Quotes

Oh, the things people say.

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There is not one single established religion that an intelligent, educated man can believe.

George Bernard Shaw

Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all others because you were born in it.

George Bernard Shaw, writer, Nobel laureate (1856-1950)

All great truths begin as blasphemies.

George Bernard Shaw, writer, Nobel laureate (1856-1950)

Religion is just mind control.

George Carlin

Religion easily has the greatest bullshit story ever told. Think about it. Religion has actually convinced people that there’s an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever ’til the end of time! But He loves you. He loves you, and He needs money! He always needs money! He’s all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, somehow just can’t handle money! Religion takes in billions of dollars, they pay no taxes, and they always need a little more. Now, talk about a good bullshit story. Holy Shit!

George Carlin

No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God.

George H.W. Bush

The Christians stole the winter solstice from the pagans, and capitalism stole it from the Christians.

George Monbiot

As with the Christian religion, the worst advertisement for Socialism is its adherents.

George Orwell

The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.

George Washington, US president

I do not think we should antagonize the religious when it is not warranted, though I think we should be willing to do so whenever it is.

Glen Davidson

The great unmentionable evil at the center of our culture is monotheism. From a barbaric Bronze Age text known as the Old Testament, three anti-human religions have evolved - Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. These are sky-god religions. They are, literally, patriarchal - God is the Omnipotent Father - hence the loathing of women for 2,000 years in those countries afflicted by the sky-god and his earthly male delegates.

Gore Vidal, author

Dawkins is more like Darwin's border collie: patient, intelligent and forcefully industrious.

Guardian science blog on the biologist often called "Darwin's Rottweiler"

[Intelligent Design] has been hijacked by a narrow group of creationist fundamentalists in America to mean something it didn't originally mean at all. It's another form of the God of the gaps. It's bad theology in that it turns God once again into the pagan god of thunder and lightning.

Guy Consolmagno, Vatican astronomer, dismissing Intelligent Design claims

To die for an idea; it is unquestionably noble. But how much nobler it would be if men died for ideas that were true!

H. L. Mencken, US editor (1880 - 1956)

The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.

H. P. Lovecraft

The cosmos is a gigantic fly wheel making 10,000 revolutions a minute. Man is a sick fly taking a dizzy ride on it. Religion is the theory that the wheel was designed and set spinning to give him the ride.

H.L. Mencken

Moral certainty is always a sign of cultural inferiority. The more uncivilized the man, the surer he is that he knows precisely what is right and what is wrong. All human progress, even in morals, has been the work of men who have doubted the current moral values, not of men who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them. The truly civilized man is always skeptical and tolerant, in this field as in all others. His culture is based on "I am not too sure."

H.L. Mencken, writer, editor, and critic (1880-1956)

If religion were true, its followers would not try to bludgeon their young into an artificial conformity; but would merely insist on their unbending quest for truth, irrespective of artificial backgrounds or practical consequences.

H.P. Lovecraft

Atheism is the only world-view or religious view that is not tolerated within the SS... I have not tolerated an atheist in the ranks of the SS. Every member has a deep faith in God, in what my ancestors called in their language Waralda, the ancient one, the one who is mightier than we are.

Heinrich Himmler, Reichsführer of the SS and military commander, Nazi Party of Germany (1900-1945).

The doctrine of the material efficacy of prayer reduces the Creator to a cosmic bellhop of a not very bright or reliable kind.

Herbert J. Muller

I hate to break it to you, but there is no God. Here's what happens when you die you sit in a box and get eaten by worms. I guarantee you that when you die, nothing cool happens... I'm sickened by all religions. Religion has divided people. I don't think there's any difference between the pope wearing a large hat and parading around with a smoking purse and an African painting his face white and praying to a rock.

Howard Stern

[If defamation of religion was illegal] it would be a crime for me to say that the notion of transubstantiation is so ridiculous that even a small child should be able to see the insanity and utter physical impossibility of a piece of bread and some wine somehow taking on corporeal form. It would be a crime for me to say that Islam is a backward desert superstition that has no place in modern, enlightened Europe and it would be a crime to point out that Jewish settlers in Israel who believe they have a God given right to take the land are, frankly, mad. All the above assertions will, no doubt, offend someone or other.

Ian O’Doherty

The death of dogma is the birth of morality.

