is also doomed to failure. Showing that some scientific theory is wrong will not prove that the religious alternative is correct by default. When the sun was shown not to be the center of the universe, as Copernicus had proposed, the Earth was not moved back to that singular position in the cosmos. If Darwinian evolution is proved wrong, biologists will not develop a new theory based on the hypothesis that each species was created separately by God 6,000 years ago.~ Victor J. Stenger (1935-01-29 2014-08-27 age:79)
Validity of Evolution is No Longer a Scientific Question
The battle over the validity of evolution has been publicly posed as a scientific one. However, you will find little sign of it in scientific journals, where such quarrels as exist are over details, not the basic concept… Evolution has proved so useful as a paradigm for the origin and structure of life that it constitutes the foundation of the sciences of biology and medicine.~ Victor J. Stenger (1935-01-29 2014-08-27 age:79)
Alternative explanations are always welcome in science, if they are better and explain more. Alternative explanations that explain nothing are not welcome… Note how science changed those beliefs when new data became available. Religions stick to the same ancient beliefs regardless of the data.~ Victor J. Stenger (1935-01-29 2014-08-27 age:79)
When You Die
When you die, you sit in a box and get eaten by worms. I guarantee nothing cool happens.~ Howard Stern (1954-01-12 age:64)
The War on Christianity
Yes, the long war on Christianity. I pray that one day we may live in an America where Christians can worship freely! In broad daylight! Openly wearing the symbols of their religion… perhaps around their necks? And maybe — dare I dream it? — maybe one day there can be an openly Christian President. Or, perhaps, 43 of them. Consecutively.~ Jon Stewart (1962-11-28 age:55)
Texas Bumper Idiocy
God said it, I believe it and that settles it.~ Texas bumper sticker
The author of the bumper sticker does not understand the difference between the old testament saying something and a god saying it. There is no evidence that a god had anything at all to do with the composing of the bible. Even Christians admit it was composed by humans about whom we know almost nothing. Further, we have no evidence that any god exists. Claiming proof because the infallible bible asserts gods exist is circular reasoning. The bible has no authority until you can first demonstrate it was composed by a god and that it is infallible. It clearly is not. It is cram full of error and inconsistency.
Religion = Superstition
There is no superstition in my religion.~ Rev. Wallace Stowe Midsomer Murders
Actually all religions are nothing but superstition.
Qualifying as God
Nothing and no one deserves to be called god so long as a single living thing screams.~ Keith Stump (The Godless Geezer) (1974 age:43)
I would expand that. There are many creatures that suffer that lack the ability to scream.
You know an idea is truly absurd, when to ridicule it, you need only quote it.~ Keith Stump (The Godless Geezer) (1974 age:43)
The invisible looks quite a bit like the non-existent.~ Julia Sweeney (1959-10-10 age:58)
In response to my attempt to quietly and peacefully opt out of mandatory prayer, my family received 180 harassing and threatening phone calls, 80 angry letters (half of them unsigned) and death threats. Employees of the school division circulated a petition against me. The headlights and grill on our car were smashed and graffiti about communists was scrawled across the windshield. A black cross was painted on the highway in front of our farm and scrap iron was placed in our hay fields to damage our machinery. These are the same people who tell us they were bringing morality to the schools.~ Chris Tait (1963 age:54)
Irrationality of Jealousy
The Bible says that the the Lord thy God is a jealous God. But if you are omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, eternal and the creator of all that exists, of whom could you possibly be jealous?~ Charles Templeton (1915-10-07 2001-06-07 age:85)
The answer to that question is the god Yahweh started out as a small local god. As the cult spread the Jehovaists got bolder and asserted not only was their god better than all the other gods, the others did not even exist.
How Churches Cover Up Lies
Faith demands that we disregard:~ TheraminTrees
a) absence of expected evidence
b) presence of conflicting evidence
How do we detect lies?
a) absence of expected evidence
b) presence of conflicting evidence
People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered~ Mother Theresa (1910-08-26 1997-09-05 age:87)
… Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
… Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
… Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
… Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
… Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
… Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
… Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough;
… Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.
We can do no great things; only small things with great love.~ Mother Theresa (1910-08-26 1997-09-05 age:87)
God Is An Asshole
Either god is the biggest asshole of all time or and most reasonably, he exists only in the minds of the skeptically challenged.~ TheVeganAtheist
Morality vs Religion
Morality is doing what is right no matter what we are told.
Religious dogma is doing what we are told no matter what is right~ Andy Thompson
An individual watching another chip away at a flint would attribute to him a purpose, similar to his own when he created a tool. So too would he assume that lightning, rain, the sun, the stars, the moon must have had some sort of purposeful creative force behind them. Here lie the very deepest roots of our religious beliefs.~ R. Elizabeth Cornwell PhD and Dr J. Anderson Thomson Jr. The Evolution of Religion
Mass Ignorance in America
According to a recent Gallup poll, 66% of the US population agrees strongly with the statement God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years. Given the overwhelming amount of scientific evidence to the contrary, such obstinate belief should frighten any reasonable thinking person.~ R. Elizabeth Cornwell PhD and Dr. J. Anderson Thomson Jr. The Evolution of Religion
Religion is Like Junk Food
If you understand the psychology of junk food, you understand the psychology of religion.~ Dr. J. Anderson Thomson, Jr.
What he means is sugar is an artificial way to super-satisfy the natural desire for fresh fruit. We are not evolved to deal appropriately with such a strong stimulant. In a similar way, religion creates an artificial way to super-satisfy the desire for attachment, by offering up a super-parent.
Misuse of the Word God
The word God has become empty of meaning through thousands of years of misuse. I use it sometimes, but I do so sparingly. By misuse I mean that people who have never even glimpsed the realm of the sacred, the infinite vastness behind that word, use it with great conviction as if they knew what they were talking about. Or, they argue against it, as if they knew what it is that they are denying.~ Eckhart Tolle (1948-02-16 age:70) The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment
The Sinking Ship
Captain: Does anyone here know how to pray?~ traditional
Crew member: I do captain, I have strong faith!
