Quotes from famous freethinkers

Quotes from famous freethinkers

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“Religion is Superstition”

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#1 Nov 30, 2008
I have a collection of quotes from famous freethinkers, sprinkled liberally with the rantings of religious people that would probably best be considered embarrassing. I thought sharing them here would be at least entertaining. Quotes are sited with author (if known) and sourse (if available) This is a rather large collection, so I will deliver them in installments. Here are the first ten.

"We preach peace, forgiveness, tolerance and love. We practice vengeance, persecution, hatred and domination. My personal beliefs are supported and validated by my convictions. Oh, and never forget .... my religion is truth, yours is a lie."
[Religion, paraphrased (unknown)]

"I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so"
[Adolph Hitler, to Gen. Gerhard Engel, 1941]

"These are rogues that pretend to be of a religion now! Well, all I say is, honest atheism for my money."
[Thomas Otway, English classical poet (1652-1685)]

"Faith is a cop-out. It is intellectual bankruptcy. If the only way you can accept an assertion is by faith, then you are conceding that it can't be taken on its own merits."
[Dan Barker - Former evangelist, author, critic]

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

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

"Most confusing of all, though, was probably Marco Polo's claim that public safety and commercial honesty were far better maintained in China than in Europe, without Christianity as a basis for morals."
[K. Pomerantz and S. Topik, "The World that Trade Created"]

Trinity -- a three for one sale on deities

"In the history of our poor world, no horror has been omitted, no infamy has been left undone by the believers in ghosts,-- by the worshipers of these fleshless phantoms. And yet these shadows were born of cowardice and malignity. They were painted by the pencil of fear upon the canvas of ignorance by that artist called superstition."
[Robert G. Ingersoll, "The Ghosts", 1877]

"A person has not much excuse for living who can make no better use of life than passing it in a nunnery."
[Lemuel K. Washburn,_Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays_]

“Religion is Superstition”

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#2 Nov 30, 2008
Here are the next ten quotes.

"A faith that cannot survive collision with the truth is not worth many regrets."
[Arthur C. Clarke]

"In the church of a small town in the state of S. Paulo, Brazil, the statue of Virgin Mary started to weep regularly. The news spread like fire and soon pilgrims from everywhere crowded the place, hoping for miracles. Researchers from the nearby university of Campinas took samples of the tears and compared them to the available water sources in the neighbourhood. They turned out to have the same chemical composition as the water from a drawn well behind the church. Then he researchers sealed the statue inside a glass dome and the tears stopped for many days. When the weeping began anew, they noticed the seal had been broken. Their report stated clearly that the so-called miracle was a fraud, possibly to attract pilgrims to the region. The media asked a woman what she thought of the report and she replied: "I don't care for reports. The Virgin wept. It's my faith that counts".
[Leo Fernandes]

"Creation 'scientists' must be aware that the informed workers in literary interpretation and in physical and biological sciences regard their stance as irresponsible, and that in the scholarly world as well as in the schools they are doing irreparable damage to the Christian cause."
[Prof. Ken Campbell, Australian National University, in St. Mark's Review 137 (Autumn, 1989)(Anglican)]

"But in the end one also has to understand that the needs that religion has satisfied and philosophy is now supposed to satisfy are not immutable; they can be weakened and exterminated. Consider, for example, that Christian distress of mind that comes from sighing over ones inner depravity and care for ones salvation -- all concepts originating in nothing but errors of reason and deserving, not satisfaction, but obliteration."
[Freidrich Nietzsche, from "Human, all too Human", s.27, R.J. Hollingdale transl.]

"When I get down on my knees, it is not to pray."
[Madonna]

"God is a concept by which we measure our pain."
[John Lennon, "God",(1970)]

"Faith is essentially intolerant... essentially because necessarily bound up with faith is the illusion that one's cause is also God's cause."
[Ludwig Feuerbach]

"The Christian concept of God is one of the most corrupt conceptions of God arrived on earth; perhaps it even represents the low-water mark in the descending development of the God type. God degenerated to the *contradiction of life,* instead of being its transfiguration and eternal Yes! In God a declaration of hostility towards life, nature, and the will to life! God is the formula for every calumny of 'this world', for every lie about the 'next world!' In God nothingness defied, the will to nothingness sanctified
[Friedrich Nietzsche,_The Antichrist_]

Rincewind:...they're going to sacrifice her, if you must know.
Twoflower: What, kill her?
Rincewind: Yes.
Twoflower: Why?
Rincewind: Don't ask me. To make the crops grow or the moon rise or something. Or maybe they're just keen on killing people. That's religion for you.
[Terry Pratchett, "The Light Fantastic"]

Find God? Why, is God missing?

“Religion is Superstition”

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#3 Nov 30, 2008
Here are the next ten quotes.

