P - Z
The problem with state accommodation
of religion – even so called moderate religious leaderships – is that they
work against and not for equality and justice.
Heinz Pagels (1939-1988) ~ American
physicist and author
I like to browse in occult bookshops
if for no other reason than to refresh my commitment to science.
Olof Palme ~ Swedish prime minister (1927-1986).
Human beings will find a balanced
situation when they do good things not because God says it, but because
they feel like doing them.
I do not believe in the creed professed
by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the
Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know
of....Each of those churches accuse the other of unbelief; and of my own
part, I disbelieve them all. ~The Age of Reason, pp. 89
All natural institutions
of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other
than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize
power and profit." ~ The Age of Reason
Of all the systems of religion
that ever were invented, there is no more derogatory to the Almighty, more
unedifiying to man, more repugnant to reason, and more contradictory to
itself than this thing called Christianity.
To argue with a man who has renounced
his reason is like giving medicine to the dead.
Whenever we read the obscene stories,
the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and tortuous executions, the unrelenting
vindictiveness with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would
be more consistent that we call it the word of a demon than the word of
It is from the Bible that man has
learned cruelty, rapine and murder; for the belief of a cruel God makes
a cruel man.
What is it the New Testament teaches
us? To believe that the Almighty committed debauchery with a woman engaged
to be married; and the belief of this debauchery is called faith.
The Bible is a book that has been
read more, and examined less, than any book that ever existed.
I do not believe in the creed professed
by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the
Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know
of....Each of those churches accuse the other of unbelief; and of my own
part, I disbelieve them all.
The Bible is a book that has been read more and examined
less than any book that ever existed.
The study of theology, as it stands in Christian churches,
is the study of nothing; it is founded on nothing; it rests on no principles;
it proceeds by no authorities; it has no data; it can demonstrate nothing;
and it admits of no conclusion."
The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren,
and to do good is my religion.
…the Bible is such a book of lies and contradictions there
is no knowing which part to believe or whether any.
From whence then could arise the solitary and strange
conceit that the Almighty, who had millions of worlds equally dependent
on His protection, should quit the care of all the rest and come to die
in our world because, they say, one man and one woman ate an apple? And
on the other hand, are we to suppose that every world in the boundless
creation had an Eve, an apple, a serpent, and a Redeemer? ~
The Age of Reason
The Bible seems to be an ink blot test with Christians
seeing in it whatever they wish.
No amount of philosophical argumentation will cause there
to be a god. . . . Arguments are not evidence. . . . In the end, I am left
with things I have evidence for, and those I don't.
Rebecca Ann Parker ~ American theology
God required his son to suffer in order to save the world.
That is an image of God as a child abuser, and Jesus is imaged as the perfect
victim. He accepts the abuse and does it silently. He is praised in his
religious community for accepting abuse as the highest form of love . .
. . If this is the virtue of God's son . . . how is the victim of the priest's
abuse going to find a justification for raising a protest? . . . How is
the church going to see the perpetrators of abuse clearly if it can't see
its own conceptualizaiton of God as abuser?
You’re basically killing each other
to see who’s got the better imaginary friend.
Men never do evil so completely
and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction.
Faith embraces many truths which seem to contradict each
So-called Scientific Creationism is really nothing more
than an attempt to give credence to an ancient Hebrew myth by trying to
prove that virtually al the world's biologists, geologists, and paleontologists
are a bunch of incompetent buffoons.
Many Freethinkers originally left, or never joined a religion
because they could not accept the thought of a god who would torture his
subjects unto eternity, while those who delighted in such thoughts
found a haven there. Hence it is no coincidence that most freethinkers
are empathetic people, while most fundamentalist are not.
The average fundamentalist has a mind like a steel trap;
snapped shut and rusted closed.
In the Bible we are asked to believe that the entire human
race was plunged into sin because one woman took the advice of a talking
snake... before she had any knowledge of good and evil.
Could a being create the fifty billion galaxies, each
with two hundred billion stars, then rejoice in the smell of burning
S. Paul (1954 - ) ~ Paleontologist and illustrator
[Worldwide] higher rates
of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide,
juvenile and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy,
Superstition applies to the faith
in the supernatural. Christians, Jews and Islamics don't want to acknowledge
that they are superstitious but there's simply no way around it. They are
superstitious by the very meaning of the word.
All religions eventually die out.
. . . But atheism will live on regardless of what new religion replaces
The faithful just don't seem to
realize the possibility that when they get no answers to their prayers,
or when things turn out contrary to their prayers, that perhaps, just perhaps,
there is no god to answer them.
Don't believe everything you think.
Pope Pius IX
The Church has no power to lay down dogmatically that
the religion of the Catholoic Church is the one true religion.
Every Christian who tries to escape
the path of a speeding bullet with fear in his eye is an example of a"foxhole
conversion" to atheism. . . . There are a hell of a lot more of those conversions
than there are of atheists fo Christians.
Atheism is a disease of the soul,
before it becomes an error of the understanding.
Professor Ian Plimer
The creationists have this creator
who is evil, who is small-minded, who is malevolent, and who is not very
bright and can't even get his science right. Creationists have made their
creator in their own image, in my view.
Edgar Allen Poe
All religion, my friend, is simply
evolved out of fear, fraud, greed, imagination and poetry.
The pioneers and missionaries of
religion have been the real cause of more trouble and war than all other
classes of mankind.
No man who ever lived knows any
more about the hereafter ... than you and I; and all religion ... is simply
evolved out of chicanery, fear, greed, imagination and poetry.
Pontiac (1718-1769) Ottawa Indian chief'?
