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Volume 1434c

ERB: Reason vs. Supernatural Series
Part I:
ERB Reason vs. Superstition
Thoughts on Science & Religion
Part II
Quotes from the ERB Library
Early Free-Thinkers
Part III
Quotes: Reason vs. Religion (A-I)
Free-Thinkers Through History I
Part IV
Quotes: Reason vs. Religion  (J-Z)
Free-Thinkers Through History II
Part V
Quotes: Reason vs. Religion
Free-Thinkers:  Pop Media ~ Anonymous ~ Refs

The figures are shocking. Three quarters of the American population literally believe in religious miracles. The numbers who believe in the devil, in resurrection, in God doing this and that -- it's astonishing. These numbers aren't duplicated anywhere else in the industrial world. You'd have to maybe go to mosques in Iran or do a poll among old ladies in Sicily to get numbers like this. Yet this is the American population. ~ Noam Chomsky

J - Z

Thomas Jefferson
Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear.

And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a Virgin Mary, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter…. But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away [with] all this artificial scaffolding. (Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, 11 April 1823, as quoted by E. S. Gaustad, “Religion,” in Merrill D. Peterson, ed., Thomas Jefferson: A Reference Biography, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1986, p. 287

History I believe furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance, of which their political as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purpose. (Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to Baron von Humboldt, 1813; from George Seldes, ed., The Great Quotations, Secaucus, New Jersey: Citadel Press, 1983, p. 370

In every country and every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own. It is easier to acquire wealth and power by this combination than by deserving them, and to effect this, they have perverted the purest religion ever preached to man into mystery and jargon, unintelligible to all mankind, and therefore the safer for their purposes. (Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to Horatio Spofford, 1814; from George Seldes, ed., The Great Quotations, Secaucus, New Jersey: Citadel Press, 1983, p. 371).

I have examined all of the known superstitions of the world and I do not find in our superstitions of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all founded on fables and mythology. Christianity has made one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites.

A professorship of theology should have no place in our institution.

The priests of the different religious sects . . . dread the advance of science as witches do the approach of daylight, and scowl on the fatal harbinger announcing the subdivision of the duperies on which they live.

Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burned, tortured, fined, and imprisoned, yet we have not advanced one inch toward uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half of the world fools and the other half hypocrites.

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

We are afraid of the known and afraid of the unknown. That is our daily life and in that there is no hope, and therefore every form of philosophy, every form of theological concept, is merely an escape from the actual reality of what is. All outward forms of change brought about by wars, revolutions, reformations, laws and ideologies have failed completely to change the basic nature of man and therefore of society. 

The Christian god can easily be pictured as virtually the same god as the many ancient gods of past civilizations. The Christian god is a three headed monster; cruel, vengeful and capricious. If one wishes to know more of this raging, three headed beast-like god, one only needs to look at the caliber of people who say they serve him. They are always of two classes: fools and hypocrites.

It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are 20 gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.

Religions are all alike – founded upon fables and mythologies.

Richard Jeni
With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.

You are basically killing each other to see who has got the better imaginary friend.

Jesus - Matthew 10:34
Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

Penn Jillette
Believing there is no God gives me more room for belief in family, people, love, truth, beauty, sex, Jell-o, and all the other things I can prove and that make this life the best life I will ever have.
James Joyce ~  Irish author (1882-1941)

He comes into the world God knows how, walks on the water, gets out of his grave and goes up off the Hill of Howth. What drivel is this?
Azam Kamguian ~ Iranian women's rights activist

To say we must repect people's culture and religion, however despicable is absurd. If a culture allows women to b e mutilated and killed to save the family's "honour," it cannot be excused.
Wendy Kaminer ~ Law professor and feminist writer

Americans have become fascinated by angels and "out of body" experiences and seem to be discarding the habit of critical thinking. The dissemination of pseudoscience, including such things as the fascination with near-death experiences and the growing belief by Americans -- 34% of them -- in reincarnation are dangerous. They help to break down the standards of reason.

If I were to mock religious belief as childish I'd be excoriated as an example of the cynical, liberal elite responsible for American's moral delcine. I'd receive hate mail. Atheists generate about as much sympathy as pedophiles.

People who believe that God exists and heeds their prayers have probably waived the right to mock people who talk to trees or claim to channel the spirits of Native Americans.

Sir Bernard Katz ~ Nobel winning biophysicist.
Organized religion: The world's largest pyramid scheme.
Florynce Kennedy (1916-2000) ~ Civil rights acdtivist

It's interesting to speculate how it developed that in two of the most anti-feminist instituions, the church and the law court, the men are wearing the dresses.
Pres. John F. Kennedy

I believe in an America where religious intolerance will someday end... where every man has the same right to attend or not attend the church of his choice.
Johnnes Kepler (1571-1630)

When miracles are admitted, every scientific explanation is out of the question.
Ayatollah Khomeini (1901-1989) ~ Iranian religious/political leader

There is no room for play in Islam. It is deadly serious about everything.
Marek Kohn

To an evolutionary psychologist, the universal extravagance of religious rituals, with their costs in time, resources, pain and privation, should suggest as vividly as a mandrill's bottom that religion may be adaptive.
The Koran

Give tidings, O Mohammed, of painful doom to those who disbelieve... Slay the idolators wherever ye find them... And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is all for Allah.

And whoever does not believe in Allah and His Apostle, then surely We have prepared burning fire for the unbelievers.

Baron Richard von Krafft-Ebing (1840-1902) ~ Psychiatrist
We find that the sexual instinct, when disappointed and unappeased frequently seeks and finds a substitute in religon.
Ed Krebs

The World is divided into armed camps ready to commit genocide just because we can’t agree on whose fairy tales to believe. 
Jiddu Krishnamurti

Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay. 

