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
Many of us saw religion [before 9/11] as
harmless nonsense. Beliefs might lack all supporting evidence but, we thought,
if people needed a crutch for consolation, where's the harm? September
11th changed all that. Revealed faith is not harmless nonsense, it can
be lethally dangerous nonsense. Dangerous because it gives people unshakeable
confidence in their own righteousness. Dangerous because it gives them
false courage to kill themselves, which automatically removes normal barriers
to killing others. Dangerous because it teaches enmity to others labelled
only by a difference of inherited tradition. And dangerous because we have
all bought into a weird respect, which uniquely protects religion from
normal criticism. Let's now stop being so damned respectful! ~ Richard
A - H
Belief in the supernatural reflects a failure of the imagination.
John Adams ~ Second U.S. President, Founding
Father of the United States
Where do we find a precept in the Bible for Creeds, Confessions, Doctrines
and Oaths, and whole carloads of other trumpery that we find religion encumbered
with in these days?
The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity.
This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion
The Government of the United States is in no sense founded on the Christian
Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity,
in exclusion of all other Religions, may establish with the same ease any
particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other Sects?
Let the human mind loose. It must be loose. It will be loose. Superstition
and dogmatism cannot confine it.
But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have
been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them
the most bloody religion that ever existed.
The question before the human race is, whether the God of nature shall
govern the world by his own laws, or whether priests and kings shall rule
it by fictitious miracles.
As I understand the Christian religion, it was, and is, a revelation.
But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been
blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the
most bloody religion that ever existed?
Ask a deeply religious Christian if he’d rather live next to a bearded
Muslim that may or may not be plotting a terror attack, or an atheist that
may or may not show him how to set up a wireless network in his house.
On the scale of prejudice, atheists don’t seem so bad lately.
In those parts of the world where learning and science have prevailed,
miracles have ceased; but in those parts of it as are barbarous and ignorant,
miracles are still in vogue.
Abu Ala Al-Maarri
The world holds two classes of men - intelligent
men without religion, and religious men without intelligence.
Susan B. Anthony
was born a heretic. I always distrust people who know so much about what
God wants them to do to their fellows.
To no form of religion is woman indebted for one
impulse of freedom...
I distrust those people who know so well what
God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own
The religious persecution of the ages has been
done under what was claimed to be the command of God.
A God who kept tinkering with the universe was absurd; a God who interfered
with human freedom and creativity was tyrant. If God is seen as a self
in a world of his own, an ego that relates to a thought, a cause separate
from its effect. he becomes a being, not Being itself. An omnipotent, all?knowing
tyrant is not so different from earthly dictators who make everything and
everybody mere cogs in the machine which they controlled. An atheism that
rejects such a God is amply justified.
All the biblical miracles will at last disappear
with the progress of science.
The freethinking of one age is the common sense of the next.
Sir David Attenborough
I don't know why we're here. People sometimes say to me, "Why don't
you admit that hte humming bird, the butterfly, the Bird of Paradise are
proof of the wonderful things produced by Creation? And I always say, well,
when you say that, you've also got to think of a little boy sitting on
a river bank, like here, in West Africa, that's got a little worm, a living
organism, in his eye and boring thorugh the eyeball, and is slowly turning
him blind. The Creator God that you believe in, presumably, also made that
little worm. Now I personally find that difficult to accommodate. . . .
Sir Francis Bacon
Atheism leads a man to sense, to philosophy,
to natural piety, to laws, to reputation: all of which may be guides to
an outward moral virtue...
Robert A. Baker
What happens when the same number of people pray
for something as pray against it? How does God decide whose prayer to answer?
Who are these gods that they should require their own creatures to
be ashamed of their bodies? The notion that the supposed creator is offended
by the natural beauty of his own creation is well nigh blasphemous.
If the concept of God has any validity or use,
it can only be to make us larger, freer, and more loving. If God cannot
do this, then it is time we got rid of Him.
Truth does not demand belief. Scientists do not
join hands every Sunday, singing, "yes, gravity is real! I will have faith!
I will be strong! I believe in my heart that what goes, up, up, up must
come down. . . . Amen!" If they did, we would think they were pretty insecure
You believe in a book that has talking animals,
wizards, witches, demons, sticks turning into snakes, food falling from
the sky, people walking on water, and all sorts of magical, absure and
primitive storeis, and you say that we are the ones that need?
Hitler's war is a noble undertaking in defense
of European culture.
Cardinal Bellarmine, at the trial of Galileo
To assert that the earth revolves around the
sun is as erroneous as to claim that Jesus was not born of a virgin.
A belief which leaves no place for doubt is not
a belief; it is a superstition.
If a man come to me, and hate not his father,
and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and
his own life also he cannot be my disciple. (Jesus in Luke 14:26)
And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with
a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished. Notwithstanding,
if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money.
If a man also lieth with mankind, as he lieth
with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely
be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. (Leviticus 20:13)
Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let
thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with
mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come
upon thee. (Leviticus 19:19).
