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Superstition and Reason:
 

pissing off the religious right

I should like to see, and this will be the last and most ardent of my desires, I should like to see the last king strangled with the guts of the last priest. Jean Meslier/Messelier, Paris 1733

"Je voudrais que le dernier des rois fût étranglé avec les boyaux du dernier prêtre". ("I would wish the last king strangled with the guts of the last priest.")  This is alternatively ascribed to Denis Diderot, Dithyrambe sur la fete de rois.

A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. — Winston Churchill

Tom PaineA fanatic is a man who does what he thinks the Lord would do if He knew the facts of the case.    — Finley Peter Dunne (1867-1936)

Thomas Paine (1737-1809), The Age of Reason, 1794/5

The creation is the bible of the deist. Man there reads in the handwriting of the creator himself the certainty of his existence, the immutability of his power ... All other bibles and testaments are to him forgeries.

The Christian Mythologists tell us, that Christ died for the sins of the world, and that he came on purpose to die. Would it not then have been the same if he had died of a fever or of the small-pox, of old age, or of anything else?

Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we called it the word of a demon, than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness, that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind; and, for my part, I sincerely detest it, as I detest everything that is cruel.

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.
All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.

The story of the angel announcing what the church calls the immaculate conception is not so much as mentioned in the books ascribed to Mark and John; and is differently related in Matthew and Luke. The former says the angel appeared to Joseph; the latter says it was to Mary; but either Joseph or Mary was the worst evidence that could have been thought of, for it was others that should have testified for them, and not they for themselves. Were any girl that is now with child to say, and even to swear it, that she was gotten with child by a ghost, and that an angel told her so, would she be believed? Certainly she would not. Why, then, are we to believe the same thing of another girl, whom we never saw, told by nobody knows who, nor when, nor where? How strange and inconsistent it is, that the same circumstance that would weaken the belief even of a probable story, should be given as a motive for believing this one, that has upon the face of it every token of absolute impossibility and imposture! ... This story is upon the face of it, the same kind of story as that of Jupiter and Leda, or Jupiter and Europa, or any of the amorous adventures of Jupiter...

Whence arose all the horrid assassinations of whole nations of men, women, and infants, with which the Bible is filled, and the bloody persecutions and tortures unto death, and religious wars, that since that time have laid Europe in blood and ashes- whence rose they but from this impious thing called revealed religion, and this monstrous belief that God has spoken to man? The lies of the Bible have been the cause of the one, and the lies of the Testament of the other.

Of all the systems of religion that ever were invented, there is none more derogatory to the Almighty, more unedifying to man, more repugnant to reason, and more contradictory in itself, than this thing called Christianity. Too absurd for belief, too impossible to convince, and too inconsistent for practice, it renders the heart torpid, or produces only atheists and fanatics. As an engine of power it serves the purpose of despotism; and as a means of wealth, the avarice of priests; but so far as respects the good of man in general, it leads to nothing here or hereafter.

A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep. — Saul Bellow

And of all plagues with which mankind are curst, Ecclesiastic tyranny's the worst. — Daniel Defoe (1660—1731)

Bad as he is, the devil may be abus'd,
Be falsely charg'd, and causelessly accus'd
When men, unwilling to be blam'd alone,
Shift off those crimes on him which are their own.

    Daniel Defoe, The History of the Devil, Ancient and Modern


You have not converted a man because you have silenced him. - John, Lord Morley

Since Humanism as a functioning credo is so closely bound up with the methods of reason and science, plainly free speech and democracy are its very lifeblood. For reason and scientific method can flourish only in an atmosphere of civil liberties. — Corliss Lamont

This I believe:
That the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world.

And this I would fight for:
The freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected.

And this I must fight against:
Any idea, religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual.

    — John Steinbeck


When I became convinced that the Universe is natural -- that all the ghosts and gods are myth, there entered into my brain, into my soul, into every drop of my blood, the sense, the feeling, the joy of freedom. The walls of my prison crumbled and fell, the dungeon was flooded with light and all the bolts, and bards, and manacles became dust. I was no longer a servant, a serf, or a slave. — Robert G. Ingersoll (1833-1899)

 A Prayer to the Faith Based
 
 I’m sorry, and I don’t mean to offend you,
 And you didn’t even ask for this but
 I’m going to put in a plug for your beliefs
 So that you won’t get too mad at me as I utter words
 With which you or someone you know may not agree,
 (No matter how utterly wrong you may happen to be)
 
 It is good that you are religious
 And I will personally defend your right to believe
 Whatever it is you do in fact believe,
 And I affirm that it is OK to put
 Phrases regarding your beliefs on my money
 And for you to assume that
 I will swear to your god
 
 when I am on jury duty
 when I am drafted into the army
 when I am elected to office
 when I am in the witness stand
 and whenever else I must affirm
 that I am moral and will not lie.
 
 i Will Capitalize Your Word for God
 And the Name of Your Holy Book
 And Other Entities and Documents
 As You Dictate These Rules To me.
 
 I offer this pandering to your particular beliefs,
 regardless of what they may happen to be,
 despite the fact that your cultural ancestors,
 the mavens and leaders of one church or another,
 burned at the stake or otherwise humiliated mine,
 The early scientists and freethinkers,
 I affirm this because I cannot at the moment
 Remember where I put my spine.
 
 Amen.