"But here steps in Satan, the eternal rebel, the first free-thinker and emancipator of worlds. He makes man ashamed of his bestial ignorance and obedience; he emancipates him, stamps upon his brow the seal of liberty and humanity, in urging him to disobey and eat of the fruit of knowledge."
[Bakunin,_God and the State_(1874)]

"Kneeling is not an heroic attitude. It more becomes the fearful slave than the brave free man.....These stories of men becoming pious when terrified confirm our conviction that fear begot the gods."
[Charles ??, in The Truth Seeker, July 1942]

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

"To suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency is a dangerous fallacy which at once destroys all religious liberty, because he being of course judge of that tendency will make his opinions the rule of judgment and approve or condemn the sentiments of others only as they shall square with or differ from his own."
[Thomas Jefferson: Statute for Religious Freedom, 1779. Papers, 2:546

"So long as there are earnest believers in the world, they will always wish to punish opinions, even if their judgment tells them it is unwise and their conscience that it is wrong."
[Walter Bagehot, Literary Studies]

"Why should the residence of a preacher be untaxed? Useful citizens must pay taxes on their homes. Yet the Preacher -- actually and notoriously the least useful member of the community -- lives in a tax-free dwelling."
[E. Haldeman-Julius, "The Church Is a Burden, Not a Benefit, In Social Life"]

"Nothing can be more infamous than intellectual tyranny. To put chains upon the body is nothing compared with putting shackles on the brain. No god is entitled to the worship or respect of a man who does not give, even to the meanest of his children, every right he claims for himself. If the Pentateuch is true, religious persecution is a duty, The dungeons of the Inquisition were temples and the clank of every chain upon the limbs of heresy was music to the ear of God."
[Robert G. Ingersoll]

"Take from the church the miraculous, the supernatural, the incomprehensible, the unreasonable, the impossible, the unknowable, the absurd, and nothing but a vacuum remains."
[Robert G. Ingersoll, "The Ghosts", 1877, in Ingersoll's Works, Vol. 1, p. 285]

I'm in favour of a dialogue between science and religion, but not a productive one. I'm bothered by the fact ... that many people are getting the (false) impression of a happy reconciliation between science and religion.... Religion ... is an insult to human dignity."
[Steven Weinberg, Nobel prize-winning physicist, refuting "intelligent design" and scientific support of theology, at "Program of Dialogue Between Scientists and Religion" conference, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington DC, April 1999. Article by Steven Kloehn, Chicago Tribune, 4/18/99 in Corpus Christi Caller-Times]

"A woman is a pitcher full of filth with it's mouth full of blood, yet all run after her"
[Talmud, Shabbath 152]

“Religion is Superstition”

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#4 Nov 30, 2008
Here are the next ten quotes.

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

"Formal religion was organized for slaves: it offered them consolation which earth did not provide."
[Elbert Hubbard, "The Philistine"]

"A religion that has a personal God, outside of humanity, to worship and to please, is quite apt to get appointed an official to regulate the people, and particularly to execute punishment adequate to the offence committed against an Infinite Ruler of the Universe. Humanity so likes authority, it seems sometimes as if it gloated upon the sufferings of its fellows."
[Lucy Colman]

"Let it suffice on this head to say, that it is not possible in the nature of things to establish religion by human laws without perverting the design of civil law and oppressing the people."
[John Leland, from The Yankee Spy, writing under the pen name of Jack Nipps, Boston, 1794]

"If all the achievements of scientists were wiped out tomorrow, there would be no doctors, but witch doctors, no transport faster than horses, no computers, no printed books, no agriculture beyond subsistence peasant farming. If all the achievements of theologians were wiped out tomorrow, would anyone notice the difference? Even bad achievements of scientists, the bombs, and sonar- guided whaling vessels *work*! The achievements of theologians don't do anything, don't affect anything, don't mean anything. What makes anyone think that "theology" is a subject at all?"
[Richard Dawkins, "The Emptiness of Theology", Op-Ed article in Free Inquiry, Spring 1998]

"It is much to be lamented that a man of Franklin's general good character and great influence should have been an unbeliever in Christianity, and also have done as much as he did to make others unbelievers"
[Priestley's Autobiography, p. 60, on Benjamin Franklin]

"We face the nineties with a Court that relegates First Amendment rights to the level of any law, a Justice Department quite willing to establish first and second-class citizenship determined by religious belief....a Christian arrogance and exclusivism reminiscent of earlier centuries of religious persecution."
[Robert S. Alley, "Christian Exclusivism and Second-Class Citizenship", in Free Inquiry

The greater your ignorance, the more evidence you have for the existence of God

The Fundamentalist
== Knows no greater joy than the sound of his own voice.
== Knows no greater terror than the god he creates in his own image.
== Knows no greater evil than an unfettered mind.
== Knows no greater blasphemy than being told to shut up.

