Humanistic Adductions
Why be born again, when you can just grow up?

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Being descended from Apes is no shame, but being dumb as an Ape is unfortunate.
[Steve Geller] off talk.origns

Faith is an absolutely marvelous tool.
With faith there is no question too big for even the smallest mind.
[Donald Morgan]

Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.
[Philip K. Dick]

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. [Stephen Roberts]

It has been said that the fundamentalist mind is like concrete;
all mixed up and permanently set.

It is a heretic that makes the fire, not she which burns in it.
[William Shakespeare]1564-1616

We want to shear the Lord's sheep of their wooly, fuzzy thinking, not stampede them
-so we can't use chainsaws. [Max G. Webb]

I do not feel obliged to believe that same God who endowed us with sense, reason,
and intellect had intended for us to forego their use. [Galileo]

I have always admired the insular closed-mindedness which fundamentalists possess,
a quality which allows them to filter the chaff from the wheat-- and eat the chaff.
[Jim Acker]

John Wesley said that if you give up the witchcraft, you must give up the Bible.
He is right. The choice is easy for me. [Rupert Hughes]

The Christian religion not only was at first attended with miracles, but even
to this day cannot be believed by any reasonable person without one.
[David Hume]

I have little confidence in any enterprise or business or investment that promises
dividends only after the death of the stockholders. [Robert G. Ingersoll]

God is an invention of Man. So the nature of God is only a shallow mystery.
The deep mystery is the nature of man. [Nanrei Kobori]
Abbot of the (Buddhist) Temple of the Shining Dragon

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

I find every sect, as far as reason will help them, make use of it gladly; and
where it fails them, they cry out, it is a matter of faith, and above reason.
[John Locke]

One can often recognize herd animals by their tendency to carry bibles.
[Allen Wheelis] The Signal

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

If I were to speak your kind of language, I would say that man's only moral commandment is:
Thou shalt think.  But a 'moral commandment' is a contradiction in terms.
The moral is the chosen, not the forced; the understood, not the obeyed.
The moral is the rational, and reason accepts no commandments. [Ayn Rand]

Fear prophets ... and those prepared to die for the truth, as a rule make many others
die with them, often before them, and at times instead of them. [Umberto Eco]

Koranic teaching still insists that the sun moves around the earth.
How can we advance when they teach things like that?
[Taslima Nasrin ]Time magazine,31st Jan 1994

Many people would rather die than think; in fact, most do. [Bertrand Russell]

The Ethiopians make their gods black and snub-nosed; the Thracians say theirs have
blue eyes and red hair... Yes, and if oxen and horses or lions had hands and could paint
with their hands, and produce works of art as men do, horses would paint the forms
of the gods like horses, and oxen like oxen... [Xenophanes] 6th century B.C.

If atheism is a religion, then bald is a hair color. [Mark Schnitzius] off alt.atheism

Man is the religious animal. He is the only religious animal. He is the only animal
that has the True Religion--several of them.
[Mark Twain] Letters from the Earth

I believe I found the missing link between animal and civilized man.
It is us. [Konrad Lorenz]

The most formidable weapon against errors of every kind is reason. I have never
used any other, and I trust I never shall.
[Thomas Paine], Age of Reason

To surrender to ignorance and call it God has always been premature,
and it remains premature today. [Isaac Asimov]

Once there was a time when all people believed in God and the church ruled.
This time is called the Dark Ages. [Richard Lederer]

Some people, apparently, masturbate with their intellects. I prefer to use my hand.
It takes less time, and has a more satisfying outcome. As an added advantage,
I am rarely tempted to show people the end product.
[Eric Shafto], responding to Why should we believe in evolution? post.

I am an agnostic; I do not pretend to know what many ignorant men are sure of.
[Clarence Darrow]

What sort of designer creates wasps that eat their prey alive, spiders that eat their mates,
ants that kill off large populations of their male larvae, and bedbugs that engage in
homosexual stabbing rape? .... Well, I'd argue that the design of these behaviors must
say something about the designer. Wouldn't you? [Unknown] off

...besides, any intelligent designer who would wrap the prostate gland around the ureter
must have a wicked sense of humor. [Bob Park] on if "irreducible complexity" in nature
must come from an "intelligent designer."

Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable.
[H.L. Mencken]

A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.
[Friedrich Nietzsche]

To recognize that nature has neither a preference for our species nor a bias against it
takes only a little courage [James Randi]

You pronounce sentence upon me with greater fear than I receive it.
[Giordano Bruno] to his inquisitors

The Church has always been willing to swap off treasures in heaven for cash down.
[Robert G. Ingersoll]

In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments - there are consequences.
[Robert G. Ingersoll]

Imagine the Creator as a low comedian, and at once the world becomes explicable.
[H.L. Mencken]

Is it consistent to say that a design cannot exist without a designer but that a designer can?
Does not a designer need a design as much as a design needs a designer?
Does not a Creator need a Creator as much as the thing we think has been created?
....Can we find "design" in the fact that every animal lives upon some other- that every
drop of every sea is a battlefield where the strong devour the weak?
Over the precipice of cruelty rolls a perpetual Niagara of blood. Is there "design" in this? .
[Robert G. Ingersoll]

Nature, so long as we can discern, without passion and without intention,
forms, transforms, and retransforms forever.  She neither weeps nor rejoices.
She produces man without purpose, and obliterates him without regret.
She knows no distinction between the beneficial and the hurtful.
Poison and nutrition, pain and joy, life and death, smiles and tears are alike to her.
She is neither merciful nor cruel.  She cannot be flattered by worship nor melted by tears.
She does not know even the attitude of prayer.  She appreciates no difference
between poison in the fangs of snakes or mercy in the hearts of men.
Only through man does nature take cognizance of the good, the true, and the beautiful...
[Robert G. Ingersoll]

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.
[Blaise Pascal]

To be good is noble, but to teach others how to be good is nobler-- and less trouble.
[Mark Twain]

Popular theology... is a massive inconsistency derived from ignorance...
The Gods exist because nature herself has imprinted a conception of them
on the minds of men. [Cicero] De Natura Deoru

A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it. [Oscar Wilde]

Pray: To ask the laws of the universe to be annulled on behalf of a single petitioner,
confessedly unworthy. - [Ambrose Bierce]

The Puritan through Life's sweet garden goes
To pluck the thorn and cast away the rose.
[Kenneth Hare]

To rule by fettering the mind through fear of punishment in another world,
is just as base as to use force. [Hypatia] (c. 370-415 CE)

... there could be talking bunny rabbits, spiders who write English messages in their webs,
and for that matter, melancholy choo-choo trains. There could be, I suppose,
but there aren't-- so my theory doesn't have to explain them. [Daniel Dennett]

The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure,
while the intelligent are full of doubt. [Bertrand Russell]

Exploring the universe through meditation,
is like studying human relationships through masturbation.

