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Quotes


A

 

Men create gods after their own image, not only with regard to their form but with regard to their mode of life.

-       Aristotle (384-322 B.C.E.):  

"It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence."

-       - John Adams

 

"Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition".

- Adam Smith

 

"If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them."

-    Isaac Asimov

 

 

In the end, then, it all comes down to Pascal’s Gamble and the individual freedom to opt for faith. Pure science, pure reason are very largely on the side of the rationalists, agnostics, and atheists.

 

"If you pray for rain long enough, it eventually does fall.  If you pray for floodwaters to abate, they eventually do.  The same happens in the absence of prayers."

 - Steve Allen

 

Science has shown that the story of the creation is a myth and the gods legendary.

Paul Aurich

 

The fact that people have religious experiences is interesting from the psychological point of view, but it does not in any way imply that there is such a thing as religious knowledge . . . Unless he can formulate his ‘knowledge’ in propositions that are empirically verifiable, we may be sure that he is deceiving himself.

 

The fundamentalists deny that evolution has taken place; they deny that the earth and the universe as a whole are more than a few thousand years old, and so on. There is ample scientific evidence that the fundamentalists are wrong in these matters, and that their notions of cosmogony have about as much basis in fact as the Tooth Fairy has.

A.J. Ayer (1910-1989)

 

 

 

B

 

 

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, though religion were not; but superstition dismounts all these and erected an absolute monarchy in the minds of men.

-       Sir. Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

If I had believed in God of rewards and punishments, I might have lost courage in battle.

Knowledge and history are the enemies of religion.

Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821)

 

Science makes no claim to infallibility; it leaves that claim to be made by theology.

 

John Burroughs (1837-1921)

 

The atheist does not say, ‘There is no God,’ but he says, ‘ I know not what you mean by God; the word God is to me a sound conveying no clear or distinct affirmation.’

Charles Braudlaugh (1833-1891)

 

 "To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy."

- David Brooks

 

"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?"

 - Dan Barker

"If you think education is expensive, try ignorance."

-    Derek Bok

 

 

All religions are founded on the fear of the many and the cleverness of the few. 

Marie-Henri Beyle (1783-1842)

 

The more I study religions, the more I am convinced that man never worshipped anything but himself.

Sir Richard Burton (1812-1890)

 

. . . 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 had been served to 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 will I believe. Until then, no.

Luther Burbank (1849-1926)

 

Religious conflicts can be the bloodiest and cruelest conflicts that turn people into fanatics.

William J. Brennan, U.S. Supreme Court Justice. 1987

 

 

C

 

Not knowing life, how can we know death? Why talk of spirits when you do not understand men?

Confucius (6th Century B.C.E.)

 

Before accepting any belief one ought first to follow reason as a guide, for credulity without enquiry is a sure way to deceive oneself. Celsus, about 170 A.D.

 

I will give a million dollars for any convincing proof of a future life.

Andrew Carnegie (1837-1919)

 

 

"By simple common sense I don’t believe in God, in none."

-    Charlie Chaplin

 

The universe displays no proof of an all-directing mind.

Auguste Comte (1798-1857)

 

What dos are there, what gods have there ever been, that were not from man’s imagination.  

Joseph Campbell (1904-1987)

 


 

 

D

 

We believe whatever we want to believe.

-       Demosthenes (384-322 B.C.E.)

 

"It has often and confidently been asserted, that man’s origin can never be known: but ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science."

 - Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man (1871), Introduction

 

Men move between extremes. They conceive of themselves as gods, or feign a powerful and cunning god as an ally who bends the world to do their bidding and meet their wishes.

                                 

Science is not constituted by any particular body of subject matter. It is constituted by a method, a method of changing beliefs by means of tested inquiry. . .  Scientific method is adverse not only to dogma but to doctrine as well . . . The scientific-religious conflict ultimately is a conflict between the allegiance to this method and allegiance to even an irreducible minimum of belief so fixed in advance that it can never be modified.

