Pulp Non Fiction

[ Thursday, October 19, 2006 ]


Words Of Wisdom

Explaining the unknown by means of the unobservable is always a perilous business.
If god doesn't like the way I live,
Let him tell me, not you.

If atheism is a religion, then health is a disease!
[Clark Adams]

If the Bible is mistaken in telling us where we came from, how can we trust it to tell us where we're going?

If god really existed, it would be necessary to abolish him. [Mikhail Bakunin]

To assert that the earth revolves around the sun is as erroneous as to claim that Jesus was not born of a virgin.
[Cardinal Bellarmine 1615, during the trial of Galileo]

Scriptures: The sacred books of our holy religion, as distinguished from the false and profane writings on which all other faiths are based. [Ambrose Bierce]

Why has a religious turn of mind always a tendency to narrow and harden the heart? [Robert Burns]

A one sentence definition of mythology?
'Mythology' is what we call someone else's religion. [Joseph Campbell]

I don't believe in god because I don't believe in Mother Goose. [Clarence Darrow]

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away. [Philip K. Dick]

I do not believe in the immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority behind it. [Einstein]

The foundation of morality should not be made dependent on myth nor tied to any authority lest doubt about the myth or about the legitimacy of the authority imperil the foundation of sound judgment and action. [Einstein]

It will yet be the proud boast of women that they never contributed a line to the Bible.
[George W. Foote]

I do not feel obliged to believe that same God who endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect had intended for us to forego their use. [Galileo]

Heresy is only another word for freedom of thought. [Graham Greene, 1981]

We tend to scoff at the beliefs of the ancients. But we can't scoff at them personally, to their faces, and this is what annoys me. [Jack Handey]

John Wesley said that if you give up the witchcraft, you must give up the Bible. He is right. The choice is easy for me. [Rupert Hughes]

The Christian religion not only was at first attended with miracles, but even at this day cannot be believed by any reasonable person without one. [David Hume]

To hate man and worship god seems to be the sum of all the creeds. [Robert G. Ingersoll]

I have little confidence in any enterprise or business or investment that promises dividends only after the death of the stockholders. [Robert G. Ingersoll]

If we should put god in the Constitution
there would be no room left for man. [Robert G. Ingersoll]

If a man would follow, today, the teachings of the Old Testament, he would be a criminal. If he would follow strictly the teachings of the New, he would be insane. [Robert G. Ingersoll]

Ministers say that they teach charity. That is natural. They live on hand-outs. All beggars teach that others should give. [Robert G. Ingersoll]

Blasphemy is an epithet bestowed by superstition upon common sense. [Ingersoll's Works]

The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike. [Delos McKown]

I find every sect, as far as reason will help them, make use of it gladly; and where it fails them, they cry out, It is a matter of faith, and above reason. [John Locke]

An atheist [...] only has to be someone who believes that the evidence on the God question is at a similar level to the evidence on the werewolf question. [John McCarthy]

We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart. [H.L. Mencken]

...I was suddenly inspired to describe the Judeo-Christian god as a penis which has been endowed with cosmic significance. [Soledad de Montalvo]

Fear prophets ... and those prepared to die for the truth, for as a rule they make many others die with them, often before them, at times instead of them. [Umberto Eco]

One of my favorite fantasies is that next Sunday not one woman, in any country of the world, will go to church. If women simply stop giving our time and energy to the institutions that oppress, they cease to be. [Sonia Johnson]

Koranic teaching still insists that the sun moves around the earth. How can we advance when they teach things like that? [Taslima Nasrin Time magazine, 31st Jan 1994]

Many people would rather die than think; in fact, most do. [Bertrand Russell]

I do not need the idea of God to explain the world I live in. [Salman Rushdie, on David Frost show]

So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence. [Bertrand Russell]

If atheism is a religion, then bald is a hair color.
[Mark Schnitzius on alt.atheism]

The Bible and the Church have been the greatest stumbling blocks in the way of women's emancipation. [Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Free Thought Magazine, 1896]

The truth cannot be asserted without denouncing the falsehood. [Leslie Stephen]

Man is the religious animal. He is the only religious animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion--several of them. [Letters from the Earth, Mark Twain]

Nothing can be more contrary to religion and the clergy than reason and common sense. [Voltaire]

I don't want to see any religious people in public office because they're working for another boss. [Frank Zappa]

The most formidable weapon against errors of every kind is reason. I have never used any other, and I trust I never shall. [Thomas Paine, Age of Reason]

Why be born again, when you can just grow up?