Immanuel Kant, philosopher (1724-1804)

Creationists make it sound like a 'theory' is something you dreamt up after being drunk all night.

Isaac Asimov

Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.

Isaac Asimov, scientist and writer (1920-1992)

There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge”.

Isaac Asimov, scientist and writer (1920-1992)

I believe in evidence. I believe in observation, measurement, and reasoning, confirmed by independent observers. I'll believe anything, no matter how wild and ridiculous, if there is evidence for it. The wilder and more ridiculous something is, however, the firmer and more solid the evidence will have to be.

Isaac Asimov, scientist and writer (1920-1992)

My practise as a scientist is atheistic. That is to say, when I set up an experiment I assume that no god, angel, or devil is going to interfere with its course; and this assumption has been justified by such success as I have achieved in my professional career. I should therefore be intellectually dishonest if I were not also atheistic in the affairs of the world. And I should be a coward if I did not state my theoretical views in public.

J.B.S. Haldane

O my brethren, I fear that unless ye shall repent of your sins that their skins will be whiter than yours, when ye shall be brought with them before the throne of God.

Jacob 3:8, Book of Mormon, on the "curse of blackness"

And I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in showing that religion and Government will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.

James Madison, US president

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, US president

In no instance have . . . the churches been guardians of the liberties of the people. Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise.

James Madison, US president

Religion has enslaved [African Americans] physically. Religion continues to enslave us mentally. It keeps us away from scientific advancement. It tells us that we know, which gives us no reason to explore and discover. Religiosity kills your brain cells, son. It kills your brain cells.

Jamila Bey

Kill them all in the Name of the Lord.

Jerry Falwell, radical Christian

The ACLU has got to take a lot of blame for this. And I know I’ll hear from them for this, but throwing God … successfully with the help of the federal court system … throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools, the abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked and when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad … I really believe that the pagans and the abortionists and the feminists and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way, all of them who try to secularize America … I point the finger in their face and say you helped this happen.

Jerry Falwell, radical Christian, on the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the US

Organized religion is a sham and a crutch for weak-minded people who need strength in numbers. It tells people to go out and stick their noses in other people's business.

Jesse Ventura

Organized religion is a sham and a crutch for weak-minded people who need strength in numbers.

Jesse Ventura, wrestler, governor

This view that women are somehow inferior to men is not restricted to one religion or belief. It is widespread. Women are prevented from playing a full and equal role in many faiths.

Nor, tragically, does its influence stop at the walls of the church, mosque, synagogue or temple. This discrimination, unjustifiably attributed to a Higher Authority, has provided a reason or excuse for the deprivation of women's equal rights across the world for centuries. The male interpretations of religious texts and the way they interact with, and reinforce, traditional practices justify some of the most pervasive, persistent, flagrant and damaging examples of human rights abuses.

Jimmy Carter, US President

The truth is that male religious leaders have had - and still have - an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world.

Jimmy Carter, US President

This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it.

John Adams, US president

As I understand the Christian religion, it was, and is, a revelation. But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed?

John Adams, US president

I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved - the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!

John Adams, US president

Where do we find a precept in the Bible for Creeds, Confessions, Doctrines and Oaths, and whole carloads of other trumpery that we find religion encumbered with in these days?

John Adams, US president

Plenty of kind, decent, caring people have no religious beliefs, and they act out of the goodness of their hearts. Conversely, plenty of people who profess to be religious, even those who worship regularly, show no particular interest in the world beyond themselves.

John Danforth, priest, ambassador, senator (b. 1936)

Religion is the organization of spirituality into something that became the hand maiden of conquerors. Nearly all religions were brought to people and imposed on people by conquerors, and used as the framework to control their minds.

John Henrik Clarke

Religious freedom should work two ways: we should be free to practice the religion of our choice, but we must also be free from having someone else's religion practiced on us.

John Irving, novelist (b. 1942)

The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.

John Kenneth Galbraith

Imagine there's no countries, / It isn't hard to do, / Nothing to kill or die for, / No religion too, / Imagine all the people / living life in peace.

John Lennon, musician (1940-1980)

One unerring mark of the love of truth is not entertaining any proposition with greater assurance than the proofs it is built upon will warrant.

John Locke, philosopher (1632-1704)

All religions have the same faith-based foundation. When faith is a foundation anything can be believed.

John W. Loftus

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