The constant assertion of belief is an indication of fear. 

Paul Kurtz
Since this life here and now is all we can know, our most reasonable option is to live it fully.
Anne Lamott ~ Novelist

You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all teh same people you do.
D.H. Lawrence ~ British writer (1885-1930)

God is only a great imaginative experience.

Richard Lederer 
There once was a time when all people believed in God and the church ruled. This time was called the Dark Ages.
Pope Leo XIII (1810-1903)

The equal toleratio. of all religions is the same as atheism.
Joseph Lewis (1889-1968) Freethinkers of America president

If I had the power that the New Testament narrative saiys that Jesus had, I would not cure one person of blindness, I would make blindness impossible. I would not cure one person of leprosy, I would abolish leprosy.
Abraham Lincoln

As a young man Lincoln apparently wrote a manuscript that he planned to publish, which vehemently argued against the divine origin of the Bible and the Christian scheme of salvation. Samuel Hill, a friend and mentor, convinced him to drop it, considering the disastrous consequences it would have on his political career. 
In great contests, each party claims to act in accordance with the will of God. Both may be, and one must be, wrong.

My earlier views of the unsoundness of the Christian scheme of salvation and the human origin of the scriptures have become clearer and stronger with advancing years, and I see no reason for thinking I shall ever change them. 

The Bible is not my book nor Christianity my profession. I could never give assent to the long, complicated statements of Christian dogma.

We, on our side, are praying to Him to give us victory, because we believe we are right; but those on the other side pray to Him, too, for victory, believing they are right. What must He think of us?

Gustaf Lindborg
The sailor does not pray for wind, he learns to sail.
Lucretius (94-49BC) Roman poet and philosopher

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

Even if I knew nothing of the atoms, I would venture to assert . . . that the universe was certainly not created for us by divine power.

Martin Luther (1483-1546) Theologian (Protestant Reformation)
Reason should be destroyed in all Christians.

Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527)
All armed Prophets have been victorious, and all unarmed Prophets have been destroyed.
James Madison
(1751-1836) ~ Fourth US president James Madison -  "Father of the Constitution." 

Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise.

During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution. 

In no instance have . . . the churches been guardians of the liberties of the people.

Every new and successful example, therefore, of a perfect separation between the ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance; and I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in showing that religion and Government will both exist in greater purity the less they are mixed together.

Ferdinand Magellan
The church says that the Earth is flat, but I have seen the shadow on the moon and I have more faith in the shadow than in the church.
M.M. Mangasarian (1859-1943) ~ Minister turned non-believer

THE BIBLE:  A collection of writings of unknown date and authorship rendered into English from supposed copies of supposed orignals unfortunately lost.
Christopher Marlowe ~ English dramatist and poet (1564-1593).

I count religion but a childish toy and hold there is no sin but innocence (ignorance).
Karl Marx

Everything must be doubted.

The first requisite for the happiness of the people is the abolition of religion.

Geoff Mather 
To say that atheism requires faith is as dim-witted as saying that disbelief in pixies or leprechauns takes faith. Even if Einstein himself told me there was an elf on my shoulder, I would still ask for proof and I wouldn’t be wrong to ask. 
John McCarthy

An atheist doesn't have to be someone who thinks he has a proof that there can't be a god. He only has to be someone who believes that the evidence on the God question is at a similar level to the evidence on the werewolf question. 
Doug McLeod

I still say a church steeple with a lightning rod on top shows a lack of confidence.
Carlespie Mary Alice McKinney

Religion does three things quite effectively: Divides people, Controls people, Deludes people. 
Delos B. McKown

The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike.
Margaret Mead (1901-1978) Anthropologist

It is an open question whether any behaviour based on fear of eternal punishment can be regarded as ethical or should be regarded as merely cowardly.
Jonathan Meades

If you believe in the existence of fairies at the bottom of the garden you are deemed fit for the bin. If you believe in parthenogenesis, ascension, transubstantiation and all the rest of it you are deemed fit to govern the country.
H. L. Mencken

The truth is that Christian theology, like every other theology, is not only opposed to the scientific spirit; it is also opposed to all other attempts at rational thinking. Not by accident does Genesis 3 make the father of knowledge a serpent slimy, sneaking and abominable. Since the earliest days the church as an organization has thrown itself violently against every effort to liberate the body and mind of man. It has been, at all times and everywhere, the habitual and incorrigible defender of bad governments, bad laws, bad social theories, bad institutions. It was, for centuries, an apologist for slavery, as it was the apologist for the divine right of kings.

Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration--courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and, above all, love of the truth.

Sunday School is a prison in which children do penance for the evil conscience of their parents.

Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable.... A man full of faith is simply one who has lost (or never had) the capacity for clear & realistic thought. He is not a mere ass: he is actually ill.

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

The greatest artists of this world are never puritans, and seldom even ordinarily respectable.

Shawn Mikula
When encountering a new philosophy or religion, do not convert, but rather assimilate.
Jonathon Miller

I am reluctant to use the word atheist to describe my own unshakeable disbelief, and that's not because I'm ashamed, afraid, or even embarrassed, but simply because it seems so self-evidently true to me that there is no god, and giving that conviction a special title somehow dignifies what it denies. After all, we don't have a special word for people who don't believe in ghosts or witches.

