Edward Abbey (1927-1989)
Belief in the supernatural reflects a failure of the imagination.
The missionaries go forth to Christianize the savages-- as if
the savages weren't dangerous enough already.
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.
Whatever we cannot easily understand we call God; this saves much wear
and tear on the brain tissues.
God is a sound people make when they're too tired to think anymore.
There has got to be a God; the world could not have become so fucked
up by chance alone.
J. R. Ackerley
I am halfway through Genesis, and quite appalled by the disgraceful
behavior of all the characters involved, including God.
John Adams ~ Second U.S. President, Founding
Father of the United States
Where do we find a precept in the Bible for Creeds, Confessions, Doctrines
and Oaths, and whole carloads of other trumpery that we find religion encumbered
with in these days?
The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity.
This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion
The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity.
Have you considered that system of holy lies and pious frauds that has
raged and triumphed for 1500 years.
The Government of the United States is in no sense founded on the Christian
Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity,
in exclusion of all other Religions, may establish with the same ease any
particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other Sects?
Let the human mind loose. It must be loose. It will be loose. Superstition
and dogmatism cannot confine it.
But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have
been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them
the most bloody religion that ever existed.
The question before the human race is, whether the God of nature shall
govern the world by his own laws, or whether priests and kings shall rule
it by fictitious miracles.
In no instance have the churches been guardians of the liberties of
As I understand the Christian religion, it was, and is, a revelation.
But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been
blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the
most bloody religion that ever existed?
Phillip Adams ~ Australian atheistic
Marx was wrong. Religion is not the opiate of the people. Opium suggests
something soporific, numbing, dulling. Too often religion has been an aphrodisiac
for horror, a Benzedrine for bestiality. At its best it has lifted spirits
and raised spires. At its worst it has turned entire civilizations into
Ask a deeply religious Christian if he’d rather live next to a bearded
Muslim that may or may not be plotting a terror attack, or an atheist that
may or may not show him how to set up a wireless network in his house.
On the scale of prejudice, atheists don’t seem so bad lately.
Alfonso X ~ (Alfonso the Wise ~ 1226-1284
~ King of Castile)
Had I been present at the creation of the world, I would have
proposed some improvements.
Sensible men no longer believe in miracles; they were invented by priests
to humbug the peasants.
Anthony W. Allsop
People will profess to believe the words of the bible, but only the
words they CHOOSE to believe. How hypercritical is that? That's like playing
a game to the rules but only to the rules one agrees with.
Ethan Allen (1738-1789)
In those parts of the world where learning and science have prevailed,
miracles have ceased; but in those parts of it as are barbarous and ignorant,
miracles are still in vogue.
I have generally been denominated a Deist, the reality of which I never
disputed, being conscious I am no Christian, except mere infant baptism
makes me one; and as to being a Deist, I know not strictly speaking, whether
I am one or not.
Abu Ala Al-Maarri (973-1058)
The world holds two classes of men - intelligent
men without religion, and religious men without intelligence.
Henri Frédéric Amiel
(1821-1881) ~ Swiss poet and philosopher
A belief is not true [simply] because it is useful.
The philosopher aspires to explain away all mysteries, to dissolve them
into light. Mystery, on the other hand, is demanded and pursued by the
religious instinct; mystery constitutes the essence of worship.
Since it is no longer permissible to disparage
any single faith or creed, let us start disparaging all of them.
To be clear: an ideology is a belief system with an inadequate basis in
reality; a religion is a belief system with no basis in reality whatever.
Religious belief is without reason and without dignity, and its record
is near-universally dreadful.
Anaxagorus ~ ca. 475 BC (500 BC
– 428 BC
Everything has a natural explanation. The moon
is not a god but a great rock and the sun a hot rock.
Susan B. Anthony (February 15, 1820
– March 13, 1906)
was born a heretic. I always distrust people who know so much about what
God wants them to do to their fellows.
To no form of religion is woman indebted for one
impulse of freedom...
I pray every single second of my life; not on
my knees but with my work. My prayer is to lift women to equality with
men. Work and worship are one with me. I know there is no God of the universe
made happy by my getting down on my knees and calling him "great."
I distrust those people who know so well what
God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own
The religious persecution of the ages has been
done under what was claimed to be the command of God.
William Archer (1856-1924)
~ Scottish playwright and drama critic
"Theocracy" has always been the synonym for a
bleak and narrow, if not a fierce and blood-stained, tyranny.
I suggest that the anthropomorphic god-idea is not a harmless infirmity
of human thought, but a very noxious fallacy, which is largely responsible
for the calamities the world is at present enduring.
448-380 BCE) ~ Athenian comic poet
Surely you don’t believe in the gods. What is your argument? Where’s
Open your mouth and shut your eyes and see what Zeus will send you.
Aristotle (ca. 384-322 BCE) ~ Greek
Prayers and sacrifices are of no avail.
Men create gods after their own image, not only with regard to their
form but with regard to their mode of life.
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought
without accepting it.
A God who kept tinkering with the universe was absurd; a God who interfered
with human freedom and creativity was tyrant. If God is seen as a self
in a world of his own, an ego that relates to a thought, a cause separate
from its effect. he becomes a being, not Being itself. An omnipotent, all?knowing
tyrant is not so different from earthly dictators who make everything and
everybody mere cogs in the machine which they controlled. An atheism that
rejects such a God is amply justified.
1822 - 1888
All the biblical miracles will at last disappear
with the progress of science.
Miracles are doomed; they will drop out like fairies and witchcraft,
from among the matter which serious people believe.
The freethinking of one age is the common sense of the next.
Justin Brooks Atkinson (1894-1984)
~ American journalist, drama critic
People everywhere enjoy believing things that they know are not true.
It spares them the ordeal of thinking for themselves and taking responsibility
for what they know.
In every age "the good old days" were a myth. No one ever thought they
were good at the time. For every age has consisted of crises that seemed
intolerable to the people who lived through them.
I have no objections to churches so long as they do not interfere with
Sir David Attenborough
I don't know why we're here. People sometimes say to me, "Why don't
you admit that hte humming bird, the butterfly, the Bird of Paradise are
proof of the wonderful things produced by Creation? And I always say, well,
when you say that, you've also got to think of a little boy sitting on
a river bank, like here, in West Africa, that's got a little worm, a living
organism, in his eye and boring thorugh the eyeball, and is slowly turning
him blind. The Creator God that you believe in, presumably, also made that
little worm. Now I personally find that difficult to accommodate. . . .