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

“Religion is Superstition”

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#5 Nov 30, 2008
Here are the next ten quotes.

"The fact that there is a general belief in a future life is no evidence of its truth."
[Clarence Darrow]

"With very few exceptions, the religion which a man accepts is that of the community in which he lives, which makes it obvious that the influence of environment is what has led him to accept the religion in question."
[Bertrand Russell]

"Accordingly, I judged it all the more necessary to find out what the truth was by torturing two female slaves who were called deaconesses. But I discovered nothing else but depraved, excessive superstition." I therefore postponed the investigation and hastened to consult you. For the matter seemed to me to warrant consulting you, especially because of the number involved. For many persons of every age, every rank, and also of both sexes are and will be endangered. For the contagion of this superstition has spread not only to the cities but also to the villages and farms. But it seems possible to check and cure it."
[Pliny the Younger's reaction to Christianity in Asia Minor, 111 AD, letter to Emporor Trajan]

"What I have done is to show that it is possible for the way the universe began to be determined by the laws of science. In that case, it would not be necessary to appeal to God to decide how the universe began. This doesn't prove that there is no God, only that God is not necessary."
[Stephen W. Hawking, Der Spiegel, 1989]

"From the walls of the temple of Luxor... there faces Christianity a group of four scenes that spell the non-historicity of four episodes purveyed as history in the Gospel's recital of the Christ's nativity: the angel's pronouncement to the shepherds tending their flocks by night in the fields; the annunciation of the angel to the virgin; the adoration of the infant by three Magi; and the nativity scene itself. Egypt had used the symbol of a star rising in the east as the portent of coming deity for millenia anterior to the Christian era. Egypt had knelt at the shrine of the Madonna and Child, Isis and Horus, for long centuries before a historical Mary lifted a historical Jesus in her arms... Egypt had known a Jesus who long antedated the Gospel Messiah and who presented to the student some one hundred and eight items of identity, similarity, and correspondence in word, deed, and function with his later copy.
[Alvin Boyd Kuhn, "Who Is This King of Glory?" Elizabeth, N.J. Academy Press, 1944 pp. x-xi) quoted in John G. Jackson, "Christianity Before Christ" Austin TX: American Atheist Press, 1985 on page 116]

"His heart shall be torn from his living bosom and thrown in his face, after which his head is to be taken off and exposed on the church steeple in his native village. His body is to be cut into four pieces and a quarter fastened upon different towers of the City of Alkamaar."
[Diedrich Sonoy, Lutheran governer in Holland, on the Catholic Nanning Koppezoon, who was tortured for refusing to convert]

"In medieval times, church bells were often consecrated to ward off evil spirits. Because thunderstorms were attributed to the work of demons, the bells would be rung in an attempt to stop the storms. Lots of bellringers were killed by lightning."
["Isaac Asimov's Book of Facts" © 1979]

"It is wrong always, everywhere and for everyone to believe anything upon insufficient evidence."
[W. K. Clifford essay "The Ethics of Belief"]

I have to go take a christian. I need to find some apostle to wipe my god with, first. I hope I don't get any jesus on my fingers.

“Religion is Superstition”

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#6 Nov 30, 2008
That last group only had nine it it, I apologize.

Here is the next group.

"It is contended by many that ours is a Christian government, founded upon the Bible, and that all who look upon that book as false or foolish are destroying the foundation of our country. The truth is, our government is not founded upon the rights of gods, but upon the rights of men. Our Constitution was framed, not to declare and uphold the deity of Christ, but the sacredness of humanity. Ours is the first government made by the people for the people. It is the only nation with which the gods have nothing to do. And yet there are some judges dishonest and cowardly enough to solemly decide that this is a Christian country, and that our free institutions are based upon the infamous laws of Jehovah."
[Robert G. Ingersoll, "Individuality" 1873]

"We have already compared the benefits of theology and science. When the theologian governed the world, it was covered with huts and hovels for the many, palaces and cathedrals for the few. To nearly all the children of men, reading and writing were unknown arts. The poor were clad in rags and skins -- they devoured crusts, and gnawed bones. The day of Science dawned, and the luxuries of a century ago are the necessities of to-day. Men in the middle ranks of life have more of the conveniences and elegancies than the princes and kings of the theological times. But above and over all this, is the development of mind. There is more of value in the brain of an average man of to-day -- of a master-mechanic, of a chemist, of a naturalist, of an inventor, than there was in the brain of the world four hundred years ago. These blessings did not fall from the skies. These benefits did not drop from the outstretched hands of priests. They were not found in cathedrals or behind altars -- neither were they searched for with holy candles. They were not discovered by the closed eyes of prayer, nor did they come in answer to superstitious supplication. They are the children of freedom, the gifts of reason, observation and experience -and for them all, man is indebted to man."
[Robert G. Ingersoll]