Robert J. Miller - Bible scholar
What one believes and what one can demonstrate historically are usually two different things.
A.A. Milne

The Old Testament is responsible for more atheism, agnosticism, disbelief-call it what you will-than any book ever written; it has emptied more churches than all the counterattractions of cinema, motor bicycle and golf course.
Wilson Mizner

 I respect faith, but doubt is what gets you an education.
Ashley Montagu (1905-1999) Anthropologist

Science has proof without any certaintly. Creationists have certainty without any proof.
Donald Morgan

A thorough reading and understanding of the Bible is the surest path to atheism
Desmond Morris (1928- ) Zoologist - author (The Naked Ape)

A man's soul is located in his testicles; a woman's in her ovaries. For it is here that we find the truly immortal elements of our constitution -- our genes.

I viewed my fellow man not as a fallen angel, but as a risen ape.

James Morrow
There are no atheists in foxholes” isn't an argument against atheism, it's an argument against foxholes.
Mother Teresa

Aids: It is a just retribution for improper sexual misconduct

Poverty: It is very beautiful for the poor to accept their lot. The world is being much helped by the suffering of the poor people.

Homelessness: The problems facing us are due to the fact that we are too distant from Jesus.

Unemployment: First we must learn to love one another.

Abortion: It is the greatest enemy of peace.

Over-Population: There is no problem of overpopulation, only God's will. 

Muhammad (570-632 BC) Prophet (Allah's directives from The Koran)
Slay the idolators wherever ye find them.

Smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them

The ink of the scholar is holier than the blood of the martyr.

Do you love your Creator? Love your fellow beings first.

The rights of women are sacred. See that women are maintained in the rights attributed to them.

Dr. Taslima Nasreen (1962- )
Koranic teaching still insists that the sun moves around the earth. How can we advance when they teach things like that?
Jawaharlal Nehru ~ Indian statesman (1889-1964)

The spectacle of what is called religion, or at any rate organised religion, in India and elsewere, has filled me with horror and I have frequently condemned it and wished to make a clean sweep of it. Almost always it seemed to stand for blind belief and reaction, dogma and bigotry, superstition, exploitation and the preservation of vested interests.

We talk about a secular India . . . Some people think that it means something opposed to religion. That is obviously not correct. What it means is that it is a State which honours all faiths equally and gives them equal opportunities; India has a long history of religious tolerance . . . In a country like India, which has many faiths and religions, no real nationalism can be built up except on the basis of secularity.

No country or people who are slaves to dogma and dogmatic mentality can progress. [Key Ideas in Human Thought]

Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer (1951 -  )
Religiously justified violence is first and foremost a problem of "sacred" texts and not a problem of misinterpretation of texts.
Johann Neumann - Professor: University of Tubingen, Germany

During the whole Nazi period religious education in the schools was never forbidden, but on the contrary was generously encouraged.  . . . one has to ask oneself if the religion classes before and during the Nazi period didn't contribute substantially to Christian support for the war as the "work of God," through their inculcation of the doctirine of obedience to the authorities.
Rev. Michael Newdow

Clearly it's not treating atheists as equal with people who believe in God when you sayi "in God We Trust" or we are a "nation under God." . . . I couldn't care less what anyone believes. I just care that our government treats everybody equally.
Friedrich Nietzsche ~ German philologist and philosopher (1844-1900).

I call Christianity the one great curse, the one great intrinsic depravity, the one great instinct of revenge, for which no means are venomous enough, or secret, subterranean and small enough - I call it the one immortal blemish upon the human race.

 Which is it, is man one of God's blunders or is God one of man's?

I cannot believe in a God who wants to be praised all the time.

After coming into contact with a religious man I always feel I must wash my hands

Faith means not wanting to know what is true.

Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies. 

So long as the priest, that professional negator, slanderer and poisoner of life, is regarded as a superior type of human being, there cannot be any answer to the question: What is truth?

The Christian faith from the beginning, is sacrifice: the sacrifice of all freedom, all pride, all self-confidence of spirit; it is at the same time subjection, a self-derision, and self-mutilation.

All religions bear traces of the fact that they arose during the intellectual immaturity of the human race – before it had learned the obligations to speak the truth. Not one of them makes it the duty of its God to be truthful and understandable in his communications.

The most serious parody I have ever heard was this: In the beginning was nonsense, and the nonsense was with God, and the nonsense was God.

There is no devil and no hell. Thy soul will be dead even sooner than thy body: fear therefore nothing any more.

Christianity makes suffering contagious.

The Christian resolution to find the world ugly and bad has made the world ugly and bad.

God is a gross answer, an indelicacy against us thinkers -- at bottom merely a gross prohibition for us: you shall not think!

Sherwin Nuland ( 1930 - ) ~ American surgeon, professor and author
The Hippocratic Oath . . . is an expression of the separation of medicine from religion. That was the great contribution of the Hippocratic physicians -- they were the first people to say sickness has noting to do with god, or the gods, or whatever.
Madelyn Murray O'Hair

Religion has caused more misery to all men in every state of human history than any other single idea.

 No God ever gave any man anything, nor ever answered any prayer at any time -- nor ever will.

"YOUR PETITIONERS ARE ATHEISTS and they define their life-style as follows. An Atheist loves himself and his fellowman instead of a god. An Atheist knows that heaven is something for which we shouldwork now here on earth for all men together to enjoy. An Atheist thinks that he can get no help through prayer but that he must find in himself the inner conviction and strength to meet life, to grapple with it, to subdue, and enjoy it. An Atheist thinks that only in a knowledge of himself and a knowledge of his fellowman can he find the understanding that will help to a life of fulfillment.