They came with a Bible and their religion, stole our
lnad, crushed our spirit, and now tell us we should be thankful to the
Lord for being saved.
Religion to me has always been the wound, not the bandage.
Robert M. Price
Who needs Satan when you have a God like this?
Religion is like a virus that affects the behaviour of
its host in such a way as to propagate itself further.
Protagoras (490– 420 BC)
Man is the measure of all things.
Colonel Moammar Qaddafi
Once a ruler becomes religious,
it [becomes] impossible for you to debate with him. Once someone
rules in the name of religion, your lives become hell.
My philosophy, in essence, is the
concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose
of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason
as his only absolute.
Faith is the commitment of one's
consciousness to beliefs for which one has no sensory evidence or rational
proof. A mystic is a man who treats his feelings as tools of cognition.
Faith is the equation of feeling with knowledge.
For centuries, the mystics of spirit had existed by running
a protection racket -- by making life on earth unbearable, then charging
you for consolation and relief . . . by declaring production and joy to
be sins, then collecting blackmail from the sinners.
The cross is the symbol of torture. I prefer the dollar
sign, the symbol of free trade, therefore of a free mind.
To rest one's case on faith means to concede that reason
is on the side of one's enemies -- that one has no rational arguments to
Ask youself whether the dream of heaven and greatness
should be waiting for us in our graves--or whether it should be ours here
and now and on this earth.
The alleged short-cut to knowledge, which is faith, is
only a short circuit destroying the mind.
Religion is a primitive form of philosophy, [the] attempt
to offer a comprehensive view of reality.
I hearby state my opinion that the notion of a god is
a superstition and that there is no evidence for the existence of any god(s).
Further, devils, demons, angels and saints are myths; there is no life
after death, no heaven or hell; the Pope is a dangerous, bigoted, medieval
dinosaur, and the Holy Ghost is a comic-book chqaracter worthy of laughter
and derision. I accuse the Christian god of murder by allowing the Holocaust
to take place -- not to mention the "ethnic cleansing" presently being
performed by Christians in our world -- and I condemn and vilify this mythical
deity for encouraging racial prejudice and commanding the degradation of
Gods are children's blankets that get carried over into
Believers: The sheep who beg to
be fleeced and butchered, and who will battle to preserve their right to
Nostradamus himself confessed that
the vague manner in which he wrote his "prophecies" was so that 'they could
not possibly be understood until they were interpreted after the event
and by it.'
Fanatics are not easily discouraged
by facts or the truth.
I suggest that we might want to depose this incumbent
God and start dealing with The Real World. He's proven — time and again
— to be cruel, capricious, and vindictive. He drowns, crushes, burns, and
starves millions of us every day. He created cancer, viruses, and germs
to invade and destroy our bodies as He sees fit, and uses them very effectively.
In His wisdom, He directed those in charge to impede stem cell research
so that such a powerful approach would not be available to us and He wouldn't
have to strain the Divine Intellect to disarm that defense. We amuse Him
as we flail about vainly trying to appease Him. I vote that we dump Him.
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you
asking the questions.
Red Jacket (1758-1830)
Seneca Indian chief
You have got our country, but are
not satisfied; you want to force your religion upon us. . . . Brother,
you say there is but one way to worship and serve the Great Spirit. If
there is but one religion, why do you white people differ so much about
John E. Remsberg (1848-1919) American educator
This doctrine of forgiveness of
sin is a premium on crime. "Forgive us our sins" means "let us continue
in our iniquity." . . . In teaching this doctirne Christ committed a sin
for which his death did not atone, and which can never be forgiven.
Joseph Ernest Renan (1823-1892) French
Experience shows, without exception, that miracles occur
only in times and in countries in which miracles are believed in, and in
the presence of persons who are disposed to believe them.
Belief in the supernatural is the shame of civilization.
No theologian could ever be a historian. History is essentially
disinterested. The historian has only one concern: art and truth, ...whereas
the theologian has something else at stake—his dogma.
Matt Ridley ~
British science writer
Readers prefer mysteries to facts,
which is why books about astrology, telepathy, and the Bermuda Triangle
sell so well. But science need not concede mystery to the occult. It can
match it or better. Mysteries like deep geological time, a boundless universe,
the big bang, relativity, quantum mechanics, the double helix, natural
selection, mass extinction, and chaos theory -- these are richer fare than
anything the occult can offer.
I contend that we are both atheists.
I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you
dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss
To discriminate against a thoroughly
upright citizen because he belongs to some particular church, or because,
like Abraham Lincoln, he has not avowed his allegiance to any church, is
an outrage against that liberty of conscience which is one of the foundations
of American life.
It is an interesting and demonstrable fact, that all
children are atheists and were religion not inculcated into their minds,
they would remain so.
Jean Rostand (1894-1977)
~ French biologist and philosopher
Kill a man, one is a murderer;
kill a million, a conqueror; kill them all, a God.
~ Polish-American pianist
During a radio interview with Rubenstein
the conversation took a sharp turn away from music when the interviewer
suddeenly asked, "Mr. Rubenstein, do you believe in God?" Rubenstein calmly
replied, "No. You see, what I believe in is something much greater."
Michael Ruse (1940- ) Canadian philospher
It is difficult to imagine evolutionists
signing a comparable statement, that they will never deviate from the literal
text of Charles Darwin's On The Origin of Species.
I do not need the idea of God to
explain the world I live in.
The idea of the sacred is quite
simply one of the most conservative notions in any culture, because it
seeks to turn other ideas -- uncertainty, progress, change -- into crimes.
Fundamentalism isn't about religion.
It's about power.
If terrorism is to be defeated,
the world of Islam must take on board the secularist-humanist principles
on which the modern [world] is based.
