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 York Sun
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
John Adams ~ Second U.S. President, Founding
Father of the United States
Where do we find a precept in the Bible for Creeds, Confessions,
Doctrines and Oaths, and whole carloads of other trumpery that we find
religion encumbered with in these days?
The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity.
This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there
were no religion in it.
The Government of the United States is in no sense founded
on the Christian religion.
Who does not see that the same authority which can establish
Christianity, in exclusion of all other Religions, may establish with the
same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other
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 desires.
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
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 about it.
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
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. (Exodus 21:20-21).
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
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.
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 a building.
Religion is what keeps the poor
from murdering the rich.
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 with Hitler]
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
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
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 favor.
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
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 diminishes.
Andrew Carnegie ~ Scottish-born American
industrialist and philanthropist
I don’t believe in God. My god
is patriotism. Teach a man to be a good citizen and you have solved the
problem of life.
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
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 wrong.
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
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
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 (Amazon.ca Review)
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
Our sense of morality definitely does not come from religion,
but is also the product of our evolution.
The Bible is mostly a weird, sick, immoral book.
Religion (well, maybe not the Buddhistic sort) is bad, bad,
bad: for peace, for love, for the reduction of suffering in the world,
for the protection of the environment, for you-name-it.
"Moderates" refuse to reject nonsensical and violent "holy"
books and so allow fundamentalism to keep growing.
Religious education for children is a form of child abuse
if it teaches them not to think, not to doubt, not to question.
Children should not be coined with religious tags: they're
not cattle, and they can't choose their beliefs.
God may be a kind of imaginary friend for consolation, but
the consolation is meagre.
There are many many sources of inspiration in life, and they
don't have to be religious at all.
Our senses are very limited, and the Universe seems to work
in some very counter-intuitive ways, so we have to think and doubt if we
wish to understand.
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 immediately destroyed.
The Christian religion: the most absurd in its dogmas,
the most unintelligible, the most insipid, the most gloomy, the most Gothic,
the most puerile.
It is very important not to mistake hemlock for parsly,
but to believe or not believe in God is not important at all.
I have only a small flickering light to guide me in the
darkness of a thick forest. Up comes a theologian and blows it out.
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
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 other.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 questions.
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
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 believe in.
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,
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
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 of life.
Once a doctirne, however irrational, has gained power
in a society, millions of people will believe it rather than feel ostracised
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.
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
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 religion.
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
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 want.
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
"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.
Myths and 10 Truths About Atheism
I do not believe in a personal
Black holes would seem to suggest that God not only plays
dice, but also sometimes throws them where they cannot be seen.~ NATURE,
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
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
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
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
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 one.
[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 worse than
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 to diet.
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 North Korea.
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
I am convinced that I am acting
as the agent of our Creator. By fighting off the Jews, I am doing the Lord's
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
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 ignored.
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
Sir Julian Sorell Huxley
biologist 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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