P - Z
The problem with state accommodation of religion
– even so called moderate religious leaderships – is that they work against
and not for equality and justice.
Heinz Pagels (1939-1988) ~ American
physicist and author
I like to browse in occult bookshops if for no
other reason than to refresh my commitment to science.
Olof Palme ~ Swedish prime minister (1927-1986).
Human beings will find a balanced situation when
they do good things not because God says it, but because they feel like
I do not believe in the creed professed by the
Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish
church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of....Each
of those churches accuse the other of unbelief; and of my own part, I disbelieve
them all. ~The Age of Reason, pp. 89
All natural institutions of churches, whether
Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions,
set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit."
~ The Age of Reason
Of all the systems of religion that ever
were invented, there is no more derogatory to the Almighty, more unedifiying
to man, more repugnant to reason, and more contradictory to itself than
this thing called Christianity.
To argue with a man who has renounced his reason
is like giving medicine to the dead.
Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous
debaucheries, the cruel and tortuous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness
with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent
that we call it the word of a demon than the word of God.
It is from the Bible that man has learned cruelty,
rapine and murder; for the belief of a cruel God makes a cruel man.
What is it the New Testament teaches us? To believe
that the Almighty committed debauchery with a woman engaged to be married;
and the belief of this debauchery is called faith.
The Bible is a book that has been read more, and
examined less, than any book that ever existed.
I do not believe in the creed professed by the
Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish
church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of....Each
of those churches accuse the other of unbelief; and of my own part, I disbelieve
The Bible is a book that has been read more and examined less than any
book that ever existed.
The study of theology, as it stands in Christian churches, is the study
of nothing; it is founded on nothing; it rests on no principles; it proceeds
by no authorities; it has no data; it can demonstrate nothing; and it admits
of no conclusion."
The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good
is my religion.
…the Bible is such a book of lies and contradictions there is no knowing
which part to believe or whether any.
The Bible seems to be an ink blot test with Christians seeing in it
whatever they wish.
No amount of philosophical argumentation will cause there to be a god.
. . . Arguments are not evidence. . . . In the end, I am left with things
I have evidence for, and those I don't.
Rebecca Ann Parker ~ American theology
God required his son to suffer in order to save the world. That is
an image of God as a child abuser, and Jesus is imaged as the perfect victim.
He accepts the abuse and does it silently. He is praised in his religious
community for accepting abuse as the highest form of love . . . . If this
is the virtue of God's son . . . how is the victim of the priest's abuse
going to find a justification for raising a protest? . . . How is the church
going to see the perpetrators of abuse clearly if it can't see its own
conceptualizaiton of God as abuser?
You’re basically killing each other to see who’s
got the better imaginary friend.
Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully
as when they do it from a religious conviction.
Faith embraces many truths which seem to contradict each other.
So-called Scientific Creationism is really nothing more than an attempt
to give credence to an ancient Hebrew myth by trying to prove that virtually
al the world's biologists, geologists, and paleontologists are a bunch
of incompetent buffoons.
Many Freethinkers originally left, or never joined a religion because
they could not accept the thought of a god who would torture his subjects
unto eternity, while those who delighted in such thoughts found a haven
there. Hence it is no coincidence that most freethinkers are empathetic
people, while most fundamentalist are not.
The average fundamentalist has a mind like a steel trap; snapped shut
and rusted closed.
In the Bible we are asked to believe that the entire human race was
plunged into sin because one woman took the advice of a talking snake...
before she had any knowledge of good and evil.
Could a being create the fifty billion galaxies, each with two hundred
billion stars, then rejoice in the smell of burning goat flesh?
S. Paul (1954 - ) ~ Paleontologist and illustrator
[Worldwide] higher rates of belief in and
worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide, juvenile
and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy, and abortion.
Superstition applies to the faith in the supernatural.
Christians, Jews and Islamics don't want to acknowledge that they are superstitious
but there's simply no way around it. They are superstitious by the very
meaning of the word.
All religions eventually die out. . . . But atheism
will live on regardless of what new religion replaces the old.
The faithful just don't seem to realize the possibility
that when they get no answers to their prayers, or when things turn out
contrary to their prayers, that perhaps, just perhaps, there is no god
to answer them.
Don't believe everything you think.
Pope Pius IX
The Church has no power to lay down dogmatically that the religion
of the Catholoic Church is the one true religion.
Every Christian who tries to escape the path
of a speeding bullet with fear in his eye is an example of a"foxhole conversion"
to atheism. . . . There are a hell of a lot more of those conversions than
there are of atheists fo Christians.
Atheism is a disease of the soul, before it becomes
an error of the understanding.
Professor Ian Plimer
The creationists have this creator who is evil,
who is small-minded, who is malevolent, and who is not very bright and
can't even get his science right. Creationists have made their creator
in their own image, in my view.
Edgar Allen Poe
All religion, my friend, is simply evolved out
of fear, fraud, greed, imagination and poetry.
The pioneers and missionaries of religion have
been the real cause of more trouble and war than all other classes of mankind.
No man who ever lived knows any more about the
hereafter ... than you and I; and all religion ... is simply evolved out
of chicanery, fear, greed, imagination and poetry.
Pontiac (1718-1769) Ottawa Indian chief'?
They came with a Bible and their religion, stole our lnad, crushed
our spirit, and now tell us we should be thankful to the Lord for being
Religion to me has always been the wound, not the bandage.