John Dewey (1859-1952)

 

"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."

 - Clarence Darrow

 

 

"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."

-    Richard Dawkins

 

 

I think we have got to start again and go right back to first principles. The argument I shall advance, surprising as it may seem coming from the author of the earlier chapters, is that, for an understanding of the evolution of modern man, we must begin by throwing out the gene as the sole basis of our ideas on evolution.

If there is only one Creator who made the tiger and the lamb,  the cheetah and the gazelle, what is He playing at? Is he a  sadist who enjoys spectator blood sports? ... Is he manuvering  to maximize David Attenborough’s television ratings?

- Richard Dawkins

 

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.

 

Preachers pray for rain, knowing full well that no such prayer was ever answered. When a politician is sick, they pray for God to cure him, and the politician almost invariably dies. The modern clergyman who prays for rain and the health of the politician is no more intelligent in this matter than the primitive man who saw a separate miracle in the rising and setting of the sun.

 

I do not consider it an insult, but rather a compliment to be called a agnostic. I do not pretend to know where many ignorant men are sure – that is all that agnosticism means.

Charence Darrow (1857-1938)

 

 

E

 

A man cannot dispel his fear about the most important matters if he does not know what is the nature of the universe but suspects the truth of some mythical story. So that without natural science it is not possible to attain our pleasures unalloyed.

 

"Either God wants to abolish evil, and cannot; Or he can, but does not want to; Or he cannot and does not want to. If he wants to, but cannot, he is impotent. If he can, but does not want to, he is wicked. But, if God both can and wants to abolish evil, then how come evil is in the world?"

- Epicurus

 

Men, believing in myths, will always fear something terrible, everlasting punishment as certain or probable . . . Men base all these fears not on mature opinions, but on irrational fancies, that they are more disturbed by fear of the unknown than by facing facts. Peace of mind lies in being delivered from all these fears.

- Epicurus

 

"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.

Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.

Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?

Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"

- Epicurus

 

None of the gods has formed the world, nor has any man, it has always been.

-       Empedocles (495-435 B.C.E.)

Religious fanaticism has clearly produced, and in all probability will continue to produce, enormous amounts of bickering, fighting, violence, bloodshed, homicide, feuds, wars, and genocide.

Albert Ellis 

 

"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality."                                

- Albert Einstein

 

 

"A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death."

- Albert Einstein

 

 

"I want to know how God created this world.  I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element.  I want to know His thoughts; the rest are details."

 - Albert Einstein 

 

Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe."  

- Albert Einstein 

 

I cannot believe in the immortality of the soul . . .  No, all this talk of an existence for us, as individuals beyond the grave is wrong. It is born of our tenacity of life – our desire to go on living – our dread of coming to an end as individuals. I do not dread it, though. Personally, I cannot see any use of a future life.

 

"I have never seen the slightest scientific proof of the religious theories of heaven and hell, of future life for individuals, or of a personal God."

- Thomas Edison

 

 

"It is an interesting and demonstrable fact, that all children are atheists and were religion not inculcated into their minds, they would remain so."

- Ernestine Rose

 

 

 

F

 

"The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason."

-    Benjamin Franklin

 

It is necessary to sleep upon the pillow of doubt.

Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880)

A religion, even if it calls itself a religion of love, must be hard and unloving to those who do not belong to it.

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)

 

 

 

 

G

 

I don’t see any god up here.

Yury Gagarin (1934-1968): (Atheist Soviet Cosmonaut, speaking from the Orbit in 1961)

 

 

The fundamentalists, by ‘knowing’ the answers before they start [examining evolution], and then forcing nature into the straitjacket of their discredited preconceptions, lie outside the domain of science – or of any honest intellectual inquiry.

Stephen Jay Gould, American Paleontologist, Life Magazine

 

In times of death and famine, reason is on the side of the priests – who have their own kind of logic which cries for miracles and, on occasion, invents them.

Jean Giraudoux (1882-1944)

 

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect, had intended for us to forgo their use."