The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth
unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that
do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God. (Deuteronomy 22:5)
Whosoever he be of thy seed in their generations
that hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God.
For whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a
blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous,
Or a man that is brokenfooted, brokenhanded, Or crookbac, or a dwarf, or
that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones
broken; No man that hath a blemish of the seed of Aaron the priest shall
come nigh to offer the offerings of the Lord made by fire: he hath a blemish;
he shall not come nigh to offer the bread of his God. (Leviticus 21:17-21)
The simple believeth every word. - Proverbs 14:15
A belief in an afterlife has the unavoidable
effect of making this life less unique and precious. Good luck finding
an atheist willing to strap a bomb to his or her back, or fly a plane into
Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering
All religions have been made by men.
God fights on the side with the best artillery.
As for myself, I do not believe that such a person as Jesus Christ ever
existed; but as the people are inclined to superstition, it is proper not
to oppose them.
My fir conviction is that Jesus . . . was put to death like any other
fanatic who professed to be a prophet or a messiah; there have been such
persons at all times. . . . Besides, how could I accept a religion which
would damn Socrates and Plato?
A soul? Give my watch to a savage, and he will think it has a soul.
Daniel J. Boorstin (1914 - 2004)
I have observed that the world has suffered far less from ignorance
than from pretensions to knowledge. It is not skeptics or explorers but
fanatics and ideologues who menace decency and progress. No agnostic ever
burned anyone at the stake or tortur.
The only true immortality lies in one's children.
I can't understand how all this can have happened,
it's enough to make one lose one's faith in God! [During the last days
To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain
the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy.
If the Bible is mistaken in telling us where
we came from, how can we trust it to tell us where we're going?
William Jennings Bryan
If we have to give up either religion or education,
we should give up education.
All the ills from which America suffers can be
traced to the teaching of evolution.
I have seldom met an intelligent person whose
views were not narrowed and distorted by religion.
Doubt everything. Find your own light.
All human life is here, but the Holy Ghost seems
to be somewhere else.
All religions are auld wives' fables, but an
honest man has nothing to fear, either in this world or the world to come.
Science has done more for the development of
western civilization in one hundred years than Christianity did in eighteen
Science has done more for the development of
western civilization in one hundred years than Christianity did in eighteen
Every day is a Sabbath to me. All pure water is holy water, and this
earth is a celestial abode.
Man is, and always has been, a maker of gods. It has been the most serious
and significant occupation of his sojourn in the world.
Sir Richard Burton
The more I study religions, the more I am convinced
that man never worshipped anything but himself.
Prayers are to men as dolls are to children.
They are not without use and comfort, but it is not easy to take them seriously.
Of religion I know nothing -- at least, in its
Elizabeth Cady-Stanton ~ American suffragist
The memory of my own suffering has prevented me from ever shadowing
one young soul with the superstitions of the Christian religion.
The Bible and the Church have been the greatest stumbling blocks in
the way of women's emancipation.
The bible teaches that woman brought sin and death into the world, that
she precipitated the fall of the race, that she was arraigned before the
judgment seat of Heaven, tried, condemned and sentenced. Marriage for her
was to be a condition of bondage, maternity a period of suffering and anguish,
and in silence and subjection, she was to play the role of a dependent
on man's bounty for all her material wants, and for all the information
she might desire...Here is the Bible position of woman briefly summed up.
I found nothing grand in the history of the Jews nor in the morals inculcated
in the Pentateuch. Surely the writers had a very low idea of the nature
of their god. They made him not only anthropomorphic, but of the very lowest
type, jealous and revengeful, loving violence rather than mercy. I know
of no other books that so fully teach the subjection and degradation of
women." [Women Without Superstition]
~ American mythologist (1904-1987)
. . . god is a metaphor for that which trancends
all levels of intellectual thought. It's as simple as that.
Too many of our best scholars, themselves indoctrinated
from infancy in a religion of one kind or another based upon the Bible,
are so locked into the idea of their own god as a supernatural fact - something
final, not symbolic of transcendence, but a personage with a character
and will of his own - that they are unable to grasp the idea of a worship
that is not of the symbol but of its reference, which is of a mystery of
much greater age and of more immediate inward reality than the name-and-form
of any historical ethinic idea of a deity, whatsoever . . . and is of a
sophistication that makes the sentimentalism of our popular Bible-story
theology seem undeveloped.
Mythology is what we call someone else's religion.
God does nothing.
Just in the ratio that knowledge increses, faith
Andrew Carnegie ~ Scottish-born American
industrialist and philanthropist
I don’t believe in God. My god is patriotism.
Teach a man to be a good citizen and you have solved the problem of life.
Think not that I am come to send peace on earth;
I came not to send peace, but a sword.
A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and
won't change the subject.
In every religion, there are those who would
drape themselves in the mantle of belief and faith only to distort its
most sacred teachings -- preaching intolerance and resorting to violence.