Captain: Good! We’re one life-jacket short! You pray — the rest of us will use the equipment!
The Problem is Believing in a Supreme Being
That’s the problem with believing in a supreme being, determining what he wants.~ Deanna Troi (1955-03-29 age:63) Star Trek Next Generation, played by Marina Sirtis
Show Me My Errors
If you challenge my ideas and present to me my errors, then, upon the honour of my character, constructively I shall build.~ Fidem Turbare the non-existent atheist goddess, 2012-01-22
Beauty is only one of many survival traits. This is why a quest for perfection can never genuinely be sought through to completion.~ Fidem Turbare the non-existent atheist goddess, 2012-01-04
Prayer = Demanding Miracles
Whatever man prays for, he prays for a miracle. Every prayer reduces itself to this — Great God, grant that twice two be not four.~ Ivan Turgenev (1818-11-09 1883-09-03 age:64)
In the time of Galileo Galilei it was argued that the texts, And the sun stood still… and hasted not to go down about a whole dayJoshua 10:13 and He laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not move at any time Psalms 104:5 were an adequate refutation of the Copernican theory.~ Alan Turing (1912-06-23 1954-06-07 age:41)
And God Created the Fly
If we could imagine such a man, that is a man who could invent the fly and send him out on his mission and furnish him with his orders: Depart into the uttermost corners of the earth and, diligently do your appointed work. Persecute the sick child, settle upon its eyes, its face, its hands, and gnaw and pester and sting, worry and fret and madden the worn and tried mother who watches by the child and humbly prays for mercy and relief with the pathetic faith of the deceived and the unteachable.~ Mark Twain (1835-11-30 1910-04-21 age:74)
We would endlessly revile a man who invented the fly, but we let God off the hook for allegedly doing the exact same thing. Why don’t people tell this bastard, God, what they really think of him? Because they are afraid of the imaginary monster they have created.
Bible as Biography
Our Bible reveals to us the character of our god with minute and remorseless exactness… It is perhaps the most damnatory biography that exists in print anywhere. It makes Nero an angel of light … by contrast.~ Mark Twain (1835-11-30 1910-04-21 age:74)
[The Bible] has noble poetry in it… and some good morals and a wealth of obscenity and upwards of a thousand lies.~ Mark Twain (1835-11-30 1910-04-21 age:74)
Most people can’t bear to sit in church for an hour on Sundays. How are they supposed to live somewhere very similar to it for eternity?~ Mark Twain (1835-11-30 1910-04-21 age:74)
Chloroform in Print
All men have heard of the Mormon Bible, but few except the elect have seen it, or, at least, taken the trouble to read it. I brought away a copy from Salt Lake. The book is a curiosity to me, it is such a pretentious affair and yet so slow, so sleepy; such an insipid mess of inspiration. It is chloroform in print. If Joseph Smith composed this book, the act was a miracle — keeping awake while he did it was, at any rate.~ Mark Twain (1835-11-30 1910-04-21 age:74)
Christian Attachment to Slavery
There was no place in the land where the seeker could not find some small budding sign of pity for the slave. No place in all the land but one — the pulpit. It yielded last; it always does. It fought a strong and stubborn fight and then did what it always does, joined the procession — at the tail end. Slavery fell. The slavery texts in the Bible remained; the practice changed; that was all.~ Mark Twain (1835-11-30 1910-04-21 age:74)
When one reads Bibles, one is less surprised at what the Deity knows than at what He doesn’t know.~ Mark Twain (1835-11-30 1910-04-21 age:74)
Definition of Faith
Faith is believing what you know isn’t so.~ Mark Twain (1835-11-30 1910-04-21 age:74)
Definition of Religion
Religion consists in a set of things which the average man thinks he believes and wishes he was certain of.~ Mark Twain (1835-11-30 1910-04-21 age:74)
Ease Of Dismissing Another Man’s Religion
The easy confidence with which I know another man’s religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.~ Mark Twain (1835-11-30 1910-04-21 age:74)
Evaluating the Bible
It is full of interest. It has noble poetry in it; and some clever fables; and some blood-drenched history; and some good morals; and a wealth of obscenity; and upwards of a thousand lies.~ Mark Twain (1835-11-30 1910-04-21 age:74)
It is easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled.~ Mark Twain (1835-11-30 1910-04-21 age:74)
God = Malign Thug
If there is a God, he is a malign thug.~ Mark Twain (1835-11-30 1910-04-21 age:74)
God Of The Bible
To trust the God of the Bible is to trust an irascible, vindictive, fierce and ever fickle and changeful master; to trust the true God is to trust a Being who has uttered no promises, but whose beneficent, exact and changeless ordering of the machinery of His colossal universe is proof that He is at least steadfast to His purposes; whose unwritten laws, so far as the affect man, being equal and impartial, show that he is just and fair; these things, taken together, suggest that if he shall ordain us to live hereafter, he will be steadfast, just and fair toward us. We shall not need to require anything more.~ Mark Twain (1835-11-30 1910-04-21 age:74)
Heaven ≠ Rest
Heaven is the very last place to come to rest and don’t you be afraid to bet on that!~ Mark Twain (1835-11-30 1910-04-21 age:74), Captain Stormfield’s Visit To Heaven
Humour and Religion are Incompatible
I cannot see how a man of any large degree of humorous perception can ever be religious — unless he purposely shut the eyes of his mind & keep them shut by force.~ Mark Twain (1835-11-30 1910-04-21 age:74)
I am Superior To Yahweh
I am plenty safe enough in his hands; I am not in any danger from that kind of a Deity. The one that I want to keep out of the reach of, is the caricature of him which one finds in the Bible. We (that one and I) could never respect each other, never get along together. I have met his superior a hundred times — in fact I amount to that myself.~ Mark Twain (1835-11-30 1910-04-21 age:74)
In God We Trust
In God We Trust. I don’t believe it would sound any better if it were true.~ Mark Twain (1835-11-30 1910-04-21 age:74)
It is plain that there is one moral law for heaven and another for the earth. The pulpit assures us that wherever we see suffering and sorrow, which we can relieve and do not, we sin, heavily. There was never yet a case of suffering or sorrow which God could not relieve. Does He sin then?~ Mark Twain (1835-11-30 1910-04-21 age:74)
No Fear of Death
I do not fear death, in view of the fact that I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.~ Mark Twain (1835-11-30 1910-04-21 age:74)
Noah and the Dinosaur
As for the dinosaur — But Noah’s conscience was easy; it was not named in his cargo list and he and the boys were not aware that there was such a creature. He said he could not blame himself for not knowing about the dinosaur because it was an American animal and America had not then been discovered.~ Mark Twain (1835-11-30 1910-04-21 age:74)
More than two hundred death penalties are gone from the law books, but the [biblical] texts that authorised them remain.~ Mark Twain (1835-11-30 1910-04-21 age:74)
Oddly, the one death penalty modern day Christians cling to with vigilante violence is one cherry picked from the scores that Leviticus demanded, the one against homosexuality.