Robert M. Price
Who needs Satan when you have a God like this?
Religion is like a virus that affects the behaviour of its host in
such a way as to propagate itself further.
Protagoras (490– 420 BC)
Man is the measure of all things.
Colonel Moammar Qaddafi
Once a ruler becomes religious, it [becomes]
impossible for you to debate with him. Once someone rules in the
name of religion, your lives become hell.
My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of
man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his
life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as
his only absolute.
Faith is the commitment of one's consciousness
to beliefs for which one has no sensory evidence or rational proof. A mystic
is a man who treats his feelings as tools of cognition. Faith is the equation
of feeling with knowledge.
For centuries, the mystics of spirit had existed by running a protection
racket -- by making life on earth unbearable, then charging you for consolation
and relief . . . by declaring production and joy to be sins, then collecting
blackmail from the sinners.
The cross is the symbol of torture. I prefer the dollar sign, the symbol
of free trade, therefore of a free mind.
To rest one's case on faith means to concede that reason is on the side
of one's enemies -- that one has no rational arguments to offer.
Ask youself whether the dream of heaven and greatness should be waiting
for us in our graves--or whether it should be ours here and now and on
The alleged short-cut to knowledge, which is faith, is only a short
circuit destroying the mind.
Religion is a primitive form of philosophy, [the] attempt to offer a
comprehensive view of reality.
I hearby state my opinion that the notion of a god is a superstition
and that there is no evidence for the existence of any god(s). Further,
devils, demons, angels and saints are myths; there is no life after death,
no heaven or hell; the Pope is a dangerous, bigoted, medieval dinosaur,
and the Holy Ghost is a comic-book chqaracter worthy of laughter and derision.
I accuse the Christian god of murder by allowing the Holocaust to take
place -- not to mention the "ethnic cleansing" presently being performed
by Christians in our world -- and I condemn and vilify this mythical deity
for encouraging racial prejudice and commanding the degradation of women.
Gods are children's blankets that get carried over into adulthood.
Believers: The sheep who beg to be fleeced and
butchered, and who will battle to preserve their right to be victimized.
Nostradamus himself confessed that the vague manner
in which he wrote his "prophecies" was so that 'they could not possibly
be understood until they were interpreted after the event and by it.'
Fanatics are not easily discouraged by facts or
I suggest that we might want to depose this incumbent God and start
dealing with The Real World. He's proven — time and again — to be cruel,
capricious, and vindictive. He drowns, crushes, burns, and starves millions
of us every day. He created cancer, viruses, and germs to invade and destroy
our bodies as He sees fit, and uses them very effectively. In His wisdom,
He directed those in charge to impede stem cell research so that such a
powerful approach would not be available to us and He wouldn't have to
strain the Divine Intellect to disarm that defense. We amuse Him as we
flail about vainly trying to appease Him. I vote that we dump Him.
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions.
Red Jacket (1758-1830)
Seneca Indian chief
You have got our country, but are not satisfied;
you want to force your religion upon us. . . . Brother, you say there is
but one way to worship and serve the Great Spirit. If there is but one
religion, why do you white people differ so much about it.
John E. Remsberg (1848-1919) American educator
This doctrine of forgiveness of sin is a premium
on crime. "Forgive us our sins" means "let us continue in our iniquity."
. . . In teaching this doctirne Christ committed a sin for which his death
did not atone, and which can never be forgiven.
Joseph Ernest Renan (1823-1892) French
Experience shows, without exception, that miracles occur only in times
and in countries in which miracles are believed in, and in the presence
of persons who are disposed to believe them.
Belief in the supernatural is the shame of civilization.
No theologian could ever be a historian. History is essentially disinterested.
The historian has only one concern: art and truth, ...whereas the theologian
has something else at stake—his dogma.
Matt Ridley ~
British science writer
Readers prefer mysteries to facts, which is why
books about astrology, telepathy, and the Bermuda Triangle sell so well.
But science need not concede mystery to the occult. It can match it or
better. Mysteries like deep geological time, a boundless universe, the
big bang, relativity, quantum mechanics, the double helix, natural selection,
mass extinction, and chaos theory -- these are richer fare than anything
the occult can offer.
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.
To discriminate against a thoroughly upright
citizen because he belongs to some particular church, or because, like
Abraham Lincoln, he has not avowed his allegiance to any church, is an
outrage against that liberty of conscience which is one of the foundations
of American life.
It is an interesting and demonstrable fact, that all children are atheists
and were religion not inculcated into their minds, they would remain so.
Jean Rostand (1894-1977)
~ French biologist and philosopher
Kill a man, one is a murderer; kill a million,
a conqueror; kill them all, a God.
~ Polish-American pianist
During a radio interview with Rubenstein the
conversation took a sharp turn away from music when the interviewer suddeenly
asked, "Mr. Rubenstein, do you believe in God?" Rubenstein calmly replied,
"No. You see, what I believe in is something much greater."
Michael Ruse (1940- ) Canadian philospher
It is difficult to imagine evolutionists signing
a comparable statement, that they will never deviate from the literal text
of Charles Darwin's On The Origin of Species.
I do not need the idea of God to explain the
world I live in.
The idea of the sacred is quite simply one of
the most conservative notions in any culture, because it seeks to turn
other ideas -- uncertainty, progress, change -- into crimes.
