"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 sixteenth in an ongoing series. Quotations are now indexed to assist anyone trying to locate a specific one.
- Pray: To ask the laws of the universe to be annulled on behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy. Ambrose Bierce
- There is only one religion, though there are a hundred versions of it.
George Bernard Shaw
- No, our science is no illusion. But an illusion it would be to suppose that what science cannot give us we can get elsewhere. Sigmund Freud
- And that inverted Bowl we call The Sky,
Whereunder crawling coop't we live and die,
Lift not thy hands to It for help
Rolls impotently on as Thou or I.
The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, translated by Edward Fitzgerald
- There is only one Education, and it has only one goal: the freedom of the mind. Anything that needs an adjective, be it civics education, or socialist education, or Christian education, or whatever-you-like education, is not education, and it has some different goal. The very existence of modified "educations" is testimony to the fact that their proponents cannot bring about what they want in a mind that is free. An "education" that cannot do its work in a free mind, and so must "teach" by homily and precept in the service of these feelings and attitudes and beliefs rather than those, is pure and unmistakable tyranny. Richard Mitchell
- Nature has no principles. She furnishes us with no reason to believe that human life is to be respected. Nature, in her indifference, makes no distinction between good and evil.Anatole France
- No man ever yet tore down his altar and found a God behind it.
Lemuel K. Washburn
- Give the church a place in the Constitution, let her touch once more the sword of power, and the priceless fruit of all ages will turn to ashes on the lips of men.Robert G. Ingersoll
- It appears to me (whether rightly or wrongly) that direct arguments against Christianity and theism produce hardly any effect on the public; and freedom of thought is best promoted by the gradual illumination of men's minds which follows from the advance of science. Charles Darwin
- The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure, and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell
- I thank God I was raised Catholic, so sex will always be dirty. John Waters
- Religion closes off the central questions of existence by attempting to dissuade us from further enquiry by asserting that we cannot ever hope to comprehend. We are, religion asserts, simply too puny. Through fear of being shown to be vacuous, religion denies the awesome power of human comprehension. It seeks to thwart, by encouraging awe in things unseen, the disclosure of the emptiness of faith. Religion, in contrast to science, deploys the repugnant view that the world is too big for our understanding. Science, in contrast to religion, opens up the great questions of being to rational discussion, to discussion with the prospect of resolution and elucidation. Science, above all, respects the power of the human intellect. Science is the apotheosis of the intellect and the consummation of the Renaissance. Science respects more deeply the potential of humanity than religion ever can. P.W. Atkins
- Operationally, God is beginning to resemble not a ruler but the last fading smile of a cosmic Cheshire cat. Julian Huxley
- The observances of the church concerning feasts and fasts are tolerably well-kept, since the rich keep the feasts and the poor keep the fasts. Sydney Smith
- This is terrible! Holy wars! Killing! They're just using religion as an excuse to be extremely crappy to each other. Dave Lister (Red Dwarf)
- Faith, as such, is extremely detrimental to human life: it is the negation of reason. But you must remember that religion is an early form of philosophy, that the first attempts to explain the universe, to give a coherent frame of reference to man's life and a code of moral values, were made by religion, before men graduated or developed enough to have philosophy. And, as philosophies, some religions have very valuable moral points. They may have a good influence or proper principles to inculcate, but in a very contradictory context and, on a very - how should I say it - dangerous or malevolent base: on the ground of faith. Ayn Rand
- For the church to say that abortion is not acceptable for a Catholic is fine. To say directly or indirectly that on something that is a church teaching that you must also vote according to that - that's not acceptable in a country based on the First Amendment. Senator Patrick Leahy
- The Three in One, the One in Three? Not so! To my own Gods I go. It may be they shall give me greater ease than your cold Christ and tangled Trinities. Rudyard Kipling
- At the heart of pseudoscience (and some religion also, New Age and Old) is the idea that wishing makes it so. How satisfying it would be, as in folklore and children's stories, to fulfill our heart's desire by wishing. How seductive this notion is, especially when compared with the hard work and good luck usually required to achieve our hopes. Carl Sagan
- I am too much of a skeptic to deny the possibility of anything.
Thomas Henry Huxley