Sir Francis Bacon -
English Lawyer and Philosopher. 1561-1626
Man prefers to believe what he prefers to be true.
Atheism leaves a man to sense, to philosophy, to natural piety, to laws,
to reputation; all of which may be guides to an outward moral virtue, even
if religion vanished; but religious superstition dismounts all these and
erects an absolute monarchy in the minds of men.
God never wrought miracles to convince atheism, because his ordinary
works convince it.
Books must follow sciences, and not sciences books.
Creationists criticize evolutionists for the
demeaning idea of 'coming from apes' and say that man is more noble
than that, and then have sermons where man is called a miserable
worm worthy to be burned eternally in hell.
Robert A. Baker
What happens when the same number of people pray
for something as pray against it? How does God decide whose prayer to answer?
Who are these gods that they should require their own creatures to
be ashamed of their bodies? The notion that the supposed creator is offended
by the natural beauty of his own creation is well nigh blasphemous.
Mikhail Bakunin (1814-1876) ~ Russian
anarchist and political theorist who opposed Karl Marx ~Church and State
For ten centuries Christianity, armed with the omnipotence of the Church
and State and opposed by no competition, was able to deprave, debase, and
falsify the mind of Europe. It had no competitors, because outside
the Church there was neither thinkers nor educated persons.
It along taught, it alone spoke and wrote, it alone taught.
Christianity is the complete negation of common sense and sound reason.
People go to church for the same reasons they go to a tavern:
to stupefy themselves, to forget their misery, to imagine themselves,
for a few minutes anyway, free and happy.
All religions, with their gods, demigods, prophets, messiahs and saints,
are the product of the fancy and credulity of men who have not yet reached
the full development and complete personality of their intellectual powers.
If God really existed, it would be necessary to abolish him.
If the concept of God has any validity or use,
it can only be to make us larger, freer, and more loving. If God cannot
do this, then it is time we got rid of Him.
Perhaps the whole root of our trouble, the human trouble, is that we
will sacrifice all the beauty of our lives, will imprison ourselves in
totems, taboos, crosses, blood sacrifices, steeples, mosques, races, armies,
flags, nations, in order to deny the fact of death, which is the only fact
W P Ball ~ English writer
With one single exception, the parables attributed to Jesus are thoroughly
religious and decidedly inferior in their moral tone, besides possessing
minor faults. The God who is to be the object of our adoration and imitation
is depicted to us as a judge who will grant vengeance in answer to incessant
prayer, as a father who loves and honors the favorite prodigal and neglects
the faithful and obedient worker, as an employer who pays no more for a
life-time than for the nominal service of a death-bed repentance, as an
unreasonable master who reaps where he has not sown and punishes men because
he made them defective and gave them no instructions, as a harsh despot
who delivers disobedient servants to tormentors and massacres those who
object to his rule, as a judge who is merciful to harlots and relentless
towards unbelievers, as a petulant king who drives beggars and outcasts
into the heaven which is ignored by the wise and worthy, as a ruler of
the universe who freely permits his enemy the devil to sow evil and then
punishes his victims, as a God who plunges men in the flames of hell and
calmly philosophizes over the reward of the blest who from Abraham's bosom
behold the sight and are not permitted to bestow even so much as a drop
of cold water to cool the parched tongues of their fellow-creatures amidst
hopeless and unending agonies, in comparison with which all earthly sufferings
are but momentary dreams.
Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850)
~ French writer and a founder of the realist school of fiction
Thanks to the toleration preached by the encyclopedists of the eighteenth
century, the sorcerer is exempt from torture.
D D Bandiste (b. 1923) Indian
Many quarrels can be avoided if the wortd "God" is not brought
up in our work and deed.
The study made me realise that all religions are narrow, false and out
of date, too, and that the concept of god was a myth.
Iain M Banks
Reason shapes the future, but superstition infects
(born June 25, 1949) ~ Losing Faith in Faith
Truth does not demand belief. Scientists do not
join hands every Sunday, singing, "yes, gravity is real! I will have faith!
I will be strong! I believe in my heart that what goes, up, up, up must
come down. . . . Amen!" If they did, we would think they were pretty
insecure about it.
I am an atheist because there is no evidence for
the existence of God. That should be all that needs to be said about
it: no evidence, no belief.
You believe in a book that has talking animals,
wizards, witches, demons, sticks turning into snakes, food falling
from the sky, people walking on water, and all sorts of magical,
absurd and primitive stories, and you say that we are the
ones that need help?
To think that the ruler of the universe will run
to my assistance and bend the laws of nature for me is the height
You believe in a book that has talking animals,
wizards, witches, demons, sticks turning into snakes, food falling from
the sky, people walking on water, and all sorts of magical, absure and
primitive storeis, and you say that we are the ones that need?
The very concept of sin comes from the bible.
Christianity offers to solve a problem of its own making! Would you be
thankful to a person who cut you with a knife in order to sell you a bandage?
You keep accusing me of blasphemy all of the time,
But I cannot be convicted of a victimless crime.
Freethinkers reject faith as a valid tool of knowledge.
Faith is the opposite of reason because reason imposes very strict limits
on what can be true, and faith has no limits at all. A Great Escape into
faith is no retreat to safety. It is nothing less than surrender.
How happy can you be when you think every action and thought is being
monitored by a judgmental ghost?
You can cite a hundred references to show that the biblical God is a
bloodthirsty tyrant, but if they can dig up two or three verses that say
"God is love," they will claim that you are taking things out of
I do understand what love is, and that is one of the reasons I can never
again be a Christian. Love is not self denial. Love is not blood and suffering.
Love is not murdering your son to appease your own vanity. Love is not
hatred or wrath, consigning billions of people to eternal torture because
they have offended your ego or disobeyed your rules. Love is not obedience,
conformity, or submission. It is a counterfeit love that is contingent
upon authority, punishment, or reward. True love is respect and admiration,
compassion and kindness, freely given by a healthy, unafraid human being.
I have something to say to the religionist who feels atheists never
say anything positive: You are an intelligent human being. Your life
is valuable for its own sake. You are not second-class in the universe,
deriving meaning and purpose from some other mind. You are not inherently
evil--you are inherently human, possessing the positive rational potential
to help make this a world of morality, peace and joy. Trust yourself.
