famous quotes by hedongchenchen


abraham kovoor

abraham lincoln

adolph hitler

albert camus

albert einstein

albert einstein

albert einstein

albert einstein

albert einstein
albert einstein

albert einstein

albert einstein

albert einstein

albert einstein

albert einstein

albert einstein

alice walker

ambrose bierce

anatole france

anatole france


andre gide

andrei sahkarov

arthur c. clarke

arthur c. clarke

arthur c. clarke

arthur c. clarke

ashley montagu

august bebel


austin dacey

ayn rand

ayn rand

baron d’holbach

bart centre
bart kosko

baruch spinoza

benjamin franklin

benjamin franklin

bertrand russell

bertrand russell

bertrand russell

bertrand russell

bertrand russell

bertrand russell

bill cosby

bill maher

bill maher
bill maher

bill maher

bill maher

blaise pascal

bruce lee

butterfly mcqueen

c.f. volney

carl sagan

carl sagan

carl sagan
carl sagan

carl sagan

carl sagan

carl sagan

carl sagan

carl sagan

carl sagan

carl sagan

carl sagan
carl sagan

carol tavris

cathy ladman

charles darwin

charles darwin

chet raymo

christopher hitchens

christopher hitchens

christopher hitchens

christopher hitchens

christopher hitchens
christopher hitchens

christopher hitchens

christopher hitchens

clarence darrow

clinton rossiter

clinton rossiter

dan barker

dan barker

dan barker
dan barker

david brin

david hull

david hume

david powers

david suzuki

david viaene

denis diderot

desmond morris

donald morgan (reverand)

douglas adams

doug mcleod

dromedary hump
e. royston pike

edward gibbon

edward gibbon

edward gibbon / seneca the younger

edwin hubble

elaine pagels

eliza lynn linton,

emily dickinson.

emo phillips



erich fromm,

ernst mayr

ethan allen

evelyn fox keller

evolving atheist, the

ferdinand magellan

fred brooks

friedrich nietzsche

friedrich nietzsche


gene roddenberry

george carlin

george carlin

george carlin

george santayana

george bernard shaw

george bernard shaw

george bernard shaw

george f. spencer
george washington

gerry spence


gloria steinem

gore vidal

gore vidal

gregory house (fictional tv doctor)

havelock ellis

h.l. mencken

h.l. mencken

h.l. mencken
h.l. mencken

h.l. mencken

h.l. mencken

h.l. mencken

h.l. mencken

h.l. mencken

hermann goring


house (tv character)
hugh auld, capt.

hugo black

immanuel kant

isaac asimov

isaac asimov

isaac asimov

isaac asimov

isaac asimov

isaac newton

james clerk maxwell

james dobson

james madison
james oberg

james randi

james randi

james randi

james randi

james randi

japanese proverb

jerry coyne

jesse ventura

jesuit boast, a

jesus christ

jimi hendrix

john adams

john adams

john adams

john bice

john bice

john f. kennedy

john fugelsang

john stuart mill

jon stewart

jonathon miller

jonathan swift

jules henri poincare
jules renard

karl marx

karl popper

karl popper

kenneth l. feder

kevin lowe

kurt vonnegut

l. ron hubbard

laurence peter

laurence peter

laurence peter

lemuel k. washburn

leo tolstoy
leon trotsky

lewis thomas

lewis thomas


ludwig feuerbach

luis bunuel

mahatma gandhi

mark twain

mark twain

mark twain

mark twain

mark twain

martin luther
martin luther

martin luther king jr.

maurice polydore marie bernard maeterlinck

max planck

michael dowd

michael shermer

michael shermer

michael shermer

michael shermer

michael shermer

michael shermer

michel de montaigne

michel onfray
michel onfray

michel onfray

michel onfray

michel onfray

michel onfray

michel onfray

michel onfray

michel onfray

michel onfray

michel onfray

michel onfray
michel onfray

michel onfray

mikhail bakunin

mike huben


morris cohen



neil degrasse tyson

oscar wilde

oscar wilde
oscar wilde

paula kirby

perry deangelis

perry deangelis



phil plait


pz myers

quentin crisp

ralph waldo emerson

raymond nickerson
richard dawkins

richard dawkins

richard feynman

richard feynman

richard feynman

richard weatherwax

robert heinlein

robert ingersoll

robert ingersoll

robert ingersoll

robert ingersoll

robert ingersoll

robert ingersoll
robert ingersoll

robert ingersoll

Robert Ingersoll

Robert Ingersoll

robert pirsig

robert pirsig

ronald reagan

sam harris

sam harris

sean mcfly
seneca the younger

shaun mason

sherlock holmes

sigmund freud

stephen colbert

stephen jay gould

stephen f. roberts

stephen hawking

stephen hawking

stephen jay gould

steve grand
steve polyak

steven novella

steven novella

steven novella

steven weinberg

steven weinberg

steven weinberg
susan b. anthony

theodore roosevelt

thomas edison

thomas edison

thomas gray

thomas h. huxley

thomas h. huxley

thomas h. huxley

thomas hobbes

thomas jefferson

thomas jefferson

thomas jefferson

thomas jefferson

thomas jefferson
thomas jefferson

thomas jefferson

thomas jefferson

thomas jefferson

thomas jefferson

thomas jefferson

thomas jefferson

thomas paine

thomas paine

thomas paine

thomas paine
thomas paine

thomas paine

thomas paine

thomas paine


ulysses s. grant

victor hugo


werner heisenberg

william archer

william clifford

william osler
william graham sumner

winston churchill

winston churchill

woody allen

xi zhi












"He who does not allow his miracles to be investigated is a crook,
he who does not have the courage to investigate a miracle is gullible,
and he who is prepared to believe without verification is a fool."

"You can't believe everything you read on the internet."

"My feeling as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter.
It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers,
recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them
and who, God's truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter.
In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage
which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge
to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders.
How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison ...
as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people."

"Seeking what is true is not seeking what is desirable."

"I do not believe in immortality of the individual,
and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern
with no superhuman authority behind it."

