Edward Abbey (1927-1989)
Belief in the supernatural reflects a failure of the
The missionaries go forth to Christianize the savages--
as if the savages weren't dangerous enough already.
Fantastic doctrines (like Christianity or Islam or Marxism)
require unanimity of belief. One dissenter casts doubt on the creed of
millions. Thus the fear and hate; thus the torture chamber, the iron
stake, the gallows, the labor camp, the psychiatric ward.
Whatever we cannot easily understand we call God; this
saves much wear and tear on the brain tissues.
God is a sound people make when they're too tired to think
There has got to be a God; the world could not have become
so fucked up by chance alone.
J. R. Ackerley
I am halfway through Genesis, and quite appalled by the
disgraceful behavior of all the characters involved, including God.
John Adams ~ Second U.S. President, Founding
Father of the United States
Where do we find a precept in the Bible for Creeds, Confessions,
Doctrines and Oaths, and whole carloads of other trumpery that we find
religion encumbered with in these days?
The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity.
This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there
were no religion in it.
The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity.
Have you considered that system of holy lies and pious
frauds that has raged and triumphed for 1500 years.
The Government of the United States is in no sense founded
on the Christian religion.
Who does not see that the same authority which can establish
Christianity, in exclusion of all other Religions, may establish with the
same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other
Let the human mind loose. It must be loose. It will be
loose. Superstition and dogmatism cannot confine it.
But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales,
legends, have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that
have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed.
The question before the human race is, whether the God
of nature shall govern the world by his own laws, or whether priests and
kings shall rule it by fictitious miracles.
In no instance have the churches been guardians of the
liberties of the people.
As I understand the Christian religion, it was, and is,
a revelation. But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends,
have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made
them the most bloody religion that ever existed?
Phillip Adams ~ Australian atheistic
Marx was wrong. Religion is not the opiate of the people.
Opium suggests something soporific, numbing, dulling. Too often religion
has been an aphrodisiac for horror, a Benzedrine for bestiality. At its
best it has lifted spirits and raised spires. At its worst it has turned
entire civilizations into cemeteries.
Ask a deeply religious Christian if he’d rather live
next to a bearded Muslim that may or may not be plotting a terror attack,
or an atheist that may or may not show him how to set up a wireless network
in his house. On the scale of prejudice, atheists don’t seem so bad lately.
Alfonso X ~ (Alfonso the Wise ~ 1226-1284
~ King of Castile)
Had I been present at the creation of the world,
I would have proposed some improvements.
Sensible men no longer believe in miracles; they were
invented by priests to humbug the peasants.
Anthony W. Allsop
People will profess to believe the words of the bible,
but only the words they CHOOSE to believe. How hypercritical is that? That's
like playing a game to the rules but only to the rules one agrees with.
Ethan Allen (1738-1789)
In those parts of the world where learning and science
have prevailed, miracles have ceased; but in those parts of it as are barbarous
and ignorant, miracles are still in vogue.
I have generally been denominated a Deist, the reality
of which I never disputed, being conscious I am no Christian, except mere
infant baptism makes me one; and as to being a Deist, I know not strictly
speaking, whether I am one or not.
Abu Ala Al-Maarri (973-1058)
The world holds two classes of
men - intelligent men without religion, and religious men without intelligence.
Henri Frédéric Amiel
(1821-1881) ~ Swiss poet and philosopher
A belief is not true [simply] because it is useful.
The philosopher aspires to explain away all mysteries,
to dissolve them into light. Mystery, on the other hand, is demanded and
pursued by the religious instinct; mystery constitutes the essence of worship.
Since it is no longer permissible
to disparage any single faith or creed, let us start disparaging
all of them. To be clear: an ideology is a belief system with an inadequate
basis in reality; a religion is a belief system with no basis in
reality whatever. Religious belief is without reason and without dignity,
and its record is near-universally dreadful.
Anaxagorus ~ ca. 475 BC (500 BC
– 428 BC
Everything has a natural explanation.
The moon is not a god but a great rock and the sun a hot rock.
Susan B. Anthony (February
15, 1820 – March 13, 1906)
was born a heretic. I always distrust people who know so much about what
God wants them to do to their fellows.
To no form of religion is woman
indebted for one impulse of freedom...
I pray every single second of my
life; not on my knees but with my work. My prayer is to lift women to equality
with men. Work and worship are one with me. I know there is no God of the
universe made happy by my getting down on my knees and calling him "great."
I distrust those people who know
so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides
with their own desires.
The religious persecution of the
ages has been done under what was claimed to be the command of God.
William Archer (1856-1924)
~ Scottish playwright and drama critic
"Theocracy" has always been the
synonym for a bleak and narrow, if not a fierce and blood-stained, tyranny.
I suggest that the anthropomorphic god-idea is not a harmless
infirmity of human thought, but a very noxious fallacy, which is largely
responsible for the calamities the world is at present enduring.
448-380 BCE) ~ Athenian comic poet
Surely you don’t believe in the gods. What is your argument?
Where’s your proof?
Open your mouth and shut your eyes and see what Zeus will
Aristotle (ca. 384-322 BCE) ~ Greek
Prayers and sacrifices are of no avail.
Men create gods after their own image, not only with regard
to their form but with regard to their mode of life.
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain
a thought without accepting it.
A God who kept tinkering with the universe was absurd;
a God who interfered with human freedom and creativity was tyrant. If God
is seen as a self in a world of his own, an ego that relates to a thought,
a cause separate from its effect. he becomes a being, not Being itself.
An omnipotent, all?knowing tyrant is not so different from earthly dictators
who make everything and everybody mere cogs in the machine which they controlled.
An atheism that rejects such a God is amply justified.
Arnold 1822 - 1888
All the biblical miracles will
at last disappear with the progress of science.
Miracles are doomed; they will drop out like fairies and
witchcraft, from among the matter which serious people believe.
The freethinking of one age is the common sense of the
Justin Brooks Atkinson (1894-1984)
~ American journalist, drama critic
People everywhere enjoy believing things that they know
are not true. It spares them the ordeal of thinking for themselves and
taking responsibility for what they know.
In every age "the good old days" were a myth. No one ever
thought they were good at the time. For every age has consisted of crises
that seemed intolerable to the people who lived through them.
I have no objections to churches so long as they do not
interfere with God's work.