If the answers to prayer are merely what God wills all along, then why
The next time believers tell you that 'separation of church and state'
does not appear in our founding document, tell them to stop using the word
'trinity.' The word 'trinity' appears nowhere in the bible. Neither does
Rapture, or Second Coming, or Original Sin. If they are still unfazed (or
unphrased) by this, then add Omniscience, Omnipresence, Supernatural, Transcendence,
Afterlife, Deity, Divinity, Theology, Monotheism, Missionary, Immaculate
Conception, Christmas, Christianity, Evangelical, Fundamentalist, Methodist,
Catholic, Pope, Cardinal, Catechism, Purgatory, Penance, Transubstantiation,
Excommunication, Dogma, Chastity, Unpardonable Sin, Infallibility, Inerrancy,
Incarnation, Epiphany, Sermon, Eucharist, the Lord's Prayer, Good Friday,
Doubting Thomas, Advent, Sunday School, Dead Sea, Golden Rule, Moral, Morality,
Ethics, Patriotism, Education, Atheism, Apostasy, Conservative (Liberal
is in), Capital Punishment, Monogamy, Abortion, Pornography, Homosexual,
Lesbian, Fairness, Logic, Republic, Democracy, Capitalism, Funeral, Decalogue,
If the Prodigal Son's a parable, and if Adam and Eve are metaphors,
then maybe God is just figure of speech.
Prayer never changes the laws of nature.
You'll never find a dead Christian in a foxhole
that didn't pray.
Mandating common worship is inappropriate for public institutions made
up of people from different world views and faith backgrounds. It is also
a misrepresentation of what worship actually is. Worship is a freely offered
act of faith arising from a believing community. It is not something that
can be imposed or required of everybody.
Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867)
God is the only being who does not have to exist in order to reign.
Pierre Bayle (1647-1706) ~ French
philosopher and critic
In matters of religion it is very easy to deceive a man, and very hard
to undeceive him.
There was no other God, religion, or lawful magistracy, than conscience,
which teaches all men the precepts of Justice, to do no injury, to live
honestly, and give everyone his due.
Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986) ~
French writer and political activist
I cannot be angry at God, in whom I do not believe.
Ferdinand August Bebel (1840-1913)
~ German socialist leader
When socialism comes into power, the Roman Church will advocate socialism
with the same vigor [with which] it is now favoring feudalism and slavery.
John Beevers ~ Historian
I do not know that Christianity holds anything more of importance for
the world. It is finished, played out. The only trouble lies in how to
get rid of the body before it begins to smell too much.
A great deal of intelligence can be invested
in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep.
Miracles happen to those who believe in them.
Otherwise why does not the Virgin Mary appear to Lamaists, Mohammedans,
or Hindus who have never heard of her.
A belief which leaves no place for doubt is not
a belief; it is a superstition.
Modern societies march towards morality in
proportion as they leave religion behind.
Annie Wood Besant (1847-1933) ~
[N]o philosophy, no religion, has ever brought so glad a message to
the world as this good news of Atheism.
Never yet has a God been defined in terms which were not palpably self-contradictory
and absurd; never yet has a God been described so that a concept of Him
was made possible to human thought.
For centuries the leaders of Christian thought spoke of women as a necessary
evil, and the greatest saints of the Church are those who despise women
Marie Henri Beyle (Stendhal) (1783-1842)
All religions are founded on the fear of the
many and the cleverness of the few.
Bhagavad Gita ~ The
Lord's Song (250 B.C.-A.D. 250)
As a man can drink water from any side of a full
tank, so the skilled theologian can wrest from any scripture
that which will serve his purpose.
Franz Bibfeldt ~ German theologian
Any idiot can believe in Jesus H. Christ. To truly understand all
that confusion in the gospels takes a real contortionist scholar.
When you repeat the same thing over and over, Sunday after Sunday, that
makes people believe it whether it is true or not. It also makes writing
Any idiot can believe in Jesus H. Christ. To truly understand all that
confusion in the gospels takes a real contortionist scholar.
The real miracle in the virgin birth story is that Mary got Joseph to
A belief in an afterlife has the unavoidable
effect of making this life less unique and precious. Good luck finding
an atheist willing to strap a bomb to his or her back, or fly a plane into
Arthur Morris Binstead (1846-1915)
~ Founder of The Pelican Club of Denman Street in London
The most serious doubt that has been thrown on
the authenticity of the biblical miracles is the fact that most of the
witnesses in regard to them were fishermen.
Gary L.A. Birge
I look at the atrocities of man, and I think
to myself: I hope there is a supreme being so I can sock him in the face
just before he judges me.
Richard Birnie (1808-1888)
~ British author
How large a share of vanity must spur the piety of the missionary.
There is something melodramatic in landing on some Fiji island, in baptising,
debauching and ultimately murdering the unsuspecting savage; then in taking
his land in the name of the Most High.
Justice Black ~ US Supreme Court
Justice, on the 1st Amendment
Its first and most immediate purpose rested on
the belief that a union of government and religion tends to
destroy government and degrade religion.
Harold J Blackham (1903-2009) Founder
of the British Humanist Association
Life is not presented by Humanism as something for our judgment, something
finished, take it or leave it. It is presented as raw material for our
creative use, a task for our responsible undertaking.
William Blackstone (1723-1780) ~
Treatise on English common law called Commentaries on the Laws of England
By marriage the husband and wife are one person in law, that is, the
very being or legal existence of the woman is suspended during marriage.
William Blake (1757-1827) ~ First
of the English Romantic poets
Those who restrain desire, do so because theirs is weak enough to be
As the caterpillar chooses the fairest leaves to lay her eggs on, so
the priest lays his curse on the fairest joys.
Robert Blatchford ~God
and My Neighbor ~ 1903
Religions are not revealed: they are evolved.
If a religion were revealed by God, that religion would be perfect
in whole and in part, and would be as perfect at the first moment of its
revelation as after ten thousand years of practice. There has
never been a religion which fulfills those conditions.
The Christians were the first to make the existence
of Satan a dogma of the church. What is the use in a Pope if there
is no Devil?
There has never been a religion in the annals of the world with
such a bloody record as Christianity.
Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering
All religions have been made by men.
I am surrounded by priests who repeat incessantly that their kingdom
is not of this world, and yet they lay their hands on everything they can
God fights on the side with the best artillery.
