Quotes About Religion or Atheism
"Reason should be destroyed in all Christians."
"Whoever wants to be a Christian should tear the eyes out of his reason."
"Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has; it never comes to the aid of spiritual things, but more frequently than
not struggles against the divine Word, treating with contempt all that emanates from God."
"Reason is the Devil's greatest whore; by nature and manner of being she is a noxious whore; she is a prostitute,
the Devil's appointed whore; whore eaten by scab and leprosy who ought to be trodden under foot and destroyed, she
and her wisdom ... Throw dung in her face to make her ugly. She is and she ought to be drowned in
baptism... She would deserve, the wretch, to be banished to the filthiest place in the house, to the closets."
"Reason must be deluded, blinded, and destroyed. Faith must trample underfoot all reason, sense, and understanding,
and whatever it sees must be put out of sight and ... know nothing but the word of God."
"What harm would it do, if a man told a good strong lie for the sake of the good and for the Christian church? [...]
a lie out of necessity, a useful lie, a helpful lie, such lies would not be against God, he would accept them."
"... we must drive them [Jews] out like mad dogs, so that we do not become partakers of their abominable blasphemy
and all the their other vices and thus merit God's wrath and be damned with them."
"I believe BECAUSE it's impossible."
"There is another form of temptation, even more fraught with danger. This is the disease of curiosity. It
is this which drives us to try and discover the secrets of nature, those secrets which are beyond our understanding,
which can avail us nothing and which man should not wish to learn."
"The gravest of the ecclesiastical historians, Eusebius himself, indirectly confesses that he has related
whatever might redound to the glory, and that he has suppressed all that could tend to the disgrace, of religion."
"Unbelief is the greatest of sins."
"The opinion formulated by the Church has more value in my eyes than human reasons, whatever they may be."
"We should always be disposed to believe that which appears to us to be white is really black, if the hierarchy of the church so decides."
"For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner?"
"A person is to be punished with a just penalty, who ... utters blasphemy, or gravely harms public morals, or rails at or excites hatred of or contempt for religion or the Church."
"Kill them all. God will select those who should go to heaven and those who should go to hell."
"Kill them all, for God knows His own."
the right of holding slaves is clearly established in the Holy Scriptures, both by precept and example
Had the holding of
slaves been a moral evil, it cannot be supposed that the inspired Apostles
would have tolerated it for a moment in the
Christian Church. In proving this subject justifiable by Scriptural authority [Luke 12:47], its morality is also proved;
for the Divine Law never sanctions immoral actions."
"God is introduced to give dignity and emphasis ... and then He is banished. It was this very atheistic
Declaration [of Independence] which had inspired the 'higher law' doctrine of the radical antislavery men. If
the mischievous abolitionists had only followed the Bible instead of the godless Declaration, they would have been
bound to acknowledge that human bondage was divinely ordained. The mission of southerners was therefore clear;
they must defend the word of God against abolitionist infidels."
"Slavery itself ... is not at all contrary to the natural and divine law... The purchaser [of the slave] should
carefully examine whether the slave who is put up for sale has been justly or unjustly deprived of his liberty,
and that the vendor should do nothing which might endanger the life, virtue, or Catholic faith of the slave."
"I was at this time living, like so many Atheists or Antitheists, in a whirl of contradictions. I maintained that God did not
exist. I was also very angry with God for not existing. I was equally angry with Him for creating a world."
"The Myth of the Inquisition is just that: phony, made up, bogus."
"It is hard to think of anything more vile than to intentionally desecrate the Body of Christ."
"What happened to California will release a spirit that is more demonic than Islam, a spirit of lawlessness and anarchy. And a sexual insanity will be unleashed into the Earth."
"Quantum healing is healing the bodymind from a quantum level. That means from a level which is not manifest at a
sensory level. Our bodies ultimately are fields of information, intelligence and energy. Quantum healing involves
a shift in the fields of energy information, so as to bring about a correction in an idea that has gone wrong. So quantum
healing involves healing one mode of consciousness, mind, to bring about changes in another mode of consciousness, body."
"We don't have to protect the environment the Second Coming is at hand."
"I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God."
"The Constitution established the United States of America as a Christian nation."
"I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator."
"I am convinced that I am acting as the agent of our Almighty Creator. By fighting the Jews, I am doing the Lord's work."
"This human world of ours would be inconceivable without the practical existence of a religious belief."
"Thus inwardly armed with confidence in God and the unshakable stupidity of the voting citizenry, the politicians can begin the fight for the 'remaking' of the Reich as they call it."
"The National Government will preserve and defend those basic principles on which our nation has been built. It regards Christianity as the foundation of our national morality, and the family as the basis of national life."
"The national Government sees in both Christian denominations the most important factor for the maintenance of our society."
"Secular schools can never be tolerated because such a school has no religious instruction and a general moral instruction without a religious foundation is built on air; consequently, all character training and religion must be derived from faith ... We need believing people."
"The fact that the Catholic Church has come to an agreement with Fascist Italy ... proves beyond doubt that the Fascist world of ideas is closer to Christianity than those of Jewish liberalism or even atheistic Marxism..."
"I am personally convinced of the great power and deep significance of Christianity, and I won't allow any other religion to be promoted."
"Today Christians ... stand at the head of [this country]... I pledge that I never will tie myself to parties who want to destroy Christianity .. We want to fill our culture again with the Christian spirit ... We want to burn out all the recent immoral developments in literature, in the theater, and in the press - in short, we want to burn out the poison of immorality which has entered into our whole life and culture as a result of liberal excess during the past ... (few) years."
"We were convinced that the people need and require this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations; we have stamped it out."
Here's a list of banned books in Germany, 1932-1939
"As for the Jews, I am just carrying on with the same policy which the Catholic Church has adopted for fifteen
hundred years, when it has regarded the Jews as dangerous and pushed them into ghettos etc., because it knew what
the Jews were like. I don't put race above religion, but I do see the danger in the representatives of this
race for Church and State, and perhaps I am doing Christianity a great service."
"The work that Christ started but could not finish, I Adolf Hitler will conclude."
Note that Adolf Hitler was never excommunicated or in any other way officially censured by the Catholic Church. The only high-ranking Catholic Nazi to be excommunicated was Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels because he married a divorced Protestant woman.
"The party, as such, stands for positive Christianity, without, however, allying itself to any particular denomination."
"I swear by God this sacred oath that I shall render unconditional obedience to Adolf Hitler, the Leader of the
German empire, supreme commander of the armed forces, and that I shall at all times be prepared, as a brave soldier, to give my life for this oath."
"Our religion is Christ, our politics Fatherland!"
Guidelines for banned books in Nazi Germany:
"When we get through with the Jews in America, theyll think the treatment they received in Germany was nothing."
"Those who control what young people are taught, and what they experience what they see, hear, think, and believe will determine the future course for the nation."
"Give me a child for the first 5 years of his life and he will be mine forever."
"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it."
"We're in a religious war and we need to aggressively oppose secular humanism; these people are as religiously motivated as we are and they are filled with the devil."
"It is a war of light vs. darkness, of Christ vs. antichrist, the Word of God vs. secular humanism. There will be a winner and a loser!.. There is no compromise with the enemy. There is no neutrality in this war!"
"All hurricanes are acts of God because God controls the heavens. I believe that New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God and they were recipients of the judgment of God for that."
"How did [the Holocaust] happen? Because God allowed it to happen. Why did it happen? Because God said, 'My top priority for the Jewish people is to get them to come back to the land of Israel.' "
"We believe democracy is an atheist call that idolizes human beings."
"The spread of Islam was military. There is a tendency to apologize for this and we should not. It is one of the injunctions of the Qur'an that you must fight to spread Islam."
"With all due respect to those dear people, my friend, God almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew."
"On the issue of evolution, the verdict is still out on how God created the Earth."
"Faith-based organizations also need a guarantee they will not be forced to give up their right to hire people of their own faith as the
price of competing for federal money. If we want this program to be effective and to save lives, people have got to
say interfacing with government will not cause me to lose my mission."
"Gog and Magog are at work in the Middle East
. The biblical prophecies are being fulfilled
. This confrontation is willed by God,
who wants to use this conflict to erase his peoples enemies before a New Age begins."
"He [God] is using me, all the time, everywhere, to stand up for a biblical worldview in everything that I do and everywhere I am. He is training me."
"There are a lot of very brilliant scholars who believe the reason we have incomplete science on evolution is that there is a higher power involved in this."
"The earth is flat, and anyone who disputes this claim is an atheist who deserves to be punished."
"The doctrine of the double motion of the earth about its axis and about the sun is false, and entirely contrary to Holy Scripture."
"Communistic evolution, according to the Senate committee that examined it, is responsible for 135 million deaths in peacetime. There's no religion that has a tiny fraction of that many deaths on its conscience. There are scientists who will admit that there's not one iota of scientific evidence to support it."
"To put it simply, no Darwin, no Hitler. Hitler tried to speed up evolution, to help it along, and millions suffered and died in unspeakable ways because of it."
"Among German historians, there's really not much debate about whether or not Hitler was a social Darwinist. He clearly was drawing on Darwinian ideas."
"The objective is to convince people that Darwinism is inherently atheistic, thus shifting the debate from creationism vs. evolution to the existence of God vs.
the non-existence of God. From there people are introduced to the truth of the Bible and then the question of sin and finally introduced to Jesus."
"There is no way you can harmonize neo-Darwinism and Christianity."
"If life can emerge just from naturalistic circumstances, then God is out of a job."
"If [scientific] conclusions contradict the Word of God, the conclusions are wrong, no matter how many scientific facts may appear to back them,"
"Christians must disregard [scientific hypotheses or theories] that contradict the Bible."
"We do not know how God created, what processes He used, for God used processes which are not now operating anywhere in the natural universe. This is why we refer to divine creation as special creation. We cannot discover by scientific investigations anything about the creative processes used by God."
"I believe God created the world for a purpose. The Designer of intelligent design is, ultimately, the Christian God."
"Christ is indispensable to any scientific theory, even if its practitioners do not have a clue about him."
"If you can't trust the Bible's history, how can you trust its morality?"
"I did not know from a scientific perspective why I did not believe in evolution but I knew from a Biblical perspective it had to be wrong or my faith was in trouble."
"If there was not one man Adam and one woman Eve, and a literal event of the one man Adam taking the fruit in rebellion and thus bringing sin and death into world, then one may as well throw the rest of the Bible away."
"Leftist organizations are aggressively attempting to redefine America in their own Godless image."
"We're fighting against humanism, we're fighting against liberalism...we are fighting against all the systems of Satan that are destroying our nation today...our battle is with Satan himself."
"AIDS is not just God's punishment for homosexuals; it is God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals."
"If we are going to save America and evangelize the world, we cannot accommodate secular philosophies
that are diametrically opposed to Christian truth."
"Good Christians, like slaves and soldiers, ask no questions."
"I really believe that the pagans and the abortionists and the feminists and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way, all of them who try to secularize America...I point the finger in their face and say you helped this happen."
"If we ever opened a meeting with a prayer, silent or otherwise, we would disintegrate."
"People for the American Way says it has yet to find anyone who has made a stronger case against
the proposed school prayer Constitutional amendment... What kind of prayer would we use?"
"Evolution is a bankrupt speculative philosophy, not a scientific fact. Only a spiritually bankrupt society could ever believe it... Only atheists could accept this Satanic theory."
"The Bible is the supreme law that all governments must obey."
"I want you to just let a wave of intolerance wash over you. I want you to let a wave of hatred wash over you. Yes, hate is good Our goal is a Christian nation. We have a Biblical duty. We are called by God to conquer this country. We don't want equal time. We don't want pluralism."
"Our goal must be simple. We must have a Christian nation built on God's law, on the ten Commandments. No apologies."
"I don't think Christians should use birth control. You consummate your marriage as often as you like and if you have babies, you have babies."
"When I, or people like me, are running the country, you'd better flee, because we will find you, we will try you, and we'll execute
you. I mean every word of it. I will make it part of my mission to see to it that they are tried and executed."
"Our goal is a Christian Nation.... We have a Biblical duty; we are called by God to conquer this country. We don't want equal
time. We don't want Pluralism. We want theocracy. Theocracy means God rules. I've got a hot flash. God rules."
"If Christian people work together, they can succeed during this decade in winning back control of the institutions that have been taken from them over the past 70 years. Expect confrontations that will be not only unpleasant but at times physically bloody. When it is over, I am convinced Gods people will emerge victorious."
"Just like what Nazi Germany did to the Jews, so liberal America is now doing to the evangelical Christians. It's
no different... More terrible than anything suffered by any minority in history."
"They have kept us in submission because they have talked about separation of church and state. There is no
such thing in the Constitution. It's a lie of the left, and we're not going to take it anymore."
"The evolutionists worship atheism. I mean, that's their religion."
"You cannot coherently affirm the Christian-truth claim and the dominant model of evolutionary theory at the same time."
"The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages
women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians."
"We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity."
"[Since 9/11] I am often asked if I still think we should invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity. The answer is: Now more than ever!"
"God gave us the earth. We have dominion over the plants, the animals, the trees. God said, 'Earth is yours. Take it. Rape it. It's yours.'"
"But perhaps Gods purpose in the world (I am only thinking aloud here) is to draw his creatures to him. And
you have to admit that tragedies like this one at Virginia Tech help to do that!"
"I think it is very beautiful for the poor to accept their lot, to share it with the passion of Christ. I think the world
is being much helped by the suffering of the poor people."
"The Church does not dictate the policies of the nation. The Church proclaims the truth of God to which all these policies must conform."
"Any Catholic in public office, his first commitment must be to his faith."
"If we lose Genesis as a legitimate scientific and historical explanation for man, then we lose the validity of Christianity. Period."
"From this day forward, the millions of our school children will daily proclaim in every city and town,
every village and rural schoolhouse, the dedication of our Nation and our people to the Almighty."
"The church at the time was much more faithful to reason than Galileo himself, and also took into consideration the
ethical and social consequences of Galileos doctrine. Its verdict against Galileo was rational and just."
"With respect to public acknowledgment of religious belief, it is entirely clear from our nation's historical practices that the Establishment Clause permits this disregard of polytheists and believers in unconcerned deities, just as it permits the disregard of devout atheists."
"In a world wounded by conflicts, where violence is justified in God's name, it's important to repeat that religion
can never become a vehicle of hatred, it can never be used in God's name to justify violence."
"Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."
"Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom."
"I believe its a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God, and thats what we need to do is to amend the Constitution so its in Gods standards rather than try to change Gods standards."
"The recognition of God as the ruling and leading power in the universe and the grateful acknowledgment of His favors and blessings
are necessary to the best type of citizenship..."
"Liberalism and Western-style democracy have not been able to help realize the ideals of humanity. Today, these two concepts have failed. Those
with insight can already hear the sounds of the shattering and fall of the ideology and thoughts of the liberal democratic systems... Whether we
like it or not, the world is gravitating towards faith in the Almighty and justice and the will of God will prevail over all things."