Greg Laden, 2006

If only God would give me a clear sign ! Like making a large deposit in my name at a Swiss bank.   — Woody Allen

Look at it this way, then," she said, and took a deep mental breath. "Wherever people are obtuse and absurd . . . and wherever they have, by even the most generous standards, the attention span of a small chicken in a hurricane and the investigative ability of a one-legged cockroach . . . and wherever people are inanely credulous, pathetically attached to the certainties of the nursery and, in general, have as much grasp of the realities of the physical universe as an oyster has of mountaineering . . . yes, Twyla: there is a Hogfather.  — Terry Pratchett, Hogfather

For no Marsian auger (whom fools view with awe,)
Nor diviner, nor star-gazer, care I a straw:
The Isis-taught quack, an expounder of dreams,
Is neither in science nor art what he seems;
Superstitious and shamesless they prowl through our streets,
Some hungry, some crazy, but all of them cheats.
Impostors, who vaunt that to others they'll show
A path which themselves neither travel nor know:
Since they promise us wealth if we pay for their pains,
Let them take from that wealth and bestow what remains.

    — Ennius (239-169), translated by Dunlop, in Pinnock's Goldsmith's Rome, 35th American edition, 1854

Christianity, as many religions, was just dreamed up by a couple people with really good imaginations, a lot of time on their hands, and even some "herbal" help. I mean, who would dream up half of that crap without being totally baked ?    — Jillian A. Spencer

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

There is nothing so absurd that it cannot be believed as truth if repeated often enough. — William James

Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich. — Napoleon

The national government...will maintain and defend the foundations on which the power of our nation rests. It will offer strong protection to Christianity as the very basis of our collective morality. — Adolph Hitler, The Speeches of Adolph Hitler, 1922-1939, Vol. 1 (London, Oxford University Press, 1942), pg. 871-872

Citing the Bible as evidence for anything is like saying that the sun is in fact a chariot of fire that races across the sky because we read about it in Greek mythology. — Stephen Ban

There needs to be a thorough examination, by Muslims everywhere, of why it is that the faith they love breeds so many violent mutant strains. — Salman Rushdie, Washington Post, Sept 2001

If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed. — Albert Einstein

Humanity's first sin was faith; the first virtue was doubt.   — Mike Huben

An atheist doesn't have to be someone who thinks he has a proof that there can't be a god. He only has to be someone who believes that the evidence on the God question is at a similar level to the evidence on the werewolf question.    — John McCarthy

Consider MedicationEveryone should believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer. — W.C. Fields

There is no such source and cause of strife, quarrel, fights, malignant opposition, persecution, and war, and all evil in the state, as religion. Let it once enter into our civil affairs, our government would soon be destroyed... Those who made our constitution saw this, and used the most apt and comprehensive language in it to prevent such a catastrophe. - Wisconsin Supreme Court, in Weiss

'Theocracy' has always been the synonym for a bleak and narrow, if not a fierce and blood-stained tyranny. — William Archer, (1667-1735)

Our society is in the grip of a perverse mindset. Those who uncritically accept unproven supernatural mythologies are revered as having reached the highest levels of morality. Those who courageously apply the faculties of reason and logical thought are looked upon as immoral and as embodying ultimate evil. The conscientious nonbeliever, incredibly noble in courage and in will power to follow reason through to its ineluctable conclusions, is shunned rather than lauded. — Edward Tabbash, Free Inquiry 20:4, 62

I am an atheist, out and out. It took me a long time to say it. I've been an atheist for years and years, but somehow I felt it was intellectually unrespectable to say that one is an atheist, because it assumed knowledge that one didn't have. Somehow it was better to say one was a humanist or agnostic. I don't have the evidence to prove that God doesn't exist, but I so strongly suspect that he doesn't that I don't want to waste my time.   — Isaac Asimov

If you're following the news, you know that the major religions differ in their interpretation of the holy books. For example, one way to interpret God's will is that you should love your neighbor. An alternate reading of the holy books might lead you to rig a donkey cart with small mortar rockets and aim it at a hotel full of infidels. In summary, po-tay-to, poh-tah-to. Religions are very flexible.   — from Scott Adams' Holiday Thoughts, 2003

The fundamentalists, by 'knowing' the answers before they start (examining evolution), and then forcing nature into their straitjacket of their discredited preconceptions, lie outside the domain of science or of any honest intellectual inquiry." ( from 2000 Years of Disbelief : Famous People With the Courage to Doubt.

Landover Baptist Church is a hilarious, politically incorrect parody of Fundamentalism. There is an anti-Landover site, supposedly run by outraged Fundies, but it's a subtler version of Landover (I think). It makes me think about the nature of humor, but I don't have any answers.

Without the use of a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to make a parody of Fundamentalism that someone won't mistake for the real thing. — Poe's Law

To assert that the earth revolves around the sun is as erroneous as to claim that Jesus was not born of a virgin. — Cardinal Bellarmine (1615, during the trial of Galileo)

I have never seen the slightest scientific proof of the religious theories of heaven and hell, of future life for individuals, or of a personal God. — Thomas Edison

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful. — Seneca the Younger (4? B.C. - 65 A.D.)

Doouglas AdamsGod used to be the best explanation we'd got, and we've now got vastly better ones. God is no longer an explanation of anything, but has instead become something that would itself need an insurmountable amount of explaining.   — Douglas Adams (1952-2001)

I'd take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day.   — Douglas Adams

There is a theory which states that if ever anyone ever discovers exactly what the universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened. — Douglas Adams

Men are idolaters, and want something to look at and kiss and hug, or throw themselves down before; they always did, they always will; and if you don't make if of wood, you must make it of words. — Oliver Wendell Holmes

There was a time when religion ruled the world. It is known as The Dark Ages. — Ruth Hurmence Green

With or without it, you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, it takes religion. — Steven Weinberg

The history of saints is mainly the history of insane people. — Benito Mussolini

A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything. — Friedrich Nietzsche

There is not enough love and goodness in the word for us to be permitted to give any of it away to imaginary things. — Friedrich Nietzsche

When patterns are broken, new worlds can emerge. — Tuli Kupferberg

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction. — Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)

When socialism comes into power, the Roman Church will advocate socialism with the same vigor [with which] it is now favoring feudalism and slavery. — Ferdinand August Bebel (1840-1913)