If I had to choose a religion, the sun as the universal giver
of life would be my god.
As for myself, I do not believe that such a person as Jesus Christ ever
existed; but as the people are inclined to superstition, it is proper not
to oppose them.
My fir conviction is that Jesus . . . was put to death like any other
fanatic who professed to be a prophet or a messiah; there have been such
persons at all times. . . . Besides, how could I accept a religion which
would damn Socrates and Plato?
A soul? Give my watch to a savage, and he will think it has a soul.
Boniface VIII (1235?-1303) ~ Roman
Catholic Pope (1294-1303)
There is no more harm in adultery than in rubbing one's hands together.
Daniel J. Boorstin (1914 -
I have observed that the world has suffered far less from ignorance
than from pretensions to knowledge. It is not skeptics or explorers but
fanatics and ideologues who menace decency and progress. No agnostic ever
burned anyone at the stake or tortur.
Father Leo Booth
All women have been sexually abused by the Bible teachings, and institutions
set on its fundamentalist interpretations. There would be no need
for the women's movement if the church and Bible hadn't abused them.
Max Born (1882-1970) ~ German mathematician
Science is so greatly opposed to history and tradition that it cannot
be absorbed by our civilization.
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach
From ongoing violence in the name of Islam, which is the most serious
of all modern religious sins, to priestly pedophilia, to the evangelical
fixation on gay marriage to the near exclusion of everything else, to Judaism’s
impotence in purging materialism from its community, mainstream religion
is being discredited, becoming increasingly irrelevant to the lives of
modern men and women.
Charles Bradlaugh ~ A Plea for
Atheism ~ 1864
The atheist does not say "there is no God," but he says "I know not
what you mean by God; I am without idea of God; the word 'God' is
to me a sound conveying no clear or distinct affirmation." ... The Bible
God I deny; the Christian God I disbelieve in; but I am not rash enough
to say there is no God as long as you tell me you are unprepared to define
God to me.
Atheists would teach men to be moral now, not because God offers as
an inducement reward by and by, but because in the virtuous act itself
immediate good is insured to the doer and the circle surrounding him.
No religion is suddenly rejected by any people; it is rather gradually
outgrown. None sees a religion die; dead religions are like dead languages
and obsolete customs: the decay is long and -- like the glacier march --
is perceptible only to the careful watcher by comparisons extending over
The only true immortality lies in one's children.
Nathaniel Branden ~ The
Six Pillars of Self-Esteem ~ 1994
If, in any culture, children are taught: We are all equally
unworthy in the sight of God ~ You are born in sin and are sinful by nature
If children are given a message that amounts to: 'Don't think,
don't question, believe' ~ 'Who are you to place your mind above
that of the priest, the minister, the rabbi?'
If children are told: 'If you have value it is not because of
anything you have done or could ever do, it is only because God loves
you' ~ 'Submission to what you cannot understand is the
beginning of morality'
If children are instructed: 'Do not be "willful", self-assertiveness
is the sin of pride' ~ 'Never think that you belong to
If children are informed, 'In any clash between your judgement
and that of your religious authorities, it is your authorities you
must believe' ~ 'Self-sacrifice is the foremost virtue and
the noblest duty'
Then consider what will be the likely consequences for the practice
of living consciously, or the practice of self-assertiveness, or any of
the other pillars of healthy self-esteem.
Anyone who engages in the practice of psychotherapy confronts every
day the devastation wrought by the teachings of religion.
It is a curious paradox of human history that a doctrine that tells
human beings to regard themselves as sacrificial animals has been accepted
as a doctrine representing benevolence and love for mankind.
James Henry Breasted (1865-1935)
~ American archaeologist
It is important to bear in mind the now commonly accepted fact
that in its primitive stages, religion had nothing to do with morals as
understood by us today.
Man arose to high moral vision two thousand years before the Hebrew
nation was born.
~ 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.
If the Bible is mistaken in telling us where
we came from, how can we trust it to tell us where we're going?
Thomas Browne (1605-1682) ~ British
physician and writer
As for those wingy mysteries in divinity, and airy subtleties in religion,
which have unhinged the brains of better heads, they never stretched the
pia mater of mine; methinks there be not impossibilities enough in Religion
for an active faith.
Robert Browning (1812-1889) ~ British
Who knows most, doubts most.
Mothers, wives and maids, These be the tools with which priests manage
I have seldom met an intelligent person whose
views were not narrowed and distorted by religion.
Pearl S. Buck
Believing in gods always causes confusion.
When men destroy their old gods they will find new ones to take their
I feel no need for any other faith than my faith in the kindness of
human beings. I am so absorbed in the wonder of earth and the life upon
it that I cannot think of heaven and angels.
Doubt everything. Find your own light.
Chaz Bufe ~ The American
Agnostic, n. A person who feels superior to atheists
by merit of his ignorance of the rules of logic and evidence.
J.S. Bullion, Jr.
Armies of Bible scholars and theologians have for centuries found respected
employment devising artful explanations of the Bible often not really meaning
what it says.
Luther Burbank (1849-1926)
Do not feed children on maudlin sentimentalism or dogmatic religion;
give them nature... Do not terrify them in early life with the fear of
an after- world. Never was a child made more noble and good by the
fear of a hell.
The idea that a good God would send people to a burning hell is utterly
damnable to me the ravings of insanity, superstition gone to seed! I want
no part of such a God.
The time has come for honest men to denounce false teachers and attack
As a scientist, I cannot help feeling that all religions are on a tottering
foundation.... I am an infidel today. I do not believe what has been served
for me to believe. I am a doubter, a questioner, a skeptic. When it can
be proved to me that there is immortality, that there is resurrection beyond
the gates of death, then I will believe. Until then, no.
Most people's religion is what they would like to believe, not what
they do believe. And very few of them stop to examine its foundations.
All human life is here, but the Holy Ghost seems
to be somewhere else.
All religions are auld wives' fables, but an
honest man has nothing to fear, either in this world or the world to come.
Science has done more for the development of
western civilization in one hundred years than Christianity did in eighteen
Science has done more for the development of
western civilization in one hundred years than Christianity did in eighteen
Every day is a Sabbath to me. All pure water is holy water, and this
earth is a celestial abode.
When I look up into the starry heavens at night and reflect upon what
it is I really see there, I am constrained to say, 'there is no god'.
