Famous People's Religion QuotesQuote DB::Religion
However, a moment in history has arrived when even a pigmy such as myself can claim to know more - through no merit of his own - and to see that the final ripping of the whole disguise is overdue. Between them, the sciences of textual criticism, archeology, physics, and molecular biology have shown religious mythology to be false and man made and have also succeeded in evolving better and more enlightened explanations.
The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weakness, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still purely primitive, legends which are nevertheless pretty childish.
Why canít I leave religion alone? Because it storms its way into my childrenís schools, it weasels its way into my government and its followers demand I canít do what I want with my body. Right now people are being tortured, beaten, raped and murdered in the name of religion. Is that reason enough?
It is not God that is worshipped but the group or authority that claims to speak in His name. Sin becomes disobedience to authority not violation of integrity.
Fear prophets and those prepared to die for the truth, for as a rule they make many others die with them, often before them, at times instead of them.
Religion closes off the central questions of existence by attempting to dissuade us from further enquiry by asserting that we cannot ever hope to comprehend. We are, religion asserts, simply too puny. Through fear of being shown to be vacuous, religion denies the awesome power of human comprehension. It seeks to thwart, by encouraging awe in things unseen, the disclosure of the emptiness of faith. Religion, in contrast to science, deploys the repugnant view that the world is too big for our understanding. Science, in contrast to religion, opens up the great questions of being to rational discussion, to discussion with the prospect of resolution and elucidation. Science, above all, respects the power of the human intellect. Science is the apotheosis of the intellect and the consummation of the Rennaissance. Science respects more deeply the potential of humanity than religion ever can.
Writing for a penny a word is ridiculous. If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion.
The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.
Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration - courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth
For people with God on their side, monotheists are a touchy lot. Ö in Exodus, Moses comes back down off the mountain with the ten commandments, only to find that the wicked Israelites have (with the connivance of his brother, Aaron) built a golden calf to worship and are busy having an orgy round it. So Moses gets the tribe of Levi to go with "sword at side" and massacre 3,000 calf-worshippers. And we are supposed to celebrate such a violation of the freedom to worship. [never mind ignoring the whole "Thou shalt not kill" thing, but then it was in God's name so it was all right]Ö Why are they so touchy? The problem is partly that all monotheisms are, by their nature, anti-pluralistic. They've got the one true God, and the very latest valid version of his thoughts. It is asking a lot of monotheisms to coexist with other faiths and views. Paganism, on the other hand, is much better suited to modern ideas of tolerance and human rights. Under polytheism you can choose your own god overtly.
Once 'the religious hypothesis' is disengaged from the opportunity to inflict humiliation and pain on people who do not profess the correct creed, it loses interest for many people.
Whatever the natural cause, sin is the true cause of all earthquakes.
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. God must be even greater than we dreamed.' Instead they say, 'No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way.'
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.
Of all religions, the Christian is without doubt the one which should inspire tolerance most, although up to now the Christians have been the most intolerant of all men.
Religious tolerance has developed more as a consequence of the impotence of religions to impose their dogmas on each other than as a consequence of spiritual humility in the quest for understanding first and last things.
Truth does not demand belief. Scientists do not join hands every Sunday, singing, yes, gravity is real! I will have faith! I will be strong! I believe in my heart that what goes up, up, up must come down, down, down. Amen! If they did, we would think they were pretty insecure about it.
Because morality is a social necessity, the moment faith in god is banished, man's gaze turns from god to man and he becomes socially conscious. Religious belief prevented the growth of a sense of realism. But atheism at once makes man realistic and alive to the needs of morality.
You can safely assume that youíve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.
Throughout history, fools and their followers, willfully ignorant but in love with themselves and with power, have murdered millions.
When social forces press for the rejection of age-old Truth, then those who reject it will seek meaning in their own truth. These truths will rarely be Truth at all; they will be only collections of personal preferences and prejudices.
Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous.
Oh! Lord! Do you think that a Protestant Popedom is annihilated in America? Do you recollect, or have you ever attended to the ecclesiastical Strifes in Maryland Pensilvania [sic], New York, and every part of New England? What a mercy it is that these People cannot whip and crop, and pillory and roast, as yet in the U.S.! If they could they would. . . . There is a germ of religion in human nature so strong that whenever an order of men can persuade the people by flattery or terror that they have salvation at their disposal, there can be no end to fraud, violence, or usurpation.
Monotheistic religion is a plagiarism of a plagiarism of a hearsay of a hearsay, of an illusion of an illusion, extending all the way back to a fabrication of a few nonevents.
The difference between a religion and a delusion is the number of people who share it.
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.
Man will never truly be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.