Whereas dangers and threats to our Nation persist and this time of peril, it is appropriate that the people of the United States, leaders and citizens alike, seek guidance, strength, and resolve through prayer and fasting: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that the President should issue a proclamation:
(1) designating a day for humility, prayer, and fasting for all people of the United States; and H. Res. 153, 108th Congress, 3/27/2003, passed by an overwhelming vote. A similar bill in the Senate passed unanimously
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;..."
"... no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."
"The Government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion."
"E Pluribus Unum" (Out of many, one)
"I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic, for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
For the religious beliefs of the U.S. Founding Fathers, see The Founding Fathers Were Not Christians by Steven Morris
"There is no reason for believing that any sort of gods exist, and quite good reasons for believing that they do not exist and never have. It has all been a gigantic waste of time and a waste of life. It would be a joke of cosmic proportions if it weren't so tragic."
"Science shares with religion the claim that it answers deep questions about origins, the nature of life, and the cosmos. But there
the resemblance ends. Scientific beliefs are supported by evidence, and they get results. Myths and faiths are not and do not."
"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."
"Since all organisms inherit all their genes from their ancestors, rather than from their ancestors' unsuccessful contemporaries, all
organisms tend to possess successful genes. They have what it takes to become ancestors and that means to survive and reproduce. This
is why organisms tend to inherit genes with a propensity to build a well-designed machine a body that actively works as if it is
striving to become an ancestor. That is why birds are so good at flying, fish so good at swimming, monkeys so good at climbing,
viruses so good at spreading. That is why we love life and love sex and love children. It is because we all, without a single exception,
inherit all of our genes from an unbroken line of successful ancestors. The world becomes full of organisms that have what it
takes to become ancestors. That, in a sentence, is Darwinism."
"I am very hostile to religion because it is enormously dominant, especially in American life. And I don't buy the argument that,
well, it's harmless. I think it is harmful, partly because I care passionately about what's true."
"My last vestige of 'hands off religion' respect disappeared in the smoke and choking dust of September 11th 2001,
followed by the 'National Day of Prayer,' when prelates and pastors did their tremulous Martin Luther King
impersonations and urged people of mutually incompatible faiths to hold hands, united in homage to the very
force that caused the problem in the first place."
"To an honest judge, the alleged convergence between religion and science is a shallow, empty, hollow, spin-doctored sham."
"We who are atheists are also a-fairyists, a-teapotists, and a-unicornists, but we don't have to bother saying so."
"The alternative which I favor is to renounce all euphemisms and grasp the nettle of the word atheism itself,
precisely because it is a taboo word carrying frissons of hysterical phobia. Critical mass may be harder to achieve than with some
non-confrontational euphemism, but if we did achieve it with the dread word atheist, the political impact would be all the greater."
"Although atheism might have been logically tenable before Darwin, Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist."
"Natural selection is the blind watchmaker, blind because it does not see ahead, does not plan consequences, has no purpose in view. Yet the living results of natural selection overwhelmingly impress us with the appearance of design as if by a master watchmaker, impress us with the illusion of design and planning."
"Another meme of the religious meme complex is called faith. It means blind trust the absence of evidence,
even in the teeth of evidence. The story of Doubting Thomas is told, not so that we shall admire
Thomas, but so that we can admire the other apostles in comparison. Thomas demanded evidence. Nothing is
more lethal for certain kinds of meme than a tendency to look for evidence. The other apostles, whose
faith was so strong that they did not need evidence, are held up to us as worthy of imitation. The meme for blind
faith secures its own perpetuation by the simple unconscious expedient of discouraging rational inquiry."
"[It] is capable of driving people to such dangerous folly that faith seems to me to qualify as a kind of mental illness."
"We should learn to understand natural selection, so that we can oppose any tendency to apply it to human politics."
"I am not advocating a morality based on evolution."
"It is a remarkable coincidence that almost everyone has the same religion as their parents and it always just so happens theyre the right religion."
"You cannot be both sane and well educated and disbelieve in evolution. The evidence is so strong that any sane, educated person has got to believe in evolution."
"Evolution is a fact, as securely established as any in science, and he who denies it betrays woeful ignorance and lack of education, which likely extends
to other fields as well. Evolution is not some recondite backwater of science, ignorance of which would be pardonable. It is the stunningly simple but elegant
explanation of our very existence and the existence of every living creature on the planet."
"The distribution of species on islands and continents throughout the world is exactly what you'd expect if
evolution was a fact. The distribution of fossils in space and in time are exactly what you would expect if evolution
were a fact. There are millions of facts all pointing in the same direction and no facts pointing in the wrong direction."
"In childhood our credulity serves us well. It helps us to pack, with extraordinary rapidity, our skulls
full of the wisdom of our parents and our ancestors. But if we don't grow out of it in the fullness of time,
our ... nature makes us a sitting target for astrologers, mediums, gurus, evangelists, and quacks. We need to
replace the automatic credulity of childhood with the constructive skepticism of adult science."
"Creationism: God's gift to the ignorant."
"All religious beliefs seem weird to people not brought up in them."
"I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world."
"Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think..."
"Faith is one of the world's great evils, comparable to the smallpox virus but harder to eradicate."
"Faith is an evil precisely because it requires no justification and brooks no argument."
"Those who wish to base their morality literally on the Bible have either not read it or not understood it..."
"A designer God cannot be used to explain organized complexity because any God capable of designing anything would have to
be complex enough to demand the same kind of explanation in his own right."
"The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty,
unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist,
infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully."
"The time has come for people of reason to say: Enough is Enough! Religious faith discourages independent thought, it's divisive and it's dangerous."
"Not only is science corrosive to religion, but religion is corrosive to science. It teaches people to be satisfied with trivial
non-explanations and blinds them to the wonderful real explanations that we have within our grasp."
"Let's get up off our knees, stop cringing before bogeymen and virtual fathers, face reality, and help science to do something constructive about human suffering."
"[Creationists have] lost in the courts of law; they've long ago lost in the halls of science; and they continue
to lose with every new piece of evidence in support of evolution. Taking offense is all they've got left."
"I believe that an orderly universe, one indifferent to human preoccupations which everything has an explanation even if we still have a long way to go before we find it, is a more beautiful, more wonderful place than a universe tricked out with capricious ad hoc magic."
"We are all going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never
going to be born. ... The only reason we die is that we were born. Would you rather have never been born at all?"
"The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge."
"What could define God, [is thinking of God] as the embodiment of the laws of nature. However, this is not what most people would think of that God. They made a human-like being with whom one can have a personal relationship. When you look at the vast size of the universe and how insignificant an accidental human life is in it, that seems most impossible."
"There is a fundamental difference between religion, which is based on authority, [and] science, which is based on observation and reason. Science will win because it works."
"I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark."
"What could define God as the embodiment of the laws of nature. However, this is not what most people would think of that God. They made a human-like being with whom one can have a personal relationship. When you look at the vast size of the universe and how insignificant an accidental human life is in it, that seems most impossible."
"The intelligent beings in these regions should therefore not be surprised if they observe that their locality in the universe satisfies the conditions that are necessary for their existence. It is a bit like a rich person living in a wealthy neighborhood not seeing any poverty."
"Religion has ever been anti-human, anti-woman, anti-life, anti-peace, anti-reason and anti-science. The god idea has been
detrimental not only to humankind but to the earth. It is time now for reason, education and science to take over."
"Atheism is based upon a materialist philosophy, which holds that nothing exists but natural phenomena. There are no supernatural forces or entities, nor can there be any. Nature simply exists."
"You hate me because I am the embodiment of all your doubts."
"An Atheist loves himself and 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."
"Imagine a world in which generations of human beings come to believe that certain films were made by God or
that specific software was coded by him. Imagine a future in which millions of our descendants murder
each other over rival interpretations of Star Wars or Windows 98. Could anything anything be more
ridiculous? And yet, this would be no more ridiculous than the world we are living in."
"It is time we acknowledged a basic feature of human discourse: when considering the truth of a proposition, one is either engaged in an honest appraisal of the evidence and logical arguments, or one isn't. Religion is the one area of our lives where people imagine that some other standard of intellectual integrity applies."
"There's an all-purpose corrective here, which is just intellectual honesty. If you cease to pretend to be
certain about things that you are not certain about, see where that gets you."
"The problem with religion, because it's been sheltered from criticism, is that it allows
people to believe en mass what only idiots or lunatics could believe in isolation."
"I think that religion is the most dangerous and divisive ideology that we have ever produced. It is
also the only ideology that is systematically protected from criticism, both from within and without."
"Our ability to cause ourselves harm is now spreading with 21st century efficiency, and yet we are still, to a remarkable degree, drawing our vision of how to live in this world from ancient literature. This marriage of modern technology - destructive technology - and iron-age philosophy is a bad one."
"The evidence for our religious doctrines is either terrible or non-existent."
"There is a profound difference between having good reasons for believing something, and simply wanting to believe it."
"Religion gives people bad reasons to be good, where good reasons are actually available."
"The danger of religious faith is that it allows otherwise normal human beings to reap the fruits of madness and consider them
holy. Because each new generation of children is taught that religious propositions need not be justified in the way that
all others must, civilization is still besieged by the armies of the preposterous. We are, even now, killing ourselves over
ancient literature. Who could have thought something so tragically absurd could be possible?"
"The greatest problem confronting civilization is not merely religious extremism: rather, it is the larger set of cultural and intellectual
accommodations we have made to faith itself."
"Theology is nothing more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed it is ignorance with wings!"
"It is difficult to imagine a set of beliefs more suggestive of mental illness than those that lie at the heart of many of our religious traditions."
"'Atheism' is really a term we do not need the same way that we don't have a word for someone who is not an astrologer. All religious people are atheists with respect to everyone else's religion. We are all atheists with respect to the thousands of dead gods that lie in that mass grave we call mythology."
"There is nothing that an atheist needs to believe on insufficient evidence in order to reject the biblical god."
"If ever there were an antidote to dogmatism, [atheism] is it."
"Pretending to know things that you do not know is the lifeblood of religion."
"Faith is nothing more than the license religious people give themselves to keep believing when reasons fail."
"The problem with fascism and communism was not that they are too critical of religion. The problem is that they are too much like religions. These are utterly dogmatic systems of thought."
"There is no society in history that has ever suffered because its population became too reasonable
too reluctant to embrace dogma, too demanding of evidence."
"It is an article of faith in many religious communities that things will go spectacularly wrong, and that this is a good thing."
"Much of the Bible or the Quran is just life-destroying gibberish, and we just have to acknowledge this and cease to take these books seriously."
"If you believe that the Koran is the wisest book ever written, civilized society has a problem with you,
because when you read this book, it's a manifesto for religious intolerance. There are a few lines
in there that talk about the virtues of patience and charity, that is true, but in general this book is
just stocked stem to stern with a genuinely theocratic, genuinely intolerant hate of unbelievers."
"The Catholic Church is more concerned about preventing contraception than preventing child rape; its more concerned about preventing gay
marriage than genocide. This is a real inversion of priorities that completely falsifies any discussion of morality in the church."
"We notice causal patterns in the word, and we tell ourselves stories about these patterns. We do this in science and in religion. Religion just amounts to bad science, in the end. Its our most primitive effort to describe our origins and the reasons for why things happen."
"One of the monumental ironies of religious discourse that can be appreciated is the frequency with which people of
faith praise themselves for their humility while condemning scientists and other non-believers for their intellectual
arrogance. There is in fact, no worldview more reprehensible in its arrogance than that of a religious believer:
'the creator of the universe takes an interest in me, loves me, and will reward me after death; my current beliefs,
drawn from scripture, will remain as the best statement of the truth until the end of the world; everyone who disagrees with me
will spend an eternity in hell....' An average Christian in an average church, listening to an average Sunday sermon has
achieved a level of arrogance simply unimaginable in scientific discourse and there have been some extremely arrogant scientists."
"We experience happiness and suffering ourselves; we encounter others in the world and recognize that they experience happiness and suffering as well; we soon discover that 'love' is largely a matter of wishing that others experience happiness rather than suffering; and most of us come to feel that love is more conducive to happiness, both our own and that of others, than hate. There is a circle here that links us to one another: we each want to be happy; the social feeling of love is one of our greatest sources of happiness; and love entails that we be concerned for the happiness of others. We discover that we can be selfish together."
"Morality and values depend on the existence of conscious minds and specifically on the fact that such minds can experience various forms of well-being and suffering in this universe. Conscious minds and their states are natural phenomena, of course, fully constrained by the laws of Nature (whatever these turn out to be in the end). Therefore, there must be right and wrong answers to questions of morality and values that potentially fall within the purview of science. On this view, some people and cultures will be right (to a greater or lesser degree), and some will be wrong, with respect to what they deem important in life."
"Religion is poison because it asks us to give up our most precious faculty, which is that of reason,
and to believe things without evidence. It then asks us to respect this, which it calls faith."
"The teachings of Christianity - from vicarious redemption to the love of enemies, no thought for the morrow need be taken,
that no thrift or care or family or society or solidarity is necessary - these are immoral teachings that have done and continue
to inflict untold moral and physical harm on our species. And until we outgrow this nonsense, we have no chance of
"Thanks to the telescope and the microscope, religion no longer offers an explanation for anything important."
"Religion fosters servility and solipsism."
"Once you assume a creator and a plan, it makes us objects in a cruel experiment whereby we are created sick and commanded to be well."
"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence."
"[Religion] attacks us in our deepest integrity the core of our self-respect. Religion says that we would
not know right from wrong, we would not know an evil, wicked act from a decent human act without divine permission,
without divine authority or without, even worse, either the fear of a divine punishment or the hope of a divine reward. It strips
us of the right to make our own determination, as all humans always have, about what is and what is not a right human action."
"If God allows proof that he exists he robs people of faith and without faith what is God? Nothing."
"If somebody votes for a party that you don't agree with, you're free to argue about it as much as you like.
on the other hand, if somebody says, 'I mustn't move a light switch on a Saturday,' you say, 'Fine, I respect that.'"
"I'd take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day."
"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?"
"God is no longer an explanation of anything, but has instead become something that would itself need an insurmountable amount of explaining."
"If one has belief, knowledge is lacking. If one has knowledge, belief is unnecessary."
"Religion is not so bad, unless you believe it."
"In the absence of evidence, the scientist says, 'I don't know,' but the religionist says, 'I believe.'"
"One does not have to prove a negative. One should assume a negative."
"Science is only truly consistent with an atheistic worldview with regards to the claimed miracles of the gods of
Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Moreover, the true believers in each of these faiths are atheists regarding
the specific sacred tenets of all other faiths. Christianity rejects the proposition that the Quran contains
the infallible words of the creator of the universe. Muslims and Jews reject the divinity of Jesus."
"There are a lot of legislators who are afraid that kids will learn science and lose their faith."
"Forget Jesus. The stars died so that you could be here today."
"The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality."
"At present there is not a single credible established religion in the world."
"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
"Either God wants to abolish evil, and cannot; or he can and does not want to.
"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?"
"Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish."
"If the gods do evil then they are not gods."
"There is but one evil, ignorance."
"Is what is moral commanded by God because it is moral, or is it moral because it is commanded by God?"