Fundamentalism isn't about religion. It's about
If terrorism is to be defeated, the world of Islam
must take on board the secularist-humanist principles on which the modern
[world] is based.
So far as I can remember, there is not one word
in the Gospels in praise of intelligence.
I do not pretend to be able to prove that there
is no God. I equally cannot prove that Satan is a fiction. The Christian
god may exist; so may the gods of Olympus, or of ancient Egypt, or of Babylon.
But no one of these hypotheses is more probable than any other: they lie
outside the region of even probable knowledge, and therefore there is no
reason to consider any of them.
There is one very serious defect to my mind in
Christ's moral character, and that is that He believed in hell. I do not
myself feel that any person who is really profoundly humane can believe
in everlasting punishment.
We may define "faith" as the firm belief in something
for which there is no evidence. Where there is evidence, no one speaks
of "faith." We do not speak of faith that two and two are four or that
the earth is round. We only speak of faith when we wish to substitute emotion
The whole problem with the world is that fools
and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full
The Christian view that all intercourse outside
marriage is immoral was, as we see in the above passages from St. Paul,
based upon the view that all sexual intercourse, even within marriage,
is regrettable. A view of this sort, which goes against biological facts,
can only be regarded by sane people as a morbid aberration. The fact that
it is embedded in Christian ethics has made Christianity throughout its
whole history a force tending towards mental disorders and unwholesome
views of life.
The universe may have a purpose, but nothing we
know suggests that, if so, this purpose has any similarity to ours.
Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on
earth, more than ruin, more even than death...Thought is subversive and
revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege,
established institutions, and comfortable habit. Thought looks into the
pit of hell and is not afraid. Thought is great and swift and free, the
light of the world, and the chief glory of man.
One should always keep an open mind, but not so
open that one's brains fall out.
Religion is something left over from the infancy
of our intelligence, it will fade away as we adopt reason and science as
And if there were a God, I think it very unlikely
that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who
doubt His existence.
The immense majority of intellectually eminent men disbelieve in Christian
religion, but they conceal the fact in public, because they are afraid
of losing their incomes.
Religion is based . . . mainly on fear . . . fear of the mysterious,
fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the parent of cruelty, and therefore
it is no wonder if cruelty and religion have gone hand in hand. . . . My
own view on religion is that of Lucretius. I regard it as a disease born
of fear and as a source of untold misery to the human race.
I believe that when I die I shall rot, and nothing of my ego will survive.
I am not young, and I love life. But I should scorn to shiver with terror
at the thought of annihilation. Happiness is none the less true happiness
because it must come to an end, nor do thought and love lose their value
because they are not everlasting.
Few people can be happy unless they hate some other person, nation or
A good world needs knowledge, kindliness, and courage; it does not need
a regretful hankering after the past or a fettering of the free intelligence
by the words uttered long ago by ignorant men.
I am myself a dissenter from all known religions, and I hope that every
kind of religious belief will die out.
My conclusion is that there is no reason to believe any of the dogmas
of traditional theology and, further, that there is no reason to wish that
they were true. Man, in so far as he is not subject to natural forces,
is free to work out his own destiny. The responsibility is his, and so
is the opportunity.
You find as you look around the world that every single bit of progress
in humane feeling, every improvement in the criminal law, every step toward
the diminution of war, every step toward better treatment of the colored
races, or every mitigation of slavery, every moral progress that there
has been in the world, has been consistently opposed by the organized churches
of the world. I say quite deliberately that the Christian religion, as
organized in its churches, has been and still is the principal enemy of
moral progress in the world.
There is something feeble and contemptible about a man who cannot face
life without the help of comfortable myths.
It is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no reason whatsoever
for supposing it to be true.
I am as firmly convinced that religions do harm as I am that they are
The objections to religion are of two sorts - intellectual and moral.
The intellectual objection is that there is no reason to suppose any religion
true; the moral objection is that religious precepts date from a time when
men were more cruel than they are and therefore tend to perpetuate inhumanities
which the moral conscience of the age would otherwise outgrow.
There's a Bible on the shelf there. But I keep it next to Voltaire --
poison and antidote.
Marquis de Sade
The idea of God is the sole wrong for which I
cannot forgive mankind.
There is no God, Nature sufficeth unto herself;
in no wise hath she need of an author.
Sagan (1934-1996) Scientist
Carl Sagan asked how is it that hardly any major
religion has looked at science and said "This is better than we thought.
The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle,
more elegant. Instead they say, 'No. no. no! My god is a little god, and
I want him to stay that way.'"
A celibate clergy is an especially good idea,
because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism.
Life is but a momentary glimpse of the wonder of this astonishing universe,
and it is sad to see so many dreaming it away on spiritual fantasy.
Finding the occasional straw of truth awash in a great ocean of confusion
and bamboozle requires intelligence, vigilance, dedication and courage.
But if we don't practice these tough habits of thought, we cannot hope
to solve the truly serious problems that face us -- and we risk becoming
a nation of suckers, up for grabs by the next charlatan who comes along.
I maintain there is much more wonder in science than in pseudoscience.
And in addition, to whatever measure this term has any meaning, science
has the additional virtue, and it is not an inconsiderable one, of being
The sacred truth of science is that there are no sacred truths.
Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have
some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point
of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic
dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help
will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which
deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense.