The church says that the Earth is flat, but I have seen the shadow on the moon and I have more faith in the shadow than in the church. — Ferdinand Magellan

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

A union of government and religion tends to destroy government and degrade religion. — Hugo Black, US Supreme Court

From the reign of Emperor Constantine to the present, the Christian notion that sexual love brings spiritual death has been the cornerstone of Western sex law. - Berkowitz

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 & realistic thought. He is not a mere ass: he is actually ill. — H.L. Mencken

One of the strangest delusions of the Western mind is to the effect that a philosophy of profound wisdom is on tap in the East. I have read a great many expositions of it, some by native sages and the rest by Western enthusiasts, but I have found nothing in it save nonsense. It is, fundamentally, a moony transcendentalism almost as absurd as that of Emerson, Alcott and company. It bears no sort of relation to the known facts, and is full of assumptions and hypotheses that every intelligent man must laugh at. In its practical effects it seems to be as lacking in sense and as inimical to human dignity as Methodism, or even Mormonism... — H.L. Mencken

The so-called Philosophy of India is even more blowsy and senseless than the metaphysics of the West. It is at war with everything we know of the workings of the human mind, and with every sound idea formulated by mankind. If it prevailed in the whole modern world we'd still be in the Thirteenth Century; nay, we'd be back among the Egyptians of the pyramid age. Its only coherent contribution to Western thought has been theosophy—and theosophy is as idiotic as Christian Science. It has absolutely nothing to offer a civilized white man.H.L. Mencken

Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration--courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and, above all, love of the truth. — H. L. MenckenGod is just Pretend

I don't believe in God because I don't believe in Mother Goose. — Clarence Darrow

Organized religion is like organized crime; it preys on peoples' weaknesses, generates huge profits for its operators, and is almost impossible to eradicate. - unknown

Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned. - unknown

Christian Fundamentalism: The doctrine that there is an absolutely powerful, infinitely knowledgeable, universe spanning entity that is deeply and personally concerned about my sex life. - unknown (Woody Allen?)

Give a man a fish, and you'll feed him for a day; give him a religion, and he'll starve to death while praying for a fish. - unknown

Give a man a fish and you have fed him for a day, but give him a case of dynamite and soon the village will be showered with mud and seaweed and unidentifiable chunks of fish.


The world holds two classes of men - intelligent men without religion, and religious men without intelligence. — Abu'l-Ala-Al-Ma'arri, (973-1057)

A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death. — Albert Einstein

The gods can either take away evil from the world and will not, or, being willing to do so, cannot; or they neither can nor will, or lastly, they are both able and willing. If they have the will to remove evil and cannot, then they are not omnipotent. If they can, but will not, than they are not benevolent. If they are neither able nor willing, then they are neither omnipotent nor benevolent. Lastly, if they are both able and willing to annihilate evil, how does it exist? — Epicures, 300 BC

We would be 1,500 years ahead if it hadn't been for the church dragging science back by its coattails and burning our best minds at the stake. — Catherine Fahringer

If 50 million people believe a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing. — Anatole France (1844-1924)

I have found Christian dogma unintelligible. Early in life I absented myself from Christian assemblies. — Ben Franklin

The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason. — Ben Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, 1758

It's hard to be religious when certain people are never incinerated by bolts of lightning. — Bill Waterson, Calvin & Hobbes

It always helps an army to have an omniscient, omnipotent war-god on its side. — William Sierichs, Jr.

Conan the BarbarianKill one man and you are a murderer.
Kill millions and you are a conqueror.
Kill everyone and you are a God.
Jean Rostand and/or Conrad Bland

A Christian who does not try to push their views on me or on public policy is, to me, sort of like a person who is wearing a funny hat. You know the hat is stupid, and it sort of bugs you, but you try to ignore it even though it is huge and floppy and bright pink with big metallic-green feathers. If you can deal with the funny hat, many Christians are pretty OK; but sooner or later, they always have to say, "So Scott, how come YOU aren't wearing a funny hat?" and I have to say, "Please fuck off."
     from Why Christians Suck 

One man's religion is another man's belly laugh. — Robert Heinlein, Notebooks of Lazarus Long

If you pray hard enough, you can make water run uphill. How hard? Why, hard enough to make water run uphill, of course! — Robert A. Heinlein

The most ridiculous concept ever perpetrated by H. Sapiens is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of the Universes, wants the saccharine adoration of his creations, that he can be persuaded by their prayers, and becomes petulant if he does not receive this flattery. Yet this ridiculous notion, without one real shred of evidence to bolster it, has gone on to found one of the oldest, largest and least productive industries in history. — Robert A. Heinlein

One should always keep an open mind, but not so open that one's brains fall out. — Bertrand Russell

[Concerning monotheistic religions] The only thing these hysterical cults have in common is the belief that this world will be consumed, and deservedly so, when the moment is ripe. They also, all of them, profess a great disdain for earthly possessions. Yet they pass the intervening time in haggling over the most trivial and paltry property rights, over caves and rocks and disputable pieces of archeological rubbish. — Christopher Hitchens, Free Inquiry 21:2, 8 (2001)

Faith is often the boast of the man who is too lazy to investigate. — F.M. Knowles

Randomness scares people. Religion is a way to explain randomness. — Fran Lebowitz

 I count religion but a childish toy,
And hold there is no sin but ignorance.
    Christopher Marlowe

It requires only two things to win credit for a miracle: a mountebank and a number of silly women. — Marquis de Sade

In Christianity neither morality nor religion come into contact with reality at any point. — Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other gods you will understand why I dismiss yours. — Stephen F. Roberts

Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth, more than ruin, more even than death...Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit. Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid. Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of man. — Bertrand Russell