"A certain portion of mankind do not believe at all in the existence of the gods."
"For though a man should be a complete unbeliever in the being of gods; if he also has a native uprightness of temper, such persons will detest evil in men; their repugnance to wrong disinclines them to commit wrongful acts; they shun the unrighteous and are drawn to the upright."
"The penalty that good men pay for not being interested in politics is to be governed by men worse than themselves."
"Be kind; everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
"A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side."
"Man is the measure of all things."
"Men create the gods after their own images."
"If cows and horses had hands and could draw, cows would draw gods that look like cows and horses would draw gods that look like horses."
"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true."
"Ignorance is bold and knowledge reserved."
"All religions are equally sublime to the ignorant, useful to the politician, and ridiculous to the philosopher."
"Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful."
"Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones."
"For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."
"If we say that God has always been, why not save a step and conclude that the universe has always been?"
"Atheism is more than just the knowledge that gods do not exist, and that religion is either a mistake or a fraud. Atheism is an attitude, a frame of mind that looks at the world objectively, fearlessly, always trying to understand all things as a part of nature."
"Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality."
"A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism."
"You can't convince a believer of anything; their belief is not based on evidence but a deep-seated need to believe."
"I would love to believe that when I die I will live again, that some thinking, feeling, remembering part of me will continue. But much as I want to believe that, and despite the ancient and worldwide cultural traditions that assert an afterlife, I know of nothing to suggest that it is more than wishful thinking...there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there's little good evidence."
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."
"If faith is a valid tool of knowledge, then anything can be true 'by faith,' and therefore nothing is true. If the only reason
you can accept a claim is by faith, then you are admitting that the claim does not stand on its own merits."
"I have something to say to the religionist who feels atheists never say anything positive: You are an intelligent human being. Your life is valuable for its own sake. You are not second-class in the universe, deriving meaning and purpose from some other mind. You are not inherently evil you are inherently human, possessing the positive rational potential to help make this a world of morality, peace and joy. Trust yourself"
"Some theists, observing that all 'effects' need a cause, assert that God is a cause but not an effect. But no one has ever observed an uncaused cause and simply inventing one merely assumes what the argument wishes to prove."
"You believe in a book that has talking animals, wizards, witches, demons, sticks turning into snakes, food falling from the sky, people walking on water, and all sorts of magical, absurd and primitive stories, and you say that we are the ones that need help?"
"There is not a single contemporary historical mention of Jesus, not by Romans or by Jews, not by believers or by unbelievers, during his entire lifetime. This does not disprove his existence, but it certainly casts great doubt on the historicity of a man who was supposedly widely known to have made a great impact on the world. Someone should have noticed."
"There is no evidence for a god, no coherent definition of a god, no good argument for a god, good positive arguments against a god, no agreement among believers about the nature or moral principles of a god, and no need for a god. We can live happy, moral, productive lives without such belief, and we can do it better."
"It is a fact of history and of current events that human beings exaggerate, misinterpret, or wrongly remember events. They have also fabricated pious fraud. Most believers in a religion understand this when examining the claims of other religions."
"Science is a set of methods designed to describe and interpret observed or inferred phenomenon, past or present, and aimed at building a testable body of knowledge open to rejection or confirmation."
"Remember always that we are pattern-seeking primates who are especially adept at finding patterns with emotional meaning."
"The concept of God is generated by a brain designed by evolution to find design in nature (a very recursive idea)."
"There is no room in science for the arbitrary meddling of an unknown force or being that intervenes who-knows-when
to do who-knows-what for who-knows-why and who-knows-how. Thats not science; thats just magic."
"I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after
our own a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual
survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotisms."
"It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it."
"I see only with deep regret that God punishes so many of His children for their numerous stupidities, for which only He Himself can be held responsible; in my opinion, only His nonexistence could excuse Him."
"I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a god who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings."
"The more a man is imbued with the ordered regularity of all events the firmer becomes his conviction that there is no room left by the side of this ordered regularity for causes of a different nature. For him neither the rule of human nor the rule of divine will exist as an independent cause of natural events."
"From the viewpoint of a Jesuit priest I am, of course, and have always been an atheist."
"I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one."
"The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish."
"For me the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions."
"It seems to me that the idea of a personal God is an anthropological concept which I cannot take seriously. I also cannot imagine some will or goal outside the human sphere.
Science has been charged with undermining morality, but the charge is unjust. A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death."
"The more a man is imbued with the ordered regularity of all events the firmer becomes his conviction that there is no room left by the side of this ordered regularity for causes of a different nature. For him neither the rule of human nor the rule of divine will exists as an independent cause of natural events."
"If this being is omnipotent, then every occurrence, including every human action, every human thought, and every human feeling and aspiration is also His work; how is it possible to think of holding men responsible for their deeds and thoughts before such an almighty Being? In giving out punishment and rewards He would to a certain extent be passing judgment on Himself. How can this be combined with the goodness and righteousness ascribed to Him?"
"If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed."
"During the youthful period of mankind's spiritual evolution, human fantasy created gods in man's own image who, by the operations of their will were supposed to determine, or at any rate influence, the phenomenal world... The idea of God in the religions taught at present is a sublimation of that old conception of the gods."
"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."
"The minority, the ruling class at present, has the schools and press, usually the Church as well, under its thumb. This enables it to organize and sway the emotions of the masses, and make its tool of them."
"Since our inner experiences consist of reproductions, and combinations of sensory impressions, the concept of a soul without a body seems to me to be empty and devoid of meaning."
"Intellectual honesty is a skill that has to be learned and a virtue that has to be practiced; it often requires you to accept unpleasant conclusions."
"If faith is 'believing what you are told', religious ethics is 'doing what you are told'."
"Religion is for people who have never matured in their understanding of ethics. Religion teaches a child's view of ethics, that 'being good' means 'obeying your parent.' It gives a moral blank check to those bold enough, dishonest enough, to claim to speak for God. Atheism
means looking at ethical questions as an adult among other adults, considering ethics as a means of maintaining peace and cooperation among equals, so that all may pursue happiness within the limits that ethics defines."
"Faith is the determination to remain ignorant in the face of all evidence that you are ignorant."
"The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike."
"Most true believers, when faced with evidence that contradicts their beliefs, will hold on to those beliefs even more strongly."
"True believers are continually shown by reality that their god doesn't exist, but have developed extensive coping mechanisms to deal with this cognitive dissonance."
"Fundamentalists of different religions have more in common with each other than they do with the moderates of their own religions."
"Christians and Jews don't believe in Allah or Brahma. Hindus don't believe in Yahweh or
Allah. Muslims don't believe in Brahma or Yahweh. Atheists agree with all of them."
"The world looks like it was designed. Of course, the Sun also looks like it goes around the Earth. It is only thru science that we know that both of these perceptions are wrong."
"There is little difference in the knowledge held by those who can't learn and those who won't."
"We all behave as though what we think is true, is true."
"Believing is easier than thinking; that's why there will always be more believers than thinkers. However, the results of god-belief are often far more mental trials than those of nonbelief. It is quite difficult to ascertain the wishes of an invisible being."
"Christians often threaten atheists with eternal torture. But if we say that they're delusional, they will tell us that we're being rude."
"The essence of Christianity, as I see it, is love. The essence of Humanism (and I'm also a Humanist) is love. At that level, we're not far apart."
"Atheism is nothing more than a conclusion. There are plenty of people in this world who are
Atheists, but this doesn't mean we share values. Communism is a perfect example. Communism
is for all practical purposes, a political religion: It is totalitarian, it venerates its sainted founders,
it has sacred dogma that cannot be challenged; it persecutes its heretics, it does not brook disobedience,
it feels no compunction against twisting science for its own means. Even its touted "Atheism" is
simply a defensive reaction against its rival religions. It has nothing in common with the free
thought of Paine or Jefferson, or the humanism of Dawkins or Einstein."
"I'm a strong atheist. I believe that gods are by definition supernatural beings, that the supernatural by definition violates natural law, violating natural law is by definition impossible, and impossible things by definition can't exist."
"Morality is doing what is right no matter what you are told. Religion is doing what you are told no matter what is right."
"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science."
"The mystery of the beginning of all things is insoluble by us, and I for one must be content to remain an agnostic."
"Man in his arrogance thinks himself a great work, worthy the interposition of a great deity. More humble and I believe true
to consider him created from animals."
"I can indeed hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true; for if so the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe, and this would include my Father, Brother and almost all my best friends, will be everlastingly punished. And that is a damnable doctrine."
"That there is much suffering in the world no one disputes. Which is more likely, that pain and evil are the result of an all-powerful and good God, or the product of uncaring natural forces? The presence of much suffering agrees well with the view that all organic beings have been developed through variation and natural selection."
"The assumed instinctive belief in God has been used by many persons as an argument for his existence. But this is a rash argument, as we should thus be compelled to believe in the existence of many cruel and malignant spirits, only a little more powerful than man; for the belief in them is far more general than in a beneficent deity."
"There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved."
"It appears to me (whether rightly or wrongly) that direct arguments against Christianity and theism produce hardly any effect on the public;
It appears to me freedom of thought is best promoted by the gradual illumination of mens minds which follow[s] from the advance of science."
"Science is advanced by proposing and testing hypothesis, not by declaring questions unsolvable."
"Who knows most, doubts most."
"There are things that are so serious that you can only joke about them."
"If there is a supreme being, he's crazy."
"The most serious demand for unquestioned belief is, of course, the atonement. First the believer is to
suspend familiar notions of justice, such as punishment for the guilty as opposed to an innocent party. You
are then expected to accept the necessity of blood sacrifice for sin; that wrongdoing must be paid for, and not
necessarily in proportion to the crime. A father's sacrifice of his innocent son is supposed to be not only
just but generous and wonderful. Then the temporary three-day death of this one person is supposed to wipe out
all the wrongdoing and ineptitude of a species. And finally, you should believe that all you need do to erase
responsibility for your actions and enter a haven of eternal reward is to believe. It's no wonder that once a
convert has wrapped his or her mind around this story, anything can be accepted as truth. The rest of
fundamentalist doctrine can be easily swallowed, including Jonah."
"When did I realize I was God? Well, I was praying and I suddenly realized I was talking to myself."
"The idea of God is the sole wrong for which I cannot forgive mankind."
"Because life is there ahead of you and either one tests oneself in its challenges or huddles in the valleys in a
dreamless day-to-day existence whose only purpose is the preservation of an illusory security and safety."
"For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life
and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life."
"This world is the will to power and nothing besides! ...And you, yourselves, are also the will to power, and nothing besides!"
"I believe that when I am dead, I am dead. I believe that with my death I am just as much obliterated as the last mosquito you and I squashed."
"With reasonable men, I will reason; with humane men I will plead; but to tyrants I will give no quarter, nor waste arguments where they will certainly be lost."
"When an honest but mistaken man learns of his error, he either [forthrightly] ceases to be mistaken, or ceases to be honest."
"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."
"Religion is a bandage that man has invented to protect a soul made bloody by circumstance."
"Finding that no religion is based on facts and cannot therefore be true, I began to reflect what must be the condition of mankind trained from infancy to believe in errors."
"One of the embarrassing problems for the early nineteenth-century champions of the Christian faith was that not one of the first
six Presidents of the United States was an orthodox Christian."
"The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others."
"Certainly, no power to prescribe any religious exercise, or to assume authority in religious discipline, has been delegated to the General Government."
"It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself."
"Religions are all alike - founded upon fables and mythologies."
"But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."
"Christianity is the most perverted system that ever shone on man."
"The Christian god is a three headed monster; cruel vengeful and capricious... One only needs to look at the caliber of people who say they serve him. They are always of two classes: fools and hypocrites."
"In every country and every age, the priest had been hostile to Liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own."
"Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law."
"Civil officials have no business meddling in private religious affairs."
"Ignorance is preferable to error, and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing than he who believes what is wrong."
"I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything else where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent."
"Man once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities the most monstrous, and like a ship without rudder, is the sport of every wind."
"It is between fifty and sixty years since I read the Apocalypse, and I then considered it merely the ravings of a maniac."
"The Christian God is a being of terrific character cruel, vindictive, capricious, and unjust."
"Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. 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."
"The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin,
will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter."
"The whole history of these books [the Gospels] is so defective and doubtful that it seems vain to attempt minute enquiry into it;
and such tricks have been played with their text, and with the texts of other books relating to them, that we have a right,
from that cause, to entertain much doubt what parts of them are genuine. In the New Testament there is internal evidence
that parts of it have proceeded from an extraordinary man; and that other parts are of the fabric of very
inferior minds. It is as easy to separate those parts, as to pick out diamonds from dunghills."
"I have ever judged of the religion of others by their lives
But this does not satisfy the priesthood. They
must have a positive, a declared assent to all of their interested absurdities. My opinion is that there would
never have been an infidel, if there had never been a priest."
"History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the
lowest grade of ignorance, of which their political as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes."
"Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned;
yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half of the world
fools and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the world."
"I have recently been examining all the known superstitions of the world, and do not find in our particular superstition (Christianity) one redeeming feature. They are all alike, founded on fables and mythology."
"The clergy converted the simple teachings of Jesus into an engine for enslaving mankind and adulterated by artificial constructions into a contrivance to filch wealth and power to themselves...these clergy, in fact, constitute the real Anti-Christ."
"I do not find in orthodox Christianity one redeeming feature."
"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."
"Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. It is the mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus."
You say you are a Calvinist. I am not. I am of a sect by myself, as far as I know."
"As you say of yourself, I too am an Epicurian. I consider the genuine (not the imputed) doctrines of Epicurus as containing everything rational in moral philosophy which Greece and Rome have left us."
"Let us reflect that, having banished from our land that religious intolerance under which mankind so long bled and
suffered, we have yet gained little if we countenance a political intolerance as despotic, as wicked, and capable of
as bitter and bloody persecutions. Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of
himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the forms of
kings to govern him? Let history answer this question."
"No experiment can be more interesting than that we are now trying, and which we trust will end in establishing the fact, that man may be governed by reason and truth."
"To talk of immaterial existences, is to talk of nothings. To say that the human soul, angels, God are immaterial
is to say, they are nothings, or that there is no God, no angels, no soul. I cannot reason otherwise: ... I
believe I am supported in my creed of materialism by [John] Locke."
"Believing that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship,
that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole
American people which declared that their Legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free
exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church and State."
"Religious institutions that use government power in support of themselves and force their views on persons
of other faiths, or of no faith, undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of an established religion
tends to make the clergy unresponsive to their own people, and leads to corruption within religion itself. Erecting
the 'wall of separation between church and state,' therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society."
"Religious controversies are always productive of more acrimony and irreconcilable hatreds than those which
spring from any other cause. I had hoped that liberal and enlightened thought would have reconciled the
Christians so that their [NOT our!] religious fights would not endanger the peace of Society."
"(The) government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistances,
requires only that they who live under its protection, should demean themselves as good citizens."
"We have abundant reason to rejoice that in this Land the light of truth and reason has triumphed over
the power of bigotry and superstition ... In this enlightened Age and in this Land of equal liberty it
is our boast, that a man's religious tenets will not forfeit the protection of the Laws, nor deprive him
of the right of attaining and holding the highest Offices that are known in the United States."