I do not find in our particular superstitions of Christianity one redeeming feature.
They are all alike, founded on fables and mythology. [Thomas Jefferson]

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

Humanity has the stars in its future, and that future is too important to be lost under
the burden of juvenile folly and ignorant superstition. [Isaac Asimov]

I have never seen the slightest scientific proof of the religious theories of heaven and hell,
of future life for individuals, or of a personal God.
[Thomas Alva Edison] Colombian Magazine

I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because
I notice it always coincides with their own desires. [Susan B. Anthony]

We are the universe experiencing itself.
That's why we're here. [Carl Sagan]

The old is the ignorant enemy of the new. The old has pedigree and respectability;
it is filled with the spirit of caste; it is associated with great events, and with great names;
it is entrenched; it has an income -- it represents property. Besides, it has parasites,
and the parasites always defend themselves
[Robert G. Ingersoll]

Once people get hung up on theology, they've lost sanity forever
[Gore Vidal] Secular Humanist Bulletin, 1995

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

In every country and in every age the priest has been hostile to liberty; he is always
in allegiance to the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection of his own.
[Thomas Jefferson]

The very fact of there being more than one revelation is sufficient to raise doubts
in the minds of reasoning people as to the validity of any of them.
[Aletheia, M.D.] Rationalist's Manual

If God wants us to do a thing, He should make his wishes sufficiently clear.
Sensible people will wait till He has done this before paying much attention to Him.
[Samuel Butler]

In looking for an answer, we cannot simply postulate the existence of what
we are trying to explain. [off]

Skepticism is the chastity of the intellect, and it is shameful to surrender it too soon or
to the first comer: there is nobility in preserving it coolly and proudly through long youth,
until at last, in the ripeness of instinct and discretion, it can be safely exchanged
for fidelity and happiness. [George Santayana] Skepticism and Animal Faith

They were allowed to stay there on one condition, and that is that they didn't eat of the tree
of knowledge. That has been the condition of the Christian church from then until now.
They haven't eaten as yet. As a rule they do not.
[Clarence Darrow]

A dogma is the hand of the dead on the throat of the living.
[Lemuel K.Washburn]

Everywhere in the world there are ignorance and prejudice, but the greatest complex
of these, with the most extensive prestige and the most intimate entanglement with
traditional institutions, is the Roman Catholic Church. [H.G. Wells]

A hundred thousand lemmings can't be wrong.

Those who believe in hell can never know truth, for they are blinded by fear.
[Emmet F. Fields]

...and when you tell me that your deity made you in his own image, I reply
that he must be very ugly. [Victor Hugo], writing to clergy

No wild beasts are as hostile to men as Christian sects in general are to one another.
[Emperor Julian]

The destroyer of weeds, thistles and thorns is a benefactor, whether he soweth grain or not.
[Robert G. Ingersoll]

An atheist is a man who has no invisible means of support.
[John Buchan] British statesman, author

Suppose, however, that God did give this law to the Jews, and did tell them 
that whenever a man preached a heresy, or proposed to worship any other God that 
they should kill him; and suppose that afterward this same God took upon himself flesh, 
and came to this very chosen people and taught a different religion, and that thereupon 
the Jews crucified him;  I ask you, did he not reap exactly what he had sown? 
What right would this god have to complain of a crucifixion suffered in accordance 
with his own command?   [Robert G. Ingersoll] Some mistakes of Moses

When people learn no tools of judgment and merely follow their hopes,
the seeds of political manipulation are sown. [Stephen Jay Gould]

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

A myth is a religion in which no one any longer believes.
[James Feibleman]

Ignorance is the mother of devotion. [Dean Henry Cole]

A god's primary function is to confirm for us deeply held beliefs that we can't let go of,
even in the face of overwhelming evidence. When you are totally and absolutely convinced
of something fundamentally unreasonable, it helps to believe you have divine guidance.

With soap, baptism is a good thing. [Robert G. Ingersoll]

When a religion is good, I conceive it will support itself; and when it does not support
itself so that its professors are obliged to call for the help of the civil power, 'tis a sign,
I apprehend, of its being a bad one. [Benjamin Franklin]

A religion is sometime a source of happiness, and I would not deprive anyone of happiness.
But it is a comfort appropriate for the weak, not for the strong. The great trouble with
religion - any religion - is that a religionist, having accepted certain propositions by faith,
cannot thereafter judge those propositions by evidence. One may bask at the warm
fire of faith or choose to live in the bleak certainty of reason- but one cannot have both.
[Robert A. Heinlein] "Friday"

Theists have good reasons for not believing in every god but their own.
Atheists make no exception for the last one. [Brett Lemoine]

There is something feeble and a little contemptible about a man who cannot face the perils
of life without the help of comfortable myths.
[Bertrand Russell] in Human Society in Ethics and Politics.

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.
[Salman Rushdie]

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

Lighthouses are more helpful than churches. [Benjamin Franklin]

To love justice, to long for the right, to love mercy, to pity the suffering, to assist the weak,
to forget wrongs and remember benefits, to love the truth, to be sincere,
to utter honest words, to love liberty, to wage relentless war against slavery in all its forms,
to love wife and child and friend, to make a happy home, to love the beautiful in art, in nature,
to cultivate the mind, to be familiar with the mighty thoughts that genius has expressed,
the noble deeds of all the world, to cultivate courage and cheerfulness, to make others happy,
to fill life with the splendor of generous acts, the warmth of loving words, to discard error,
to destroy prejudice, to receive new truths with gladness, to cultivate hope,
to see the calm beyond the storm, the dawn beyond the night,
to do the best that can be done and then to be resigned
- this is the religion of reason, the creed of science. This satisfies the brain and heart.
[Robert G. Ingersoll]

It's hard to be religious when certain people are never incinerated by bolts of lightning.
[Calvin] Calvin and Hobes by Bill Waterson

A mystic is a person who is puzzled before the obvious but who understands the nonexistent
[Elbert Hubbard]

Sacred cows make the tastiest hamburger. [Abbie Hoffman]

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

Is God willing to prevent evil but not able? Then he is impotent.
Is he able but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Whence then is evil?
[David Hume]

The total amount of suffering per year in the natural world is beyond all decent contemplation.
During the minute that it takes me to compose this sentence, thousands of animals are being
eaten alive, many others are running for their lives, whimpering with fear, others are slowly
being devoured from within by rasping parasites, thousands of all kinds are dying of
starvation, thirst, and disease. It must be so. If there ever is a time of plenty, this very fact
will automatically lead to an increase in the population until the natural state of starvation
and misery is restored. In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces
and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky,
and you won't find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe
has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose,
no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.
[Richard Dawkins] God's Utility Function, Scientific American, November 1995

Pursuing the religious life today without using psychedelics drugs is
like studying astronomy with the naked eye...[Timothy Leary]

I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his own creation.
[Albert Einstein]

Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one,
he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.
[Thomas Jefferson] Letter, 10 Aug. 1787

To be patriotic, hate all nations but your own; to be religious, all sects but your own;
to be moral, all pretenses but your own. [Lionel Strachey] British writer 1864-1927

A long and wicked life followed by five minutes of perfect grace gets you into Heaven.
An equally long life of decent living and good works followed by one outburst of taking
the name of the Lord in vain-- then have a heart attack at that moment-- and be damned
for eternity. Is that the system? [Robert A. Heinlein] A Comedy of Justice, 1984

The opposite of the religious fanatic is not the fanatical atheist but the gentle cynic
who cares not whether there is a God or not. [Eric Hoffer]

Every church that has a standard higher than human welfare is dangerous.
[Robert G. Ingersoll]

A heretic is a man who sees with his own eyes.

Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.
[H.L. Mencken]

Invisible Pink Unicorns are beings of great spiritual power. We know this because they
are capable of being invisible and pink at the same time. Like all religions, the Faith of
the Invisible Pink Unicorns is based upon both logic and faith. We have faith that they
are pink; we logically know that they are invisible because we can't see them.
[Steve Eley]

There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written,
or badly written. That is all. [Oscar Wilde]

A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress
any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism. [Carl Sagan] Contact

Your grasp of science lacks opposable thumbs. [B Waggoner] on

I insist that, if there is an infinitely good and wise God, he beholds with pity the misfortunes
of his children. I insist that such a God would know the mists, the clouds, the darkness
enveloping the human mind. He would know how few stars are visible in the intellectual sky.
His pity, not his wrath, would be excited by the efforts of his blind children, groping in the
night to find the cause of things, and endeavoring, through their tears, to see some dawn
of hope. Filled with awe by their surroundings, by fear of the unknown, he would know
that when, kneeling, and pouring out their gratitude to some unseen power, even to a
visible idol, it was, in fact, intended for him. An infinitely good being, had he the power,
would answer the reasonable prayer of an honest savage, even when addressed to
wood and stone. [Robert G. Ingersoll] Ingersoll-Black Debate 1881

If God created us in his own image, we have more than reciprocated.

