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If we ever opened a meeting with a prayer,
silent or otherwise, we would disintegrate.
I feel most ministers who claim they've heard God's voice are eating too much pizza before they go to bed at night, and it's really an intestinal disorder, not a revelation.
'Tis a strange thing, Sam, that among us people can't agree the whole week, because
they go different ways upon Sundays.
Necessity, the mother of invention.
For Lent, when I was younger, I gave up Happy Days. Now I'm an atheist.
If miracles be incredible, Christianity is false. If Christ wrought no miracles,
then the Gospels are untrustworthy.
You get born and you try this and you don't know why, only you keep on trying it
and you are born at the same time with a lot of other people, all mixed up with them, like trying to, having to, move your arms and legs with strings, only the same strings are hitched to all the other arms and legs and the others all trying and they
don't know why either except that the strings are all in one another's way ... and it can't matter, you know that, or the Ones [that set up the strings] would have arranged things a little better, and yet it must matter because you keep trying.
My father said that the reason for living is getting ready to stay dead.
If god wanted people to believe in him, why'd he invent logic then?
A myth is a religion in which no one any longer believes.
Once you sacrifice your rights, it's
hard to get those rights protected again.
Like many people, I have no religion, and I am just sitting in a small boat drifting
with the tide. I live in the doubts of my duty.... I think there is dignity in this, just to go on working.... Today we stand naked, defenseless, and more alone than at any time in history. We are waiting for something, perhaps another miracle, perhaps
the Martians. Who knows?
Real religion should be something that liberates men. But churches don't want free men who can
think for themself and find their own divinity within. When a religion becomes organized it is no longer a religious experience but only superstition and estrangement.
Personal religious convictions have no place in political
campaigns or in dictating public policy.
We are a religious nation because we do not have a state religion, because the government guarantees freedom of religion but has no role in religion, because not only do we tolerate our religious
differences, we celebrate them.
Francisco Ferrer (1859–1909)
When the masses become better informed about science, they will feel less need for help form
supernatural Higher Powers. The need for religion will end when man becomes sensible enough to govern himself.
It is a conspicuous fact in our modern Christian society that as a result and cumulation of our partriarchal development, the woman does not belong to herself.... Man has made her a perpetual
When thier god
and his exploiters cease to be adored and served, we shall live like comrades in mutual affection.
I desire that on no occasion ... shall demonstrations of a political or religious character be made before my remains.
Let no more gods or exploiters be served Let us learn rather to love one another.
If therefore my work is negative, irreligious, atheistic, let it be remembered that atheism
-- at least in the sense of this work -- is the secret of religion itself; that religion itself, not indeed on the surface, but fundamentally, not in intention or according to its own supposition, but in its heart, in its essence, believes in nothing
else than the truth and divinity of human nature.
My only wish is... to transform friends of God into friends of man, believers into thinkers, devotees of prayer into devotees of work, candidates for the hereafter into students of the world, Christians
who, by their own admission, are "half animal, half angel" into persons, into whole persons.
Christianity has in fact long vanished, not only from the reason but also from the life of mankind, and it is nothing more than a fixed idea.
Whenever morality is based on theology, whenever right is made dependent on divine authority, the most immoral, unjust, infamous things can be justified and established.
It is as clear as the sun and as evident as the day that there is no God and that there can be none.
There is no God, it is clear as the sun and as evident as the day that there is no God, and still more that there can be none.
Only he is a truly ethical, a truly human being, who has the courage to see through his
own religious feelings and needs.
Faith is essentially intolerant ... essentially because necessarily bound up with faith is the illusion that one's cause is also God's cause.
Religion is the dream of the human mind. But even in dreams we do not find ourselves in emptiness or in heaven, but on earth, in the realm of reality; we only see real things in the entrancing splendor
of imagination and caprice, instead of in the simple daylight of reality and necessity.
The present age ... prefers the sign to the thing signified, the copy to the original, fancy to reality, the appearance to the essence ... for in these days illusion only is sacred, truth profane.
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.
As you know, a theory in physics is not useful unless it is able to predict underlined effects which we would otherwise expect.
Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself.
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
In those days, in Far Rockaway, there was a youth center for Jewish kids at the temple.... Somebody nominated me for president of the youth center. The elders began getting nervous, because I was an
avowed atheist by that time.... I thought nature itself was so interesting that I didn't want it distorted like that [by miracle stories]. And so I gradually came to disbelieve the whole religion.
No! Not for a second! I immediately began to think how
this could have happened. And I realized that the clock was old and was always breaking. That the clock probably stopped some time before and the nurse coming in to the room to record the time of death would have looked at the clock and
jotted down the time from that. I never made any supernatural connection, not even for a second. I just wanted to figure out how it happened.
By honest I don't mean that you only tell what's true. But you make clear the entire situation. You make clear all the information that is required for somebody else who is intelligent to make up their
Once we were driving in the midwest and we pulled into a McDonald's. Someone came up to me and asked me why I have Feynman diagrams all over my van. I replied, "Because I am Feynman!" The
young man went, "Ahhhhh!"
James Feibleman (1904–1987)
A myth is a religion in which no one any longer believes.
I expect to see, on television, the porcine Governor of the State of Michigan
decrying to the whole world that my client [Jack Kevorkian] should be in jail for rendering kindness and compassion, primarily because the porcine Governor of the State of Michigan is a religious nut.
The greatest achievement ever made in the cause of human progress
is the total and final separation of church and state. If we had nothing else to boast of, we could lay claim with justice that first among the nations we of this country made it an article of organic law that the relations between man and his Maker were
a private concern, into which other men have no right to intrude.
There is no zeal blinder than that which impaired with the love of justice against offenders.