"There is nothing which can better deserve our patronage than the promotion of science and literature. Knowledge is in every country
the surest basis of public happiness."
"As Mankind becomes more liberal, they will be more apt to allow that all those who conduct themselves as worthy members of the community are
equally entitled to the protections of civil government. I hope ever to see America among the foremost nations of justice and liberality."
Ashbel Green, a Presbyterian minister who had known George Washington personally, is recorded as having sorrowfully said that "Washington was very deferential to religion and its ceremonies, but like nearly all of the founders of the Republic, he was not a Christian, but a Deist."
George Washington made no mention of God in his will or in his dying words recorded by his personal secretary.
"Gouverneur Morris had often told me that General Washington believed no more of that system (Christianity) than did he himself."
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
"The United States Constitutional Convention, except for three or four persons, thought prayers unnecessary."
"Lighthouses are more helpful than churches."
"I have found Christian dogma unintelligible. Early in life I absented myself from Christian assemblies."
"Scarcely was I arrived at fifteen years of age, when, after having doubted in turn of different tenets,
according as I found them combated in the different books that I read, I began to doubt of Revelation itself."
"Some volumes against Deism fell into my hands
they produced an effect precisely the reverse to what was
intended by the writers; for the arguments of the Deists, which were cited in order to be refuted,
appeared to me much more forcibly than the refutation itself; in a word, I soon became a thorough Deist."
"The way to see by Faith is to shut the eye of Reason."
"Revealed religion has no weight with me."
"Indeed, when religious people quarrel about religion, or hungry people quarrel about victuals,
it looks as if they had not much of either among them."
"When a religion is good, I conceive it will support itself; and when it does not support itself,
and God does not take care to support it so that its professors are obliged to call for help of the
civil power, 'tis a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one."
"Do not, however, mistake me. It is not to my good friend's heresy that I impute his
honesty. On the contrary, 'tis his honesty that brought upon him the character of a heretic."
"The things of this world take up too much of my time, of which indeed I
have too little left, to undertake anything like a reformation in religion."
"Religion I found to be without any tendency to inspire, promote, or confirm morality,
serves principally to divide us and make us unfriendly to one another."
"It is much to be lamented that a man of Franklin's general good character and great influence should have been an
unbeliever in Christianity, and also have done as much as he did to make others unbelievers."
"The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity. Nowhere in the Gospels do we find a precept for Creeds, Confessions, Oaths, Doctrines, and whole carloads of other foolish trumpery that we find in Christianity."
"The question before the human race is, whether the God of nature shall govern the world by his own laws, or whether priests and kings shall rule it by fictitious miracles?"
"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!"
[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."
"Indeed, Mr. Jefferson, what could be invented to debase the ancient Christianism, which Greeks, Romans, Hebrews and Christian factions,
above all the Catholics, have not fraudulently imposed upon the public? Miracles after miracles have rolled down in torrents,
wave succeeding wave in the Catholic church, from the Council of Nicea, and long before, to this day."
"As I understand the Christian religion, it was, and is, a revelation. But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales,
legends, have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed?"
"What havoc has been made of books through every century of the Christian era? Where are fifty gospels, condemned as spurious by the bull of Pope Gelasius? Where are the forty wagon-loads of Hebrew manuscripts burned in France, by order of another pope, because suspected of heresy? Remember the 'index expurgatorius', the inquisition, the stake, the axe, the halter and the guillotine."
"The priesthood have, in all ancient nations, nearly monopolized learning. And ever since the Reformation, when or where has existed a Protestant or dissenting sect who would tolerate A Earth? The blackest billingsgate, the most ungentlemanly insolence, the most yahooish brutality, is patiently endured, countenanced, propagated, and applauded. But touch a solemn truth in collision with a dogma of a sect, though capable of the clearest proof, and you will find you have disturbed a nest, and the hornets will swarm about your eyes and hand, and fly into your face and eyes."
"This is my religion ... joy and exaltation in my own existence ... so go ahead and snarl ... bite ... howl,
you Calvinistic divines and all you who say I am no Christian. I say you are not Christian."
"The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. 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, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses...."
"Nothing is more dreaded than the national government meddling with religion."
"There is not a shadow of right in the general government to intermingle with religion. Its least interference with it would be a most flagrant usurpation."
"During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its
fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity;
in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution."
"Who does not see that the same authority, which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other Religions,
may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other Sects?"
"It degrades from the equal rank of Citizens all those whose opinions in Religion do not bend to those of the
Legislative authority. Distant as it may be in its present form from the Inquisition, it differs from it only in degree."
"Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise."
"Strongly guarded as is the separation between Religion and Government in the Constitution of the United States, the danger
of encroachment by Ecclesiastical Bodies may be illustrated by precedents already furnished in their short history."
"The establishment of the chaplainship to Congress is a palpable violation of ... constitutional principles."
"When indeed Religion is kindled into enthusiasm, its force like that of other passions is increased by the sympathy of a
multitude. But enthusiasm is only a temporary state of Religion, and whilst it lasts will hardly be seen with pleasure at
the helm. Even in its coolest state, it has been much oftener a motive to oppression than a restraint from it."
"A zeal for different opinions concerning religion...[has] divided mankind into parties, inflamed them with mutual animosity,
and rendered them much more disposed to vex and oppress each other than to co-operate for their common good."
"The settled opinion here is that religion is essentially distinct from Civil Govt. and exempt from its cognizance;
that a connection between them is injurious to both
"When tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign foe."
"The study of theology, as it stands in Christian churches, is the study of nothing; it is founded on nothing; it rests on no principles;
it proceeds by no authorities; it has no data; it can demonstrate nothing; and it admits of no conclusion."
"I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish
church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church."
"It is necessary to the happiness of man that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in
believing, or in disbelieving; it consists in professing to believe what one does not believe. It is impossible
to calculate the moral mischief, if I may so express it, that mental lying has produced in society. When man has
so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind, as to subscribe his professional belief to things he does
not believe, he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime."
"The most formidable weapon against errors of every kind is reason. I have never used any other, and I trust I never shall."
"Is it more probable that nature should go out of her course, or that a man should tell a lie? We have never
seen, in our time, nature go out of her course; but we have good reason to believe that millions of lies have been
told in the same time; it is, therefore, at least millions to one, that the reporter of a miracle tells a lie."
"Reasoning with one who has abandoned reason is like giving medicine to a dead man."
"The age of ignorance commenced with the Christian system."
"Of all the tyrannies that affect mankind, tyranny in religion is the worst; every other species of tyranny is limited
to the world we live in; but this attempts to stride beyond the grave, and seeks to pursue us into eternity."
"I put the following work under your protection. It contains my opinion upon religion. You will do me the
justice to remember, that I have always strenuously supported the right of every man to his opinion, however different
that opinion might be to mine. He who denies to another this right, makes a slave
of himself to his present opinion, because he precludes himself the right of changing it."
"I detest the Bible as I detest everything that is cruel."
"Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and tortuous executions,
the unrelenting vindictiveness with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that
we call it the word of a demon than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness
that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind."
"What is it the Bible teaches us? raping, cruelty, and murder. What is it the New Testament
teaches us? to believe that the Almighty committed debauchery with a woman engaged to be married,
and the belief of this debauchery is called faith."
"And to read the Bible without horror, we must undo everything that is tender, sympathizing and benevolent in the heart of man."
"The prejudice of unfounded belief often degenerates into the prejudice of custom, and becomes at last rank
hypocrisy. When men, from custom or fashion or any worldly motive, profess or pretend to believe what
they do not believe, nor can give any reason for believing, they unship the helm of their morality, and
being no longer honest to their own minds they feel no moral difficulty in being unjust to others."
"The Age of Reason was responsible for making more people into infidels than any other book except the Bible."
"In those parts of the world where learning and science have prevailed, miracles have ceased;
but in those parts of it as are barbarous and ignorant, miracles are still in vogue."
"The Bible is not my Book and Christianity is not my religion. I could never give assent to the long complicated statements of Christian dogma."
"I am for liberty of conscience in its noblest, broadest, and highest sense. But I cannot give liberty of conscience to the
pope and his followers, the papists, so long as they tell me, through all their councils, theologians, and canon laws that their
conscience orders them to burn my wife, strangle my children, and cut my throat when they find their opportunity."
"I see a very dark cloud on America's horizon, and that cloud is coming from Rome."
"Men are not flattered by being shown that there has been a difference of purpose between the Almighty and them."
"My earlier views on the unsoundness of the Christian scheme of salvation have become clearer and stronger with
advancing years, and I see no reason for thinking I shall ever change them."
"You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time."
"It will not do to investigate the subject of religion too closely, as it is apt to lead to infidelity."
"My husband is not a Christian but is a religious man, I think."
"Nothing defines humans better than their willingness to do irrational things in pursuit of
phenomenally unlikely payoffs. This is the principal behind lotteries, dating and religion."
"If Atheism is a religion, then health is a disease!"
"It is not a coincidence that the two fields most commonly accused of being liberal - journalism and academia - are two fields
whose central purpose is the pursuit of truth."
"After all, there are crucial distinctions between wanting something to be true, having strong faith in something
being true, experiencing it as being true, and it actually being true. Why should anyone suppose that,
absent some external independent validation, the experience of being grasped by god is evidence for god?"
"Naturalists commitment to science ... isnt a matter of faith, its based on experience the widely
shared experience that beliefs about the world based in science are generally more reliable than those that
arent. If we want reliable beliefs, then its rational to stick with science, not a matter of faith."
"Have courage to use your own reason! That is the motto of enlightenment."
"Rational arguments dont usually work on religious people. Otherwise, there wouldnt be religious people."
"Religion is a system of irrational belief and groundless hope."
"If you talk to God you're religious. If God talks to you, you're psychotic."
"Of all bad men, religious bad men are the worst."
"Which is it, is man one of God's blunders or is God one of man's?"
"Faith means not wanting to know what is true."
"Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies."
"After coming into contact with a religious man I always feel I must wash my hands."
"So long as the priest, that professional negator, slanderer and poisoner of life, is regarded as
a superior type of human being, there cannot be any answer to the question: What is Truth?"
"The Christian resolve to find the world evil and ugly, has made the world evil and ugly."
"All religions bear traces of the fact that they arose during the intellectual immaturity of the human race -
before it had learned the obligations to speak the truth. Not one of them makes it the duty of its god to be
truthful and understandable in his communications."
"Gods are fragile things; they may be killed by a whiff of science or a dose of common sense."
"All my life I have made it a rule never to permit a religious man or woman take for granted that his or her
religious beliefs deserved more consideration than non-religious beliefs or anti-religious ones. I never
agree with that foolish statement that I ought to respect the views of others when I believe them to be wrong."
"ATHEIST is really a thoroughly honest, unambiguous term; it admits of no paltering and of no evasion,
and the need of the world, now as ever, is for clear-cut issues and unambiguous speech."
"There is no god higher than truth."
"Man is certainly stark mad; he cannot make a worm, yet he will make gods by the dozen."
"Religion is all bunk."
"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."
"I cannot believe in the immortality of the soul. No, all this talk of an existence for us, as individuals, beyond the
grave is wrong. It is born of our tenacity of life our desire to go on living our dread of coming to an end."
"Ethical people will do what is right, no matter what they are told. Religious people will do what they are told, no matter what is right."
"The world holds two classes of men intelligent men without religion, and religious men without intelligence."
"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use."
"To command their professors of astronomy to refute their own observations is to command them
not to see what they do see and not to understand what they do understand."
"It is wrong always, everywhere and for everyone to believe anything upon insufficient evidence."
"It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of what he was never reasoned into."
"A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against its government."
"In contradiction to the Bible, the First Amendment to our Constitution gives us the right to worship gods (or not),
work on Sunday (or not), and say what we wish about the various gods. The Constitution, conceived by what may be the most brilliant and
visionary group of men ever assembled, must take precedence over a book compiled by self-serving peoples of ancient cultures."
"I have the honesty to say Im an Atheist. There is nothing that supports the idea of a personal God."
"On the other hand, famous evolutionists such as Dobzhansky were firm believers in a personal God. He would work as a scientist all week and then on Sunday get down on his knees and pray to God. Frankly Ive never been able to understand it because you would need two totally different compartments in your brain, one that deals with religion and the other with everything else."
"Evolution ... is opportunistic, hence unpredictable."
"What the mind doesn't understand, it worships or fears."
"The very fears and guilts imposed by religious training are responsible for some of history's most brutal wars, crusades, pogroms, and persecutions, including five centuries of almost unimaginable terrorism under Europe's Inquisition and the unthinkably sadistic legal murder of nearly nine million women. History doesn't say much very good about God."
"Most men would kill the truth if truth would kill their religion."
"What a queer thing is Christian salvation! Believing in firemen will not save a burning house;
believing in doctors will not make one well, but believing in a savior saves men. Fudge!"
"When religion comes in at the door, common sense goes out at the window."
"One of the greatest gifts science has brought to the world is continuing elimination of the supernatural."
"The biggest advantage to believing in God is you don't have to understand anything, no physics, no biology. I wanted to understand."
"In the fullness of time, educated people will believe there is no soul independent of the body, and hence no life after death."
"What could be more foolish than to base one's entire view of life on ideas that, however plausible at the time,
now appear to be quite erroneous? And what would be more important than to find our true place in the
universe by removing one by one these unfortunate vestiges of earlier beliefs?"
"It is my supposition that the Universe is not only queerer than we imagine, it is queerer than we CAN imagine."
"My practice as a scientist is atheistic. That is to say, when I set up an experiment I assume that no god,
angel or devil is going to interfere with its course; and this assumption has been justified by such success as I have
achieved in my professional career. I should therefore be intellectually dishonest if I were not also atheistic
in the affairs of the world."
"Religion makes good people better and bad people worse."
"One of the great achievements of science has been, if not to make it impossible for intelligent people to be religious,
then at least to make it possible for them not to be religious. We should not retreat from this accomplishment."
"On balance the moral influence of religion has been awful."
"If language is to be of any use to us, then we ought to try and preserve the meaning of words,
and 'god' historically has not meant the laws of nature."
"The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless."
"The effort to understand the universe is one of the very few things that lifts human life a little above the level of farce
and gives it some of the grace of tragedy."
"Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things
and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion."
"I think enormous harm is done by religion not just in the name of religion, but actually by religion. ... Many
people do simply awful things out of sincere religious belief, not using religion as a cover the way that Saddam Hussein
may have done, but really because they believe that this is what God wants them to do, going all the way back to Abraham
being willing to sacrifice Isaac because God told him to do that. Putting God ahead of humanity is a terrible thing."
"[Science] is corrosive of religious belief, and it's a good thing too."
Steven Weinberg also points to the self-righteous true believers who killed Anwar Sadat, Yitzhak Rabin and Mahatma Gandhi, as well as to those Christians and Muslims who have used religion to defend slavery.
"There are no forces on this planet more dangerous to all of us than the fanaticisms of fundamentalism."