"You may be surprised to find that god is not an explanation of anything at all, but merely a word that the ignorant use to obscure their lack of understanding."
[Dirk Tebben]

Faith, n. Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.
[Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary, 1911]

"If a man, holding a belief which he was taught in childhood or persuaded of afterwards, keeps down and pushes away any doubts which arise about it in his mind, purposely avoids the reading of books and the company of men that call into question or discuss it, and regards as impious those questions which cannot easily be asked without disturbing it--the life of that man is one long sin against mankind." [W. K. Clifford, "Ethics of Belief"]

"The infidels of one age have been the aureoled saints of the next. The destroyers of the old are the creators of the new."
[Robert G. Ingersoll, "The Great Infidels", 1881]

"What can we say to a man who tells you that he would rather obey God than men, and that therefore he is sure to go to heaven for butchering you? Even the law is impotent against these attacks of rage; it is like reading a court decree to a raving maniac. These fellows are certain that the holy spirit with which they are filled is above the law, that their enthusiasm is the only law that they must obey."
[Voltaire, 1764]

"Any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child, cannot be true."
[Thomas Paine, "The Age of Reason"]

"The human mind is a very complicated system. Unbalance that system with oxygen deprivation, drugs, or religion and you get unreliable results."
[Landis D. Ragon]

"'Theocracy' has always been the synonym for a bleak and narrow, if not a fierce and blood-stained tyranny."
[William Archer (1667-1735)]

“Religion is Superstition”

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#7 Nov 30, 2008
"It is contended by many that ours is a Christian government, founded upon the Bible, and that all who look upon that book as false or foolish are destroying the foundation of our country. The truth is, our government is not founded upon the rights of gods, but upon the rights of men. Our Constitution was framed, not to declare and uphold the deity of Christ, but the sacredness of humanity. Ours is the first government made by the people for the people. It is the only nation with which the gods have nothing to do. And yet there are some judges dishonest and cowardly enough to solemly decide that this is a Christian country, and that our free institutions are based upon the infamous laws of Jehovah."
[Robert G. Ingersoll, "Individuality" 1873]

"We have already compared the benefits of theology and science. When the theologian governed the world, it was covered with huts and hovels for the many, palaces and cathedrals for the few. To nearly all the children of men, reading and writing were unknown arts. The poor were clad in rags and skins -- they devoured crusts, and gnawed bones. The day of Science dawned, and the luxuries of a century ago are the necessities of to-day. Men in the middle ranks of life have more of the conveniences and elegancies than the princes and kings of the theological times. But above and over all this, is the development of mind. There is more of value in the brain of an average man of to-day -- of a master-mechanic, of a chemist, of a naturalist, of an inventor, than there was in the brain of the world four hundred years ago. These blessings did not fall from the skies. These benefits did not drop from the outstretched hands of priests. They were not found in cathedrals or behind altars -- neither were they searched for with holy candles. They were not discovered by the closed eyes of prayer, nor did they come in answer to superstitious supplication. They are the children of freedom, the gifts of reason, observation and experience -and for them all, man is indebted to man."
[Robert G. Ingersoll]

"You may be surprised to find that god is not an explanation of anything at all, but merely a word that the ignorant use to obscure their lack of understanding."
[Dirk Tebben]

Faith, n. Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks
without knowledge, of things without parallel.
[Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary, 1911]

"If a man, holding a belief which he was taught in childhood or persuaded of afterwards, keeps down and pushes away any doubts which arise about it in his mind, purposely avoids the reading of books and the company of men that call into question or discuss it, and regards as impious those questions which cannot easily be asked without disturbing it--the life of that man is one long sin against mankind." [W. K. Clifford, "Ethics of Belief"]

"The infidels of one age have been the aureoled saints of the next. The destroyers of the old are the creators of the new."
[Robert G. Ingersoll, "The Great Infidels", 1881]

"What can we say to a man who tells you that he would rather obey God than men, and that therefore he is sure to go to heaven for butchering you? Even the law is impotent against these attacks of rage; it is like reading a court decree to a raving maniac. These fellows are certain that the holy spirit with which they are filled is above the law, that their enthusiasm is the only law that they must obey."
[Voltaire, 1764]

"Any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child, cannot be true."
[Thomas Paine, "The Age of Reason"]

"The human mind is a very complicated system. Unbalance that system with oxygen deprivation, drugs, or religion and you get unreliable results."
[Landis D. Ragon]

"'Theocracy' has always been the synonym for a bleak and narrow, if not a fierce and blood-stained tyranny."
[William Archer (1667-1735)]

“Religion is Superstition”

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#8 Nov 30, 2008
I'll be along with more of these later

“ecrasez l'infame”

Level 1

Since: May 08

Atlanta, Georgia

#9 Nov 30, 2008
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



Seneca the Younger 4 b.c.- 65 a.d.- Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.