A multitude of aspects of the natural world that were considered miraculous
only a few generations ago are now thoroughly understood in terms of physics
You can not convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not
based on evidence, it is based on a deep-seated need to believe.
You see, the religious people -- most of them -- really think this planet
is an experiment. That's what their beliefs come down to. Some
god or other is always fixing and poking, messing around with tradesmen's
wives, giving tablets on mountains, commanding you to mutilate your children,
telling people what words they can say and what words they can't say, making
people feel guilty about enjoying themselves, and like that. Why can't
the gods let well enough alone? All this intervention speaks of incompetence.
If God didn't want Lot's wife to look back, why didn't he make her obedient,
so she'd do what her husband told her? Or if he hadn't made Lot such
a shithead, maybe she would have listened to him more. If God is
omnipotent and omniscient, why didn't he start the universe out in the
first place so it would come out the way he wants? Why's he constantly
repairing and complaining? No, there's one thing the Bible makes
clear: The biblical God is a sloppy manufacturer. He's not good at
design, he's not good at execution. He'd be out of business if there
was any competition.
Has there ever been a religion with the prophetic accuracy and reliability
of science? . . . No other human institution comes close.
I would love to believe that when I die I will live again, that some
thinking, feeling, remembering part of me will continue. But much as I
want to believe that, and despite the ancient and worldwide cultural traditions
that assert an afterlife, I know of nothing to suggest that it is more
than wishful thinking. The world is so exquisite with so much love
and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty
stories for which there's little good evidence. Far better it seems to
me, in our vulnerability, is to look death in the eye and to be grateful
every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides.
We are on the eve of discovering that nothing should be done for the
sake of gods, but all for the good of man.
Atheism is more than just the knowledge that gods do not exist, and
that religion is either a mistake or a fraud. Atheism is an attitude, a
frame of mind that looks at the world objectively, fearlessly, always trying
to understand all things as a part of nature.
It is better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in
delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through
If we long to believe that the stars rise and set for us, that we are
the reason there is a Universe, does science do us a disservice in deflating
Our species needs, and deserves, a citizenry with minds wide awake and
a basic understanding of how the world works.
Personally, I would be delighted if there were a life after death, especially
if it permitted me to continue to learn about this world and others, if
it gave me a chance to discover how history turns out.
Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge.
Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.
The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human ambition.
The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
Lord Herbert Louis Samuel
Without doubt the greatest injury of all was done by basing morals
on myth. For, sooner or later, myth is recognized for what it is,
and disappears. Then morality loses the foundation on which it has been
Carl Sandburg (1878-1967) ~ American
To work hard, to live hard, to die hard, and then go to hell after
all would be too damned hard.
I won't take my religion from any man who never works except with his
Margaret Sanger (1883-1966) ~ Activist
If Christianity turned the clock of general progress back a thousand
years, it turned back the clock two thousand years for woman.
George Santayana (1863-1952)
Men become superstitious not because they had too much imagination,
but because they were not aware that they had any.
Buddhism had tried to quiet a sick world with anesthetics; Christianity
sought to purge it with fire.
Faith in the supernatural is a desperate wager made by man at the lowest
ebb of his fortunes.
There is no cure for life and death save to enjoy the interval.
The true contrast between science and myth is more nearly touched
when we say that science alone is capable of verification.
The Bible is a wonderful source of inspiration for those who don't understand
The Bible is literature, not dogma.
Habit is stronger than reason
For Shakespeare, in the matter of religion, the choice lay between Christianity
and nothing. He chose nothing.
"Sarcen" ~ Atheist Quote of the Month
winner, July 1999
I do not attend church regularly because I already found "God." But
"God" isn't what you think it is. "God" is a screaming child in Ethiopia
whose kidneys have shut down and is about to die from starvation. "God"
is a dumpster in Vatican City where urchins (just as in every city in the
world) feed on refuse, while the wealthiest and most powerful social organization
in the world decadently spends its money just a few blocks away on big
hats, gold crosses and silver chalices and continues to exploit the poorest
people in the world in "God's" name. "God" is hate, "God" is stupidity,
"God" is the scum on the bottom of your shoe. "God" is not pretty and "God"
does not care. I found my "God," then I killed it. I, an atheist, know
more about "God" than any Christian will ever know.
Jean-Paul Sartre ~ Quoted in Life
We have lost religion, but we have gained humanism. The ideal
now is to liberate and to help emancipate mankind, with the result that
man becomes really an absolute for man.
Religion is an attempt to escape responsibility.
John Ralston Saul
MORAL CRUSADE: Public activity undertaken by middle-aged men who are
cheating on their wives or diddling little boys. Moral crusades are
particularly popular among those who are seeking power for their own personal
pleasure, politicians who can't think of anything useful to do with their
mandates and religious professionals suffering from a personal inability
to communicate with their god. In military terms, a diversionary tactic.
I realized if I wanted to live in a fabulous house and have sex with
young men I didn't need to be a priest to do that anymore. It used to be
the only way you could do that, but the world has changed now for the better.
A healthy nature needs no God or immortality.
Arthur Schnitzler (1862-1931) ~
Austrian playwright and physician
Martyrdom has always been a proof of the intensity,
never of the correctness of a belief.
Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) ~ German
Religions are like fireflies. They require darkness in order to shine.
Philosophy lets the gods alone, and asks in turn to be let alone by
Faith and knowledge are related as the scales of a balance when the
one goes up, the other goes down.