Fantastic doctrines (like Christianity or Islam or Marxism) require unanimity of belief. One dissenter casts doubt on the creed of millions. Thus the fear and the hate; thus the torture chamber, the iron stake, the gallows, the labor camp, the psychiatric ward. — Edward Abbey

It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring. — Carl Sagan (1934-1996)

I would love to believe that when I die I will live again, that some thinking, feeling, remembering part of me will continue. But as much as I want to believe that, and despite the ancient and worldwide cultural traditions that assert an afterlife, I know of nothing to suggest that it is more than wishful thinking. — Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World

SaganThe world is so exquisite, with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there's little good evidence. Far better, it seems to me, in our vulnerability, is to look Death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides. — Carl Sagan, Billions and Billions

A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism. — Carl Sagan

The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human ambition. — Carl Sagan

Those afraid of the universe as it really is, those who pretend to nonexistent knowledge and envision a Cosmos centered on human beings, will prefer the fleeting comforts of superstition. They avoid rather than confront the world. But those with the courage to explore the weave and structure of the Cosmos, even where it differs profoundly from their wishes and prejudices, will penetrate its deepest mysteries. — Carl Sagan, Cosmos

A humanist has four leading characteristics - curiosity, a free mind, belief in good taste, and belief in the human race. — E. M. Forster (1879-1970), Two Cheers for Democracy

The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality. - George Bernard Shaw

twainOften it does seem a pity that Noah and his party did not miss the boat. - Mark Twain

Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul. - Mark Twain

We despise all reverences and all objects of reverence which are outside the pale of our list of sacred things and yet, with strange inconsistency, we are shocked when other people despise and defile the things which are holy for us. - Mark Twain

Man is a Religious Animal. Man is the only Religious Animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat if his theology isn't straight. He has made a graveyard of the globe in trying his honest best to smooth his brother's path to happiness and heaven.... The higher animals have no religion. And we are told that they are going to be left out in the Hereafter. I wonder why? It seems questionable taste. - Mark Twain

The so-called Christian nations are the most enlightened and progressive...but in spite of their religion, not because of it. The Church has opposed every innovation and discovery from the day of Galileo down to our own time, when the use of anesthetic in childbirth was regarded as a sin because it avoided the biblical curse pronounced against Eve. And every step in astronomy and geology ever taken has been opposed by bigotry and superstition. The Greeks surpassed us in artistic culture and in architecture five hundred years before Christian religion was born. - Mark Twain, A Biography

[The Bible] has noble poetry in it... and some good morals and a wealth of obscenity, and upwards of a thousand lies. - Mark Twain

In religion and politics, people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination. - Mark Twain

If there is a God, he is a malign thug. - Mark Twain

During many ages there were witches. The Bible said so. The Bible commanded that they should not be allowed to live. Therefore the Church, after doing its duty in but a lazy and indolent way for 800 years, gathered up its halters, thumbscrews, and firebrands, and set about its holy work in earnest. She worked hard at it night and day during nine centuries and imprisoned, tortured, hanged, and burned whole hordes and armies of witches, and washed the Christian world clean with their foul blood. Then it was discovered that there was no such thing as witches, and never had been. One does not know whether to laugh or to cry. - Mark Twain
 

One of the annoying things about believing in free will and individual responsibility is the difficulty of finding somebody to blame your problems on. And when you do find somebody, its remarkable how often his picture turns up on your driver's license. - P. J. O'Rourke, in Rolling Stone

Religion is to brain what tapeworm is to intestine. - unknown

Jesus pulls off the road, goes into the motel lobby, hands the clerk 3 nails, and asks, "Can you put me up for the night?"

You don’t think I’m prepared for the second coming of Christ, but I am. You see, I’ve got a nail gun. — on atheistexperience blog, review of Left Behind game, Nov 2006

Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith. I consider the capacity for it terrifying. - Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

ZappaWhat was it that Adam ate that he wasn't supposed to eat? It wasn't just an apple. It was the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. The subtle message? 'Get smart and I'll fuck you over' sayeth the Lord. God is the smartest, and he doesn't want any Competition. Is this not an absolutely anti-intellectual religion? - Frank Zappa

...They tried to make me go to Catholic school, too. I lasted a very short time. When the penguin came after me with a ruler, I was out of there. - Frank Zappa

If the lord had meant us to have faith, he'd have given us lobotomies. - Zlatko

A clergyman is one who feels himself called upon to live without working, at the expense of the rascals who work to live. - Voltaire

Now, now my good man, this is no time for making enemies. - Voltaire (1694-1778), on his deathbed in response to a priest asking that he renounce Satan.

The first clergyman was the first rascal who met the first fool. - Voltaire

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

Every sensible man, every honest man, must hold the Christian sect in horror. But what shall we substitute in its place? you say. What? A ferocious animal has sucked the blood of my relatives. I tell you to rid yourselves of this beast, and you ask me what you shall put in its place? - Voltaire

There's a Bible on that shelf there. But I keep it next to Voltaire — poison and antidote.    — Bertrand Russell

Better to be thought a fool, than to open your bible and remove all doubt. - unknown

The Religious Right. Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups. - unknown

A Sunday school is a prison in which children do penance for the evil conscience of their parents. - Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956)

We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart. - H.L. Mencken

When I reached intellectual maturity and began to ask myself whether I was an atheist, a theist, or a pantheist; a materialist or an idealist; a Christian or a freethinker; I found that the more I learned and reflected, the less ready was the answer; until, at last I came to the conclusion that I was neither art nor part with any of these denominations, except the last.
The one thing in which most of these good people were agreed was the one thing in which I differed from them.  They were quite sure they had attained a certain "gnosis" - had, more or less successfully, solved the problem of existence; while I was quite sure I had not, and had a pretty strong conviction that the problem was insoluble...So I took thought, and invented what I conceived to be the appropriate title of "agnostic." It came into my head as a suggestively antithetic to the "Gnostic" of church history, who professed to know so much about the very things of which I was ignorant... - Thomas Henry Huxley, Agnosticism