Blaise Pascal - Men never commit evil so fully and joyfully as when they do it for religious convictions.

Emo Philips - When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realised that the Lord doesn't work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me.

Richard Jeni - You're basically killing each other to see who's got the better imaginary friend

Bertrand Russell - 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

George Bernard Shaw - The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one

Epicurus - Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

Doug McLeod - I still say a church steeple with a lightning rod on top shows a lack of confidence

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

unknown - Don't pray in my school, and I won't think in your church

Gene Roddenberry - We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty Humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes

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

Steven Weinberg - 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.

Richard Lederer (Anguished English)- There once was a time when all people believed in God and the church ruled. This time was called the Dark Ages.

George Carlin - Religion has actually convinced people that there's an invisible man -- living in the sky -- who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do.. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever 'til the end of time!..But He loves you

“ecrasez l'infame”

Level 1

Since: May 08

Atlanta, Georgia

#10 Nov 30, 2008
Ferdinand Magellan - The church says the earth is flat, but I know that it is round, for I have seen the shadow on the moon, and I have more faith in a shadow than in the church

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

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

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

Napoleon Bonaparte - Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet

Unknown - Blind faith is an ironic gift to return to the Creator of human intelligence.

Unknown - George Bush says he speaks to god every day, and christians love him for it. If George Bush said he spoke to god through his hair dryer, they would think he was mad. I fail to see how the addition of a hair dryer makes it any more absurd.

unknown - Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime; give a man religion and he will die praying for a fish

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

Robert A. Heinlein - Men rarely (if ever) manage to dream up a God superior to themselves. Most Gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child.

Carl Sagan - Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence

Voltaire - Those who believe absurdities will commit atrocities

Marie - Man created God in his image - intolerant, sexist, homophobic and violent.

Thomas Jefferson - I have examined all the known superstitions of the world, and I do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology.

H. L. Mencken - 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

William Drummond - He that will not reason is a bigot; he that cannot reason is a fool; he that dares not reason is a slave

“ecrasez l'infame”

Level 1

Since: May 08

Atlanta, Georgia

#11 Nov 30, 2008
Friedrich Nietzsche - Which is it, is man one of God's blunders or is God one of man's?

Robert G. Ingersoll - As people become more intelligent they care less for preachers and more for teachers

Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama, 1988 - We must conduct research and then accept the results. If they don't stand up to experimentation, Buddha's own words must be rejected.

John Adams, 2nd President of the United States - The Government of the United States is in no sense founded on the Christian religion.

Carlespie Mary Alice McKinney - Religion does three things quite effectively - Divides people, Controls people, Deludes people.

Giulian Buzila - History teaches us that no other cause has brought more death than the word of god.

Benjamin Franklin - The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason

Coral Yoshi - So you really think that God would plant a bunch of bones in the earth to test your faith? Either you're in denial or God has some serious self-esteem issues.

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

Mark Twain - The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also

unknown - People who don't like their beliefs being laughed at shouldn't have such funny beliefs

Russian Proverb - Pray to God, fine; but keep rowing to shore.

Gustaf Lindborg - The sailor does not pray for wind, he learns to sail

Arthur C. Clarke - I would defend the liberty of consenting adult creationists to practice whatever intellectual perversions they like in the privacy of their own homes; but it is also necessary to protect the young and innocent.

Terry Pratchett - The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely to be preferred to the presence of those who think they've found it.

Andrew Waterhouse - Take five minutes to name one example of "fun" that isn't considered "sin".... If you did it, you've just been a sinner of "sloth". Isn't Christianity fun?

Baron von Knifty - With god’s help Joshua stopped the sun in the sky so he would have more daylight to slaughter his enemy. And you want me to give a reason why I hate religion.

Edith Sitwell - I am patient with stupidity, but not with those who are proud of it.

Richard Dawkins - Be thankful that you have a life, and forsake your vain and presumptuous desire for a second one.

“ecrasez l'infame”

Level 1

Since: May 08

Atlanta, Georgia

#12 Nov 30, 2008
James Morrow - "There are no atheists in foxholes" isn't an argument against atheism, it's an argument against foxholes

Stephen Jay Gould - Creation science has not entered the curriculum for a reason so simple and so basic that we often forget to mention it - because it is false, and because good teachers understand exactly why it is false. What could be more destructive of that most

Woody Allen - If God exists, I hope he has a good excuse

Annie Dillard,'Pilgrim at Tinker Creek'- Eskimo - "If I did not know about God and sin, would I go to hell?" Priest - "No, not if you did not know." Eskimo - "Then why did you tell me?"