Passages Understood and Not Understood
Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they do not understand, but the passages that bother me are those I do understand.~ Mark Twain (1835-11-30 1910-04-21 age:74)
Power of Laughter
Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.~ Mark Twain (1835-11-30 1910-04-21 age:74)
Praying for Rain
It is better to read the weather forecast before we pray for rain.~ Mark Twain (1835-11-30 1910-04-21 age:74)
Praying For Satan
But who prays for Satan? Who, in eighteen centuries, has had the common humanity to pray for the one sinner that needed it most?~ Mark Twain (1835-11-30 1910-04-21 age:74)
Proof of Immortality
One of the proofs of the immortality of the soul is that myriads have believed it. They also believed the world was flat.~ Mark Twain (1835-11-30 1910-04-21 age:74)
A Quaint Idea
Man is a marvelous curiosity… he thinks he is the Creator’s pet… he even believes the Creator loves him; has a passion for him; sits up nights to admire him; yes and watch over him and keep him out of trouble. He prays to him and thinks He listens. Isn’t it a quaint idea.~ Mark Twain (1835-11-30 1910-04-21 age:74)
Refusal to Correct
The Christian’s Bible is a drug store. Its contents remain the same; but the medical practice changes… The world has corrected the Bible. The church never corrects it; and also never fails to drop in at the tail of the procession — and take the credit of the correction. During many ages there were witches. The Bible said so. the Bible commanded that they should not be allowed to live.
Therefore the Church, after eight hundred years, gathered up its halters, thumb-screws, and firebrands, and set about its holy work in earnest. She worked hard at it night and day during nine centuries and imprisoned, tortured, hanged, and burned whole hordes and armies of witches, and washed the Christian world clean with their foul blood.
Then it was discovered that there was no such thing as witches, and never had been. One does not know whether to laugh or to cry… There are no witches. The witch text remains; only the practice has changed. Hell fire is gone, but the text remains. Infant damnation is gone, but the text remains. More than two hundred death penalties are gone from the law books, but the texts that authorized them remain.~ Mark Twain (1835-11-30 1910-04-21 age:74)
Ridicule Kills Religion
No god and no religion can survive ridicule. No church, no nobility, no royalty or other fraud, can face ridicule in a fair field and live.~ Mark Twain (1835-11-30 1910-04-21 age:74)
Source of Beliefs
In religion and politics people’s beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing.~ Mark Twain (1835-11-30 1910-04-21 age:74)
Spitting on the Holy
We despise all reverences and all objects of reverence which are outside the pale of our list of sacred things and yet, with strange inconsistency, we are shocked when other people despise and defile the things which are holy for us.~ Mark Twain (1835-11-30 1910-04-21 age:74)
No church property is taxed, and so the infidel and the atheist and the man without religion are taxed to make up the deficit in the public income thus caused.~ Mark Twain (1835-11-30 1910-04-21 age:74)
The modern Christian rejoices in this state of affairs. He has stolen from the hated heathen, and gotten away with it.
Understandable Parts of the Bible
It ain’t the parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.~ Mark Twain (1835-11-30 1910-04-21 age:74)
What You Know
It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.~ Mark Twain (1835-11-30 1910-04-21 age:74)
Facts Are True
Facts are true whether or not you believe them.~ Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson (1958-10-05 age:59)
God of the Gaps
Does it mean, if you don’t understand something, and the community of physicists don’t understand it, that means God did it? Is that how you want to play this game? Because if it is, here’s a list of things in the past that the physicists at the time didn’t understand and a talk show you might have conducted 200 years ago would have said The planets do retrograde? Can’t understand that. Must be a god. and we’d say You know, you’re right., and then 10 years later we understand it. So what do you do? If that’s how you want to invoke your evidence for God, then God is an ever-receding pocket of scientific ignorance that’s getting smaller and smaller and smaller as time moves on — so just be ready for that to happen, if that’s how you want to come at the problem.~ Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson (1958-10-05 age:59)
In response to troglodyte Bill O’Reilly who thinks the tides are a miracle only explainable by invoking God even though you can buy tide table books to tell you the tides anywhere for a year into the future.