To free a man from error is to give, not take away.
Religion is the masterpiece of the art of animal training, for it trains
people as to how they shall think.
Faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to.
Etta Semple (1855-1914) ~ American
activist and novelist
If, in plain word I don't want to go to heaven . . . whose business
is it but my own?
Seneca the Younger
4 B.C.E - 65 C.E)
Religion is regarded by the common people as
true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful.
Preachers in pulpits talked about what a great
message is in the book. No matter what you do, somebody always imputes
meaning into your books.
In religion, what damned error but some sober
brow will bless it, and approve it with a text, hiding the grossness with
fair ornament. ~ Bassanio in The Merchant of Venice
The Devil can cite scripture for his purpose.
It is a heretic that makes the fire, not she which
burns in it.
In religion what damned error but some sober brow
will bless it, and approve it with a text.
Methinks sometimes I have no more wit than a Christian. ~ Twelfth
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)
Why should we take advice on sex from the pope?
If he knows anyithing about it, he shouldn't!
Martyrdom is the only way in which a man can become
famous without ability.
No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says; He is always
convinced that it says what he means.
Beware of the man whose God is in the skies.
Percy Bysshe Shelley ~ English poet
If God has spoken, why is the world not convinced.
Religion! but for thee, prolific fiend, who peopleth earth with demons,
hell with men, and heaven with slaves!
It is easier to suppose that the universe has existed for all eternity
than to conceive a being beyond its limits capable of creating it.
If ignorance of nature gave birth to gods, knowledge of nature is made
for their destruction.
A God made by man undoubtedly has need of man to make himself known
Chastity is a monkish and evangelical superstition, a greater foe to
natural temperance even than unintellectual sensuality.
It is easier to suppose that the universe has existed for all eternity
than to conceive a being beyond its limits capable of creating it.
Marian Noel Sherman (1892-1975) ~ Canadian
If you tell a child "God made the world" he will usually ask "Then
who made God?" If we reply, as the catechism states, "No one made God.
He always was," then why couldn't we just say that about the world in the
Any sufficiently advanced Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence is indistinguishable
What can be more soul shaking than peering through a 100-inch telescope
at a distant galaxy, holding a 100-million-year-old fossil or a 500,000-year-old
stone tool in one's hand, standing before the immense chasm of space and
time that is the Grand Canyon, or listening to a scientist who gazed upon
the face of the universe's creation and did not blink? That is deep and
David Koresh, L. Ron Hubbard, Joseph Smith, Jesus, Moses, what's the
difference? They were all egomaniacal, delusional characters who developed
fanatical followers who exaggerated their claims, mythologized their lives,
and canonized their words.
An anthropologist from Mars surveying Earth's flora and fauna, would
find roughly 30 million species, one of which evolved a big enough brain
to conceive of incorporeal monsters, beasts, spirits, demons, gods, and
the like. In the past 10,000 years, the Martian anthropologist discovers
after doing his research that this one species had devised roughly 100,000
religions based on roughly 2,500 gods. So, the only difference between
me and the believers in the audience was that I am skeptical of 2,500 gods
whereas they are skeptical of 2,499 gods. We're only one God away from
What would you do if there were no God? Would you commit robbery, rape,
and murder, or would you continue being a good and moral person? Either
way the question is a debate stopper. If the answer is that you would soon
turn to robbery, rape, or murder, then this is a moral indictment of your
character, indicating you are not to be trusted because if, for any reason,
you were to turn away from your belief in God, your true immoral nature
would emerge. If the answer is that you would continue being good and moral,
then apparently you can be good without God. QED.
Belief in God depends on religious faith. Acceptance of science depends
on empirical evidence. This is the fundamental difference between religion
and science. If you attempt to reconcile religion and science on questions
about nature and the universe, and if you push the science to its logical
conclusion, you will end up naturalizing the deity; for any question about
nature, if your answer is "God did it,"a scientist will ask: "How did God
do it?, What forces did God use? What forms of matter and energy were employed
in the creation process?" The end result of this inquiry can only be natural
explanations for all natural phenomena. What place, then, for God?
Believers can have both religion and science as long as there is no attempt
to make reality unreal, to turn naturalism into supernaturalism. ~ Michael
Shermer - October 25, 2006 - The
New York Sun
I do not consider it a sign of divine love to consign to hell people
who live good lives but make an honest mistake in belief.
The central problem of Christianity is: if the Messiah has come why
is the world so evil? For Judaism, the problem is: if the world is so evil,
why does the Messiah not come?
David Silverman ~ President of American
I have heard many times that atheists know more about religion than
religious people. Atheism is an effect of that knowledge, not a lack of
knowledge. I gave a Bible to my daughter. That’s how you make atheists.
The supreme crime of the church today is that everywhere and in all
its operations and influences it is on the side of sloth of mind; that
it banishes brains, it sanctifies stupidity, it canonizes incompetence.
Turn over the pages of history and read the damning record of the church's
opposition to every advance in every field of science. . . .
I don't believe in God, so I'm not afraid of dying.
Charles Smith (1887-1964) U.S. attorney,
The Bible is the greatest hoax in all history. The leading characters
of the Old Testament would today be in the penitentiary and those of the
New would be under observation in psychopathic wards.
I look forward to the day the cross sits discarded beside the swastika
as just another reminder of the dangers of blind faith.
I am the creator and the destroyer, I am he that defines all worlds.