NixonI would have made a good Pope. - Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994)

The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals and 362 admonishments to heterosexuals. That doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals. It's just that they need more supervision. - Lynn Lavner

Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than going to a garage makes you an automobile. - Billy Sunday

You know you have created God in your own image, when you find that your God hates the same people that you do. - Lois Wilson

Trying to find god is a good deal like looking for money one has lost in a dream. - Lemuel K. Washburn, Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

All in all, I can't say I believe in god. If, in fact, I ever find out that he does indeed exist, I think I'll stay away from him, because if he's responsible for half the things he gets credit for, he's got to be one mean son of a bitch. - Peter Gether, A Cat Abroad, pp. 89-90

Few nations have been so poor as to have but one god. Gods were made so easily, and the raw material cost so little, that generally the god market was fairly glutted, and heaven crammed with these phantoms. - Robert G. Ingersoll, The Gods, 1872

An honest god is the noblest work of man. ... God has always resembled his creators. He hated and loved what they hated and loved and he was invariably found on the side of those in power. ... Most of the gods were pleased with sacrifice, and the smell of innocent blood has ever been considered a divine perfume. - Robert G. Ingersoll, Gods, 1879

The savage prays to a stone that he calls a god, while the Christian prays to a god he calls a spirit, and the prayers of both are equally useful. - Robert G. Ingersoll

I believe in the religion of reason the gospel of this world; in the development of the mind, in the accumulation of intellectual wealth, to the end that man may free himself from superstitious fear, to the end that he may take advantage of the forces of nature to feed and clothe the world. - Robert G. Ingersoll

The notion that faith in Christ is to be rewarded by an eternity of bliss, while a dependence upon reason, observation, and experience merits everlasting pain, is too absurd for refutation, and can be relieved only by that unhappy mixture of insanity and ignorance called 'faith.' - Robert G. Ingersoll

"I have the right to do my own thinking. I am going to do it. I have never met any minister that I thought had brain enough to think for himself and for me too. I do my own. I have no reverence for barbarism, no matter how ancient it may be, and no reverence for the savagery of the Old Testament; no reverence for the malice of the New. And let me tell you here tonight that the Old Testament is a thousand times better than the New. The Old Testament threatened no vengeance beyond the grave. God was satisfied when his enemy was dead. It was reserved for the New Testament-it was reserved for universal benevolence-to rend the veil between time and eternity and fix the horrified gaze of man upon the abyss of hell. The New Testament is just as much worse than the Old, as hell is worse than sleep. And yet it is the fashion to say that the Old Testament is bad and that the New Testament is good.
"I have no reverence for any book that teaches a doctrine contrary to my reason; no reverence for any book that teaches a doctrine contrary to my heart; and, no matter how old it is, no matter how many have believed it, no matter how many have died on account of it, no matter how many live for it, I have no reverence for that book, and I am glad of it." - Robert G. Ingersoll, A Reply to Reverend Drs. Thomas and Lorimer

It is wrong, always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence. - William Kingdon Clifford, The Ethics of Belief, (1877)

Whenever a poet or preacher, chief or wizard spouts gibberish, the human race spends centuries deciphering the message. - Umberto Eco

Not only is there nothing to be gained by believing an untruth, but there is everything to lose when we sacrifice the indispensable tool of reason on the altar of superstition. - Freedom From Religion Foundation

The sense of spiritual relief which comes from rejecting the idea of God as a supernatural being is enormous. - Sir Julian Huxley, Religion Without Revelation

God is... a sadistic, jealous, vengeful, foreskin-loving creation of borderline psychotic racist primitive man. - Craig Blanchard

"i know god, he's a pedofile's tool, they push him in and rape the minds of their children." - 'the great tinkerer'  on CoV mailing list

It seems odd that those who scoff at sun worshippers are apt to worship a vacuum.

If you ask the wrong questions you get answers like '42' or 'God'. -- Douglas Adams

My young son asked me what happens after we die. I told him we get buried under a bunch of dirt and worms eat our bodies. I guess I should have told him the truth that most of us go to Hell and burn eternally but I didn't want to upset him. - Jack Handey, Deep Thoughts

To judge from the notions expounded by theologians, one must conclude that God created most men simply with a view to crowding hell - Marquis de Sade

Religious wars are basically people killing each other over who has the better imaginary friend. - Dear Prudence, 1/18/2001, in Slate

A fanatic is someone who redoubles his effort when he has forgotten his aim. - George Santayana

James MadisonReligious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise. - James Madison

During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have 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

Only with great difficulty does a shaft of light pierce the armor of self-righteousness. - Lois Wilson

The Christian view that all intercourse outside marriage is immoral was, as we see in the above 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

It seems to me that the idea of a personal God is an anthropological concept which I cannot take seriously. I also cannot imagine some will or goal outside the human sphere...Science has been charged with undermining morality, but the charge is unjust. A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death. - Albert Einstein

The beauty of religious mania is that it has the power to explain everything. Once God (or Satan) is accepted as the first cause of everything which happens in the mortal world, nothing is left to chance... logic can be happily tossed out the window. - Stephen King, The Stand (Rev. Ed.), 1990

Anyone who engages in the practice of psycho- therapy confronts every day the devastation wrought by the teachings of religion. - Nathanial Branden Ph.D., The Psychology of Self-esteem .