Man is, and always has been, a maker of gods. It has been the most serious
and significant occupation of his sojourn in the world.
Sir Richard Burton
The more I study religions, the more I am convinced
that man never worshipped anything but himself.
One religion is as true as another.
George W Bush (2001-2009)
~ The 43rd President of the United States
We all know that men and women can be good without faith. And we also
know that faith is an incredibly important source of goodness in our country.
Americans practice different faiths in churches, synagogues, mosques
and temples. And many good people practice no faith at all.
Laura Bush ~ American First Lady
And we're a country of many, many faiths. And we're a very diverse
country. And now, since September 11, I think people realize that more
than maybe they did before that. And that's certainly one of the most precious
things about our country.
Samuel Butler (1835-1902)
~ English author
Prayers are to men as dolls are to children.
They are not without use and comfort, but it is not easy to take them seriously.
An honest God's the noblest work of man. -- Spoofing Alexander Pope's
remark:"An honest man's the noblest work of God"
A clergyman can hardly ever allow himself to look facts fairly in the
face. It is his profession to support one side; it is impossible, therefore,
for him to make an unbiased examination of the other.
John Bydem ~ “The
seventeenth century poet-laureate of freedom”
Monarchies may take God's name, but Democracies
are Atheistic in their very frame.
Of religion I know nothing -- at least, in its
All are inclined to believe what they covet, from
a lottery-ticket up to a passport to Paradise.
Elizabeth Cady-Stanton ~ American
The memory of my own suffering has prevented me from ever shadowing
one young soul with the superstitions of the Christian religion.
The Bible and the Church have been the greatest stumbling blocks in
the way of women's emancipation.
The bible teaches that woman brought sin and death into the world, that
she precipitated the fall of the race, that she was arraigned before the
judgment seat of Heaven, tried, condemned and sentenced. Marriage for her
was to be a condition of bondage, maternity a period of suffering and anguish,
and in silence and subjection, she was to play the role of a dependent
on man's bounty for all her material wants, and for all the information
she might desire...Here is the Bible position of woman briefly summed up.
I found nothing grand in the history of the Jews nor in the morals inculcated
in the Pentateuch. Surely the writers had a very low idea of the nature
of their god. They made him not only anthropomorphic, but of the very lowest
type, jealous and revengeful, loving violence rather than mercy. I know
of no other books that so fully teach the subjection and degradation of
women." [Women Without Superstition]
Gregory Wallace Campbell
It is extremely naive to think that mankind is capable of sinning against
god. If god exists as a being who watches us, judges us, and cannot be
contradicted, then how could anyone possibly contradict laws of conduct
set forth by that being?
~ American mythologist (1904-1987)
. . . god is a metaphor for that which trancends
all levels of intellectual thought. It's as simple as that.
The night of December 25, to which date the Nativity
of Christ was ultimately assigned, was exactly that of the birth
of the Persian savior Mithra, who, as an incarnation of eternal light,
was born the night of the winter solstice (then dated December 25) at midnight,
the instant of the turn of the year from increasing darkness to light.
Too many of our best scholars, themselves indoctrinated
from infancy in a religion of one kind or another based upon the Bible,
are so locked into the idea of their own god as a supernatural fact - something
final, not symbolic of transcendence, but a personage with a character
and will of his own - that they are unable to grasp the idea of a worship
that is not of the symbol but of its reference, which is of a mystery of
much greater age and of more immediate inward reality than the name-and-form
of any historical ethinic idea of a deity, whatsoever . . . and is of a
sophistication that makes the sentimentalism of our popular Bible-story
theology seem undeveloped.
What gods are there, what gods have there ever
been, that were not from man's imagination?
Mythology is what we call someone else's religion.
Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)
~ Scottish historian, essayist, critic, and sociological writer
God does nothing.
If Jesus Christ were to come today, people would not even crucify him.
They would ask him to dinner, and hear what he had to say, and make fun
Just in the ratio that knowledge increses, faith
Andrew Carnegie ~ Scottish-born American
industrialist and philanthropist
I don’t believe in God. My god is patriotism.
Teach a man to be a good citizen and you have solved the problem of life.
Jimmy Carter ~ U.S.
I'm not in favor of the government mandating
a prayer in school because our country was founded on the
fact that no particular religious faith would have ascendance over
or preferential treatment over any other.
I have looked on a lot of women with lust. I've committed adultery in
my heart many times. God recognizes I will do this and forgives me.
The government ought to stay out of the prayer business.
Aulus Cornelius Celsus (CE First
Century) ~ Roman writer who wrote an encyclopædia
Before accepting any belief one ought to follow reason as a guide,
for credulity without enquiry is a sure way to deceive oneself.
Lydia Maria Child (1802-1880) ~
Even if nothing worse than wasted mental effort could be laid to the
charge of theology, that alone ought to be sufficient to banish it from
the earth, as one of the worst enemies of mankind.
Noam Chomsky (b. 1928) ~ American
linguist, social commentator
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.
(1874-1965) ~ British statesman
A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and
won't change the subject.
Everyone is in favor of free speech. Hardly a day passes without its
being extolled, but some people's idea of it is that they are free to say
what they like, but if anyone else says anything back, that is an outrage.
Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the
brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen; all know how to die; but the influence
of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it.
No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. ~ "The River Wars" 1899
Arthur C. Clark
Science can destroy religion by ignoring it as
well as by disproving its tenets. No one ever demonstrated, so far as I
am aware, the non-existence of Zeus or Thor – but they have few followers
In my opinion, science is the enemy of religious
beliefs and vice-versa. As science discovers more answers about the history
of mankind and prove more theories about life and our wonderful, but yet
mysterious planet, the less mankind will need deities.
No person can disprove the existence of deities,
but neither can anyone disprove the existence of unicorns. I find it ridiculous
that some demand an atheist to prove the non-existence of "God".
A faith that cannot survive collision with the
truth is not worth many regrets.
One of the great tragedies of mankind is that morality has been hijacked
Derek W. Clayton
If only more Christians read their bibles there'd be less Christians.
Stephen Grover Cleveland (1837-1908)
~ The 22nd and 24th President of the United States
I know that human prejudice -- especially that growing out of race
and religion -- is cruelly inveterate and lasting.
Politics is not religion and we should govern
on the basis of evidence, not theology.