- Galileo Galilei

 

"Philosophy itself cannot but benefit from our disputes, for if our conceptions prove true, new achievements will be made; if false, their refutation will further confirm the original doctrines."

- Galileo Galilei

 

"I do not think it is necessary to believe that the same God who has given us our senses, reason, and intelligence wished us to abandon their use, giving us by some other means the information that we could gain through them."

- Galileo Galilei

 

The most heinous and the most cruel crimes of which history has record have been committed under the cover of religion or equally noble motives.

Mohandas Gandhi (1869-1948)

 

Religious factions will go on imposing their will on others unless and decent people connected to them recognize that religion has no place in public policy.

Sen. Barry Goldwater. 1981

 

 

 

H

 

Fear of things invisible, is the natural seed of that which ever one in himself calleth religion.

-       Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679)

The atheist is a man who destroys the chimeras which afflict the human race, and so leads men back to nature, to experience and to reason.

Baran d’Holbach (1723-1789)

 

I’m an atheist, and that’s it. I believe there’s nothing we can know except that we should be kind to each other and do what we can for other people.

Katharine Hepburn

 

When you tell me that your Deity make you in his own image, I reply that he must have been very ugly.

 

Sacrificing the earth for paradise is giving up substance for the shadow.

Victor Hugo (1802-1885)

 

"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored."

 - Aldous Huxley

 

"The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike."

- David Hume

 

My young son asked me what happens after we die. I told him we get buried under a bunch of dirt and worms eat our bodies. I guess I should have told him the truth—that most of us go to Hell and burn eternally—but I didn’t want to upset him."

-    Jack Handey

 

 "We enter church, and we have to say, ‘We have erred and strayed from Thy ways like lost sheep,’ when what we want to say is, ‘Why are we made to err and stray like lost sheep?’"

 - Thomas Hardy

 

"As we shall see, the concept of time has no meaning before the beginning of the universe. This was first pointed out by St. Augustine. When asked: What did God do before he created the universe? Augustine didn’t reply: He was preparing Hell for people who asked such questions. Instead, he said that time was a property of the universe that God created, and that time did not exist before the beginning of the universe."

 - Stephen Hawking

 

"Religion is a byproduct of fear," he says. "For much of human history, it may have been a necessary evil, but why was it more evil than necessary? Isn’t killing people in the name of God a pretty good definition of insanity?"

-    Stephen Hawking

 

 

Every judgment teeters on the brink of error. To claim absolute knowledge is to become monstrous. Knowledge is an unending adventure at the edge of uncertainty.

Frank Herbert

 

Self righteousness is a loud din raised to drown the voice of the guilt.

Eric Hoffer

 

Every great advance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority.

 

The man of science has learned to believe in justification, not by faith, but by verification.

 

Evolution excludes creation and all other kinds of supernatural interventions.

 

The supernatural is being swept out of the universe in the flood of new knowledge of what is natural. It will soon be as impossible for an intelligent, educated man or woman to believe in a god as it is now to believe that earth is flat, that flies can be spontaneously generated, that disease is a divine punishment, or that death is always due to witchcraft.

Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895)

 

You never see animals going through the absurd and often horrible fooleries of magic and religion. Dogs do no ritually urinate in the hope of persuading heaven to do the same and send down rain. Asses do not bray a liturgy to cloudless skies. Nor do cats attempt, by abstinence from cat’s meat, to wheedle the feline spirits into benevolence. Only man behaves with such gratuitous folly. It is the price he has to pay for being intelligent but not, as yet, quite intelligent enough.

Aldous Huxley (1894-1963)

 

 

Dogma is a lie reiterated and authoritatively injected into the mind of one or more persons who believe that they believe what someone else believes.

 

Formal religion was organized for slaves: it offered them consolation which earth did not provide.

 

Faith is the effort to believe what your common sense tells you is not true.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915)

 

 

I

 

 

"Our ignorance is God; what we know is science."