To surrender to ignorance and call it God has always been premature, and it remains premature today. [Isaac Asimov]

The word heretic ought to be a term of honour...
[Charles Bradlaugh]

I am an agnostic; I do not pretend to know what many ignorant men are sure of. [Clarence Darrow]

Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.
[Denis Diderot, Dithyrambe sur la fête des rois]

The more the fruits of knowledge become accessible to men, the more widespread is the decline of religious belief. [Sigmund Freud]

No deity will save us, we must save ourselves. Promises of immortal salvation or fear of eternal damnation are both illusory and harmful.
[Humanist Manifesto II, Prometheus Books, 1973]

The hands that help are better far than the lips that pray. [Robert G. Ingersoll]

...to argue with a man who has renounced his reason is like giving medicine to the dead.
[Ingersoll's Works, Vol. 1, p.127]

It cannot be too often repeated, that truth scorns the assistance of miracle. [Robert G. Ingersoll]

Reason should be destroyed in all Christians. [Martin Luther]

Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable. [H. L. Mencken]

Christian theology is not only opposed to the scientific spirit; it is opposed to every other form of rational thinking. [H. L. Mencken]

A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything. [Nietzsche]

To recognize that nature has neither a preference for our species nor a bias against it takes only a little courage [James Randi]

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]

You pronounce sentence upon me with greater fear than I receive it. [Giordano Bruno to his inquisitors]

And that inverted bowl we call the sky,
Whereunder crawling coop't we live and die,
lift not thy hands to It for help - for It
Rolls impotently on as Thou or I. [Rubàiyàt]

Nothing fails like prayer [Annie Laurie Gaylor]

Eve was framed [Annie Laurie Gaylor]

The cosmos is a gigantic fly-wheel making ten thousand revolutions a minute. Man is a sick fly taking a dizzy ride on it. Religion is the theory that the wheel was designed and set in motion to give him the ride. [H.L. Mencken]

The Church has always been willing to swap off treasures in heaven for cash down. [Robert G. Ingersoll]

In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments - there are consequences. [R.G. Ingersoll]

I count religion but a childish toy,
And hold there is no sin but ignorance. [Christopher Marlowe]

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction. [Blaise Pascal]

I have only a small flickering light to guide me in the darkness of a thick forest. Up comes a theologian and blows it out. [Denis Diderot]

My country is the world, and my religion is to do good. [Thomas Paine]

To be good is noble, but to teach others how to be good is nobler -- and less trouble. [Mark Twain]

My mind is my own church. [Thomas Paine]

The first step towards philosophy is incredulity. [Denis Diderot]

Faith: Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel. {Ambrose Bierce]

'Faith' means not wanting to know what is true. [Friedrich Nietzsche]

It was the schoolboy who said, 'Faith is believing what you know ain't so'. [Mark Twain]

Never judge a man till you have walked a mile in his shoes, 'cuz by then, he's a mile away, you've got his shoes, and you can say whatever the hell you want to.

Despite the high cost of living, it remains a popular item.

Common sense is what tells you that the world is flat.

Just say NO to religion. [Dan Barker]

My thoughts will not cater to priest or dictator;
No person can deny,
Die Gedanken Sind Frei!
[16th century German peasant song]

Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky. [Imagine, John Lennon]

Our lives shall not be sweated
from birth until life closes;
hearts starve as well as bodies;
give us bread, but give us roses. [Bread & Roses]

No woman can call herself free until she can choose consciously whether she will or will not be a mother. [Margaret Sanger]

It is almost intrinsically impossible for ideas about how we are fooling ourselves to gain an adequate hearing. We are good enough at it to keep them nicely at bay. - Melvin Konner, Tangled Wing

You keep accusing me of blasphemy all of the time,
But I cannot be convicted of a victimless crime.
Friendly Neighborhood Atheist --[Dan Barker]

I think, therefore I am an atheist.

