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Johannes Kepler (1571–1630)
German astronomer who discovered that planetary orbits are ellipses

Johannes KeplerIn theology we must consider the predominance of authority; in philosophy the predominance of reason.
-- Johannes Kepler, Astronomia nova, 1609, quoted from James A Haught, ed, 2000 Years of Disbelief

When miracles are admitted, every scientific explanation is out of the question.
-- Johannes Kepler, from Rufus K Noyes, Views of Religion, quoted from James A Haught, ed, 2000 Years of Disbelief

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John Kerry
US Presidential Candidate (2004); received the most votes of any candidate but still lost the election

John KerryI am not a spokesperson for the church and the church is not a spokesperson for the United States of America. I'm running for president and I'm running to uphold the Constitution, which has a strict separation of church and state.
-- John Kerry, a Roman Catholic, after the nation's Roman Catholic bishops in a statement declaring that lawmakers who support abortion rights are "cooperating in evil," gave their priests the option of denying communion to any politician who supports abortion rights, in Helen Thomas, "It's Not a Vote to Decide Who's Holier" (The Houston [Texas] Chronicle: June 24, 2004)

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Gerald Kersh (1911–1968)
British author, journalist; author of Fowler's End and, he once estimated, over 5000 other articles, stories, and books

Gerald KershI can't believe in the God of my Fathers. If there is one Mind which understands all things, it will comprehend me in my unbelief. I don't know whose hand hung Hesperus in the sky, and fixed the Dog Star, and scattered the shining dust of Heaven, and fired the sun, and froze the darkness between the lonely worlds that spin in space.
-- Gerald Kersh, They Die With Their Boots Clean, pt. 3, "Old Silence" (1941)

There are men whom one hates until there comes a day when, through a chink in their armor, you see something nailed down and writhing in torment.
-- Gerald Kersh (attributed: source unknown)

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Kewlgurrl
Someone on the Internet

Ignorance is to religion what horse manure is to posies. But it's still horse manure.
-- Kewlgurrl (posted on the Internet)

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Dr Jack Kevorkian (born 1928)
American pathologist; history's foremost student of the process of dying; easily the most widely recognized advocate of a terminal patient's right to die via controlled physician-assisted suicide; whether by compassion or to make a point, Kevorkian assisted as many as 130 terminal patients in the face of long, draconian, politically motivated prison terms; Dr Kevorkian served eight years and two and a half months of a 10-year sentence for assisting a suicide in the state of Michigan, where suicide itself violates no laws
.

Jack Kevorkian, speaking to attorney Jeffrey Feiger (not shown): color by Cliff Walker from an existing printDespite the solace of hypocritical religiosity and its seductive promise of an after-life of heavenly bliss, most of us will do anything to thwart the inevitable victory of biological death.
-- Jack Kevorkian, describing his painting, "Nearer My God To Thee" (shown below), quoted from Cliff Walker, "I Can Think of Life, and Nothing Else"

Dying is not a crime.
-- Jack Kevorkian, quoted from Betzold, Michel, Appointment with Doctor Death. (Troy, Michigan: Momentum Books, 1993)

Clear Spacer, Special (Kevorkian)
Short Graphic Rule
Nearer My God to Thee
Short Graphic Rule

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Daniil Kharms [Daniil Ivanovich Yuvachov] (1905–1942)
Leningrad avant-garde eccentric who, during the 1920s and ’30s, was allowed to publish only children's stories

Daniil KharmsEleven times Jesus died on the cross,
Eleven times falls down a body thrown upward,
Eleven times also I abandon the logical flow of thought.
-- Daniil Kharms, quoted from Serge Winitzki's literary page

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Omar Khayyám (12th century CE)
Persian poet, mathematician, and astronomer; the verses attributed to him did not appear for nearly two centuries after he lived