- Robert Ingersoll

 

If a god created the universe, then, there must have been a time when he commenced to create. Back of that time there must have been an eternity, during which there had existed nothing — absolutely nothing — except this supposed god. According to this theory, this god spent an eternity, so to speak, in an infinite vacuum, and in perfect idleness.

Admitting that a god did create the universe, the question then arises, of what did he create? It certainly was not made of nothing. Nothing, considered in the light of raw material, is a most decided failure. It follows, then, that the god must have made the universe out of himself, he being the only existence. The universe is material, and if it was made of god, the god must have been material.

- Robert Green Ingersoll

 

"An honest god is the noblest work of man. ... God has always resembled his creators. He hated and loved what they hated and loved and he was invariably found on the side of those in power."

- Robert Green Ingersoll

 

Who can estimate the miser that has been caused by this infamous doctrine of eternal punishment? Think of the lives it has blighted – of the tears it has caused – of the agony it has produced. Think of the millions who have been driven to insanity by this most terrible of dogmas. This doctrine renders God the basest and most cruel being in the universe . . . There is nothing more degrading than to worship such as god.

 

Eternal punishment is eternal revenge, and can be inflicted only by an ternal monster . . . Infinite punishment is infinite cruelty, endless injustice, immortal meanness. To worship an ternal jailer hardens, debases, and pollutes even the vilest soul.

 

Did is ever occur to you that if God wrote the Old Testament and told the Jews to crucify or kill anybody who disagreed with them in religion, and that this God afterward took upon himself flesh and came to Jerusalem, and taught a different religion, and the Jews killed him – did it ever occur to you that he reaped exactly what he has sown?

 

A believer is a bird in a cage; a freethinker is an eagle parting the clouds with tireless wing.

 

The inventor of the plow did more good than the maker of the first rosary; because, say what you will, plowing is better than praying.

- Robert Green Ingersoll

 

 

 

J

 

The question before the human race is, whether God of nature shall govern the world by his own laws, or whether priests and kings shall rule it by fictitious miracles.

 

"Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear."

- Thomas Jefferson

 

 

 

K

 

"Faith is often the boast of the man who is too lazy to investigate."

- F. M. Knowles

 

The beginning of wisdom is the awareness that there is insufficient evidence that a god or gods have created us and the recognition that we are responsible in part for our own destiny. Human beings can achieve this good life, but it is by the cultivation of the virtues of intelligence and courage, not faith and obedience, that we will most likely to be able to do so.

Paul Kurtz

The wish to talk to God is absurd. We cannot talk to one we cannot comprehend – and we cannot comprehend God; we can only believe in Him. The uses of prayer are thus only subjective.

Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)

 

 

 

L

 

All religions are equally sublime to the ignorant, useful to the politician, and ridiculous to the philosopher.

-       Lucretius:

 

How any man who should inquire and know for himself can content himself with a faith or belief taken upon trust, is to be astonishing.

-       John Locke (1632-1704)

 

"If you don’t think that logic is a good method for determining what to believe, make an attempt to convince me of that without using logic. No one has even bothered to try yet."

-       -         Brett Lemoine

 

"Most men would kill the truth if truth would kill their religion."

-    Lemuel K. Washburn

 

It seems to me that the band of our country is a profession of faith either with no basis of real belief, or with no proper examination of the gounds on which the creed is supposed to rest.

James Russell Lowell (1819-1891)

 

The great trouble is that the preachers get the children from six to seven years of age, and then it is almost impossible to do anything with them. Incurably religious – that is the best way to describe the mental condition of so many people - incurably religious.

Joseph Lewis

 

M

 

If you scratch any aggressive tribalism, or nationalism, you usually find beneath its surface a religious core, some older binding energy or superstition . . . that is capable of transforming itself into a death-force, with the peculiar annihilating energies of belief. Faith, the sweetest refuge and consolation, may harden, by perverse miracle, into a sword – or anyway into a club or a torch or an assault rifle. Religious hatreds tend to be merciless and absolute.