So far as I can remember, there
is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence.
I do not pretend to be able to prove
that there is no God. I equally cannot prove that Satan is a fiction. The
Christian god may exist; so may the gods of Olympus, or of ancient Egypt,
or of Babylon. But no one of these hypotheses is more probable than any
other: they lie outside the region of even probable knowledge, and therefore
there is no reason to consider any of them.
There is one very serious defect
to my mind in Christ's moral character, and that is that He believed in
hell. I do not myself feel that any person who is really profoundly humane
can believe in everlasting punishment.
We may define "faith" as the firm
belief in something for which there is no evidence. Where there is evidence,
no one speaks of "faith." We do not speak of faith that two and two are
four or that the earth is round. We only speak of faith when we wish to
substitute emotion for evidence.
The whole problem with the world
is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser
people so full of doubts.
The Christian view that all intercourse
outside marriage is immoral was, as we see in the above passages from St.
Paul, based upon the view that all sexual intercourse, even within marriage,
is regrettable. A view of this sort, which goes against biological facts,
can only be regarded by sane people as a morbid aberration. The fact that
it is embedded in Christian ethics has made Christianity throughout its
whole history a force tending towards mental disorders and unwholesome
views of life.
The universe may have a purpose,
but nothing we know suggests that, if so, this purpose has any similarity
Men fear thought as they fear nothing
else on earth, more than ruin, more even than death...Thought is subversive
and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege,
established institutions, and comfortable habit. Thought looks into the
pit of hell and is not afraid. Thought is great and swift and free, the
light of the world, and the chief glory of man.
One should always keep an open mind,
but not so open that one's brains fall out.
Religion is something left over
from the infancy of our intelligence, it will fade away as we adopt reason
and science as our guidelines.
And if there were a God, I think
it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended
by those who doubt His existence.
The immense majority of intellectually eminent men disbelieve
in Christian religion, but they conceal the fact in public, because they
are afraid of losing their incomes.
Religion is based . . . mainly on fear . . . fear of the
mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the parent of cruelty,
and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion have gone hand in
hand. . . . My own view on religion is that of Lucretius. I regard it as
a disease born of fear and as a source of untold misery to the human race.
I believe that when I die I shall rot, and nothing of
my ego will survive. I am not young, and I love life. But I should scorn
to shiver with terror at the thought of annihilation. Happiness is none
the less true happiness because it must come to an end, nor do thought
and love lose their value because they are not everlasting.
Few people can be happy unless they hate some other person,
nation or creed.
A good world needs knowledge, kindliness, and courage;
it does not need a regretful hankering after the past or a fettering of
the free intelligence by the words uttered long ago by ignorant men.
I am myself a dissenter from all known religions, and
I hope that every kind of religious belief will die out.
My conclusion is that there is no reason to believe any
of the dogmas of traditional theology and, further, that there is no reason
to wish that they were true. Man, in so far as he is not subject to natural
forces, is free to work out his own destiny. The responsibility is his,
and so is the opportunity.
You find as you look around the world that every single
bit of progress in humane feeling, every improvement in the criminal law,
every step toward the diminution of war, every step toward better treatment
of the colored races, or every mitigation of slavery, every moral progress
that there has been in the world, has been consistently opposed by the
organized churches of the world. I say quite deliberately that the Christian
religion, as organized in its churches, has been and still is the principal
enemy of moral progress in the world.
There is something feeble and contemptible about a man
who cannot face life without the help of comfortable myths.
It is undesirable to believe a proposition when there
is no reason whatsoever for supposing it to be true.
I am as firmly convinced that religions do harm as I am
that they are untrue.
The objections to religion are of two sorts - intellectual
and moral. The intellectual objection is that there is no reason to suppose
any religion true; the moral objection is that religious precepts date
from a time when men were more cruel than they are and therefore tend to
perpetuate inhumanities which the moral conscience of the age would otherwise
There's a Bible on the shelf there. But I keep it next
to Voltaire -- poison and antidote.
Marquis de Sade
The idea of God is the sole wrong
for which I cannot forgive mankind.
There is no God, Nature sufficeth
unto herself; in no wise hath she need of an author.
Sagan (1934-1996) Scientist
Carl Sagan asked how is it that
hardly any major religion has looked at science and said "This is better
than we thought. The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander,
more subtle, more elegant. Instead they say, 'No. no. no! My god is a little
god, and I want him to stay that way.'"
A celibate clergy is an especially
good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward
Life is but a momentary glimpse of the wonder of this
astonishing universe, and it is sad to see so many dreaming it away on
Finding the occasional straw of truth awash in a great
ocean of confusion and bamboozle requires intelligence, vigilance, dedication
and courage. But if we don't practice these tough habits of thought, we
cannot hope to solve the truly serious problems that face us -- and we
risk becoming a nation of suckers, up for grabs by the next charlatan who
I maintain there is much more wonder in science than in
pseudoscience. And in addition, to whatever measure this term has
any meaning, science has the additional virtue, and it is not an inconsiderable
one, of being true.
The sacred truth of science is that there are no sacred
Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion
that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by
this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping
cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that
help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion,
by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense.
A multitude of aspects of the natural world that were
considered miraculous only a few generations ago are now thoroughly understood
in terms of physics and chemistry.
You can not convince a believer of anything; for their
belief is not based on evidence, it is based on a deep-seated need to believe.
