Tag Archives: Religion

Thoughts of the Day

Current Mood:

“In Philadelphia, I inadvertently came upon an edition of Robert Ingersoll’s Essays and Lectures. This was an exciting discovery; his atheism confirmed my own belief that the horrific cruelty of the Old Testament was degrading to the human spirit.”
— Charlie Chaplain, My Autobiography (1964), cited in Who’s Who in Hell by Warren Allen Smith

“The thoughts of the gods are not more unchangeable than those of the men who interpret them. They advance—but they always lag behind the thoughts of men. . . . The Christian God was once a Jew. Now he is an anti-Semite.”
— Anatole France, letter to the Freethought Congress at Paris (1905), cited by Joseph McCabe, Biographical Dictionary of Modern Rationalists

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“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. . . . Do not be frightened from this inquiry by any fear of its consequences. If it ends in a belief that there is no God, you will find inducements to virtue in the comfort and pleasantness you feel in its exercise, and the love of others which it will procure you.”
— Thomas Jefferson’s letter to nephew Peter Carr, written from Paris, Aug. 10, 1787
“Free thought means fearless thought. It is not deterred by legal penalties, nor by spiritual consequences. Dissent from the Bible does not alarm the true investigator, who takes truth for authority not authority for truth. The thinker who is really free, is independent; he is under no dread; he yields to no menace; he is not dismayed by law, nor custom, nor pulpits, nor society—whose opinion appals so many. He who has the manly passion of free thought, has no fear of anything, save the fear of error.”
— George Jacob Holyoake, The Origin and Nature of Secularism, Ch. 3 (1896)

“Gullibility and credulity are considered undesirable qualities in every department of human life—except religion . . . Why are we praised by godly men for surrendering our ‘godly gift’ of reason when we cross their mental thresholds? . . . Atheism strikes me as morally superior, as well as intellectually superior, to religion. Since it is obviously inconceivable that all religions can be right, the most reasonable conclusion is that they are all wrong.”
— Christopher Hitchens, “The Lord and the Intellectuals,” Harper’s (July 1982), cited by James A. Haught in 2,000 Years of Disbelief (1996)

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“When one guy sees an invisible man he’s a nut case. Ten people see him it’s a cult. Ten million people see him it’s a respected religion.”
— Richard Jeni, from richardjeni.com

“That’s all religion is — some principle you believe in . . . man has accomplished far more miracles than the God he invented. What a tragedy it is to invent a God and then suffer to keep him King.”
— Rod Steiger, in Playboy magazine (July interview, 1969)

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Thoughts of the Day

Current Mood:Contemplative emoticon Contemplative & Reflective emoticon Reflective

“I brought the case because I wanted to encourage toleration among my children. I certainly did not want teachers who have control over my children for at least eight hours over the day to . . . program them into any religious philosophy.”

— Ishmael Jaffree, acceptance speech for “Freethinker of the Year 1985,” awarded by the Freedom From Religion Foundation

“The greatest difference between the Humanist ethic and that of Christianity and the traditional religions is that it is entirely based on happiness in this one and only life and not concerned with a realm of supernatural immortality and the glory of God. Humanism denies the philosophical and psychological dualism of soul and body and contends that a human being is a oneness of mind, personality, and physical organism. Christian insistence on the resurrection of the body and personal immortality has often cut the nerve of effective action here and now, and has led to the neglect of present human welfare and happiness.”

— Corliss Lamont, “The Affirmative Ethics of Humanism,” The Humanist, March/April 1980

“I’m a nonbeliever. I don’t believe in the existence of a God. I don’t believe in the Christian dogma. I find it horrifyingly silly.The intolerance that flows from organized religion is the most dangerous thing on the planet.”

— Jane Rule, Brave Souls: Writers and Artists Wrestle with God, Love, Death and the Things that Matter by Douglas Todd (1996), cited by Celebrity Atheists website.

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“Being an atheist is a matter not of moral choice, but of human obligation.”
— John Fowles, quoted in The New York Times Book Review (May 31, 1998)

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Thought of The Day

Current Mood:Contemplative emoticon Contemplative

“My respect for the Abrahamic religions went up in the smoke and choking dust of September 11th. The last vestige of respect for the taboo disappeared as I watched the ‘Day of Prayer’ in Washington Cathedral, where people of mutually incompatible faiths united in homage to the very force that caused the problem in the first place: religion. It is time for people of intellect, as opposed to people of faith, to stand up and say ‘Enough!’ Let our tribute to the dead be a new resolve: to respect people for what they individually think, rather than respect groups for what they were collectively brought up to believe.”

— “Time to Stand Up,” written for the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Sept. 2001. See Dawkins’s Emperor Has No Clothes Award.

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Thoughts of the Day

Current Mood:

“. . . the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion . . .”

— Treaty of Tripoli, negotiated and co-written by Joel Barlow, U.S. Counsel to Algiers, ratified in 1797

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“It’s an incredible con job, when you think of it, to believe something now in exchange for life after death. Even corporations, with all their reward systems, don’t try to make it posthumous.”

— Gloria Steinem, interview with Annie Laurie Gaylor, The Feminist Connection, November 1980 (Madison, Wisconsin)

“From my point of view, I would ban religion completely. The reality is that organized religion doesn’t seem to work. It turns people into hateful lemmings and it’s not really compassionate.”

— Sir Elton John quoted in Observer Music Monthly Magazine in an interview with Scissor Sisters’ Jake Shears, Nov. 2006

“During the ages, no rebellion has been of like importance with that of Woman against the tyranny of the Church and State; none has had its far reaching effects. We note its beginning; its progress will overthrow every existing form of these institutions; its end will be a regenerated world.”

— Woman, Church and State by Matilda Joslyn Gage (1893)

God Isn’t Real

A world filled with wonder, a cold, fathomless sky
A man’s life so meager, he can but wonder why
He cries out to Heaven its truth to reveal
The answer: only silence, for God isn’t real.

Go ask the starving millions under Stalin’s cruel reign
Go ask the child with cancer who eases her pain
Then go to your churches, if that’s how you feel
But don’t ask me to follow, for God isn’t real.

He forms in his image a weak and foolish man
Speaks to him in symbols that few understand
For a life of devotion, the death blow he deals
We’d owe Him only hatred, but God isn’t real.

Go tell the executioner of the power he can’t defy
Go tell his shackled victim of the mercy on high. . .
Then go to your churches, go beg, pray, and kneel,
But don’t ask me to follow, for God isn’t real.

No, no matter how He should be, God isn’t real.
— Robbie Fulks, “God Isn’t Real”

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Thoughts of The Day

Current Mood:

“A religious person is a dangerous person. He may not become a thief or a murderer, but he is liable to become a nuisance. He carries with him many foolish and harmful superstitions, and he is possessed with the notion that it is his duty to give these superstitions to others. That is what makes trouble. Nothing is so worthless as superstition. . . .”
— Marilla M. Ricker, “Science Against Creeds,” I Am Not Afraid Are You? (1917). Read more about Marilla M. Ricker in Women Without Superstition: No Gods – No Masters.

 

“There is no such source and cause of strife, quarrel, fights, malignant opposition, persecution, and war, and all evil in the state as religion. Let it once enter our civil affairs, our government would soon be destroyed. Let it once enter our common schools, they would be destroyed . . . Those who made our Constitution saw this, and used the most apt and comprehensive language in it to prevent such a catastrophe.”
— Justice H.S. Orton of the Supreme Court of Wisconsin, concurring opinion in Weiss v. the District Board, decided on March 18, 1890, ruling bible readings and devotionals in public schools unconstitutional