Unknown - "If god doesn't like the way I live, Let him tell me, not you."

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

Frater Ravus - Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions.

Bob Snuka - I refuse to believe in a god that would send me to hell just for not believing in him.

David Brooks (The Necessity of Atheism)- To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy

Unknown - Deaths in the Bible. God - 2,391,421 vs. Satan - 10 (not including the victims of Noah's flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, or the many plagues, famines, fiery serpents, etc because no specific numbers were given.)

Unknown - Doesn't it bother you that you put more logical thought into choosing a car than you do in choosing a god?

Friedrich Nietzsche - "Faith" means not wanting to know what is true.

Chapman Cohen - Gods are fragile things; they may be killed by a whiff of science or a dose of common sense

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

Rev. Ron - Without God, life is everything.

Albert Einstein - Two things are infinite - the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe.

Voltaire - God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.

Gypsy Rose Lee - Praying is like a rocking chair-- it'll give you something to do, but it won't get you anywhere

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.

Robert G. Ingersoll - The inspiration of the bible depends on the ignorance of the person who reads it

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

Richard Dawkins - Religious faith not only lacks evidence, its independence from evidence is its pride and joy, shouted from the rooftops.

Salvador Dali - Thank god I'm an atheist...

Josh Charles - Why would some all powerful being create creatures capable of reason and then demand that they act in a manner contrary to their creation.

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

Daniel Boorstin - The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance -- it is the illusion of knowledge.

Pope Leo X - It has served us well, this myth of Christ.

Robert M. Pirsig - When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called Religion.

“Religion is Superstition”

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#13 Nov 30, 2008
What are among the moral convictions most fondly held by barbarous and semi-barbarous people? They are the convictions that authority is the soundest basis of belief; that merit attaches to readiness to believe; that doubting disposition is a bad one, and skepticism a sin; that when good authority has pronounced what is to be believed, and faith has accepted it, reason has no further duty."
[Thomas H. Huxley, in Cardiff, "What Great Men Think of Religion"]

"...it is all over with priests and gods when man becomes scientific. Moral: science is the forbidden as such -- it alone is forbidden. Science is the first sin, seed of all sin, the original sin. This alone is morality.'Thou shalt not know'-- the rest follows."
[Nietzsche, "Antichrist"]

"The average man never really thinks from end to end of his life. The mental activity of such people is only a mouthing of clichs. What they mistake for thought is simply repetition of what they have heard. My guess is that well over 80% of the human race goes through life without having a single original thought. Whenever a new one appears the average man shown signs of dismay and resentment."
[H.L. Mencken, "Minority Report" in "H.L. Mencken's Notebooks"]

"Faith is a euphemism for prejudice and religion is a euphemism for superstition."
[Paul Keller, American rationalist]

“Religion is Superstition”

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#14 Nov 30, 2008
"Answer Just one question for me. Assume I am the leader on a country. I invade a neighboring country and conquer it. I order all the men killed. I order all the boys killed. I have all the women checked for virginity, those that aren't I have killed. The remaining virgin girl children I split up and let my soldiers do to them what they will, keeping a good portion of the best looking ones for my own use." The question is: Under what circumstances would it be good and moral to do the above? And the answer is: Because God commanded it. I'm sure you are hoping for another holy war, so you can finally get laid."
["Johnny Bravo", on alt.atheism]

"Theology is never any help; it is searching in a dark cellar at midnight for a black cat that isn't there."
[Robert A. Heinlein, "JOB: A Comedy of Justice"]

"Devil: The black sheep of the heavenly host, and the main prop of the Church.... Without the devil God would cut but a sorry figure at best. The love of God is frequently but the fear of the devil."
[Voltaire, "Philosophical Dictionary," 1764]

"What makes you think that a conscious, social animal that can invent a God to explain the universe could not also develop a code of ethics by which to live?"
[Gerry Lemay]

"Scientific beliefs are supported by evidence, and they get results. Myths and faiths are not and do not."
[Richard Dawkins, "River Out of Eden"]

"Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no substitute for a good blaster at your side."
[Han Solo]

"It vexes me when they would constrain science by the authority of the Scriptures, and yet do not consider themselves bound to answer reason and experiment."
[Galileo Galilei, "The Authority of Scripture in Philosophical Controversies"]

"As set forth by theologians, the idea of "God" is an argument that assumes its own conclusions, and proves nothing."
[Johann Most (c. 1890), popular anarchist speaker]

"The [Christian] supremacists who lead the anti-gay crusade are wrong morally.
They are wrong because justice is moral, and prejudice is evil; because truth is moral and the lie of the closet is the real sin; because the claim of morality is a subtle sort of subterfuge, a strategem which hides the real aim which is much more secular. The supremacists don't care about morality, they care about power. They care about social control. And their goal, my friends, is the reconstruction of American Democracy into American Theocracy."
[Urvashi Vaid (April 25, 1993)]

"The average fundamentalist has a mind like a steel trap; snapped shut and rusted closed."
[Ron Patterson]

“Religion is Superstition”

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#15 Nov 30, 2008
"How many evils have flowed from religion."
[Lucretius, De Rerum Natura, 57 B.C.]