Therefore, he seeks to know himself and his fellowman rather than to know a god. An Atheist knows that a hospital should be build instead of a church. An Atheist knows that a deed must be done instead of a prayer said. An Atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death. He wants disease conquered, poverty vanquished, war eliminated. He wants man to understand and love man. He wants an ethical way of life. He knows that we cannot rely on a god nor channel action into prayer nor hope for an end to troubles in the hereafter. He knows that we are our brother's keeper and keepers of our lives; that we are responsible persons, that the job is here and the time is now." - Madalyn Murray (later O'Hair ), preamble to Murray v. Curlett, April 27, 1961

When asked, "Do you support religious freedon," she responded, "Oh, absolutely! I feel that everyone has a right to be insane. And that they can do this any place at all. If they want religious schools, build them! My only problem with that is, do not ask for the land to be tax-free. Do not ask for a government grant to build them. Do not ask for money for teacher's salaries, or more books, or anything else. Just go ahead and do your thing, and do it yourself. Just exactly the same as if you were a nudist. Somebody doesn't get a tax break for being a Mason, or whatever they're interested in. [Interview in Freedom Writer magazine, March 1989] 

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

George Orwell (1903-1950)
When I eat my dinner I don't do it to the greater glory of God; I do it because I enjoy it. The world's full of amusing things - books, wine, travel, friends - everything. I've never seen any meaning in it all, and I don't want to see one. Why not take life as you find it?

As with the Christian religion, the worst advertisement for Socialism is its adherents.

Thomas Paine (1737-1809)
I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of....Each of those churches accuse the other of unbelief; and of my own part, I disbelieve them all. ~The Age of Reason, pp. 89

  All natural institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit." ~ The Age of Reason

 Of all the systems of religion that ever were invented, there is no more derogatory to the Almighty, more unedifiying to man, more repugnant to reason, and more contradictory to itself than this thing called Christianity.

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

It is from the Bible that man has learned cruelty, rapine and murder; for the belief of a cruel God makes a cruel man.

What is it the New Testament teaches us? To believe that the Almighty committed debauchery with a woman engaged to be married; and the belief of this debauchery is called faith.

The Bible is a book that has been read more, and examined less, than any book that ever existed.

Heinz Pagels (1939-1988) ~ American physicist and author
I like to browse in occult bookshops if for no other reason than to refresh my commitment to science.
Olof Palme ~ Swedish prime minister (1927-1986).

Human beings will find a balanced situation when they do good things not because God says it, but because they feel like doing them.
Thomas Paine

I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of....Each of those churches accuse the other of unbelief; and of my own part, I disbelieve them all.

The Bible is a book that has been read more and examined less than any book that ever existed.

The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.

John Pariury
No amount of philosophical argumentation will cause there to be a god. . . . Arguments are not evidence. . . . IN the end, I am left with things I have evidence fore, and those I don't.
Rebecca Ann Parker ~ American theology professor

God required his son to suffer in order to save the world. That is an image of God as a child abuser, and Jesus is imaged as the perfect victim. He accepts the abuse and does it silently. He is praised in his religious community for accepting abuse as the highest form of love . . . . If this is the virtue of God's son . . . how is the victim of the priest's abuse going to find a justification for raising a protest? . . . How is the church going to see the perpetrators of abuse clearly if it can't see its own conceptualizaiton of God as abuser?
Blaise Pascal

You’re basically killing each other to see who’s got the better imaginary friend.
Ron Patterson

So-called Scientific Creationism is really nothing more than an attempt to give credence to an ancient Hebrew myth by trying to prove that virtually al the world's biologists, geologists, and paleontologists are a bunch of incompetent buffoons.

Could a being create the fifty billion galaxies, each with two hundred billion stars, then rejoice in the smell of  burning goat flesh?

Pope Paul IV (1476-1559)
If my own father were a heretic, I would personally gather the wood to burn him.
Gregory S. Paul (1954 -  ) ~ Paleontologist and illustrator

[Worldwide]  higher rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide, juvenile and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy, and abortion. 
Ignots Pistachio

All religions eventually die out. . . . But atheism will live on regardless of what new religion replces the old.

Don't believe everything you think.

Pope Pius IX
The Church has no power to lay down dogmatically that the religion of the Catholoic Church is the one true religion.
Pope Pius XI (1857-1939)

Mussolini is wonderful man. Do you hear me? A wonderful man.
Pope Pius XII

One Galileo in two thousand years is enough.
Darrell Plank

Every Christian who tries to escape the path of a speeding bullet with fear in his eye is an example of a"foxhole conversion" to atheism. . . . There are a hell of a lot more of those conversions than there are of atheists fo Christians.

Atheism is a disease of the soul, before it becomes an error of the understanding.
Edgar Allen Poe

All religion, my friend, is simply evolved out of fear, fraud, greed, imagination and poetry. 

The pioneers and missionaries of religion have been the real cause of more trouble and war than all other classes of mankind.

No man who ever lived knows any more about the hereafter ... than you and I; and all religion ... is simply evolved out of chicanery, fear, greed, imagination and poetry.

Pontiac (1718-1769) Ottawa Indian chief'?
They came with a Bible and their religion, stole our lnad, crushed our spirit, and now tell us we should be thankful to the Lord for being saved.
Dennis Potter

Religion to me has always been the wound, not the bandage."
Ayn Rand

Faith is the commitment of one's consciousness to beliefs for which one has no sensory evidence or rational proof. A mystic is a man who treats his feelings as tools of cognition. Faith is the equation of feeling with knowledge. 

For centuries, the mystics of spirit had existed by running a protection racket -- by making life on earth unbearable, then charging you for consolation and relief . . . by declaring production and joy to be sins, then collecting blackmail from the sinners.