...Logic is not satisfied with assertion.
It cares nothing for the opinions of the "great,"
nothing for the prejudices of the many,
and least of all for the superstitions of the dead.
In the world of Science, a 'fact' is legal tender.
[Robert G. Ingersoll]

Better sleep with a sober cannibal than a drunken Christian.
[Herman Melville] Moby Dick

Any frontal attack on ignorance is bound to fail because the masses are always ready
to defend their most precious possession-- their ignorance.
[Hendrik Willem van Loon]

God has no religion. [Mahatma Gandhi]

A vast number of clergymen and laymen are perfectly satisfied. They have no doubts.
They believe as their fathers and mothers did. The "scheme of salvation" suits them
because they are satisfied that they are embraced within its terms. They give themselves
no trouble. They believe because they do not understand. They have no doubts because
they do not think. They regard doubt as a thorn in the pillow of orthodox slumber.
Their souls are asleep, and they hate only those who disturb their dreams.
[Robert G. Ingersoll]

He who possesses art and science has religion;
he who does not possess them, needs religion.

The Bible is a wonderful source of inspiration for those who don't understand it.
[George Santayana]

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

Why should I fear death?
If I am, death is not.
If death is, I am not.
Why should I fear that which can only exist when I do not?
[Epicurus] Greek philosopher (341-270 BC)

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

Anybody who believes that the earth is less than 10,000 years old needs psychiatric help.
[Francis Crick] Nobel prize-winning biologist, co-discoverer of DNA

Faith is to the human what sand is to the ostrich..
[Lemuel K. Washburn]

...doubting Thomas, on the other hand, required evidence.
Perhaps he should be the patron saint of scientists.
[Richard Dawkins]

A cult is a religion with no political power. [Tom Wolfe]

Calling the theory of evolution "only a theory" is, strictly speaking, true, but the idea it tries
to convey is completely wrong. The argument rests on a confusion between what "theory"
means in informal usage and in a scientific context. A theory, in the scientific sense,
is "a coherent group of general propositions used as principles of explanation for a class
of phenomena" (Random House American College Dictionary. ) The term does not imply
tentativeness or lack of certainty. Generally speaking, scientific theories differ from
scientific laws only in that laws can be expressed more tersely. Being a theory implies
self-consistency, agreement with observations, and usefulness. (Creationism fails to be
a theory mainly because of the last point; it makes few or no specific claims about what
we would expect to find, so it can't be used for anything. When it does make falsifiable
predictions, they prove to be false.)

Lack of proof isn't a weakness, either. On the contrary, claiming infallibility for one's
conclusions is a sign of hubris. Nothing in the real world has ever been rigorously proved,
or ever will be. Proof, in the mathematical sense, is possible only if you have the luxury of
defining the universe you're operating in. In the real world, we must deal with levels of
certainty based on observed evidence. The more and better evidence we have for something,
the more certainty we assign to it; when there is enough evidence, we label the something
a fact, even though it still isn't 100% certain.
[Mark Isaak] FAQ from archive

When we make mistakes they call it evil. When God makes mistakes they call it Nature!
Jack Nicholson in [TheWitches of Eastwick]

Businesses come and go, but religion will last forever,
for in no other endeavor does the consumer blame himself for product failure.

When I told the people of Northern Ireland that I was an atheist, a woman
in the audience stood up and said, "Yes, but is it the God of the Catholics
or the God of the Protestants in whom you don't believe?
[Quentin Crisp]

My earlier views at the unsoundness of the Christian scheme of salvation and
the human origin of the scriptures, have become clearer and stronger with advancing years
and I see no reason for thinking I shall ever change them.
[Abraham Lincoln ] letter to Judge J.S. Wakefield, after the death of Willie Lincoln

My husband is not a Christian but is a religious man, I think. [Mary Todd Lincoln]

Chemistry is applied theology. [Augustus Stanley]

The total absence of humor from the Bible is one of the most singular things in all literature.
[Alfred North Whitehead]

And suppose after all that death does end all. Next to eternal joy, next to being forever
with those we love and those who loved us, next to that is to be wrapt in the dreamless
drapery of eternal peace. Next to eternal life is eternal sleep. Upon the shadowy shore
of death the sea of trouble casts no wave. Eyes that have been curtained by the everlasting
dark, will never know again the burning touch of tears. Lips touched by eternal silence
will never speak again the broken words of grief. Hearts of dust do not break...
[Robert G. Ingersoll]

That which is certain is not science.
That which is science is not certain.

The inhabitants of the earth are of two sorts:
those with brains, but no religion,
and those with religion, but no brains.
[Abul'-Ala' al-Ma'arri] (973-1057) The blind Syrian poet.

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful.
[Seneca the Younger] (4 B.C.-65 A.D.)

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

Whenever this world is sacrificed for the sake of another- a mistake has been made.
[Robert G. Ingersoll]

Every man thinks God is on his side.
The rich and powerful know he is."
[Jean Anouilh] (1910- ) French playwright

God, to me, it seems, is a verb, not a noun, proper or improper. [Buckminster Fuller]

In science, "fact" can only mean "confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse
to withhold provisional assent." I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow,
but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.
[Stephen Jay Gould]

Christian Fundamentalism: The doctrine that there is an absolutely powerful, infinitely
knowledgeable, universe spanning entity that is deeply and personally concerned about
my sex life. [Andrew Lias]

Religion is a byproduct of fear. For much of human history, it may have been a
necessary evil, but why was it more evil than necessary? [Arthur C. Clarke]

The mind of the fundamentalist is like the pupil of the eye:
the more light you pour on it, the more it will contract.

Don't tell me God works in mysterious ways, there's nothing so mysterious about it.
He's not working at all. He's playing. Or else He's forgotten all about us...
How much reverence can you have for a Supreme Being who finds it necessary to
include such phenomena as phlegm and tooth decay in His divine system of creation?
[Joseph Heller] Catch-22

The typical imperative from biology is not "thou shalt....," but "if...then...else".
[Steven Pinker] How the Mind Works

For Shakespeare, in the matter of religion, the choice lay between Christianity and nothing.
He chose nothing. [George Santayana] The Absence of Religion in Shakespeare

Reason is not one tool of thought among many, it is the entire toolbox.
To advocate that reason be discarded in some circumstances is to advocate that thinking be
discarded- which leaves one in the position of attempting to do a job after throwing away
the required instrument. [George Smith]

Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith.
I consider the capacity for it terrifying. [Kurt Vonnegut Jr.]

What the mind doesn't understand, it worships or fears.
[Alice Walker] The Temple of My Familiar

The original sin was not in eating of the forbidden fruit,
but in planting the tree that bore the fruit.
[Lemuel K. Washburn]

Men become civilized not in proportion to their willingness to believe
but in proportion to their readiness to doubt. [H.L. Mencken]

So, when someone asks a Humanist, "What is the purpose of life?" the Humanist should
answer, Life is not purpose, life is art. The meaning is found in the doing.
[Frederick Edwords]

Traveler:  God has been mighty good to your fields, Mr. Farmer.
Farmer:    You should have seen how he treated them when I wasn't around.

The people, ideas, things, and actions we love do not depend for their worth on how long
they last or their supposed cosmic significance. They are things in themselves to be enjoyed
for their own sakes. Life is an art, not a task. Life is for us, not for the universe.
And life is for now, not for eternity.
[Frederick Edwords]

In religion we believe only what we do not understand, except in the instance
of an intelligible doctrine that contradicts an incomprehensible one.
In that case we believe the former as part of the latter.