Lance Morrow: (Time, March 15, 1993, p. 24)

 

So natural to mankind is intolerance in whatever they really care about, that religious freedom has hardly anywhere been practically realized.

 

The world would be astonished if it knew how great a proportion of its brightest ornaments, of those most distinguished even in popular estimation for wisdom and virtue, are complete skeptics in religion.

 

My father taught me that the question ‘Who made me?’ cannot be answered, since it immediately suggests the further question, ‘Who made God?’

 

Miracles have no claim whatever to the character of historical facts and are wholly invalid as evidence of any revelation.

John Stuart Mill (1806-1873

Science has gone on from strength to strength; position to position, once occupied by religion, has been captured until the whole of science has been emancipated from the bondage of the supernatural.

Walter Mann

 

The God of the theologians is the creation of their empty heads

Benito Mussolini (1883-1945)

 

The greatest burden in the world is superstition, not only of ceremonies in the church, but of imaginary and scarecrow sins at home.

John Milton (1608-1674)

 

History is full of religious wars; but we must take care to observe, it was not the multiplicity of religions that produced these wars, it was the intolerating spirit which animated that one which thought she had the power of governing.

Baron de Montesquieu (1689-1755)

 

"Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear."

-    Karl Marx

 

"A law of nature is not a formula drawn up by a legislator, but a mere summary of the observed facts — a "bundle of facts." Things do not act in a particular way because there is a law, but we state the "law" because they act in that way."

Joseph McCabe

 

"The church says the earth is flat, but I know that it is round, for I have seen the shadow on the moon, and I have more faith in a shadow than in the church."

- Ferdinand Magellan

 

How many things that were articles of faith yesterday are fables today.

-       Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592):

Religion hides many mischiefs from suspicion.

-       Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593):

I desire to go to Hell, not to Heaven.  In Hell I shall enjoy the company of popes, kings and princes, but in Heaven are only beggars, monks, hermits and apostles.

-       - Niccolo Machiavelli

 

 

Religion has ever been anti-human, anti-woman, anti-life, anti-peace, anti-reason and anti-science. The god idea has been detrimental not only to humankind but to the earth. It is time now for reason, education and science to take over.

 

"An atheist believes that a hospital should be built instead of a church. An Atheist believes that deed must be done instead of a prayer said. An Atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death. He wants disease conquered, poverty vanished, war eliminated."

- Madalyn Murray O’Hair

 

"Religious experiences are like those induced by drugs, alcohol, mental illness, and sleep deprivation: They tell no uniform or coherent story, and there is no plausible theory to account for discrepancies among them."

- Michael Martin

 

 

N

 

It is an end with priests and gods, if man becomes scientific. Moral: science is the thing forbidden in itself – it alone is forbidden. Science is the first sin, the germ of all sin, original sin. This alones is mortality: Thou shalt not know.

- Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844-1900)

 

"Faith: not wanting to know what is true."

- Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

 

"The beauty of religious mania is that it has the power to explain everything. Once God (or Satan) is accepted as the first cause of everything which happens in the mortal world, nothing is left to chance...logic can be happily tossed out the window."

- Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzche.

 

I want nothing to do with any religion concerned with keeping the masses satisfied to live in hunger, filth, and ignorance.

Jawaharlal Nehru

 

 

 

 

 

O

 

 

 

P

 

One good schoolmaster is of more use than a hundred priests.

"...to argue with a man who has renouced his reason is like giving medicine to the dead."

-    Thomas Paine (1737-1809)

"Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and tortuous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we call it the word of a demon than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind; and, for my part, I sincerely detest it, as I detest everything that is cruel."

 - Thomas Paine

 

"Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction."

- Blaise Pascal

 

 

 

Q

 

 

R

 

They said God was on high and he controlled the world and therefore we must pray against Satan. Well, if God controls the world, he controls Satan. For me, religion was full of misstatements and reaches of logic that I just couldn’t agree with. . . Religion was so full of inconsistencies that I could see no point in arguing each inconsistency out. It was background noise that you ignore.