The cross is the symbol of torture. I prefer the dollar sign, the symbol of free trade, therefore of a free mind.

Religion is a primitive form of philosophy, [the] attempt to offer a comprehensive view of reality.

James Randi 
I hearby state my opinion that the notion of a god is a superstition and that there is no evidence for the existence of any god(s). Further, devils, demons, angels and saints are myths; there is no life after death, no heaven or hell; the Pope is a dangerous, bigoted, medieval dinosaur, and the Holy Ghost is a comic-book chqaracter worthy of laughter and derision. I accuse the Christian god of murder by allowing the Holocaust to take place -- not to mention the "ethnic cleansing" presently being performed by Christians in our world -- and I condemn and vilify this mythical deity for encouraging racial prejudice and commanding the degradation of women.

Believers: The sheep who beg to be fleeced and butchered, and who will battle to preserve their right to be victimized.

I suggest that we might want to depose this incumbent God and start dealing with The Real World. He's proven — time and again — to be cruel, capricious, and vindictive. He drowns, crushes, burns, and starves millions of us every day. He created cancer, viruses, and germs to invade and destroy our bodies as He sees fit, and uses them very effectively. In His wisdom, He directed those in charge to impede stem cell research so that such a powerful approach would not be available to us and He wouldn't have to strain the Divine Intellect to disarm that defense. We amuse Him as we flail about vainly trying to appease Him. I vote that we dump Him.

Raymond of Aguilers (1096-1099) ~ French eyewitness of teh First Crusade.
Wonderful things were to bee seen. Numbers of the Saracens were beheaded . . . . Others were shot with arrows, or forced to jump from the towers; others were tortured for several days, then burned with flames. In teh streets were seen piles of heads and hands and feet. It was a just and marvelous judgment of God, that this place should be filled with the blood of unbelievers.
Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) American president

For the first time ever, everything is in place for the Battle of Armageddon and the second coming of Christ.

Red Jacket (1758-1830) Seneca Indian chief
You have got our country, but are not satisfied; you want to force your religion upon us. . . . Brother, you say there is but one way to worship and serve the Great Spirit. If there is but one religion, why do you white people differe so much about it.
John E. Remsberg (1848-1919) American educator

This doctrine of forgiveness of sin is a premium on crime. "Forgive us our sins" means "let us continue in our iniquity." . . . In teaching this doctirne Christ committed a sin for which his death did not atone, and which can never be forgiven.
Joseph Ernest Renan (1823-1892) French philosopher

Experience shows, without exception, that miracles occur only in times and in countries in which miracles are believed in, and in the presence of persons who are disposed to believe them.
Rick Reynolds

As far as I can tell from studying the scriptures, all you do in heaven is pretty much just sit around all day and praise the Lord. I don’t know about you, but I think that after the first, oh, I don’t know, 50,000,000 years of that I’d start to get a little bored.
Matt Ridley ~ British science writer

Readers prefer mysteries to facts, which is why books about astrology, telepathy, and the Bermuda Triangle sell so well. But science need not concede mystery to the occult. It can match it or better. Mysteries like deep geological time, a boundless universe, the big bang, relativity, quantum mechanics, the double helix, natural selection, mass extinction, and chaos theory -- these are richer fare than anything the occult can offer.
Stephen Roberts

I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.
Theodore Roosevelt

To discriminate against a thoroughly upright citizen because he belongs to some particular church, or because, like Abraham Lincoln, he has not avowed his allegiance to any church, is an outrage against that liberty of conscience which is one of the foundations of American life.
Ernestine Rose

It is an interesting and demonstrable fact, that all children are atheists and were religion not inculcated into their minds, they would remain so.
Jean Rostand (1894-1977) ~ French biologist and philosopher

Kill a man, one is a murderer; kill a million, a conqueror; kill them all, a God.
Arthur Rubenstein ~ Polish-American pianist (1886-1982).

During a radio interview with Rubenstein the conversation took a sharp turn away from music when the interviewer suddeenly asked, "Mr. Rubenstein, do you believe in God?" Rubenstein calmly replied, "No. You see, what I believe in is something much greater." 
Michael Ruse (1940- ) Canadian philospher of science

It is difficult to imagine evolutionists signing a comparable statement, that they will never deviate from the literal text of Charles Darwin's On The Origin of Species.
Bertrand Russell

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

I do not pretend to be able to prove that there is no God. I equally cannot prove that Satan is a fiction. The Christian god may exist; so may the gods of Olympus, or of ancient Egypt, or of Babylon. But no one of these hypotheses is more probable than any other: they lie outside the region of even probable knowledge, and therefore there is no reason to consider any of them.

We may define "faith" as the firm belief in something for which there is no evidence. Where there is evidence, no one speaks of "faith." We do not speak of faith that two and two are four or that the earth is round. We only speak of faith when we wish to substitute emotion for evidence.

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.

The Christian view that all intercourse outside marriage is immoral was, as we see in the above passages from St. Paul, based upon the view that all sexual intercourse, even within marriage, is regrettable. A view of this sort, which goes against biological facts, can only be regarded by sane people as a morbid aberration. The fact that it is embedded in Christian ethics has made Christianity throughout its whole history a force tending towards mental disorders and unwholesome views of life.

The universe may have a purpose, but nothing we know suggests that, if so, this purpose has any similarity to ours.

Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth, more than ruin, more even than death...Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit. Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid. Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of man.

One should always keep an open mind, but not so open that one's brains fall out.

Religion is something left over from the infancy of our intelligence, it will fade away as we adopt reason and science as our guidelines.

And if there were a God, I think it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence.

The immense majority of intellectually eminent men disbelieve in Christian religion, but they conceal the fact in public, because they are afraid of losing their incomes.

