Bill Hillman Presents

P - Z

Pragna Pate

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 doing them.

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

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

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

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

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 them all.

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. 

From whence then could arise the solitary and strange conceit that the Almighty, who had millions of worlds equally dependent on His protection, should quit the care of all the rest and come to die in our world because, they say, one man and one woman ate an apple? And on the other hand, are we to suppose that every world in the boundless creation had an Eve, an apple, a serpent, and a Redeemer? ~ The Age of Reason

Michael Painter
The Bible seems to be an ink blot test with Christians seeing in it whatever they wish.
John Pariury

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

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

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

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.

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

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?

Gregory S. Paul (1954 -  ) ~ Paleontologist and illustrator
[Worldwide]  higher rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide, juvenile and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy, and abortion. 
Spatch Pentameter 

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.
Ignots Pistachio

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.
Darrell Plank

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

Atheism is a disease of the soul, before it becomes an error of the understanding.
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 saved.
Dennis Potter

Religion to me has always been the wound, not the bandage.
Robert M. Price

Who needs Satan when you have a God like this? 
Jack Pritchard

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.

Ayn Rand

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 this earth.

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.

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

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 the truth.

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.

Frater Ravus
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 philosopher

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

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.
Stephen Roberts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 power.

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.

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

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

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 for evidence.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Few people can be happy unless they hate some other person, nation or creed.

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 untrue. 

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.

Carl 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 true.

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 and chemistry. 

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 love.

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 conceits?

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 built.
Carl Sandburg (1878-1967) ~ American poet

To work hard, to live hard, to die hard, and then go to hell after all would be too damned hard.

I won't take my religion from any man who never works except with his mouth.

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 it.

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 magazine, 1964

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.
Dan Savage 

I realized if I wanted to live in a fabulous house and have sex with young men I didn't need to be a priest to do that anymore. It used to be the only way you could do that, but the world has changed now for the better.
Johann Schiller

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 philosopher

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

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

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

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.

George Seaton
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 (circa 4 B.C.E - 65 C.E)

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

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.
William Shakespeare

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

The Devil can cite scripture for his purpose.

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 Night

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.

All great truths begin as blasphemies.

Percy Bysshe Shelley ~ English poet (1792-1822)
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 to man.

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

Any sufficiently advanced Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence is indistinguishable from God.

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

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

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

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

Moshe Shulman
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.
Seymour Siegel

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 Atheists

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.
Upton Sinclair

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. . . . 

B.F. Skinner
I don't believe in God, so I'm not afraid of dying.
Charles Smith (1887-1964) U.S. attorney, author

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.
Craig Smith

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 am man.

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 is listening.

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.

Hannah Smith
The Bible provides justification for evil, without it we would have heaven on earth. 
Raymond Smullyan (1919-) American mathematician and philosopher

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

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

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

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

I call him free who is led solely by reason.

I do not know how to teach philosophy without becoming a disturber of established religion.

Benjamin Spock
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 cut.
Edmund Standing

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 advocate

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.

John Steinbeck
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 few.
Bob Stokes

The world is proof that God is a committee.
Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) ~ Priest and satirist

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

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 folly.
Tecumseh (1768-1813) ~ Native American leader

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

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

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

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?

Margaret Thatcher
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.

James Thurber
If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons.
Farell Till 

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.
Gherman Titov  ~  Soviet cosmonaut ~ The Seattle Daily Times, May 7, 1962

Some say God is living there [in space]. I was looking around very attentively, but I did not see anyone there. I did not detect either angels or gods....I don't believe in God. I believe in man - his strength, his possibilities, his reason.
Leo Tolstoy

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

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.

Harry Truman
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 more obvious?
Mark Twain

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 Providence.

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.

Peace of mind is a most valuable thing. The Bible has robbed the majority of the world of it during many centuries; it is but fair that in return it should give some to an individual here & there. But you must not make the mistake of supposing that absolute peace of mind is obtainable only through some form religious belief: no, on the contrary I have found that as perfect a peace is to be found in absolute unbelief. - Letter to Charles W. Stoddard, 6/1/1885

THE BIBLE: It is full of interest. It has noble poetry in it; and some clever fables; and some blood-drenched history; and some good morals; and a wealth of obscenity; and upwards of a thousand lies.

We may not doubt that society in heaven consists mainly of undesirable persons. - Mark Twain's Notebook, 1902-1903

Man is kind enough when he is not excited by religion. - A Horse's Tale

Blasphemy? No, it is not blasphemy. If God is as vast as that, he is above blasphemy; if He is as little as that, He is beneath it. - Mark Twain, a Biography

Man is the Religious Animal. He is the only Religious Animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion-- several of them. - "The Lowest Animal," 1897

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Neil deGrasse Tyson
“Some claim that evolution is just a theory, as if it were merely an opinion. The theory of evolution, like the theory of gravity, is a scientific fact. Evolution really happened. Accepting our kinship with all life on earth is not only solid science, in my view, it’s also a soaring, spiritual experience.”

— Neil deGrasse Tyson, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

David Viaene
Gods don't kill people. People with Gods kill people.
Gore Vidal ~ (October 3, 1925 - ) American novelist

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 atrocities.

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

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

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

It is hard to free fools from chains they revere. 

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.

Kurt Vonnegut
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 colleague

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

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

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

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!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why do people go on pretending about this Christianity?

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

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

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 God.

In the faces of men and women I see God.

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

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

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

Tennesse Williams
All the western theologies are based on the concept of god as a senile delinquent.
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.
Lois Wilson

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

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

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

A cult is a religion with no political power.
Bradley Wood

Freedom of Religion also constitutes Freedom FROM Religion. 
Fred Woodworth

Fundamentalists never wonder why, if herpes is sent by 'god' to scourge "adulterers," whooping cough and measles weren't purposely created to lambaste children.

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.

Brent Yaciw

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

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

Frank Zindler

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 novelist

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.

Reason vs. Supernatural Series
Free Thinkers Through History
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