"True, you don't have to be religious to be crazy, but it helps. Indeed, if you are religious, you don't have to
be crazy in the medically certifiable sense in order to do massively crazy things."
"The idea that God is a worthy recipient of our gratitude for the blessings of life but should not be held accountable for the disasters
is a transparently disingenuous innovation of the theologians."
"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed and hence clamorous to be led to
safety by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."
"All great religions, in order to escape absurdity, have to admit a dilution of agnosticism. It is only the savage,
whether of the African bush or the American gospel tent, who pretends to know the will and intent of God exactly and completely."
"I believe that religion, generally speaking, has been a curse to mankind that its modest and greatly overestimated
services on the ethical side have been more than overcome by the damage it has done to clear and honest thinking."
"The most curious social convention of the great age in which we live is the one to the effect that religious opinions should be respected."
"Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable."
"The chief contribution of Protestantism to human thought is its massive proof that God is a bore."
"God is the immemorial refuge of the incompetent, the helpless, the miserable. They find not only sanctuary in
His arms, but also a kind of superiority, soothing to their macerated egos; He will set them above their betters."
"A Puritan is someone who is desperately afraid that, somewhere, someone might be having a good time."
"Wherever science has not yet cast its illuminating light, the supernatural or metaphysical can and will always be unwrapped by some of us,
to provide an explanation."
"Evolution is the cornerstone of modern biology. Intelligent design is not a scientific concept."
"We believe that intelligent design is neither sound science nor good theology."
"There is absolutely no scientific basis or evidence for 'intelligent design.' It is simply a religious assertion, and it has no place in a science course."
"The theory of natural selection is the centerpiece of The Origin of Species and of evolutionary theory. It is this theory that accounts for the adaptations of organisms, those innumerable features that so wonderfully equip them for survival and reproduction; it is this theory that accounts for the divergence of species from common ancestors and thus for the endless diversity of life. Natural selection is a simple concept, but it is perhaps the most important idea in biology."
"People who oppose evolution, and seek to have creationism or intelligent design included in science curricula, seek to dismiss and change the most successful way of knowing ever discovered. They wish to substitute opinion and belief for evidence and testing. The proponents of creationism/intelligent design promote scientific ignorance in the guise of learning. As professional scientists and educators, we strongly assert that such efforts are both misguided and flawed, presenting an incorrect view of science, its understandings, and its processes."
"Evolution and cosmology represent two of the unifying concepts of modern science. There are few scientific theories more firmly supported by observations than these ... We do our children a grave disservice if we remove from their education an exposure to firm scientific evidence supporting principles that significantly shape our understanding of the world in which we live."
"Evolution is one of the most robust and widely accepted principles of modern science."
"Odd arrangements and funny solutions are the proof of evolution paths that a sensible God would never tread but that a natural process, constrained by history, follows perforce."
"[Evolution is] one of the best documented, most compelling and exciting concepts in all of science."
"The most important scientific revolutions all include, as their only common feature, the dethronement of human
arrogance from one pedestal after another of previous convictions about our centrality in the cosmos."
"We are here because one odd group of fishes had a peculiar fin anatomy that could transform into legs for terrestrial creatures; because the earth never froze entirely during an ice age; because a small and tenuous species, arising in Africa a quarter of a million years ago, has managed, so far, to survive by hook and by crook. We may yearn for a 'higher answer' but none exists."
"Human life is the result of a glorious evolutionary accident."
"Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution."
"To teach kids that creationism explains something about the world is no different than teaching them that the earth is flat."
"The breathtaking inanity of the [school] Boards decision is evident when considered against the factual
backdrop which has now been fully revealed through this trial."
"The writings of leading ID proponents reveal that the designer postulated by their argument is the God of Christianity."
"Creationists who want religious ideas taught as scientific fact in public schools continue to adapt to courtroom defeats by hiding their true aims under ever changing guises."
"You can't really be scientifically literate if you don't understand evolution. And you can't be an educated
member of society if you don't understand science."
"There is no other door to knowledge than the door Nature opens. And there is no truth but the truth we discover in Nature."
"Several thousand years ago, a small tribe of ignorant near-savages wrote various collections of myths, wild tales, lies and gibberish. Over the centuries, these stories were embroidered, garbled, mutilated, and torn into small pieces that were then repeatedly shuffled. Finally, this material was badly translated into several languages sucessfully. The resultant text, creationists feel, is the best guide to this complex and technical subject."
"Debating creationists on the topic of evolution is rather like trying to play chess with a pigeon; it knocks the pieces over,
craps on the board, and flies back to its flock to claim victory."
"Start out understanding religion by saying everything is possibly wrong... As soon as you do that, you start sliding down an edge which is hard to recover from..."
"During the Middle Ages there were all kinds of crazy ideas, such as that a piece of rhinoceros horn would increase potency. Then a method was discovered for separating the ideas - which was to try one to see if it worked, and if it didn't work, to eliminate it. This method became organized, of course, into science."
"Reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled."
"Those who would legislate against the teaching of evolution should also legislate against gravity, electricity and the unreasonable velocity of light, and also, should introduce a clause to prevent the use of the telescope, the microscope and the spectroscope or any other instrument of precision which may in the future be invented, constructed or used for the discovery of truth."
"Evolution lies at the heart of biology. It is seamlessly and continuously linked to health research to better understand such conditions as AIDS or bird flu or Parkinson's or cancer or heart disease. Every biomedical experiment, every tiny advance, every major breakthrough ultimately connects to the principles first postulated by Darwin."
"Evolutionary biology is no more an atheistic theory than is nuclear physics, relativity theory, or astronomy."
"There is nothing wrong with challenging conventional wisdom continuing challenge is a core feature of science. But challengers should at least be aware of, read, cite, and specifically rebut the actual data that supports conventional wisdom, not merely construct a rhetorical edifice out of omission of relevant facts, selective quoting, bad analogies, knocking down strawmen, and tendentious interpretations. Unless and until the 'intelligent design' movement does this, they are not seriously in the game. They're not even playing the same sport."
"The Bible identifies 15 crimes against the family worthy of the death penalty. ABORTION is treason against the family and deserves the DEATH PENALTY. ADULTERY is treason to the family; adulterers should be put to DEATH. HOMOSEXUALITY is treason to the family, and it too, is worthy of DEATH."
R.J. Rushdoony hasn't read his bible much. God doesn't oppose abortion and he doesn't seem to mind child abuse. Concerning adultery, many of the Bible's heroes committed it with God's blessing - such as King David. David was punished for this one but not with the death penalty as Rushdoony suggested.
Concerning the death penalty, there's the following problem: Genesis 9:6 - "Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for in the image of God has God made man." Sounds like a bit of a contradiction with all those OT laws.
"God himself shows little respect for what is best in the Bible. He commands 'Thou shalt not kill',
and then promptly orders the killing of many thousands. Moses condemns human sacrifice but God
demands the sacrifice of Isaac and accepts that of Jephthah's daughter. Jesus preaches 'whoever
shall say 'you fool!', shall be in danger of hell fire', but shortly after this rages at the Pharisees saying 'you fools!'."
"The theist must present an intelligible description of god. Until he does so, god makes no more
sense than unie; both are cognitively empty, and any attempt at proof is logically absurd."
"The belief in eternal torment, still subscribed to by fundamentalist Christian denominations, undoubtedly ranks as the most vicious and reprehensible doctrine of classical Christianity. It has resulted in an incalculable amount of psychological torture, especially among children where it is employed as a terror tactic to prompt obedience."
"It cannot be emphasized too strongly that Christianity has a vested interest in human misery. Christianity,
perhaps more than any religion before or since, capitalized on human suffering; and it was enormously successful in
insuring its own existence through the perpetuation of human suffering."
"Christianity cannot erase man's need for pleasure, nor can it eradicate the various sources of pleasure. What it can do, however,
and what it has been extremely effective in accomplishing, is to inculcate guilt in connection with pleasure. The pursuit of pleasure,
when accompanied by guilt, becomes a means of perpetuating chronic guilt, and this serves to reinforce one's dependence on God."
"Just as Christianity must destroy reason before it can introduce faith, so it must destroy happiness before it can introduce salvation."
"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."
"I am arguing that faith as such, faith as an alleged method of acquiring knowledge, is totally invalid and as a
consequence, all propositions of faith, because they lack rational demonstration, must conflict with reason."
"All religions are sick men's dreams, false demonstrably false and pernicious."
"Far from being an aberration that is not representative of Christianity, the persecution of heretics follows
logically from the connection of faith and salvation as presented by Jesus in the Gospels."
"And so the violence continued century after century, fired by a Spirit which gloated with vindictive piety over
the suffering of burning heretics on earth with superhuman malice upon their imagined suffering beyond the grave."
"The great conflict of the 21st century will not be between the West and terrorism. Terrorism is a tactic, not a belief. The true
battle will be between modern civilization and anti-modernists; between those who believe in the primacy of the individual and those who
believe that human beings owe their allegiance and identity to a higher authority; between those who give priority to life in this world
and those who believe that human life is mere preparation for an existence beyond life; between those who believe in science, reason, and
logic and those who believe that truth is revealed through Scripture and religious dogma. Terrorism will disrupt and destroy
lives. But terrorism itself is not the greatest danger we face."
"I doubt any god who inflicts pain for his own pleasure."
"The idea of God implies the abdication of human reason and justice; it is the most decisive negation of human liberty, and necessarily ends in the enslavement of mankind, both in theory and in practice."
"If God is, man is a slave; now, man can and must be free; then, God does not exist."
"All religions, with their gods, their demigods, and their prophets, their messiahs and their saints, were created by the credulous fancy of men who had not attained the full development and full possession of their faculties."
"[Jehovah is] certainly the most jealous, the most vain, the most ferocious, the most unjust, the most bloodthirsty, the most despotic, and the most hostile to human dignity and liberty."
"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."
"If 'god' is a metaphysical term, then it cannot be even probable that a god exists. For to say that 'God exists'
is to make a metaphysical utterance which cannot be either true or false. And by the same criterion,
no sentence which purports to describe the nature of a transcendent god can possess any literal significance."
"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."
"If we are honest and scientists have to be we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality."
"Skepticism is the highest duty and blind faith the one unpardonable sin."
"You never see animals going through the absurd and often horrible fooleries of magic and religion. Only man behaves
with such gratuitous folly. It is the price he has to pay for being intelligent but not, as yet, quite intelligent enough."
"I call him free who is led solely by reason."
"Those who wish to seek out the cause of miracles, and to understand the things of nature as philosophers,
and not to stare at them in astonishment like fools, are soon considered heretical and impious, and
proclaimed as such by those whom the mob adores as the interpreters of nature and the gods. For these
men know that, once ignorance is put aside, that wonderment would be taken away, which is the only means
by which their authority is preserved."
"Philosophy has no end in view save truth; faith looks for nothing but obedience and piety."
"It is among men of genius and science that atheism alone is found."
"Christianity indeed has equaled Judaism in the atrocities, and exceeded it in the extent of its desolation. Eleven millions of men, women, and children have been killed in battle, butchered in their sleep, burned to death at public festivals of sacrifice, poisoned, tortured, assassinated, and pillaged in the spirit of the Religion of Peace, and for the glory of the most merciful God."
"If ignorance of nature gave birth to gods, knowledge of nature is made for their destruction."
"Religion! but for thee, prolific fiend, Who peoplest earth with demons, hell with men, And heaven with slaves!"
"The division between faith and reason is a half-measure, till it is frankly admitted that faith has to do with fiction, and reason with fact."
"Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand
things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but
it is essential for right thinking; where it is absent, discussion is apt to become worse than useless."
"Autocracy cannot do without its twin agents: a hangman and a priest, the first to suppress popular resistance by
force, the second to sweeten and embellish the lot of the oppressed with empty promises of a heavenly kingdom."
"A lie told often enough becomes truth."
"The radical novelty of modern science lies precisely in the rejection of the belief, which is at the heart of all popular religion,
that the forces which move the stars and atoms are contingent upon the preferences of the human heart."
"What I conclude is that religion has nothing to do with experience or reason but with deep and irrational needs."
"He who will not reason is a bigot; he who cannot is a fool; and he who dares not, is a slave."
"Nothing is so firmly believed as what we know least."
"This hideous doctrine of eternal torment after death has probably caused more terror and
misery, more cruelty and more violation of natural human sympathy, than any belief in the
history of mankind. Yet this doctrine was taught unambiguously by Jesus."
"There is no justification for the common claim that Christianity was responsible for the
abolition of slavery. The Negro slave trade a far more infamous practice than slavery in the
ancient world was initiated, carried on and defended by Christian men in Christian countries."
"The Christian religion is so manifestly contrary to the facts, belief in it can only be held with the most delusional gerrymandering imaginable."
"The dominant Catholic Church jumped through legalistic hoops to make slavery not only acceptable but justifiable as a way
of spreading the faith. Indeed, slave owners were obliged by law to baptize their slaves."
"It is a terrible commentary on Christian civilization that the longest period of slave-raiding known to history was
initiated by the action of Spain, Portugal, France, Holland and Britain, after the Christian faith had for more than
a thousand years been the established religion of Europe."
"Let's not forget that the first holocaust took place not in the concentration camps of Nazi Germany, or Poland,
but on the cotton fields of Christian America, the gold mines of Catholic Brazil, and the sugar plantations of the
Caribbean. One and a half million negroes died in transit from their homeland. We don't know how many
were worked, whipped, tortured, hanged or beaten to death but the ultimate toll was considerably greater than the
combined toll in Auswitz, Belsen and the like. We're talking about the Christian holocaust."
"These attempts to turn courthouses into pulpits will continue to be challenged with facts and defeated with reason."
"The test of a good religion is whether you can joke about it."
"If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him; let us worship God through Jesus if we must if ignorance
has so far prevailed that this name can still be spoken in all seriousness without being taken as a synonym for
rapine and carnage. Every sensible man, every honourable man, must hold the Christian sect in horror..."
"Religion began when the first scoundrel met the first fool."
"You will notice that in all disputes between Christians since the birth of the Church, Rome has always favored
the doctrine which most completely subjugated the human mind and annihilated reason."
"He who is involved in ecstasies and visions, who takes dreams for reality, and his own imagination for prophesy, is a
fanatical novice of great hope and promise, and will soon advance to the higher stage and kill men for the love of God."
"The truths of religion are never so well understood as by those who have lost the power of reasoning."
"The Bible. That is what fools have written, what imbeciles commend, what rogues teach and young children are made to learn by heart."
"I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: 'O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.' And God granted it."
"Christianity is the most ridiculous, the most absurd, and bloody religion that has ever infected the world."
"A great error is more easily propagated than a great truth, because it is easier to believe, than to reason,
and because people prefer the marvels of romances to the simplicity of history."
"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."
"Prayers are to men as dolls are to children. They are not without use and comfort, but it is not easy to take them very seriously."
"As men's prayers are a disease of the will, so are their creeds a disease of the intellect."
"The first and last lesson of religion is, 'The things that are seen are temporal; the things that are not seen are eternal.' It puts an affront upon nature."