Cogito, ergo non credo.

Cogito, ergo atheos sum.

Jesus is a Myth.

Evolution, the Greatest Theory Ever Told!

A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it. - Oscar Wilde

Pray: To ask the laws of the universe to be annulled on behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy. - Ambrose Bierce

While there is a lower class, I am in it;
while there is a criminal element, I am of it;
and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free. - Eugene Debs

The Puritan through Life's sweet garden goes
To pluck the thorn and cast away the rose.
[Kenneth Hare]

Theology is the effort to explain the unknowable in terms of the not worth knowing. - H.L Mencken

The basic test of freedom is perhaps less in what we are free to do than in what we are free not to do. [Eric Hoffer]

By the year 2000 we will, I hope, raise our children to believe in human potential, not God.
[Gloria Steinem]

Die Gedanken sind frei!

WARNING! Literal belief in this book may endanger your health and your life.

I must have a reason for a certain hypothesis. Either I know a thing, and then I know it-- I don't need to believe it. -- [Carl Jung]

Eliminate the Deficit,
Tax the Churches!

For God so loved the world that he made up his mind to damn the large majority of the human race. -- Robert G. Ingersoll

Jesus is not my best friend, I have real friends.
Andrew Lias on alt.atheism

Happiness is the only good.
The time to be happy is now,
The place to be happy is here --R.G. Ingersoll

I haven't rejected god, I've never met him.
Trevor Hick on alt.atheism

To rule by fettering the mind through fear of punishment in another world, is just as base as to use force. -- Hypatia (c. 370-415 CE)

... there could be talking bunny rabbits, spiders who write English messages in their webs, and for that matter, melancholy choo-choo trains. There could be, I suppose, but there aren't--so my theory doesn't have to explain them. --Daniel Dennett

Public prayer...Don't Stand for it!

...it would be more pardonable to believe in no God at all, than to blaspheme Him by the atrocious attributes of Calvin. Thomas Jefferson

The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt. -- [Bertrand Russell]

Exploring the universe through meditation is like studying human relationships through masturbation.

A mystic is someone who wants to understand the universe, but is too lazy to study physics

I do not find in our particular superstitions of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all alike, founded on fables and mythology. [Thomas Jefferson]

Humanity has the stars in its future, and that future is too important to be lost under the burden of juvenile folly and ignorant superstition. [Isaac Asimov]

God exists, if only in the form of a meme with high survival value, or infective power, in the environment provided by human culture.
[Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene]

The meme for blind faith secures its own perpetuation by the simple unconscious expedient of discouraging rational inquiry.
[Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene]

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 Alva Edison,]

I am a demo religious meme which has been replicated here. You will be blessed if you copy me and pass me on to infect the next mind. And damned if you don't.

The church never doubts -- never inquires. To doubt is heresy -- to inquire is to admit that you do not know -- the church does neither. [R.G. Ingersoll]

If that story [Creation] was necessary to keep me out of hell and put me in heaven -- necessary for my life -- I wouldn't believe it because I couldn't believe it. [Clarence Darrow]

Fear believes -- courage doubts. Fear falls upon the earth and prays -- courage stands erect and thinks. Fear is barbarism -- courage is civilization. Fear believes in witchcraft, in devils and in ghosts. Fear is religion, courage is science. [R.G. Ingersoll]

The only terror in death is the apprehension of what lies beyond it, and that emotion is impossible to a sincere disbeliever.
[C.W. Foote Infidel Death Beds]

The enemy with whom I have to grapple is one with whom no peace can be made. Idolatry will not parley; superstition will not treat on covenant. They must be uprooted for public and individual safety. [Richard Carlisle]

Religion stills a thinking mind.

WARNING: Giving up religion now greatly increases humanity's chances for survival.

