Quotes

Oh, the things people say.

Got a quote that should be included here? Let's have it!

I was raised "freethinker." Nobody at school knew what that meant, and I had a hard time explaining it, since I wasn't sure what the alternative was.

Comment by Sastra on Pharyngula post

Debating creationists on the topic of evolution is rather like trying to play chess with a pigeon – it knocks the pieces over, craps on the board, and flies back to its flock to claim victory.

Commenter at Amazon.com

In the last century the Arab thinker Jamal al-Afghani wrote: ‘Every Muslim is sick and his only remedy is in the Koran.’ Unfortunately the sickness gets worse the more the remedy is taken.

Conor Cruise O’Brien

Do not let evidence fuel your appreciation of God. Let your appreciation of God influence your view of the evidence.

Creationist Carl Kerby at 2005 Mega Creation Conference

This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.

Dalai Lama

Not thinking critically, I assumed that the "successful" prayers were proof that God answers prayer while the failures were proof that there was something wrong with me.

Dan Barker, former preacher, musician (b. 1949)

Faith is a cop-out. If the only way you can accept an assertion is by faith, then you are conceding that it can't be taken on its own merits.

Dan Barker, former preacher, musician (b. 1949)

Do not condemn the judgment of another because it differs from your own. You may both be wrong.

Dandamis, sage (4c BCE)

The greatest obstacle to discovering the shape of the earth, the continents, and the oceans was not ignorance but the illusion of knowledge.

Daniel J. Boorstin, historian, professor, attorney, and writer (1914-2004)

The problem with writing about religion is that you run the risk of offending sincerely religious people, and then they come after you with machetes.

Dave Barry

A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence.

David Hume (philosopher, historian, economist, and essayist, 1711-1776)

Convulsions in nature, disorders, prodigies, miracles, though the most opposite to the plan of a wise superintendent, impress mankind with the strongest sentiments of religion.

David Hume, philosopher, economist, and historian (1711-1776)

Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous.

David Hume, philosopher, economist, and historian (1711-1776)

The Christian religion not only was at first attended with miracles, but even at this day cannot be believed by any reasonable person without one.

David Hume, philosopher, economist, and historian (1711-1776)

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

David Hume, philosopher, economist, and historian (1711-1776)

The invisible and the nonexistent look very much alike.

Delos McKown

Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest. 

Denis Diderot, French philosopher and artist (1713–1784)

Wandering in a vast forest at night, I have only a faint light to guide me. A stranger appears and says to me: 'My friend, you should blow out your candle in order to find your way more clearly.' The stranger is a theologian.

Denis Diderot, philosopher (1713-1784)

Rational arguments don't usually work on religious people. Otherwise, there wouldn't be religious people.

Doris Egan, House M.D., The Right Stuff, 2007

Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?

Douglas Adams, writer, dramatist, and musician (1952-2001)

Those who believe in their truth – the only ones whose imprint is retained by the memory of men – leave the earth behind them strewn with corpses. Religions number in their ledgers more murders than the bloodiest tyrannies account for, and those whom humanity has called divine far surpass the most conscientious murderers in their thirst for slaughter.

E. M. Cioran, philosopher (1911-1995)

True character arises from a deeper well than religion.

E. O. Wilson

The World is divided into armed camps ready to commit genocide just because we can't agree on whose fairy tales to believe.

Ed Krebs, photographer (b. 1951)

All religion, my friend, is simply evolved out of fraud, fear, greed, imagination, and poetry.

Edgar Allen Poe

Belief in the supernatural reflects a failure of the imagination.

Edward Abbey, naturalist and author (1927-1989)

The memory of my own suffering has prevented me from ever shadowing one young soul with the superstitions of the Christian religion.

Elizabeth Cody-Stanton

So many gods, so many creeds, So many paths that wind and wind, While just the art of being kind is all the sad world needs.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox, poet (1850-1919)

"Faith" is a fine invention / For gentlemen who see -- / But microscopes are prudent / In an emergency.