"Never before have I encountered such corrupt and foul-minded perversity! Have you ever considered a career in the Church? "- Black Adder II

Holy Grail   A reading from the Book of Armaments, Chapter 4, Verses 16 to 20:
Then did he raise on high the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch, saying, "Bless this, O Lord, that with it thou mayst blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy." And the people did rejoice and did feast upon the lambs and toads and tree-sloths and fruit-bats and orangutans and breakfast cereals... Now did the Lord say, "First thou pullest the Holy Pin. Then thou must count to three. Three shall be the number of the counting and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither shalt thou count two, excepting that thou then proceedeth to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the number of the counting, be reached, then lobbest thou the Holy Hand Grenade in the direction of thine foe, who, being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it." - Monty Python, Monty Python and the Holy Grail

"Marge, have you ever actually sat down and read this thing? Technically, we're not even allowed to go to the bathroom." - Priest on "The Simpson's" (remember the town which God killed because Onan pissed on a wall????)

I will tell you a pleasant tale which has in it a touch of pathos . . . A man got religion, and asked the priest what he must do to be worthy of his new estate. The priest said, "Imitate our Father in Heaven, learn to be like him." The man studied his bible diligently and thoroughly and understandingly, and then with prayers for heavenly guidance instituted his imitations. He tricked his wife into falling down stairs, and she broke her back and became a paralytic for life, he betrayed his brother into the hands of a sharper, who robbed him of his all and landed him into the almshouse; he inoculated one son with hookworms, another with the sleeping sickness, another with gonorrhea; he furnished one daughter with scarlet fever and ushered her into her teens deaf, dumb and blind for life; and after helping a rascal seduce the remaining one, he closed his doors against her and she died in a brothel cursing him. Then he reported to the priest, who said that was no way to imitate his Father in Heaven. The convert asked wherein he had failed, but the priest changed the subject and inquired what kind of weather he was having, up his way. - Mark Twain, Letters From the Earth

In their censures of luxury the fathers are extremely minute and circumstantial; and among the various articles which excite their pious indignation, we may enumerate false hair, garments of any colour except white, instruments of music, vases of gold or silver, downy pillows (as Jacob reposed his head on a stone), white bread, foreign wines, public salutations, the use of warm baths, and the practice of shaving the beard, which, according to Tertullian, is a lie against our own faces, and am impious attempt to improve the works of the Creator. - Edward Gibbon, Chapter 15, The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire

Making fun of born-again christians is like hunting dairy cows with a high powered rifle and scope. - P.J. O'Rourke

"Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no substitute for a good blaster at your side." - Han Solo, Star Wars

The fruits of Christianity were religious wars, butcheries, crusades, inquisitions, extermination of the natives of America, and the introduction of African slaves in their place. - Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) German philosopher.

The truth is that Christian theology, like every other theology, is not only opposed to the scientific spirit; it is also opposed to all other attempts at rational thinking. Not by accident does Genesis 3 make the father of knowledge a serpent slimy, sneaking and abominable. Since the earliest days the church as an organization has thrown itself violently against every effort to liberate the body and mind of man. It has been, at all times and everywhere, the habitual and incorrigible defender of bad governments, bad laws, bad social theories, bad institutions. It was, for centuries, an apologist for slavery, as it was the apologist for the divine right of kings. - H. L. Mencken

There is no harmony between religion and science. When science was a child, religion sought to strangle it in the cradle. Now that science has attained its youth, and superstition is in its dotage, the trembling, palsied wreck says to the athlete: "Let us be friends." - Robert Green Ingersoll, interview in The Truth Seeker, 1885

Blasphemy is what an old dogma screams at a new truth. - Robert G. Ingersoll

New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not already common. - John Locke

Faith is a euphemism for prejudice and religion is a euphemism for superstition. - Paul Keller, American rationalist

A major function of fundamentalist religion is to bolster deeply insecure and fearful people. This is done by justifying a way of life with all of its defining prejudices. It thereby provides an appropriate and legitimate outlet for one's anger. The authority of an inerrant Bible that can be readily quoted to buttress this point of view becomes an essential ingredient to such a life. When that Bible is challenged, or relativized, the resulting anger proves the point categorically. Bishop John Shelby Spong, Rescuing the Bible From Fundamentalism (San Fransisco: Harper Collins, 1991), p. 5.

A disturbing fact continues to surface in sex abuse research. The first best predictor of abuse is alcohol or drug addiction in the father. But the second best predictor is conservative religiosity, accompanied by parental belief in traditional male-female roles. This means that if you want to know which children are most likely to be sexually abused by their father, the second most significant clue is whether or not the parents belong to a conservative religious group with traditional role beliefs and rigid sexual attitudes. (Brown and Bohn, 1989; Finkelhor, 1986; Fortune, 1983; Goldstein et al, 1973; Van Leeuwen, 1990). - Sexual Abuse in Christian Homes and Churches, by Carolyn Holderread Heggen, Herald Press, Scotdale, PA, 1993 p. 73]

God says do what you wish, but make the wrong choice and you will be tortured for eternity in hell. That sir, is not free will. It would be akin to a man telling his girlfriend, do what you wish, but if you choose to leave me, I will track you down and blow your brains out. When a man says this we call him a psychopath and cry out for his imprisonment/execution. When god says the same we call him "loving" and build churches in his honor. - William C. Easttom II, skeptic@icon.net

Convicts register their religious affiliation when they're processed into prison. And about 99.5% of the huge U.S.A. prison population consists of inmates who identified themselves as members of religious denominations. - Gene M. Kasmar

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction. - Blaise Pascal (Pensees, 1670)

Bertrand RussellThe universe may have a purpose, but nothing we know suggests that, if so, this purpose has any similarity to ours. - Bertrand Russell

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

What...can we surmise about the likelihood of someone's being caring and generous, loving and helpful, just from knowing that they are a believer? Virtually nothing, say psychologists, sociologists, and others who have studied that question for decades. - Alfie Kohn, in "Psychology Today"

"How on earth can religious people believe in so much arbitrary, clearly invented balderdash?....The acceptance of a creed, any creed, entitles the acceptor to membership in the sort of artificial extended family we call a congregation. It is a way to fight loneliness. Any time I see a person fleeing from reason and into religion, I think to myself, There goes a person who simply cannot stand being so goddamned lonely anymore. - Kurt Vonnegut Jr., quoted in 2000 Years of Disbelief, Famous People with the Courage to Doubt ", by James A. Haught, Prometheus Books, 1996