Sir David Attenborough
I don't know why we're here. People sometimes say to
me, "Why don't you admit that hte humming bird, the butterfly, the Bird
of Paradise are proof of the wonderful things produced by Creation? And
I always say, well, when you say that, you've also got to think of a little
boy sitting on a river bank, like here, in West Africa, that's got a little
worm, a living organism, in his eye and boring thorugh the eyeball, and
is slowly turning him blind. The Creator God that you believe in, presumably,
also made that little worm. Now I personally find that difficult to accommodate.
. . .
Sir Francis Bacon - English
Lawyer and Philosopher. 1561-1626
Man prefers to believe what he prefers to be true.
Atheism leaves a man to sense, to philosophy, to natural
piety, to laws, to reputation; all of which may be guides to an outward
moral virtue, even if religion vanished; but religious superstition dismounts
all these and erects an absolute monarchy in the minds of men.
God never wrought miracles to convince atheism, because
his ordinary works convince it.
Books must follow sciences, and not sciences books.
Creationists criticize evolutionists
for the demeaning idea of 'coming from apes' and say that man is
more noble than that, and then have sermons where man is called a
miserable worm worthy to be burned eternally in hell.
Robert A. Baker
What happens when the same number
of people pray for something as pray against it? How does God decide whose
prayer to answer?
Who are these gods that they should require their own
creatures to be ashamed of their bodies? The notion that the supposed creator
is offended by the natural beauty of his own creation is well nigh blasphemous.
Mikhail Bakunin (1814-1876) ~ Russian
anarchist and political theorist who opposed Karl Marx ~Church and State
For ten centuries Christianity, armed with the omnipotence
of the Church and State and opposed by no competition, was able to
deprave, debase, and falsify the mind of Europe. It had no
competitors, because outside the Church there was neither thinkers
nor educated persons. It along taught, it alone spoke and wrote,
it alone taught.
Christianity is the complete negation of common sense
and sound reason.
People go to church for the same reasons they go to a
tavern: to stupefy themselves, to forget their misery, to imagine
themselves, for a few minutes anyway, free and happy.
All religions, with their gods, demigods, prophets, messiahs
and saints, are the product of the fancy and credulity of men who have
not yet reached the full development and complete personality of their
If God really existed, it would be necessary to abolish
If the concept of God has any validity
or use, it can only be to make us larger, freer, and more loving. If God
cannot do this, then it is time we got rid of Him.
Perhaps the whole root of our trouble, the human trouble,
is that we will sacrifice all the beauty of our lives, will imprison ourselves
in totems, taboos, crosses, blood sacrifices, steeples, mosques, races,
armies, flags, nations, in order to deny the fact of death, which is the
only fact we have.
W P Ball ~ English writer
With one single exception, the parables attributed to
Jesus are thoroughly religious and decidedly inferior in their moral tone,
besides possessing minor faults. The God who is to be the object of our
adoration and imitation is depicted to us as a judge who will grant vengeance
in answer to incessant prayer, as a father who loves and honors the favorite
prodigal and neglects the faithful and obedient worker, as an employer
who pays no more for a life-time than for the nominal service of a death-bed
repentance, as an unreasonable master who reaps where he has not sown and
punishes men because he made them defective and gave them no instructions,
as a harsh despot who delivers disobedient servants to tormentors and massacres
those who object to his rule, as a judge who is merciful to harlots and
relentless towards unbelievers, as a petulant king who drives beggars and
outcasts into the heaven which is ignored by the wise and worthy, as a
ruler of the universe who freely permits his enemy the devil to sow evil
and then punishes his victims, as a God who plunges men in the flames of
hell and calmly philosophizes over the reward of the blest who from Abraham's
bosom behold the sight and are not permitted to bestow even so much as
a drop of cold water to cool the parched tongues of their fellow-creatures
amidst hopeless and unending agonies, in comparison with which all earthly
sufferings are but momentary dreams.
Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850)
~ French writer and a founder of the realist school of fiction
Thanks to the toleration preached by the encyclopedists
of the eighteenth century, the sorcerer is exempt from torture.
D D Bandiste (b. 1923) Indian
Many quarrels can be avoided if the wortd "God"
is not brought up in our work and deed.
The study made me realise that all religions are narrow,
false and out of date, too, and that the concept of god was a myth.
Iain M Banks
Reason shapes the future, but superstition
infects the present.
Barker (born June 25, 1949) ~ Losing Faith in Faith
Truth does not demand belief. Scientists
do not join hands every Sunday, singing, "yes, gravity is real! I will
have faith! I will be strong! I believe in my heart that what goes, up,
up, up must come down. . . . Amen!" If they did, we would think they
were pretty insecure about it.
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.
You believe in a book that has talking
animals, wizards, witches, demons, sticks turning into snakes, food
falling from the sky, people walking on water, and all sorts of magical,
absurd and primitive stories, and you say that we are the
ones that need help?
To think that the ruler of the universe
will run to my assistance and bend the laws of nature for me is the
height of arrogance.
You believe in a book that has talking
animals, wizards, witches, demons, sticks turning into snakes, food falling
from the sky, people walking on water, and all sorts of magical, absure
and primitive storeis, and you say that we are the ones that need?
The very concept of sin comes from
the bible. Christianity offers to solve a problem of its own making! Would
you be thankful to a person who cut you with a knife in order to sell you
You keep accusing me of blasphemy
all of the time, But I cannot be convicted of a victimless crime.
Freethinkers reject faith as a valid
tool of knowledge. Faith is the opposite of reason because reason imposes
very strict limits on what can be true, and faith has no limits at all.
A Great Escape into faith is no retreat to safety. It is nothing less than
How happy can you be when you think every action and thought
is being monitored by a judgmental ghost?
You can cite a hundred references to show that the biblical
God is a bloodthirsty tyrant, but if they can dig up two or three verses
that say "God is love," they will claim that you are taking things
out of context!
I do understand what love is, and that is one of the reasons
I can never again be a Christian. Love is not self denial. Love is
not blood and suffering. Love is not murdering your son to appease
your own vanity. Love is not hatred or wrath, consigning billions of people
to eternal torture because they have offended your ego or disobeyed your
rules. Love is not obedience, conformity, or submission. It is a counterfeit
love that is contingent upon authority, punishment, or reward. True
love is respect and admiration, compassion and kindness, freely given by
a healthy, unafraid human being.
I have something to say to the religionist who feels atheists
never say anything positive: You are an intelligent human being.
