"I hate quotations, tell me what you know." Ralph Waldo Emerson.
But as some people do like quotations and think they can be useful in succinctly communicating an opinion, we will post a selection occasionally. This is the seventh in an ongoing series.
- Religion of every kind involves the promise that the misery and futility of existence can be overcome or even transfigured. One might suppose that the possession of such a magnificent formula, combined with the tremendous assurance of a benevolent God, would make a person happy. But such appears not to be the case.: unease and insecurity and rage seem to keep up with blissful certainty, and even to outpace it. Christopher Hitchens
- I'm not normally a religious man, but if you're up there, save me, Superman!
- Religion is simply art bastardized out of all recognition. Lawrence Durell
- I do not envy people who think they have a complete explanation of the world, for the simple reason that they are obviously wrong. Salman Rushdie
- Never underestimate the power of human stupidity. Lazurus Long (Robert A Heinlein)
- The simplest truths often meet the sternest resistance. Frederick Douglass
- Don't be afraid to face the facts, and never lose your ability to ask the questions: Why? and How? Immanuel Velikovsky
- Think for yourself. Know what you're doing. Question authority. Timothy Leary
- My head hurts, my feet stink and I don't love Jesus. Jimmy Buffett
- I face reality and admit that not only isn't there anyone home upstairs - there isn't even any upstairs. I have one life and I intend to make the most of it. Therefore it follows naturally that if I firmly believe this, why then I cannot deprive another person of their turn at existence. Only the very self assured political and religious zealots kill people in order to save them. Jim DiGriz aka The Stainless Steel Rat (Harry Harrison)
- God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh. Voltaire
- A man without religion is like a fish without a bicycle. Vique
- The third major characteristic of God - "infinitude" - is the catchall, the universal modifier of Christian theology. God is not merely a being; he is infinite being. God is not merely good; he is infinite goodness. God is not merely wise; he is infinite wisdom. And so on down the list. God is exaggeration run amuck. George H. Smith
- By the age of fifteen, I had convinced myself that nobody could give a reasonable explanation of what he meant by the word 'God' and that it was therefore as meaningless to assert a belief as to assert a disbelief in God. Though this, in a general way, has remained my position ever since, I have always avoided unnecessarily to offend other people holding religious belief by displaying my lack of such belief, or even stating my lack of belief, if I was not challenged. Friedrich August von Hayek
- My reason taught me that I could not have made one of my own qualities - they were forced upon me by Nature; that my language, religion, and habits were forced upon me by Society; and that I was entirely the child of Nature and Society; that Nature gave the qualities and Society directed them. Thus was I forced, through seeing the error of their foundation, to abandon all belief in every religion which had been taught by man.
- The greatest menace to our civilization today is the conflict between giant organized systems of self-righteousness - each system only too delighted to find that the other is wicked - each only too glad that the sins give it the pretext for still deeper hatred and animosity. Sir Herbert Butterfield
- The faith in which I was brought up assured me that I was better than other people; I was saved, they were damned.... Our hymns were loaded with arrogance - self-congratulation on how cozy we were with the Almighty and what a high opinion he had of us, what hell everybody else would catch come Judgment Day. Robert Heinlein
- In the long run nothing can withstand reason and experience, and the contradiction which religion offers to both is all too palpable. Sigmund Freud
- Science tells us what we can know but what we can know is little and if we forget how much we cannot know we become insensitive of many things of very great importance. Theology, on the other hand induces a dogmatic belief that we have knowledge where in fact we have ignorance and by doing so generates a kind of impertinent insolence towards the universe. Uncertainty in the presence of vivid hopes and fears is painful, but must be endured if we wish to live without the support of comforting fairy tales. Bertrand Russell
- Religious Displays, as distinct from religious beliefs, are submissive acts performed towards dominant individuals called gods. The acts themselves include various forms of body-lowering, such as kneeling, bowing, kowtowing, salaaming and prostrating; also chanting and rituals of debasement and sacrifice; the offering of gifts to the gods and the making of symbolic gestures of allegiance. The function of these actions is to appease the super-dominant beings and thereby obtains favours or avoid punishments. There is nothing unusual about this behaviour in itself. Subordinates throughout the animal world subject themselves to their most powerful companions in a similar way. But the strange feature of these human submissive actions, as we encounter them today, is that they are performed towards a dominant figure, or figures, who are never present in person. Instead they are represented by images and artifacts and operate entirely through agents called holy-men or priests. These middle-men enjoy a position of social influence and respect because some of the power of the gods rubs off on them. It is therefore extremely important to the holy-men to keep the worshippers permanently obedient to the super-dominant figures, and they do this in several ways. Desmond Morris