A dogma is the hand of the dead on the throat of the living. - Lemuel K. Washburn, Is the Bible Worth Reading and Other Essays

The death of dogma is the birth of reason. - Immanuel Kant

If there is a God, atheism must strike Him as less of an insult than religion. - Edmond and Jules de Goncourt

If you look up 'atheism' in a dictionary, you will probably find it defined as the belief that there is no God. Certainly many people understand atheism in this way. Yet many atheists do not, and this is not what the term means if one consider it from the point of view of its Greek roots. In Greek 'a' means 'without' or 'not' and 'theos' means 'god.' From this standpoint an atheist would simply be someone without a belief in God, not necessarily someone who believes that God does not exist. According to its Greek roots, then, atheism is a negative view, characterized by the absence of belief in God. - Michael Martin, Atheism: A Philosophical Justification, (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1990), p. 463.

Atheism is the world of reality, it is reason, it is freedom, atheism is human concern, and intellectual honesty to a degree that the religious mind cannot begin to understand. And yet it is more than this. Atheism is not an old religion, it is not a new and coming religion, in fact it is not, and has never been, a religion at all. The definition of atheism is magnificent in its simplicity: Atheism is merely the bed-rock of sanity in a world of madness. - Atheism: An Affirmative View, by Emmett F. Fields

We have often seen reliable statistics showing that the percentage of the North American population who hold no religious beliefs ranges between 13% and 37% (in BC); the percentage of prison inmates who are atheists is about 1%. - The Canadian Atheist Issue 9 Winter 1996/97

The Bible is the greatest hoax in all history. The leading characters of the Old Testament would today be in the penitentiary and those of the New would be under observation in psychopathic wards. - Charles Smith (1887-1964) U.S. attorney, author

In those parts of the world where learning and science has prevailed, miracles have ceased; But in those parts of it as are barbarous and ignorant, miracles are still in vogue. - Ethan Allen in Reason the Only Oracle of Man

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away. - Philip K. Dick

Whatever a man prays for, he prays for a miracle.

Every prayer reduces itself to this: "Great God, grant that twice two be not four." - Ivan Turgenev (1818-1883)

The trouble with born-again Christians is that they are an even bigger pain the second time around. - Herb Caen

Christians, it is needless to say, utterly detest each other. They slander each other constantly with the vilest forms of abuse and cannot come to any sort of agreement in their teaching. Each sect brands its own, fills the head of its own with deceitful nonsense, and makes perfect little pigs of those it wins over to its side. - Celsus (2nd Century C.E.)

The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike. - Delos B. McKown

The old faiths light their candles all about, but burly Truth comes by and puts them out. - Lizette Reese
 

IF ATHEISM IS A RELIGION, THEN:

Silence is a language.
Dead is a state of mind.
Hunger is a gourmet meal.
Health is a disease.
Bald is a hair colour.

 To be an atheist requires strength of mind and goodness of heart found in not one of a thousand. - Samuel Coleridge (1772-1834)

"YOUR PETITIONERS ARE ATHEISTS and they define their life-style as follows. An Atheist loves himself and his fellowman instead of a god. An Atheist knows that heaven is something for which we shouldwork now here on earth for all men together to enjoy. An Atheist thinks that he can get no help through prayer but that he must find in himself the inner conviction and strength to meet life, to grapple with it, to subdue, and enjoy it. An Atheist thinks that only in a knowledge of himself and a knowledge of his fellowman can he find the understanding that will help to a life of fulfillment.

Therefore, he seeks to know himself and his fellowman rather than to know a god. An Atheist knows that a hospital should be build instead of a church. An Atheist knows that a deed must be done instead of a prayer said. An Atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death. He wants disease conquered, poverty vanquished, war eliminated. He wants man to understand and love man. He wants an ethical way of life. He knows that we cannot rely on a god nor channel action into prayer nor hope for an end to troubles in the hereafter. He knows that we are our brother's keeper and keepers of our lives; that we are responsible persons, that the job is here and the time is now." - Madalyn Murray (later O'Hair ), preamble to Murray v. Curlett, April 27, 1961

Just as one theist may disagree with another theist on important issues, so one atheist may disagree with another atheist on important issues. An atheist may be a capitalist or a communist, and ethical objectivist or subjectivist, a producer or a parasite, an honest man or a thief, psychologically healthy or neurotic. The only thing incompatible with atheism is theism. - George H. Smith, "Atheism: The Case Against God"

 "There are no atheists in foxholes" isn't an argument against atheism, it's an argument against foxholes. - James Morrow

    You'll never find a dead Christian in a foxhole who didn't pray.

Is god an atheist? If not, who created him? And if so, why can I not agree with him in unbelief? - John Nicholson

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

I am an atheist, out and out. It took me a long time to say it. I've been an atheist for years and years, but somehow I felt it was intellectually unrespectable to say one was an atheist, because it assumed knowledge that one didn't have. Somehow it was better to say one was a humanist or an agnostic. I finally decided that I'm a creature of emotion as well as of reason. Emotionally I am an atheist. I don't have the evidence to prove that God doesn't exist, but I so strongly suspect he doesn't that I don't want to waste my time. - Isaac Asimov, "Free Inquiry", Spring 1982, vol.2 no.2, p.9

And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a Virgin Mary, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter…. But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away [with] all this artificial scaffolding. (Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, 11 April 1823, as quoted by E. S. Gaustad, “Religion,” in Merrill D. Peterson, ed., Thomas Jefferson: A Reference Biography, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1986, p. 287

In every country and every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own. It is easier to acquire wealth and power by this combination than by deserving them, and to effect this, they have perverted the purest religion ever preached to man into mystery and jargon, unintelligible to all mankind, and therefore the safer for their purposes. (Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to Horatio Spofford, 1814; from George Seldes, ed., The Great Quotations, Secaucus, New Jersey: Citadel Press, 1983, p. 371).