Your life is valuable for its own sake. You are not second-class
in the universe, deriving meaning and purpose from some other mind. You
are not inherently evil--you are inherently human, possessing the positive
rational potential to help make this a world of morality, peace and joy.
If the answers to prayer are merely what God wills all
along, then why pray?
The next time believers tell you that 'separation of church
and state' does not appear in our founding document, tell them to stop
using the word 'trinity.' The word 'trinity' appears nowhere in the bible.
Neither does Rapture, or Second Coming, or Original Sin. If they are still
unfazed (or unphrased) by this, then add Omniscience, Omnipresence, Supernatural,
Transcendence, Afterlife, Deity, Divinity, Theology, Monotheism, Missionary,
Immaculate Conception, Christmas, Christianity, Evangelical, Fundamentalist,
Methodist, Catholic, Pope, Cardinal, Catechism, Purgatory, Penance, Transubstantiation,
Excommunication, Dogma, Chastity, Unpardonable Sin, Infallibility, Inerrancy,
Incarnation, Epiphany, Sermon, Eucharist, the Lord's Prayer, Good Friday,
Doubting Thomas, Advent, Sunday School, Dead Sea, Golden Rule, Moral, Morality,
Ethics, Patriotism, Education, Atheism, Apostasy, Conservative (Liberal
is in), Capital Punishment, Monogamy, Abortion, Pornography, Homosexual,
Lesbian, Fairness, Logic, Republic, Democracy, Capitalism, Funeral, Decalogue,
If the Prodigal Son's a parable, and if Adam and Eve are
metaphors, then maybe God is just figure of speech.
Prayer never changes the laws of nature.
You'll never find a dead Christian
in a foxhole that didn't pray.
Mandating common worship is inappropriate for public
institutions made up of people from different world views and faith backgrounds.
It is also a misrepresentation of what worship actually is. Worship is
a freely offered act of faith arising from a believing community. It is
not something that can be imposed or required of everybody.
There is another book full of curses and demons and witches,
genocides and rapes and sodomy and murder and child abuse and slavery,
beheadings and crucifixtions and impalings and other executions and forms
of torture, plagues and floods and fires--you name some horrendous trauma
experienced by humans, and it's in there--and kids all over the world are
encouraged--yea, COMPELLED to read this book! It's title? "The Bible"
Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867)
God is the only being who does not have to exist in order
Pierre Bayle (1647-1706) ~ French
philosopher and critic
In matters of religion it is very easy to deceive a man,
and very hard to undeceive him.
There was no other God, religion, or lawful magistracy,
than conscience, which teaches all men the precepts of Justice, to do no
injury, to live honestly, and give everyone his due.
Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986) ~
French writer and political activist
I cannot be angry at God, in whom I do not believe.
Ferdinand August Bebel (1840-1913)
~ German socialist leader
When socialism comes into power, the Roman Church will
advocate socialism with the same vigor [with which] it is now favoring
feudalism and slavery.
John Beevers ~ Historian
I do not know that Christianity holds anything more of
importance for the world. It is finished, played out. The only trouble
lies in how to get rid of the body before it begins to smell too much.
A great deal of intelligence can
be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep.
Miracles happen to those who believe
in them. Otherwise why does not the Virgin Mary appear to Lamaists,
Mohammedans, or Hindus who have never heard of her.
A belief which leaves no place
for doubt is not a belief; it is a superstition.
Modern societies march towards
morality in proportion as they leave religion behind.
Annie Wood Besant (1847-1933) ~
[N]o philosophy, no religion, has ever brought so glad
a message to the world as this good news of Atheism.
Never yet has a God been defined in terms which were not
palpably self-contradictory and absurd; never yet has a God been described
so that a concept of Him was made possible to human thought.
For centuries the leaders of Christian thought spoke of
women as a necessary evil, and the greatest saints of the Church are those
who despise women the most.
Marie Henri Beyle (Stendhal)
All religions are founded on the
fear of the many and the cleverness of the few.
Bhagavad Gita ~ The
Lord's Song (250 B.C.-A.D. 250)
As a man can drink water from any
side of a full tank, so the skilled theologian can wrest from
any scripture that which will serve his purpose.
Franz Bibfeldt ~ German theologian
Any idiot can believe in Jesus H. Christ. To truly understand
all that confusion in the gospels takes a real contortionist scholar.
When you repeat the same thing over and over, Sunday after
Sunday, that makes people believe it whether it is true or not. It also
makes writing theology easy.
Any idiot can believe in Jesus H. Christ. To truly understand
all that confusion in the gospels takes a real contortionist scholar.
The real miracle in the virgin birth story is that Mary
got Joseph to believe it!
A belief in an afterlife has the
unavoidable effect of making this life less unique and precious. Good luck
finding an atheist willing to strap a bomb to his or her back, or fly a
plane into a building.
Arthur Morris Binstead (1846-1915)
~ Founder of The Pelican Club of Denman Street in London
The most serious doubt that has
been thrown on the authenticity of the biblical miracles is the fact that
most of the witnesses in regard to them were fishermen.
Gary L.A. Birge
I look at the atrocities of man,
and I think to myself: I hope there is a supreme being so I can sock him
in the face just before he judges me.
Richard Birnie (1808-1888)
~ British author
How large a share of vanity must spur the piety of the
missionary. There is something melodramatic in landing on some Fiji island,
in baptising, debauching and ultimately murdering the unsuspecting savage;
then in taking his land in the name of the Most High.
Justice Black ~ US Supreme Court
Justice, on the 1st Amendment
Its first and most immediate purpose
rested on the belief that a union of government and religion
tends to destroy government and degrade religion.
Harold J Blackham (1903-2009) Founder
of the British Humanist Association
Life is not presented by Humanism as something for our
judgment, something finished, take it or leave it. It is presented as raw
material for our creative use, a task for our responsible undertaking.
William Blackstone (1723-1780) ~
Treatise on English common law called Commentaries on the Laws of England
By marriage the husband and wife are one person in law,
that is, the very being or legal existence of the woman is suspended during
William Blake (1757-1827) ~ First
of the English Romantic poets
Those who restrain desire, do so because theirs is weak
enough to be restrained.
As the caterpillar chooses the fairest leaves to lay her
eggs on, so the priest lays his curse on the fairest joys.