Identified UFOs (Unidentified Flying Objects) Are No Longer UFOs
UFO (Unidentified Flying Object)sightings are not higher among amateur astronomers than they are in the general public. In fact, they’re lower. You say, why is that so? Well because we know what the hell we’re looking at!~ Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson (1958-10-05 age:59)
No Benevolent Force
The more I learn about the universe, the less convinced I am that there’s any sort of benevolent force that has anything to do with it, at all.~ Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson (1958-10-05 age:59)
We Are Part of the Universe
Recognize that the very molecules that make up your body, the atoms that construct the molecules, are traceable to the crucibles that were once the centers of high mass stars that exploded their chemically rich guts into the galaxy, enriching pristine gas clouds with the chemistry of life. So that we are all connected to each other biologically, to the earth chemically and to the rest of the universe atomically. That’s kinda cool! That makes me smile and I actually feel quite large at the end of that. It’s not that we are better than the universe, we are part of the universe. We are in the universe and the universe is in us.~ Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson (1958-10-05 age:59)
We gently caress you, the Earth, our planet and our home.~ Sensei Fredrich Ulrich (1939 age:78)
Our vision has brought us closer to you, making us aware of the harm we have done to the life-network upon which we ourselves depend.
We are reminded that we have poisoned your waters, your lands, your air.
We have filled you with the bones of our dead from war and greed.
Your pain is our pain.
Touching you gently, we pray that we may become peace-bringers and life-bringers so that our home in its journey around the Sun not become a sterile and lonely place.
May this prayer and its power last forever.
Biblical Evidence That God is Evil
God orders people to murder Exodus 32:27-29, Deuteronomy 13:6-11, Genesis 22:2-10, Proverbs 23:13-14.
God orders people to slaughter babies I Samuel 15:3, Numbers 31:17, Deuteronomy 13:13-19, Isaiah 13:15-18.
God personally slaughters babies Exodus 12:29, II Samuel 12:15-18, II Kings 12:23-24.
God drowns all the people, animals and plants Genesis 7:18-23.
God tortures people Revelation 9:5-6, Revelation 20:10-15, Revelation 21:8, Matthew 25:41-46.
God demands animal and human sacrifices Exodus 20:24, Hebrews 9:22, Leviticus 1:9, Judges 11:30-39, Numbers 31:25-28, Hebrews 10:10.
God orders people into slavery Leviticus 25:44-46, I Peter 2:18, Ephesians 6:5-7, Exodus 21:20-21.
God condones rape II Samuel 12:11, Isaiah 13:16, Deuteronomy 22:28-29, Numbers 31:17-18, Exodus 21:7-11.
God threatens parents by saying he will make them eat their own children Jeremiah 19:9, Deuteronomy 28:53, Leviticus 26:27-29.
God is sadistically cruel to animals Joshua 11:6, Genesis 7:18-23.
God orders people to steal Deuteronomy 20:13-14, Numbers 31:25-27, Luke 19:30-35.
God forces people to commit incest Genesis 3:20, Genesis 9:1.
God lies Genesis 22:2, Genesis 8:21, II Peter 3:10-11, Exodus 33:20, I Timothy 6:15-16, John 1:18, Genesis 32:30, Exodus 6:2-3, Exodus 24:9-11, Exodus 33:11, I Kings 22:23, II Thessalonians 2:11, Ezekiel 14:9.
God Is Evil~ Underlings
Forget for a second you are a cowering, ass-kissing weasel and man up and give an objective answer. Admit it. Not even Hitler came close to this bastard for evil, especially when you consider he allegedly drowned all the plants, animals and humans on earth.
We are like the spider.~ The Upanishads
We weave our life and then move along in it.
We are like the dreamer who dreams and then lives in the dream.
This is true for the entire universe.
Whenever religion touches science, it gets burned. In the sixteen century astronomy, in the seventeenth microbiology, in the eighteenth geology and paleontology, in the nineteenth Darwin’s biology all grotesquely extended the world-frame and sent churchmen scurrying for cover in ever smaller, more shadowy nooks, little gloomy ambiguous caves in the psyche where even now neurology is cruelly harrying them, gouging them out from the multifolded brain like wood lice from under the woodpile. Barth had been right: totaliter aliter (completely different) Only by placing God totally on the other side of the humanly understandable can any final safety for Him be secured.~ John Updike (1932-03-18 2009-01-27 age:76)
Beliefs are what divide people. Doubt unites them.~ Peter Ustinov (1921-04-16 2004-03-28 age:82)
Optimism is Denial of Reality
One of the theories about major depression is that depressed people are the true realists — if you really want to know the facts, talk to them. The rest of us, fortunately, are in a state of denial and optimism. What is optimism? Denial of reality. What is extreme optimism? Extreme denial of reality.~ Ajit Varki Denial: Self-Deception, False Beliefs and the Origins of the Human Mind
We know what we are supposed to do in terms of exercise and diet, yet most of us ignore it; we have this magical way of thinking, of denying the reality we face. Look at our national debt: we just ignore it and somehow imagine it’s going to go away. Our failure to do anything about climate change is the ultimate form of denial — now, of course, that reality is staring us in the face.~ Ajit Varki Denial: Self-Deception, False Beliefs and the Origins of the Human Mind
Born Again Atheist
I’m a born-again atheist.~ Gore Vidal (1925-10-03 2012-07-30 age:86)
Conquests Excused by Religion
When the white race broke out of Europe 500 years ago, it did many astounding things all over the globe. Inspired by a raging sky-god, the whites were able to pretend that their conquests were in order to bring the One God to everyone, particularly those with older and subtler religions.~ Gore Vidal (1925-10-03 2012-07-30 age:86)
Evil of Monotheism
The great unmentionable evil at the center of our culture is monotheism. From a barbaric bronze-age text known as the Old Testament, three antihuman religions have evolved — Judaism, Christianity and Islam. These are sky-god religions. They are, literally, patriarchal-God is the omnipotent father — hence the loathing of women for 2,000 years in those countries afflicted by the sky-god and his earthly male delegates. The sky-god is jealous. He requires total obedience. Those who would reject him must be converted or killed. Totalitarianism is the only politics that can true serve the sky-god’s purpose. Any movement of a liberal nature endangers his authority. One God, one King, one Pope, one master in the factory, one father-leader in the family.~ Gore Vidal (1925-10-03 2012-07-30 age:86)
Religions sprang up among men to deal with the sometimes terrifying aspects of existence, to make sense out of the senseless, to explain things we find inexplicable.~ Gore Vidal (1925-10-03 2012-07-30 age:86)
Monotheism is the Greatest Disaster
I regard monotheism as the greatest disaster ever to befall the human race. I see no good in Judaism, Christianity, or Islam — good people, yes, but any religion based on a single, well, frenzied and virulent god, is not as useful to the human race as, say, Confucianism, which is not a religion but an ethical and educational system.~ Gore Vidal (1925-10-03 2012-07-30 age:86) At Home 1988
As religious myths go, polytheism has one huge advantage. As an polytheist, my default position is that your gods exist too. I don’t have to deny their existence or declare them wicked or kill you for worshiping them. It is just that I like mine better, or that mine specialise in requests from my locality or in my sort of needs.