"A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on
sympathy, education, and social ties and needs;
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."

"I don't try to imagine a personal God;
it suffices to stand in awe at the structure of the world,
insofar as it allows our inadequate senses to appreciate it."

"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."

"I have never imputed to Nature a purpose or a goal,
or anything that could be understood as anthropomorphic.
What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure
that we can comprehend only very imperfectly,
and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of humility.
This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism."

"The idea of a personal God is quite alien to me and seems even naive."

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

"All our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike -
and yet it is the most precious thing we have."

"Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death."

“No amount of experiments can ever prove me right;
a single experiment may at anytime prove me wrong.”

"Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen."

"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits."

"It is chilling to think
that the same people who persecuted the wise women and men of Europe,
its midwives and healers,
then crossed the oceans to Africa and the Americas
and tortured and enslaved, raped, impoverished, and eradicated
the peaceful, Christ-like people they found.
And that the blueprint from which they worked, and still work, was the Bible.”

"definition of the verb 'to pray':
to ask that the laws of the universe be annulled
in behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy."

"An education isn't how much you have committed to memory,
or even how much you know.
It's being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don't."

“Men are given to worshipping malevolent gods,
and that which is not cruel seems to them not worth their adoration.”

"Everything has a natural explanation.
The moon is not a God but a great rock and the sun a hot rock.

"Believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it."

"Freedom of thought is the only guarantee
against an infection of peoples by the mass myths,
which, in the hands of treacherous hypocrites and demagogues,
can be transformed into bloody dictatorships."
there must be a reality that causes but is itself uncaused
(or, a being that moves but is itself unmoved).
Why? Because if there is an infinite regression of causes,
then by definition the whole process could never begin.

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

“If I was a religious person, I would consider creationism nothing less than blasphemy.
Do its adherents imagine that God is a cosmic hoaxer who
has created that whole vast fossil record for the sole purpose of misleading mankind?”

"Religion is the most malevolent of all mind viruses.
We should get rid of it as quick as we can."

“It is a truism that almost any sect, cult, or religion
will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so."

“The Good Book--one of the most remarkable euphemisms ever coined.”

"Christianity is the enemy of liberty and civilization.
It has kept mankind in slavery and oppression.
The Church and the State have always fraternally united
to exploit the people."

"What was God doing before the Creation?
preparing Hell for people who ask questions like that."

"Secular values can turn a civilization inside out.
In post-Christian Europe, entire nations have been plunged into
endemic health, skyrocketing education and hopelessly low rates of violent crime."

"Judge, and be prepared to be judged."

"pity for the guilty is treason to the innocent."

"If we go back to the beginning,
we shall find that ignorance and fear created the gods;
that fancy, enthusiasm, or deceit adorned them;
that weakness worships them;
that credulity preserves them
and that custom, respect and tyranny support them
in order to make the blindness of men serve their own interests.
If the ignorance of nature gave birth to gods,
the knowledge of nature is calculated to destroy them."

"If you’re face to face with me and have the urge to suggest
that my love of reason, and rejection of religious delusion
diminishes my love of country,
be sure to take your glasses off first. You won’t have time afterward."

“Death is an engineering problem.”

"The only difference between a human being and a stone rolling down a hill
is that the human being thinks he is in control of his own destiny."

"Lighthouses are more useful than churches."

"The way to see by faith, is to shut the eye of reason."

"We may define 'faith' as the firm belief in something for which there is no evidence.
Where there is evidence, no one speaks of 'faith.'
We do not speak of faith that two and two are four or that the earth is round.
We only speak of faith when we wish to substitute emotion for evidence."

"Many orthodox people speak as though
it were the business of skeptics to disprove received dogmas
rather than of dogmatists to prove them."

"The immense majority of intellectually eminent men dis-believe in Christian religion,
but they conceal the fact in public, because they are afraid of losing their incomes."

"Many people would sooner die than think. In fact they do."

"What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the wish to find out,
which is the exact opposite."

"Science does not aim at establishing immutable truths and eternal dogmas;
its aim is to approach the truth by successive approximations,
without claiming that at any stage final and complete accuracy has been achieved."

"A word to the wise ain't necessary, it's the stupid? ones who need the advice."

"We are a nation that is unenlightened because of religion. I do believe that.
I think that religion stops people from thinking. I think it justifies crazies.
I think flying planes into a building was a faith-based initiative.
I think religion is a neurological disorder.
If you look at it logically, it's something that was drilled into your head
when you were a small child. It certainly was drilled into mine at that age.
And you really can't be responsible when you are a kid
for what adults put into your head."

"Why does the Bush administration want a constitutional amendment about weddings?
Hey, birthdays are important, too - why not include them in the great document?
Let's make a law that gay people can have birthdays but straight people get more cake -
you know, to send the right message to the kids."

"The free market is free in the same way a reality show is real."

“We are a nation that is unenlightened because of religion. I do believe that.
I think that religion stops people from thinking.
I think it justifies crazies.
I think flying planes into a building was a faith-based initiative.
I think religion is a neurological disorder.
If you look at it logically,
it's something that was drilled into your head when you were a small child.
It certainly was drilled into mine at that age.
And you really can't be responsible when you are a kid
for what adults put into your head.”

“Atheism is a religion like abstinence is a sex position."

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

“A wise man can learn more from a foolish question
than a fool can learn from a wise answer.”

"As my ancestors are free from slavery, I am free of the slavery of religion."

"You dispute, you quarrel, you fight for that which is uncertain, that of which you doubt.
O men! Is this not folly? ...
We must trace a line of distinction between those that are capable of verification,
and those that are not,
and separate by an inviolable barrier the world of fantastical beings
from the world of reality;
that is to say, all civil effect must be taken away from theological and religious opinions."

"How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded,
`This is better than we thought! The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said,
grander, more subtle, more elegant`?
Instead they say, 'No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way.'
A religion, old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the Universe
as revealed by modern science
might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped
by the conventional faiths."