"The god of the cannibals will be a cannibal, of the crusaders a crusader, and of the merchants a merchant."
"The quest for God is like a blind man in a dark room looking for a black cat that isn't there."
Philosophy is like being in a dark room and looking for a black cat.
"Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned."
"If you are comfortable with a lie, you will never look for the truth."
"You can fool some of the people some of the time - and that's enough to make a decent living."
"Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they do not understand, but the passages that bother me are those I do understand."
"Man is a marvelous curiosity... he thinks he is the Creator's pet... he even believes the Creator loves him;
has a passion for him; sits up nights to admire him; yes and watch over him and keep him out of
trouble. He prays to Him and thinks He listens. Isn't it a quaint idea."
"I cannot see how a man of any large degree of humorous perception can ever be
religious unless he purposely shut the eyes of his mind & keep them shut by force."
"Man is the Religious Animal. He is the only Religious Animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion several
of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself, and cuts his throat if his theology isnt straight."
"When one reads Bibles, one is less surprised at what the Deity knows than at what He doesn't know."
"Blasphemy? No, it is not blasphemy. If God is as vast as that, he is above blasphemy; if He is as little as that, He is beneath it."
"If the man doesn't believe as we do, we say he is a crank, and that settles it. I mean, it does nowadays, because now we can't burn him."
"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect."
"To trust the God of the Bible is to trust an irascible, vindictive, fierce and ever fickle and changeful master."
"In God We Trust. It is the choicest compliment that has ever been paid us, and the
most gratifying to our feelings. It is simple, direct, gracefully phrased; it always
sounds well In God We Trust. I don't believe it would sound any better if it were true."
"If Christ were here there is one thing he would not be a Christian."
"The so-called Christian nations are the most enlightened and progressive ... but in spite of their religion, not because
of it. The Church has opposed every innovation and discovery from the day of Galileo down to our own time, when the
use of anesthetic in childbirth was regarded as a sin because it avoided the biblical curse pronounced against
Eve. And every step in astronomy and geology ever taken has been opposed by bigotry and superstition. The
Greeks surpassed us in artistic culture and in architecture five hundred years before Christian religion was born."
"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 to-day, 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."
"Nothing agrees with me. If I drink coffee, it gives me dyspepsia; if I drink wine, it gives me the gout; if I go to church, it gives me dysentery."
"The church is always trying to get other people to reform; it might not be a bad idea to reform itself a little, by way of example."
"The bible has noble poetry in it; and some clever fables; and some blood-drenched history; and a wealth of obscenity; and upwards of a thousand lies."
"I have never let schooling interfere with my education."
"Religion consists in a set of things which the average man thinks he believes and wishes he was certain of."
"The gods offer no rewards for intellect. There was never one yet that showed any interest in it."
"Faith is believing what you know ain't so."
"Ignorance is not not knowin' Ignorance is knowin' what ain't so."
"I cannot call to mind a single instance where I have ever been irreverent, except toward the things which were sacred to other people"
"We despise all reverences and all the objects of reverence which are outside the pale of our own list of
sacred things. And yet, with strange inconsistency, we are shocked when other people despise and defile the things which are holy to us."
"Strange a God who mouths Golden Rules and forgiveness, then invented hell; who mouths morals to other people and
has none Himself; who frowns upon crimes yet commits them all; who created man without invitation, then tries to
shuffle the responsibility for man's acts upon man, instead of honorably placing it where it belongs, upon Himself;
and finally with altogether divine obtuseness, invites this poor, abused slave to worship Him!"
"Stripping away the irrational, the illogical, and the impossible, I am left with atheism. I can live with that."
"I was dead for millions of years before I was born and it never inconvenienced me a bit."
"A cult is a religion with no political power."
"It is a truism that almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so."
"Men rarely (if ever) dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child."
"History does not record anywhere a religion that has any rational basis. Religion is a crutch for people not strong enough to stand up to the unknown without help."
"The most preposterous notion that H. sapiens has ever dreamed up is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of all the Universes, wants the
saccharine adoration of His creatures, can be swayed by their prayers, and becomes petulant if He does not receive this flattery. Yet this absurd
fantasy, without a shred of evidence to bolster it, pays all the expenses of the oldest, largest, and least productive industry in all history."
"God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all
three of these attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks, please. Cash and in small bills."
"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."
"When two men of science disagree, they do not invoke the secular arm; they wait for further evidence to
decide the issue, because, as men of science, they know that neither is infallible. But when two
theologians differ, since there is no criteria to which either can appeal, there is nothing for it but
mutual hatred and an open or covert appeal to force."
"My conclusion is that there is no reason to believe any of the dogmas of traditional theology and, further, that there
is no reason to wish that they were true. Man, in so far as he is not subject to natural forces, is free to
work out his own destiny. The responsibility is his, and so is the opportunity."
"The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge."
"So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence."
"I believe that when I die I shall rot, and nothing of my ego will survive. I am not young, and I love life. But
I should scorn to shiver with terror at the thought of annihilation. Happiness is nonetheless true happiness
because it must come to an end, nor do thought and love lose their value because they are not everlasting."
"You find as you look around the world that every single bit of progress in humane feeling, every improvement
in the criminal law, every step toward the diminution of war, every step toward better treatment of the colored
races, or every mitigation of slavery, every moral progress that there has been in the world, has been consistently
opposed by the organized churches of the world. I say quite deliberately that the Christian religion, as
organized in its churches, has been and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world."
"Historically, it is quite doubtful whether Christ ever existed at all, and if He did we do not know anything about Him."
"I am as firmly convinced that religions do harm as I am that they are untrue."
"[There has been] every kind of cruelty practiced upon all sorts of people in the name of religion."
"Cruel men believe in a cruel god and use their belief to excuse their cruelty. Only kindly men believe in a kindly god,
and they would be kindly in any case."
"The infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists that is why they invented hell."
"Religion is based ... mainly upon fear ... fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the parent of cruelty, and
therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion have gone hand in hand. My own view on religion is that of Lucretius. I regard
it as a disease born of fear and as a source of untold misery to the human race."
"Never try to discourage thinking, for you are sure to succeed."
"Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so."
"People everywhere enjoy believing things that they know are not true. It spares them the ordeal of thinking
for themselves and taking responsibility for what they know."
"The term 'skeptic' does not mean one who doubts, but one who investigates or researches, as opposed to one who asserts and thinks that he has found."
"My religion is to seek for truth in life and for life in truth, even knowing that I shall not find them while I live."
"It is not skeptics or explorers but fanatics and ideologues who menace decency and progress. No agnostic
ever burned anyone at the stake or tortured a pagan, heretic, or an unbeliever."
"Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest."
"An immoral god a hangover from stone age minds still corrupts human mentality with its scapegoat justice and the threat of eternal damnation."
"Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. God is all-powerful. Draw your own conclusions."
"The dignity of man lies in his ability to face reality in all its meaninglessness."
"Christianity persecuted, tortured, and burned. Like a hound it tracked the very scent of heresy. It kindled
wars, and nursed furious hatreds and ambitions. It sanctified, quite like Mohammedanism, extermination and tyranny..."
"Fear first created the gods."
"[E]very major religion today is a winner in the Darwinian struggle waged among cultures, and none ever flourished by tolerating its rivals."
"A theory is just a mathematical model to describe the observations."
"In fact, nothing in science as a whole has been more firmly established by interwoven factual information, or more illuminating than the
universal occurrence of biological evolution. Further, few natural processes have been more convincingly explained than
evolution by the theory of natural selection, or as it has been popularly called, Darwinism."
"The human mind evolved to believe in the gods. It did not evolve to believe in biology."
"If you understand the psychology of the Big Mac Meal, you understand the psychology of religion."
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."
"I do not consider it an insult, but rather a compliment to be called an agnostic. I do not pretend
to know where many ignorant men are sure that is all that agnosticism means."
"I don't believe in God because I don't believe in Mother Goose."
"In spite of all the yearnings of men, no one can produce a single fact or reason to support the belief in God and in personal immortality."
"Some of you say religion makes people happy. So does laughing gas."
"We would be 1,500 years ahead if it hadn't been for the church dragging science back by its coattails and burning our best minds at the stake."
"Faith in God necessarily implies a lack of faith in humanity."
"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."
"The Bible tells us to be like God, and then on page after page it describes God as a mass murderer. This
may be the single most important key to the political behavior of Western Civilization."
"What gods are there, what gods have there ever been, that were not from man's imagination?"
Mosaic Law orders us to kill anyone who worships a different god, kill anyone who worships idols, kill anyone who blasphemes, kill anyone who works on Saturday, kill anyone who dishonors their parents, kill anyone who commits adultery, kill any woman who has sex before marriage, kill anyone who steals a slave, kill anyone who has homosexual sex, and wage genocidal war against any city that allows religious liberty (see Deuteronomy 13).
"Religions are like glow-worms. They need darkness in order to shine."
"If we go back to the beginning we shall find that ignorance and fear created the gods; that fancy, enthusiasm, or deceit
adorned or disfigured them; that weakness worships them; that credulity preserves them, and that custom, respect and
tyranny support them in order to make the blindness of men serve its own interests. If ignorance of Nature gave
birth to gods, then knowledge of Nature is calculated to destroy them."
"What has been said of [God] is either unintelligible or perfectly contradictory;
and for this reason must appear impossible to every man of common sense."
"All religions are ancient monuments to superstition, ignorance, ferocity; and modern religions are only ancient follies."
"Never yet has a God been defined in terms which were not palpably self-contradictory and absurd;
never yet has a God been described so that a concept of Him was made possible to human thought."
"Prejudice, not being founded on reason, cannot be removed by argument."
"It is impossible to defeat an ignorant man in argument."
"Most religious people would rather be certain than right."
"Humanity is in the highest degree irrational, so that there is no prospect of influencing it by reasonable arguments. Against prejudice one can do nothing."
"Religion is the process of unconscious wish fulfillment, where, for certain people, if the process did not take place it
would put them in self-danger of coming to mental harm, being unable to cope with the idea of a godless, purposeless life."
"The more the fruits of knowledge become accessible to men, the more widespread is the decline of religious belief."
"Religion is comparable to a childhood neurosis."
"Religion is an illusion and it derives its strength from the fact that it falls in with our instinctual desires."
"The world is divided into armed camps, ready to commit genocide just because we can not agree on which fairy tales to believe. In the end, religion will kill us all."
"A prejudice is a vagrant opinion without visible means of support."
"[T]he Court has unambiguously concluded that the individual freedom of conscience protected by the First Amendment
embraces the right to select any religious faith or none at all. This conclusion derives support ... from recognition
of the fact that the political interest in forestalling intolerance extends beyond intolerance among Christian sects
or even intolerance among 'religions' to encompass intolerance of the disbeliever and the uncertain."
"The day that this country ceases to be free for irreligion it will cease to be free for religion except for the sect that can win political power."
"The mixing of government and religion can be a threat to free government, even if no one is forced to
participate.... When the government puts its imprimatur on a particular religion, it conveys a message of exclusion
to all those who do not adhere to the favored beliefs. A government cannot be premised on the belief that all
persons are created equal when it asserts that God prefers some."
"No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions,
whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion."
"Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious
organizations or groups and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of
religion by law was intended to erect 'a wall of separation between church and state.'"
"Religious beliefs worthy of respect are the product of free and voluntary choice by the
faithful. Government must pursue a course of complete neutrality toward religion."
"The lessons of the First Amendment are as urgent in the modern world as the 18th Century when it was written. One
timeless lesson is that if citizens are subjected to state-sponsored religious exercises, the State disavows its own duty
to guard and respect that sphere of inviolable conscience and belief which is the mark of a free people."
"The Ten Commandments are undeniably a sacred text in the Jewish and Christian faiths, and no legislative recitation of
a supposed secular purpose can blind us to that fact ... the first part of the Commandments concerns the religious duties
of believers: worshipping the Lord God alone, avoiding idolatry, not using the Lord's name in vain, and observing the Sabbath day."
"(W)e do not count heads before enforcing the First Amendment."
"If we are to be as a shining city upon a hill, it will be because of our ceaseless pursuit of the constitutional ideal of human dignity."
"I do not believe in the divinity of Christ, and there are many other of the postulates of the orthodox creed to which I cannot subscribe."
"Americans practice different faiths in churches, synagogues, mosques and temples. And many good people practice no faith at all."
"We have the most religious freedom of any country in the world, including the freedom not to believe."
"We cannot permit any inquisition either within or without the law or apply any religious test to the
holding of office. The mind of America must be forever free."
"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."
"In 1850, I believe, the church property in the United States, which paid no tax, amounted to $87 million. In 1900,
without a check, it is safe to say, this property will reach a sum exceeding $3 billion. I
would suggest the taxation of all property equally."
"Encourage free schools and resolve that not one dollar appropriated for their support shall be appropriated to the
support of any sectarian schools. Resolve that neither the state nor nation, nor both combined, shall support
institutions of learning other than those sufficient to afford every child growing up in the land of opportunity of a
good common school education, unmixed with sectarian, pagan, or Atheistical dogmas. Leave the matter of religion
to the family altar, the church and the private school supported entirely by private contributions. Keep the
church and state forever separate."
"Leave the matter of religion to the family altar, the church, and the private schools, supported entirely
by private contributions. Keep the church and the state forever separate."
"The United States is no more a Christian nation because most of its citizens are Christians than it is a 'white'
nation because most of its citizens are white. We are Americans because we practice democracy and believe
in republican government, not because we practice revealed religion and believe in Bible-based government."
"I learned how valuable our Constitution is and how valuable the separation of church and state is."
"Not only is the universe stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine."
"Now it seems that everything in the world stems from sources other than God, since the products of nature have their source in nature;
deliberate effects can be traced back to human reason or will as their source. There is no need then to assume that God exists."
"There's no way to put God to the test, and that's exactly what you're doing when you design a study to see if God answers your prayers."
"I don't want to see religious bigotry in any form. It would disturb me if there was a wedding between the religious fundamentalists
and the political right. The hard right has no interest in religion except to manipulate it."
"Being a conservative in America traditionally has meant that one holds a deep, abiding respect for the
Constitution. We conservatives believe sincerely in the integrity of the Constitution. We treasure
the freedom that document protects.... By maintaining the separation of church and state, the United States has
avoided the intolerance, which has so divided the rest of the world with religious wars. Throughout our two
hundred plus years, public policy debate has focused on political and economic issues, on which there can be
compromise.... The great decisions of government cannot be dictated by the concerns of religious
factions. This was true in the days of Madison, and it is just as true today. We have succeeded for 205
years in keeping the affairs of state separate from the uncompromising idealism of religious groups and we mustn't
stop now. To retreat from that separation would violate the principles of conservatism and the values upon
which the framers built this democratic republic."
"Now those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their
own version of heaven on earth, and let me remind you they are the very ones who always create the most hellish tyranny."
"There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally
one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being. The
religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are
trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious
groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both. I'm
frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me ... that if I want to be a
moral person, I must believe in A, B, C, and D. Just who do they think they are?"