You see, the religious people -- most of them -- really
think this planet is an experiment. That's what their beliefs
come down to. Some god or other is always fixing and poking, messing
around with tradesmen's wives, giving tablets on mountains, commanding
you to mutilate your children, telling people what words they can say and
what words they can't say, making people feel guilty about enjoying themselves,
and like that. Why can't the gods let well enough alone? All this
intervention speaks of incompetence. If God didn't want Lot's wife
to look back, why didn't he make her obedient, so she'd do what her husband
told her? Or if he hadn't made Lot such a shithead, maybe she would
have listened to him more. If God is omnipotent and omniscient, why
didn't he start the universe out in the first place so it would come out
the way he wants? Why's he constantly repairing and complaining?
No, there's one thing the Bible makes clear: The biblical God is a sloppy
manufacturer. He's not good at design, he's not good at execution.
He'd be out of business if there was any competition.
Has there ever been a religion with the prophetic accuracy
and reliability of science? . . . No other human institution comes close.
I would love to believe that when I die I will live again,
that some thinking, feeling, remembering part of me will continue. But
much as I want to believe that, and despite the ancient and worldwide cultural
traditions that assert an afterlife, I know of nothing to suggest that
it is more than wishful thinking. The world is so exquisite with
so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves
with pretty stories for which there's little good evidence. Far better
it seems to me, in our vulnerability, is to look death in the eye and to
be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life
We are on the eve of discovering that nothing should be
done for the sake of gods, but all for the good of man.
Atheism is more than just the knowledge that gods do not
exist, and that religion is either a mistake or a fraud. Atheism is an
attitude, a frame of mind that looks at the world objectively, fearlessly,
always trying to understand all things as a part of nature.
It is better to grasp the universe as it really is than
to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable
only through love.
If we long to believe that the stars rise and set for
us, that we are the reason there is a Universe, does science do us a disservice
in deflating our conceits?
Our species needs, and deserves, a citizenry with minds
wide awake and a basic understanding of how the world works.
Personally, I would be delighted if there were a life
after death, especially if it permitted me to continue to learn about this
world and others, if it gave me a chance to discover how history turns
Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body
Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be
The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony
with human ambition.
The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
Lord Herbert Louis Samuel
Without doubt the greatest injury of all was done by
basing morals on myth. For, sooner or later, myth is recognized for
what it is, and disappears. Then morality loses the foundation on which
it has been built.
Carl Sandburg (1878-1967) ~ American
To work hard, to live hard, to die hard, and then go
to hell after all would be too damned hard.
I won't take my religion from any man who never works
except with his mouth.
Margaret Sanger (1883-1966) ~ Activist
If Christianity turned the clock of general progress
back a thousand years, it turned back the clock two thousand years for
George Santayana (1863-1952)
Men become superstitious not because they had too much
imagination, but because they were not aware that they had any.
Buddhism had tried to quiet a sick world with anesthetics;
Christianity sought to purge it with fire.
Faith in the supernatural is a desperate wager made by
man at the lowest ebb of his fortunes.
There is no cure for life and death save to enjoy the
The true contrast between science and myth is more nearly
touched when we say that science alone is capable of verification.
The Bible is a wonderful source of inspiration for those
who don't understand it.
The Bible is literature, not dogma.
Habit is stronger than reason
For Shakespeare, in the matter of religion, the choice
lay between Christianity and nothing. He chose nothing.
"Sarcen" ~ Atheist Quote of the Month
winner, July 1999
I do not attend church regularly because I already found
"God." But "God" isn't what you think it is. "God" is a screaming child
in Ethiopia whose kidneys have shut down and is about to die from starvation.
"God" is a dumpster in Vatican City where urchins (just as in every city
in the world) feed on refuse, while the wealthiest and most powerful social
organization in the world decadently spends its money just a few blocks
away on big hats, gold crosses and silver chalices and continues to exploit
the poorest people in the world in "God's" name. "God" is hate, "God" is
stupidity, "God" is the scum on the bottom of your shoe. "God" is not pretty
and "God" does not care. I found my "God," then I killed it. I, an atheist,
know more about "God" than any Christian will ever know.
Jean-Paul Sartre ~ Quoted in Life
We have lost religion, but we have gained humanism.
The ideal now is to liberate and to help emancipate mankind, with
the result that man becomes really an absolute for man.
Religion is an attempt to escape responsibility.
John Ralston Saul
MORAL CRUSADE: Public activity undertaken by middle-aged
men who are cheating on their wives or diddling little boys. Moral
crusades are particularly popular among those who are seeking power for
their own personal pleasure, politicians who can't think of anything useful
to do with their mandates and religious professionals suffering from a
personal inability to communicate with their god. In military terms, a
I realized if I wanted to live in a fabulous house and
have sex with young men I didn't need to be a priest to do that anymore.
It used to be the only way you could do that, but the world has changed
now for the better.
A healthy nature needs no God or
Arthur Schnitzler (1862-1931) ~
Austrian playwright and physician
Martyrdom has always been a proof
of the intensity, never of the correctness of a belief.
Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) ~ German
Religions are like fireflies. They require darkness in
order to shine.
Philosophy lets the gods alone, and asks in turn to be
let alone by them.
Faith and knowledge are related as the scales of a balance
when the one goes up, the other goes down.
To free a man from error is to give, not take away.
Religion is the masterpiece of the art of animal training,
for it trains people as to how they shall think.
Faith is believing in things when common sense tells
you not to.
Etta Semple (1855-1914) ~ American
activist and novelist
If, in plain word I don't want to go to heaven . . .
whose business is it but my own?
Seneca the Younger
4 B.C.E - 65 C.E)
Religion is regarded by the common
people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful.
Preachers in pulpits talked about
what a great message is in the book. No matter what you do, somebody
always imputes meaning into your books.