Why, all the Saints and Sages who discuss'd
     Of the Two Worlds so wisely -- they are thrust
Like foolish Prophets forth; their Words to Scorn
     Are scattered, and their mouths are stopped with Dust.
          -- Omar Khayyám, Rubáiyát

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 forever dies.
          -- Omar Khayyám, Rubáiyát

The Revelations of Devout and Learn'd
     Who rose before us, and as Prophets burn'd,
Are all but Stories, which, awoke from Sleep
     They told their comrades, and to Sleep return'd.
          -- Omar Khayyám, Rubáiyát

I sent my Soul through the Invisible,
     Some letter of that After-life to spell:
And by and by my Soul return'd to me,
     And answered "I myself am Heav'n and Hell."
          -- Omar Khayyám, Rubáiyát

Fools, your reward is neither here nor there.
-- Omar Khayyam, scoffing at those who seek Heaven, in the Rubáiyát, quoted from James A Haught, "Breaking the Last Taboo" (1996)

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Lucy Killea
California legislator

Lucy KilleaI believe in separation of church and state. I cannot as a public official impose my religious views on people who do not share those views.
-- Lucy Killea, address, San Diego, November 1989, from Albert J Menendez and Edd Doerr, The Great Quotations on Religious Freedom

Short Graphic Rule

Women's International Center:

"Although Lucy Killea abhors abortion, she fights for the right of women to make a choice."
-- Women's International Center, presenting "The '11th Woman' Living Legacy Award" to Killea

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Søren Aabye Kierkegaard (1813-1855)
Danish philosopher and religious writer, who deeply affected theologians and Existential philosophy

Søren Kierkegaard (Soren Kierkegaard)Christianity demands the crucifixion of the intellect.
-- Søren Kierkegaard, speaking "as though this were a great point in Christianity's favor," quoted in Margaret Knight, Morals Without Religion (1955), quoted from Annie Laurie Gaylor, Women Without Superstition, page 448

The melancholy have the best sense of the comic, the opulent often the best sense of the rustic, the dissolute often the best sense of the moral, and the doubter often the best sense of the religious.
-- Søren Kierkegaard, in his book, Either/Or, quoted from Leon Wieseltier, "What America Can Learn From Its Atheists: Under God and Over" (The New Republic: April 12, 2004)

Take away paradox from the thinker and you have a professor.
-- Søren Kierkegaard (attributed: source unknown)

Søren KierkegaardFaith is precisely the paradox that the single individual as the single individual is higher than the universal, is justified before it, not as inferior to it but superior -- yet in such a way, please note, that it is the single individual who, after being subordinate as the single individual to the universal, now by means of the universal becomes the single individual who as the single individual is superior, that the single individual as the single individual stands in an absolute relation to the absolute. This position cannot be mediated, for all mediation takes place only by virtue of the universal; it is and remains for all eternity a paradox, impervious to thought. And yet faith is this paradox.
-- Soren Kierkegaard, from Fear and Trembling

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Florence King (b. 1936)
US author

Florence King (redrawn by Cliff Walker from a common image)Any hope that America would finally grow up vanished with the rise of fundamentalist Christianity. Fundamentalism, with its born-again regression, its pink-and-gold concept of heaven, its literal-mindedness, its rambunctious good cheer ... its anti-intellectualism ... its puerile hymns ... and its faith-healing ... are made to order for King Kid America.
-- Florence King, Reflections in a Jaundiced Eye, "Good King Herod" (1989)

Randian heroes come off as metaphors for Jews because they are beset by irrational forces that try to bar them from the professions and use their virtues against them to bring about their destruction.
-- Florence King, one of many remarks on the work of atheistic novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand, from With Charity Toward None: A Fond Look at Misanthropy (St Martin's Press: 1992) page 128

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Martin Luther King, Jr (1929–1968)
American civil rights activist

