Bill Hillman Presents
.A - D


Edward Abbey (1927-1989) 
Belief in the supernatural reflects a failure of the imagination. 

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 anymore.

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 Sects?

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 activist
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.
Scott Adams

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.

Martin Amis  (b.1949-)
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)
I 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.

Aristophanes (ca. 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 send you.

Aristotle (ca. 384-322 BCE) ~ Greek philosopher 
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.

Karen Armstrong
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.

Matthew 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 next.

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.

William Bagley
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?
Joan Bakewell

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 intellectual powers.

If God really existed, it would be necessary to abolish him.

James Baldwin
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 rationalist

 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.

Dan 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 a bandage?

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 surrender. 

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. Trust yourself.

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, or Bible.

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.

Darrell Barker
You'll never find a dead Christian in a foxhole that didn't pray. 
Simon Barrow

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.
Lane Batot

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 to reign.
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.
Saul Bellow

A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep.

Bernard Berenson (1865-1959)
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.
José Bergamín

A belief which leaves no place for doubt is not a belief; it is a superstition.
Paul Bert

Modern societies march towards morality in  proportion as they leave religion behind.
Annie Wood Besant (1847-1933) ~
English philosopher, theosophist

[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) (1783-1842) 
All religions are founded on the fear of the many and the cleverness of the few.
Bhagavad GitaThe 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!

John Bice
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 marriage.
William Blake (1757-1827) ~ First of the English Romantic poets

Mind-forged Manacles

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.
Elena Blavatsky

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.

Napoleon Bonapart
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 hands together.
Daniel J. Boorstin  (1914 - 2004)

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 abused them.
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 surrounding him.

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.

Johannes Brahms  (1833-1897)
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.

David Brooks ~ 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.
Justin Brown

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 poet 

Who knows most, doubts most.

Mothers, wives and maids, These be the tools with which priests manage men.

James Buchanan 1857-1861
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 light.
Chaz Bufe ~ The American Heretic's Dictionary

Agnostic, n. A person who feels superior to atheists by merit of his ignorance of the rules of logic and evidence.
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, no.

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 with Genesis."

Anthony Burgess
All human life is here, but the Holy Ghost seems to be somewhere else.
Robert Burns

All religions are auld wives' fables, but an honest man has nothing to fear, either in this world or the world to come.
Jeff Burroughs

Science has done more for the development of western civilization in one hundred years than Christianity did in eighteen hundred years.

John Burroughs
Science has done more for the development of western civilization in one hundred years than Christianity did in eighteen hundred years.

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.
Robert Burton

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 (2001-2009)
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.

John Bydem ~ “The seventeenth century poet-laureate of freedom”
Monarchies may take God's name, but Democracies are Atheistic in their very frame.
Lord Byron

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 suffragist (1815-1902)

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 summed up.

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? 
Joseph Campbell ~ 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. President

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 me.

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.
Winston Churchill (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 of "God".

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 less Christians.
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.
Bill Clinton

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.

Hillary Clinton
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.
Jean Cocteau

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 of comfort.

Chapman Cohen
Gods are fragile things; they may be killed by a whiff of science or a dose of common sense.
Morris R. Cohen

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 all.

John 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. 
Francis Crick

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.

Quentin Crisp
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 believe?"

The absolute nothingness of death is a blessing. Something to look forward to.

Oliver Cromwell
Keep your faith in God, but keep your powder dry.
Aleister Crowley (1875–1947) ~ British occultist; mountaineer 

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.

Robert Curry
If the theists all shut up, the gods would be speechless.

Joseph Daleiden

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 die. 

C.W. Dalton
You make money promoting religion; you only spend money promoting atheism.
Clarence Darrow

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 doom.

...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 is devil-worship. 

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.

Charles Darwin
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

Robertson Davies
Fanaticism is overcompensation for doubt.
Richard Dawkins: Evolutionary Biologist (Oxford University)

Richard Dawkins Quotes Pages
The 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 further.

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 not.

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 . . . ?' 


  • 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 mutating. 
  • 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. 
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!

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 purpose.

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 author

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.
Daniel Dennett

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.

Baron D'Holbach
All religions are ancient monuments to superstition, ignorance, ferocity; and modern religions are only ancient follies.

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.
Denis Diderot  ~ 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 him. 

Annie Dillard
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?"
Benjamin Disraeli

Where knowledge ends, religion begins.
Gregory 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.
Chester Dolan ~ 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 not necessary.
Frederick Douglass ~ escaped slave

I prayed for twenty years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs. 
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle ~ British Author

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 notable poet
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.

Alexandre Dumas 
If God were suddenly condemned to live the life which He has inflicted upon men, He would kill Himself.

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