"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-fourth in an ongoing series.
- Why should we take advice on sex from the pope? If he knows anything about it, he shouldn't! George Bernard Shaw
- The Christian view that all intercourse outside marriage is immoral was, as we see in the... passages from St. Paul, based upon the view that all sexual intercourse, even within marriage, is regrettable. A view of this sort, which goes against biological facts, can only be regarded by sane people as a morbid aberration. The fact that it is embedded in Christian ethics has made Christianity throughout its whole history a force tending towards mental disorders and unwholesome views of life. Bertrand Russell
- The church doctrines of obedience to authority, repentance, fear of punishment, self-abnegation, acceptance of outer direction rather than inner assurance, elevation of faith over reason, and intolerance make institutionalized religion an ideal instrument of social constraint. Madalyn O'Hair
- The myths about Hades and the gods, though they are pure invention, help to make men virtuous. Diodorus Siculus
- When one turns from reason to faith, when one rejects the absolutism of reality, one undercuts the absolutism of one's consciousness and one's mind becomes an organ one cannot trust any longer. It becomes what the mystics claim it to be: a tool of distortion. Ayn Rand
- My religiosity consists in a humble admiration of the infinitely superior spirit that reveals itself in the little that we, with our weak and transitory understanding, can comprehend of reality. Morality is of the highest importance - but for us, not for God. Albert Einstein
- The chicken probably came before the egg because it is hard to imagine God wanting to sit on an egg for 21 days. Anonymous
- 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. Thomas Paine
- I feel no need for any other faith than my faith in human beings. Like Confucius of old, I am so absorbed in the wonder of earth and the life upon it that I cannot think of heaven and the angels. Pearl S. Buck
- I like the silence of a church, before the service begins better than any preaching. Ralph Waldo Emerson
- Some keep the Sabbath going to Church
I keep it staying at Home
With a Bobolink for a Chorister
And an Orchard for a Dome.
- 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. Abraham Lincoln
- 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 blind-folded fear. Thomas Jefferson
- 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. James Madison
- Since evolution became fashionable, the glorification of Man has taken a new form. We are told that evolution has been guided by one great Purpose: through the millions of years when there were only slime, or trilobites, throughout the ages of dinosaurs and giant ferns, of bees and wild flowers, God was preparing the Great Climax. At last, in the fullness of time, He produced Man, including such specimens as Nero and Caligula, Hitler and Mussolini, whose transcendent glory justified the long, painful process. For my part, I find even eternal damnation less incredible, certainly less ridiculous, than this lame and impotent conclusion which we are asked to admire as the supreme effort of Omnipotence. Bertrand Russell
- He was of the faith chiefly in the sense that the church he currently did not attend was Catholic. Kingsley Amis
- Not only in peasant homes, but also in city skyscrapers, there lives alongside the twentieth century, the thirteenth. A hundred million people use electricity and still believe in the magic powers of signs and exorcisms . . . movie stars to mediums. Aviators who pilot miraculous mechanisms created by man's genius wear amulets on their sweaters. What inexhaustible reserves they possess of darkness, ignorance and savagery! Leon Trotsky
- If God kills, lies, cheats, discriminates, and otherwise behaves in a manner that puts the Mafia to shame, that's okay, he's God. He can do whatever he wants. Anyone who adheres to this philosophy has had his sense of morality, decency, justice and humaneness warped beyond recognition by the very book that is supposedly preaching the opposite.
- Religion restricts the play of choice and adaptation, since it imposes equally on everyone its own path to the acquisition of happiness and protection from suffering. Its technique consists in depressing the value of life and distorting the picture of the real world in a delusional manner which presupposes an intimidation of the intelligence. At this price, by forcibly fixing them in a state of psychical infantilism and by drawing them into a mass-delusion, religion succeeds in sparing many people an individual neurosis. But hardly anything more.Sigmund Freud
- Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable . . . A man full of faith is simply one who has lost (or never had) the capacity for clear and realistic thought. He is not a mere ass: he is actually ill. H.L. Mencken