Martin Luther King (photo: 1958 -- Arrested for "loitering" and being manhandled by Montgomery, Alabama police. Photo by Charles Moore/Black StarThe church is not the master of the state, nor the servant of the state, but the conscience of the state.
-- Martin Luther King, Jr, advocating the separation of religion from government, as quoted from Kenny Byrd, "Bush unveils faith-based initiative; critics raise church-state questions," issued by the Baptist Joint Committee (early 2001); (excerpted by PAM)

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Oren E Klapp
American sociologist

The goal of a crusade is to defeat an evil, not merely to solve a problem. This gives it the sense of righteousness.... The crusader may think of himself as a hero and his opponents as villains. Indeed, the crusade classifies as a kind of villifying movement.
-- Oren Klapp, Collective Search For Identity (1969), thanks to Laird Wilcox, ed, "The Degeneration of Belief"

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Marty Klein
American Marriage and Family Counselor, Sex Therapist; columnist, author of Sexual Intelligence, focusing on sexuality with heavy emphasis on related social issues

Marty Klein[Excerpt]:
Individuals can opt out of a church, but we can’t opt out of the law.
-- Marty Klein, from the article "Civics 101 For The President," in the electronic newsletter, Sexual Intelligence (Issue #49; March, 2004)

[Passage]:
In America, a church should have the right to offer whatever rituals, sacraments, and experiences it wants, to whomever it wishes, under whatever conditions it chooses....
     But once a church wants government sanction for what it does, that changes everything -- because individuals can opt out of a church, but we can’t opt out of the law. Once a church wants the government to codify what it considers “sacred,” it must play by civic, not religious rules....
-- Marty Klein, from the article "Civics 101 For The President," in the electronic newsletter, Sexual Intelligence (Issue #49; March, 2004)

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Abner Kneeland (1774–1844)
Freethinking founder and publisher of the Boston Investigator; the only person imprisoned for blasphemy in Massachusetts during the 19th century; pioneer Universalist preacher and minister

Abner KneelandThe whole story concerning him [Christ] was as much a fable and fiction as that of the god Prometheus.
-- Abner Kneeland, in "A Review of the Evidences of Christianity," quoted from Roderick Bradford’s biography, D M Bennett: The Truth Seeker (page 100)

Birds do not generally flutter much until they are hit.
-- Abner Kneeland, describing why the Boston Investigator prompted his political enemies to desccribe it as (for example), "A lava stream of blasphemy and obscenity which blast the vision and gangrenes the very soul of the uncorrupted reader," quote and description from Roderick Bradford’s biography, D M Bennett: The Truth Seeker (page 101)

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Margaret Knight (1903–1983)
BBC commentator and writer

Ethical teaching is weakened if it is tied up with dogmas that will not bear examination.
-- Margaret Knight, Morals Without Religion (1955), the published collection of her BBC essays

One of the best ways to improve men's behaviour is to enlighten their minds: and today, against the strong opposition of the Church and the Establishment, Scientific Humanism is attempting to do just that.
-- Margaret Knight, "Gentle Jesus" in Christianity: The Debit Account (1975), quoted from Annie Laurie Gaylor, Women Without Superstition, page 453 (1997)

I was convinced that, besides millions of frank unbelievers, there are today large numbers of half-believers to whom religion is a source of intellectual and moral discomfort.
-- Margaret Knight, regarding her BBC series of Freethought lectures, which began on January 5, 1955, quoted from Annie Laurie Gaylor, Women Without Superstition, p. 443 (1997)

It is difficult, none the less, for the ordinary man to cast off orthodox beliefs, for he is seldom allowed to hear the other side.... Whereas the Christian view is pressed on him day in and day out.
-- Margaret Knight, quoted in Annie Laurie Gaylor, Women Without Superstition, page 443–4

It is a mistake to try to impose [Christian beliefs] on children and to make them the basis of moral training. The moral education of children is much too important a matter to be built on such foundations.
-- Margaret Knight, Morals Without Religion (1955)