Mystery has its own mysteries, and ther are gods
above gods. We have ours, they have theirs. That is what's known as infinity.
Man seeks to escape himself in myth, and does so by any means at his
disposal. drugs, alcohol, or lies. Unable to withdraw into himself, he
disguises himself. Lies and inaccuracy give him a few moments of comfort.
Gods are fragile things; they may be killed by
a whiff of science or a dose of common sense.
Morris R. Cohen
If religion cannot restrain evil, it cannot claim
effective power for good.
The belief in a suupernatural source of evil
is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.
David J. Constable
Fundamentalism, of any type, due to its prerequisite
lack of intelligent thought, could prove to be the worst weapon of mass
destruction, of all.
One of the most frightening things in the Western
world, and in this country in particular, is the number of people who believe
in things that are scientifically false. If someone tells me that the earth
is less than 10,000 years old, in my opinion he should see a psychiatrist.
If revealed religions have revealed anything it is that they are usually
When I told the people of Northern Ireland that I was an atheist, a
woman in the audience stood up and said, "Yes, but is it the God of the
Catholics or the God of the Protestants in whom you don't believe?"
To date, despite the efforts of millions of true
believers to support this myth, there is no more evidence for the Judeo-Christian
god than any of the gods on Mount Olympus.
I don't believe in God because I don't believe
in Mother Goose.
Many Christians base the belief of a soul and
God upon the Bible. Strictly speaking, there is no such book.
To make the Bible, sixty-six books are bound into one volume. These
books are written by many people at different times, and no one knows the
time or the identity of any author. Some of the books were written
by several authors at various times. These books contain all sorts
of contradictory concepts of life and morals and the origin of things.
Between the first and the last nearly a thousand years intervened, a longer
time than has passed since the discovery of America by Columbus.
...finally men were saved only through God's son
dying for them, and that unless human beings believed this silly, impossible
and wicked story they were doomed to hell? Can anyone with intelligence
really believe that a child born today should be doomed because the snake
tempted Eve and Eve tempted Adam? To believe that is not God-worship; it
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.
Just think of the tragedy of teaching children
not to doubt!
For I have done your bidding, I have slain mine
enemies in your name. I have put women and children to death in your honor,
I have caused great pain among them, for your glory. ~ Psalms, 5:4-10
Fanaticism is overcompensation for doubt.
Biologist (Oxford University)
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
We are all atheists about most of the gods that
humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.
Nearly all peoples have developed their own creation
myth, and the Genesis story is just the one that happened to have been
adopted by one particular tribe of Middle Eastern herders. It has no more
special status than the belief of a particular West African tribe that
the world was created from the excrement of ants. [The Blind Watchmaker,
Oxford University Press (1988), p316]
I am against religion because it teaches us to
be satisfied with not understanding the world
You cannot be both sane and well educated and
disbelieve in evolution. The evidence is so strong that any sane, educated
person has got to believe in evolution.
Society bends over backward to be accommodating
to religious sensibilities but not to other kinds of sensibilities. If
I say something offensive to religious people, I'll be universally censured,
including by many atheists.
After my Christmas Lectures I received letters from the pious saying
that they would have no objection if only I had qualified my remarks by
saying: 'But I should warn you that many well-informed people think differently
. . .' When did you last hear a priest-in the pulpit, on radio, on television,
in infants' Sunday School-qualify his statement with 'But I should warn
you that many well-informed people don't think God exists at all . . .
IDEAS PRESENTED IN DAWKINS' CURRENT BESTSELLER: THE GOD DELUSION
Many of us saw religion [before 9/11] as harmless nonsense. Beliefs might
lack all supporting evidence but, we thought, if people needed a crutch
for consolation, where's the harm? September 11th changed all that. Revealed
faith is not harmless nonsense, it can be lethally dangerous nonsense.
Dangerous because it gives people unshakeable confidence in their own righteousness.
Dangerous because it gives them false courage to kill themselves, which
automatically removes normal barriers to killing others. Dangerous because
it teaches enmity to others labelled only by a difference of inherited
tradition. And dangerous because we have all bought into a weird respect,
which uniquely protects religion from normal criticism. Let's now stop
being so damned respectful!
The Founding Fathers of the United States of America were mostly atheists
and deists, not theists, not Christians.
Agnosticism is too polite for its own good.
Science and religion do not complement each other: they conflict.
Being nice to fundamentalists will not result in any good.
The arguments for God's existence are all bogus.
If everything was designed, who designed the Designer?
Evolution primed our psychology for superstition and religion, and then
the catchiest ideas, however crazy they are, keep spreading and mutating.
Our sense of morality definitely does not come from religion, but is also
the product of our evolution.
The Bible is mostly a weird, sick, immoral book.
Religion (well, maybe not the Buddhistic sort) is bad, bad, bad: for peace,
for love, for the reduction of suffering in the world, for the protection
of the environment, for you-name-it.
"Moderates" refuse to reject nonsensical and violent "holy" books and so
allow fundamentalism to keep growing.
