Quotes

Oh, the things people say.

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And the skins of the Lamanites were dark, according to the mark which was set upon their fathers, which was a curse upon them because of their transgression and their rebellion against their brethren, who consisted of Nephi, Jacob, and Joseph, and Sam, who were just and holy men.

Alma 3: 6, Book of Mormon, on the "curse of blackness"

Religion. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable.

Ambrose Bierce

It is the certainty that they possess the truth that makes men cruel.

Anatole France, novelist, essayist, Nobel laureate (1844-1924)

If 50 million people believe a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.

Anatole France, novelist, essayist, Nobel laureate (1844-1924)

The cardinal doctrine of a fanatic's creed is that his enemies are the enemies of God.

Andrew Dickson White, diplomat, historian, and educator (1832-1918)

There is no religion without love, and people may talk as much as they like about their religion, but if it does not teach them to be good and kind to other animals as well as humans, it is all a sham.

Anna Sewell

Men create gods after their own image, not only with regard to their form but with regard to their mode of life.

Aristotle

I have gained this by philosophy: that I do without being commanded what others do only from fear of the law. 

Aristotle, philosopher (384-322 BCE)

If there is no God, who pops up the next Kleenex?

Art Hoppe

Religion is a byproduct of fear. For much of human history, it may have been a necessary evil, but why was it more evil than necessary? Isn't killing people in the name of God a pretty good definition of insanity?

Arthur C. Clarke

One of the great tragedies of mankind is that morality has been hijacked by religion.

Arthur C. Clarke, science fiction writer (1917-2008)

Religion is the masterpiece of the art of animal training, for it trains people as to how they shall think.

Arthur Schopenhauer

There is no absurdity so palpable but that it may be firmly planted in the human head if you only begin to inculcate it before the age of five, by constantly repeating it with an air of great solemnity.

Arthur Schopenhauer, philosopher (1788-1860)

If we go back to the beginnings of things, we shall always find that ignorance and fear created the gods; that imagination, rapture and deception embellished them; that weakness worships them; that custom spares them; and that tyranny favors them in order to profit from the blindness of men.

Baron d'Holbach

There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being. But like any powerful weapon, the use of God's name on one's behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both. I'm frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in A, B, C, and D. Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me? And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of conservatism.

Barry Goldwater, US Senator

Where knowledge ends, religion begins.

Benjamin Disraeli

Lighthouses are more useful than churches.

(Apparent misquote: a paraphrasing of a similar sentiment expressed by Franklin)

Benjamin Franklin

I have found Christian dogma unintelligible.

Benjamin Franklin

Man can be the most affectionate and altruistic of creatures, yet he's potentially more vicious than any other. He is the only one who can be persuaded to hate millions of his own kind whom he has never seen and to kill as many as he can lay his hands on in the name of his tribe or his God.

Benjamin Spock, pediatrician and author (1903-1998)

It is possible that mankind is on the threshold of a golden age; but, if so, it will be necessary first to slay the dragon that guards the door, and this dragon is religion.

Bertrand Russell

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

Religion is something left over from the infancy of our intelligence, it will fade away as we adopt reason and science as our guidelines.

Bertrand Russell

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.

Bertrand Russell, mathematician, & philosopher (1872 - 1970)

The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.

Bertrand Russell, philosopher, mathematician, author, Nobel laureate (1872-1970)

Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.

Bertrand Russell, philosopher, mathematician, author, Nobel laureate (1872-1970)

And if there were a God, I think it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence.

Bertrand Russell, philosopher, mathematician, author, Nobel laureate (1872-1970)

Eternal suffering awaits anyone who questions God's infinite love.

Bill Hicks, comedian and social critic (1961-1994)

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.

Blaise Pascal

Well, when I get new information, I rethink my position. What, sir, do you do with new information?

British economist John Maynard Keynes in response to being accused of being inconsistent.

Organized religions in general, in my opinion, are dying forms. They were all very important when we didn't know why the sun moved, why weather changed, why hurricanes occurred, or volcanoes happened. Modern religion is the end trail of modern mythology. But there are people who interpret the Bible literally. Literally! I choose not to believe that's the way. And that's what makes America cool, you know?

Bruce Willis, actor

To thank Divine Providence in the name of the Archdiocese for the Führer’s fortunate escape.