In religion, what damned error
but some sober brow will bless it, and approve it with a text, hiding the
grossness with fair ornament. ~ Bassanio in The Merchant of Venice
The Devil can cite scripture for
It is a heretic that makes the fire,
not she which burns in it.
In religion what damned error but
some sober brow will bless it, and approve it with a text.
Methinks sometimes I have no more wit than a Christian.
~ Twelfth Night
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)
Why should we take advice on sex
from the pope? If he knows anyithing about it, he shouldn't!
Martyrdom is the only way in which
a man can become famous without ability.
No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says;
He is always convinced that it says what he means.
Beware of the man whose God is in the skies.
All great truths begin as blasphemies.
Percy Bysshe Shelley ~ English poet
If God has spoken, why is the world not convinced.
Religion! but for thee, prolific fiend, who peopleth earth
with demons, hell with men, and heaven with slaves!
It is easier to suppose that the universe has existed
for all eternity than to conceive a being beyond its limits capable of
If ignorance of nature gave birth to gods, knowledge of
nature is made for their destruction.
A God made by man undoubtedly has need of man to make
himself known to man.
Chastity is a monkish and evangelical superstition, a
greater foe to natural temperance even than unintellectual sensuality.
It is easier to suppose that the universe has existed
for all eternity than to conceive a being beyond its limits capable of
Marian Noel Sherman (1892-1975) ~ Canadian
If you tell a child "God made the world" he will usually
ask "Then who made God?" If we reply, as the catechism states, "No one
made God. He always was," then why couldn't we just say that about the
world in the first place?
Any sufficiently advanced Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence
is indistinguishable from God.
What can be more soul shaking than peering through a 100-inch
telescope at a distant galaxy, holding a 100-million-year-old fossil or
a 500,000-year-old stone tool in one's hand, standing before the immense
chasm of space and time that is the Grand Canyon, or listening to a scientist
who gazed upon the face of the universe's creation and did not blink? That
is deep and sacred science.
David Koresh, L. Ron Hubbard, Joseph Smith, Jesus, Moses,
what's the difference? They were all egomaniacal, delusional characters
who developed fanatical followers who exaggerated their claims, mythologized
their lives, and canonized their words.
An anthropologist from Mars surveying Earth's flora and
fauna, would find roughly 30 million species, one of which evolved a big
enough brain to conceive of incorporeal monsters, beasts, spirits, demons,
gods, and the like. In the past 10,000 years, the Martian anthropologist
discovers after doing his research that this one species had devised roughly
100,000 religions based on roughly 2,500 gods. So, the only difference
between me and the believers in the audience was that I am skeptical of
2,500 gods whereas they are skeptical of 2,499 gods. We're only one God
away from total agreement.
What would you do if there were no God? Would you commit
robbery, rape, and murder, or would you continue being a good and moral
person? Either way the question is a debate stopper. If the answer is that
you would soon turn to robbery, rape, or murder, then this is a moral indictment
of your character, indicating you are not to be trusted because if, for
any reason, you were to turn away from your belief in God, your true immoral
nature would emerge. If the answer is that you would continue being good
and moral, then apparently you can be good without God. QED.
Belief in God depends on religious faith. Acceptance of
science depends on empirical evidence. This is the fundamental difference
between religion and science. If you attempt to reconcile religion and
science on questions about nature and the universe, and if you push the
science to its logical conclusion, you will end up naturalizing the deity;
for any question about nature, if your answer is "God did it,"a scientist
will ask: "How did God do it?, What forces did God use? What forms of matter
and energy were employed in the creation process?" The end result of this
inquiry can only be natural explanations for all natural phenomena. What
place, then, for God? Believers can have both religion and science
as long as there is no attempt to make reality unreal, to turn naturalism
into supernaturalism. ~ Michael Shermer
- October 25, 2006 - The New
I do not consider it a sign of divine love to consign
to hell people who live good lives but make an honest mistake in belief.
The central problem of Christianity is: if the Messiah
has come why is the world so evil? For Judaism, the problem is: if the
world is so evil, why does the Messiah not come?
David Silverman ~ President of American
I have heard many times that atheists know more about
religion than religious people. Atheism is an effect of that knowledge,
not a lack of knowledge. I gave a Bible to my daughter. That’s how you
The supreme crime of the church today is that everywhere
and in all its operations and influences it is on the side of sloth of
mind; that it banishes brains, it sanctifies stupidity, it canonizes incompetence.
Turn over the pages of history and read the damning record
of the church's opposition to every advance in every field of science.
. . .
I don't believe in God, so I'm not afraid of dying.
Charles Smith (1887-1964) U.S. attorney,
The Bible is the greatest hoax in all history.
The leading characters of the Old Testament would today be in the penitentiary
and those of the New would be under observation in psychopathic wards.
I look forward to the day the cross sits discarded beside
the swastika as just another reminder of the dangers of blind faith.
I am the creator and the destroyer, I am he that defines
all worlds. I bring life to the lifeless, I rain death on all that lives.
My judgement is supreme. I encompass all things, I am the progenitor of
good and evil. I created sin, I cause its every pain. Hell is of my works.
I am the source of all gods. I create gods on a whim, I destroy gods with
a thought. I am man.
Religion causes intellectual and moral atrophy by removing
reason and independent thought. It robs its followers of themselves.
The key to praying is talking to yourself and pretending
someone intelligent is listening.
George H. Smith
In exchange for obedience, Christianity
promises salvation in an afterlife; but in order to elicit obedience through
this promise, Christianity must convince men that they need salvation,
that there is something to be saved from. Christianity has nothing to offer
a happy man living in a natural, intelligible universe. If Christianity
to gain a motivational foothold, it must declare war on earthly pleasure
and happiness, and this, historically, has been its precise course of action.