Religious education for children is a form of child abuse if it teaches
them not to think, not to doubt, not to question.
Children should not be coined with religious tags: they're not cattle,
and they can't choose their beliefs.
God may be a kind of imaginary friend for consolation, but the consolation
There are many many sources of inspiration in life, and they don't have
to be religious at all.
Our senses are very limited, and the Universe seems to work in some very
counter-intuitive ways, so we have to think and doubt if we wish to understand.
Be thankful that you have a life, and forsake your vain and presumptuous
desire for a second one.
The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character
in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak;
a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic,
racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal,
sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.
Religious faith not only lacks evidence, its independence from evidence
is its pride and joy, shouted from the rooftops.
Certainly I see the scientific view of the world as incompatible with
religion, but that is not what is interesting about it. It is also incompatible
with magic, but that also is not worth stressing. What is interesting about
the scientific world view is that it is true, inspiring, remarkable and
that it unites a whole lot of phenomena under a single heading.
The enlightenment is under threat. So is reason. So is truth. So is
science, especially in the schools of America. I am one of those scientists
who feels that it is no longer enough just to get on and do science. We
have to devote a significant proportion of our time and resources to defending
it from deliberate attack from organized ignorance. We even have to go
out on the attack ourselves, for the sake of reason and sanity. But it
must be a positive attack, for science and reason have so much to give.
They are not just useful, they enrich our lives in the same kind of way
as the arts do. Promoting science as poetry was one of the things that
Carl Sagan did so well, and I aspire to continue his tradition.
This monkey mythology of Darwin is the cause
of permissiveness, promiscuity, prophylactics, perversions, pregnancies,
abortions, porno-therapy, pollution, poisoning and proliferation of crimes
of all types.
Edward De Bono
A myth is a fixed way of looking at the world
which cannot be destroyed because, looked at through the myth, all evidence
supports the myth.
Edmond de Goncourt
If there is a God, atheism must seem to Him as
less of an insult than religion.
Democritus (460-370 BC)
Nothing exists except atoms and empty space;
everything else is opinion.
If religion isn't the greatest threat to rationality
and scientific progress, what is?
Denis Diderot ~ French philosopher,
author, and encyclopedist (1713-1784)
Man will never be free until the last king is
strangled with the entrails of the last priest.
The philosopher has never killed any priests, whereas the priest hs
killed a great many philosophers.
The man who first pronounced the barbarous word God ought to have been
The Christian religion: the most absurd in its dogmas, the most unintelligible,
the most insipid, the most gloomy, the most Gothic, the most puerile.
It is very important not to mistake hemlock for parsly, but to believe
or not believe in God is not important at all.
I have only a small flickering light to guide me in the darkness of
a thick forest. Up comes a theologian and blows it out.
I read about an Eskimo hunter who asked the local
missionary priest, " If I did not know about God and sin, would I go to
hell?" "No," said the priest, "not if you did not know." "Then why,"
asked the Eskimo, "did you tell me?"
Where knowledge ends, religion begins.
Frederick Douglass ~ escaped slave
I prayed for twenty years but received no answer
until I prayed with my legs.
John William Draper
The history of science is not a mere record of
isolated discoveries; it is a narrative of the conflict of two contending
powers, the expansive force of the human intellect on the one hand, and
the compression arising from traditionary faith, and human interest on
The universe is only a vast automatic engine. The vital force which
pervades the world is what the illiterate call God.
The roots of this antagonism to science run very
deep. We see them in Genesis. . . in which the first humans are doomed
and cursed eternally for asking a question, for partaking of the fruit
of the Tree of Knowledge. [Eden] is more like a maximum-security prison
with twenty-four hour surveillance. It's a horrible place.
If God were suddenly condemned to live the life
which He has inflicted upon men, He would kill Himself.
Sir Arthur Eddington
We are bits of stellar matter that got cold by
accident, bits of a star gone wrong.
I do not believe that any type of religion
should ever be introduced into the public schools of the United States.
was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie
which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal
God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something
is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration
for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it. ~ Albert
I am a deeply religious nonbeliever.... This is
a somewhat new kind of religion.
The minority, the ruling class at present, has
the schools and press, usually the Church as well, under its thumb. This
enables it to organize and sway the emotions of the masses, and make its
tool of them.
I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes
the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own --
a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can
I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although
feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotisms.
It seems to me that the idea of a personal God
is an anthropological concept which I cannot take seriously. I also cannot
imagine some will or goal outside the human sphere...Science has been charged
with undermining morality, but the charge is unjust. 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.
If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward,
then we are a sorry lot indeed. ~ “Religion and Science,” New York
Times Magazine, November 9, 1930
It was, of course, a lie what you read about my
religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I
do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have
expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious
then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far
as our science can reveal it. - Albert Einstein, The Human Side
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.
I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself
in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself
with the fates and actions of human beings.
Strange is our situation here on Earth. Each of
us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to divine
a purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing
we do know: that man is here for the sake of other men -- above all for
those upon whose smiles and well-being our own happiness depends.