If the lord had meant us to have faith, he'd have given us lobotomies. [Zlatko]

Genes are not puppet masters; they acted as the recipe for making the brain and body
and then they got out of the way. They live in a parallel universe, scattered among bodies,
with their own agendas. [Steven Pinker] How the mind Works

If Jesus had been killed 20 years ago, Catholic school children would be
wearing little Electric Chairs around their necks instead of crosses. [Lenny Bruce]

The present life of man, O king, seems to me, in comparison of that time which is unknown
to us, is like the swift flight of a sparrow through the room wherein you sit at supper in winter,
with your commanders and ministers, and a good fire in the midst, whilst the storms of rain
and snow prevail abroad; the sparrow, I say, flying in at one door, and immediately out at
another, whilst he is within, is safe from the wintry storm; but after a short space of fair
weather; he immediately vanishes out of your sight, into the dark winter from which he
had emerged. So this life of man appears for a short space, but of what went before,
or what is to follow, we are utterly ignorant.
[The Venerable Bede] Ecclesiastical History

Life is a narrow vale between the cold and barren peaks of two eternities.
[Robert G. Ingersoll]

Men think epilepsy divine, merely because they do not understand it.
But if they called everything divine which they do not understand,
why, there would be no end of divine things. [Hippocrates] c.460-377 BC

Armies of Bible scholars and theologians have for centuries found respected employment
devising artful explanations of the Bible often not really meaning what it says.
[J.S. Bullion, Jr.]

The four points of the compass are logic, knowledge, wisdom, and the unknown.
Some do bow in that final direction. Others advance upon it. To bow before the one
is to lose sight of the three. I may submit to the unknown, but never to the unknowable.
[Roger Zelazny] Lord of Light

Garbage In -- Gospel Out

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

There is one notable thing about our Christianity: bad, bloody, merciless, money-grabbing
and predatory as it is - in our country particularly, and in all other Christian countries in a
somewhat modified degree - it is still a hundred times better than the Christianity of the
Bible, with its prodigious crime- the invention of Hell. Measured by our Christianity of today,
bad as it is, hypocritical as it is, empty and hollow as it is, neither the Deity nor His Son is a
Christian, nor qualified for that moderately high place. Ours is a terrible religion. The fleets
of the world could swim in spacious comfort in the innocent blood it has spilt.
[Mark Twain] Reflections on Religion

If you don't think that logic is a good method for determining what to believe,
make an attempt to convince me of that without using logic. [Brett Lemoine]

Oh, threats of Hell and Hopes of Paradise!
One thing at least is certain--This life flies;
One thing is certain and the rest is lies;
The Flower that once has blown for ever dies.
[The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam]

A blow to the head will confuse a man's thinking, a blow to the foot has no such effect,
this cannot be the result of an immaterial soul. [Heraclitus 500 BC]

Theology is but the ignorance of natural causes reduced to a system.
[Baron Paul Henri T. d'Holbach]

If priests had not been fond of mutton, lambs never would have been sacarified to god.
Nothing was ever carried to the temple that the priest could not use,
and it always happened that god wanted what his agents liked. [Robert G. Ingersoll]

You see, one thing is I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing.
I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might
be wrong. I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees
of uncertainty about different things, but I am not absolutely sure of anything and there are
many things I don't know anything about, such as whether it means anything to ask why
we're here... I don't have to know an answer. I don't feel frightened not knowing things,
by being lost in a mysterious universe without any purpose, which is the way it really is
as far as I can tell. It doesn't frighten me. [Richard P. Feynman]

Demons do not exist any more than gods do, being only the products of the psychic activity
of man. [Sigmund Freud] New York Times 6 May 1956

We must conduct research and then accept the results. If they don't stand up to
experimentation, Buddha's own words must be rejected.
[Tenzin Gyatso] 14th Dalai Lama, Time April 11, 1988

Life in Lubbock, Texas, taught me two things: One is that God loves you and you're going
to burn in hell. The other is that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on earth and you should
save it for someone you love. [Butch Hancock]

Atheism leaves a man to sense, to philosophy, to natural piety, to laws, to reputation;
all of which may be guides to an outward moral virtue, even if religion vanished;
but religious superstition dismounts all these and erects an absolute monarchy
in the minds of men. [Francis Bacon]

Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe
that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" [Douglas Adams]

If today you can take a thing like evolution and make it a crime to teach in the public schools,
tomorrow you can make it a crime to teach it in the private schools and next year you can
make it a crime to teach it to the hustings or in the church. At the next session you may ban
books and the newspapers... Ignorance and fanaticism are ever busy and need feeding.
Always feeding and gloating for more. Today it is the public school teachers; tomorrow
the private. The next day the preachers and the lecturers, the magazines, the books,
the newspapers. After a while, Your Honor, it is the setting of man against man and
creed against creed until with flying banners and beating drums we are marching backward
to the glorious ages of the sixteenth century when bigots lighted fagots to burn the men
who dared to bring any intelligence and enlightenment and culture to the human mind.
[Clarence Darrow] at the Scopes Monkey Trial, 1925

Religions are like farts. Yours is good, but everyone else's stinks.
[Picket Fences]

God says do what you wish, but make the wrong choice and you will be tortured for
eternity in hell. That sir, is not free will. It would be akin to a man telling his girlfriend,
do what you wish, but if you choose to leave me, I will track you down and blow
your brains out. When a man says this we call him a psychopath and cry out for his
imprisonment/exceution. When god says the same we call him "loving" and build churches
in his honor. [William (Chuck) Easttom II]

Sin lies only in hurting other people unnecessarily. All other 'sins' are invented nonsense.
(Hurting yourself is not sinful--just stupid.)
[Robert A. Heinlein]

...a doctrine which is able to maintain itself not in clear light but only in the dark,
will of necessity lose its effect on mankind, with incalculable harm to human progress.
In their struggle for the ethical good, teachers of religion must have the stature to give up
the doctrine of a personal God, that is, give up that source of fear and hope which
in the past placed such vast power in the hands of priests.... The further the spiritual
evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine
religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith,
but through striving after rational knowledge.
[Albert Einstein], address at the Princeton Theological Seminary, 1939

Miracles happen to those who believe in them.
Otherwise why does not the Virgin Mary appear to Lamaists,
Mohammedans, or Hindus who have never heard of her.
[Bernard Berenson] 1865-1959

Everything is more or less organized matter. To think so is against religion,
but I think so just the same. [Napoleon Bonapart]

The world presents enough problems if you believe it to be a world of law and order;
do not add to them by believing it to be a world of miracles.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice [Louis D. Brandeis]

Use against heretics the spiritual sword of excommunication,
and if this does not prove effective, use the material sword.
[Pope Innocent III] 1161-1216

When the Albigenses Christians in southern France wouldn't conform to official dogma,
[Pope Innocent III] sent troops to exterminate them. After the town of Beziers was
captured, soldiers asked their papal adviser  [Arnaud-Amaury] how to distinguish 
the faithful from the heretics among the townspeople. The command:
"Kill them all. God will know his own." (Tuez-les tous; Dieu reconnaitra les siens.)
It was done.

It never ceases to amaze me at how many religions depend upon circumcised penises.
[Dawn Henderson]

You will find men like him in all of the world's religions. They know that
we represent reason and science, and, however confident they may be in their beliefs,
they fear that we will overthrow their gods. Not necessarily through any deliberate act,
but in a subtler fashion. Science can destroy a religion by ignoring it as well as
by disproving its' tenets. No one ever demonstrated, so far as I am aware,
the nonexistence of Zeus or Thor, but they have few followers now.
[Arthur C. Clarke] "Childhood's End"

All religion, my friend, is simply evolved out of fraud, fear, greed, imagination,
and poetry. [Edgar Allan Poe]

The God whom science recognizes must be a god of universal laws exclusively,
A God who does a wholesale, not a retail business. He cannot accommodate his
processes to the convenience of individuals.
[William James] The Varieties of Religious Experience

When Jesus assumes control, many seem to enter another dimension,
which is not so much a twilight zone as one of pure darkness.
[Biblical Errancy] issue-5, May 1983

Marx was wrong. Religion is not the opiate of the masses. Opium suggests something
soporific, numbing, dulling. Too often religion has been an aphrodisiac for horror,
a Benzedrine for bestiality. At its best it has lifted spirits and raised spires.
At its worst it has turned entire civilizations into cemeteries.
[Phillip Adams] Adams vs God

Whenever governments adopt a moral tone, as opposed to an ethical one --
you know something is wrong. [John Ralston Saul] The Unconscious Civilization

The aims of scientific thought are to see the general in the particular
and the eternal in the transitory. [Alfred North Whitehead]

The question is not whether man descended from the apes
...but when he's going to quit descending.