History I believe furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance, of which their political as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purpose. (Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to Baron von Humboldt, 1813; from George Seldes, ed., The Great Quotations, Secaucus, New Jersey: Citadel Press, 1983, p. 370

Agnostic, n. A person who feels superior to atheists by merit of his ignorance of the rules of logic and evidence. - Chaz Bufe, The American Heretic's Dictionary

Agnosticism simply means that a man shall not say he knows or believes that for which he has no grounds for professing to believe.

I am an agnostic; I do not pretend to know what many ignorant men are sure of. - Clarence Darrow

The Atheist does not say "there is no god", but he says "I do not know what you mean by god; I am without the idea of god; the word god is to me a sound conveying no clear or distinct affirmation. I do not deny god, because I cannot deny that of which I have no conception and the conception of which by its affirmer is so imperfect that he is unable to define it to me. - Charles Bradlaugh, National Review, Nov. 25, 1883

It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it. - Albert Einstein, The Human Side

IngersollI believe in the religion of reason the gospel of this world; in the development of the mind, in the accumulation of intellectual wealth, to the end that man may free himself from superstitious fear, to the end that he may take advantage of the forces of nature to feed and clothe the world. - Robert G. Ingersoll

I have no reverence for any book that teaches a doctrine contrary to my reason; no reverence for any book that teaches a doctrine contrary to my heart; and, no matter how old it is, no matter how many have believed it, no matter how many have died on account of it, no matter how many live for it, I have no reverence for that book, and I am glad of it. - Robert G.  Ingersoll

Humanity's first sin was faith; the first virtue was doubt.

Power corrupts;
Absolute power corrupts absolutely;
God is all-powerful.
Draw your own conclusions

Theists think all gods but theirs are false. Atheists simply don't make an exception for the last one.

You don't pray in my school, and I won't think in your church.

A zealot's stones will break my bones, but gods will never hurt me.

Nine out of ten priests who have tried Camels, prefer young boys.

A society without religion is like a crazed psychopath without a loaded .45

Two hands working do more than a thousand clasped in prayer

Garbage In — Gospel Out

Theology: The study of elaborate verbal disguises for non-ideas.

INRI: Idiots Need Reassuring Ideologies

Religions are what dreams are made of.

All Gods were immortal.

Consider the ignorance of the average fundamentalist. Then realize that by definition fully half of them must be even dumber than that.

Out of convicted rapists, 57% admitted to reading pornography. 95% admitted to reading the Bible.

Freedom is the Distance Between Church and State

When The Religious Right Takes Over, We'll All Live In Iran

A metaphysician is a blind man in a dark room looking for a black cat that isn't there, and a theologian is one who finds the cat.

Once again decent citizens will be able to enter this house of worship, kneel down in front of a nearly-naked man hanging from a wooden apparatus by a series of gruesome body piercings, and engage in their bizarre practices of ritualized blood-drinking and cannibalism without being assaulted by graphic images of attractive young women with bare breasts. - A. Whitney Brown, "The Daily Show" on Comedy Central

I do not see how anyone could come fresh to the Bible and see any regard for human life at all in the early parts. From the extermination of every living thing outside the ark to the ethnic cleansing of the promised land, the story is one of utter disregard to human life except when it suits God´s purposes..... it does not license anyone to preach on the excellence of the Ten Commandments as a sort of constitution document for modern society. - Andrew Brown, religious correspondent for The Independent (UK)

When the philosopher's argument becomes tedious, complicated, and opaque, it is usually a sign that he is attempting to prove as true to the intellect what is plainly false to common sense. - Edward Abbey, Voice Crying in the Wilderness

The missionaries go forth to Christianize the savages—as if the savages weren't dangerous enough already.- Edward Abbey

Fantastic doctrines (like Christianity or Islam or Marxism) require unanimity of belief. One dissenter casts doubt on the creed of millions. Thus the fear and hate; thus the torture chamber, the iron stake, the gallows, the labor camp, the psychiatric ward.- Edward Abbey

Belief in the supernatural reflects a failure of the imagination.- Edward Abbey

The path of sound credence is through the thick forest of skepticism. - George Jean Nathan

Sensible men no longer belive in miracles; they were invented by priests to humbug the peasants. - Alfonso X (Alfonso the Wise; 1226-1284; King of Castile)

Everything has a natural explanation. The moon is not a god but a great rock and the sun a hot rock. - Anaxagorus, ca. 475 BC

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

To no form of religion is woman indebted for one impulse of freedom... - Susan B. Anthony

It will yet be the proud boast of women that they never contributed a line to the Bible. - George W. Foote

Gods are fragile things; they may be killed by a whiff of science or a dose of common sense. - Chapman Cohen
 
I was born a heretic. I always distrust people who know so much about what God wants them to do to their fellows. - Susan B. Anthony

Wachusett
                beersTop 10 Reasons Why Beer is Better Than Religion:

No one will kill you for not drinking beer.
Beer doesn't tell you how to have sex.
Beer has never caused a major war.
They don't force beer on minors who can't think for themselves.
When you have beer, you don't knock on people's doors trying to give it away.
Nobody's ever been burned at the stake, hanged, or tortured to death over his brand of beer.
You don't have to wait 2,000 years for a second beer.
There are laws saying that beer labels can't lie to you.
You can prove you have a beer.
If you have devoted your life to beer, there are groups to help you stop.

 
Free Inquiry - the journal of the Council for Secular Humanism
Humanist Manifesto 2000 - condensed

other sites: gdargaud, Pharyngula's infidel quotes,