We have the most religious freedom of any country in the world, including
the freedom not to believe.
In every religion, there are those who would
drape themselves in the mantle of belief and faith only to distort its
most sacred teachings -- preaching intolerance and resorting to violence.
Mystery has its own mysteries, and ther are gods
above gods. We have ours, they have theirs. That is what's known as infinity.
Man seeks to escape himself in myth, and does so by any means at his
disposal. drugs, alcohol, or lies. Unable to withdraw into himself, he
disguises himself. Lies and inaccuracy give him a few moments of comfort.
Gods are fragile things; they may be killed by
a whiff of science or a dose of common sense.
If religion cannot restrain evil, it cannot claim
effective power for good.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge 1772-1834
To doubt has more of faith ... than that blank
negation of all such thoughts and feelings which is the lot of the
herd of church-and-meeting trotters.
He who begins by loving Christianity better than truth, will proceed
by loving his own sect or church better than Christianity, and end in loving
himself better than all.
Have you ever wondered why God waited thousands of years, from Adam
to Jesus, to tell the world he had a son? He, who begins by loving
Christianity more than truth, will proceed by loving his sect or church
better than Christianity, and end in loving himself better than all.
Collier (1884-1968) ~ American sociologist and public
official who worked to preserve Native American territories and cultures
I've steered clear of God. He was an incredible sadist.
551 BC - 479 BC
Surely it is the maxim of loving-kindness: Do not unto others that
you would not have them do unto you.
To give oneself ernestly to securing righteousness and justice among
the people, and while respecting the gods and demons, to keep aloof from
them, that may be called wisdom.
Joseph Conrad 1857-1924
The belief in a supernatural source of evil is
not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.
Skepticism... is the agent of truth.
David J. Constable
Fundamentalism, of any type, due to its prerequisite
lack of intelligent thought, could prove to be the worst weapon of mass
destruction, of all.
Nathan A. Creel
If God`s plan incorporates all of his knowledge,
then how do we have free will? God is a bigot.
One of the most frightening things in the Western
world, and in this country in particular, is the number of people who believe
in things that are scientifically false. If someone tells me that the earth
is less than 10,000 years old, in my opinion he should see a psychiatrist.
If revealed religions have revealed anything it is that they are usually
When I told the people of Northern Ireland that I was an atheist, a
woman in the audience stood up and said, "Yes, but is it the God of the
Catholics or the God of the Protestants in whom you don't believe?"
The absolute nothingness of death is a blessing. Something to look forward
Keep your faith in God, but keep your powder dry.
Aleister Crowley (1875–1947) ~ British
The Gods are but names for the forces of Nature themselves.
If one were to take the Bible seriously one would go mad. But to take
the Bible seriously, one must be already mad.
If the theists all shut up, the gods would be speechless.
To date, despite the efforts of millions of true
believers to support this myth, there is no more evidence for the Judeo-Christian
god than any of the gods on Mount Olympus.
Ironically, the pope's opposition to contraceptives results in hundreds
of thousands of abortions, most in illegal and unsafe conditions that threaten
women's lives. Due primarily to the lack of readily available contraception,
55 million abortions are performed in the world annually. Worldwide, 182,000
women die each year from dangerous abortions. In the United States, where
. . . women's right to abortion has been recognized since 1973 (over the
Church's strenuous opposition), the death rate for women who obtain abortions
has dropped almost 90%. So by opposing contraceptives and legalized abortion,
the pope is in effect sentencing many women to die.
You make money promoting religion; you only spend money promoting atheism.
I don't believe in God because I don't believe
in Mother Goose.
Many Christians base the belief of a soul and
God upon the Bible. Strictly speaking, there is no such book.
To make the Bible, sixty-six books are bound into one volume. These
books are written by many people at different times, and no one knows the
time or the identity of any author. Some of the books were written
by several authors at various times. These books contain all sorts
of contradictory concepts of life and morals and the origin of things.
Between the first and the last nearly a thousand years intervened, a longer
time than has passed since the discovery of America by Columbus.
The best that we can do is to be kindly and helpful
toward our friends and fellow passengers who are clinging to the same speck
of dirt while we are drifting side by side to our common doom.
...finally men were saved only through God's son
dying for them, and that unless human beings believed this silly, impossible
and wicked story they were doomed to hell? Can anyone with intelligence
really believe that a child born today should be doomed because the snake
tempted Eve and Eve tempted Adam? To believe that is not God-worship; it
I say that religion is the belief in future life
and in God. I don't believe in either.
The fear of God is not the beginning of wisdom.
The fear of God is the death of wisdom. Skepticism and doubt lead
to study and investigation, and investigation is the beginning of wisdom.
The modern world is the child of doubt and inquiry, as the ancient world
was the child of fear and faith.
Agnostic: One who does not pretend to know what
many ignorant men are sure of.
Just think of the tragedy of teaching children
not to doubt!
In spite of all the yearnings of men, no one can produce a single fact
or reason to support the belief in God and in personal immortality.
The mystery of the beginning of all things is insoluble by us, and
I for one must be content to remain an agnostic.
I have at least, as I hope, done good service in aiding to overthrow
the dogma of separate creations.
It is not the strongest of the species that survives, not the most intelligent,
but the one most responsive to change.
I can indeed hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be
true; for if so the plain language of the text seems to show that the men
who do not believe, and this would include my Father, Brother, and almost
all my best friends, will be everlastingly punished. And this is a damnable
doctrine. -- Charles Darwin, Autobiography
Fanaticism is overcompensation for doubt.
Evolutionary Biologist (Oxford
Dawkins Quotes Pages
fact of your own existence is the most astonishing fact you'll ever have
to confront, don't dare ever see your life as boring, monotonous or joyless.
Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to
evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite
of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence.
We are all atheists about most of the gods that
humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.
Nearly all peoples have developed their own creation
myth, and the Genesis story is just the one that happened to have been
adopted by one particular tribe of Middle Eastern herders. It has no more
special status than the belief of a particular West African tribe that
the world was created from the excrement of ants. [The Blind Watchmaker,
Oxford University Press (1988), p316]
I am against religion because it teaches us to
be satisfied with not understanding the world
You cannot be both sane and well educated and
disbelieve in evolution. The evidence is so strong that any sane, educated
person has got to believe in evolution.