I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.
[Susan B. Anthony]

For that again, is what all manner of religion essentially is: childish dependency. [Albert Ellis]

I have been looking for god for fifty years and I think if he had existed I should have discovered him. [Thomas Hardy]

It is grander to think and investigate for yourself than to repeat a creed. [Robert G. Ingersoll]

The inspiration of the Bible depends on the credulity of him who reads. [Robert G. Ingersoll]

The time appears to me to have come when it is the duty of all to make their dissent from religion known. [John Stuart Mill]

The whole tone of Church teaching in regard to women is, to the last degree, contemptuous and degrading. [Elizabeth Cady Stanton]

It ain't the parts of the Bible that I can't understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand. [Mark Twain]

In every country and in every age the priest has been hostile to liberty; he is always in allegiance to the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection of his own. [Thomas Jefferson]

Every one who publishes a blasphemous libel is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years. Criminal Code of Canada sec. 296(1) So, arrest me!

Warning: Giving up religion now significantly improves chances of mental health.

Commonly, those who have professed the strongest motives of love of a God have demonstrated the deepest hatred toward human joy and liberty. [E. Haldeman-Julius]

After all, the principle objection which a thinking man has to religion is that religion is not true -- and is not even sane. [E. Haldeman-Julius]

A miracle is the badge and brand of fraud. ... No intelligent, honest man ever pretended to perform a miracle, and never will. {Robert G. Ingersoll]

...in every religion the priest insists on five things --
First: There is a God.
Second: He has made known his will.
Third: He has selected me to explain this message.
Fourth: We will now take up a collection; and
Fifth: Those who fail to subscribe will certainly be damned.
[Robert G. Ingersoll]

The very fact of there being more than one revelation is sufficient to raise doubts in the minds of reasoning people as to the validity of any of them. Rationalist's Manual, Aletheia, M.D.

Commerce makes friends, religion makes enemies; the one enriches, and the other impoverishes; the one thrives best where the truth is told, the other where falsehoods are believed. [R.G. Ingersoll]

Intelligence is the only moral guide. [Robert G. Ingersoll]

The man who wants to be an angel is never in a hurry to begin. [Lemuel K. Washburn, Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays]

The man who gets on his knees has not learned the right use of his legs. [Lemuel K. Washburn, Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays]

Trying to find God is a good deal like looking for money one has lost in a dream. [Lemuel K. Washburn, Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays]

If there were an afterlife, Isaac Asimov would have written a book about it by now.

Ignorance is the soil of the supernatural. The foundation of Christianity has crumbled, has disappeared, and the entire fabric must fall. The natural is true. The miraculous is false. [R.G. Ingersoll]

...but I also can't prove that mushrooms could not be intergalactic spaceships spying on us.
Ä Daniel Dennett

Go around the world, and where you find the least superstition, there you will find the best men, the best women, the best children.
Ä Robert G. Ingersoll

There are some truths, however, that we should never forget: Superstition has always been the relentless enemy of science; faith has been a hater of demonstration; hypocrisy has been sincere only in its dread of truth, and all religions are inconsistent with mental freedom. R.G. Ingersoll

If God wants us to do a thing, He should make his wishes sufficiently clear. Sensible people will wait till He has done this before paying much attention to Him. [Samuel Butler]

Would you have mansions of gold in the sky,
and live in a shack, here in the back?
Would you have wings up in heaven to fly,
While you live here with rags on your back? IWW song, from The Little Red Songbook, Songs to fan the flames of discontent

While we are under the tyranny of Priests [...] it will ever be their interest, to invalidate the law of nature and reason, in order to establish systems incompatible therewith. [Ethan Allen, Reason the Only Oracle of Man]

We cannot hope for a society in which formal organized religion dies out. But we can stop behaving as if it was worthy of our collective respect. [A. N. Wilson, Against Religion]

Jesus - Myth or Legend?