Robert Blatchford ~God
and My Neighbor ~ 1903
Religions are not revealed: they
are evolved. If a religion were revealed by God, that religion
would be perfect in whole and in part, and would be as perfect at the first
moment of its revelation as after ten thousand years of practice.
There has never been a religion which fulfills those conditions.
The Christians were the first to
make the existence of Satan a dogma of the church. What is the use
in a Pope if there is no Devil?
There has never been a religion in the annals of the
world with such a bloody record as Christianity.
Religion is what keeps the poor
from murdering the rich.
All religions have been made by men.
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."
God fights on the side with the best artillery.
If I had to choose a religion, the sun as the universal
giver of life would be my god.
As for myself, I do not believe that such a person as
Jesus Christ ever existed; but as the people are inclined to superstition,
it is proper not to oppose them.
My fir conviction is that Jesus . . . was put to death
like any other fanatic who professed to be a prophet or a messiah; there
have been such persons at all times. . . . Besides, how could I accept
a religion which would damn Socrates and Plato?
A soul? Give my watch to a savage, and he will think it
has a soul.
Boniface VIII (1235?-1303) ~ Roman
Catholic Pope (1294-1303)
There is no more harm in adultery than in rubbing one's
Daniel J. Boorstin (1914 -
I have observed that the world has suffered far less
from ignorance than from pretensions to knowledge. It is not skeptics or
explorers but fanatics and ideologues who menace decency and progress.
No agnostic ever burned anyone at the stake or tortur.
Father Leo Booth
All women have been sexually abused by the Bible teachings,
and institutions set on its fundamentalist interpretations. There would
be no need for the women's movement if the church and Bible hadn't
Max Born (1882-1970) ~ German mathematician
Science is so greatly opposed to history and tradition
that it cannot be absorbed by our civilization.
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach
From ongoing violence in the name of Islam, which is
the most serious of all modern religious sins, to priestly pedophilia,
to the evangelical fixation on gay marriage to the near exclusion of everything
else, to Judaism’s impotence in purging materialism from its community,
mainstream religion is being discredited, becoming increasingly irrelevant
to the lives of modern men and women.
Charles Bradlaugh ~ A Plea for
Atheism ~ 1864
The atheist does not say "there is no God," but he says
"I know not what you mean by God; I am without idea of God; the word
'God' is to me a sound conveying no clear or distinct affirmation." ...
The Bible God I deny; the Christian God I disbelieve in; but I am not rash
enough to say there is no God as long as you tell me you are unprepared
to define God to me.
Atheists would teach men to be moral now, not because
God offers as an inducement reward by and by, but because in the
virtuous act itself immediate good is insured to the doer and the circle
No religion is suddenly rejected by any people; it is
rather gradually outgrown. None sees a religion die; dead religions are
like dead languages and obsolete customs: the decay is long and -- like
the glacier march -- is perceptible only to the careful watcher by comparisons
extending over long periods.
The only true immortality lies
in one's children.
Nathaniel Branden ~ The
Six Pillars of Self-Esteem ~ 1994
If, in any culture, children are taught: We are
all equally unworthy in the sight of God ~ You are born in sin and
are sinful by nature
If children are given a message that amounts to:
'Don't think, don't question, believe' ~ 'Who are you to place your
mind above that of the priest, the minister, the rabbi?'
If children are told: 'If you have value it is
not because of anything you have done or could ever do, it is only
because God loves you' ~ 'Submission to what you cannot understand
is the beginning of morality'
If children are instructed: 'Do not be "willful",
self-assertiveness is the sin of pride' ~ 'Never
think that you belong to yourself'
If children are informed, 'In any clash between
your judgement and that of your religious authorities, it is your
authorities you must believe' ~ 'Self-sacrifice is the foremost
virtue and the noblest duty'
Then consider what will be the likely consequences
for the practice of living consciously, or the practice of self-assertiveness,
or any of the other pillars of healthy self-esteem.
Anyone who engages in the practice of psychotherapy confronts
every day the devastation wrought by the teachings of religion.
It is a curious paradox of human history that a doctrine
that tells human beings to regard themselves as sacrificial animals has
been accepted as a doctrine representing benevolence and love for mankind.
James Henry Breasted (1865-1935)
~ American archaeologist
It is important to bear in mind the now commonly
accepted fact that in its primitive stages, religion had nothing to do
with morals as understood by us today.
Man arose to high moral vision two thousand years before
the Hebrew nation was born.
~ The Necessity of Atheism
To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure;
to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy.
If the Bible is mistaken in telling
us where we came from, how can we trust it to tell us where we're going?
Thomas Browne (1605-1682) ~ British
physician and writer
As for those wingy mysteries in divinity, and airy subtleties
in religion, which have unhinged the brains of better heads, they never
stretched the pia mater of mine; methinks there be not impossibilities
enough in Religion for an active faith.
Robert Browning (1812-1889) ~ British
Who knows most, doubts most.
Mothers, wives and maids, These be the tools with which
priests manage men.
I have seldom met an intelligent
person whose views were not narrowed and distorted by religion.
Pearl S. Buck
Believing in gods always causes confusion.
When men destroy their old gods they will find new ones
to take their place.
I feel no need for any other faith than my faith in the
kindness of human beings. I am so absorbed in the wonder of earth and the
life upon it that I cannot think of heaven and angels.
Doubt everything. Find your own
Chaz Bufe ~ The American
Agnostic, n. A person who feels
superior to atheists by merit of his ignorance of the rules of logic
J.S. Bullion, Jr.
Armies of Bible scholars and theologians have for centuries
found respected employment devising artful explanations of the Bible often
not really meaning what it says.
Luther Burbank (1849-1926)
Do not feed children on maudlin sentimentalism or dogmatic
religion; give them nature... Do not terrify them in early life with the
fear of an after- world. Never was a child made more noble and good
by the fear of a hell.
The idea that a good God would send people to a burning
hell is utterly damnable to me the ravings of insanity, superstition gone
to seed! I want no part of such a God.
The time has come for honest men to denounce false teachers
and attack false gods.
As a scientist, I cannot help feeling that all religions
are on a tottering foundation.... I am an infidel today. I do not believe
what has been served for me to believe. I am a doubter, a questioner, a
skeptic. When it can be proved to me that there is immortality, that there
is resurrection beyond the gates of death, then I will believe. Until then,
Most people's religion is what they would like to believe,
not what they do believe. And very few of them stop to examine its foundations.