Scientific research is based on the idea that
everything that takes place is determined by laws of nature, and therefore
this holds for the action of people. For this reason, a research scientist
will hardly be inclined to believe that events could be influenced by a
prayer, i.e. by a wish addressed to a Supernatural Being.
The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend
personal God and avoid dogma and theology. Covering both the natural and
the spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the
experience of all things natural and spiritual as a meaningful unity. Buddhism
answers this description. If there is any religion that could cope with
modern scientific needs it would be Buddhism.
I have never imputed to Nature a purpose or a goal, or anything that
could be understood as anthropomorphic. What I see in Nature is a magnificent
structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill
a thinking person with a feeling of humility. This is a genuinely religious
feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism.
I don't try to imagine a personal God; it suffices to stand in awe at
the structure of the world, insofar as it allows our inadequate senses
to appreciate it.
The idea of a personal God is quite alien to me and seems even naive.
What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend
only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling
of “humility.” This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to
do with mysticism.
The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product
of human weakness, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive
legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter
how subtle can change this [for me]. ~ Jan. 3, 1954 letter written as a
response to the philosopher Eric Gutkind.
Einstein was educated at a Roman Catholic primary school, but given
private tuition in Judaism. He later wrote that the "religious paradise
of youth" -- when he believed what he was told -- was crushed when he started
questioning religion at the age of 12. "The consequence was a positively
fanatic freethinking coupled with the impression that youth is being deceived
by the state through lies; it was a crushing impression."
Religion is an attempt to findan out where there is no door.
Only two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and
I'm not sure of the former.
A man's ethical behaviour should be based effectually on sympathy, education,
and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. If people are
good only because they fear punishment and hope for a reward, then we are
a sorry lot indeed.
All Bibles are man-made.
Invisible Pink Unicorns are beings of awesome mystical power. We know
this because they manage to be invisible and pink at the same time. Like
all religions, the Faith of the Invisible Pink Unicorns is based upon both
logic and faith. We have faith that they are pink; we logically know that
they are invisible because we can't see them.
My childhood was full of deep sorrows -- colic, whooping-cough, dread
of ghosts, hell, Satan, and a Deity in the sky who was angry when I ate
too much plumcake.
The whole religious complexion of the modern world is due to the absence
from [ancient] Jerusalem of a lunatic asylum.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The religion of one age is the literary entertainment of the next.
As men's prayers are a disease of the will, so are their creeds a disease
of the intellect.
Rev. Nathaniel Emmons (1745
The happiness of the elect will consist in part
of witnessing the torments of the damned in hell, among whom may
be their own children, parents, husbands, wives and friends; ... but instead
of taking the part of their miserable being, they will say 'Amen!', 'Hallelujah!',
'Praise the Lord!'
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?
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?
If God listened to the prayers of men, all men would quickly have perished;
for they are forever praying for evil against one another.
Millions long for immortality who don't know
whaat to do on a rainy afternoon.
Parsons always seem to be specially horrified about things like sunbathing
and naked bodies. They don't mind poverty and misery and cruelty to animals
nearly as much.
Nearly every human group has created something in the way of a religion,
no two of which are the same. When something is based on reality, like
mathematics or scientific medicine, groups of people independently arrive
at the same answers. This is a good way to tell the difference between
shit and shinola.
The kind of things that religious people offer as evidence for their
brand of religion, they do not accept as evidence when proferred by adherents
of other religions. Religions do not accept each others' miracles, revelations,
prophets, or holy books. In the absence of any convincing reason to accept
one set of claims while rejecting the rest, the simplest conclusion is
that they are all ****.
The Muslims refuse our culture and try to impose
their culture on us. I reject them, and this is not only my duty toward
my culture - it is toward my values, my principles, my civilization.
The struggle for freedom does not include the submission to a religion
which, like the Muslim religion, wants to annihilate other religions.
The West reveals a hatred of itself, which is strange and can only be considered
pathological; it now sees only what is deplorable and destructive.
Christians, like slaves and soldiers, ask no
If you are not a born-again Christian, you're
a failure as a human being.
The idea that religion and politics don't mix
was invented by the devil to keep Christians from running their own country.
A myth is a religion in which no one any longer believes.
It is not as in the Bible, that God created man in his own image. But,
on the contrary, man created God in his own image.
No man has ever sat down calmly unbiased to reason
out his religion, and not ended by rejecting it.
There are a set of religions, or rather moral writings, which teach
that virtue is the certain road to happiness, and vice to misery, in this
world. A very wholdwome and comfortable doctirine, and to which we have
but one objection, namely, that it is not true.
The Catholic Church is the only organization
on record to dispense money from a slush fund set up solely for the paying
off of abused children's families. So always remember you cannot judge
a man by his collar.
~ Archbishop of Canterbury
The hydrogen bomb is not the greatest danger
of our time. After all, the most it could do would be to transfer vast
numbers of human beings from this world to another and more vital one into
which they would some day go anyway.