Gene Roddenberry (1921-1991)

 

Existence exists, and only existence exists. So if you are to postulate something beyond existence – some supernatural realm – you must do it by openly denying reason, dispensing with definitions, proofs, arguments, and saying flatly. ‘To hell with argument, I have faith.’ That of course, is a willful rejection of reason. Objectivism advocates reason as man’s sole means of knowledge, and therefore . . . . it is atheist. It denies any supernatural dimension presented as a contradiction of nature, of existence. This applies not only to God, but also to every variant of the supernatural ever advocated or to be advocated. In other words, we accept reality, and that’s all.

Ayn Rand (1905-1982)

 

No miracle has ever taken place under conditions which science can accept. 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 in them.

Ernest Renan (1823-1892)

 

 

Religion is based, I think, primarily and mainly upon 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.

 

A good world needs knowledge, kindliness, and courage; it does not need a regretful hankering after the past, or fettering of this free intelligence by the worlds uttered long ago by ignorant men.

 

I feel no need for any other faith than my faith in human beings. Like Confucius of old, I am so absorbed in the world of the earth and the life upon it that I cannot thinking of the heaven and the angels.

 

"Most people would rather die than think; in fact, they do so."

- Bertrand Russell

 

"The foolish reject what they see and not what they think; the wise reject what they think and not what they see."

- Bertrand Russell

 

 

"If you think your belief is based upon reason, you will support it by argument rather than by persecution, and will abandon it if the argument goes against you. But if your belief is based upon faith, you will realize that argument is useless, and will therefore resort to force either in the form of persecution or by stunting or distorting the minds of the young in what is called ‘education.’"

- Bertrand Russell

 

"Dogma demands authority, rather than intelligent thought, as the source of opinion; it requires persecution of heretics and hostility to unbelievers; it asks of its disciples that they should inhibit natural kindness in favor of systematic hatred."

- Bertrand Russell

 

"What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite."

-    Bertrand Russell

 

"Religion is based, I think, primarily and mainly upon fear. It is partly the terror of the unknown and partly, as I have said, the wish to feel that you have a kind of elder brother who will stand by you in all your troubles and disputes. Fear is the basis of the whole thing — fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the parent of cruelty, and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion have gone hand in hand." - Why I Am Not A Christian –

-    Bertrand Russell

 

 

"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."

-    Stephen F Roberts

 

"We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing, all-powerful God, who creates faulty humans, and then blame them for his own mistakes."

- Gene Roddenberry

 

"What happens when we’re dead? The irony is that all our questions will be answered after we die. We spend our whole life trying to figure out the truth and the only way we’ll find out what it is, is to get hit by a bus. And the only comfort that religion offers is that God is driving that bus."

- John Ryman

 

 

S

 

 

"Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful."

- Seneca the Younger

 

[Believers] are but triflers who, when they cannot explain a thing, run back to the will of God; this is, truly, a ridiculous way of expressing ignorance.

-       Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677)

 

We should have to abandon our vested illusions, our irrational religions and patriotisms.

George Santayana (1863-1952)

 

The existence of a world without God seems to be less absurd than the presence of a God, existing in all his perfection, creating an imperfect man in order to make him run the risk of Hell.

Armand Salacrou

 

To work hard, to live hard, to die hard, and then to go to hell after all would be too damned hard.

 

Carl Sandburg (1878-1967)

 

Every time we say that God is the author of some phenomenon, that signifies that we are ignorant of how such as phenomenon was caused by the forces of nature.

 

If God has spoken, why is the universe not convinced?

 

That which is incapable of proof itself is no proof of anything else.

 

It is among men of genius and science that atheism alone is found.

P.B. Shelly (1792-1822)

There are scores of thousands of sects who are ready at a moment’s notice to reveal the will of God on every possible subject.

Emotional excitement reaches men through tea, tobacco, opium, whisky and religion.

 

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

 

 

"A believer is not a thinker and a thinker is not a believer."