"I am a conservative Republican, but I believe in democracy and the separation of church and
state. The conservative movement is founded on the simple tenet that people have the right
to live life as they please as long as they don't hurt anyone else in the process."
"You don't have to be straight to shoot straight."
"I believe in the American tradition of separation of church and state which is expressed in the First Amendment to
the Constitution. By my office and by personal conviction I am sworn to uphold that tradition."
"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president,
right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."
"I hold that in this country there must be complete severance of Church and State; that public moneys shall not be
used for the purpose of advancing any particular creed; and therefore that the public schools shall be nonsectarian
and no public moneys appropriated for sectarian schools."
"The God of hell should be held in loathing, contempt and scorn. A god who threatens eternal pain should be hated,
not loved; cursed, not worshipped. A heaven presided over by such a god must be below the meanest hell."
"Ignorance is the soil in which belief in miracles grows."
"Superstition is, always has been, and forever will be, the foe of progress, the enemy of education and the assassin of freedom."
"Ignorance is the soil in which belief in miracles grows."
"Ignorance worships mystery; reason explains it; the one grovels, the other soars."
"Too much doubt is better than too much credulity."
"Every church that has a standard higher than human welfare is dangerous."
"Do you not know that every religion in the world has declared every other religion a fraud? Yes,
we all know it. That is the time all religions tell the truth each of the other."
"Take from the church the miraculous, the supernatural, the unreasonable the impossible, the unknowable, and
the absurd, and nothing but a vacuum remains... Religion has not civilized man man has civilized religion."
"Heresy is a cradle; orthodoxy is a coffin."
"This crime called blasphemy was invented by priests for the purpose of defending doctrines not able to take care of themselves."
"To hate man and worship God seems to be the sum of all creeds."
"Whenever a man believes that he has the exact truth from God, there is in that man no spirit of compromise. He
has not the modesty born of the imperfections of human nature; he has the arrogance of theological certainty and the
tyranny born of ignorant assurance. Believing himself to be the slave of God, he imitates his master, and of all
tyrants the worst is a slave in power."
"It is contended by many that ours is a Christian government, founded upon the Bible, and that all who look upon
the 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
and for the people. It is the only nation with which the gods have had nothing to do. And yet there
are some judges dishonest and cowardly enough to solemnly decide that this is a Christian country, and that our
free institutions are based upon the infamous laws of Jehovah."
"The Old Testament filled this world with tyranny and injustice, and the New gives us a future filled with pain for
nearly all of the sons of men. The Old Testament describes the hell of the past, and the New the hell of the future."
"If a man would follow, today, the teachings of the Old Testament, he would
be a criminal. If he would follow the teachings of the new, he would be insane."
"When I became convinced that the universe is natural, that all the ghosts and gods are myths, there entered
into my brain, into my soul, into every drop of my blood the sense, the feeling, the joy of freedom. The walls
of my prison crumbled and fell. The dungeon was flooded with light and all the bolts and bars and manacles became
dust. I was no longer a servant, a serf, or a slave. There was for me no master in all the wide world, not
even in infinite space. I was free free to think, to express my thoughts free to live my own ideal, free to live
for myself and those I loved, free to use all my faculties, all my senses, free to spread imagination's wings, free to
investigate, to guess and dream and hope, free to judge and determine for myself ... I was free! I stood
erect and fearlessly, joyously faced all worlds."
"For ages, a deadly conflict has been waged between a few brave men and women of thought and genius upon the one side,
and the great ignorant religious mass on the other. This is the war between Science and Faith.
"All religions are inconsistent with mental freedom. Shakespeare is my bible, Burns my hymn-book."
"It may be that ministers really think that their prayers do good, and it may be that frogs imagine that their croaking brings spring."
"All prayers die in the air which they uselessly agitate."
"Infidelity is liberty; all religion is slavery."
"With soap, baptism is a good thing."
"The church has always been willing to swap off treasures in heaven for cash down."
"All that is necessary, as it seems to me, to convince any reasonable person that the Bible is simply and purely
of human invention of barbarian invention is to read it. Read it as you would any other book; think of it as
you would of any other; get the bandage of reverence from your eyes; drive from your heart the phantom of fear; push
from the throne of your brain the cowled form of superstition then read the Holy Bible, and you will be amazed
that you ever, for one moment, supposed a being of infinite wisdom, goodness and purity, to be the author of such
ignorance and of such atrocity."
"Eternal punishment must be eternal cruelty, and I do not see how any man, unless he has the brain of an idiot,
or the heart of a wild beast, can believe in eternal punishment."
"It has always seemed to me that a being coming from another world, with a message of infinite importance to
mankind, should at least have verified that message by his own signature. Is it not wonderful that not
one word was written by Christ?"
"The intellectual advancement of man depends on how often he can exchange an old superstition for a new truth."
"The first step is for man to cease to be the slave of man. The second, is to cease to be the slave of the
monsters of his own creation, the ghosts and phantoms of the air."
"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.'"
"The time to be happy is now. The place to be happy is here. The way to be happy is to try to make others so."
"Let me tell you that religion is the cruelest fraud ever perpetrated upon the human race. It is the last of the great schemes of thievery
that man must legally prohibit so as to protect himself from the charlatans who prey upon the ignorance and fears of the people."
"Atheism rises above creeds and puts Humanity upon one plane.
"The Old Testament is responsible for more atheism, agnosticism, disbelief call it what you will than any book ever
written; it has emptied more churches than all the counterattractions of cinema, motor bicycle and golf course."
"I could not do otherwise without transcending the limits prescribed by the Constitution for the President and without feeling that I
might in some degree disturb the security which religion nowadays enjoys in this country in its complete separation from the political
concerns of the General Government."
"If you must believe in anything, believe in yourselves, in your senses, in your minds. To accept a religious creed
is to accept another mind in place of your own and generally contrary to your own. When religious belief comes in brains go out"
"No actual tyrant known to history has ever been guilty of one-hundredth of the
crimes, massacres, and other atrocities attributed to the Deity in the Bible."
"It is not hardness of heart or evil passions that drive individuals to atheism, but rather a scrupulous intellectual honesty."
"I think that the United States is heading in the direction of theocracy. The problem is
that we let religious people say stunningly false things and we consider it rude to question
those beliefs. But we should be shunning those people. If that sounds intolerant, that's the
point. I'm not tolerant of suspending reason."
"All religions are the same basically guilt, with different holidays."
"When religion and common sense collide, common sense always loses."
"People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them."
A religious war is like children fighting over who has the strongest imaginary friend.
"Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the
policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist
dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be
brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being
attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger."
"Ein Folk, ein Reich, ein Fόhrer." ("One People, one Reign, one Leader.")
"Grant that we may be one flock and one shepherd!"
"We have one country, one Constitution and one future that binds us."
"Theology asserts propositions that cannot be proven true; ideologues hold stoutly to a worldview despite being contradicted
by what is generally accepted as reality. When ideology and theology couple, their offspring are not always bad but they
are always blind. And there is the danger: voters and politicians alike, oblivious to the facts."
"The virgin birth, understood as literal biology, makes Christ's divinity, as traditionally understood, impossible."
"The miracle stories of the New Testament can no longer be interpreted in a post-Newtonian world
as supernatural events performed by an incarnate deity."
"The view of the cross as the sacrifice for the sins of the world is a barbarian idea based on primitive concepts of God and must be dismissed."
"Prayer cannot be a request made to a theistic deity to act in human history in a particular way."
"The hope for life after death must be separated forever from the behavior control mentality of reward and
punishment. The Church must abandon, therefore, its reliance on guilt as a motivator of behavior."
"If the resurrection of Jesus cannot be believed except by assenting to the fantastic descriptions included in the Gospels, then Christianity is doomed. For that view of resurrection is not believable, and if that is all there is, then Christianity, which depends upon the truth and authenticity of Jesus' resurrection, also is not believable."
"Jesus is a mythical figure in the tradition of pagan mythology and almost nothing in all of ancient literature would lead one to believe otherwise. Anyone wanting to believe Jesus lived and walked as a real live human being must do so despite the evidence, not because of it."
"I think the fault is more with historicists who have stubbornly failed to develop a good theory of historicity. By simply resting on the feeble laurels of prima facie plausibility ('Jesus existed because everyone said so') and subjective notions of absurdity ('I can't believe Jesus didn't exist!'),
the existence of Jesus has largely been taken for granted, even by competent historians who explicitly try to argue for it."
"The Gospel story, with its figure of Jesus of Nazareth, cannot be found before the Gospels. In Christian writings earlier than Mark, including almost all of the New Testament epistles, as well as in many writings from the second century, the object of Christian faith is never spoken of as a human man who had recently lived, taught, performed miracles, suffered and died at the hands of human authorities, or rose from a tomb outside Jerusalem. There is no sign in the epistles of Mary or Joseph, Judas or John the Baptist, no birth story, teaching or appointment of apostles by Jesus, no mention of holy places or sites of Jesus career, not even the hill of Calvary or the empty tomb. This silence is so pervasive and so perplexing that attempted explanations for it have proven inadequate."
"The general root of superstition is that men observe when things hit, and not when they miss, and commit to memory the one, and pass over the other."
"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."
"Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's." (Matthew 22:21)
"You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things."
"Today, almost half a century after the publication of the Encyclical [of Pius IX], new knowledge has led to the
recognition in the theory of evolution of more than a hypothesis. It is indeed remarkable that this theory has
been progressively accepted by researchers, following a series of discoveries in various fields of knowledge. The
convergence, neither sought nor fabricated, of the results of work that was conducted independently is in itself a
significant argument in favor of this theory."
"The problem with intelligent-design theory, is not that it is false but that it is not falsifiable. Not being susceptible to contradicting evidence, it is not a testable hypothesis. Hence it is not a scientific but a creedal tenet a matter of faith, unsuited to a public school's science curriculum."
"In India, as elsewhere in our darkening world, religion is the poison in the blood. Where religion
intervenes, mere innocence is no excuse. Yet we go on skating around this issue, speaking of religion
in the fashionable language of 'respect.' What is there to respect in any of this, or in any of the
crimes now being committed almost daily around the world in religion's dreaded name?"
"When you once attribute effects to the will of a personal God, you have let in a lot of little gods and evils
then sprites, fairies, dryads, naiads, witches, ghosts and goblins, for your imagination is reeling, riotous, drunk,
afloat on the flotsam of superstition. What you know then doesn't count. You just believe, and the more
your believe the more do you plume yourself that fear and faith are superior to science and seeing."
"I believe in an America where religious intolerance will someday
end ... where every man has the same right to attend or not attend the church of his choice."
"I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute where no Catholic prelate would tell the
president (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote
where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference and where no man is denied public
office merely because his religion differs from the president who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.
"I can't take my Catholic belief, my article of faith, and legislate it on a Protestant or a Jew or an Atheist. We have separation of church and state in the United States of America."
"People who believe they are acting with the mandate of God, who see others who don't share their beliefs as inferior in the eyes of God, make dangerous leaders. Just ask Osama Bin Laden."
"We will be a better country when each religious group can trust its members to obey the dictates of their own religious faith without assistance from the legal structure of the country."
"Organized religion is a sham and a crutch for weak-minded people who need strength in numbers. It tells people to go out and stick their noses in other people's business."
"No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle unless that testimony be of such a kind that its falsehood would be more miraculous than the fact which it endeavours to establish."
"A wise man... proportions his belief to the evidence."
"[priests are] the pretenders to power and dominion, and to a superior sanctity of character, distinct from virtue and good morals."
"Superstition is an enemy to civil liberty."
"Examine the religious principles which have, in fact, prevailed in the world, and you will scarcely be persuaded that they are anything but sick men's dreams."
"The Christian religion not only was at first attended with miracles, but even at this day cannot be believed by any reasonable person without one."
"Nothing is so firmly believed as what we least know."
"Moral and ethical individuals would remain moral and ethical were they to wake up tomorrow and decide
they no longer need their imaginary friends."
"The basic ideal of Christianity, that of an all powerful father-figure demanding a blood sacrifice before he can change
his own mind about whether or not to torture his own creations for eternity has never struck me as a model of ethics or morality."
"I do not believe it right for one group to impose its vision of morality on an entire society."
"The Founding Fathers were neither passive, death-worshiping mystics nor mindless, power-seeking looters; as a political
group, they were a phenomenon unprecedented in history: they were thinkers who were also men of action. They had
rejected the soul-body dichotomy, with its two corollaries: the impotence of man's mind and the damnation of this earth;
they had rejected the doctrine of suffering as man's metaphysical fate, they proclaimed man's right to the pursuit of happiness and were
determined to establish on earth the conditions required for man's proper existence, by the 'unaided' power of their intellect."
"Anyone who knows history will recognize that the domination of education or of government by any one
particular religious faith is never a happy arrangement for the people."
"I'm an atheist, and that's it. I believe there's nothing we can know except that we should be kind to each other and do what we can for other people."
"Our Constitution was not intended to be used by ... any group to foist its personal religious beliefs on the rest of us."
"The term that best describes me now is 'secular humanist.'"
"By the year 2000 we will, I hope, raise our children to believe in human potential, not God."
"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."
"When I got untethered from the comfort of religion, it wasn't a loss of faith for me. It was a discovery of self. I had thought
that I'm capable enough to handle any situation. There's peace in understanding that I have only one life, here and now, and I'm responsible."
"I don't think any religion makes any sense and I think people who are into that are really getting duped,
and I don't think Judaism makes any more sense than Christianity, and I don't think Christianity
makes any more sense than Scientology. But here's a guy, L. Ron Hubbard, who told all his friends,
'Look, I'm gonna start a religion, 'cause I can't make any money as a science fiction writer.' I mean,
he admitted that publicly! At least with Jesus Christ, you can't go talk to the guy."
"Why is that people are quick to label Roman gods and goddesses as myth seeded from lack of understanding, while
entertaining their own theological beliefs that are based on the same fear and ignorance?"
"We have gone a long way toward civilization and religious tolerance, and we have a good example in this
country. Here the many Protestant denominations, the Catholic Church and the Greek Orthodox Church do
not seek to destroy one another in physical violence just because they do not interpret every verse of the Bible in exactly the same
way. Here we now have the freedom of all religions, and I hope that never again will we have a repetition of religious bigotry,
as we have had in certain periods of our own history. There is no room for that kind of foolishness here."
"I never did give them hell. I just told the truth, and they thought it was hell."
"So I'm sorry, I don't respect people who believe in religion. I was religious when I was a kid. We all had dumb stuff drilled
into our head. It doesn't mean when you get to be an adult you can't drill it out. I tell you something else they drilled
into my head when I was a kid, mercury in my cavities. We found out later mercury is so bad we shouldn't even eat it when there is
a trace of it in fish. But it was drilled into my teeth. So when I got older, I had it drilled out. You can do the
same thing with religion. To talk about this terrorism situation without talking about religion is like talking about AIDS in America
without talking about homosexuality. You can do it; it will get you applause on Oprah; but it's not true."
"Religion is insanity by consensus."
I think flying planes into a building was a faith-based initiative. I think religion is a neurological disorder."
"There's a phrase we live by in America: "In God We Trust." It's right there where Jesus would want it: on our money."