I am tolerant of all creeds. Yet if any sect suffered itself to be used for political objects
I would meet it by political opposition. In my view church and state should be separate, not only in form, but fact. Religion and politics should not be mingled.
Steiner: Opposed Religious School Aid
One point of contention between Fillmore and [William H] Seward was the division of the public school funds. The Catholics of New
York demanded a share of those funds for their parochial schools. Seward favored complying with their demand, but Fillmore resolutely refused to consent to the division of state school funds with sectarian educational institutions, thereby upholding
the American idea.
Is it honest for me to go and sit there on communion day and drink the wine and eat the bread while
feeling it all to be mummery?
One and all, the orthodox creeds are crumbling into ruins everywhere. We now witness the constructive work on a foundation that will endure through the ages. That foundation is the god of science
-- revealed to us in terms that will harmonize with our intelligence.
[Christianity entailed] a mass of metaphysical assumptions, wherein science was disowned, where reason was discredited, and where blind, unquestioning faith was regarded as the only passport to
true Christian knowledge.
Men have had the vanity to pretend that the whole creation was made for them, while in reality
the whole creation does not suspect their existence.
The supernatural does not exist.
Religious liberty in America means not only the right to pursue one's own beliefs, but freedom from compulsory taxation to foster the religious beliefs of others.
A proliferation of state-financed private and religious schools would greatly increase the tax burden on our citizenry. It would encourage racial, class and religious segregation, pitting one group
against another in the political arena in bitter competition for the tax dollar. It would invite religious conflicts and the inequities of Southern style school segregation.
The survival of free public education, the integrity of religious institutions, and the security of American democracy all demand an end to government financing of sectarian schools.
You cannot ... transmute some incoherent
mixture of words into sense merely by introducing the three-letter word "God" to be its grammatical subject.
If it is to be established that there is a God, then we have to have good grounds for believing that this is indeed so. Until and unless some such grounds are produced we have literally no reason at
all for believing; and in that situation the only reasonable posture must be that of either the negative atheist or the agnostic. So the onus of proof has to rest on the proposition [of theism].
Pascal makes no attempt in this most famous argument to show that his Roman Catholicism is true or probably true. The reasons which he suggests for making the recommended bet on his particular faith
are reasons in the sense of motives rather than reasons in [the] sense of grounds. Conceding, if only for the sake of the present argument, that we can have no knowledge here, Pascal tries to justify as prudent a policy of systematic self-persuasion,
rather than to provide grounds for thinking that the beliefs recommended are actually true.
In the ordinary, everyday understandings of the words involved, to say that someone survived death is to contradict yourself; while to assert that all of us live forever is to assert a manifest falsehood,
the flat contrary of a universally known truth: namely, the truth that all human beings are mortal. For when, after some disaster, the 'dead' and the 'survivors' have both been listed, what logical space remains for a third category?
However far back we may be able to trace the -- so to speak -- internal history of the Universe, there can be no question of arguing that this or that external origin is either probable or improbable.
We do not have, and we necessarily could not have, experience of other Universes to tell us that Universes, or Universes with these particular features, are the work of Gods, or of Gods of this or that particular sort.
Now, if anything at all can be known to be wrong, it seems to me to be unshakably certain that it would be wrong to make any sentient being suffer eternally for any offence whatever.
What would have to occur or to have occurred to constitute for you a disproof of the love of, or of the existence of, God?
Someone tells us that God loves us as a father loves his children. We are reassured. But then something awful happens. Some qualification is made.... We are reassured again. But then perhaps we ask:
what is this assurance of God's (appropriately qualified) love worth, what is this apparent guarantee really a guarantee against? Just what would have to happen not merely (morally and wrongly) to tempt but also (logically and rightly) to entitle us to
say "God does not love us" or even "God does not exist"?
Once upon a time two explorers came upon a clearing in the jungle. In the clearing were growing many
flowers and many weeds. One explorer says, "Some gardener must tend this plot." The other disagrees, "There is no gardener." So, they pitch their tents and set a watch. No gardener.... So they set up a barbed wire fence. They electrify
it. They patrol it with bloodhounds.... But no shrieks even suggest that some intruder has received a shock. No movements of the wire ever betray an invisible climber. The bloodhounds never give cry. Yet still the Believer is not convinced. "But
there is a gardener, invisible, intangible, insensible to electric shocks, a gardener who has no scent and makes no sound, a gardener who comes secretly to look after the garden which he loves." At last the Skeptic despairs, "But what remains
of your original assertion? Just how does what you call an invisible, intangible, eternally elusive gardener differ from an imaginary gardener or even no gardener at all?"
The word "atheism", however, has in this contention to be construed unusually. Whereas nowadays the usual meaning of "atheist" in English is "someone who asserts that there
is no such being as God", I want the word to be understood not positively but negatively. I want the originally Greek prefix "a" to be read in the same way in "atheist" as it customarily is read in such other Greco-English words
as "amoral", "atypical", and "asymmetrical". In this interpretation an atheist becomes: not someone who positively asserts the non-existence of God; but someone who is simply not a theist. Let us, for future ready reference,
introduce the labels "positive atheist" for the former and "negative atheist" for the latter.
The atheist is not necessarily a man who says, There is no God. What is called positive or dogmatic atheism, so far from being the only kind of atheism, is the rarest of all kinds.... [E]very
man is an atheist who does not believe that there is a God, although his want of belief may not be rested on any allegation of positive knowledge that there is no God, but simply on one of want of knowledge that there is a God.
The word atheist is a thoroughly honest, unambiguous term. It means one who does not believe in God, and it means neither more nor less.
The Subtle Fulmination of the Encircled Sea
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