I want here to make three suggestions: first, that the doubts the ordinary man feels about religion are justified, and need not be stifled or concealed; second, that there is no ground for the view that Christianity is the only alternative to communism, or that there can be no sound character training that is not based on religion; and, third, I want to make some practical suggestions to the parents who are not believers, on what they should tell the children about God, and what sort of moral training they should give them.
-- Margaret Knight, Morals Without Religion (1955), quoted in Annie Laurie Gaylor, Women Without Superstition, page 445

[M]y chief aim was to combat the view that there can be no true morality without supernatural sanctions. So I argued at length that the social, or altruistic, impulses are the real source of morality, and that an ethic based on these impulses has far more claim on our allegiance than an ethic based on obedience to the commands of a God who created tapeworms and cancer-cells.
-- Margaret Knight, regarding her BBC series of Freethought lectures, which began on January 5, 1955, quoted from Annie Laurie Gaylor, Women Without Superstition, p. 446 (1997)

At the time of the broadcasts, I held two assumptions that were common among the more highbrow type of sceptic. These were: (i) that Jesus, though he was deluded in believing himself to be the long-awaited Jewish Messiah, was, nevertheless, a great moral teacher, and a man of outstanding moral excellence, and (ii) that though Christianity is now rapidly being outgrown, it was a great force for good in its day. In the light of wider knowledge, both assumptions now seem to me to be false. I now incline to the view that the conversion of Europe to Christianity was one of the greatest disasters of history.
-- Margaret Knight, introductory matter in "Christianity: The Debit Account" (1975), regarding her change in viewpoints in her BBC series of Freethought lectures began on January 5, 1955, quoted from Annie Laurie Gaylor, Women Without Superstition, page 450 (1997)

Jesus, in fact, was typical of a certain kind of fanatical young idealist: at one moment holding forth, with tears in his eyes, about the need for universal love; at the next, furiously denouncing the morons, crooks and bigots who did not see eye to eye with him. It is very natural and very human behaviour. But it is not superhuman.
-- Margaret Knight, "Gentle Jesus" in "Christianity: The Debit Account" (1975), quoted from Annie Laurie Gaylor, Women Without Superstition, page 451 (1997)

There is no ground whatever for the claim, so often made by religious apologists, that these ideals are specifically Christian and originated with Jesus. What were specifically Christian were some of the less enlightened teachings, which have done untold harm. Christians claim that organised Christianity has been a great force for good, but this view can be maintained on one assumption only: that everything good in the Christian era is a result of Christianity and everything bad happened in spite of it.
-- Margaret Knight, "Gentle Jesus" in "Christianity: The Debit Account" (1975), quoted from Annie Laurie Gaylor, Women Without Superstition, page 452 (1997)

During the ages of faith the Church argued, not illogically, that any degree of cruelty towards sinners and heretics was justified, if there was a chance that it could save them, or others, from the eternal torments of hell. Thus, in the name of the religion of love, hundreds of thousands of people were not merely killed but atrociously tortured in ways that made the gas chambers of Beslen seem humane.
-- Margaret Knight, "Gentle Jesus" in "Christianity: The Debit Account" (1975), quoted from Annie Laurie Gaylor, Women Without Superstition, page 453 (1997)

One of the most persistent fallacies about the Christian Church is that it kept learning alive during the Dark and Middle Ages. What the Church did was to keep learning alive in the monasteries, while preventing the spread of knowledge outside them.... Even as late as the beginning of the nineteenth century, however, nine-tenths of Christian Europe was illiterate.
-- Margaret Knight, "Gentle Jesus" in "Christianity: The Debit Account" (1975), quoted from Annie Laurie Gaylor, Women Without Superstition, page 453 (1997)