"Religious fanaticism has clearly produced, and in all probability will continue to produce, enormous amounts of bickering, fighting, violence, bloodshed, homicide, feuds, wars, and genocide. For all its peace-inviting potential, therefore, arrant (not to mention arrogant) religiosity has led to immense individual and social harm by fomenting an incredible amount of anti-human anti-humane aggression."
[Albert Ellis]

"Fantastic doctrines (like Christianity or Islam or Marxism) require unanimity of belief. One dissenter casts doubt on the creed of millions. Thus the fear and hate; thus the torture chamber, the iron stake, the gallows, the labor camp, the psychiatric ward."
[Edward Abbey]

"The fact that religions have predicted the imminent forthcoming of mankind's loss of faith in their doctrines and the eventual proliferation of atheism suggests nothing more than the assumption that the writers of those doctrines knew full well the fallacy of their works; and that sooner or later, the rest of man would smarten up to their game."
[Jeffrey Wikenczy]

"My intent is to tell the truth as I know it, realizing that what is true for me may be blaspemy for others."
[Gerry Spence, American lawyer, in "Give Me Liberty!"]

"If the ignorance of nature gave birth to gods, the knowledge of nature is calculated to destroy them."
[Baron d'Holbach, "Systeme de la Nature," p. 49]

"Don't tell me God works in mysterious ways. There's nothing so mysterious about it. He's not working at all. He's playing. Or else He's forgotten all about us. That's the kind of God you people talk about- a country bumpkin, a clumsy, bungling, brainless, conceited, uncouth hayseed. Good God, how much reverence can you have for a Supreme being who finds it necessary to include such phenomena as phlegm and tooth decay in His divine system of creation? What in the world was going through that warped, evil, scatological mind of His when He robbed old people of the ability to control their bowel movements? Why in the world did He ever create pain....

Who created the dangers? Oh, He was really being charitable to us when He gave us pain! Why couldn't He have used a doorbell instead to notify us, or one of His celestial choirs? Or a system of red and blue neon tubes right in the middle of each person's forehead?....

They certainly look beautiful now, writhing in agony or stupified with morphine, don't they? What a colossal, immortal blunderer! When you consider the opportunity and power He had to really do a job and then look at the stupid, ugly little mess He made of it instead, His sheer incompetence is almost staggering. It's obvious He never met a payroll. Why, no self-respecting businessman would hire a bungler like Him as even a shipping clerk!"
[Yossarian to Lt. Scheisskopf's wife,_Catch-22_, 1961, by Joseph Heller]

“Religion is Superstition”

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#16 Nov 30, 2008
"Only the very ignorant are perfectly satisfied that they know. To the common man the great problems are easy. He has no trouble in accounting for the universe. He can tell you the origin and destiny of man and the why and wherefore of things. As a rule, he is a believer in special providence, and is egotistic enough to suppose that everything that happens in the universe happens in reference to him."
[Robert G. Ingersoll, "Liberty In Literature", 1890]

"I realized that a psychological need for belief also resulted from childhood indoctrination, and that it had all the characteristics of addiction."
[Neal Cary, American Atheists National Outreach Director]

"Only if the Bible is in error am I wrong."
[Edgar Whisenant, retired NASA engineer in his book "88 Reasons Why the Rapture Could be in 1988". He revised his Sept. 11-13 date to Oct. 15, then to 1989, blaming the Gregorian calendar (Oct. 13 Atlanta Journal & Constitution) and now revises it annually.]

"The primary tool of science is skepticism, whose light shrivels unquestioning faith."
[Mike Huben]

"The division between faith and reason is a half-measure, till it is frankly admitted that faith has to do with fiction, and reason with fact."
[Sir Leslie Stephen, "Essays on Freethinking and Plainspeaking" (1905)]

"We did not get our freedom from the church. The great truth, that all men are by nature free, was never told on Sinai's barren crags, nor by the lonely shores of Galilee."
[Robert G. Ingersoll, "The Christian Religion" Part III, The Ingersoll - Black Debate, 1881]

"So much blood has been shed by the Church because of an omission from the Gospel: "Ye shall be indifferent as to what your neighbour’s religion is." Not merely tolerant of it, but indifferent to it. Divinity is claimed for many religions; but no religion is great enough or divine enough to add that new law to its code."
[Mark Twain, a Biography]

No orthodox church ever had power that it did not endeavour to make people think its way by force and flame. And yet every church that ever was established commenced in the minority, and while it was in the minority advocated free speech -- every one. John Calvin, the founder of the Presbyterian Church, while he lived in France, wrote a book on religious toleration in order to show that all men had an equal right to think; and yet that man afterward, clothed in a little authority, forgot all his sentiments about religious liberty, and had poor Serviettes burned at the stake, for differing with him on a question that neither of them knew anything about. In the minority, Calvin advocated toleration -- in the majority, he practiced murder."
Robert Green Ingersoll.