I bring life to the lifeless, I rain death on all that lives. My judgement
is supreme. I encompass all things, I am the progenitor of good and evil.
I created sin, I cause its every pain. Hell is of my works. I am the source
of all gods. I create gods on a whim, I destroy gods with a thought. I
Religion causes intellectual and moral atrophy by removing reason and
independent thought. It robs its followers of themselves.
The key to praying is talking to yourself and pretending someone intelligent
George H. Smith
In exchange for obedience, Christianity promises
salvation in an afterlife; but in order to elicit obedience through this
promise, Christianity must convince men that they need salvation, that
there is something to be saved from. Christianity has nothing to offer
a happy man living in a natural, intelligible universe. If Christianity
is to gain a motivational foothold, it must declare war on earthly pleasure
and happiness, and this, historically, has been its precise course of action.
In the eyes of Christianity, man is sinful and helpless in the face of
God, and is potential fuel for the flames of hell. Just as Christianity
must destroy reason before it can introduce faith, so it must destroy happiness
before it can introduce salvation. ~ Atheism: The Case Against God
The prefix "a" means "without,' so the term "a-theism"
literally means "without theism," or without belief in a god or gods. Atheism,
therefore, is the absence of a theistic belief.
Atheism is the absence of a belief in a god, nothing more. If the theist
wishes to draw monumental implications from this lack of belief, he must
argue for his claims.
The Bible provides justification for evil, without it we would have
heaven on earth.
(1919-) American mathematician and philosopher
It has always puzzled me that so many people have taken it for granted
that God favors those who believe in him. Isn't it possible that the actual
God is a scientific God who has little patience with beliefs founded on
faith rather than evidence?
Sogree: On a Bored God:
* 12-14 billion years ago god created
* 5 billion years ago he started
with our Earth
* 3 million years ago he started
* 150,000 years ago he started with
the current version of humankind
* 5,000 years ago he revealed himself
to humankind (so they say)
* And for only 2,000 years he has
been able to "enjoy" Christian people
On a timescale of the Universe (100 percent):
* the Earth has existed for 42 percent
of the time
* Apeman existed since 0.025 percent
of the time
* Humankind itself has existed for
0.00125 percent of the time
* The Christian faith has existed
for 0.000042 percent of the time (rounded upwards)
* The time God has been able to
enjoy Christian people is 0.000017 percent (rounded upwards).
Thus, god has, for 99,999982 percent of time (rounded
downwards = 11,999,997,960 years), been bored, has done nothing.
He has been waiting for us, only to leave us behind "alone" once again.
Why? For eating an apple, that's why! I know time is nothing to God, but
this is preposterous.
I call him free who is led solely by reason.
I do not know how to teach philosophy without becoming a disturber of
Like my parents, I have never been a regular church member or churchgoer.
It doesn't seem plausible to me that there is the kind of God who watches
over human affairs, listens to prayers, and tries to guide people to follow
His precepts -- there is just too much misery and cruelty for that.
John S. Spong
The God understood as a father figure, who guided ultimate personal
decisions, answered our prayers, and promised rewards and punishment based
upon our behavior was not designed to call anyone into maturity.
Walter P. Stacy (1925-1951) former chief justice,
North Carolina Supreme Court
It would be almost unbelievable, if history did not record the tragic
fact, that men have gone to war and cut each other's throats because they
could not agree as to what was to become of them after their throats were
Dressing up Christian ideas about God in language such as `an eternal
and free agency` is nothing but the creation of a smokescreen of meaningless
jargon in an attempt to make superstition appear sophisticated.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902) Women's rights
The Bible and the Chruch have been the greatest stumbling blocks in
the way of women's emancipation . . . . Among the clergy we find our most
violent enemies, those most opposed to any change in woman's position.
The Bible and the Church have been the greatest stumbling blocks in
the way of women's emancipation.
This I believe: That the free, exploring mind of the individual human
is the most valuable thing in the world.
And this I would fight for: The freedom of the mind to take any
direction it wishes, undirected.
And this I must fight against: Any idea, religion, or government
which limits or destroys the individual. This is what I am and what I am
about. I can understand why a system built on a pattern must try to destroy
the free mind, for this is the one thing which can by inspection destroy
such a system.
Man is the only kind of varmint that sets his own trap, baits
it, then steps in it.
Religions are founded on the fear of the many and the cleverness of
The world is proof that God is a committee.
Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) ~ Priest
It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of what he was never reasoned
We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make
us love one another.
~ Roman Historian (55-120 C.E
Christianity is a pestilent superstition.
William Howard Taft (1857
- 1930) The 27th President of the United States
I do not believe in the divinity of Christ, and there are many other
of the postulates of the orthodox creed to which I cannot subscribe.
Tao Te Ching
Religion is the end of love and honesty, the
beginning of confusion; faith is a colorful hope or fear, the origin of
Tecumseh (1768-1813) ~ Native American leader
How can we have confidence in the white people?
When Jesus Christ came upon the earth, you killed him, the son of your
own God, you nailed him up! You thought he was dead, but you were mistaken,
And only after you thought you killed him did you worship him, and start
killing those who would not worship him. What kind of people is this for
us to trust?
It's an embarrassing thing that, in a modern
culture, people still fall for lines of bull that were invented in the
Charles Templeton (1915-2001) ~ Canadian
journalist, novelist and politician.