In the eyes of Christianity, man is sinful and helpless in the face of
God, and is potential fuel for the flames of hell. Just as Christianity
must destroy reason before it can introduce faith, so it must destroy happiness
before it can introduce salvation. ~ Atheism: The Case Against God
The prefix "a" means "without,'
so the term "a-theism" literally means "without theism," or without
belief in a god or gods. Atheism, therefore, is the absence of a theistic
Atheism is the absence of a belief in a god, nothing more.
If the theist wishes to draw monumental implications from this lack of
belief, he must argue for his claims.
The Bible provides justification for evil, without it
we would have heaven on earth.
(1919-) American mathematician and philosopher
It has always puzzled me that so many people have taken
it for granted that God favors those who believe in him. Isn't it possible
that the actual God is a scientific God who has little patience with beliefs
founded on faith rather than evidence?
Sogree: On a Bored God:
* 12-14 billion years
ago god created the Universe
* 5 billion years
ago he started with our Earth
* 3 million years
ago he started with humankind
* 150,000 years ago
he started with the current version of humankind
* 5,000 years ago
he revealed himself to humankind (so they say)
* And for only 2,000
years he has been able to "enjoy" Christian people
On a timescale of the Universe
* the Earth has existed
for 42 percent of the time
* Apeman existed since
0.025 percent of the time
* Humankind itself
has existed for 0.00125 percent of the time
* The Christian faith
has existed for 0.000042 percent of the time (rounded upwards)
* The time God has
been able to enjoy Christian people is 0.000017 percent (rounded upwards).
Thus, god has, for 99,999982 percent
of time (rounded downwards = 11,999,997,960 years), been bored, has done
nothing. He has been waiting for us, only to leave us behind "alone"
once again. Why? For eating an apple, that's why! I know time is nothing
to God, but this is preposterous.
I call him free who is led solely by reason.
I do not know how to teach philosophy without becoming
a disturber of established religion.
Like my parents, I have never been a regular church member
or churchgoer. It doesn't seem plausible to me that there is the
kind of God who watches over human affairs, listens to prayers, and tries
to guide people to follow His precepts -- there is just too much misery
and cruelty for that.
John S. Spong
The God understood as a father figure, who guided ultimate
personal decisions, answered our prayers, and promised rewards and punishment
based upon our behavior was not designed to call anyone into maturity.
Walter P. Stacy (1925-1951) former chief justice,
North Carolina Supreme Court
It would be almost unbelievable, if history did not record
the tragic fact, that men have gone to war and cut each other's throats
because they could not agree as to what was to become of them after their
throats were cut.
Dressing up Christian ideas about God in language such
as `an eternal and free agency` is nothing but the creation of a smokescreen
of meaningless jargon in an attempt to make superstition appear sophisticated.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902) Women's rights
The Bible and the Chruch have been the greatest stumbling
blocks in the way of women's emancipation . . . . Among the clergy we find
our most violent enemies, those most opposed to any change in woman's position.
The Bible and the Church have been the greatest stumbling
blocks in the way of women's emancipation.
This I believe: That the free, exploring mind of the
individual human is the most valuable thing in the world.
And this I would fight for: The freedom of the
mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected.
And this I must fight against: Any idea, religion,
or government which limits or destroys the individual. This is what I am
and what I am about. I can understand why a system built on a pattern must
try to destroy the free mind, for this is the one thing which can by inspection
destroy such a system.
Man is the only kind of varmint that sets his own
trap, baits it, then steps in it.
Religions are founded on the fear of the many and the
cleverness of the few.
The world is proof that God is a committee.
Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) ~ Priest
It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of what
he was never reasoned into.
We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not
enough to make us love one another.
~ Roman Historian (55-120 C.E
Christianity is a pestilent superstition.
William Howard Taft (1857
- 1930) The 27th President of the United States
I do not believe in the divinity of Christ, and there
are many other of the postulates of the orthodox creed to which I cannot
Tao Te Ching
Religion is the end of love and
honesty, the beginning of confusion; faith is a colorful hope or fear,
the origin of folly.
Tecumseh (1768-1813) ~ Native American leader
How can we have confidence in the
white people? When Jesus Christ came upon the earth, you killed him, the
son of your own God, you nailed him up! You thought he was dead, but you
were mistaken, And only after you thought you killed him did you worship
him, and start killing those who would not worship him. What kind of people
is this for us to trust?
It's an embarrassing thing that,
in a modern culture, people still fall for lines of bull that were invented
in the caves.
Charles Templeton (1915-2001) ~ Canadian
journalist, novelist and politician.
If God's love encompasses the whole world and if everyone
who does not believe in him will perish, then surely this question needs
to be asked: When, after two thousand years, does God's plan kick in for
the billion people he "so loves" in China? Or for the 840 million in India?Or
the millions in Japan, Afghanistan, Siberia, Egypt, Burma -- and on and
Should one continue to base one's life on a system of
belief that--for all its occasional wisdom and frequent beauty--is
No one would have remembered the
good Samaritan if he'd only had good intentions. He had money as
Paul Henri Thiry ~ Baron D'Holbach
Every man, who reasons, soon becomes
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)
~ American philosopher
Why try to convert the Algonquin
Indians from their own superstitions to new ones.
There may be Gods, but they care not what men do.
I did not see why the schoolmaster should be taxed to
spport the priest, and not the priest the schoolmaster.
If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain
dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons.
The Bible: The inerrant, inspired Word of an omnipotent,
omniscient diety who lived in a tent that desert nomads carried around
with them some 3500 years ago.