Religion is based . . . mainly on fear . . . fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the parent of cruelty, and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion have gone hand in hand. . . . My own view on religion is that of Lucretius. I regard it as a disease born of fear and as a source of untold misery to the human race.

I believe that when I die I shall rot, and nothing of my ego will survive. I am not young, and I love life. But I should scorn to shiver with terror at the thought of annihilation. Happiness is none the less true happiness because it must come to an end, nor do thought and love lose their value because they are not everlasting.

I am myself a dissenter from all known religions, and I hope that every kind of religious belief will die out.

My conclusion is that there is no reason to believe any of the dogmas of traditional theology and, further, that there is no reason to wish that they were true. Man, in so far as he is not subject to natural forces, is free to work out his own destiny. The responsibility is his, and so is the opportunity.

You find as you look around the world that every single bit of progress in humane feeling, every improvement in the criminal law, every step toward the diminution of war, every step toward better treatment of the colored races, or every mitigation of slavery, every moral progress that there has been in the world, has been consistently opposed by the organized churches of the world. I say quite deliberately that the Christian religion, as organized in its churches, has been and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world.

Carl Sagan (1934-1996) Scientist
A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism.

Life is but a momentary glimpse of the wonder of this astonishing universe, and it is sad to see so many dreaming it away on spiritual fantasy.

The sacred truth of science is that there are no sacred truths.

Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense.

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

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

St. Augustine
As to the fable that there are Antipodes, that is to say, men on the opposite side of the earth, where the sun rises when it sets to us, men who walk with their feet opposite to ours, that is on no ground credible...that there was only one pair of original ancestors, and it is inconceivable that such distant regions should have been peopled by Adam's decendants. 

The good Christian should beware of mathematicians and all those who make empty prophecies. The danger already exists that mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and confine man in the bonds of Hell.

Carl Sandburg (1878-1967) ~ American poet
To work hard, to live hard, to die hard, and then go to hell after all would be too damned hard.
Margaret Sanger (1883-1966) ~ Activist

If Christianity turned the clock of general progress back a thousand years, it turned back the clock two thousand years for woman.
George Santayana (1863-1952)

Men become superstitious not because they had too much imagination, but because they were not aware that they had any.

Buddhism had tried to quiet a sick world with anesthetics; Christianity sought to purge it with fire.

Faith in the supernatural is a desperate wager made by man at the lowest ebb of his fortunes.

There is no cure for life and death save to enjoy the interval.

Dan Savage 
I realized if I wanted to live in a fabulous house and have sex with young men I didn't need to be a priest to do that anymore. It used to be the only way you could do that, but the world has changed now for the better.
Arthur Schnitzler (1862-1931) ~ Austrian playwright and physician

Martyrdom has always been a proof of the intensity, never of the correctness of a belief.
Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) ~ German philosopher

Religions are like fireflies. They require darkness in order to shine.

Philosophy lets the gods alone, and asks in turn to be let alone by them.

Faith and knowledge are related as the scales of a balance when the one goes up, the other goes down.

Etta Semple (1855-1914) ~ American activist and novelist
If, in plain word I don't want to go to heaven . . . whose business is it but my own?
Seneca the Younger (circa 4 B.C.E - 65 C.E)

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

In religion, what damned error but some sober brow will bless it, and approve it with a text, hiding the grossness with fair ornament. ~ Bassanio in The Merchant of Venice

The Devil can cite scripture for his purpose.

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)
Why should we take advice on sex from the pope? If he knows anyithing about it, he shouldn't!

Martyrdom is the only way in which a man can become famous without ability.

No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says; He is always convinced that it says what he means.

Percy Bysshe Shelley ~ English poet (1792-1822)
If God has spoken, why is the world not convinced.

It is easier to suppose that the universe has existed for all eternity than to conceive a being beyond its limits capable of creating it.

Marian Noel Sherman (1892-1975) ~ Canadian physician
If you tell a child "God made the world" he will usually ask "Then who made God?" If we reply, as the catechism states, "No one made God. He always was," then why couldn't we just say that about the world in the first place?
Michael Shermer

What can be more soul shaking than peering through a 100-inch telescope at a distant galaxy, holding a 100-million-year-old fossil or a 500,000-year-old stone tool in one's hand, standing before the immense chasm of space and time that is the Grand Canyon, or listening to a scientist who gazed upon the face of the universe's creation and did not blink? That is deep and sacred science.

David Koresh, L. Ron Hubbard, Joseph Smith, Jesus, Moses, what's the difference? They were all egomaniacal, delusional characters who developed fanatical followers who exaggerated their claims, mythologized their lives, and canonized their words.

An anthropologist from Mars surveying Earth's flora and fauna, would find roughly 30 million species, one of which evolved a big enough brain to conceive of incorporeal monsters, beasts, spirits, demons, gods, and the like. In the past 10,000 years, the Martian anthropologist discovers after doing his research that this one species had devised roughly 100,000 religions based on roughly 2,500 gods. So, the only difference between me and the believers in the audience was that I am skeptical of 2,500 gods whereas they are skeptical of 2,499 gods. We're only one God away from total agreement.