My kingdom is as wide as the universe and my wants have no limits.
I go forward always, freeing spirits and weighing worlds, wthout fear,
without compassion, without love, without God. I am called Science.
George W. Foote
It will yet be the proud boast of women that
they never contributed a line to the Bible.
E. M. (Edward Morgan) Forster
Faith, to my mind, is a stiffening process, a sort of mental starch,
which ought to be applied as sparingly as possible. I dislike the stuff.
My motto is: "Lord, I disbelieve -- help thou my unbelief.
I'm a polyatheist - there are many gods I don't
My humble friend, we know not how to live this
life which is so short yet seek one that never ends.
I have found Christian dogma unintelligible.
Early in life I absented myself from Christian assemblies.
When a religion is good, I conceive it will support itself; and when
it does not support itself, and God does not take care to support it so
that its professors are obliged to call for help of the civil power, 'tis
a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one.
The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of
reason: The Morning Daylight appears plainer when you put out your
Candle. - Poor Richard's Almanack, 1758
Lighthouses are more helpful then churches.
Frederick the Great (1712-1786) Prussian
There are so many things to be said against religion that I wonder
they don't not occur to everyone.
The idea of God was not a lie but a device of
the unconscious which needed to be decoded by psychology. A personal god
was nothing more than an exalted father-figure: desire for such a deity
sprang from infantile yearnings for a powerful, protective father, for
justice and fairness and for life to go on forever. God is simply a projection
of these desires, feared and worshipped by human beings out of an abiding
sense of helplessness. Religion belonged to the infancy of the human race;
it had been a necessary stage in the transition from childhood to maturity.
It had promoted ethical values which were essential to society. Now that
humanity had come of age, however, it should be left behind.
When a man is freed of religion, he has a better chance to live a normal
and wholesome life.
Religion is an illusion and it derives its strength from the fact that
it falls in with our instinctual desires.
Neither in my private life nor in my writings, have I ever made a secret
of being an out-and-out unbeliever. "
Religion is comparable to a childhood neurosis.
The whole thing is so patently infantile, so foreign to reality, that
to anyone with a friendly attitude to humanity it is painful to think that
the great majority of mortals will never be able to rise above this view
Once a doctirne, however irrational, has gained power in a society,
millions of people will believe it rather than feel ostracised and isolated.
Charles E. Fuller
(1887-1968) ~ Evangelist
Fellowship with God means warfare with the world.
I refuse to believe in a god who is the primary
cause of conflict in the world, preaches racism, sexism, homophobia, and
ignorance, and then sends me to Hell if I’m ‘bad’.
Yuri Gagarin (1934-1968) Cosmonaut - first
man in space
I don't see any god up here.
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.
In the discussion of natural problems we ought
to begin not with the Scriptures, but with experiments, and demonstrations.
They know that it is human nature to take up causes whereby a man may
oppress his neighbor, no matter how unjustly. ... Hence they have had no
trouble in finding men who would preach the damnability and heresy of the
new doctrine from the very pulpit.
Mohandas K Gandhi
The most henious and the must cruel crimes of
which history has record have been committed under the cover of religion
or equally noble motives. ~ Young India, July 7, 1950, quoted from
Laird Wilcox, ed., “The Degeneration of Belief”
I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians.
Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.
Just in terms of allocation of time resources, religion is not very
efficient. There's a lot more I could be doing on a Sunday morning.
God (Micah 5:15)
And I will execute vengeance in anger and fury
upon the heathen, such as they have not heard.
I would be well pleased if after the close of
this life we should be blessed with another, but I would beg not to have
there for companions any who have believed it here.
Edmond de Goncourt (1822-1896) French writer
If there is a God, atheism must seem to Him as less of an insult than
I believe in the cosmos. All of us are linked
to the cosmos. So nature is my god. To me, nature is sacred. Trees are
my temples and forests are my cathedrals. Being at one with nature.
Ulysses S. Grant
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.
Robert Graves (1895-1985) British novelist
By Jesus's time the Law of Moses, originally established for the government
of a semi-barbarous nation of herdsmen and hill-farmers, resembled a petulant
great-grandfather who tries to govern a family business from his sick-bed.
. . unaware of the changes that have taken place in the world since he
was able to get about.
It is possible to pull out justification for
imposing your will on others, simply by calling your will God's will.
If the concept of a father who plots to have his
own son put to death is presented to children as beautiful and as worthy
of society's admiration, what types of human behaviour can be presented
to them as reprehensible?
There was a time when religion ruled the world.
It is known as The Dark Ages.
Pope Gregory I
The bliss of the elect in heaven would not be
perfect unless they were able to look across the abyss and enjoy the agonies
of their brethren in eternal fire.
Pope Gregory VI
From the pollluted fouintain of that absurd and
erroneous doctrine, or rather raving, which claims and defends liberty
of conscience for everyone. . . comes, in a word, the worst plague of all
-- liberty of opinions and free speech.