Christ rode on an ass, but now asses ride on Christ. -- Heine

They were allowed to stay there on one condition, and that is that they didn't eat of the tree of knowledge. That has been the condition of the Christian church from then until now. They haven't eaten as yet, as a rule they do not. --Clarence Darrow

A dogma is the hand of the dead on the throat of the living. [Lemuel K. Washburn, Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays]

If God exists, what objection can he have to saying so? [Lemuel K. Washburn, Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays]

Prayer is like a pump in an empty well, it makes lots of noise, but brings no water. [Lemuel K. Washburn, Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays]

A man cannot be happy who believes in hell, any more than he can sweeten his coffee with a pickle.
[Lemuel K. Washburn, Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays]

If the factory pays taxes and the church does not, it follows that the church will some day own the factory. [Lemuel K. Washburn, Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays]

Everywhere in the world there are ignorance and prejudice, but the greatest complex of these, with the most extensive prestige and the most intimate entanglement with traditional institutions, is the Roman Catholic Church. [H.G. Wells]

The two most common things in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity.

A hundred thousand lemmings can't be wrong.

All the professors in all the religious colleges in this country rolled into one, would not equal Charles Darwin. [Robert G. Ingersoll]

Atheism has one doctrine: To Question
Atheism has one dogma: To Doubt
The Atheist Bible has but one word: THINK.
paraphrase from Emmet F. Fields

Those who believe in hell can never know truth, for they are blinded by fear. [Emmet F. Fields]

...the Bible, a book that glorifies behavior you abhor. [FFRF]

Modern societies march towards morality in proportion as they leave religion behind.-Paul Bert

'Dear friends, -- Man has created God, not God man. Yours ever, Garibaldi.' [entire text of letter]

...and when you tell me that your deity made you in his own image, I reply that he must be very ugly. [Victor Hugo, writing to clergy]

No wild beasts are as hostile to men as Christian sects in general are to one another. [Emperor Julian]

Morality becomes hypocrisy if it means accepting mothers suffering or dying in connection with unwanted pregnancies and illegal abortions--and unwanted children living in misery. Gro Harlem Brundtland

'...the Bible as we have it contains elements that are scientifically incorrect or even morally repugnant. No amount of explaining away can convince us that such passages are the product of Divine Wisdom.' -- Bernard J. Bamberger, The Story of Judaism

The destroyer of weeds, thistles and thorns is a benefactor whether he soweth grain or not.
--Robert G. Ingersoll

Re: God...
1) The emperor has no clothes.
2) There is no emperor.

Irreligion: The principal one of the great faiths of the world. [Ambrose Bierce]

I have noticed all my life that many people think they have religion when they are troubled with dyspepsia. [R.G. Ingersoll]

An atheist is a man who has no invisible means of support. - John Buchan

Anyone who opposes methods to control the birth rate, is automatically voting in favour having the death rate go up.
Dr. Paul Erlich, on CBC's Quirks and Quarks

As the poet said, 'Only God can make a tree' -- probably because it's so hard to figure out how to get the bark on. [Woody Allen]

The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness [Joseph Conrad]

Should it turn out that I am the worst man in the whole world, the story of the flood will remain just as improbable as before, and the contradictions of the Pentateuch will still demand an explanation. -- Robert G. Ingersoll

When people learn no tools of judgment and merely follow their hopes, the seeds of political manipulation are sown. -- Stephen Jay Gould

God is make believe

Consider the ignorance of the average fundamentalist. Then realize that by definition fully half of them must be even dumber than that.

A humanist is an atheist who cares.
Dr. Wendell Watters

Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul. -- Mark Twain

Ignorance is the mother of devotion. -- Dean Henry Cole

There is no such source and cause of strife, quarrel, fights, malignant opposition, persecution, and war, and all evil in the state, as religion. -- Supreme Court of Wisconsin Weiss vs District Board March 18, 1890

Inspired? The Bible is not even intelligent. It is not even good craftsmanship, but is full of absurdities and contradictions.
E. Haldeman-Julius, The Meaning Of Atheism

Christianity has made of death a terror which was unknown to the gay calmness of the Pagan. --Ouida

A god's primary function is to confirm for us deeply held beliefs that we can't let go of, even in the face of overwhelming evidence. When you are totally and absolutely convinced of something fundamentally unreasonable, it helps to believe you have divine guidance

The undoubted sign of a society well under control or in decline is that language has ceased to be a means of communication and has become instead a shield for those who master it. -- John Ralston Saul, Voltaire's Bastards