If God's love encompasses the whole world and if everyone who does
not believe in him will perish, then surely this question needs to be asked:
When, after two thousand years, does God's plan kick in for the billion
people he "so loves" in China? Or for the 840 million in India?Or the millions
in Japan, Afghanistan, Siberia, Egypt, Burma -- and on and on?
Should one continue to base one's life on a system of belief that--for
all its occasional wisdom and frequent beauty--is demonstrably untrue?
No one would have remembered the good Samaritan
if he'd only had good intentions. He had money as well.
Paul Henri Thiry ~ Baron D'Holbach
Every man, who reasons, soon becomes and unbeliever.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)
~ American philosopher
Why try to convert the Algonquin Indians from
their own superstitions to new ones.
There may be Gods, but they care not what men do.
I did not see why the schoolmaster should be taxed to spport the priest,
and not the priest the schoolmaster.
If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I
have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons.
The Bible: The inerrant, inspired Word of an omnipotent, omniscient
diety who lived in a tent that desert nomads carried around with them some
3500 years ago.
~ Soviet cosmonaut ~ The Seattle Daily Times, May 7, 1962
Some say God is living there [in space]. I was looking around very
attentively, but I did not see anyone there. I did not detect either angels
or gods....I don't believe in God. I believe in man - his strength, his
possibilities, his reason.
To regard Christ as God, and to pray to him,
are to my mind the greatest possible sacrilege.
Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice
and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs,
privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it
is essential for right thinking; where it is absent, discussion is apt
to become worse than useless.
When I hear them praying extra loud, I always go out and check the
lock on the smokehouse.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu
God, we know you are in charge, but why don't you make it slightly
It is believed by everyone that when he was in heaven he was stern,
hard, resentful, jealous and cruel, but that when he came down to earth,
he became the opposite... sweet, gentle merciful, forgiving. He was
a thousand billion times crueler than ever he was in the Old Testament...
Meek and gentle? By and by we will examine that popular sarcasm by
the light of the hell which he invented.
There are many scapegoats for our sins, but the most popular one is
There is no other life; life itself is only a vision and a dream for
nothing exists but space and you. If there was an all-powerful God, he
would have made all good, and no bad.
Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company.
Gods don't kill people. People with Gods kill
Gore Vidal ~ (October 3, 1925 - ) American
More people have been killed in the name of Jesus
Christ than any other name in the history of the world.
Christianity is such a silly religion. ~ Time Magazine, Sept. 28, 1992
Every man makes a god of his own desire.
A clergyman is one who feels himself called upon
to live without working, at the expense of the rascals who work to live.
As long as people believe in absurdities they
will continue to commit atrocities.
Every sensible man, every honest man, must hold
the Christian sect in horror. But what shall we substitute in its place?
you say. What? A ferocious animal has sucked the blood of my relatives.
I tell you to rid yourselves of this beast, and you ask me what you shall
put in its place?
I have never made but one prayer to God, a very
short one. "O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous" and God granted it.
We only half live when we only half think.
Atheism is the vice of a few intelligent people.
If God has made us in his image, we have returned him the favor.
Christianity is the most ridiculous, the most absurd and bloody religion
that has ever infected the world.
Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit
Nothing can be more contrary to religion and the clergy than reason
and common sense. [Philosophical Dictionary, 1764]
Superstition, born of paganism and adopted by Judaism, invested the
Christian Church from earliest times. All the fathers of the Church, without
exception, believed in the power of magic. The Church always condemned
magic, but she always believed in it: she did not excommunicate sorcerers
as madmen who were mistaken, but as men who were really in communication
with the devil." [Philosophical Dictionary, 1764]
Of all religions the Christian is without doubt the one which should
inspire tolerance most, although up to now the Christians have been the
most intolerant of all men.
It is hard to free fools from chains they revere.
If you have two religions in your land, the two will cut each other's
throats; but if you have thirty religions, they dwell in peace.
Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I
consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile.
Peter Walker ~ American space
physicist and researcher
The supreme arrogance of religious thinking: that a carbon-based bag
of mostly water on a speck of iron-silicate dust around a boring dwarf
star in a minor galaxy in an underpopulated local group of galaxies in
an unfashionable suburb of a supercluster would look up at the sky and
delcare, "It was all made so that I could exist!"
Alfred R. Wallace (1823-1913) ~ Darwin
Man's special creation is entirely unsupported by the facts, as well
as in the highest degree improbable.
Lemuel K.. Washburn ~ American activist
A man with a creed has bought the coffin for his mind. . . . It does
not require any mental exercise to believe.
The Unitarian walks with a cane, the Congregationalist, Mehodist, Presbyterian
and Baptist go with crutches, the Episcopalian hst to be pushed about in
an invalid's chair, while the Roman Catholic crawls on his hands and knees
and is led around with a ring in his nose by a priest.
If God exists, what objection can he have to saying so?
The church is a bank that is continually receiving deposits but never
pays a dividend.
Religion is no more the parent of morality than an incubator is the
mother of a chicken.
What a queer thing is Christian salvation! Believing in firemen will
not save a burning house; believing in doctors will not make one well,
but believing in a savior saves men. Fudge!
Religious controversies are always productive of more acrimony and
irreconcilable hatreds than those which spring from any other cause. I
had hoped that liberal and enlightened thought would have reconciled the
Christians so that their religious fights would not endanger the peace
The United States of America should have a foundation free from the
influence of clergy.