"But I try not to think with my gut.
Really, it's okay to reserve judgment until the evidence is in."

"Further, fear of death,
which in some respects is adaptive in the evolutionary struggle for existence,
is maladaptive in warfare.
Those cultures that teach an afterlife of bliss for heroes -
or even for those who just did what those in authority told them -
might gain a competitive advantage."

“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”

“The method of science, as stodgy and grumpy as it may seem,
is far more important than the findings of science.”

“In science it often happens that scientists say,
`You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,'
and then they would 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.”

"Science . . . looks skeptically at all claims to knowledge, old and new.
It teaches not blind obedience to those in authority but to vigorous debate,
and in many respects that's the secret of its success."

“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.”

“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.”

“ . . . intelligence . . . is in plentiful supply
. . . the scarce commodity is systematic training in critical thinking.”

"There is no other species on Earth that does science.
It is, so far, entirely a human invention,
evolved by natural selection in the cerebral cortex for one simple reason:
it works.
It is not perfect. It can be misused. It is only a tool.
But it is by far the best tool we have,
self-correcting, ongoing, applicable to everything."

"The 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."

"Microbiology and meteorology now explain, what only a few centuries ago
was considered sufficient cause to burn women to death."

"The scientific method consists of the use of procedures designed to show
not that our predictions and hypotheses are right, but that they might be wrong.
Scientific reasoning is useful to anyone in any job
because it makes us face the possibility, even the dire reality, that we were mistaken.
It forces us to confront our self-justifications and put them on public display
for others to puncture.
At its core, therefore, science is a form of arrogance control."

"All religions are the same: religion is basically guilt, with different holidays."

"I cannot see so plainly as others do, and as I should wish to do,
evidence of design and beneficence on all sides of us.
There seems to me too much misery in the world.
I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God
would have designedly created the ichneumonidae
with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of caterpillars."

“It appears to me (whether rightly or wrongly)
that direct arguments against christianity & theism
produce hardly any effect on the public;
& freedom of thought is best promoted
by the gradual illumination of men’s minds
which follow[s] from the advance of science."

"Coincidence is the science of the true believer."

"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence."

"I have no invisible means of support."

"Long before the critical day of September 11, 2001,
I could sense that religion was beginning to reassert its challenge to civil society."

"From a plurality of prime movers,
the monotheists have bargained it down to a single one.
They are getting ever nearer to the true, round figure."

"So then, let the advocates and partisans of religion rely on faith alone,
and let them be brave enough to admit that this is what they are doing."
"All religions take care to silence or to execute those who question them."

“Our belief is not a belief. Our principles are not a faith.
We do not rely solely upon science and reason,
because these are necessary rather than sufficient factors,
but we distrust anything that contradicts science or outrages reason.
We may differ on many things, but what we respect is free inquiry,
open-mindedness, and the pursuit of ideas for their own sake.”

"Faith is the surrender of the mind; it’s the surrender of reason,
it’s the surrender of the only thing that makes us different from other mammals.
It’s our need to believe, and to surrender our skepticism and our reason,
our yearning to discard that and put all our trust or faith in someone or something,
that is the sinister thing to me.
Of all the supposed virtues, faith must be the most overrated."

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

"Under the pressure of the American environment,
Christianity grew more humanistic and temperate -
more tolerant with the struggle of the sects,
more liberal with the growth of optimism and rationalism,
more experimental with the rise of science,
more individualistic with the advent of democracy.
Equally important, increasing numbers of colonists,
as a legion of preachers loudly lamented,
were turning secular in curiosity and skeptical in attitude."

"The twin doctrines of separation of church and state
and liberty of individual conscience
are the marrow of our democracy,
if not indeed America's most magnificent contribution to the freeing of Western man."

“There is joy in rationality, happiness in clarity of mind.
Freethought is thrilling and fulfilling -
absolutely essential to mental health and happiness.”

"Faith is a cop-out. It is intellectual bankruptcy.
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."

"Imagine you are strolling down the sidewalk
and a man excitedly calls you over to his front porch to share some 'great news',
The man’s got a gruesome torture chamber in his basement,
but you don’t have to go down there.
Instead, you can come over, hug the man’s son, say you love him
and you can all move in together in the attic and tell them how great they are forever.
`Isn’t that great news?` "

“I didn’t realize it at the time,
but salvation is an attempt to solve a problem of its own making —
sin is just a concept from the teaching,
like a doctor running around cutting people with a knife in order to sell them a Band Aid.”

"If an outsider perceives 'something wrong' with a core scientific model,
the humble and justified response of that curious outsider
should be to ask 'what mistake am I making?'
before assuming 100% of the experts are wrong."

"The rule that human beings seem to follow
 is to engage the brain only when all else fails
 — and usually not even then."

"That no testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle,
unless the testimony be of such a kind,
that its falsehood would be more miraculous
than the fact which it endeavors to establish."

"If god created man in his own image, how come I'm not invisible?"

"Education has failed in a very serious way to convey
the most important lesson science can teach: skepticism"

"Gods don't kill people. People with gods kill people."

“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.'
This stranger is a theologian.”

"I viewed my fellow man not as a fallen angel, but as a risen ape."

"The certainty with which a religious belief is held
is usually in direct proportion to its absurdity."

"I'd take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day."

"I still say a church steeple with a lightning rod on top
shows a total lack of confidence."

"As for Harold Camping? He has no dignity.
He has partial use of his brain, lots of money, a massive dose of prophet-envy,
a terminal case of religiosity, and one foot in the grave.
Perhaps on October 22nd Harold will summon just enough dignity to lower the other foot."
Persecution is born of intolerance, and intolerance is the child of certainty.
Before we can tolerate we must doubt.

"In the revolution of ten centuries,
not a single discovery was made
to exalt the dignity or promote the happiness of mankind.
Not a single idea had been added to the speculative systems of antiquity,
and a succession of patient disciples became in their turn
the dogmatic teachers of the next servile generation."

"The various forms of worship, which prevailed in the Roman world, were all considered
by the people to be equally true,
by the philosopher as equally false,
and by the magistrate as equally useful."