The church has contributed nothing to civilization. It has progressed somewhat, and it has become a little more decent, in reflection of the movements of civilization that have taken place outside of the church and usually in the face of the strong opposition of the church. E. Haldeman-Julius The Church Is a Burden, Not a Benefit, In Social Life

The citizen's job is to be rude--to pierce the comfort of professional intercourse by boorish expressions of doubt.
--John Ralston Saul, The Doubter's Companion

With soap, baptism is a good thing. [Robert G. Ingersoll]

This sentence no verb. -- Douglas Hofstadter Metamagical Themas

When a religion is good, I conceive it will support itself; and when it does not support itself so that its professors are obliged to call for the help of the civil power, 'tis a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one. --Ben Franklin

There is no need to search for global solutions, apart from an absolute necessity to destroy the idea that such things exist.
- - John Ralston Saul, Voltaire's Bastards

Theists have good reasons for not believing in every god but their own. Atheists make no exception for the last one. Brett Lemoine

Humanism : An exaltation of freedom, but one limited by our need to exercise it as an integral part of nature and society.
-- John Ralston Saul, The Doubter's Companion

To err is a sign of intelligence. ... A society that punishes error--as Western civilization increasingly does--discourages individual responsibility.
-- John Ralston Saul, The Doubter's Companion

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.
--Prof. Ian Plimer - The Skeptic, Vol 13, No2.

There is something feeble and a little contemptible about a man who cannot face the perils of life without the help of comfortable myths. Bertrand Russell in Human Society in Ethics and Politics.

If I believed in a god, which I do not, I would like to communicate with him on the same intellectual level. Therefore, I would have to teach him a few things.
-- Aaron Erwin

nullifidian n. & a. (Person) having no religious faith or belief, [f. med. L nullifidius fr L nullus none + fides faith; see IAN]

freethinker n. A person who forms opinions about religion on the basis of reason, independently of tradition, authority, or established belief.

Whenever someone says, 'We can't be sentimental.' You know they're about to do something cruel. When they also say, 'We have to be realistic.' You know they're going to make money at it.

We have at last ascertained that miracles can be perfectly understood; that there is nothing mysterious about them; that they are simply transparent falsehoods. Robert Ingersoll

... we ought even to hold as a fixed principle that what I see white I believe to be black, if the superior authorities define it to be so. -- Ignatius de Loyola

Don't try to be happy, it will only make you miserable.dialogue from the movie Lovers and Other Strangers

Autumn wind:
gods, Buddha--
lies, lies, lies

Where there are humans
you'll find flies,
and Buddhas --Issa

What is an anarchist? One who, choosing, accepts the responsibility of choice. Ursula K. LeGuinn, The Day before the Revolution

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. --Salman Rushdie

God tells Adam and Eve not to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. If this was the only way they could understand the difference between good and evil, how could they have known that it was wrong to disobey god and eat the fruit? from laurie lynn

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

Do we, holding that the gods exist, deceive ourselves with insubstantial dreams and lies, while random careless chance and change alone control the world? [Euripedes, Hecuba]

Lighthouses are more helpful than churches.
[Benjamin Franklin]

The Theologian is an owl, sitting on an old dead branch in the tree of human knowledge, and hooting the same old hoots that have been hooted for hundreds and thousands of years, but he has never given a hoot for progress. [Emmet F. Fields]

Calvin founded a little theocracy, modeled after the Old Testament, and succeeded in erecting the most detestable government that ever existed, except the one from which it was copied. --Heretics and Heresies, Robert G. Ingersoll

To know that the Bible is the literature of a barbarous people, to know that it is uninspired, to be certain that the supernatural does not and cannot exist -- all this is but the beginning of wisdom.--R.G. Ingersoll

The Santa myth is one of the most effective means ever devised for intimidating children, eroding their self-esteem, twisting their behavior, warping their values, and slowing their development of critical thinking skills. --Tom Flynn, The Trouble with Christmas

A mystic is a person who is puzzled before the obvious but who understands the nonexistent [Elbert Hubbard]

Sacred cows make the tastiest hamburger. [Abbie Hoffman]

He is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong. --Thomas Jefferson