Science tells us what we have reason to believe. Not what we have a duty to believe.
Not what experts, in their pontificating wisdom, instruct us to believe.
Not what some admired authority, like Albert Einstein or Stephen Hawking, believes.
No, science tells us what there is good REASON to believe. [Richard Dawkins]

We do not ask to be born; and we do not ask to die. But born we are and die we must.
We come into existence and we pass out of existence. And in neither case does
high-handed fate await our ratification of its decree. [Corliss Lamont]

The educated man ceases to be religious. [Percy Bysshe Shelley]

Those who invalidate reason ought seriously to consider whether they argue against reason
with or without reason; if with reason, then they establish the principle that they are laboring to
dethrone: but if they argue without reason (which, in order to be consistent with themselves they
must do), they are out of reach of rational conviction, nor do they deserve a rational argument.
[Ethan Allen] (1738-1789)

[John Catalano] The World of Richard Dawkins

Faith is powerful enough to immunize people against all appeals to pity, to forgiveness,
to decent human feelings. It even immunizes them against fear, if they honestly believe that
a martyr's death will send them straight to heaven. What a weapon! Religious faith deserves
a chapter to itself in the annals of war technology, on an even footing with the longbow,
the warhorse, the tank, and the hydrogen bomb. [Richard Dawkins] The Selfish Gene

Christian:  I'll pray for you.
Atheist:      Then I'll think for both of us

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 substitution of emotion for evidence is apt to lead
to strife, since different groups, substitute different emotions. [Bertrand Russell]

What I'm saying is, if God wanted to send us a message, and ancient writings were
the only way he could think of doing it, he could have done a better job.
Dr. Arroway in [Carl Sagan's] Contact (New York: Pocket Books 1985)

A fact never went into partnership with a miracle. Truth scorns the assistance of wonders.
A fact will fit every other fact in the universe, and that is how you can tell whether it
is or is not a fact. A lie will not fit anything except another lie.
[Robert G. Ingersoll]

Beware of the man of one book. [Thomas Aquinas]

The Declaration of Independence was a denial, and the first denial of a nation,
of the infamous dogma that God confers the right upon one man to govern others.
[Robert G. Ingersoll] Individuality

The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is
no good evidence either way. Persecution is used in theology, not in arithmetic.
[Bertrand Russell]

Being omnipotent means never having to say you're sorry.

One might be asked- How can you prove that a god does not exist?
One can only reply that it is scarcely necessary to disprove what has never been proved.
[David A. Spitz]

    Your petitioners are Atheists and they define their ideas as follows.
An Atheist loves his fellow man instead of a god. An Atheist knows
that heaven is something for which we should work now--here on earth
--for all men together to enjoy. An Atheist knows that he can get no help
through prayer but that he must find within himself the inner conviction
and strength to meet life, to grapple with it, to subdue it and to enjoy it.
An Atheist knows that only in a knowledge of himself and a knowledge of
his fellow man can he find the understanding that will help to a life of fulfillment.
     An Atheist seeks to know himself then and his fellow rather than to know a god.
An Atheist understands that a hospital must be built instead of a church.
An Atheist knows that a deed must be done instead of a prayer said.
An Atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death.
He wants disease conquered, poverty vanquished, war eliminated.
He wants man to understand, love and accept all of mankind. He wants
an ethical way of life. He knows that we cannot rely on a god, channel
action into prayer, or hope for an end to our troubles in a hereafter.
He knows that we are not only our brother's keepers--but keepers of our own
lives foremost, that we are responsible persons and that the job is here
and the time is now. [Murray vs. Curlett]374 U.S. 203 (1963)

He that supps with the devil must have a long spoon. --E. K. Hornbeck [Inherit The Wind]

...And let us do away forever with the idea that to care for the sick, for the helpless is charity.
It is not a charity. It is a duty. It is something to be done for our own sakes. It is no more
a charity than it is to pave or light the streets, no more charity than it is to have a system of
sewers.  It is all for the purpose of protecting society and of civilizing ourselves.
[Robert G. Ingersoll]

Somehow, the Bible forgets to tell us that Noah's family was lousy, poxy, and had
the crabs. An oversight, I guess. [Joel Hanes]

Would an infinitely wise, good and powerful God, intending to produce man,
commence with the lowest possible forms of life; with the simplest organism that can be
imagined, and during immeasurable periods of time, slowly and almost imperceptibly
improve upon the rude beginning, until man was evolved? Would countless ages thus be
wasted in the production of awkward forms, afterwards abandoned? Can the intelligence of man
discover the least wisdom in covering the earth with crawling, creeping horrors, that live only
upon the agonies and pangs of others? Can we see the propriety of so constructing the earth,
that only an insignificant portion of its surface is capable of producing an intelligent man?
Who can appreciate the mercy of so making the world that all animals devour animals;
so that every mouth is a slaughter house, and every stomach a tomb?
Is it possible to discover infinite intelligence and love in universal and eternal carnage?
[Robert G. Ingersoll]

It seems to me that with or without religion good people will behave well
and bad people will do evil things. But for good people to do evil things,
that takes religion. [Steven Weinberg]

The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores
the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries.
[James Madison]

I think there's been great harm done by using some of the discoveries of science.
But I think there's a profound difference between the role of science in this respect
and that of religion. Science merely amplifies the capabilities of human beings.
Science gives us the ability to do ill and to do good more than we had, and to question
science in this respect is like questioning whether people ought to have two hands
or just one, because with two hands they could do more evil than they can with just one.
[Steven Weinberg]

On the dogmas of religion, as distinguished from moral principles, all mankind, from the
beginning of the world to this day, have been quarreling, fighting, burning and torturing one
another for abstractions unintelligible to themselves and to all others, and absolutely beyond
the comprehension of the human mind. [Thomas Jefferson]

They express a preference for 'natural' methods of population limitation,
and a natural method is exactly what they are going to get.  It is called starvation.
[Richard Dawkins] The Selfish Gene

It is error alone that needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.
[Thomas Jefferson] Notes on Virginia, 1782

<In regard to the Trinity>; Tom, had you and I been 40 days with Moses, and beheld the great
God, and even if God himself had tried to tell us that three was one . . . and one equals three,
you and I would never have believed it. We would never fall victims to such lies.
[John Adams] letter to Thomas Jefferson

I do not believe that any type of religion should ever be introduced into the public schools
of the United States. [Thomas Edison]

There may be Gods, but they care not what men do."
[Henry David Thoreau]

Men rarely (if ever) manage to dream up a god superior to themselves.
Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child."
[Robert A. Heinlein] Notebooks of Lazarus Long

A strange mystery it is that Nature, omnipotent but blind, in the revolutions of her secular
hurryings through the abysses of space, has brought forth at last a child, subject still
to her power, but gifted with sight, with knowledge of good and evil, with the capacity
of judging all the works of his unthinking Mother. In spite of Death, the mark and seal
of the parental control, Man is yet free, during his brief years, to examine, to criticize,
to know, and in imagination to create. To him alone, in the world with which he is
acquainted, this freedom belongs; and in this lies his superiority to the resistless forces
that control his outward life....
....on him and all his race the slow, sure doom falls pitiless and dark. Blind to good and evil,
reckless of destruction, omnipotent matter rolls on its relentless way; for Man, condemned
to-day to lose his dearest, to-morrow himself to pass through the gate of darkness, it remains
only to cherish, ere yet the blow falls, the lofty thoughts that ennoble his little day;
disdaining the coward terrors of  the slave of fate, to worship at the shrine that his own
hands have built; undismayed by the empire of chance, to preserve a mind free from the
wanton tyranny that rules his outward life; proudly defiant of the irresistible forces that tolerate,
for a moment, his knowledge and his condemnation, to sustain alone, a weary but unyielding Atlas,
the world that his own ideals have fashioned despite the trampling march of unconscious power.
[Bertrand Russell] A free Man's Worship 1903

Religion is a major weapon in the war against reality.