"Religion is regarded by the common people as true,
by the wise as false,
and by the rulers as useful."

“Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him
and calls the adventure Science.”

[Christians] have ... identified their opponents, whether Jews, pagans, or heretics,
with forces of evil, and so with Satan.....
Nor have things improved since.
The blood-soaked history of persecution, torture, murder, and destruction
perpetrated in the name of religion is difficult to grasp, let alohne summarize,
from the slaughter of Christians to the Crusades to the Inquisitiion to the Reformation
to the European witchcraze to colonialization to today's bitter coflict in the Middle East.

“I see no light behind that terrible curtain.
I do not think one religion better than another,
and I think the Christian religion has brought far more misery, crime, and suffering,
far more tyranny and evil, than any other.”

"That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet."

When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle.
Then I realised that the Lord doesn't work that way so I stole one
and asked Him to forgive me.

"We must not believe the many, who say that only free people ought to be educated,
but we should rather believe the philosophers who say that only the educated are free."

"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?"

"Why should I fear death? If I am, death is not. If death is, I am not.
Why should I fear that which can only exist when I do not?"

“If faith cannot be reconciled with rational thinking,
it has to be eliminated as an anachronistic remnant of earlier stages of culture
and replaced by science dealing with facts and theories
which are intelligible and can be validated.”

“There is probably no more original, more complex, and bolder concept
 in the history of ideas than Darwin's mechanistic explanation of adaptation.”

"Those who invalidate reason ought seriously to consider
whether they argue against reason with or without reason;
if with reason, then they establish the principle that they are laboring to dethrone:
but if they argue without reason
(which, in order to be consistent with themselves they must do),
they are out of the reach of rational conviction, nor do they deserve a rational argument."

"To know the history of science
is to recognize the mortality of any claim to universal truth."

"I was a Theist because I Feared,
I was an Agnostic because I Questioned,
I am an Atheist because I Reason."

"The church says the earth is flat,
but I know that it is round, for I have seen the shadow on the moon,
and I have more faith in a shadow than in the church."

"You can learn more from failure than success.
In failure you're forced to find out what part did not work.
But in success you can believe everything you did was great,
when in fact some parts may not have worked at all.
Failure forces you to face reality."

“Great intellects are skeptical.”

"There is not sufficient love and goodness in the world
to permit us to give some of it away to imaginary beings."

“Long experience has taught me this about the status of mankind
with regard to matters requiring thought:
the less people know and understand about them,
the more positively they attempt to argue concerning them,
while on the other hand to know and understand a multitude of things
renders men cautious in passing judgment upon anything new.”

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same god who has endowed us
with sense, reason, and intellect, has intended us to forego their use."

"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."

"Sex always has consequences.
When Hitler’s mother spread her legs that night,
she effectively canceled out
the spreading of fifteen to twenty million other pairs of legs.”

"I would never want to be a member of a group
whose symbol was a guy nailed to two pieces of wood."

"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."

"Skepticism, like chastity, should not be relinquished too readily."

"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."

"What is wrong with priests and popes is that instead of being apostles and saints,
they are nothing but empirics who say 'I know' instead of 'I am learning,'
and pray for credulity and inertia
as wise men pray for skepticism and activity."

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynisism
by those who have not got it."

"Beyond the universe there is nothing
and within the universe the supernatural does not and cannot exist.
Of all deceivers who have plagued mankind,
none are so deeply ruinous to human happiness
as those impostors who pretend to lead by a light above nature.
Science has never killed or persecuted a single person
for doubting or denying its teachings,
and most of these teachings have been true;
but religion has murdered millions for doubting or denying her dogmas,
and most of these dogmas have been false."

"There is nothing which can better deserve our patronage
than the promotion of science and literature.
Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness."

“I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief.”

“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians.
Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

"Spirituality celebrates life, religion celebrates life after death."

"Once people get hung up on theology, they're lost to sanity forever."

"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."

"Rational arguments don’t usually work on religious people.
Otherwise there would be no religious people."

“Had there been a Lunatic Asylum in the suburbs of Jerusalem,
Jesus Christ would infallibly have been shut up in it at the outset of his public career.
That interview with Satan on a pinnacle of the Temple would alone have damned him,
and everything that happened after could have confirmed the diagnosis.
The whole religious complexion of the modern world is due
to the absence from Jerusalem of a Lunatic Asylum.”

"A man full of faith is simply one who has lost the capacity
for clear and realistic thought."

"The most curious social convention of the great age in which we live
is the one to the effect that religious opinions should be respected."

"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.'"

"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."

"People say we need religion when what they really mean is we need police."

"The most common of all follies is to believe passionately in the palpably not true.
It is the chief occupation of mankind."

“For it is the natural tendency of the ignorant to believe what is not true.
In order to overcome that tendency it is not sufficient to exhibit the true;
it is also necessary to expose and denounce the false.”

"The way to deal with superstition is not to be polite to it,
but to tackle it with all arms, and so rout it, cripple it,
and make it forever infamous and ridiculous."

"Even a superstitious man has certain inalienable rights.
He has a right to harbor and indulge his imbecilities as long as he pleases,
provided only he does not try to inflict them upon other men by force.
He has a right to argue for them as eloquently as he can, in season and out of season.
He has a right to teach them to his children.
But certainly he has no right to be protected against
the free criticism of those who do not hold them.
He has no right to demand that they be treated as sacred.
He has no right to preach them without challenge."

"Naturally the common people don't want war;
neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood.
But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy,
and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along,
whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament,
or a communist dictatorship.
Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders.
That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked,
and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.
It works the same in any country."

"Men think epilepsy divine, merely because they do not understand it.
But if they called everything divine which they do not understand,
why, there would be no end of divine things."

"If you could reason with religious people,
there would be no religious people."
"A nigger should know nothing but to obey his master - do as he is told to do.
Learning would spoil the best nigger in the world.
Now, if you teach that nigger how to read, there would be no keeping him.
It would forever unfit him to be a slave."