Why the Puritans Left England
The Puritans left England for America not because they couldn’t be Puritans in their mother country, but because they were not allowed to force others to become Puritans; in the New World, of course, they could and did.~ Gore Vidal (1925-10-03 2012-07-30 age:86)
NDEs (Near Death Experiences) Show Hell Is Transitory
Almost no one who has ever studied the NDE (Near Death Experience) comes away thinking that Hell is eternal.~ Dr. Ken Vincent
Nature Does Not Break the Laws of Nature
Nature never breaks her own laws.~ Leonardo da Vinci (1452-04-15 1519-05-02 age:67)
Greeks and the Problem of Evil
The ancient Greeks did not have to wrestle with the philosophical problem of the existence of evil. They did not claim their gods were good, just magnificent.~ Margaret Visser (1940-05-11 age:77)
You have to be raised with religion to find it natural.~ David Voas (1955 age:62)
I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous. And God granted it.~ Voltaire (1694-11-21 1778-05-30 age:83) [François Marie d’Arouet Voltaire]
Christianity: ridiculous, absurd, bloody
Christianity is the most ridiculous, the most absurd and bloody religion that has ever infected the world.~ Voltaire (1694-11-21 1778-05-30 age:83) [François Marie d’Arouet Voltaire]
Nos prê tres ne sont pas qu’un vain peuple pense; Notre crédulité fait tout leur science.~ Voltaire (1694-11-21 1778-05-30 age:83) [François Marie d’Arouet Voltaire]
Our priests are not what a silly populace supposes; all their learning consists in our credulity.
Freeing From Delusion
It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.~ Voltaire (1694-11-21 1778-05-30 age:83) [François Marie d’Arouet Voltaire]
God the Comedian
God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.~ Voltaire (1694-11-21 1778-05-30 age:83) [François Marie d’Arouet Voltaire]
Of all religions the Christian is without doubt the one which should inspire tolerance most, although up to now the Christians have been the most intolerant of all men.~ Voltaire (1694-11-21 1778-05-30 age:83) [François Marie d’Arouet Voltaire]
Reason and Common Sense are Incompatible with Religion
Nothing can be more contrary to religion and the clergy than reason and common sense.~ Voltaire (1694-11-21 1778-05-30 age:83) [François Marie d’Arouet Voltaire]
Scoundrel + Fool = Religion
Religion began when the first scoundrel met the first fool.~ Voltaire (1694-11-21 1778-05-30 age:83) [François Marie d’Arouet Voltaire]
Conquering the Universe
Just because some of us can read and write and do a little math, that doesn’t mean we deserve to conquer the Universe.~ Kurt Vonnegut (1922-11-11 2007-04-11 age:84)
Dead is Dead
When you’re dead you’re dead.~ Kurt Vonnegut (1922-11-11 2007-04-11 age:84)
We are here on Earth to fart around. Don’t let anybody tell you any different.~ Kurt Vonnegut (1922-11-11 2007-04-11 age:84)
Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand~ Kurt Vonnegut (1922-11-11 2007-04-11 age:84)
Unquestioning Faith is Terrifying
Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile!~ Kurt Vonnegut (1922-11-11 2007-04-11 age:84)
The deluding passions are inexhaustible.~ vow of the Bodhisattvas
I vow to extinguish them all.
Sentient beings are numberless.
I vow to save them all.
The truth is impossible to expound.
I vow to expound it.
The way of the Buddha is unattainable.
I vow to attain it.
Choosing a Religion
Did you actually choose among the religions, compare and examine the evidence for them or did your religion choose you [when you were too young to resist]?~ VoysovReason
Morality Predates Religion
We had morality long before the current religions came along.~ Frans de Waal (1948-10-29 age:69) primatologist
So morality must come from man, not from gods or religion.
On Ken Ham
We were worried about Bill Nye going up against a professional fraud like Ken Ham.~ James Kirk Wall
Abortion is Never Therapeutic
With modern technology and science, you can’t find one instance in which an abortion would be needed to save a woman’s life. There is no such exception as life of the mother and as far as health of the mother, same thing.~ Joe Walsh (1961-12-27 age:56) Tea Party Republican representative in Congress for Illinois
Joe has no medical training. How would he know this finding that apparently no doctors are aware of?
He [Allah] should demand praise and absolute worship from creatures He Himself has created? What can we say of the rather curious psychology of a Being who creates humans — or rather automata — some of whom are preprogrammed to grovel in the dirt five times a day in homage to Himself? This obsessive desire for praise is hardly a moral virtue and is certainly not worthy of a morally supreme Being.~ Ibn Warraq (1946 age:71)
George Washington On Religion
Of all the animosities which have existed among mankind, those which are caused by a difference of sentiments in religion appear to be the most inveterate and distressing, and ought to be deprecated. I was in hopes that the enlightened and liberal policy, which has marked the present age, would at least have reconciled Christians of every denomination so far that we should never again see the religious disputes carried to such a pitch as to endanger the peace of society.~ George Washington (1732-02-22 1799-12-14 age:67), first president of the United States, letter to Edward Newenham, 1792-10-20
I have an understanding of who and what I am, which is a part of the earth. So that’s what I identify with, is the planet as a whole.