Bryan Emmanuel Gutierrez
God should be executed for crimes against humanity.
Convinced that there is no eternal life awaiting
him man will strive all the more to brighten his life on earth and rationally
improve his condition in harmony with that of his fellows.
J. B. S. Haldane (1892-1964) British scientist
I believe that the scientist is trying to express
absolute truth and the artist absolute beauty, so that I find in scinece
and art, and in an attempt to lead a good life, all teh religion that I
E. Haldeman-Julius (1889-1951) American
The influences that have lifted the race to a
higher moral level are education, freedom, leisure, the humanizing tendency
of a better-supplied and more interesting life. In a word, science and
liberalism have accomplshed the very things for which religion claims the
"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?'"
Sam Harris in The End of Faith
Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make when
in the presence of religious dogma.
The danger of religious faith is that it allows otherwise normal human
beings to reap the fruits of madness and consider them holy. Because
each new generation of children is taught that religious propositions need
not be justified in the way that all others must, civilization is still
besieged by the armies of the preposterous. We are, even now, killing ourselves
over ancient literature. Who would have thought something so tragically
absurd could be possible.
Imagine a future in which millions of our descendants murder each other
over riva interpretations of Star Wars or Windows 98. Could anything -
anything - be more ridicuous? And yet, this would be no more ridiculous
that the world we are living in.
10 Myths and 10
Truths About Atheism
I do not believe in a personal God.
Black holes would seem to suggest that God not only plays dice, but
also sometimes throws them where they cannot be seen.~ NATURE, 1975
We could call order by the name of God, but it would be an impersonal
God. There’s not much personal about the laws of physics.
If we are going to teach 'creation science' as
an alternative to evolution, then we should also teach the stork theory
as an alternative to biological reproduction.
The biblical account of Noah's Ark and the Flood is perhaps the most
implausible story for fundamentalists to defend. Where, for example, while
loading his ark, did Noah find penguins and polar bears in Palestine?
Heinrich Heine (1797-1856
In dark ages people are best guided by religion, as in pitch-black
night a blind man is the best guide. . . . When daylight comes, however,
it is foolish to use blind, old men as guides.
Where they burn books, they will, in the end, burn human beings too.
All thinking men are atheists.
Hippocrates (460-377 BC)
Men think epilepsy divine, merely because they
do not understand it. We will one day understand what causes it, and then
ceast to call it divine. And so it is with everything in the universe.
Where prayer, amulets and incantations work it
is only a manifestation of the patient's belief.
Rabbi Brad Hirschfeld
Religion drove those planes into those buildings,
it's amazing how good religion is at mobilizing people to do awful,
murderous things. There is this dark side to it, and anyone who loves religious
experience, including me, better begin to own that there is a serious shadow
side to this thing.
am not even an atheist so much as I am an antitheist; I not only maintain
that all religions are versions of the same untruth, but I hold that the
influence of churches, and the effect of religious belief is positively
harmful. Reviewing the false claims of religion, I do not wish, as some
sentimental materialists affect to wish, that they were true. I do not
envy believers their faith. I am relieved to think that the whole story
is a sinister fairy tale; life would be miserable if what the faithful
affirmed was actually the case.
What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof.
Why do people keep saying, 'God is in the details'? He isn't in ours,
unless his yokel creationist fans wish to take credit for his clumsiness,
failure and incompetence.
Religion comes from the terrified infancy of our species. ... [It] is
innately coercive as well as innately incoherent. Because it's man-made,
there's an infinite variety of it for them all, and these sects proceed
to quarrel among themselves, religious warfare having being one of the
great retardances of civilization of the time we've been alive and very
much to this day.
Religion ends and philosophy begins, just as alchemy ends and chemistry
begins and astrology ends, and astronomy begins.
Those of us who disbelieve in the heavenly dictatorship also reject
many of its immoral teachings, which have at different times included the
slaughter of other “tribes,” the enslavement of the survivors, the mutilation
of the genitalia of children, the burning of witches, the condemnation
of sexual “deviants” and the eating of certain foods, the opposition to
innovations in science and medicine, the mad doctrine of predestination,
the deranged accusation against all Jews of the crime of “deicide,” the
absurdity of “Limbo,” the horror of suicide-bombing and jihad, and the
ethically dubious notion of vicarious redemption by human sacrifice.
There [are] four irreducible objections to religious faith: that it
wholly misrepresents the origins of man and the cosmos, that because of
this original error it manages to combine the maximum of servility with
the maximum of solipsism, that it is both the result and the cause of dangerous
sexual repression, and that it is ultimately grounded on wish-thinking.
...monotheistic religion is a plagiarism of a plagiarism of a
hearsay of a hearsay, of an illusion of an illusion, extending all the
way back to a fabrication of a few nonevents. ~ God Is Not Great
Religion does not, and in the long run cannot, be content with
its own marvelous claims and sublime assurances. It must seek to interfere
with the lives of nonbelievers, or heretics, or adherents of other faiths.