"(the first amendment) Its first and most immediate purpose rested on the belief that
a union of government and religion tends to destroy government and degrade religion."

"We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals."

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

"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the most discoveries,
is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny."

"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."

If I were not an atheist,
I would believe in a God who would choose to save people
on the basis of the totality of their lives and not the pattern of their words.
I think he would prefer an honest and righteous atheist
to a TV preacher whose every word is God, God, God,
and whose every deed is foul, foul, foul.

“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.'”

“I do not know what I may appear to the world,
but to myself I seem to have been only a boy playing on the sea-shore,
and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell
than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.”

"The only laws of matter are those which our minds must fabricate,
and the only laws of mind are fabricated for it by matter."

"Those who control what young people are taught,
and what they experience - what they see, hear, think, and believe -
will determine the future course for the nation."

"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."

"Keep an open mind, but not so open that your brains fall out."

"Religion is based upon blind faith supported by no evidence.
Science is based upon confidence that results from evidence -
and that confidence can be modified and or reversed by further observations and
Science approaches truth, closer and closer, by hard dedicated work.
Religion already has it all decided, and it's in the book.
It's dogma, unchangeable, and unaffected by reality
and whatever facts we come upon in the real world."

"Science is best defined as a careful, disciplined, logical search for knowledge
about any and all aspects of the universe,
obtained by examination of the best available evidence
and always subject to correction and improvement upon discovery of better evidence.
What's left is magic. And it doesn't work."

"Humanity has the stars in its future,
and that future is too important to be lost
under the burden of juvenile folly and ignorant superstition."

(directed at two creationist museum tour guides)
".....lies and pseudoscience by a Laurel & Hardy pair of proselytizers,
is something we should not forget.
These self-deluded idiots
deserve to have every advantage of evolution removed from their DNA –
and the resulting sludge should be flushed…"

"Just cause you're educated ... doesn't mean you're smart."

"If you believe everything you read, you better not read."

"If the history of science shows us anything,
it is that we get nowhere by labeling our ignorance 'God'."

"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."

"Give me the child for his first seven years, and I'll give you the man."

"Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye;
and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye."

"Religious folks love to say that atheism is a religion
until it means giving atheists the same rights as the religious."

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace."

"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?"

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

"Facts are stubborn things;
and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions,
they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."

“The hapless and uneducated men and women living in the 6th century
had an excuse for their stunted critical-thinking skills, pathetically myopic worldview
and pervasive belief in the supernatural and mystical;
the current inhabitants of the developed world, however, ought to know better.”

“What a slap in the face – bested by Godless heathens in a morality contest.”

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, make violent revolution inevitable."

"Only in America can you be Pro-Death Penalty, Pro-War, Pro-Land Mines,
Pro-Unmanned Drone Bombs, Pro-Nuclear Weapons, Pro-Guns, Pro-Torture,
AND still call yourself ‘Pro-Life.’ "

"If there are any marks at all of special design in creation,
one of the things most evidently designed
is that a large proportion of all animals should pass their existence
in tormenting and devouring other animals."

"Religion. It's given hope in a world torn apart by ... religion."

"In some awful, strange, paradoxical way,
atheists tend to take religion more seriously than the practitioners."

"It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into."

"To doubt everything or to believe everything are two equally convenient solutions;
both dispense with the necessity of reflection."
"I don't know if God exists, but it would be better for His reputation if He didn't."

"Religion is the opium of the people."

The scientific tradition is distinguished from the pre-scientific tradition
in having two layers.
Like the latter, it passes on its theories;
but it also passes on a critical attitude towards them.
The theories are passed on, not as dogmas,
but rather with the challenge to discuss them and improve upon them.

"The history of science, like the history of all human ideas,
is a history of irresponsible dreams, of obstinacy, and of error.
But science is one of the very few human activities — perhaps the only one —
in which errors are systematically criticized and fairly often, in time, corrected.
This is why we can say that, in science, we often learn from our mistakes,
and why we can speak clearly and sensibly about making progress there."

"In every generation, thinkers, writers, scholars, charlatans, and kooks
(these are not necessarily mutually exclusive categories)
attempt to cast the past in an image either they or the public desire or find comforting."

"There's no shame in ignorance, only in persistent ignorance."

"Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand."

"if you want to make a little money, write a book.
If you want to make a lot of money, create a religion."

in a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence ...
in time every post tends to be occupied by an employee
who is incompetent to carry out its duties ...
work is accomplished by those employees
who have not yet reached their level of incompetence.

There are two kinds of failures: those who thought and never did,
and those who did and never thought.

Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.

"Prayer is like a pump in an empty well,
it makes lots of noise, but brings no water."

"The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man
if he has not formed any idea of them already;
but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man
if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt,
what is laid before him."

"Not only in peasant homes but also in city skyscrapers,
there lives along side the twentieth century the thirteenth.
A hundred million people use electricity
and still believe in the magic powers of signs and exorcisms...
Movie stars go to mediums.
Aviators who pilot miraculous mechanisms created by man's genius
wear amulets on their sweaters.
What inexhaustible reserves they possess of darkness, ignorance and savagery!"

"We need science, more and better science,
not for its technology, not for leisure, not even for health or longevity,
but for the hope of wisdom which our kind of culture must acquire for its survival.

"The capacity to blunder slightly is the real marvel of DNA.
Without this special attribute,
we would still be anaerobic bacteria and there would be no music."

"Nature free at once and rid of her haughty lords
is seen to do all things spontaneously of herself without the meddling of the gods."

"It is not, as in the bible, that god created man in his own image
But on the contrary, that man created god in his own image."

"God and Country are an unbeatable team;
they break all records for oppression and bloodshed."

"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom.
It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err."

"Faith is believing what you know ain't so."

"It ain't the parts of the Bible that I can't understand that bother me,
it is the parts that I do understand."

"I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics
a man's reasoning powers are not above the monkey's."

"The power which a man's imagination has over his body to heal it or make it sick
is a force which none of us is born without.
The first man had it, the last one will possess it."