We come out of the earth and go back into the earth. What gives me great joy is knowing that everything around; rivers, mountains… is a part of my body.
Almost all theological thought is anthropocentric and I just cannot buy into the anthropocentric ideology. Basically we’re a bunch of conceited apes.~ Captain Paul Watson (1950-12-02 age:67) environmentalist
Comprehensible Pointless Universe
The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless.~ Steven Weinberg (1933-05-03 age:84)
All logical arguments can be defeated by the simple refusal to reason logically.~ Steven Weinberg (1933-05-03 age:84) Physicist and Nobel Laureate
Maybe at the very bottom of it… I really don’t like God. You know, it’s silly to say I don’t like God because I don’t believe in God, but in the same sense that I don’t like Iago, or the Reverend Slope or any of the other villains of literature, the god of traditional Judaism and Christianity and Islam seems to me a terrible character. He’s a god who will… who obsessed the degree to which people worship him and anxious to punish with the most awful torments those who don’t worship him in the right way. Now I realise that many people don’t believe in that any more who call themselves Muslims or Jews or Christians, but that is the traditional God and he’s a terrible character. I don’t like him.~ Steven Weinberg (1933-05-03 age:84)
Evil in the Name of God
Many people do simply awful things out of sincere religious belief, not using religion as a cover the way that Saddam Hussein may have done, but really because they believe that this is what God wants them to do, going all the way back to Abraham being willing to sacrifice Isaac because God told him to do that. Putting God ahead of humanity is a terrible thing.~ Steven Weinberg (1933-05-03 age:84) Physicist and Nobel Laureate
Good People Doing Evil
Religion in an insult to human dignity. With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.~ Steven Weinberg (1933-05-03 age:84) Physicist and Nobel Laureate
If there is a God that has special plans for humans, then He has taken very great pains to hide His concern for us. To me it would seem impolite if not impious to bother such a God with our prayers.~ Steven Weinberg (1933-05-03 age:84) Physicist and Nobel Laureate
I Don’t Like God
Maybe at the very bottom of it… I really don’t like God. You know, it’s silly to say I don’t like God because I don’t believe in God, but in the same sense that I don’t like Iago, or the Reverend Slope or any of the other villains of literature, the god of traditional Judaism and Christianity and Islam seems to me a terrible character. He’s a god who will… who obsessed the degree to which people worship him and anxious to punish with the most awful torments those who don’t worship him in the right way. Now I realise that many people don’t believe in that any more who call themselves Muslims or Jews or Christians, but that is the traditional God and he’s a terrible character. I don’t like him.~ Steven Weinberg (1933-05-03 age:84) Physicist and Nobel Laureate
Possibility of No Religion
One of the great achievements of science has been, if not to make it impossible for intelligent people to be religious, then at least to make it possible for them not to be religious. We should not retreat from this accomplishment.~ Steven Weinberg (1933-05-03 age:84)
Purpose of Religion
In the ordinary moral universe, the good will do the best they can, the worst will do the worst they can, but if you want to make good people do wicked things no need religion.~ Steven Weinberg (1933-05-03 age:84) Physicist and Nobel Laureate
Religion = Insult
Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.~ Steven Weinberg (1933-05-03 age:84)
Religions Makes Good People Do Evil
Frederick Douglass told in his Narrative how his condition as a slave became worse when his master underwent a religious conversion that allowed him to justify slavery as the punishment of the children of Ham. Mark Twain described his mother as a genuinely good person, whose soft heart pitied even Satan, but who had no doubt about the legitimacy of slavery because in years of living in antebellum Missouri she had never heard any sermon opposing slavery, but only countless sermons preaching that slavery was God’s will. With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil — that takes religion.~ Steven Weinberg (1933-05-03 age:84) Physicist and Nobel Laureate
Religions Makes Good People Do Evil
It was one time when people thought the value of the fine structure constant was important. Now of course it’s still important, of course, as a practical matter,but we now know that the value it has is a function, that in any fundamental theory you derive the fine structure constant as a function of all sorts of mass ratios and so on and it’s not really that fundamental.~ Steven Weinberg (1933-05-03 age:84) Physicist and Nobel Laureate
In other words, the values comes out in the wash. It was not arbitrarily selected by some deity.
Christian Tidal Wave
Indeed Christianity passes. Passes — it has gone! It has littered the beaches of life with churches, cathedrals, shrines and crucifixes, prejudices and intolerances, like the sea urchin and starfish and empty shells and lumps of stinging jelly upon the sands here after a tide. A tidal wave out of Egypt. And it has left a multitude of little wriggling theologians and confessors and apologists hopping and burrowing in the warm nutritious sand. But in the hearts of living men, what remains of it now? Doubtful scraps of Arianism. Phrases. Sentiments. Habits.~ H. G. Wells (1866-09-21 1946-08-13 age:79) What Great Men Think of Religion
The Greatest Evil
I do not believe I have any immortality. The greatest evil in the world today is the Christian religion~ H. G. Wells (1866-09-21 1946-08-13 age:79)
Few people realise the immensity of vacancy in which the dust of the material universe swims.~ H. G. Wells (1866-09-21 1946-08-13 age:79)
Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo.~ H. G. Wells (1866-09-21 1946-08-13 age:79)
A priest is a man vowed, trained and consecrated, a man belonging to a special corps and necessarily with an intense esprit de corps. He has given up his life to his temple and his god. This is a very excellent thing for the internal vigour of his own priesthood, his own temple. He lives and dies for the honour of his particular god. But in the next town or village is another temple with another god. It is his constant preoccupation to keep his people from that god. Religious cults and priesthoods are sectarian by nature; they will convert, they will overcome, but they will never coalesce.~ H. G. Wells (1866-09-21 1946-08-13 age:79) Outline of History page 215
The Silly Story
I was indeed a prodigy of Early Impiety… There was a time when I believed in the story and the scheme of salvation, so far as I could understand it, just as there was a time when I believed there was a Devil… Suddenly the broke through to me and I knew this God was a lie… I sensed it was a silly story long before I dared to admit even to myself that it was a silly story. For indeed it is a silly story and each generation nowadays swallows it with greater difficulty… Why do people go on pretending about this Christianity?~ H. G. Wells (1866-09-21 1946-08-13 age:79) What Great Men Think of Religion
All men, however, highly educated, retain some superstitious inklings.~ H. G. Wells (1866-09-21 1946-08-13 age:79)
Yahweh the Merciful
Did you know, for example, that God:
- Forced friends and family to kill each other for dancing naked around Aaron’s golden calf.