The trouble with born-again Christians is that they are an even bigger pain
-the second time around. [Herb Caen]

Although it is said that faith can move mountains, experience shows that dynamite works better."

A book is made from a tree. It is an assemblage of flat, flexible parts (still called "leaves")
imprinted with dark pigmented squiggles. One glance at it and you hear the voice
of another person-perhaps someone dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia,
the author is speaking, clearly and silently, inside your head, directly to you.
Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people,
citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another. Books break the shackles of time,
proof that humans can work magic.
[Carl Sagan] The Persistence of Memory, Cosmos

Atheism is a non-Prophet Organization

I have seen several entirely sincere people who thought they were (permanent)
Seekers after Truth. They sought diligently, persistently, carefully, cautiously,
profoundly, with perfect honesty and nicely adjusted judgment
--until they believed that without doubt or question they had found the Truth.
That was the end of the search.  The man spent the rest of his life hunting up shingles
wherewith to protect his Truth from the weather. If he was seeking after political Truth
he found it in one or another of the hundred political gospels which govern men in the earth;
if he was seeking after the Only True Religion he found it in one or another of the
three thousand that are on the market. In any case, when he found the Truth he sought
no further; but from that day forth, with his soldering-iron in one hand and his bludgeon
in the other he tinkered its leaks and reasoned with objectors."
[Mark Twain] What is Man?

The theory that you should always treat the religious convictions of other people with
respect finds no support in the Gospels.
[Arnold Lunn] British author (1888-1974)

My dog was first in his class at Harvard Divinity School.
[bumper sticker] a general sort of way everyone knew they were going to die,
even the common people. No one knew where you were before you were born,
but when you were born, it wasn't long before you found you'd arrived
with your return ticket already punched.
[Terry Prachet] Reaper Man

Faith: Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge,
of things without parallel. [Ambrose Bierce]

It was the schoolboy who said, 'Faith is believing what you know ain't so'.
[Mark Twain]

Look, friends, the only possible way to enjoy life is not to be afraid to die.
A zest for living requires a willingness to die; you cannot have the first without the second.
The '60s and '70s and '80s and '90s can be loaded with the zest for living, high excitement,
and gutsy adventure for any truly human person. "Truly human"? I mean you descendants
of cavemen who outlasted the saber-tooth, you who sprang from the loins of the Vikings,
you whose ancestors fought the Crusades and were numbered the Golden Horde.
Death is the lot of all of us and the only way the human race has ever conquered death
is by treating it with contempt. By living every golden minute as if one had all eternity.
[Robert A. Heinlein] World Science Fiction Convention Speach, Seattle, 1961

The church must take from the New Testament the supernatural;
the idea that an intellectual conviction can subject an honest man to eternal pain;
the awful doctrine that the innocent can justly suffer for the guilty, and (it should) allow
the remainder to be discussed, denied or believed without punishment and without reward.
No one will object to the preaching of kindness, honesty and justice.
To preach less is a crime, and to practice more is impossible.
[Robert G. Ingersoll] What We Must Do to Be Saved (1880)

Moral indignation:  jealousy with a halo. [H.G. Wells]

It is contended by many that ours is a Christian government, founded upon the Bible,
and that all who look upon that book as false or foolish are destroying the foundation
of our country.   The truth is, our government is not founded upon the rights of gods,
but upon the rights of men.  Our Constitution was framed, not to declare and uphold
the deity of Christ, but the sacredness of humanity.  Ours is the first government
made by the people for the people.  [Robert G. Ingersoll]

It is possible to pay another man's debts on his behalf, but it is not
possible to make a guilty man innocent by suffering in his place."
[Carl Lofmark] What is the Bible?

Animals learn death first at the moment of death;...
man approaches death with the knowledge it is closer every hour,
and this creates a feeling of uncertainty over his life, even for him
who forgets in the business of life that annihilation is awaiting him.
It is for this reason chiefly that we have philosophy and religion."
[Arthur Schopenhauer]

We are surrounded and embraced by her:
powerless to separate ourselves from her,
and powerless to penetrate beyond her.
Without asking, or warning,
she snatches us up into her circling dance,
and whirls us on, until we are tired
and drop from her arms.

The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment
by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.
[Judge Louis Brandeis ]

"In God We Trust."
'I don't believe it would sound any better if it were true.'
[Mark Twain]

...The alternative is to suppose not "intelligent design"
but, at best, "whimsical design" and, at worst, "sadistic design."
[Philip Kitcher]

Pass the Lord and Praise the Ammunition [Ed Sorel]

This is no time for making new enemies
[Voltaire] (on his deathbed, after being asked to renounce the Devil.).

Maybe nature, though dominated by darkness, has always contained
seeds of light, seeds of intellect and love, which over the ages grow
until they transcend their base embodiment.
[Robert Wright]

What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday
and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow.
Our life is the creation of our mind.

Belief is one of the most powerful organtic forces in the multiverse.
It may not be able to move mountains exactly.
But it can create someone who can.
[Terry Prachet] Reaper Man

Death stood alone, watching the wheat dance in the wind.
Of course, it was only a metaphor. People were more than corn.
They whirled through tiny crowded lives, driven literally by clockwork,
filling their days from edge to edge with the sheer effort of living.
And all lives were exactly the same length.  Even the very long
and very short ones... From the point of view of eternity, anyway.
[Terry Prachet] Reaper Man

It may be that ministers really think that their prayers do good and it may be that frogs 
imagine that their croaking brings spring. [
Robert G. Ingersoll]

It's easier for the eye of a rich man to pass through a camel
than for a needle to enter heaven.

They say that God is everywhere, and yet we always think of Him 
as somewhat of a recluse. [Emily Dickinson]

While human life, resulting from a series of evolutionary accidents,
is arguably meaningless, individual human lives are not. Those accidents
have bequeathed an extraordinary degree of consciousness, which in turn
has granted us an enhanced capacity for both sympathy and suffering.
Using the one to relieve the other invests our lives with a purpose which
surely requires no celestial justification. Nor do we need God to tell us
to protect other species and beautiful landscapes:
we can do so simply because we love them.
[George Monbiot] The Guardian, May 25, 2000

We need higher-order thinking skills to distinguish;
rational beliefs from superstitions;
science from folklore;
theory from dogma;
evidence from propaganda;
probability from certainty;
data from assertions;
credibility from incredibility.

Wherever we see the hand of man, of directed intelligence, at work, 
we see a collapsing of complexity, the smooth monoculture 
of suburban lawns, the reduction of diversity in service to efficiency: 
invariably, the selection of the one right or optimal path to the solution 
of an object, as opposed to the multiform, multipath fuzzy logic of 
unceasing attempts over generations to approximately solve life's puzzles, 
in necessarily many different ways, all at once. Look at our DNA! Vast spaces 
of our genetic inheritance include left over droplets of abandoned code, 
both self-generated and acquired from viral infections in the dim days 
on the Savannah as we grew into our dubious humanity. A life-stew 
in which the animal, the bacterial, and the viral are mashed together, 
cooked and stirred: and not crafted. [Jack Baltimore]

A theologian is like a blind person in a dark room searching for a black cat 
which isn't there... and finding it!