"I was dead for billions of years before I was born and
never suffered the slightest inconvenience from it."

"Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has;
it never comes to the aid of spiritual things,
but more frequently than not struggles against the divine Word,
treating with contempt all that emanates from God."

"Whoever wants to be a Christian should tear the eyes out of his reason."

“Nothing in all the world is more dangerous
than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

"At every croasroads on the road that leads to the future,
tradition has placed against us ten thousand men to guard the past."

“An experiment is a question which science poses to Nature,
and a measurement is the recording of Nature's answer.”

“No one in their right mind
would let a first-century dentist fill their children’s teeth.
Why, then, do we allow first-century theologians
to fill our children’s minds?”

“A Hubble Space Telescope photograph of the universe evokes far more awe
for creation than light streaming through a stained glass window in a cathedral.”

"Every six hours I would force down a huge handful of assorted vitamins and minerals.
Their taste and smell nearly made me sick, and they went right through me,
producing what I thought had to be the most expensive and colorful urine in America."

"Magician James Randi is fond of lampooning authorities with Ph.D.s -
once they are granted the degree, he says,
they find it almost impossible to say two things: 'I don't know' and 'I was wrong'."

"Evolution no more breaks the Second Law of Thermodynamics
than one breaks the law of gravity by jumping up."

"Being tolerant when you are in the majority
means you have a greater chance of being tolerated when you are in the minority."

"Smart people believe weird things
because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons."

“Men of simple understanding, little inquisitive and little instructed,
make good Christians.”

"I do not despise believers. I find them neither ridiculous nor pathetic,
but I lose all hope when I see that they prefer the comforting fairy tales of children
to the cruel hard facts of adults.
Better the faith that brings peace of mind than the rationality that brings worry -
even at the price of perpetual mental infantilism."

"I experience the feeling that always arises deep within me
when I am confronted with the symptoms of indoctrination and deception:
compassion for the sufferer,
coupled with burning anger toward those who perpetuate the deception."

"How ironic that other people's credulity
should bring a smile to the face of the man
who is supremely unaware of his own!"

"Only mortals have to worry about death's inevitability.
The naive and foolish believer KNOWS that he is immortal,
that he will survive the carnage of Judgment Day."

"Atheism is not therapy but restored mental health."

"God, manufactured by mortals in their own quintessential image,
exists only to make daily life bearable
despite the path that every one of us treads toward extinction.
As long as men are obliged to die, some of them, unable to endure the prospect,
will concoct fond illusions."

"...God puts to death everything that stands up to him,
beginning with reason, intelligence, and the critical mind.

"The last god will expire with the last man."

"...It's almost as if religion needs innocence, lack of education, and ignorance
in order to thrive!"

"They establish death on earth for the sake of eternity in heaven.
In so doing, they spoil the only gift we possess:
the living matter of a potential existence killed in the egg just because its life is finite!
Fleeing life in order not to have to die is not a good bargain.
It pays death twice, when once is enough."

"If the prospect of getting taken up to paradise generates joy,
it is the mindless joy of a baby picked up from his crib."

"For the Torah, Old Testament, New Testament, and Koran
took an unthinkably long time to emerge from history
and claim that their texts issued from God alone,
that they had no need to explain themselves
to those who entered their paper temples armed only with faith,
unburdened of reason and intelligence."
"Reading does not imply thumbing through page after page,
chanting their contents like an ecstatic dervish,
consulting them like a catalog, selecting this or that story,
here and there and from time to time,
but taking the time to meditate on the whole."

"A book dating from the beginning of the 630's
theoretically dictated to an illiterate camel herdsman,
regulates down to the smallest detail the daily lives of billions of people
in the era of supersonic travel, space conquest..."

"All religions with the gods, demigods, prophets, messiahs, and saints,
are the product of the fancy and credulity
of men who have not yet reached the full development and complete possession
of their intellectual powers."

"The primary tool of science is skepticism, whose light shrivels unquestioning faith."

“No kingdom has ever had as many civil wars as the kingdom of Christ.”

"To be sure, the vast majority of people who are untrained
can accept the results of science only on authority.
But there is obviously an important difference
between an establishment that is open and invites every one to come,
study its methods, and suggest improvement,
and one that regards the questioning of its credentials as due to wickedness of heart,
such as [Cardinal] Newman attributed to those who questioned the infallibility of the Bible ...
Rational science treats its credit notes as always redeemable on demand,
while non-rational authoritarianism regards the demand for the redemption of its paper
as a disloyal lack of faith."

"Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet."

"The spectacle of what is called religion, or at any rate organised religion,
in India and elsewhere, has filled me with horror
and I have frequently condemned it and wished to make a clean sweep of it.
Almost always it seemed to stand for blind belief and reaction, dogma and bigotry,
superstition, exploitation and the preservation of vested interests."

"This case is not about the need to separate Church and State;
it's about the need to separate ignorant, scientifically illiterate people
from the ranks of teachers."

"Truth, in matters of religion, is simply the opinion that has survived."

"The history of science is the record of dead religions"
“Life is too important to be taken seriously.”

"An atheist life, well lived, leads to the only kind of afterlife
there is any evidence for whatsoever:
the immortality of living on in the fond memories of those who loved us."

"The amount of years that she will live longer than us because of her diet
is directly proportional to the horror of her life."

"Thinking critically is a chore. It does not come naturally or easily.
And if the fruits of such efforts are not carefully displayed to young minds,
then they will not harvest them.
Every school child must be implanted with the wonder of the atom,
not the thrall of magic."

"We can forgive children who are afraid of the dark.
The real tragedy is men who are afraid of the light."

"The mind is not a vessel to be filled
but a fire to be kindled."

"Pseudoscience is like a virus.
At low levels, it's no big deal,
but when it reaches a certain threshold it becomes sickening."

"Since the masses of the people
are inconstant, full of unruly desires, passionate, and reckless of consequences,
they must be filled with fears to keep them in order.
The ancients did well, therefore, to invent gods, and the belief in punishment after death."