- Burned Aaron’s sons to death for offering him strange fire.
- Burned complainers to death, forced the survivors to eat quail until it literally came out their noses, sent fiery serpents to bite people for complaining about the lack of food and water and killed 14,700 for complaining about his killings.
- Buried alive those that opposed Moses (along with their families).
- Burned 250 men to death for burning incense.
- Rewarded Phinehas for throwing a spear though the bellies of an inter-tribal couple while they were having sex.
- Ordered, assisted in, or approved of dozens of complete genocides.
- Accepted human sacrifice in the cases of Jephthah’s daughter and Saul’s seven sons.
- Helped Samson murder thirty men for their clothes, slaughter 1000 with the jawbone of an ass and kill 3000 civilians in a suicide terrorist attack.
- Smote the Philistines of several cities with hemorrhoids in their secret parts.
- Killed a man for trying to keep the ark of the covenant from falling and 50,070 for looking into the ark.
- Approved when David bought his first wife with 200 Philistine foreskins.
- Killed King Saul for not killing every Amalekite as he told him to do.
- Slowly killed a baby to punish King David for committing adultery.
- Killed 70,000 because David had a census that he (or Satan) told him to do.
- Sent a lion to kill a prophet for believing another prophet’s lie, another lion to kill a man for not smiting a prophet and some more lions to kill people that didn’t fear him enough.
- Killed 450 religious leaders who lost a prayer contest with Elijah and burned 102 men to death for asking Elijah to come down from his hill.
- Sent two bears to rip apart 42 boys for making fun of Elisha’s bald head.
- Killed 27,000 Syrians by having a wall fall on them, sent an angel to kill 185,000 sleeping soldiers, interfered in human battles to kill a half million Israelite and a million Ethiopian soldiers.
- Killed King Ahab for not killing a captured king and then sent King Jehu on a series of mass murders to kill all of Ahab’s family and friends who had ever pissed against a wall.
- Killed Jehoram by making his bowels fall out.
- Killed Job’s ten children in a bet with Satan.
- Killed Ezekiel’s wife and told him not to mourn her.
- Killed Ananias and Sapphira for not giving Peter all their money.
- Killed King Herod by feeding him to worms.
All of these killings and more, are found in the Bible and the God of the Bible is proud of each one.~ Steve Wells (1951-09-11 age:66) Drunk With Blood: God’s killings in the Bible
Origins of the Cannibalism Rituals
It is well known that the Athenians celebrated the allegorical giving of the flesh to eat of Ceres, the goddess of corn and in like manner the giving his blood to drink by Bacchus, the god of wine.~ Rev Dr. Richard B Westbrook 1890
I consider Christianity to be one of the great disasters of the human race… It would be impossible to imagine anything more unChristianlike than theology.~ Alfred North Whitehead (1861-02-15 1947-12-30 age:86)
Religion is the last refuge of human savagery.~ Alfred North Whitehead (1861-02-15 1947-12-30 age:86)
Literal Bible Adherence
As society is now constituted, a literal adherence to the moral precepts scattered throughout the Gospels would mean sudden death.~ Alfred North Whitehead (1861-02-15 1947-12-30 age:86)
Failure of Prayer
We see this every day:
People who pray die of diseases at exactly the same rate as people who don’t pray.
People who pray get divorced at exactly the same rate as people who don’t pray.
People who pray win the lottery at exactly the same rate as people who don’t pray.
We all know it. prayer does not have any effect on events.~ WhyWontGodHealAmputees.com (1928-08-07 age:89)
Prayer does have an effect except wasting time and procrastinating doing something that would be effective.
Why There is Something
The answer to the ancient question Why is there something rather than nothing would be that nothing is unstable.~ Frank Wilczek (1951-05-15 age:66) Nobel laureate physicist
Informally, something is more natural than nothing. The question presumes that nothing is easy and something is hard. It is the other way around. By analogy, it takes work to create a vacuum.
I don’t want to go to heaven. None of my friends are there.~ Oscar Wilde (1854-10-16 1900-11-30 age:46)
Impossible vs Improbable
Man can believe the impossible, but man can never believe the improbable.~ Oscar Wilde (1854-10-16 1900-11-30 age:46)
The Vatican Bank
Despite its claims otherwise, the Vatican Bank is not a branch of the State of Vatican City. (Stato della Citta del Vaticano). It exists as an entity unto itself without corporate or ecclesiastical ties to any other agency within the Holy See. It is under the direct supervision of the pope. He is the one and only stockholder. He owns it; he controls it.~ Paul L. Williams The Vatican Exposed: Money, Murder and the Mafia
All the religions are based on the concept of God as a senile delinquent.~ Tennessee Williams (1911-03-26 1983-02-25 age:71) 1774
Where God Is Not
God, if he exists, is not in Rwanda.~ witness woman who witnessed slaughter of a churchful of nuns in Rwanda. source
Death is a Non-experience
Death is not an experience in life; we do not live to experience death.~ Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-04-26 1951-04-29 age:62)
Head in the Sand
North Carolina recently passed legislation that makes it illegal to take scientific sea level projections into account when planning for coastal development.~ Chris Wodskou source: CBC News
It is typical of Christians to ignore bad news when it comes from science instead of from crackpots. If a major event was not prophesied in the bible, it is nothing to worry about. The way Christians look at it, if it will cause global havoc, either god will be its agent, or god will rescue us from it. In either case, there is nothing we need to do. That sort of thinking might lead a Christian in a sinking lifeboat to refuse to bail. This can lead fellow passengers to fantasise about throwing them overboard. Christianity is the major excuse for sloth.