Azura Skye
I wonder who got the shit job of scouring the planet for the 15000 species of butterfly or the 8800 species of ant they eventually took on board Noah’s Ark. But at least we got that magical rainbow for all their trouble. 
George H. Smith

In exchange for obedience, Christianity promises salvation in an afterlife; but in order to elicit obedience through this promise, Christianity must convince men that they need salvation, that there is something to be saved from. Christianity has nothing to offer a happy man living in a natural, intelligible universe. If Christianity is to gain a motivational foothold, it must declare war on earthly pleasure and happiness, and this, historically, has been its precise course of action. In the eyes of Christianity, man is sinful and helpless in the face of God, and is potential fuel for the flames of hell. Just as Christianity must destroy reason before it can introduce faith, so it must destroy happiness before it can introduce salvation. ~ Atheism: The Case Against God
Linda Smith, British TV and radio comedienne

If god wanted us to believe in him... he'd exist!
Raymond Smullyan (1919-) American mathematician and philosopher

It has always puzzled me that so many people have taken it for granted that God favors those who believe in him. Isn't it possible that the actual God is a scientific God who has little patience with beliefs founded on faith rather than evidence?
Sogree: On a Bored God: 

   * 12-14 billion years ago god created the Universe 
   * 5 billion years ago he started with our Earth 
   * 3 million years ago he started with humankind 
   * 150,000 years ago he started with the current version of humankind 
   * 5,000 years ago he revealed himself to humankind (so they say) 
   * And for only 2,000 years he has been able to "enjoy" Christian people 

On a timescale of the Universe (100 percent): 
   * the Earth has existed for 42 percent of the time 
   * Apeman existed since 0.025 percent of the time 
   * Humankind itself has existed for 0.00125 percent of the time 
   * The Christian faith has existed for 0.000042 percent of the time (rounded upwards) 
   * The time God has been able to enjoy Christian people is 0.000017 percent (rounded upwards). 

Thus, god has, for 99,999982 percent of time (rounded downwards = 11,999,997,960 years), been bored, has done nothing.  He has been waiting for us, only to leave us behind "alone" once again. Why? For eating an apple, that's why! I know time is nothing to God, but this is preposterous. 

Mira Sorvino (1967- ) ~ American actress and activist
Why does it not say anywhere in the Bible that slavery is wrong? How is it possible that it is not immoral to own another person? Why isn't that one of the Ten Commandments? "Thou shalt not own another person." You want to sit here and tell me that fornication is worse than owning someone?
Walter P. Stacy (1925-1951) former chief justice, North Carolina Supreme Court

It would be almost unbelievable, if history did not record the tragic fact, that men have gone to war and cut each other's throats because they could not agree as to what was to become of them after their throats were cut.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902) Women's rights advocate

The Bible and the Chruch havbe been the greatest stumbling blocks in the way of women's emancipation . . . . Among the clergy we find our most violent enemies, those most opposed to any change in woman's position.
Pope Stephen V ~ Pope from 885 to 891

The Popes, like Jesus, are conceived by their mothers through the overshadowing of the Holy Ghost. All Popes are a certain species of man-gods . . . all powers in Heaven, as well as on earth, are given to them.
Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) ~ Priest and satirist

It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of what he was never reasoned into.
Tao Te Ching

Religion is the end of love and honesty, the beginning of confusion; faith is a colorful hope or fear, the origin of folly.
Tecumseh (1768-1813) ~ Native American leader

How can we have confidence in the white people? When Jesus Christ came upon the earth, you killed him, the son of your own God, you nailed him up! You thought he was dead, but you were mistaken, And only after you thought you killed him did you worship him, and start killing those who would not worship him. What kind of people is this for us to trust?
Edward Teller

It's an embarrassing thing that, in a modern culture, people still fall for lines of bull that were invented in the caves.
Charles Templeton (1915-2001) ~ Canadian journalist, novelist and politician.

If God's love encompasses the whole world and if everyone who does not believe in him will perish, then surely this question needs to be asked: When, after two thousand years, does God's plan kick in for the billion people he "so loves" in China? Or for the 840 million in India?Or the millions in Japan, Afghanistan, Siberia, Egypt, Burma -- and on and on?
Mother Teresa (1910-1997) ~ Albanian Catholic nun

I think it is very beautiful for the poor to accept their lot, to share it with the passion of Christ. I think the world is being much helped by the suffering of the poor people.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) ~ American philosopher

Why try to convert the Algonquin Indians from their own superstitions to new ones.

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

Gherman Titov, Soviet cosmonaut ~ The Seattle Daily Times, May 7, 1962
Some say God is living there [in space]. I was looking around very attentively, but I did not see anyone there. I did not detect either angels or gods....I don't believe in God. I believe in man - his strength, his possibilities, his reason.
Leo Tolstoy

To regard Christ as God, and to pray to him, are to my mind the greatest possible sacrilege.
Vincent Van Gogh

I can very well do without God both in my life and in my painting, but I cannot, suffering as I am, do without something which is greater than I am, which is my life, the power to create.

David Viaene
Gods don't kill people. People with Gods kill people.
Gore Vidal ~ American novelist

More people have been killed in the name of Jesus Christ than any other name in the history of the world.

Every man makes a god of his own desire.

A clergyman is one who feels himself called upon to live without working, at the expense of the rascals who work to live.

As long as people believe in absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities.

Every sensible man, every honest man, must hold the Christian sect in horror. But what shall we substitute in its place? you say. What? A ferocious animal has sucked the blood of my relatives. I tell you to rid yourselves of this beast, and you ask me what you shall put in its place?

We only half live when we only half think.

Atheism is the vice of a few intelligent people.

If God has made us in his image, we have returned him the favor.

Christianity is the most ridiculous, the most absurd and bloody religion that has ever infected the world.

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make  you commit atrocities.