"The plain fact is: religion must die for mankind to live."
"Faith means making a virtue out of not thinking. It's nothing to brag about; and those who preach faith and enable and elevate it are intellectual slaveholders keeping mankind in a bondage to fantasy and nonsense that has spawned so much lunacy and destruction."
"Religion is dangerous because it allows human beings who don't have all the answers, to think that they do."
"This is why rational people anti-religionists must end their timidity and come out of their closet and assert themselves."
"If you have a few hundred followers and you let some of them molest children, they call you a cult leader. If you have a billion, they call you Pope."
"We are a nation that is unenlightened because of religion. I think religion stops people from thinking. I think it justified
crazies. I think flying planes into a building was a faith-based initiative. I think religion is a neurological disorder."
"Read the Bible, because we need more atheists!"
"I've seen some preachers on TV in a shirt and a tie and a vest. They say to send your money to the Lord - but they give you their address."
"The bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals and 362 admonishments to heterosexuals. That
doesn't mean that god doesn't love heterosexuals. It's just that they need more supervision."
"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, dirty thing on the face of the earth and you should save it for someone you love."
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is."
"Curtailment of free speech is rationalized on grounds that a more compelling American tradition forbids criticism
of the government when the nation is at war... Nothing can be more destructive of our fundamental democratic
traditions than the vicious effort to silence dissenters."
"Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
"He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who
accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it."
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation
are men who want crops without plowing up the ground."
"When people expect God to plan their lives for them, and protect them, they tend to lose their motivation to guide and control their own lives."
"Just in terms of allocation of time resources, religion is not very efficient. There's a lot more I could be doing on a Sunday morning."
"When talking about unicorns, minotaurs, or compassionate conservatives, one does not normally have to prove
their non-existence; the mere lack of any evidence is sufficient reason not to believe in any of them."
"The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshipped anything but himself."
"Those who get instructions directly from the Almighty are twice blessed. They get their orders from
the Highest Authority, and the orders are always to do what they would have done anyway."
"You can tell you have created God in your own image when it turns out that he or she hates all the same people you do."
"Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith. I consider the capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile."
"A myth is a religion in which no one any longer believes."
"There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds."
"Why would an all-powerful god become flesh in order to sacrifice himself to himself so that his creation might escape
the wrath of himself? Couldn't this god, in his infinite wisdom, come up with something a little more efficient?"
"What is the purpose of prayer? What can a finite being on Earth possibly tell an omnipotent, omniscient,
Universe-creating deity that he/she/it doesn't know already? If prayer actually worked, the Pope would live forever."
"Religion is based on dogma and belief, whereas science is based on doubt and questioning."
"The biogeographic evidence for evolution is now so powerful that I have never seen a creationist book, article,
or lecture that has tried to refute it. Creationists simply pretend that the evidence doesn't exist."
"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? Isn't killing people in the name of God a pretty good definition of insanity?"
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
"One of the great tragedies of mankind is that morality has been hijacked by religion. So now people assume
that religion and morality have a necessary connection. But the basis of morality is really very simple and
doesn't require religion at all. It's this: "Don't do unto anybody else what you wouldn't like to be done to
you." It seems to me that that's all there is to it."
"Religion is the most malevolent of all mind viruses."
"The greatest tragedy in mankind's entire history may be the hijacking of morality by religion."
"If there are any gods whose chief concern is man, they can't be very important gods."
"Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction."
"I'm not convinced that faith can move mountains, but I've seen what it can do to skyscrapers."
"When one person suffers from a delusion it is called insanity; when many people suffer from a delusion it is called religion."
"Islam is the enemy of science, of freethinking, of reason and of human rights. It acts as a powerful brake on the advancement of civilization."
"America wasnt founded as a theocracy. America was founded by people trying to escape theocracies. Never in history have we had
a Christian theocracy where it wasnt bloody and barbaric. Thats why our Constitution wisely put in a separation of church and state."
"Science is and should be seen as completely neutral on the issue of the theistic or atheistic implications of scientific results."
"The present custom of orthodox Christendom, in packing their sins upon the back of a God, is just the same substantially as that of
various heathen nations who were anciently in the habit of packing them upon the backs of various dumb animals."
"There is no shortcut to intellectual honesty. Atheism requires sacrifice in that you sacrifice the illusion of immortality and the sense
of transcendent purpose. But, religion requires the sacrifice of critical thinking, self determination, your time, your money, and logic."
"The mind gives meaning to anything but the meaning it gives is meaningless."
"Abandon the search for God and the creation and other matters of a similar sort. Look for him by taking yourself as the starting
point. Learn who it is within you who makes everything his own and says, 'My God, my mind, my thought, my soul, my body.' Learn
the sources of sorrow: joy, love, hate ... If you carefully investigate these matters you will find him in yourself."
"Basically we are chimpanzees with about two percent more intelligence and a little less hair."
"The trouble with born-again Christians is that they are an even bigger pain the second time around."
"All it takes for America to become a theocracy is for nonbelievers to do nothing."
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
"If faith cannot be reconciled with rational thinking, it has to be eliminated as an anachronistic remnant of earlier
stages of culture and replaced by science dealing with facts and theories which are intelligible and can be validated."
" ... it is because one can build a compelling set of arguments informed by science and thoroughly
compatible with it that to believe in anything despite the complete lack of evidence is, in fact, irrational."
"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."
"I expect death to be nothingness and, for removing me from all possible fears of death, I am thankful to atheism."
"When I die I won't go to heaven or hell; there will just be nothingness."
"Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all
the centuries since the Bible was written. And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking
among us, who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all; who would force their feeble and childish beliefs on us; who would
invade our schools and libraries and homes. I personally resent it bitterly."
"To surrender to ignorance and call it God has always been premature, and it remains premature today."
"The scientist believes in proof without certainty, the bigot in certainty without proof."
"Imagine encouraging a child to participate in such 'twisted' rituals and worshiping of tortuous crucifixes and
such like this from birth. No wonder we have so many hateful and sadistic people in our society."
"Regardless of whether or not you belong to a majority religion, in the United States you may not impose your theology on civil law."
"So many gods, so many creeds, so many paths that wind and wind, while just the art of being kind is all the sad world needs."
"Fear of serious injury alone cannot justify oppression of free speech and assembly. Men feared witches
and burnt women. It is the function of speech to free men from the bondage of irrational fears."
"God and Country are an unbeatable team; they break all records for oppression and bloodshed."
"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag, carrying a cross."
"Even the weakest disputant is made so conceited by what he calls religion, as to think himself wiser than the wisest who thinks differently from him."
"It is one thing to show a man that he is in error, and another to put him in possession of truth."
"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it."
"A Christian is a man who feels repentance on a Sunday for what he did on Saturday and is going to do on Monday."
"I can not imagine a God ... made happy by my getting down on my knees and calling him 'great'."
"The religious persecution of the ages has been done under what was claimed to be the command of God. I distrust
those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires."
"My religious superstition gave place to rational ideas based on scientific facts, and in proportion as
I looked at everything from a new standpoint, I grew more happy day by day..."
"Only those who have lived all their lives under the dark clouds of vague, undefined fears can appreciate
the joy of a doubting soul suddenly born into the kingdom of reason and free thought."
"I view it as one of the greatest crimes to shadow the minds of the young with these gloomy superstitions,
and with fears of the unknown and the unknowable to poison all their joy in life."
"The Bible and the Church have been the greatest stumbling blocks in the way of women's emancipation."
"The bible teaches that women brought sin and death into the world. I don't believe that any man ever talked with god. The bible was written by man out of his love of domination."
"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."
"Kill a man, and you are an assassin. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill everyone, and you are a god."
"There was a time when religion ruled the world. It is known as the Dark Ages."
"This agency stands flat-footed upon the ground, and there it must remain. The world is big enough for us. No ghosts need apply."
"The Christian take on Hellfire seems less dramatic than the Muslim vision, which I grew up with, but Christian magical thinking appeals to me no more than my mother's angels and djinns."
"Religions survive mainly because they brainwash the young."
Inculcating the various competing competing, note falsehoods of the major faiths into small children is a form of child abuse, and a scandal."
"Let us challenge religion to leave children alone until they are adults, whereupon they can be presented with the essentials of religion for mature consideration. For
example: tell an averagely intelligent adult hitherto free of religious brainwashing that somewhere, invisibly, there
is a being somewhat like us, with desires, interests, purposes, memories, and emotions of anger, love, vengefulness,
and jealousy, yet with the negation of such other of our failings as mortality, weakness, corporeality, visibility,
limited knowledge and insight; and that this god magically impregnates a mortal woman, who then gives birth to a
special being who performs various prodigious feats before departing for heaven. Take your pick of which
version of this story to tell: let a King of Heaven impregnate let's see Danae or Io or Leda or the Virgin Mary
(etc., etc.) and let there be resulting heaven-destined progeny (Heracles, Castor and Pollux, Jesus., etc.,
etc.) or any of the other forms of exactly such tales in Babylonian, Egyptian, and other mythologies then ask
which of them he wishes to believe. One can guarantee that such a person would say: none of them."
"Needless to say, since the income of the priest class is totally dependent on their continued ability to sell
invisible goods to suckers, they praise and glorify faith to the skies, complimenting people on how much of it
they have. If it weren't for faith, they'd be out of business, and they know it."
"Popular religion is a coping mechanism for the anxieties of a dysfunctional social and economic environment."
"Materialism is the worldview or term describing application of reason, science and the human experience in
understanding the world around us and in making decisions or living our day-to-day lives, as opposed to faith,
dogma, prayer or superstition, etc. As materialists we conclude there is no god or higher power and we
therefore declare ourselves to be atheists or people who live without theism or religion. Modern materialism
is rooted in the work of the pre-Socratic Greek philosopher Democritus (460-370 BCE), who is also known as the Father
of Atomic Science. Antonyms to materialism are spiritualism or immaterialism; the worldview of materialism is
not to be confused with consumerism. Atheism is a conclusion, not a religion or ideology."
"Don't compromise yourself. You're all you've got."
"We live our lives for our life's sake, rather than for illusions about rewards and satisfaction after we're dead."
"For those who may not find happiness to exercise religious faith, it's okay to remain a radical atheist;
it's absolutely an individual right, but the important thing is with a compassionate heart then no problem."
"I don't believe in heaven and hell. I don't know if I believe in God. All I know
is that as an individual, I won't allow this life the only thing I know to exist to be wasted."
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind."
"Imagine there's no heaven,
Physics and Cosmology"All of science is built on territory once occupied by gods. Is there some boundary at which science is supposed to stop?"
Bob Park, professor of physics and former chair of the Department of Physics at the U. of Maryland
"We could call order by the name of God, but it would be an impersonal God. There's not much personal about the laws of physics."
"Black holes would seem to suggest that God not only plays dice, but also sometimes throws them where they cannot be seen."
"As recent advances in cosmology suggest, the laws of gravity and quantum theory allow universes to appear spontaneously from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.""
"What I have done is to show that it is possible for the way the universe began to be determined by the laws of science. In that case, it would not be necessary to appeal to God to decide how the universe began. This doesn't prove that there is no God, only that God is not necessary."
"One does not have to appeal to God to set the initial conditions for the creation of the universe, but if one does He would have to act through the laws of physics."
"Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is
the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist."
"The theory of quantum electrodynamics describes nature as absurd from the point of view of common sense. And it
agrees fully with experiment. So I hope you can accept nature as she is absurd."
"It is now becoming clear that everything can and probably did come from nothing."
"Space and time both started at the Big Bang and therefore there was nothing before it."
"Some physicists believe our universe was created by colliding with another, but Kaku [a theoretical physicist at City University of New York]
says it also may have sprung from nothing."
"Even if we don't have a precise idea of exactly what took place at the beginning, we can at least see that the origin of the universe
from nothing need not be unlawful or unnatural or unscientific."
"Assuming the universe came from nothing, it is empty to begin with... Only by the constant action of an agent outside the universe,
such as God, could a state of nothingness be maintained. The fact that we have something is just what we would expect if there is no God."
"In fact, current cosmological observations indicate that the average density of matter and energy in the universe is equal, within measurement
errors, to the critical density for which the total energy of the universe was exactly zero at the beginning."
"Nature is capable of building complex structures by processes of self-organization; simplicity begets complexity."
"The answer to the ancient question Why is there something rather than nothing? would then be that nothing is unstable."
"Few people are aware of the fact that many modern physicists claim that things perhaps even the entire universe can indeed
arise from nothing via natural processes."
"The universe is the way it is, whether we like it or not."
Humor"If it turns out that there is a God, I don't think that he's evil. But the worst that you can say about him is that basically he's an underachiever."
"To YOU I'm an Atheist; to God, I'm the Loyal Opposition."
"When we talk to God, we're praying. When God talks to us, we're schizophrenic."
"Talking to god is crazy. Hearing god is schizophrenia. Acting on it is insanity."
"The only good thing to come out of religion was the music."
"I would never want to be a member of a group whose symbol was a guy nailed to two pieces of wood."
"I have as much authority as the Pope, I just don't have as many people who believe it."
"I'm completely in favor of the separation of Church and State. My idea is that these two institutions
screw us up enough on their own, so both of them together is certain death."
"Something is wrong. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, crime, torture, corruption
and the ice capades. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed. This is not what you expect
to find on the resume of a supreme being. It's what you expect from an office temp with a bad attitude."
"In the Bullshit Department, a businessman can't hold a candle to a clergyman. 'Cause I gotta tell you the truth, folks. When it comes to bullshit, big-time, major league bullshit, you have to stand in awe of the all-time champion of false promises and exaggerated claims: Religion. No contest. No contest. Religion. Religion easily has the greatest bullshit story ever told.
"Think about it. Religion has actually convinced people that there's an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever 'til the end of time!
"But He loves you.
"He loves you, and He needs money! He always needs money! He's all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and
all-wise, somehow just can't handle money! Religion takes in billions of dollars, they pay no taxes, and they
always need a little more. Now, you talk about a good bullshit story. Holy Shit!"
"Praying is begging for an unseen deity to alter the laws of nature for someone admittedly unworthy."
"What's the point of fucking praying in the first place? If God has a divine plan, what's the point of
praying? If what you want is in the divine plan, you will get it anyways... and if it's not, you won't get
it because it's not in the divine plan."
"The actions taken by the New Hampshire Episcopalians (inducting a gay Bishop) are an affront to Christians
everywhere. I am just thankful that the church's founder, Henry VIII, and his wife Catherine of Aragon,
and his wife Anne Boleyn, and his wife Jane Seymour, and his wife Anne of Cleves, and his wife Katherine Howard,
and his wife Catherine Parr are no longer here to suffer through this assault on traditional Christian marriages."
"Atheist n. A person to be pitied in that he is unable to believe things for which there is no evidence,
and who has thus deprived himself of a convenient means of feeling superior to others."
"It's hard to be religious when certain people are never incinerated by bolts of lightning."
"Dont ya know what faith is? Faith is when you believe somethin that nobody in their right mind would believe!"
"Suppose we've chosen the wrong god? Every time we go to church, we're just making him madder and madder."