Why is it that almost every human culture yet discovered has found it 
necessary to believe in an afterlife of some sort, but not a 
'before-life?' Why are there so many versions of Heaven, Paradise and 
The Great Beyond, but almost none about The Great Before ...
[Judith Hayes] Where Were You Before You Were You?

What was the creator thinking of when he put nipples on men?

The human race is intoxicated with narrow victories, for life itself 
is a string of them, like pearls that hit the floor when the rope breaks, 
and roll away in perfection and anarchy. 
[Mark Helprin] Memoir From Antproof Case

What was God doing (in His Time) for an eternity in His past 
before He Created the Universe Ex Nihilo?  God existed by Himself 
through an Eternity before the Creation without needing a Universe. 
Why did He suddenly desire to create the Universe?
[Peter A. Angeles] The Problem of God: A Short Introduction

Take from the church the miraculous, the supernatural, 
the incomprehensible, the unreasonable, the impossible, 
the unknowable, the absurd, and nothing but a vacuum remains.
Robert G. Ingersoll

Some would ask, how could a perfect God create a universe filled 
with so much that is evil.  They have missed a greater conundrum: 
why would a perfect God create a universe at all?
[Sister Miriam Godwinson] But for the Grace of God

Imagine a vine that grows at one end and decays at the other. 
The end that grows is heresy, the end that rots is orthodox. 
The dead are orthodox, and your cemetery is the most perfect type 
of a well regulated church.   No thought, no progress, no heresy there. 
Slowly and silently, side by side, the satisfied members peacefully decay. 
There is only this difference - the dead do not persecute.
Robert G. Ingersoll] Heretics and Heresy

What schools need is a moment of SCIENCE. [bumper sticker]

I believe in life BEFORE death.  [bumper sticker]

Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man. [Thomas Paine]

Each of us is a tiny being, permitted to ride on the outermost skin of 
one of the smaller planets for a few dozen trips around the local star. 
...The longest-lived organisms on Earth endure for about a millionth 
of the age of our planet.  A bacterium lives for one hundred-trillionth 
of that time. So of course the individual organisms see nothing of the 
overall pattern-continents, climate, evolution. They barely set foot on 
the world stage and are promptly snuffed out- "yesterday a drop of semen," 
as the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius wrote, "tomorrow a handful of ashes." 
If the Earth were as old as a person, a typical organism would be born, 
live, and die in a sliver of a second.  We are fleeting, transitional 
creatures, snowflakes fallen on the hearth fire.  That we understand 
even a little of our origins is one of the great triumphs of human 
insight and courage.
[Carl Sagan] Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, pp. 30-31

Religion is Myth-information.

I was born right the first time.  Bumper sticker

Labor is the only prayer that Nature answers."
[Robert G. Ingersoll

You have no right to erect your tollgate upon the highways of thought.
[Robert G. Ingersoll] The Ghosts", 1877   

Suppose a man had been convicted of murder, and was about to be hanged -- 
the governor acting as the executioner; and suppose that just as the doomed 
man was about to suffer death some one in the crowd should step forward 
and say, "I am willing to die in the place of that murderer. He has a family, 
and I have none." And suppose further, that the governor should reply, 
"Come forward, young man, your offer is accepted. A murder has been 
committed and somebody must be hung, and your death will satisfy 
the law just as well as the death of the murderer."
This doctrine is the consummation of two outrages -- 
forgiving one crime and committing another.
[Robert G. Ingersoll] Heretics and heresies

Beauty in things exists in the mind which contemplates them.
[David Hume] (1711-1776)

Extremism means borders beyond which life ends,
and a passion for extremism, in art and in politics,
is a veiled longing for death.
[Milan Kundera]

There is to me no evidence of the existence of any power superior to Nature.  
In my opinion the supernatural does not exist. Still, we can wish in spite of, 
or against, evidence, and we can hope without it.
[Robert G. Ingersoll] 1899

People go to church for the same reasons they go to a tavern: 
to stupefy themselves, to forget their misery, to imagine themselves, 
for a few minutes anyway, free and happy.
[Mikhail Aleksandrovich Bakunin] 1814-1876

Not a single one of your ancestors died young. 
They all copulated at least once.
[Richard Dawkins

The notion that faith in Christ is to be rewarded by an eternity of bliss, 
while a dependence upon reason, observation and experience merits 
everlasting pain, is too absurd for refutation, and can be relieved only 
by that unhappy mixture of insanity and ignorance, called "faith."
[Robert G. Ingersoll] The Gods

I admit that reason is a small and feeble flame, a flickering torch by stumblers 
carried in the starless night, -- blown and flared by passion's storm, 
-- and yet, it is the only light. Extinguish that, and nought remains.
[Robert G. Ingersoll]

Everybody hates death, fears death, but only those, the believers who 
know the life after death and the reward after death, would be 
the ones who will be seeking death.
[Mohamed Atta]  in a hand-written document found in luggage 
belonging to Atta which had been placed on the wrong plane,

I have always noticed that the people who have the smallest souls 
make the most fuss about getting them saved.
[Robert G. Ingersoll]

Belief is not a voluntary thing. A man believes or disbelieves in spite of himself. 
They tell us that to believe is the safe way;  but I say, the safe way is to be honest."
[Robert G. Ingersoll] Some Reasons Why I Am a Freethinker", 1881

You are never dedicated to something you have complete confidence in.
(No one is fanatically shouting that the sun is going to rise tomorrow.
They know it's going to rise tomorrow.) When people are fanatically dedicated
to political or religious faiths or any other kinds of dogmas or goals,
it's always because these dogmas or goals are in doubt.
[Robert M. Pirsig], Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance.

[George Bernard Shaw] is said to have remarked after observing the objects 
cast off by visitors to Lourdes, 'all those canes, braces and crutches, 
and not a single glass eye, wooden leg or toupée.'

No man with any sense of humor ever founded a religion.
[Robert G. Ingersoll]

The fossil record shows that the Genesis version of creation is manifestly wrong 
if read
literally, and one is left either questioning the authority of the Bible or 
recognising that it is a prolonged exercise in metaphor - 
and as such open to endless interpretation.
[Jerry Coyne]

In 1776 our fathers endeavored to retire the gods from politics. They declared 
that "all governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed."
This was a contradiction of the then political ideas of the world; it was, as many believed, 
an act of pure blasphemy...  [Robert G. Ingersoll]

We cannot trample upon others rights, without endangering our own; 
and no man who will take liberty from another, is great enough to enjoy liberty himself.
[Robert G. Ingersoll]

The order of things should be reversed; the seventh day should be the day of toil...
and the other six the Sabbath. [Thoreau]

The lover knows much more about absolute good and universal beauty than any logician 
or theologian, unless the latter, too, be lovers in disguise.
[George Santayana] The Life of Reason: Reason in Society

The cradle rocks above an abyss, and common sense tells us that our existence
is but a brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness. 
 [Vladimir Nabokov]  Speak Memory 1951

"Frustra fit perplura, quod fieri per pauciora".
     (It is vain to do with more what can be done with less.)
"Pluralitas non est ponenda sine neccesitate" 
     (Plurality should not be posited without necessity.)
[William of Occam] 1300-1349 (Occam's Razor)

Self-organization and emergence arise out of complex adaptive systems that grow 
and learn as they change. As a complex adaptive system, the cosmos may be one 
giant autocatalytic (self-driving) feedback loop that generates such emergent
properties as life. We can think of self-organization as an emergent property
and emergence as a form of self-organization.  Complexity is so simple
it can be put on a bumper sticker: life happens.
[Michael Shermer] Scientific American, Jan 2003