- Marian Noel Sherman

 

 

If some good evidence for life after death were announced, I’d be eager to examine it; but it would have to be real scientific data, not mere anecdote . . .  Better the hard truth, I say, than the comforting fantasy.

If you want to save your child from polio, you can pray or you can inoculate . . . Try Science.

 

"The idea that God is an oversized white male with a flowing beard who sits in the sky and tallies the fall of every sparrow is ludicrous. But if by ‘God’ one means the set of physical laws that govern the universe, then clearly there is such a God. This God is emotionally unsatisfying... it does not make much sense to pray to the law of gravity."

- Carl Sagan

 

"I would love to believe that when I die I will live again, that some thinking, feeling, remembering part of me will continue. But as 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."

 - Carl Sagan

If you want to save your child from polio, you can pray or you can inoculate.

 - Carl Sagan

You can’t convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it’s based on a deep seated need to believe.

- Carl Sagan

 

"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence"

- Carl Sagan

 

In science it often happens that scientists say, you know that’s a really good argument; my position is mistaken, and then they actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn’t happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion.

-    Carl Sagan.

 

To no form to religion is woman indebted for one impulse of freedom, as all alike have taught her inferiority and subjection.

 

All through the centuries, scholars and scientists have been imprisoned, tortured and burned alive for some discovery which seemed to conflict with a petty text of Scripture. Surely the immutable laws of the universe can teach more impressive and exalted lessons than the holy books of all the religions on earth.

I decline to accept Hebrew mythology as a guide to twentieth-century science.

 

Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902)

 

The most malicious kind of hatred is that which is built upon a theological foundation. 

George Sarton (1884-1955)

 

 

 

T

 

Why is it when we talk to God, we’re said to be praying, but when God talks to us, we’re schizophrenic.

Lil Tomlin. 1981

There lives more faith in honest doubt, believe me, than in half the creeds.

Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)

 

Whatever a man prays for, he prays for a miracle. Every prayer reduces itself to this: ‘Great God, grant that twice two be not four.’

Ivan Turgenev (1818-1883)

 

I did not see why the schoolmaster should be taxed to support the priest, and not the priest the schoolmaster.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

 

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.

Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910)

 

Many of these people have reasoning facility, but no one uses it in religious matters.

Mark Twain (1835-1910)

 

 

U

 

"Leave the matter of religion to the family altar, the church, and the private schools, supported entirely by private contributions. Keep the church and the state forever separated."

-    Ulysses S. Grant

 

Beliefs are what divide people. Doubt unites them.

Peter Ustinov

 

V

 

Atheism is the vice of a few intelligent people.

 

We offer up prayers to God only because we have made him after our own image. We treat him like a pasha, or a sultan, who is capable of being exasperated and appeased.

 

Superstition sets the world whole in flames; philosophy extinguishes it.

 

The word of God is the word of the priests; the glory of God is the pride of the priests; the will of God is the will of the priests; to offend God is to offend the priests; to believe in God is to believe all that the priests tell us.

 

On religion, many are destined to reason wrongly; others not to reason at all; and others to persecute those who do reason.

 

 

"I do not approve of a word you say but will defend to the death your right to say it."

 - Voltaire

 

 

W

 

Superstition is rooted in a much deeper and more sensitive layer of the psyche than skepticism.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

Why do born-again people so often make you wish they’d never been born the first time?

Katrine Whitehorn, British Journalist, The Observer, May 20, 1979.

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 


Y

 

"Atheism is a requirement for a complete human being. Religion is a crutch that is shackled to you, one you never really needed in the first place, but were convinced by others that you couldn’t live without. Once you discover it’s only an illusion, that it’s not even a real crutch, you discard it gladly."

- Brent Yaciw

 

 

Z

 

"Give a man a fish, and you’ll feed him for a day; give him a religion, and he’ll starve to death while praying for a fish."

- Author Unknown

 

"Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned."

- Author Unknown

 

"Minds are like parachutes - They only function when open"

- Author Unknown