Shaken by the Scopes "monkey" trial, Burbank wrote, "And
to think of this great country in danger of being dominated by people ignorant
enough to take a few ancient Babylonian legends as the canons of modern
culture. Our scientific men are paying for their failure to speak out earlier.
There is no use now talking evolution to these people. Their ears are stuffed
All human life is here, but the
Holy Ghost seems to be somewhere else.
All religions are auld wives' fables,
but an honest man has nothing to fear, either in this world or the world
Science has done more for the development
of western civilization in one hundred years than Christianity did in eighteen
Science has done more for the development
of western civilization in one hundred years than Christianity did in eighteen
Every day is a Sabbath to me. All pure water is holy water,
and this earth is a celestial abode.
When I look up into the starry heavens at night and reflect
upon what it is I really see there, I am constrained to say, 'there
is no god'.
Man is, and always has been, a maker of gods. It has been
the most serious and significant occupation of his sojourn in the world.
Sir Richard Burton
The more I study religions, the
more I am convinced that man never worshipped anything but himself.
One religion is as true as another.
George W Bush (2001-2009)
~ The 43rd President of the United States
We all know that men and women can be good without faith.
And we also know that faith is an incredibly important source of goodness
in our country.
Americans practice different faiths in churches, synagogues,
mosques and temples. And many good people practice no faith at all.
Laura Bush ~ American First Lady
And we're a country of many, many faiths. And we're a
very diverse country. And now, since September 11, I think people realize
that more than maybe they did before that. And that's certainly one of
the most precious things about our country.
Samuel Butler (1835-1902)
~ English author
Prayers are to men as dolls are
to children. They are not without use and comfort, but it is not easy to
take them seriously.
An honest God's the noblest work of man. -- Spoofing
Alexander Pope's remark:"An honest man's the noblest work of God"
A clergyman can hardly ever allow himself to look facts
fairly in the face. It is his profession to support one side; it is impossible,
therefore, for him to make an unbiased examination of the other.
~ “The seventeenth century poet-laureate of freedom”
Monarchies may take God's name,
but Democracies are Atheistic in their very frame.
Of religion I know nothing -- at
least, in its favor.
All are inclined to believe what
they covet, from a lottery-ticket up to a passport to Paradise.
Elizabeth Cady-Stanton ~ American
The memory of my own suffering has prevented me from
ever shadowing one young soul with the superstitions of the Christian religion.
The Bible and the Church have been the greatest stumbling
blocks in the way of women's emancipation.
The bible teaches that woman brought sin and death into
the world, that she precipitated the fall of the race, that she was arraigned
before the judgment seat of Heaven, tried, condemned and sentenced. Marriage
for her was to be a condition of bondage, maternity a period of suffering
and anguish, and in silence and subjection, she was to play the role of
a dependent on man's bounty for all her material wants, and for all the
information she might desire...Here is the Bible position of woman briefly
I found nothing grand in the history of the Jews nor in
the morals inculcated in the Pentateuch. Surely the writers had a very
low idea of the nature of their god. They made him not only anthropomorphic,
but of the very lowest type, jealous and revengeful, loving violence rather
than mercy. I know of no other books that so fully teach the subjection
and degradation of women." [Women Without Superstition]
Gregory Wallace Campbell
It is extremely naive to think that mankind is capable
of sinning against god. If god exists as a being who watches us, judges
us, and cannot be contradicted, then how could anyone possibly contradict
laws of conduct set forth by that being?
~ American mythologist (1904-1987)
. . . god is a metaphor for that
which trancends all levels of intellectual thought. It's as simple as that.
The night of December 25, to which
date the Nativity of Christ was ultimately assigned, was exactly
that of the birth of the Persian savior Mithra, who, as an incarnation
of eternal light, was born the night of the winter solstice (then dated
December 25) at midnight, the instant of the turn of the year from increasing
darkness to light.
Too many of our best scholars, themselves
indoctrinated from infancy in a religion of one kind or another based upon
the Bible, are so locked into the idea of their own god as a supernatural
fact - something final, not symbolic of transcendence, but a personage
with a character and will of his own - that they are unable to grasp the
idea of a worship that is not of the symbol but of its reference, which
is of a mystery of much greater age and of more immediate inward reality
than the name-and-form of any historical ethinic idea of a deity, whatsoever
. . . and is of a sophistication that makes the sentimentalism of our popular
Bible-story theology seem undeveloped.
What gods are there, what gods have
there ever been, that were not from man's imagination?
Mythology is what we call someone else's religion.
Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)
~ Scottish historian, essayist, critic, and sociological writer
God does nothing.
If Jesus Christ were to come today, people would not even
crucify him. They would ask him to dinner, and hear what he had to say,
and make fun of him.
Just in the ratio that knowledge
increses, faith diminishes.
Andrew Carnegie ~ Scottish-born American
industrialist and philanthropist
I don’t believe in God. My god
is patriotism. Teach a man to be a good citizen and you have solved the
problem of life.
Jimmy Carter ~ U.S.
I'm not in favor of the government
mandating a prayer in school because our country was founded
on the fact that no particular religious faith would have ascendance
over or preferential treatment over any other.
I have looked on a lot of women with lust. I've committed
adultery in my heart many times. God recognizes I will do this and forgives
The government ought to stay out of the prayer business.
Aulus Cornelius Celsus (CE First
Century) ~ Roman writer who wrote an encyclopædia
Before accepting any belief one ought to follow reason
as a guide, for credulity without enquiry is a sure way to deceive oneself.
Lydia Maria Child (1802-1880)
~ Abolitionist, Author
Even if nothing worse than wasted mental effort could
be laid to the charge of theology, that alone ought to be sufficient to
banish it from the earth, as one of the worst enemies of mankind.
Noam Chomsky (b. 1928) ~ American
linguist, social commentator
The figures are shocking. Three quarters of the American
population literally believe in religious miracles. The numbers who believe
in the devil, in resurrection, in God doing this and that -- it's astonishing.
These numbers aren't duplicated anywhere else in the industrial world.
You'd have to maybe go to mosques in Iran or do a poll among old ladies
in Sicily to get numbers like this. Yet this is the American population.
(1874-1965) ~ British statesman
A fanatic is one who can't change
his mind and won't change the subject.
Everyone is in favor of free speech. Hardly a day passes
without its being extolled, but some people's idea of it is that they are
free to say what they like, but if anyone else says anything back, that
is an outrage.
Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities. Thousands
become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen; all know how to die;
but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those
who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. ~ "The
River Wars" 1899
Arthur C. Clark
Science can destroy religion by
ignoring it as well as by disproving its tenets. No one ever demonstrated,
so far as I am aware, the non-existence of Zeus or Thor – but they have
few followers now.
In my opinion, science is the enemy
of religious beliefs and vice-versa. As science discovers more answers
about the history of mankind and prove more theories about life and our
wonderful, but yet mysterious planet, the less mankind will need deities.
No person can disprove the existence
of deities, but neither can anyone disprove the existence of unicorns.
I find it ridiculous that some demand an atheist to prove the non-existence
A faith that cannot survive collision
with the truth is not worth many regrets.
One of the great tragedies of mankind is that morality
has been hijacked by religion.
Derek W. Clayton
If only more Christians read their bibles there'd be
Stephen Grover Cleveland (1837-1908)
~ The 22nd and 24th President of the United States
I know that human prejudice -- especially that growing
out of race and religion -- is cruelly inveterate and lasting.
Politics is not religion and we
should govern on the basis of evidence, not theology.
We have the most religious freedom of any country in the
world, including the freedom not to believe.
In every religion, there are those
who would drape themselves in the mantle of belief and faith only to distort
its most sacred teachings -- preaching intolerance and resorting to violence.
Mystery has its own mysteries,
and ther are gods above gods. We have ours, they have theirs. That is what's
known as infinity.
Man seeks to escape himself in myth, and does so by any
means at his disposal. drugs, alcohol, or lies. Unable to withdraw into
himself, he disguises himself. Lies and inaccuracy give him a few moments
Gods are fragile things; they may
be killed by a whiff of science or a dose of common sense.
If religion cannot restrain evil,
it cannot claim effective power for good.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge 1772-1834
To doubt has more of faith ...
than that blank negation of all such thoughts and feelings which
is the lot of the herd of church-and-meeting trotters.
He who begins by loving Christianity better than truth,
will proceed by loving his own sect or church better than Christianity,
and end in loving himself better than all.
Have you ever wondered why God waited thousands of years,
from Adam to Jesus, to tell the world he had a son? He, who begins
by loving Christianity more than truth, will proceed by loving his sect
or church better than Christianity, and end in loving himself better than
Collier (1884-1968) ~ American sociologist and public official
who worked to preserve Native American territories and cultures
I've steered clear of God. He was an incredible sadist.
551 BC - 479 BC
Surely it is the maxim of loving-kindness: Do not unto
others that you would not have them do unto you.
To give oneself ernestly to securing righteousness and
justice among the people, and while respecting the gods and demons, to
keep aloof from them, that may be called wisdom.
Joseph Conrad 1857-1924
The belief in a supernatural source
of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.
Skepticism... is the agent of truth.
David J. Constable
Fundamentalism, of any type, due
to its prerequisite lack of intelligent thought, could prove to be the
worst weapon of mass destruction, of all.
Nathan A. Creel
If God`s plan incorporates all
of his knowledge, then how do we have free will? God is a bigot.
One of the most frightening things
in the Western world, and in this country in particular, is the number
of people who believe in things that are scientifically false. If someone
tells me that the earth is less than 10,000 years old, in my opinion he
should see a psychiatrist.
If revealed religions have revealed anything it is that
they are usually wrong.
When I told the people of Northern Ireland that I was
an atheist, a woman in the audience stood up and said, "Yes, but is it
the God of the Catholics or the God of the Protestants in whom you don't
The absolute nothingness of death is a blessing. Something
to look forward to.
Keep your faith in God, but keep your powder dry.
Aleister Crowley (1875–1947) ~ British
The Gods are but names for the forces of Nature themselves.
If one were to take the Bible seriously one would go mad.
But to take the Bible seriously, one must be already mad.
If the theists all shut up, the gods would be speechless.
To date, despite the efforts of
millions of true believers to support this myth, there is no more evidence
for the Judeo-Christian god than any of the gods on Mount Olympus.
Ironically, the pope's opposition to contraceptives results
in hundreds of thousands of abortions, most in illegal and unsafe conditions
that threaten women's lives. Due primarily to the lack of readily available
contraception, 55 million abortions are performed in the world annually.
Worldwide, 182,000 women die each year from dangerous abortions. In the
United States, where . . . women's right to abortion has been recognized
since 1973 (over the Church's strenuous opposition), the death rate for
women who obtain abortions has dropped almost 90%. So by opposing contraceptives
and legalized abortion, the pope is in effect sentencing many women to
You make money promoting religion; you only spend money
I don't believe in God because
I don't believe in Mother Goose.
Many Christians base the belief
of a soul and God upon the Bible. Strictly speaking, there is no
such book. To make the Bible, sixty-six books are bound into one
volume. These books are written by many people at different times,
and no one knows the time or the identity of any author. Some of
the books were written by several authors at various times. These
books contain all sorts of contradictory concepts of life and morals and
the origin of things. Between the first and the last nearly a thousand
years intervened, a longer time than has passed since the discovery of
America by Columbus.
The best that we can do is to be
kindly and helpful toward our friends and fellow passengers who are clinging
to the same speck of dirt while we are drifting side by side to our common
...finally men were saved only through
God's son dying for them, and that unless human beings believed this silly,
impossible and wicked story they were doomed to hell? Can anyone with intelligence
really believe that a child born today should be doomed because the snake
tempted Eve and Eve tempted Adam? To believe that is not God-worship; it
I say that religion is the belief
in future life and in God. I don't believe in either.
The fear of God is not the beginning
of wisdom. The fear of God is the death of wisdom. Skepticism
and doubt lead to study and investigation, and investigation is the beginning
of wisdom. The modern world is the child of doubt and inquiry, as
the ancient world was the child of fear and faith.
Agnostic: One who does not pretend
to know what many ignorant men are sure of.
Just think of the tragedy of teaching
children not to doubt!
In spite of all the yearnings of men, no one can produce
a single fact or reason to support the belief in God and in personal immortality.
The mystery of the beginning of all things is insoluble
by us, and I for one must be content to remain an agnostic.
I have at least, as I hope, done good service in aiding
to overthrow the dogma of separate creations.
It is not the strongest of the species that survives,
not the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.
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, Autobiography
Fanaticism is overcompensation for doubt.