The theory of evolution by cumulative natural
selection is the only theory we know of that is in principle capable
of explaining the existence of organized complexity.
Scientific beliefs are supported by evidence,
and they get results. Myths and faiths are not and do not.
Society bends over backward to be accommodating
to religious sensibilities but not to other kinds of sensibilities. If
I say something offensive to religious people, I'll be universally censured,
including by many atheists.
After my Christmas Lectures I received letters from the pious saying
that they would have no objection if only I had qualified my remarks by
saying: 'But I should warn you that many well-informed people think differently
. . .' When did you last hear a priest-in the pulpit, on radio, on television,
in infants' Sunday School-qualify his statement with 'But I should warn
you that many well-informed people don't think God exists at all . . .
IDEAS PRESENTED IN DAWKINS' CURRENT BESTSELLER: THE GOD DELUSION
Many of us saw religion [before 9/11] as harmless nonsense. Beliefs might
lack all supporting evidence but, we thought, if people needed a crutch
for consolation, where's the harm? September 11th changed all that. Revealed
faith is not harmless nonsense, it can be lethally dangerous nonsense.
Dangerous because it gives people unshakeable confidence in their own righteousness.
Dangerous because it gives them false courage to kill themselves, which
automatically removes normal barriers to killing others. Dangerous because
it teaches enmity to others labelled only by a difference of inherited
tradition. And dangerous because we have all bought into a weird respect,
which uniquely protects religion from normal criticism. Let's now stop
being so damned respectful!
The Founding Fathers of the United States of America were mostly atheists
and deists, not theists, not Christians.
Agnosticism is too polite for its own good.
Science and religion do not complement each other: they conflict.
Being nice to fundamentalists will not result in any good.
The arguments for God's existence are all bogus.
If everything was designed, who designed the Designer?
Evolution primed our psychology for superstition and religion, and then
the catchiest ideas, however crazy they are, keep spreading and mutating.
Our sense of morality definitely does not come from religion, but is also
the product of our evolution.
The Bible is mostly a weird, sick, immoral book.
Religion (well, maybe not the Buddhistic sort) is bad, bad, bad: for peace,
for love, for the reduction of suffering in the world, for the protection
of the environment, for you-name-it.
"Moderates" refuse to reject nonsensical and violent "holy" books and so
allow fundamentalism to keep growing.
Religious education for children is a form of child abuse if it teaches
them not to think, not to doubt, not to question.
Children should not be coined with religious tags: they're not cattle,
and they can't choose their beliefs.
God may be a kind of imaginary friend for consolation, but the consolation
There are many many sources of inspiration in life, and they don't have
to be religious at all.
Our senses are very limited, and the Universe seems to work in some very
counter-intuitive ways, so we have to think and doubt if we wish to understand.
This is one of the hardest lessons for humans to learn. We cannot admit
that things might be neither good nor evil, neither cruel nor kind, but
simply callous - indifferent to all suffering, lacking all purpose.
Be thankful that you have a life, and forsake your vain and presumptuous
desire for a second one.
The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character
in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak;
a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic,
racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal,
sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.
The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect
if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing
but blind pitiless indifference.
Religious faith not only lacks evidence, its independence from evidence
is its pride and joy, shouted from the rooftops.
Who will say with confidence that sexual abuse is more permanently damaging
to children than threatening them with the eternal and unquenchable fires
There is no reason for believing that any sort of gods exist, and quite
good reasons for believing that they do not exist and never have.
It has all been a gigantic waste of time and a waste of life. It would
be a joke of cosmic proportions if it weren't so tragic.
Certainly I see the scientific view of the world as incompatible with
religion, but that is not what is interesting about it. It is also incompatible
with magic, but that also is not worth stressing. What is interesting about
the scientific world view is that it is true, inspiring, remarkable and
that it unites a whole lot of phenomena under a single heading.
Blind faith can justify anything. In a man believes in a different god,
or even if he uses a different ritual for worshipping the same god, blind
faith can decree that he should die - on the cross, at the stake, skewered
on a Crusader's sword, shot in a Beirut street, or blown up in a bar in
Belfast. Memes for blind faith have their own ruthless ways of propagating
themselves. This is true of patriotic and political as well as religious
The enlightenment is under threat. So is reason. So is truth. So is
science, especially in the schools of America. I am one of those scientists
who feels that it is no longer enough just to get on and do science. We
have to devote a significant proportion of our time and resources to defending
it from deliberate attack from organized ignorance. We even have to go
out on the attack ourselves, for the sake of reason and sanity. But it
must be a positive attack, for science and reason have so much to give.
They are not just useful, they enrich our lives in the same kind of way
as the arts do. Promoting science as poetry was one of the things that
Carl Sagan did so well, and I aspire to continue his tradition.
The trouble is that God in this sophisticated, physicist's sense bears
no resemblance to the God of the Bible or any other religion. If a physicist
says God is another name for Planck's constant, or God is a superstring,
we should take it as a picturesque metaphorical way of saying that the
nature of superstrings or the value of Planck's constant is a profound
mystery. It has obviously not the smallest connection with a being capable
of forgiving sins, a being who might listen to prayers, who cares about
whether or not the Sabbath begins at 5pm or 6pm, whether you wear a veil
or have a bit of arm showing; and no connection whatever with a being capable
of imposing a death penalty on his son to expiate the sins of the world
before and after he was born.
Out of all of the sects in the world, we notice an uncanny coincidence:
the overwhelming majority just happen to choose the one that their parents
belong to. Not the sect that has the best evidence in its favour, the best
miracles, the best moral code, the best cathedral, the best stained glass,
the best music: when it comes to choosing from the smorgasbord of available
religions, their potential virtues seem to count for nothing, compared
to the matter of heredity. This is an unmistakable fact; nobody could seriously
deny it. Yet people with full knowledge of the arbitrary nature of this
heredity, somehow manage to go on believing in their religion, often with
such fanaticism that they are prepared to murder people who follow a different
It is not particularly remarkable that a mountebank like Oral Roberts
should succeed in conning his followers out of their money. As P T Barnum
observed, there’s a sucker born every minute. If people are that stupid
and choose to hand over their money to an obvious fake, that is their privilege.
