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Meditation 241
Quotations XXI

"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 publish a selection occasionally, mostly but not entirely relevant. This is the twenty-first in an ongoing series.

  1. The tendency has always been strong to believe that whatever received a name must be an entity or being, having an independent existence of its own. And if no real entity answering to the name could be found, men did not for that reason suppose that none existed, but imagined that it was something peculiarly abstruse and mysterious. John Stuart Mill

  2. 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. Bertrand Russell

  3. How can I believe in God when just last week I got my tongue caught in the roller of an electric typewriter? Woody Allen

  4. The true man walks the earth as the stars walk the heavens, grandly obedient to those laws which are implanted in his nature. Lemuel K. Washburn

  5. The Bible takes much of its colour from whoever is reading it, and it provides a text to support almost every shade of opinion, however preposterous. Robertson Davies

  6. If I had been present at creation, I would have given some useful hints. Alfonso the Wise

  7. Theology: the study of elaborate verbal disguises for non-ideas. Anonymous

  8. It is a thousand times better to have common sense without education than to have education without common sense. Robert G. Ingersoll

  9. As long as people believe in absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities. Voltaire

  10. The gods play games with men as balls. Titus Maccius Plautus

  11. The mystery of the beginning of all things is insoluble by us; and I for one must be content to remain an Agnostic. Charles Darwin

  12. Assuming that he believes at all, the everyday Christian is a pitiful figure, a man who really cannot count up to three, and who besides, precisely because of his mental incompetence, would not deserve such a punishment as Christianity promises him. Friedrich Nietzsche

  13. 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. Abraham Lincoln

  14. It is the final proof of God's omnipotence that he need not exist in order to save us. Peter de Vries

  15. By the cold and religious we were taken in hand
    shown how to feel good; and told to feel bad.
    Roger Waters (The Final Cut - Pink Floyd)

  16. God is the big question mark. Heaven is the even bigger question mark. Death is just another question mark. Emmylou Harris

  17. If you love God, burn the church. Jello Biafra

  18. Jesus was all right, but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me. John Lennon

  19. We are not accountable for the sins of Adam. Robert G. Ingersoll

  20. We must therefore ask ourselves: What sort of thing is it reasonable to believe without proof? I should reply: The facts of sense experience and the principles of mathematics and logic -- including the inductive logic employed in science. Bertrand Russell