Evolutionary Biologist (Oxford
Dawkins Quotes Pages
fact of your own existence is the most astonishing fact you'll ever have
to confront, don't dare ever see your life as boring, monotonous or joyless.
Faith is the great cop-out, the
great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is
belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence.
We are all atheists about most of
the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god
Nearly all peoples have developed
their own creation myth, and the Genesis story is just the one that happened
to have been adopted by one particular tribe of Middle Eastern herders.
It has no more special status than the belief of a particular West African
tribe that the world was created from the excrement of ants. [The Blind
Watchmaker, Oxford University Press (1988), p316]
I am against religion because it
teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world
You cannot be both sane and well
educated and disbelieve in evolution. The evidence is so strong that any
sane, educated person has got to believe in evolution.
The theory of evolution by cumulative
natural selection is the only theory we know of that is in principle
capable of explaining the existence of organized complexity.
Scientific beliefs are supported
by evidence, and they get results. Myths and faiths are not and do
Society bends over backward to be
accommodating to religious sensibilities but not to other kinds of sensibilities.
If I say something offensive to religious people, I'll be universally censured,
including by many atheists.
After my Christmas Lectures I received letters from the
pious saying that they would have no objection if only I had qualified
my remarks by saying: 'But I should warn you that many well-informed people
think differently . . .' When did you last hear a priest-in the pulpit,
on radio, on television, in infants' Sunday School-qualify his statement
with 'But I should warn you that many well-informed people don't think
God exists at all . . . ?'
IDEAS PRESENTED IN DAWKINS' CURRENT BESTSELLER: THE
GOD DELUSION (Amazon.ca Review)
Many of us saw religion [before 9/11] as harmless nonsense.
Beliefs might lack all supporting evidence but, we thought, if people needed
a crutch for consolation, where's the harm? September 11th changed all
that. Revealed faith is not harmless nonsense, it can be lethally dangerous
nonsense. Dangerous because it gives people unshakeable confidence in their
own righteousness. Dangerous because it gives them false courage to kill
themselves, which automatically removes normal barriers to killing others.
Dangerous because it teaches enmity to others labelled only by a difference
of inherited tradition. And dangerous because we have all bought into a
weird respect, which uniquely protects religion from normal criticism.
Let's now stop being so damned respectful!
The Founding Fathers of the United States of America were
mostly atheists and deists, not theists, not Christians.
Agnosticism is too polite for its own good.
Science and religion do not complement each other: they conflict.
Being nice to fundamentalists will not result in any good.
The arguments for God's existence are all bogus.
If everything was designed, who designed the Designer?
Evolution primed our psychology for superstition and religion,
and then the catchiest ideas, however crazy they are, keep spreading and
Our sense of morality definitely does not come from religion,
but is also the product of our evolution.
The Bible is mostly a weird, sick, immoral book.
Religion (well, maybe not the Buddhistic sort) is bad, bad,
bad: for peace, for love, for the reduction of suffering in the world,
for the protection of the environment, for you-name-it.
"Moderates" refuse to reject nonsensical and violent "holy"
books and so allow fundamentalism to keep growing.
Religious education for children is a form of child abuse
if it teaches them not to think, not to doubt, not to question.
Children should not be coined with religious tags: they're
not cattle, and they can't choose their beliefs.
God may be a kind of imaginary friend for consolation, but
the consolation is meagre.
There are many many sources of inspiration in life, and they
don't have to be religious at all.
Our senses are very limited, and the Universe seems to work
in some very counter-intuitive ways, so we have to think and doubt if we
wish to understand.
This is one of the hardest lessons for humans to learn.
We cannot admit that things might be neither good nor evil, neither cruel
nor kind, but simply callous - indifferent to all suffering, lacking all
Be thankful that you have a life, and forsake your vain
and presumptuous desire for a second one.
The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant
character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving
control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic,
homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal,
sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.
The universe we observe has precisely the properties we
should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and
no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference.
Religious faith not only lacks evidence, its independence
from evidence is its pride and joy, shouted from the rooftops.
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?
There is no reason for believing that any sort of gods
exist, and quite good reasons for believing that they do not exist and
never have. It has all been a gigantic waste of time and a waste
of life. It would be a joke of cosmic proportions if it weren't so tragic.
Certainly I see the scientific view of the world as incompatible
with religion, but that is not what is interesting about it. It is also
incompatible with magic, but that also is not worth stressing. What is
interesting about the scientific world view is that it is true, inspiring,
remarkable and that it unites a whole lot of phenomena under a single heading.
Blind faith can justify anything. In a man believes in
a different god, or even if he uses a different ritual for worshipping
the same god, blind faith can decree that he should die - on the cross,
at the stake, skewered on a Crusader's sword, shot in a Beirut street,
or blown up in a bar in Belfast. Memes for blind faith have their own ruthless
ways of propagating themselves. This is true of patriotic and political
as well as religious blind faith.
The enlightenment is under threat. So is reason. So is
truth. So is science, especially in the schools of America. I am one of
those scientists who feels that it is no longer enough just to get on and
do science. We have to devote a significant proportion of our time and
resources to defending it from deliberate attack from organized ignorance.
We even have to go out on the attack ourselves, for the sake of reason
and sanity. But it must be a positive attack, for science and reason have
so much to give. They are not just useful, they enrich our lives in the
same kind of way as the arts do. Promoting science as poetry was one of
the things that Carl Sagan did so well, and I aspire to continue his tradition.
The trouble is that God in this sophisticated, physicist's
sense bears no resemblance to the God of the Bible or any other religion.
If a physicist says God is another name for Planck's constant, or God is
a superstring, we should take it as a picturesque metaphorical way of saying
that the nature of superstrings or the value of Planck's constant is a
profound mystery. It has obviously not the smallest connection with a being
capable of forgiving sins, a being who might listen to prayers, who cares
about whether or not the Sabbath begins at 5pm or 6pm, whether you wear
a veil or have a bit of arm showing; and no connection whatever with a
being capable of imposing a death penalty on his son to expiate the sins
of the world before and after he was born.
Out of all of the sects in the world, we notice an uncanny
coincidence: the overwhelming majority just happen to choose the one that
their parents belong to. Not the sect that has the best evidence in its
favour, the best miracles, the best moral code, the best cathedral, the
best stained glass, the best music: when it comes to choosing from the
smorgasbord of available religions, their potential virtues seem to count
for nothing, compared to the matter of heredity. This is an unmistakable
fact; nobody could seriously deny it. Yet people with full knowledge of
the arbitrary nature of this heredity, somehow manage to go on believing
in their religion, often with such fanaticism that they are prepared to
murder people who follow a different one.