"The missionaries go forth to Christianize the savages-- as if the savages weren't dangerous enough already."
[Edward Abbey]

"Christian biblical theology must recognise that its articulation of anti-Judaism in the New Testament ... generated the unspeakable sufferings of the Holocaust."
[Dr. E. Florenza (Prof. of New Testament Studies) & Dr. D. Tracy
(Prof. of Philosophical Theology), "The Holocaust as Interruption"
(Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, Ltd., 1984).]

“Religion is Superstition”

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#17 Nov 30, 2008
"So much is Jefferson identified in the American mind with his battle for political liberty that it is difficult to entertain the possibility that he felt even more strongly about religious liberty. If the letters and activities of his post presidential years can be taken as a fair guide, however, he maintained an unrelenting vigilance with respect to freedom in religion, and an unrelenting, perhaps even unforgiving, distrust of all those
who would seek in any way to mitigate or limit or nullify that freedom."
[Edwin S. Gaustad, Faith of Our Fathers: Religion and the
New Nation, San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1987, pp. 46-47.]
"The certainty with which a religious belief is held is usually in direct proportion to its absurdity."
[Rev. Donald Morgan]
“Who knows the origin of religion? Certainly not the one who believes in it. Understanding and belief are quite antagonistic. The man who understands religion does not believe in it, the man who believes in it does not understand it.”
[Chapman Cohen,“Essays in Freethinking”]
"As the happiness of a future life is the great object of religion, we may hear without surprise or scandal that the introduction, or at least the abuse, of Christianity had some influence on the decline and fall of the Roman empire. The clergy successfully preached the doctrines of patience and pusillanimity; the active virtues of society were discouraged; and the last remains of military spirit were buried in the cloister. A large portion of public and private wealth was consecrated to the specious demands of charity and devotion, and the soldiers' pay was lavished on the useless multitudes of both sexes who could only plead the merits of abstinence and chastity. Faith, Zeal, curiosity, and more earthly passions of malice and ambition kindled the flame of theological factions, whose conflicts were sometimes bloody and always implacable; the attention of the emperors was diverted from camps to synods; the Roman world was oppressed by a new species of tyranny, and the persecuted sects became the secret enemies of the country."
[Edward Gibbons, "The Decline and Fall of the Roman
Empire", 1781. The Roman Empire fell about 100
years after it was converted to Christianity.]
"While it depends on the religion, all religions have four categories in which they must contend with the experiences of our own eyes. A religion whose history depicts the victors as bloodthirsty and barbaric fails as its humanity; a religion whose legal code is divisive and arbitrary fails as to its morality; a religion whose appeal is limited fails as to its universality; a religion whose depiction of the origin of the world and
its continued existence does not match with evidence fails as to its naturalism; a religion whose tale is a literary morass of contradictory stories and edicts fails as to its coherence; and finally, a religion whose god is depicted as intercessionary when no intercessions take place, fails to the evidence."
[Elf Sternberg]
"You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do."
[Anne Lamott]
"In another area of human rights, many Christian clergymen advocated slavery. Historian Larry Hise notes in his book 'Pro-Slavery' that ministers 'wrote almost half of all defenses of slavery published in America.' He lists 275 men of the cloth who used the Bible to prove that white people were entitled to own black people as work animals."
[James A. Haught,'Holy Horrors', 1990]
"Die verfluchte Huhre, Vernunft." (The damned whore, Reason).
[Martin Luther]

“Religion is Superstition”

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#18 Nov 30, 2008
The final entry on my current list of quotes, and certainly one of the best, if only because it shows the lie that some christians have been telling themselves and everybody else about the nature of our nation's founding...

Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.
[Part of the Treaty of Tripoli, negotiated during the presidency of George Washington, signed by his successor, John Adams, and ratified unanimously by the Senate]

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Level 2

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#19 Nov 30, 2008
Christopher Pearsoll wrote:
..., and ratified unanimously by the Senate]
That last one says it all, I think.

These were for the most part, many of the signers of the original Constitution.

If there was an attempt to make the US "christian" there would have been an objection, at least one "no".....

“Religion is Superstition”

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#20 Nov 30, 2008
I will add new quotes as I find them, and welcome the contributions anyone else is willing to make, so long as they are on topic.

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