Nothing can be more contrary to religion and the clergy than reason and common sense. [Philosophical Dictionary, 1764]

Superstition, born of paganism and adopted by Judaism, invested the Christian Church from earliest times. All the fathers of the Church, without exception, believed in the power of magic. The Church always condemned magic, but she always believed in it: she did not excommunicate sorcerers as madmen who were mistaken, but as men who were really in communication with the devil." [Philosophical Dictionary, 1764]

Of all religions the Christian is without doubt the one which should inspire tolerance most, although up to now the Christians have been the most intolerant of all men. 

It is hard to free fools from chains they revere. 

Peter Walker ~ American space physicist and researcher
The supreme arrogance of religious thinking: that a carbon-based bag of mostly water on a speck of iron-silicate dust around a boring dwarf star in a minor galaxy in an underpopulated local group of galaxies in an unfashionable suburb of a supercluster would look up at the sky and delcare, "It was all made so that I could exist!"
Alfred R. Wallace (1823-1913) ~ Darwin colleague

Man's special creation is entirely unsupported by the facts, as well as in the highest degree improbable.
Lemuel K.. Washburn ~ American activist author

A man with a creed has bought the coffin for his mind. . . . It does not require any mental exercise to believe.

The Unitarian walks with a cane, the Congregationalist, Mehodist, Presbyterian and Baptist go with crutches, the Episcopalian hst to be pushed about in an invalid's chair, while the Roman Catholic crawls on his hands and knees and is led around with a ring in his nose by a priest.

The church is a bank that is continually receiving deposits but never pays a dividend.

What a queer thing is Christian salvation! Believing in firemen will not save a burning house; believing in doctors will not make one well, but believing in a savior saves men. Fudge!"

George Washington
Religious controversies are always productive of more acrimony and irreconcilable hatreds than those which spring from any other cause. I had hoped that liberal and enlightened thought would have reconciled the Christians so that their religious fights would not endanger the peace of Society.

The United States of America should have a foundation free from the influence of clergy.

Dr. James Watson ~ American biologist, (Discoverer of DNA.)
I don't think we're here for anything, we're just products of evolution. You can say 'Gee, your life must be pretty bleak if you don't think there's a purpose' but I'm anticipating a good lunch.

The biggest advantage to believing in God is you don't have to understand anything, no physics, no biology. . . . I wanted to understand.

Alan Watts
A committed believer in the Koran trots out the same arguments for his point of view as a Southern Baptist . . . and neither can listen to reason.

Things are as they are. Looking out into it the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.

Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966) ~ English novelist
It is a curious thing that every creed promises a paradise which would be absolutely uninhabitable for anyone of civilized taste.
Richard A. Weatherwax 

You do not need the Bible to justify love, but no better tool has been invented to justify hate. 
Steven Weinberg

With or without it, you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, it takes religion.

Most scientist I know don't care enough about religion even to call themselves atheists.

Tom Weller ~ Author
Several thousand years ago, a small tribe of ignorant near-savages wrote various collections of myths, wild tales, lies, and gibberish. Over the centureis, these stories were embroidered, garbled, mutilated, and torn into small pieces that were then repeatedly shuffled. Finally, this material was badly translated into several languages successfully. The resultant text, creationists feel, is the best guide to this complex and technical subject. 

Herbert George "H.G." Wells  ~  English author (1866-1946).
It runs through the entire Christian story, and our case against the Catholic Church is that, albeit it originated in a passionate assertion of the conception of brotherly equality, it relapsed steadily from the broad nobility of its beginnings and passed over at last almost completely to the side of persecution and the pleasures of cruelty. [From Wells' book Crux Ansata - An Indictment of the Roman Catholic Church 1944, reprinted in 1981 by American Atheist Press.] 

Why do people go on pretending about this Christianity?

There was a time when I believed in the story and the scheme of salvation, so far as I could understand it, just as I believed there was a Devil. Suddenly the light broke through to me and I saw a silly story, and each generation nowadays swallows it with greater difficulty. Why do people go on pretending about this Christianity?

John Wesley (1703 - 1791)
Whatever the natural cause, sin is the true cause of all earthquakes.
Andrew Dickson White

The establishment of Christianity arrested the normal development of the physical sciences for over fifteen hundred years.

The cardinal doctrine of a fanatic's creed is that his enemies are the enemies of God.

Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947) ~ British mathematician and philosopher
The total absence of humor in the Bible is one of the most singular things in all literature.
Walt Whitman (1819-1892) ~ American poet

Science, testing absolutely all thoughts, all works, has already burst well upon the world -- a sun, mounting, most illuminating, most glorious, surely never again to set. But against it, deeply entrench'd . . . the fossil theology of the mythic-materialistic, superstitious, untaught and credulous fable-loving, primitive ages of humanity.
Oscar Wilde

 When I think of all the harm the Bible has done, I despair of ever writing anything equal to it.

Truth, in matters of religion, is simply the opinion that has survived.

I sometimes think that God in creating man somewhat overestimated his ability.

Lois Wilson
You know you have created God in your own image, when you find that your God hates the same people that you do. 
Robert Anton Wilson ~ American writer and philosopher

The Bible tells us to be like God, and then on page after page it descdribes God as a mass murderer. this may be the single most important key to the political behaviour of Western Civilization.
Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) ~ US President

Of course like very other man of intelligence and education I do believe in organic evolution. It surprises me that at this late date such questions should be raised.
Brent Yaciw

Fundamentalists are like the fir trees in German forests: they cannot stand alone, and are only stable when crowded together, branches locked with those of their brothers. That is why we must always fear them, because they will always hate us for our individualism.
Cathy Young ~ Journalist

After September 11, some credited God with ensuring that there were far fewer people than usual both in the hijacked planes and in the targeted buildings. You'd think God could have simply tipped off the FBI.

A list of deities from the different religions, 
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