When politics and religion are intermingled, a people is suffused with a sense of invulnerability, and gathering speed in their forward charge, they fail to see the cliff ahead of them.
If religion were true, its followers would not try to bludgeon their young into an artificial conformity; but would merely insist on their unbending quest for truth, irrespective of artificial backgrounds or practical consequences.
If you believe in the existence of fairies at the bottom of the garden you are deemed fit for the bin. If you believe in parthenogenesis, ascension, transubstantiation and all the rest of it you are deemed fit to govern the country.
My favorite definition of religion is 'a misinterpretation of mythology'. And the misinterpretation consists precisely in attributing historical references to symbols which properley are spiritual in reference.
What gods are there, what gods have there ever been, that were not from man's imagination?
We are satisfied that there can be but little liberty on earth while men worship a tyrant in heaven.
Entrenched belief is never altered by the facts.
The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike
Religion has been the root cause of more suffering, bloodshed, heartache, hatred, and death than any other idea ever conceived by the human race.
We see in religion the decay of every good thing in this world. Mencken is right. He hit upon the very phrase -- the very name and habitation of this holy fraud. It is a pile of garbage. It is the reteaching of superstitions as old as the jungles. It is the dumping ground of decayed human faculties, wilted and sour and rancid, blasted in base usage -- fit only to smear the hands of fanatics who wish to throw something at the heads of civilized men trying to guide to noble uses the capacities of thought and emotion that have been so foully abused by religion.
A state of skepticism and suspense may amuse a few inquisitive minds. But the practice of superstition is so congenial to the multitude that, if they are forcibly awakened, they still regret the loss of their pleasing vision.
Mere talk about religion is only an intellectual excersize...of what use are grand phrases about Atma (the soul) on the lips of those who hate and injure one another?...Religion is kindness.
You can't convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it's based on a deepseated need to believe.
Most people's religion is what they would like to believe, not what they do believe. And very few of them stop to examine its foundations.
Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.
Religion is something left over from the infancy of our intelligence; it will fade away as we adopt reason and science as our guidelines.
...priestcraft was always the enemy of knowledge, because priestcraft supports itself by keeping people in delusion and ignorance.
The way to see faith is to shut the eye of reason.
The politicians and the religious leaders and the weapons scientists have been at it for a long time and they've made a thorough mess of it. I mean, we're in deep trouble.
Religion prevents our children from having a rational education; religion prevents us from removing the fundamental causes of war; religion prevents us from teaching the ethic of scientific cooperation in place of the old fierce doctrines of sin and punishment. It is possible that mankind is on the threshold of a golden age; but, if so, it will be necessary first to slay the dragon that guards the door, and this dragon is religion.
Religion is based...mainly on fear...fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the parent of cruelty, and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion have gone hand in hand...My own view on religion is that of Lucretius. I regard it as a disease born of fear and as a source of untold misery to the human race. I cannot, however, deny that it has made some contributations to civilization. It helped in early days to fix the calendar, and it caused Egyptian priests to chronicle eclipses with such care that in time they became able to predict them. These two services I am prepared to acknowledge, but I do not know of any others.
I count religion as a childish toy,
and hold there is no sin but ignorance.
Earth groans beneath religion's iron age,
And priests dare babble of a God of peace,
Even whilst their hands are red with guiltless blood.
A believer is a bird in a cage. A freethinker is an eagle parting the clouds with tireless wing.
Commerce makes friends, religion makes enemies; the one enriches, the other impoverishes; the one thrives best where truth is told, the other where falsehoods are believed.
The golden age of clerics came from the imprisonment of the human spirit.
When did I realize I was God? Well, I was praying and I suddenly realized I was talking to myself.
I contend that most people take more care in selecting dog food and motor oil than their religion.
...religion can be misused as an escape from reality and provide a refuge from dealing with conflicts.
To be true to the mythical conception of God is to be false to the interests of mankind.
Mystical explanations are considered deep. The truth is they are not even superficial.
God is an infantile fantasy, which was necessary when man did not understand what lightning was.
I conceive some scattered notions about a superior power to be of singular use for the common people, as furnishing excellent materials to keep children quiet when they grow peevish, and providing topics of amusement in a tedious winter-night.
The various modes of worship, which prevailed in the Roman world, were all considered by the people as equally true; by the philosopher as equally false; and by the magistrate as equally useful.
All religions are founded on the fear of the many and the cleverness of the few.
The fact is that far more crime and child abuse has been commited by zealots in the name of God, Jesus and Mohammed than has ever been commited in the name of Satan. Many people don't like that statement, but few can argue with it.
God has created us in His image, we have more than returned the compliment.
India has 2,000,000 gods, and worships them all. In religion, other countries are paupers; India is the only millionaire.