To love justice, to long for the right, to love mercy, to pity the suffering, to assist the weak, to forget wrongs and remember benefits -- to love the truth, to be sincere, to utter honest words, to love liberty, to wage relentless war against slavery in all its forms, to love wife and child and friend, to make a happy home, to love the beautiful; in art, in nature, to cultivate the mind, to be familiar with the mighty thoughts that genius has expressed, the noble deeds of all the world, to cultivate courage and cheerfulness, to make others happy, to fill life with the splendor of generous acts, the warmth of loving words, to discard error, to destroy prejudice, to receive new truths with gladness, to cultivate hope, to see the calm beyond the storm, the dawn beyond the night, to do the best that can be done and then to be resigned -- this is the religion of reason, the creed of science. This satisfies the brain and heart. --Robert G. Ingersoll, The Foundations of Faith

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 them. --Ernest Renan, The Life of Jesus

The total amount of suffering per year in the natural world is beyond all decent contemplation. During the minute that it takes me to compose this sentence, thousands of animals are being eaten alive, many others are running for their lives, whimpering with fear, others are slowly being devoured from within by rasping parasites, thousands of all kinds are dying of starvation, thirst, and disease. It must be so. If there ever is a time of plenty, this very fact will automatically lead to an increase in the population until the natural state of starvation and misery is restored.

In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won't find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.

Richard Dawkins in "God's Utility Function," Scientific American, November 1995, p. 85.

A reasonable list of human qualities might include: Ethics, common sense, imagination or creativity, memory or history or experience, intuition and reason. The humanist tries to use all of these. ... The moment one quality is cut free from the others and given precedence over them, this imbalance will bring out the winner's negative aspects.

Thus ethics in power quickly turn into a religious dictatorship. Common sense couldn't help but subside into pessimistc confusion, as if wallowing in the mud. Creativity into anarchy. Memory into the worst sort of monarchical dictatorship. Intuition into the rule of base superstition. And reason, as we have seen over the last half-century, into a directionless, amoral dictatorship of structure. John Ralston Saul -- The Doubter's Companion

But why are Paul's commands not followed to-day? Why are not the words, sister, mother, daughter, wife, only names for degradation and dishonor? Because men have grown more honorable than their religion, and the strong arm of the law, supported by the stronger arm of public sentiment, demands greater justice than St. Paul ever dreamed of. Because men are growing grand enough to recongize the fact that right is not masculine only, and that justice knows no sex. And because the church no longer makes the laws. Saints have been retired from the legal profession. I can't recall the name of a single one who is practicing law now. Have any of you ever met a saint at the bar? Women are indebted to-day for their emancipation from a position of hopeless degradation, not to their religion nor to Jehovah, but to the justice and honor of the men who have defied his commands. That she does not crouch to-day where St. Paul tried to bind her, she owes to the men who are grand and brave enough to ignore St. Paul, and rise superior to his God.--Helen H. Gardener

There could hardly be a more unbearable--and more irrational-- world than one in which the most eminent specialists in each field were allowed to proceed unchecked with the realization of their ideals. --Friedrich Hayek in The Road to Serfdom

And worrying is less work than doing something to fix the worry. This is especially true if we're careful to pick the biggest possible problems to worry about. Everybody wants to save the earth; nobody want to help Mom do the dishes. P.J. O'Rourke All The Troubles in the World

The first grand requisite to the growth of prudential habits is the perfect security of property; and the next perhaps is that respectability and importance which are given to the lower classes by equal laws, and the possession of some influence in the framing of them.

We have been miserably deficient in the instruction of the poor, perhaps the only means of really raising their condition.

Thomas Malthus, Essay on the Principle of Population

The most successful supporters of tyranny are without doubt those general declaimers who attribute the distresses of the poor, and almost all the evils to which society is subject, to human institutions and the iniquity of governments.

Thomas Malthus, Essay on the Principle of Population

They hang the man
and flog the woman
that steals the goose
from off the Common;
but let the greater
felon loose
that steals the Common
from the goose.

18th century folk commentary, reported by Adrian Vaughn in the New Internationalist letters column.
Back to HAC Home Page> NO! More Quotes! I want more quotes!

art [3:13 AM]