There is zero evidence for god.~ Lewis Wolpert (1929-10-19 age:88)
I would teach the world that science is the best way to understand the world and that for any set of observations, there is only one correct explanation. Also, science is value-free, as it explains the world as it is. Ethical issues arise only when science is applied to technology — from medicine to industry.~ Lewis Wolpert (1929-10-19 age:88)
Homosexuality is far worse than slavery.~ A Christian Woman
This makes no sense. Slavery destroys the slave’s life. Homosexuality has no effect on anyone else’s life.
I Am Nothing Without God
I am nothing without god.~ Anonymous young woman
What does this young woman mean? I think she means she is incapable of making a decision without first consulting the bible. What she is effectively saying is I am nothing without sewer water. The bible is perhaps better than no guide at all, but it is not nearly as good as everyday non-religious morality, common sense right and wrong, which has kept up to date. She is using a moral guide, incomplete, barbaric and 3000 years out of date. If she followed it literally, she would be jailed in any country on earth.
Shove it up your ass.~ South Carolina woman on her deathbed to Christians trying to convert her.
Proof of No God
There is no proof that God, does not exist. If you can prove that God does not exist, please post your proof and I will read through it or watch it and if it is valid evidence I will take it as truth.~ Wondergoat
Why do you need mathematical proof rather than simply overwhelming evidence, especially when you have not a stick of evidence to support your god hypothesis? Surely the weight of evidence should prevail, as in a court room. Just as easily I could demand you prove that god exists. That would be equally unreasonable.
Then I take you think it impossible to prove to (in the sense of convince) a child that there are no monsters under the bed. I take it seeing no monster, seeing no evidence of monster activity, pointing out the complete lack of monster attacks on TV and in the newspapers is not sufficient. That alone such be sufficient to dispel fear of monsters or gods.
Properly speaking, proof is a term from the realm of mathematics. You don’t prove cows have four legs, you offer evidence they do. You can’t prove the sun will rise tomorrow either, though you can give ample evidence historical, astronomical and gravitational why it almost certainly will.
Your argument reminds me a bit of a child who says, I refuse to eat my peas until you prove they are good for me. It is just a way of discarding the parent’s rational arguments for eating the hated peas.
Geometry and algebra are about the only places in life where it makes sense to demand a proof. Only in that realm is truth so certain.
You set the bar preposterously high, higher than the level of certainty the sun will rise tomorrow because you are dishonest. You are just looking for an excuse to ignore the overwhelming evidence that you are peddling an idiotic notion for which there is no evidence and a filthy con.
God and Job
I read the book of Job last night, I don’t think God comes out well in it.~ Virginia Woolf (1882-01-25 1941-03-28 age:59)
Killing a Phantom
It is far more difficult to murder a phantom than a reality.~ Virginia Woolf (1882-01-25 1941-03-28 age:59)
A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything.~ Malcolm X (1925-05-19 1965-02-21 age:39)
The Black Hole of Christian Hell
One of the things that most pains and torments these Japanese is that we teach them that the prison of hell is irrevocably shut. For they grieve over the fate of their departed children, of their parents and relatives; and they often show their grief by their tears. So they ask us if there is any hope… and I am obliged to answer that there is absolutely none. The grief at this affects and torments them wonderfully; they almost pine away with sorrow… I can hardly restrain my tears sometimes at seeing many so dear to my heart suffer such intense pain about a thing which is already done with and can never be undone.~ Jesuit Saint Francis Xavier (1506-04-07 1552-12-03 age:46) a Roman Catholic missionary to Japan.
Gods in the Image of Man
If oxen and lions had hands and could paint with their hands and produce works of art, as men do, horses would paint the forms of the gods likes horses and oxen like oxen. Each would represent them with bodies according to the bodies of each. So the Ethiopians make their gods black and snub-nosed; the Thracians give theirs red hair and blue eyes.~ Xenophanes of Kolophon (570 BC 480 BC age:90)
The ancient Jews created for themselves a highly obnoxious god, Yahweh. Xenophanes’ observation implies they must have been a highly obnoxious people.
Ethiopians say the their gods are flat-nosed and dark, Thracians that theirs are blue-eyed and red-haired If oxen and horses and lions had hands and were able to draw with their hands and do the same things as men, horses would draw the shapes of gods to look like horses and oxen to look like oxen, and each would make the gods’ bodies have the same shape as they themselves had.~ Xenophanes (570 BC 475 BC age:95)
Brother XII’s Secret
Find people who want to give away their money, and take it from them.~ Brother XII (1878-07-25 1934-11-07 age:56)
Necessity of Eradicating Christianity
Civilization will not attain to its perfection until the last stone from the last church falls on the last priest.~ Émile Zola (1840-04-02 1902-09-29 age:62)
A growing body of social science research reveals that atheists and non-religious people in general, are far from the unsavory beings many assume them to be. On basic questions of morality and human decency — issues such as governmental use of torture, the death penalty, punitive hitting of children, racism, sexism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, environmental degradation or human rights — the irreligious tend to be more ethical than their religious peers, particularly compared with those who describe themselves as very religious.~ Gregory Paul and Phil Zuckerman (1954-12-24 age:63) The Washington Post
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