What should concern the rest of us is that the scams pulled off by well-heeled
charlatans like Roberts are tax free. ~ On the death of faith-biased
con artist and anti-gay bigot Oral Roberts
We know what caused the 2010 catastrophe in Haiti. It was the bumping
and grinding of the Caribbean Plate rubbing up against the North American
Plate: a force of nature, sin-free and indifferent to sin, un-premeditated,
unmotivated, supremely unconcerned with human affairs or human misery.
The religious mind, however, restlessly seeks human meaning in the blind
happenings of nature. As with the Indonesian tsunami, which was blamed
on loose sexual morals in tourist bars; as with Hurricane Katrina, which
was attributed to divine revenge on the entire city of New Orleans for
harboring a lesbian comedian, and as with other disasters going back to
the famous Lisbon earthquake and beyond, so Haiti's tragedy must be payback
for human sin. The Rev. Pat Robertson sees the hand of God in the earthquake,
wreaking terrible retribution for a pact that the long-dead ancestors of
today's Haitians made with the devil, to help rid them of their French
masters. Needless to say, milder-mannered faith-heads are falling over
themselves to disown Pat Robertson, just as they disowned those other pastors,
evangelists, missionaries and mullahs at the time of the earlier disasters.
No, Pope Ratzinger should not resign. He should remain in charge of
the whole rotten edifice – the whole profiteering, woman-fearing, guilt-gorging,
truth-hating, child-raping institution – while it tumbles, amid a stench
of incense and a rain of tourist-kitsch sacred hearts and preposterously
crowned virgins, about his ears.
Atheism is a religion in the same way as not collecting stamps is a
Edward De Bono
A myth is a fixed way of looking at the world
which cannot be destroyed because, looked at through the myth, all evidence
supports the myth.
Daniel Defoe (1660-1731) ~ British
And of all the plagues with which mankind are cursed, Ecclesiastic
tyranny's the worst.
Edmond de Goncourt
If there is a God, atheism must seem to Him as
less of an insult than religion.
Democritus (460-370 BC)
Nothing exists except atoms and empty space;
everything else is opinion.
If religion isn't the greatest threat to rationality
and scientific progress, what is?
I think that there are no forces on this planet more dangerous to us
all than the fanaticisms of fundamentalism, of all the species: Protestantism,
Catholicism, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism, as well as countless
smaller infections. Is there a conflict between science and religion here?
There most certainly is.
The kindly God who lovingly fashioned each and every one of us and sprinkled
the sky with shining stars for our delight -- that God is, like Santa Claus,
a myth of childhood, not anything [that] a sane, undeluded adult could
literally believe in. That God must either be turned into a symbol for
something less concrete or abandoned altogether.
All religions are ancient monuments to superstition,
ignorance, ferocity; and modern religions are only ancient follies.
People have suffered and become insane for centuries by the thought
of eternal punishment after death. Wouldn't it be better to depend on blind
matter (...) than by a god who puts out traps for people, invites them
to sin, and allows them to sin and commit crimes he could prevent. Only
to finally get the barbarian pleasure to punish them in an excessive way,
of no use for himself, without them changing their ways and without their
example preventing others from committing crimes.
If we go back to the beginning, we shall find that ignorance and fear
created the gods; that fancy, enthusiasm, or deceit adorned them; that
weakness worships them; that credulity preserves them and that custom,
respect and tyranny support them in order to make the blindness of men
serve their own interests. If the ignorance of nature gave birth to gods,
the knowledge of nature is calculated to destroy them.
Charles John Huffam Dickens (1812-1870)
~ British novelist
Missionaries are perfect nuisances and leave every place worse than
they found it.
~ French philosopher, author, and encyclopedist (1713-1784)
Man will never be free until the last king is
strangled with the entrails of the last priest.
The philosopher has never killed any priests, whereas the priest hs
killed a great many philosophers.
The man who first pronounced the barbarous word God ought to have been
The Christian religion: the most absurd in its dogmas, the most unintelligible,
the most insipid, the most gloomy, the most Gothic, the most puerile.
It is very important not to mistake hemlock for parsly, but to believe
or not believe in God is not important at all.
I have only a small flickering light to guide me in the darkness of
a thick forest. Up comes a theologian and blows it out.
If you want me to believe in God, you must make me touch him.
I read about an Eskimo hunter who asked the local
missionary priest, " If I did not know about God and sin, would I go to
hell?" "No," said the priest, "not if you did not know." "Then why,"
asked the Eskimo, "did you tell me?"
Where knowledge ends, religion begins.
Dix (1901-1952) ~ British Benedictine monk
It is no accident that the symbol of a bishop is a crook, and the sign
of an archbishop is a double-cross.
~ Blind Faith
To create a world in which reason is suspect,
religious faith is a virtue, and doubt is regarded as sin, is to
Marjory Stoneham Douglas
(b. 1890) American conservationist
Life should be lived so vividly and so intensely
that thoughts of another life, or of a longer life, are not necessary.
Frederick Douglass ~ escaped slave
I prayed for twenty years but received no answer
until I prayed with my legs.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle ~ British
It isn't true that the laws of nature have been
capriciously disturbed; that snakes have talked; that women have been turned
into salt; that rods have brought water out of rocks.
Dogmas of every kind put assertion in the place
of reason and give rise to more contention, bitterness, and want of charity
than any other influence in human affairs.
John William Draper 1811-1882
The history of science is not a mere record of
isolated discoveries; it is a narrative of the conflict of two contending
powers, the expansive force of the human intellect on the one hand, and
the compression arising from traditionary faith, and human interest on
How can the Church be received as a trustworthy guide in the invisible,
which falls into so many errors in the visible?
The universe is only a vast automatic engine. The vital force which
pervades the world is what the illiterate call God.
William Drummond (1585-1649) ~ Scottish
He who will not reason, is a bigot; He who cannot, is a fool; And he
who dares not, is a slave.
Ann Druyan ~ Carl
Sagan's wife and collaborator
The roots of this antagonism to science run very
deep. We see them in Genesis. . . in which the first humans are doomed
and cursed eternally for asking a question, for partaking of the fruit
of the Tree of Knowledge. [Eden] is more like a maximum-security prison
with twenty-four hour surveillance. It's a horrible place.
There was no deathbed conversion. No appeals to
God, no hope for an afterlife, no pretending that he and I, who
had been inseparably for twenty years, were not saying goodbye forever..
. . Carl never wanted to believe. He wanted to KNOW.
If God were suddenly condemned to live the life
which He has inflicted upon men, He would kill Himself.