We can tell them that everyone believed at one time, and some people believe now, that there are two great powers in the world: a good power called God, who made the world and who loves human beings ... and a bad power called the Devil, who is opposed to God and who wants people to be unhappy and bad. We can tell them that some people still believe this, but that most people now think there's not really a Devil ...
     And we can tell them that some people now don't think there's really a God any more than there's really a Santa Claus, though we often like to talk as though there was.
     What about Christ? I don't think that it would be desirable for children to grow up in ignorance of the New Testament. We don't want a generation who don't know what Christmas and Easter mean, who have never heard of the star of Bethlehem or the angel at the door of the tomb ... All I urge is that [the child] should hear them treated frankly as legends ... There was a real Trojan War and Hector and Achilles may well have been real people, but we don't now believe Achilles was the son of sea nymphs. Similarly, there was a real Jesus Christ who ... was crucified. But we don't now believe that he was the son of God and a virgin or that he rose from the dead.

-- Margaret Knight,
from her second BBC radio broadcast, quoted from Time Magazine (January 24, 1955); (excerpted by PAM)

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The Daily Mail, other journals, shriek in response

Christianity is not so weak a faith that its adherents should run screaming from those who attack it.... Mrs. Knight has perhaps shocked a number of people into thinking for themselves.
-- The Daily Mail, proclaiming that atheistic views are no more entitled to broadcast time than a defense of polygamy, homosexuality, or Communism, quoted from Time Magazine (January 24, 1955); (excerpted by PAM)

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Arthur Koestler (1905-1983)
British philosopher

Arthur KoestlerIn Jerusalem ... the angry face of Yahweh is brooding over the hot rocks which have seen more holy murder, rape and plunder than any other place on earth. Its inhabitants are poisoned by religion.
-- Arthur Koestler, in Amos Elon, Jerusalem: City of Mirrors, quoted from James A Haught, ed, 2000 Years of Disbelief; (excerpted by PAM)

The Revolutionary’s Utopia, which in appearance represents a complete break with the past, is always modeled on some image of the Lost Paradise, of a legendary Golden Age.... All utopias are fed from the source of mythology; the social engineers’ blueprints are merely revised editions of the ancient text.
-- Arthur Koestler, The God That Failed (1949), thanks to Laird Wilcox, ed, "The Degeneration of Belief"

If conquerors be regarded as the engine-drivers of History, then the conquerors of thought are perhaps the pointsmen who, less conspicuous to the traveller's eye, determine the direction of the journey.
-- Arthur Koestler, The Sleepwalkers, pt. 1, ch. 2, sct. 4 (1959), quoted from The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations; (excerpted by PAM)

Arthur KoestlerThe inner defenses are unconscious. They consist of a kind of magic aura which the mind builds around cherished belief. Arguments which penetrate into the magic aura are not dealt with rationally but by a specific type of pseudo-reasoning. Absurdities and contradictions are made acceptable by specious rationalizations.
-- Arthur Koestler, The Yogi And The Commissar (1945), thanks to Laird Wilcox, ed, "The Degeneration of Belief"

Somebody once asked Niels Bohr why he had a horseshoe hanging above the front door of his house. Surely you, a world famous physicist, can't really believe that hanging a horseshoe above your door brings you luck? Of course not, Bohr replied, but I have been reliably informed that it will bring me luck whether I believe in it or not.
-- Arthur Koestler, The Act of Creation (1964), quoted from Encarta Book of Quotations (1999); (excerpted by PAM)

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Paul Krassner
Publisher of The Realist

Paul KrassnerSince I was both an atheist and an absurdist, I had decided that the most absurd thing I could do would be to develop an intimate relationship with the God I didn't believe in.
-- Paul Krassner, Confessions of a Raving, Unconfined Nut (excerpted by PAM)

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Karl Kraus (1874–1936)
Austrian satirist

Karl KrausWhen a culture feels that its end has come, it sends for a priest.
-- Karl Kraus, Pro Domo et Mundo, chapter 7 (1912), quoted from The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations; (excerpted by PAM)

