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Meditation 142
Quotations XI

"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 eleventh in an ongoing series.

  1. There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences. PJ O'Rourke
  2. For those who believe in God, most of the big questions are answered. But for those of us who can't readily accept the God formula, the big answers don't remain stone-written. We adjust to new conditions and discoveries. We are pliable. Love need not be a command or faith a dictum. I am my own God. We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state, and our educational system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us. Charles Bukowski
  3. When you feel that you have right on your side, you can do some pretty horrific things. Brian Flanagan
  4. Religions change; beer and wine remain. Hervey Allen
  5. The idea of the sacred is quite simply one of the most conservative notions in any culture, because it seeks to turn other ideas - uncertainty, progress, change - into crimes. Salman Rushdie
  6. By such literalism, fundamentalism, religions betrayed the best intentions of their founders. Reducing thought to formula, replacing choice by obedience, these preachers turned the living word into dead law. Ursula K. LeGuin (The Telling)
  7. Whenever I hear someone's in touch with God, I head for the exit. Arthur Miller
  8. I don't know if God even exists, although I confess I find myself praying in times of great fear, or despair, or astonishment at a display of unexpected beauty. In the absence of conviction, I've come to terms with the fact that uncertainty is an inescapable corollory of life. Jon Krakauer
  9. To say that God is an incorporeal substance, is to say in effect there is no God at all. What alleges he against it, but the School-divinity which I have already answered? Scripture he can bring none, because the word incorporeal is not found in Scripture. Thomas Hobbes
  10. It is a lie, and I hate your religion. If it is true, I hate your God. Robert Ingersoll
  11. We must condemn Christianity, not Christians; strike the church, but spare the heart. Lemuel K. Washburn
  12. Marriage ceremony: an incredible metaphysical sham of watching God and the law being dragged into the affairs of your family. O.C. Ogilvie
  13. Prayer had always struck me as more or less a glorified attempt at a business transaction. Barbara Kingsolver
  14. Any organization could profit from a 10-year-old member with enough strength of character to refuse to swear falsely. New York Times on the Boy Scouts refusing membership to Mark Welsh, who would not sign a religious oath
  15. The cardinal doctrine of a fanatic's creed is that his enemies are the enemies of God. Andrew Dickson White
  16. Men rarely (if ever) manage to dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child. Robert A. Heinlein
  17. It is an old habit with theologians to beat the living with the bones of the dead.Robert G. Ingersoll
  18. A myth is a religion in which no one any longer believes. James Feibleman
  19. But I was not, to use the theological phrase, receptive. The great obstacle to the influx of grace was my own perfect happiness, and it is well known that God takes no thought for the happy, any more than He does for birds and puppies, perhaps realizing they have no need of Him and mercifully letting them alone. John Glassco
  20. Everything is more or less organized matter. To think so is against religion, but I think so just the same. Napoleon Bonaparte