And yet, and yet . . . Denying temporal succession, denying the self,  denying the 
astronomical universe, are apparent desperations and secret consolations.  Our destiny 
is not frightful by being unreal; it is frightful because it is irreversible and iron-clad. 
Time is the substance of which I am made.  Time is a river which sweeps me along, 
but I am the river;  it is a tiger which destroys me, 
but I am the tiger; it is a fire which consumes me, 
but I am the fire.…
[Jorge Luis Borges] essay: "A New Refutation of Time," 1946

It is a conflict between competing certainties: 
between followers of Faith, who know because they believe, 
and followers of Reason, who believe because they know. 
[Edward Rothestein]

Fifty Percent of State Marriages End in Divorce. Are You Worried We Can Do Better?
[ Pro gay marriage sign- San Francisco city hall, 2/14/2004]

If we won't play god, who will?
[James Watson]
concerning the redress of "genetic injustice" on PBS-TV

Books won't stay banned. They won't burn. Ideas won't go to jail. 
In the long run of history,  the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. 
The only sure weapon against bad ideas is better ideas. The source 
of better ideas is wisdom. The surest path to wisdom is a liberal education.
Ralph Waldo Emerson]

....We therefore invoke this council and all of our leaders to be guided and inspired 
by the invaluable lessons of history, the honest insights of science, the guileless wisdom 
of logic, and the heart and soul of our shared humanity, compassion and tolerance.   
    So rather than clasping your hands, bowing your heads and closing your eyes, 
open your arms to that which truly makes us strong - our diversity.  Raise your heads 
and open your eyes to recognize and fully understand the problems before you and 
know that ultimately, solutions to human problems can come only from human beings.
[Michael R. Harvey]- Atheists of Florida to the Tampa City Council, July 2004

Seeing, contrary to popular wisdom, isn't believing. It's where belief stops,
because it isn't needed any more.
[Terry Pratchett] Pyramids

No man can regard the way of war as good. It has simply been our way.   
No man can evaluate the eternal contest of weapons as anything but the 
sheerest waste and the sheerest folly. It has been simply our only means 
of final arbitration.  Any man can suggest reasonable alternatives to the judgment 
of arms.  But we are not creatures of reason except in our own eyes.
[Robert Ardrey]

Religious belief rests on a foundation of faith.  Seeking empirical evidence 
for support of one's faith-biased beliefs therefore could be considered pointless.  
Or even blasphemous.
[Steve Mirsky] Scientific American Feb. 2005

CAUTION!  Dark ages in mirror may be closer than they appear.
[Steve Mirsky] Scientific American Feb. 2005

Were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science- 
the science against which it had vainly struggled- the civilization of 
modern Europe might fall as did that of Rome.
[Winston Churchill] As a reporter confronting Islamic terror in Sudan 1898

The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments 
erected on the simple principles of nature ... [In] the formation of the American
governments ... it will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service
had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of heaven ...
These governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses."
[John Adams]  A Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States, 1788.

I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief 
which the history of mankind has preserved -- the Cross. Consider what calamities 
that engine of grief has produced! [John Adams] in a letter to Thomas Jefferson

Feminist theologians tell us that God is female.
But what about the devil?  What about her?

Winston Churchill was brought up in the Church of England, but was never devout.
He once commented that he had made "so many deposits in the bank of Religion" as a youth,
that he had been "confidently withdrawing from it ever since, never bothering to check the
balance--there might indeed be an overdraft." In a short story written in 1947, Churchill
referred to himself as "Episcopalian" (the North American version of the Anglican Church),
which is an even more curious reference. Churchill's religion could best be described as an
"optimistic agnostic." He wrote once that he was "not a pillar of the Church but more of a
flying buttress--I support it from the outside."

Why should I allow that same God to tell me how to raise my kids, who had to drown His own?
[Robert Green Ingersoll]

But who prays for Satan?
Who, in eighteen centuries, has had the common humanity
to pray for the one sinner that needed it most?
[Mark Twain]

It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die.
That is true, it's called Life.
[Terry Pratchett]

When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.
[Sinclair Lewis]

The miracle of man is not how far he has sunk but how magnificently he has risen.
We are known among the stars by our poems, not our corpses. No creature who began
as a mathematical improbability, who was selected through millions of years of unprecedented
environmental hardship and change for ruggedness, ruthlessness, cunning, and adaptability,
and who in the short ten thousand years of what we may call civilization has achieved such
wonders as we find about us, may be regarded as a creature without promise.
[Robert Ardrey]  African Genesis

God didn't stop communicating truth vital to human well-being thousands
of years ago, when people preserved insights on animal skins.
God communicates through science. Facts are God's native tongue.
Who of us would let a first-century dentist fix our children's teeth?
Yet every day we let first-century theologians fill our children's brains.
[Michael Dowd]

I'm a polyatheist- there are many gods I don't believe in.
[Dan Fouts]

It says we the people, not we the people under God.

God has no power over the past except to cover it with oblivion.
[Pliny the Elder]

Whether we like it or not, we're all going to go (die).
The big question we still have to ask is not where we're going,
but what are we doing here in the first place? -Art Buchwald

The meaning of life is a life of meaning.

I shall tell you a great secret my friend. Do not wait for the last judgment,
it takes place every day.
- Albert Camus

...No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there.
And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it.
And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life.
It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new
is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be
cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.
   Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma-
which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions
drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your
heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.
Everything else is secondary.
- Steve Jobs Excerpt from his Commencement Address, Stanford University, 2005

After all, the real question is not whether the Bible is inspired, but whether it is true. If it is true,
it does not need to be inspired. If it is true, it makes no difference whether it was written by a
man or a god. The multiplication table is just as useful, just as true as though God had
arranged the figures himself. If the Bible is really true, the claim of inspiration need not be urged;
and if it is not true, its inspiration can hardly be established.
[Robert [Robert G. Ingersoll]

"For me the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish
. And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality
I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people. As far as my
experience goes, they are also no better than other human groups, although they are protected
from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything 'chosen' about them,"  
[Albert Einstein]
from handwritten letter in German to Jewish philosopher Eric B. Gutkind on
Jan. 3, 1954 as translated from German by Joan Stambaugh.

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

On the politics of austerity:  "I hear things like, 'You starve them now and they'll be
prosperous later.' I don't believe it for a minute. I mean, having seen life on earth,
seen how things go, I think that is just appalling, and we are doing nothing but
destroying the future when we deprive the vulnerable
Marilynne Robinson] The Economist, Dec 2013

If we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant,
then the tolerant will be destroyed, and the tolerance with them...  We should therefore
claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant.
[Karl Popper] philosopher

An idea isn’t responsible for the people who believe it.
[Don Marquis]

The Purpose of religion is to control yourself, not to criticize others.
[Dalai Lama]

Did you know that you can recycle your dog and cat poop?
It's easy!  Put it to good use and mail it to: 
Westbro Baptist Church
3701 SW 12th Street,
Topeka KS 66604

Remind yourself constantly of all the physicians, now dead, who used to knit their brows
over their ailing patients; of all the astrologers who so solemnly predicted their clients doom;
the philosophers who expatiated so endlessly on death and immortality; the great
commanders who slew their thousands; the despots who wielded powers of life and death
with such terrible arrogance, as if themselves were gods who could never die; whole cities
which have perished completely, Helices, Pompeii, Herculaneum, and other without number.
After that recall one by one each of your own acquaintances; how one buried another,
only to be laid low himself and buried in turn by a third, all in so brief a space of time.
Observe in short how transient and trivial is all mortal life; yesterday a drop of semen,
tomorrow a handful of spice and ashes
. Spend therefore, these fleeting moments on earth
as nature would have you spend them, and then go to your rest with good grace,
as an olive falls in its season, with the blessing for the earth that bore it and a thanksgiving
to the tree that gave it life.”
[Marcus Aurelius] - Roman Emperor

Fear does not prevent death, fear prevents life.
[Ibrahim Eissa].

An interesting list of Famous Dead Non-theists and Wikipedia List of Atheists

Chuck Williamson- 2017/03/25

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