Dr. James Watson
American biologist, (Discoverer of DNA.)
I don't think we're here for anything, we're
just products of evolution. You can say 'Gee, your life must be pretty
bleak if you don't think there's a purpose' but I'm anticipating a good
The biggest advantage to believing in God is you don't have to understand
anything, no physics, no biology. . . . I wanted to understand.
A committed believer in the Koran trots out the same arguments for
his point of view as a Southern Baptist . . . and neither can listen to
Things are as they are. Looking out into it the universe at night, we
make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and
badly arranged constellations.
Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966) ~ English novelist
It is a curious thing that every creed promises a paradise which would
be absolutely uninhabitable for anyone of civilized taste.
Richard A. Weatherwax
You do not need the Bible to justify love, but
no better tool has been invented to justify hate.
Steven Weinberg ~ Physicist
and Nobel Laureate
Religion is an insult to human dignity. With
or without it, you'd have good people doing good things and evil people
doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, it takes religion.
Most scientist I know don't care enough about religion even to call
Several thousand years ago, a small tribe of
ignorant near-savages wrote various collections of myths, wild tales, lies,
and gibberish. Over the centureis, these stories were embroidered, garbled,
mutilated, and torn into small pieces that were then repeatedly shuffled.
Finally, this material was badly translated into several languages successfully.
The resultant text, creationists feel, is the best guide to this complex
and technical subject.
Herbert George "H.G."
Wells ~ English author (1866-1946).
It runs through the entire Christian story, and
our case against the Catholic Church is that, albeit it originated in a
passionate assertion of the conception of brotherly equality, it relapsed
steadily from the broad nobility of its beginnings and passed over at last
almost completely to the side of persecution and the pleasures of cruelty.
[From Wells' book Crux Ansata - An Indictment of the Roman Catholic Church
1944, reprinted in 1981 by American Atheist Press.]
Why do people go on pretending about this Christianity?
I do not believe I have any immortality. The greatest evil in
the world today is the Christian religion.
There was a time when I believed in the story and the scheme of salvation,
so far as I could understand it, just as I believed there was a Devil.
Suddenly the light broke through to me and I saw a silly story, and each
generation nowadays swallows it with greater difficulty. Why do people
go on pretending about this Christianity?
Andrew Dickson White
The establishment of Christianity arrested the
normal development of the physical sciences for over fifteen hundred years.
The cardinal doctrine of a fanatic's creed is that his enemies are the
enemies of God.
Alfred North Whitehead
~ British mathematician and philosopher
The total absence of humor in the Bible is one
of the most singular things in all literature.
Walt Whitman (1819-1892) ~ American poet
Science, testing absolutely all thoughts, all works, has already burst
well upon the world -- a sun, mounting, most illuminating, most glorious,
surely never again to set. But against it, deeply entrench'd . . . the
fossil theology of the mythic-materialistic, superstitious, untaught and
credulous fable-loving, primitive ages of humanity.
I think I could turn and live with animals | They are so placid
and self-contain'd ... | They do not lie awake in the dark and weep
for their sins | They do not make me sick discussing their duty to
In the faces of men and women I see God.
When I think of all the harm the
Bible has done, I despair of ever writing anything equal to it.
Truth, in matters of religion, is simply the opinion that has survived.
I sometimes think that God in creating man somewhat overestimated his
All the western theologies are based on the concept of god as a senile
Reverend Doctor Bird Wilson ~ Episcopal
minister in Albany, New York, in a sermon preached in October, 1831
The founders of our nation were nearly all Infidels, and that of the
presidents who had thus far been elected [Washington; Adams; Jefferson;
Madison; Monroe; Adams; Jackson] not a one had professed a belief in Christianity....
Among all our presidents from Washington downward, not one was a professor
of religion, at least not of more than Unitarianism.
You know you have created God in your own image,
when you find that your God hates the same people that you do.
Robert Anton Wilson ~ American writer and
The Bible tells us to be like God, and then on page after page it descdribes
God as a mass murderer. this may be the single most important key to the
political behaviour of Western Civilization.
Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) ~ US President
Of course like very other man of intelligence and education I do believe
in organic evolution. It surprises me that at this late date such questions
should be raised.
A cult is a religion with no political power.
Freedom of Religion also constitutes Freedom FROM Religion.
Fundamentalists never wonder why, if herpes is sent by 'god' to scourge
"adulterers," whooping cough and measles weren't purposely created to lambaste
The very god who, according to those who believe in him, made every
last electron spin in its orbit everywhere throughout the universe, still
cannot write a clear, unmistakable volume of instructions to human beings
who are supposed to follow his wish.
Fundamentalists are like the fir trees in German
forests: they cannot stand alone, and are only stable when crowded together,
branches locked with those of their brothers. That is why we must always
fear them, because they will always hate us for our individualism.
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.
Cathy Young ~ Journalist
After September 11, some credited God with ensuring that there were
far fewer people than usual both in the hijacked planes and in the targeted
buildings. You'd think God could have simply tipped off the FBI.
Many men go into the ministry not only for the power trip involved,
but also so that they will never have to be interrupted or contradicted.
Emile Zola (1840-1902) ~ French
Has science ever retreated? No! It is Catholocism which has always
retreated before her, and will always be forced to retreat.
Civilization will not attain to its perfection until the last stone
from the last church falls on the last priest.