Of all bad men religious bad men are the worst.
I do not think that the real reason why people accept religion is anything to do with argumentation. They accept religion on emotional grounds. One is often told that it is a very wrong thing to attack religion, because religion makes men virtuous. So I am told; I have not noticed it.
What can be accomplished by a few principles is not effected by many. But it seems that everything we see in the world can be accounted for by other principles, supposing God did not exist. For all natural things can be reduced to one principle, which is nature, and all voluntary things can be reduced to one principle, which is human reason, or will. Therefore there is no reason to suppose God's existence.
A God who kept tinkering with the universe was absurd; a God who interfered with human freedom and creativity was a tyrant. If God is seen as a self in a world of his own, an ego that relates to a thought, a cause separate from its effect, "he" becomes a being, not Being itself. An omnipotent, all-knowing tyrant is not so different from earthly dictators who make everything and everybody mere cogs in the machine which they controlled. An atheism that rejects such a God is amply justified.
The church must never become a government factory, carrying on a national industry of religion with the people as the bolts and nuts; with God reduced to the role of cramped advocate of current national policy. Surely the pages of history are replete and the examples in many a foreign country convincing that this kind of church-state union - whatever the original motives, or however noble the original purpose - winds up with a state that is less than stable and a church that is less than sanctified, and with the poor still hungry.
How can you have order in a state without religion? For, when one man is dying of hunger next to another who is ill of surfeit, he cannot resign himself to this difference unless there is an authority which declares "God wills it thus". Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet.
Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.
I am surrounded by priests who repeat incessantly that their kingdom is not of this world, and yet they lay their hands on everything they can get.
Religions are conclusions for which the facts of nature supply no major premises.
Even in this secular country, the threat posed by religious fundamentalists is never very far away. Every major religious text exhorts the same principles - that of unyeilding obedience to a supernatural being, and renunciation of the intellect and personal aspirations.
People everywhere enjoy believing things that they know are not true. It spares them the ordeal of thinking for themselves and taking responsibility for what they know.
A spirit of dogmatic theology poisons everything it touches.
Aside from hunger and reproduction, religion is the most potent catalyst for violence in this seething stew we call life.
The silly fanatic repeats to me ... that it is not for us to judge what is reasonable and just in the great Being, that His reason is not like our reason, that His justice is not like our justice. Eh! how, you mad demoniac, do you want me to judge justice and reason otherwise than by the notions I have of them? Do you want me to walk otherwise than with my feet, and to speak otherwise than with my mouth?
You can safely assume you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.
In some aweful, strange, paradoxical way, atheists tend to take religion more seriously than the practitioners.
Without cultural sanction, most or all of our religious beliefs would fall into the domain of mental disturbance.
When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said "Let us pray". We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.
I am treated as evil by people who claim that they are being oppressed because they are not allowed to force me to practice what they do.
The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshipped anything but himself.
If belief in God were natural, there would be no need to teach it. Children would possess it as well as adults, the layman as the priest, the heathen as much as the missionary. We don't have to teach the general elements of human nature - the five senses, seeing hearing, smelling, tasting, and feeling. They are universal; so would religion be if it were natural, but it is not. On the contrary, it is an interesting and demonstrable fact, that all children are atheists, and were religion not inculcated into their minds they would remain so. Even as it is, they are great skeptics, until made sensible of the potent weapon by which religion has ever been propagated, namely, fear - fear of the lash of public opinion here, and of a jealous, vindictive God hereafter. No; there is no religion in human nature, nor human nature in religion. It is purely artificial, the result of education, while atheism is natural, and, were the human mind not perverted and bewildered by the mysteries and follies of superstition, would be universal.
The God that holds you over the pit of Hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathesome insect, over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked; His wrath towards you burns like fire; He looks upon you as worthy of nothing else but to be cast into the fire; He is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in His sight; you are ten thousand times more abominable in his eyes than the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours.
The more interesting issue is how many intelligent designers does it take to make the biosphere? Consider: all animals suffer a huge range of diseases; most female animals lose most of their offspring; and most species live under stress at the limit their environment can sustain. Designing a world like that is just plain evil. So if there is one intelligent designer, it is evil. The Zoroastrians proposed two co-equal gods, one good and one evil. However, if there are many intelligent designers (and why stop at two) they are not the god of Abraham. This is why smart Christians distance themselves from creationist nonsense.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2016, 03:35:25 PM by Unbeliever »
"Some say God is living there [in space]. I was looking around very attentively, but I did not see anyone there. I did not detect either angels or gods....I don't believe in God. I believe in man - his strength, his possibilities, his reason."
Gherman Titov, Soviet cosmonaut, in The Seattle Daily Ti