Emily Dickinson, poet (1830-1886)

It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.

Epictetus (c.55-c.135)

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? 
Then he is not omnipotent.

Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.

Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?

Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?

Epicurus, philosopher (c. 341-270 BCE)

It is folly for a man to pray to the gods for that which he has the power to obtain by himself.

Epicurus, philosopher (c. 341-270 BCE)

To know a person's religion we need not listen to his profession of faith but must find his brand of intolerance.

Eric Hoffer

Absolute faith corrupts as absolutely as absolute power.

Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

At least one way of measuring the freedom of any society is the amount of comedy that is permitted, and clearly a healthy society permits more satirical comment than a repressive, so that if comedy is to function in some way as a safety release then it must obviously deal with these taboo areas. This is part of the responsibility we accord our licensed jesters, that nothing be excused the searching light of comedy. If anything can survive the probe of humour it is clearly of value, and conversely all groups who claim immunity from laughter are claiming special privileges which should not be granted.

Eric Idle, comedian, actor, and author (b. 1943)

All thinking men are atheists.

Ernest Hemingway

The human mind is inspired enough when it comes to inventing horrors; it is when it tries to invent a heaven that it shows itself cloddish.

Evelyn Waugh, novelist (1903-1966)

The root of all superstition is that men observe when a thing hits, but not when it misses.

Francis Bacon, essayist, philosopher, and statesman (1561-1626)

I believe in God, only I spell it Nature.

Frank Lloyd Wright, architect

If you want to get together in any exclusive situation and have people love you, fine - but to hang all this desperate sociology on the idea of The Cloud-Guy who has The Big Book, who knows if you've been bad or good- and CARES about any of it- to hang it all on that, folks, is the chimpanzee part of the brain working.

Frank Zappa

If you want to get together in any exclusive situation and have people love you, fine - but to hang all this desperate sociology on the idea of The Cloud-Guy who has The Big Book, who knows if you’ve been bad or good - and cares about any of it - to hang it all on that, folks, is the chimpanzee part of the brain working.

Frank Zappa

Revivals in religion, and revivals in the slave trade, go hand in hand together. (Cheers.) The church and the slave prison stand next to each other; the groans and cries of the heartbroken slave are often drowned in the pious devotions of his religious master. (Hear, hear.) The church-going bell and the auctioneer's bell chime in with each other; the pulpit and the auctioneer's block stand in the same neighbourhood; while the blood-stained gold goes to support the pulpit, the pulpit covers the infernal business with the garb of Christianity. We have men sold to build churches, women sold to support missionaries, and babies sold to buy Bibles and communion services for the churches.

Frederick Douglass, abolitionist

I prayed for freedom for twenty years, but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.

Frederick Douglass, Former slave, abolitionist, editor, and orator (1817-1895)

Religion is the idol of the mob; it adores everything it does not understand.

Frederick II

Faith means not wanting to know what is true.

Freidrich Nietzsche

A god who is all-knowing and all-powerful and who does not even make sure his creatures understand his intention—could that be a god of goodness? Who allows countless doubts and dubieties to persist, for thousands of years, as though the salvation of mankind were unaffected by them, and who on the other hand holds out the prospect of frightful consequences if any mistake is made as to the nature of truth? . . . Did he perhaps lack intelligence to do so? Or the eloquence? Must he not then . . . be able to help and counsel [his creatures], except in the manner of a deaf man making all kinds of ambiguous signs when the most fearful danger is about to befall on his child or dog?

Friedrich Nietzsche

In Christianity neither morality nor religion come into contact with reality at any point.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, philosopher (1844-1900)

My last fear, the fear of God, died with my faith.

G. Gordon Liddy, talk host, author

In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual.

Galileo Galilei, physicist and astronomer (1564-1642)

We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty Humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes.

Gene Roddenberry, creator of Star Trek

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