It is not particularly remarkable that a mountebank like
Oral Roberts should succeed in conning his followers out of their money.
As P T Barnum observed, there’s a sucker born every minute. If people are
that stupid and choose to hand over their money to an obvious fake, that
is their privilege. What should concern the rest of us is that the scams
pulled off by well-heeled charlatans like Roberts are tax free. ~ On
the death of faith-biased con artist and anti-gay bigot Oral Roberts
We know what caused the 2010 catastrophe in Haiti. It
was the bumping and grinding of the Caribbean Plate rubbing up against
the North American Plate: a force of nature, sin-free and indifferent to
sin, un-premeditated, unmotivated, supremely unconcerned with human affairs
or human misery. The religious mind, however, restlessly seeks human meaning
in the blind happenings of nature. As with the Indonesian tsunami, which
was blamed on loose sexual morals in tourist bars; as with Hurricane Katrina,
which was attributed to divine revenge on the entire city of New Orleans
for harboring a lesbian comedian, and as with other disasters going back
to the famous Lisbon earthquake and beyond, so Haiti's tragedy must be
payback for human sin. The Rev. Pat Robertson sees the hand of God in the
earthquake, wreaking terrible retribution for a pact that the long-dead
ancestors of today's Haitians made with the devil, to help rid them of
their French masters. Needless to say, milder-mannered faith-heads are
falling over themselves to disown Pat Robertson, just as they disowned
those other pastors, evangelists, missionaries and mullahs at the time
of the earlier disasters. What hypocrisy.
No, Pope Ratzinger should not resign. He should remain
in charge of the whole rotten edifice – the whole profiteering, woman-fearing,
guilt-gorging, truth-hating, child-raping institution – while it tumbles,
amid a stench of incense and a rain of tourist-kitsch sacred hearts and
preposterously crowned virgins, about his ears.
Atheism is a religion in the same way as not collecting
stamps is a hobby.
Edward De Bono
A myth is a fixed way of looking
at the world which cannot be destroyed because, looked at through the myth,
all evidence supports the myth.
Daniel Defoe (1660-1731) ~ British
And of all the plagues with which mankind are cursed,
Ecclesiastic tyranny's the worst.
Edmond de Goncourt
If there is a God, atheism must
seem to Him as less of an insult than religion.
Democritus (460-370 BC)
Nothing exists except atoms and
empty space; everything else is opinion.
If religion isn't the greatest
threat to rationality and scientific progress, what is?
I think that there are no forces on this planet more dangerous
to us all than the fanaticisms of fundamentalism, of all the species: Protestantism,
Catholicism, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism, as well as countless
smaller infections. Is there a conflict between science and religion here?
There most certainly is.
The kindly God who lovingly fashioned each and every one
of us and sprinkled the sky with shining stars for our delight -- that
God is, like Santa Claus, a myth of childhood, not anything [that] a sane,
undeluded adult could literally believe in. That God must either be turned
into a symbol for something less concrete or abandoned altogether.
All religions are ancient monuments
to superstition, ignorance, ferocity; and modern religions are only ancient
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 by 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.
If we go back to the beginning, we shall find that ignorance
and fear created the gods; that fancy, enthusiasm, or deceit adorned them;
that weakness worships them; that credulity preserves them and that custom,
respect and tyranny support them in order to make the blindness of men
serve their own interests. If the ignorance of nature gave birth to gods,
the knowledge of nature is calculated to destroy them.
Charles John Huffam Dickens (1812-1870)
~ British novelist
Missionaries are perfect nuisances and leave every place
worse than they found it.
~ French philosopher, author, and encyclopedist (1713-1784)
Man will never be free until the
last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.
The philosopher has never killed any priests, whereas
the priest hs killed a great many philosophers.
The man who first pronounced the barbarous word God ought
to have been immediately destroyed.
The Christian religion: the most absurd in its dogmas,
the most unintelligible, the most insipid, the most gloomy, the most Gothic,
the most puerile.
It is very important not to mistake hemlock for parsly,
but to believe or not believe in God is not important at all.
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.
If you want me to believe in God, you must make me touch
I read about an Eskimo hunter who
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 Eskimo, "did you tell me?"
Where knowledge ends, religion
Dix (1901-1952) ~ British Benedictine monk
It is no accident that the symbol of a bishop is a crook,
and the sign of an archbishop is a double-cross.
~ Blind Faith
To create a world in which reason
is suspect, religious faith is a virtue, and doubt is regarded as
sin, is to sanctify ignorance.
Marjory Stoneham Douglas
(b. 1890) American conservationist
Life should be lived so vividly
and so intensely that thoughts of another life, or of a longer life, are
Frederick Douglass ~ escaped slave
I prayed for twenty years but received
no answer until I prayed with my legs.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle ~ British
It isn't true that the laws of
nature have been capriciously disturbed; that snakes have talked; that
women have been turned into salt; that rods have brought water out of rocks.
Dogmas of every kind put assertion
in the place of reason and give rise to more contention, bitterness, and
want of charity than any other influence in human affairs.
John William Draper 1811-1882
The history of science is not a
mere record of isolated discoveries; it is a narrative of the conflict
of two contending powers, the expansive force of the human intellect on
the one hand, and the compression arising from traditionary faith, and
human interest on the other.
How can the Church be received as a trustworthy guide
in the invisible, which falls into so many errors in the visible?
The universe is only a vast automatic engine. The vital
force which pervades the world is what the illiterate call God.
William Drummond (1585-1649) ~ Scottish
He who will not reason, is a bigot; He who cannot, is
a fool; And he who dares not, is a slave.
Ann Druyan ~ Carl
Sagan's wife and collaborator
The roots of this antagonism to
science run very deep. We see them in Genesis. . . in which the first humans
are doomed and cursed eternally for asking a question, for partaking of
the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. [Eden] is more like a maximum-security
prison with twenty-four hour surveillance. It's a horrible place.
There was no deathbed conversion.
No appeals to God, no hope for an afterlife, no pretending that
he and I, who had been inseparably for twenty years, were not saying goodbye
forever.. . . Carl never wanted to believe. He wanted to KNOW.
If God were suddenly condemned
to live the life which He has inflicted upon men, He would kill Himself.