Love and art do not embrace what is beautiful but what is made beautiful by this embrace.
-- Karl Kraus, Beim Wort genommen (1955); as translated by by Harry Zohn; (excerpted by PAM)

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Joseph Wood Krutch (1893–1970)
American critic, naturalist

Joseph Wood KrutchPoetry, mythology, and religion represent the world as man would like to have it, while science represents the world as he gradually comes to discover it.
-- Joseph Wood Krutch, The Modern Temper, quoted from James A Haught, ed, 2000 Years of Disbelief; (excerpted by PAM)

Few people have ever seriously wished to be exclusively rational. The good life which most desire is a life warmed by passions and touched with that ceremonial grace which is impossible without some affectionate loyalty to traditional form and ceremonies.
-- Joseph Wood Krutch (attributed: source unknown)

Security depends not so much upon how much you have, as upon how much you can do without.
-- Joseph Wood Krutch (attributed: source unknown)

Though many have tried, no one has ever yet explained away the decisive fact that science, which can do so much, cannot decide what it ought to do.
-- Joseph Wood Krutch (attributed: source unknown)

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Paul Kurtz (born 1925)
American Humanist leader

Paul Kurtz[Excerpt]:
Secular humanism is avowedly non-religious. It is a eupraxsophy (good practical wisdom), which draws its basic principles and ethical values from science, ethics, and philosophy.
-- Paul Kurtz, What is Secular Humanism (2007) page 19

[Passage]:
In contemporary society secular humanism has been singled out by critics and proponents alike as a position sharply distinguishable from any religious formulation. Religious fundamentalists in the United States have waged a campaign against secular humanism, claiming that it is a rival "religion" and seeking to root it out from American public life. Secular humanism is avowedly non-religious. It is a eupraxsophy (good practical wisdom), which draws its basic principles and ethical values from science, ethics, and philosophy.
-- Paul Kurtz, What is Secular Humanism (2007) pages 18-19

Homo religiosus invents religious symbols, which he venerates and worships to save him from facing the finality of his death and dissolution. He devises paradise fictions to provide succor and support.... In acts of supreme self-deception, at various times and in various places he has been willing to profess belief in the most incredible myths because of what they have promised him.
-- Paul Kurtz, The Transcendental Temptation (1986) Preface, from James A Haught, editor, 2000 Years of Disbelief

As I see it, creative achievement is the very heart of the human enterprise.... The destiny of man, of all men and of each man, is that he is condemned to invent what he will be -- condemned if he is fearful but blessed if he welcomes the great adventure. We are responsible in the last analysis, not simply for what we are, but for what we will become; and that is a source of either high excitement or distress.
-- Paul Kurtz, Exuberance: A Philosophy of Happiness, page 172

Humanists hold that ethical values are relative to human experience and need not be derived from theological or metaphysical foundations.
-- Paul Kurtz, What is Secular Humanism (2007) page 36

Many humanists have argued that happiness involves a combination of hedonism and creative moral development; that an exuberant life fuses excellence and enjoyment, meaning and enrichment, emotion and cognition.
-- Paul Kurtz, What is Secular Humanism (2007) page 37

Three key humanist virtues are courage, cognition, and caring -- not dependence, ignorance, or insensitivity to the needs of others.
-- Paul Kurtz, What is Secular Humanism (2007) page 38

The overriding need is "to develop a new Planetary Humanism" that will seek to preserve human rights and enhance human freedom and dignity and will emphasize our commitment "to humanity as a whole." The underlying ethical principle "is the need to respect the dignity and worth of all persons in the world community." Thinkers as diverse as Peter Singer and Hans Küng also emphasize the need for a new global ethic beyond nationalistic, racial, religious, and ethnic chauvinism.
-- Paul Kurtz, What is Secular Humanism (2007) page 53, quoting from the Humanist Manifesto 2000