~ Soviet cosmonaut ~ The Seattle Daily Times, May 7, 1962
Some say God is living there [in space]. I was looking
around very attentively, but I did not see anyone there. I did not detect
either angels or gods....I don't believe in God. I believe in man - his
strength, his possibilities, his reason.
To regard Christ as God, and to
pray to him, are to my mind the greatest possible sacrilege.
Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds
without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with
their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is
not common, but it is essential for right thinking; where it is absent,
discussion is apt to become worse than useless.
When I hear them praying extra loud, I always go out
and check the lock on the smokehouse.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu
God, we know you are in charge, but why don't you make
it slightly more obvious?
It is believed by everyone that when he was in heaven
he was stern, hard, resentful, jealous and cruel, but that when he came
down to earth, he became the opposite... sweet, gentle merciful, forgiving.
He was a thousand billion times crueler than ever he was in the Old Testament...
Meek and gentle? By and by we will examine that popular sarcasm by
the light of the hell which he invented.
There are many scapegoats for our sins, but the most popular
one is Providence.
There is no other life; life itself is only a vision and
a dream for nothing exists but space and you. If there was an all-powerful
God, he would have made all good, and no bad.
Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company.
Peace of mind is a most valuable thing. The Bible has
robbed the majority of the world of it during many centuries; it is but
fair that in return it should give some to an individual here & there.
But you must not make the mistake of supposing that absolute peace of mind
is obtainable only through some form religious belief: no, on the contrary
I have found that as perfect a peace is to be found in absolute unbelief.
- Letter to Charles W. Stoddard, 6/1/1885
THE BIBLE: It is full of interest. It has noble poetry
in it; and some clever fables; and some blood-drenched history; and some
good morals; and a wealth of obscenity; and upwards of a thousand lies.
We may not doubt that society in heaven consists mainly
of undesirable persons. - Mark Twain's Notebook, 1902-1903
Man is kind enough when he is not excited by religion.
- A Horse's Tale
Blasphemy? No, it is not blasphemy. If God is as vast
as that, he is above blasphemy; if He is as little as that, He is beneath
it. - Mark Twain, a Biography
Man is the Religious Animal. He is the only Religious
Animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion-- several of them.
- "The Lowest Animal," 1897
Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness,
and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.
Neil deGrasse Tyson
“Some claim that evolution is just a theory, as if it were merely an
opinion. The theory of evolution, like the theory of gravity, is a scientific
fact. Evolution really happened. Accepting our kinship with all life on
earth is not only solid science, in my view, it’s also a soaring, spiritual
— Neil deGrasse Tyson, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey
Gods don't kill people. People
with Gods kill people.
Gore Vidal ~ (October 3, 1925 - ) American
More people have been killed in
the name of Jesus Christ than any other name in the history of the world.
Christianity is such a silly religion. ~ Time Magazine,
Sept. 28, 1992
Every man makes a god of his own
A clergyman is one who feels himself
called upon to live without working, at the expense of the rascals who
work to live.
As long as people believe in absurdities
they will continue to commit atrocities.
Every sensible man, every honest
man, must hold the Christian sect in horror. But what shall we substitute
in its place? you say. What? A ferocious animal has sucked the blood of
my relatives. I tell you to rid yourselves of this beast, and you ask me
what you shall put in its place?
I have never made but one prayer
to God, a very short one. "O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous" and God
We only half live when we only half
Atheism is the vice of a few intelligent people.
If God has made us in his image, we have returned him
Christianity is the most ridiculous, the most absurd and
bloody religion that has ever infected the world.
Those who can make you believe absurdities can make
you commit atrocities.
Nothing can be more contrary to religion and the clergy
than reason and common sense. [Philosophical Dictionary, 1764]
Superstition, born of paganism and adopted by Judaism,
invested the Christian Church from earliest times. All the fathers of the
Church, without exception, believed in the power of magic. The Church always
condemned magic, but she always believed in it: she did not excommunicate
sorcerers as madmen who were mistaken, but as men who were really in communication
with the devil." [Philosophical Dictionary, 1764]
Of all religions the Christian is without doubt the one
which should inspire tolerance most, although up to now the Christians
have been the most intolerant of all men.
It is hard to free fools from chains they revere.
If you have two religions in your land, the two will cut
each other's throats; but if you have thirty religions, they dwell in peace.
Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning
faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile.
Peter Walker ~
American space physicist and researcher
The supreme arrogance of religious thinking: that a carbon-based
bag of mostly water on a speck of iron-silicate dust around a boring dwarf
star in a minor galaxy in an underpopulated local group of galaxies in
an unfashionable suburb of a supercluster would look up at the sky and
delcare, "It was all made so that I could exist!"
Alfred R. Wallace (1823-1913) ~ Darwin
Man's special creation is entirely unsupported by the
facts, as well as in the highest degree improbable.
Lemuel K.. Washburn ~ American activist
A man with a creed has bought the coffin for his mind.
. . . It does not require any mental exercise to believe.
The Unitarian walks with a cane, the Congregationalist,
Mehodist, Presbyterian and Baptist go with crutches, the Episcopalian hst
to be pushed about in an invalid's chair, while the Roman Catholic crawls
on his hands and knees and is led around with a ring in his nose by a priest.
If God exists, what objection can he have to saying so?
The church is a bank that is continually receiving deposits
but never pays a dividend.
Religion is no more the parent of morality than an incubator
is the mother of a chicken.
What a queer thing is Christian salvation! Believing in
firemen will not save a burning house; believing in doctors will not make
one well, but believing in a savior saves men. Fudge!