It may speak about the bliss of the next world, but it wants power in this
[If religion were true] you would be permanently supervised from the
moment you were born until forever after you were dead. You'd always be
someone else's creature. And the only duty you would owe him, he having
done nothing but casually create you, would be constant adoration that
would lead to eventual bliss and the dissolution of the personality. Well,
I can't imagine anything more horrible. It's a really ghastly idea. It's
I think it's an expression of terrible weakness of character on
their part, but if they must become groveling, abandoned serfs, let them
do it. But don't let them tell me that I must teach it to my children.
Because then it stops being a disagreement and it becomes a quarrel. A
fight. I'm not going to let them do that. They may not influence my government.
They may not have their nonsense taught in the schools my children go to.
They may not raise my taxes to spend on their places of worship. None of
this. Surely they've got a direct line to the supernatural. What the hell
more do they want? I keep asking, "Why aren't they happy?" They're in possession
of the most wonderful secret that must make them hug themselves with delight.
Isn't that enough for them? No, it isn't! I think for good reason.
Twentieth-century Germany was not, in the main, an atheist state.
Hitler never renounced the Catholic Church. He was happy to receive the
prayers of the Catholic bishops in every town in Germany on his birthday,
as ordered by the pope—the concordat with whom pretty much allowed him
to consolidate power in the first place. He undoubtedly had the hope
of replacing Christianity with a state religion based partly on paganism
and partly on worship of himself. But to say that he was an atheist is
utterly false. Fascism and communism—the roots of the totalitarian impulse
are in faith, not in skepticism. Because [the totalitarian impulse]
claims to be a total solution. And to make essentially no difference between
the civic and the private life, and to arbitrate on everything from sex
The impulse to worship, the impulse to take things on faith, the
impulse to believe in miracles, the impulse to adore and to believe in
incarnate good and evil. All these things have dire consequences.
The enemies of intolerance cannot be tolerant.
Religion is violent, irrational, intolerant, allied to racism and tribalism
and bigotry, invested in ignorance and hostile to free inquiry, contemptuous
of women and coercive toward children.
Gullibility and credulity are considered undesirable qualities in every
department of human life -- except religion.... Why are we praised by godly
men for surrendering our "godly gift" of reason when we cross their mental
thresholds? ... Atheism strikes me as morally superior, as well as intellectually
superior, to religion. Since it is obviously inconceivable that all religions
can be right, the most reasonable conclusion is that they are all wrong.
Does this leave us shorn of hope? Not a bit of it. Atheism. and the related
conviction that we have just one life to live, is the only sure way to
regard all our fellow creatures as brothers and sisters.... Even the compromise
of agnosticism is better than faith. It minimizes the totalitarian temptation,
the witless worship of the absolute and the surrender of reason.
Just consider for a moment what their heaven looks like. Endless praise
and adoration, limitless abnegation and abjection of self; a celestial
Those who despise science and learning are not anti-elitist. They are
morally and intellectually slothful people who are secretly envious of
the educated and the cultured. And those who prate of spiritual warfare
and demons are not just "people of faith" but theocratic bullies.
Love your enemy?! No philosophy is more suicidal than this. We must
destroy our enemy! Love your own enemies, don't go loving mine.
I am convinced that I am acting as the agent
of our Creator. By fighting off the Jews, I am doing the Lord's work.
The opposite of the religious fanatic is not
the fanatical atheist but the gentle cynic who cares not whether there
is a god or not.
The foolish reject what they see and not what
they think; the wise reject what they think and not what they see.
David Hume (1711-1776) Scottish philosopher
If there is a designer he must take credit for the flaws in his creation.
Flaws in the creation directly reflect flaws in the creator. If there is
a flaw in the creator then he cannot be all powerful.
Almost their [the Crusaders'] first act upon taking Jerusalem "for
Holy Mother Church" was to herd all of the Jews into the synagogue and
set it ablaze. The Secretary to the Inquisition in Madrid from 1790-1792
estimated that in Spain alone the number of condemned exceeded 3 million,
with about 300,000 burned at the stake. Nor have the descendants of Aztecs,
Incas, and Mayas forgotten that Roman Catholic priests, backed by the secular
sword, gave their ancestors the choice of conversion (which often meant
slavery) or death.
Facts do not cease to exist because they are
You never see animals going through the absurd and often horrible fooleries
of magic and religion. . . . Dogs do not 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.
Maybe this world is another planet's hell. - Point Counter Point
Sir Julian Sorell Huxley ~ English
and author (1887-1975)
"We should be agnostic about those things for which there is no evidence.
We should not hold beliefs merely because they gratify our desires for
afterlife, immortality, heaven, hell, etc." From Religion without Revelation
by Julian Huxley
The sense of spiritual relief which comes from
rejecting the idea of God as a supernatural being is enormous. - Sir Julian
Huxley, Religion Without Revelation
How unfortunate for mankind that the Lord is reported by Holy Writ as
having said "Vengeance is mine!"
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