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Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin (1934-1968)
I don't see any god up here.
There is a word sweeter than Mother, Home, or Heaven; that word is Liberty
Do not allow the Church or the State to govern your thought or dictate your judgment.
The careful student of history will discover that Christianity has been of very little value in advancing civilization, but has done a great deal toward retarding it.
The Christian theory of the sacredness of the Bible has been at the cost of the world's civilization.
The stronghold of the church has ever been the ignorance and degradation of women. Its control over woman in the two questions of marriage and education have given it keys of power more potent than those of Peter. With her uneducated, without civil or political rights, the church is sure of its authority; but once arouse woman to a disbelief in church teachings regarding her having brought sin into the world; once open to her all avenues of education, so that her teaching of the young in her charge will be a broader, more scientific character than in the past and the doom of the church is sealed.
The law known as Marchetta, or Marquette, compelled newly married women to a most dishonorable servitude. They were regarded as the rightful prey of the Feudal Lord from one to three days after their marriage, and from this custom the eldest son of the serf was held as the son of the Lord.... Marquette was claimed by the Lord's Spiritual, as well as by the Lord's Temporal. The Church, indeed, was the bulwark of this base feudal claim.
The power possessed by the church during the middle ages was largely due to the control it had secured over domestic relations, and that no more severe blow has ever been inflicted upon it than the institution of civil marriage.... The Protestant pulpit is only less dangerous than the Catholic to the liberties of the people in that its organized strength is less. The old medieval control of the family under and through marriage is now as fully the aim of the Protestant church as of the Catholic.... The courts of this country have decided that marriage is a civil contract. As such a clergyman is no more fitted to take part in it than he would be to take acknowledgment of a deed, or take part in the legalization of any other contract. In fact a marriage performed by a clergyman of any denomination should be regarded as invalid in the light of civil law.
From Augustine down, theologians have tried to compel people to accept their special interpretation of the Scripture, and the tortures of the inquisition, the rack, the thumb-screw, the stake, the persecutions of witchcraft, the whipping of naked women through the streets of Boston, banishment, trials of heresy, the halter about Garrison's neck, Lovejoy's death, the branding of Captain Walker, shouts of infidel and atheist, have all been for this purpose.
Stanton, Anthony, Gage: Protracted Shame
Throughout this protracted and disgraceful assault on American womanhood, the clergy baptized each new insult and act of injustice in the name of the Christian religion, and uniformly asked God's blessing on proceedings that would have put to shame an assembly of Hottentots.
Had the Bible been in
clear straightforward language, had the ambiguities and contradictions been edited out, and had the language been constantly modernised to accord with contemporary taste it would almost certainly have been, or become, a work of lesser influence.
Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)
I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.
In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual.
To command the professors of astronomy to confute their own observations is to enjoin an impossibility, for it is to command them to not see what they do see, and not to understand what they do understand, and to find what they do not discover.
Organised Christianity has probably done more to retard the ideals that were its founders than any other agency in the world.
American Catholics of all political persuasions do not want their bishops to appear even remotely to be telling them how to vote.
Many religious beliefs decline as education level rises.
Humanism is the creed of those who believe that in the circle of enwrapping mystery, men's fates are in their own hands -- a faith that for modern man is becoming the only possible faith.
Religion was nearly dead because there was no longer real belief in future life; but something was struggling to take its place -- service -- social service -- the ants' creed, the bees' creed.
When Man evolved Pity, he did a queer thing -- deprived himself of the power of living life as it is without wishing it to become something different.
Indira Gandhi (1917-1984)
To bear many children is considered not only a religious blessing but also an investment. The greater their number, some Indians reason, the more alms they can beg.
There exists no politician in India daring enough to attempt to explain to the masses that cows can be eaten.
Watches may disagree, but let us not.
The most henious and the must cruel crimes of which history has record have been committed under the cover of religion or equally noble motives.
Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to
the English or France to the French. It is wrong and inhuman to impose the
Jews on the Arabs. What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified
by any moral code of conduct. The mandates have no sanction but that of the
last war. Surely it would be a crime against humanity to reduce the proud
Arabs so that Palestine can be restored to the Jews partly or wholly as
their national home.
I am a poor mendicant. My earthly possessions consist of six spinning wheels, prison dishes, a can of goat's milk, six homespun loincloths and towels and my reputation, which cannot be worth much.
Do you think I am superstitious? I am a super-atheist.
The concepts of truth may differ. But all admit and respect truth. That truth I call God. For sometime I was saying, "God is Truth," but that did not satisfy me. So now I say, "Truth is God."
Yes, I see an ideal in your talk. I can neither say that my theism is right nor your atheism is wrong. We are seekers after truth. We change whenever we find ourselves in the wrong. I changed like that many times in my life. I see you are a worker. You are not a fanatic. You will change whenever you find yourself in the wrong. There is no harm as long as you are not fanatical. Whether you are in the right or I am in the right, results will prove. Then I may go your way or you may come my way; or both of us may go a third way. So go ahead with your work. I will help you, though your method is against mine.
It is not a mistake to commit a mistake, for no one commits a mistake knowing it to be one. But it is a mistake not to correct the mistake after knowing it to be one. If you are afraid of committing a mistake, you are afraid of doing anything at all. You will correct your mistakes whenever you find them.
We are constantly being astonished at the amazing discoveries in the field of violence. But I maintain that far more undreamt-of and seemingly impossible discoveries will be made in the field of nonviolence.
My method is conversion, not coercion, it is self-suffering, not the suffering of the tyrant. I know that method to be infallible.
If we are to stand the final heat of the battle, we must learn to stand our ground in the face of cavalry or baton charges and allow ourselves to be trampled under horses' hooves, or be bruised with baton charges.
Such expression is impossible in a cramped atmosphere. As I have no desire to offer civil disobedience I cannot write freely. As the author of satyagraha I cannot, consistently with my profession, suppress the vital part of myself for the sake of being able to write on permissible subjects. ... It would be like dealing with the trunk without the head.
If I seem to take part in politics, it is only because politics encircles us today like the coil of a snake from which one cannot get out, no matter how much one tries. I wish therefore to wrestle with the snake.
To believe in something, and not to live it, is dishonest.
Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
"The Government of India had imprisoned Mr. Gandhi and they had been sitting outside his cell door begging him to help them out of their difficulties."
The Subtle Fulmination of the Encircled Sea
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