Religious controversies are always productive of more
acrimony and irreconcilable hatreds than those which spring from any other
cause. I had hoped that liberal and enlightened thought would have reconciled
the Christians so that their religious fights would not endanger the peace
The United States of America should have a foundation
free from the influence of clergy.
Dr. James Watson
American biologist, (Discoverer of DNA.)
I don't think we're here for anything,
we're just products of evolution. You can say 'Gee, your life must be pretty
bleak if you don't think there's a purpose' but I'm anticipating a good
The biggest advantage to believing in God is you don't
have to understand anything, no physics, no biology. . . . I wanted to
A committed believer in the Koran trots out the same
arguments for his point of view as a Southern Baptist . . . and neither
can listen to reason.
Things are as they are. Looking out into it the universe
at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between
well and badly arranged constellations.
Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966) ~ English novelist
It is a curious thing that every creed promises a paradise
which would be absolutely uninhabitable for anyone of civilized taste.
Richard A. Weatherwax
You do not need the Bible to justify
love, but no better tool has been invented to justify hate.
Steven Weinberg ~ Physicist
and Nobel Laureate
Religion is an insult to human dignity. With
or without it, you'd have good people doing good things and evil people
doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, it takes religion.
Most scientist I know don't care enough about religion
even to call themselves atheists.
Several thousand years ago, a small
tribe of ignorant near-savages wrote various collections of myths, wild
tales, lies, and gibberish. Over the centureis, these stories were embroidered,
garbled, mutilated, and torn into small pieces that were then repeatedly
shuffled. Finally, this material was badly translated into several languages
successfully. The resultant text, creationists feel, is the best guide
to this complex and technical subject.
George "H.G." Wells ~ English author (1866-1946).
It runs through the entire Christian
story, and our case against the Catholic Church is that, albeit it originated
in a passionate assertion of the conception of brotherly equality, it relapsed
steadily from the broad nobility of its beginnings and passed over at last
almost completely to the side of persecution and the pleasures of cruelty.
[From Wells' book Crux Ansata - An Indictment of the Roman Catholic Church
1944, reprinted in 1981 by American Atheist Press.]
Why do people go on pretending about this Christianity?
I do not believe I have any immortality. The greatest
evil in the world today is the Christian religion.
There was a time when I believed in the story and the
scheme of salvation, so far as I could understand it, just as I believed
there was a Devil. Suddenly the light broke through to me and I saw a silly
story, and each generation nowadays swallows it with greater difficulty.
Why do people go on pretending about this Christianity?
Andrew Dickson White
The establishment of Christianity
arrested the normal development of the physical sciences for over fifteen
The cardinal doctrine of a fanatic's creed is that his
enemies are the enemies of God.
Alfred North Whitehead
~ British mathematician and philosopher
The total absence of humor in the
Bible is one of the most singular things in all literature.
Walt Whitman (1819-1892) ~ American poet
Science, testing absolutely all thoughts, all works,
has already burst well upon the world -- a sun, mounting, most illuminating,
most glorious, surely never again to set. But against it, deeply entrench'd
. . . the fossil theology of the mythic-materialistic, superstitious, untaught
and credulous fable-loving, primitive ages of humanity.
I think I could turn and live with animals | They
are so placid and self-contain'd ... | They do not lie awake in the
dark and weep for their sins | They do not make me sick discussing
their duty to God.
In the faces of men and women I see God.
When I think of all
the harm the Bible has done, I despair of ever writing anything equal to
Truth, in matters of religion, is simply the opinion that
I sometimes think that God in creating man somewhat overestimated
All the western theologies are based on the concept of
god as a senile delinquent.
Reverend Doctor Bird Wilson ~ Episcopal
minister in Albany, New York, in a sermon preached in October, 1831
The founders of our nation were nearly all Infidels,
and that of the presidents who had thus far been elected [Washington; Adams;
Jefferson; Madison; Monroe; Adams; Jackson] not a one had professed a belief
in Christianity.... Among all our presidents from Washington downward,
not one was a professor of religion, at least not of more than Unitarianism.
You know you have created God in
your own image, when you find that your God hates the same people that
Robert Anton Wilson ~ American writer and
The Bible tells us to be like God, and then on page after
page it descdribes God as a mass murderer. this may be the single most
important key to the political behaviour of Western Civilization.
Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) ~ US President
Of course like very other man of intelligence and education
I do believe in organic evolution. It surprises me that at this late date
such questions should be raised.
A cult is a religion with no political power.
Freedom of Religion also constitutes Freedom FROM Religion.
Fundamentalists never wonder why, if herpes is sent by
'god' to scourge "adulterers," whooping cough and measles weren't purposely
created to lambaste children.
The very god who, according to those who believe in him,
made every last electron spin in its orbit everywhere throughout the universe,
still cannot write a clear, unmistakable volume of instructions to human
beings who are supposed to follow his wish.
Fundamentalists are like the fir
trees in German forests: they cannot stand alone, and are only stable when
crowded together, branches locked with those of their brothers. That is
why we must always fear them, because they will always hate us for our
So you really think that God would
plant a bunch of bones in the earth to test your faith? Either you're in
denial or God has some serious self-esteem issues.
Cathy Young ~ Journalist
After September 11, some credited God with ensuring that
there were far fewer people than usual both in the hijacked planes and
in the targeted buildings. You'd think God could have simply tipped off
Many men go into the ministry not only for the power
trip involved, but also so that they will never have to be interrupted
Emile Zola (1840-1902) ~ French
Has science ever retreated? No! It is Catholocism which
has always retreated before her, and will always be forced to retreat.
Civilization will not attain to its perfection until the
last stone from the last church falls on the last priest.