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Many people believe they are attracted by God, or by Nature, when they are only repelled by man.
Nothing is greater than to break the chains from the bodies of men -- nothing nobler than to destroy the phantom of the soul.
We need men with moral courage to speak and write their real thoughts, and to stand by their convictions, even to the very death.
The man who does not do his own thinking is a slave, and is a traitor to himself and to his fellow-men.
It is contended by many that ours is a Christian government, founded upon the Bible, and that all who look upon the book as false or foolish are destroying the foundation of our country. The truth is, our government is not founded upon the rights of gods, but upon the rights of men. Our Constitution was framed, not to declare and uphold the deity of Christ, but the sacredness of humanity. Ours is the first government made by the people and for the people. It is the only nation with which the gods have had nothing to do. And yet there are some judges dishonest and cowardly enough to solemnly decide that this is a Christian country, and that our free institutions are based upon the infamous laws of Jehovah.
Some president wishes to be re-elected, and thereupon speaks about the Bible as "the corner-stone of American Liberty." This sentence is a mouth large enough to swallow any church, and from that time forward the religious people will be citing that remark of the politician to substantiate the inspiration of the Scriptures.
I admit that reason is a small and feeble flame, a flickering torch by stumblers carried in the star-less night, -- blown and flared by passion's storm, -- and yet, it is the only light. Extinguish that, and nought remains.
Give me the storm and stress of thought and action rather than the dead calm of ignorance and faith. Banish me from Eden when you will but first let me eat of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge.
As long as every question is answered by the word "God," scientific inquiry is simply impossible.
Every pulpit is a pillory, in which stands a hired culprit, defending the justice of his own imprisonment.
It may be that ministers really think that their prayers do good and it may be that frogs imagine that their croaking brings spring.
Nothing could add to the horror of hell, except the presence of its creator, God.
I would not for my life destroy one star of human hope, but I want it so that when a poor woman rocks the cradle and sings a lullaby to the dimpled darling, she will not be compelled to believe that ninety-nine chances in a hundred she is raising kindling wood for hell.
Honest investigation is utterly impossible within the pale of any church, for the reason, that if you think the church is right you will not investigate, and if you think it wrong, the church will investigate you.
In the presence of death I affirm and reaffirm the truth of all that I have said against the superstitions of the world. I would say that much on the subject with my last breath.
Masters: Stripped Armor for Truth and Beauty
"He stripped off the armor of institutional friendships
There is no religion in which everyday life is not considered a prison; there is no philosophy or ideology that does not think that we live in alienation.
In the name of religion, one tortures, persecutes, builds pyres. In the guise of ideologies, one massacres, tortures and kills. In the name of justice one punishes ... in the name of love of one's country or of one's race one hates other countries, despises them, massacres them. In the name of equality and brotherhood there is suppression and torture. There is nothing in common between the means and the end, the means go far beyond the end ... ideologies and religions ... are the alibis of the means.
Christianity was a great religion. It has been over for a hundred years now; whatever the twentieth century knows of it can be thought of as a lingering unreality preserved in the church. When something even so small as a lightbulb goes out, the eyes for a moment still see it; and a sound after it is made will have, in the right places, an echo. So it is not at all strange that when something so huge as a world religion goes out, there remains for a century or more in certain places some notion that it is still there.
Take the life-lie away from the average man and straight away you take away his happiness.
Don't use that foreign word ideals. We have that excellent native word lies.
It was then that I began to look into the seams of your doctrine. I wanted only to pick at a single knot; but when I had got that undone, the whole thing raveled out. And then I understood that it was all machine-sewn.
I almost think we're all of us Ghosts, Pastor Manders. It's not only what we have inherited from our father and mother that "walks" in us. It's all sorts of dead ideas, and lifeless old beliefs, and so forth. They have no vitality, but they cling to us all the same, and we can't get rid of them. Whenever I take up a newspaper, I seem to see Ghosts gliding between the lines. There must be Ghosts all the country over, as thick as the sand of the sea. And then we are, one and all, so pitifully afraid of the light.
The majority is never right. Never, I tell you! That's one of these lies in society that no free and intelligent man can help rebelling against. Who are the people that make up the biggest proportion of the population -- the intelligent ones or the fools? I think we can agree it's the fools, no matter where you go in this world, it's the fools that form the overwhelming majority.
The worst enemy of truth and freedom in our society is the compact majority. Yes, the damned, compact, liberal majority.
I'm plotting revolution against this lie that the majority has a monopoly of the truth. What are these truths that always bring the majority rallying round? Truths so elderly they are practically senile. And when a truth is as old as that, gentlemen, you can hardly tell it from a lie.
The thing is, you see, that the strongest man in the world is the man who stands alone.
I regard religion itself as quite unnecessary for a nation's life; science is far above superstition; and what is religion, Buddhism or Christianity, but superstition, and therefore a possible source of weakness to a nation?
The Subtle Fulmination of the Encircled Sea
Please Feel Free
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