Human life has no meaning independent of itself. There is no cosmic force or deity to give it meaning or significance. There is no ultimate destiny for man. Such a belief is an illusion of humankind's infancy. The meaning of life is what we choose to give it. Meaning grows out of human purposes alone. Nature provides us with an infinite range of opportunities, but it is only our vision and our action that select and realize those that we desire.... Thus the good life is achieved, invented, fashioned in an active life of enterprise and endeavor. But whether or not an individual chooses to enter into the arena depends upon him alone. Those who do can find it energizing, exhilarating, full of triumph and satisfaction. In spite of failures, setbacks, suffering, and pain, life can be fun.
-- Paul Kurtz, Exuberance: A Philosophy of Happiness, page 174

The beginning of wisdom is the awareness that there is insufficient evidence that a god or gods have created us and the recognition that we are responsible in part for our own destiny. Human beings can achieve this good life, but it is by the cultivation of the virtues of intelligence and courage, not faith and obedience, that we will most likely be able to do so.
-- Paul Kurtz, The Transcendental Temptation (1986) Preface, from James A Haught, editor, 2000 Years of Disbelief

We need to be skeptical of utopianists who offer unreliable totalistic visions of other worlds and strive to take us there. We need some ideals, but we also need to protect ourselves from the miscalculations and misadventures of visionaries.
-- Paul Kurtz, The New Skepticism: Inquiry and Reliable Knowledge (1992), page 337, quoted from Juan De Gennaro, "Sectas Destructivas: La Actualidad De Una Ilusion"

[Excerpt]:
Secular humanism proposes ... the complete implementation of the agenda of modernism ... what is necessary for it to occur is a ... New Enlightenment.

-- Paul Kurtz, What is Secular Humanism (2007) page 23

[Passage]:
The secular humanist paradigm has six main characteristics: (1) it is a method of inquiry, (2) it provides a naturalistic cosmic outlook, (3) it is nontheistic, (4) it is committed to human ethics, (5) it offers a perspective that is democratic, and (6) it is planetary in scope. I should point out that many allies within the freethought or rationalist movement may accept one or more of these characteristics without accepting them all. Some mistakenly consider secular humanism to be equivalent with atheism, others with methodological naturalism, and still others with humanistic ethics. Secular humanism, however, is broader than any of these views; for it provides an integrated scientific-philosophical synthesis that encompasses all of these and more. This is sometimes called "naturalistic humanism." Ultimately, secular humanism proposes nothing less than the complete implementation of the agenda of modernism. This agenda in fact has yet to be fully implemented; what is necessary for it to occur is a post-modernist New Enlightenment.

-- Paul Kurtz, What is Secular Humanism (2007) page 23

The skeptic has no illusions about life, nor a vain belief in the promise of immortality. Since this life here and now is all we can know, our most reasonable option is to live it fully.
-- Paul Kurtz, The Transcendental Temptation (1986) Preface, from James A Haught, editor, 2000 Years of Disbelief

I believe that a person should take an affirmative outlook. There are always problems in life, old and new, uncertainties, and unexpected contingencies. The optimal way to deal with this is not to give up in despair, but to move ahead using the best intelligence and resources that we have to overcome adversity.
-- Paul Kurtz, actually discussing how he loves the snowy Buffalo, New York, weather because it tests your mettle and builds character, "New Year's Message from Paul Kurtz" (December 31, 2001)

Secular humanism emphasizes the use of reason and critical intelligence to solve human problems. It has confidence in the ability of the human species to apply science and technology for the betterment of human life; it is skeptical of the existence of occult, paranormal, or transcendent realities. Although it is the modern-day version of classical atheism in what it rejects, it also expresses a positive normative concern for developing constructive ethical values relevant to the present conditions of humankind on this planet,. It is uncompromising in its commitment to democracy and planetary humanism, and it considers human freedom and fulfillment to be the highest human values. In all of these ways it offers a new paradigm for guiding human life in what might be termed the post-modern era.
-- Paul Kurtz, What is Secular Humanism (2007) page 57

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