"A wealth of ignorance is no substitute for even a grain of knowledge."

When I told the people of Northern Ireland that I was an atheist,
a woman in the audience stood up and said,
Yes, but is it the God of the Catholics
or the God of the Protestants in whom you don't believe?"

"The religion of one age is the literary entertainment of the next."

"If one were to attempt to identify a single problematic aspect of human reasoning
that deserves attention above all others,
the confirmation bias would have to be among the candidates for consideration...
it appears to be sufficiently strong and pervasive that one is led to wonder whether
the bias, by itself, might account for
a significant fraction of the disputes, altercations, and misunderstandings
that occur among individuals, groups, and nations."
"Aquarius is a miscellaneous set of stars
all at different distances from us, which have no connection with each other
except that they constitute a (meaningless) pattern
when seen from a certain (not particularly special) place in the galaxy (here)."

“The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is,
at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”

"If you think you understand quantum theory ... you don't understand quantum theory."

"You see, I can live with doubt, and uncertainty, and not knowing.
I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing,
than to have answers that might be wrong.
I have approximate answers, and possible beliefs,
and different degrees of certainty about different things,
but I'm not absolutely sure about anything,
and many things I don't know anything about,
such as whether it means anything to ask, "why are we here?"...
But I don't have to have an answer;
I don't feel frightened by not knowing things."

"I think that it is much more likely, that the reports of flying saucers
are the results of the known irrational characteristics of terrestrial intelligence,
rather than the unknown rational efforts of extraterrestrial intelligence."

"You do not need the bible to justify love.
But no better tool has been invented to justify hate."

"It is a truism that almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law
if it acquires the political power to do so."

“It may be that ministers really think that their prayers do good
and it may be that frogs imagine that their croaking brings spring.”

“The inspiration of the Bible depends upon
the ignorance of the gentleman who reads it.”

"The clergy know that I know that they know that they do not know."

"There can be but little liberty on earth while men worship a tyrant in heaven."

"Christianity did not come with tidings of great joy,
but with a message of eternal grief.
It came with the threat of everlasting torture on its lips.
It meant war on earth and perdition hereafter."

"The man who invented the telescope found out more about heaven
than the closed eyes of prayer ever discovered."

"Either god should have written a book to fit my brain,
or should have made my brain to fit his book.
The inspiration of the Bible depends on the credulity of him who reads."

“I admit that reason is a small and feeble flame,
a flickering torch by stumblers carried in the starless night,
blown and flared by passion’s storm,
and yet, it is the only light.
Extinguish and and naught remain.”

“Happiness is the only good.
The time to be happy is now.
The place to be happy is here.
The way to be happy is to make others so.”

"Fear believes - courage doubts.
Fear falls upon the earth and prays - courage stands erect and thinks.
Fear is barbarism - courage is civilization.
Fear believes in witchcraft, in devils and in ghosts.
Fear is religion, courage is science."

"When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity.
When many people suffer from a delusion it is called Religion."

"You are never dedicated to something you have complete confidence in.
When people are fanatically dedicated to political or religious faiths,
or any other kind of dogmas or goals,
it’s always because these dogmas or goals are in doubt."

"Why should we subsidize intellectual curiosity?"

"We have names for people who have many beliefs
for which there is no rational justification.
When their beliefs are extremely common we call them 'religious';
otherwise, they are likely to be called 'mad', 'psychotic' or 'delusional'...
Clearly there is sanity in numbers."

"In fact, 'atheism' is a term that should not even exist.
No one ever needs to identify himself as a “non-astrologer” or a “non-alchemist.”
We do not have words for people who doubt that Elvis is still alive
or that aliens have traversed the galaxy only to molest ranchers and their cattle.
Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make
in the presence of unjustified religious beliefs."

"Homeopathy is the idea that we just cured the world of terrorism
by dumping Osama's corpse in the ocean."

"Religion is regarded by the common people as true,
by the wise as false,
and by the rulers as useful."

"Faith is the determination to remain ignorant
in the face of all evidence that you are ignorant."

"It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.
Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories,
instead of theories to suit facts."

"Where questions of religion are concerned,
people are guilty of every possible sort of dishonesty and intellectual misdemeanor."

"Remember, Jesus would rather constantly shame gays
than let an orphan have a family."

"I am somehow less interested in the weight and convolutions of Einstein's brain
than in the near certainty that people of equal talent
have lived and died in cotton fields and sweatshops."
"I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do.
When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods,
you will understand why I dismiss yours."

“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”

"Life almost certainly exists elsewhere in the universe,
and humans on earth should be doing everything in their power
to keep away from the alien beings.
We only have to look at ourselves
to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn't want to meet.
If aliens ever visit us, i think the outcome would be
much as when christopher columbus first landed in america,
which didn't turn out very well for the native americans."

"Creation science has not entered the curriculum
for a reason so simple and so basic that we often forget to mention it:
because it is false, and because good teachers understand exactly why it is false.
What could be more destructive of that most fragile
yet most precious commodity in our entire intellectual heritage - good teaching -
than a bill forcing honorable teachers to sully their sacred trust
by granting equal treatment to a doctrine not only known to be false,
but calculated to undermine any general understanding of science as an enterprise?"

"Think of an experience from your childhood.
Something you remember clearly, something you can see,
feel, maybe even smell, as if you were really there.
After all, you really were there at the time, weren't you?
How else would you remember it?
But here is the bombshell: you weren't there.
Not a single atom that is in your body today
was there when that event took place ...
Matter flows from place to place
and momentarily comes together to be you.
Whatever you are, therefore,
you are not the stuff of which you were made."

"Before we work on artificial intelligence
why don't we do something about natural stupidity?"

"Questioning our own motives, and our own process,
is critical to a skeptical and scientific outlook.
We must realize that the default mode of human psychology
is to grab onto comforting beliefs for purely emotional reasons,
and then justify those beliefs to ourselves with post-hoc rationalizations.
It takes effort to rise above this tendency,
to step back from our beliefs and our emotional connection to conclusions
and focus on the process.
The process (i.e science, logic, and intellectual rigor)
has to be more important than the belief."