Cardinal Archbishop of Munich

In science it often happens that scientists say, "You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken," and then they actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion.

Carl Sagan, 1987 CSICOP keynote address

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

Carl Sagan, astronomer and writer (1934-1996)

For all our conceits about being the center of the universe, we live in a routine planet of a humdrum star stuck away in an obscure corner ... on an unexceptional galaxy which is one of about 100 billion galaxies. ... That is the fundamental fact of the universe we inhabit, and it is very good for us to understand that.

Carl Sagan, astronomer and writer (1934-1996)

Every one of us is precious in the cosmic perspective. If a human disagrees with you, let him live. In a hundred billion galaxies, you will not find another.

Carl Sagan, astronomer and writer (1934-1996)

The nuclear arms race is like two sworn enemies standing waist deep in gasoline, one with three matches, the other with five.

Carl Sagan, astronomer and writer (1934-1996)

I maintain there is much more wonder in science than in pseudoscience. And in addition, to whatever measure this term has any meaning, science has the additional virtue, and it is not an inconsiderable one, of being true.

Carl Sagan, US astronomer & popularizer of astronomy (1934 - 1996)

The race of men, while sheep in credulity, are wolves for conformity.

Carl Van Doren

Gods are fragile things; they may be killed by a whiff of science or a dose of common sense.

Chapman Cohen, author and lecturer (1868-1954)

Fifteen hundred years ago, Constantine, who murdered his own wife and children, started the Christian religion.

From that day to this that religion has been the greatest curse that ever afflicted the earth.

This religion teaches that 6,000 years ago God made the first man out of dust - not even mud - and the first woman out of a bone; that God cursed the whole human race because a snake made the woman eat an apple; that God had a son by another man's wife, and that he had this son murdered in order to keep himself from sending all the human race to hell.

This son taught that any man who did not believe that piece of ignorance and priestly lying would go to hell and burn eternally in fire and brimstone.

The Bible, in which these things are taught, favors drunkenness, murder, slavery, lying, stealing and lechery.

Charles Chilton Moore, Kentucky newspaperman, (1837-1906)

The difference in mind between man and the higher animals, great as it is, certainly is one of degree and not of kind.

Charles Darwin, naturalist and author (1809-1882)

If any of you should ask me for an epitome of the Christian religion, I should say that it is in one word - prayer. Live and die without prayer, and you will pray long enough when you get to hell.

Charles Spurgeon

There is some question as to whether Islam is a separate religion at all… Islam when examined is not much more than a rather obvious and ill-arranged set of plagiarisms, helping itself from earlier books and traditions as occasion appeared to require… It makes immense claims for itself, invokes prostrate submission or ‘surrender’ as a maxim to its adherents, and demands deference and respect from nonbelievers into the bargain. There is nothing-absolutely nothing-in its teachings that can even begin to justify such arrogance and presumption.

Christopher Hitchens

Beware the irrational, however seductive. Shun the 'transcendent' and all who invite you to subordinate or annihilate yourself. Distrust compassion; prefer dignity for yourself and others. Don't be afraid to be thought arrogant or selfish. Picture all experts as if they were mammals. Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity. Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence.

Christopher Hitchens, author and journalist (1949-2011)

What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof.

Christopher Hitchens, author and journalist (b. 1949)

Gullibility and credulity are considered undesirable qualities in every department of human life – except religion.

Christopher Hitchens, author and journalist (b. 1949)

Some of you say religion makes people happy. So does laughing gas.

Clarence Darrow

I don't believe in God as I don't believe in Mother Goose.

Clarence Darrow, famed lawyer

Just think of the tragedy of teaching children not to doubt.

Clarence Darrow, lawyer and author (1857-1938)

I think that the God that we have created and allowed to shape our culture through, essentially Christian theology, is a pretty villainous creature. I think that one of the things that male patriarchal figure has done is, allowed under it's, his church, his wing, all kinds of corruption and villainies to grow and fester. In the name of God terrible wars have been waged, in the name of that God terrible sexism has been allowed to spread. There are children being born all across this world that don't have enough food to eat because that God, at least his church, tells the mothers and fathers that they must procreate at all costs and to prevent procreation with a condom is in contravention with his laws.

Clive Barker

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