"I was hoping for one election in my life
when the flesh would not melt off my bones
while pulling the lever
for the least of two assholes."

"Good research creates more questions than it answers."

"Religion is an insult to human dignity.
With or without it,
you would have good people doing good things
and evil people doing evil things.
But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion."

"Though aware that there is nothing in the universe
that suggests any purpose for humanity,
one way that we can find a purpose is to study the universe by the methods of science,
without consoling ourselves with fairy tales about its future, or about our own."

"Science does not make it impossible to believe in god.
It just makes it possible to NOT believe in god."
"I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do,
because I notice it always coincides with their own desires."

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the President,
or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong,
is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."

"I have never seen the slightest scientific proof of
the religious ideas of heaven and hell,
of future life of individuals,
or of a personal god."

"Religion is all bunk."

"...where ignorance is bliss, 'Tis folly to be wise."

"The foundation of morality is to ...
give up pretending to believe that for which there is no evidence,
and repeating unintelligible propositions
about things beyond the possibilities of knowledge."

"The deepest sin against the human mind is to believe things without evidence."

“Skepticism is the highest duty and blind faith the one unpardonable sin.”

"Fear of things invisible
is the natural seed of that which every one in himself calleth religion."

"It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty Gods or no God.
It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."

"I am satisfied, and sufficiently occupied with the things which are,
without tormenting or troubling myself
about those which may indeed be,
but of which I have no evidence."

"Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity,
have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned;
yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity."

"Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions.
Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them;
and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity.
It is the mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus."

"Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices,
under which weak minds are servilely crouched.
Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion.
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 blindfolded fear."

"Christianity is the most perverted system that ever shone on man."

"A professorship of theology should have no place in our institutions."

"The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus,
by the Supreme Being as his father, in the womb of a virgin,
will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter."

"In every government on earth is some trace of human weakness,
some germ of corruption and degeneracy,
which cunning will discover and wickedness insensibly open, cultivate and improve.
Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone.
The people themselves therefore are its only safe depositories.
And to render even them safe, their minds must be improved ..."

"A society that will trade a little liberty for a little order
will lose both, and deserve neither."

"Religions are all alike - founded upon fables and mythologies."

"Ignorance is preferable to error;
and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing,
than he who believes what is wrong."

"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."

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

"Persecution is not an original feature in any religion;
but it is always the strongly marked feature of all religions established by law.
Take away the law-establishment, and every religion re-assumes its original benignity."

"It is always to be taken for granted, that those who oppose an equality of rights
never mean the exclusion should take place on themselves."
"Of all the tyrannies that afflict mankind, tyranny in religion is the worst.
Every other species of tyranny is limited to the world we live in,
but this attempts a stride beyond the grave and seeks to pursue us into eternity."

"The story of the redemption will not stand examination.
That man should redeem himself from the sin of eating an apple
by committing a murder on Jesus Christ,
is the strangest system of religion ever set up."

"Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man."

"We have never seen, in our time, nature go out of her course.
But we have good reason to believe
that millions of lies have been told in the same time.
It is therefore at least millions to one that the reporter of a miracle tells a lie."

"When a man finds a conclusion agreeable, he accepts it without argument,
but when he finds it disagreeable,
he will bring against it all the forces of logic and reason."

“Leave the matter of religion to the family altar, the Church,
and the private schools, supported entirely by private contributions.
Keep the church and state forever separate.”

"There is in every village a torch - the teacher:
and an extinguisher - the clergyman."

"Those who can make you believe absurdities
can make you commit atrocities."

"What we observe is not nature itself,
but nature exposed to our method of questioning."

"Theocracy has always been the synonym for a bleak and narrow,
if not a fierce and blood-stained tyranny."

"If a man,
holding a belief which he was taught in childhood or persuaded of afterwards,
keeps down and pushes away any doubts which arise about it in his mind,
purposely avoids the reading of books and the company of men
that call into question or discuss it,
and regards as impious those questions which cannot easily be asked
without disturbing it—
the life of that man is one long sin against mankind."

“One special advantage of the skeptical attitude of mind is
that a man is never vexed to find that after all he has been in the wrong.”
"The critical faculty ... is our only guarantee against
delusion, deception, superstition
and misapprehension of ourselves and our earthly circumstances."

"Men occasionally stumble over the truth,
but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened."

"If the human race wishes to have a prolonged and indefinite period of material prosperity,
they have only got to behave in a peaceful and helpful way toward one another,
and science will do for them all they wish and more than they can dream."

"I don't want to gain immortality through my work;
I want to gain immortality through not dying."

"Large skepticism leads to large understanding.
Small skepticism leads to small understanding.
No skepticism leads to no understanding."

"Prayer has no place in public schools
just like facts have no place in organized religion."

"Two hands working can do more than a thousand clasped in prayer."

"Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day;
teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime;
give a man religion and he will die praying for a fish."

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

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

"Since the bible and the church are obviously mistaken
in telling us where we came from,
how can we trust them to tell us where we are going?"

"Pray to god - fine; but keep rowing to shore."

"Christianity is the belief that a walking dead Jewish deity
who was his own father although he always existed,
commits suicide by cop, although he didn't really die,
in order to give himself permission
not to send you to an eternal place of torture that he created for you,
but instead to make you live forever
if you symbolically eat his flesh, drink his blood,
and telepathically promise him you accept him as your master,
so he can cleanse you of an evil force that is present in mankind
because a rib-woman and a mud-man were convinced by a talking snake
to eat from a magical tree."

"The best substitute for brains is silence."

"Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day;
teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime;
give a man religion and he will die praying for a fish."

"For every expert, there is an equal and opposite expert."

"Never look down on anybody, unless you're helping them up."

"If you have a Bible on your bookshelf, you may be a Christian.
If you have a Koran on your bookshelf, you may be a Muslim.
If you have a Torah on your bookshelf, you may be Jewish.
If you have all three, you are probably an atheist."

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