Positive Atheism's Big List of Quotations
No-Frames Quotes Index
Load This File With Frames Index
Home to Positive Atheism
In theology we must consider the predominance
of authority; in philosophy the predominance of reason.
When miracles are admitted, every scientific explanation is out of the question.
I am not a spokesperson for the church and the church
is not a spokesperson for the United States of America. I'm running for president and I'm running to uphold the Constitution, which has a strict separation of church and state.
I can't believe in the God of my Fathers.
If there is one Mind which understands all things, it will comprehend me in my unbelief. I don't know whose hand hung Hesperus in the sky, and fixed the Dog Star, and scattered the shining dust of Heaven, and fired the sun, and froze the darkness between
the lonely worlds that spin in space.
There are men whom one hates until there comes a day when, through a chink in their armor, you see something nailed down and writhing in torment.
Ignorance is to religion what horse manure is to posies. But it's still horse manure.
Jack Kevorkian (born 1928)
the solace of hypocritical religiosity and its seductive promise of an after-life of heavenly bliss, most of us will do anything to thwart the inevitable victory of biological death.
Dying is not a crime.
Eleven times Jesus died on the cross,
Why, all the Saints and Sages who discuss'd
Oh threats of Hell and Hopes of Paradise!
The Revelations of Devout and Learn'd
I sent my Soul through the Invisible,
I believe in separation of church and state. I cannot
as a public official impose my religious views on people who do not share those views.
Women's International Center:
"Although Lucy Killea abhors abortion, she fights for the right of women to make a choice."
demands the crucifixion of the intellect.
The melancholy have the best sense of the comic, the opulent often the best sense of the rustic, the dissolute often the best sense of the moral, and the doubter often the best sense of the religious.
Take away paradox from the thinker and you have a professor.
Faith is precisely the
paradox that the single individual as the single individual is higher than the universal, is justified before it, not as inferior to it but superior -- yet in such a way, please note, that it is the single individual who, after being subordinate as the
single individual to the universal, now by means of the universal becomes the single individual who as the single individual is superior, that the single individual as the single individual stands in an absolute relation to the absolute. This position
cannot be mediated, for all mediation takes place only by virtue of the universal; it is and remains for all eternity a paradox, impervious to thought. And yet faith is this paradox.
Any hope that America would finally grow up
vanished with the rise of fundamentalist Christianity. Fundamentalism, with its born-again regression, its pink-and-gold concept of heaven, its literal-mindedness, its rambunctious good cheer ... its anti-intellectualism ... its puerile hymns ... and
its faith-healing ... are made to order for King Kid America.
Randian heroes come off as metaphors for Jews because they are beset by irrational forces that try to bar them from the professions and use their virtues against them to bring about their destruction.
church is not the master of the state, nor the servant of the state, but the conscience of the state.
The goal of a crusade is to defeat an evil, not merely to solve a problem. This gives it the sense of righteousness.... The crusader may think of himself as a hero and his opponents as villains. Indeed, the crusade classifies as a kind of villifying movement.
Abner Kneeland (1774–1844)
whole story concerning him [Christ] was as much a fable and fiction as that of the god Prometheus.
Birds do not generally flutter much until they are hit.
Ethical teaching is weakened if it is tied up with dogmas that will not bear examination.
One of the best ways to improve men's behaviour is to enlighten their minds: and today, against the strong opposition of the Church and the Establishment, Scientific Humanism is attempting to do just
I was convinced that, besides millions of frank unbelievers, there are today large numbers of half-believers to whom religion is a source of intellectual and moral discomfort.
It is difficult, none the less, for the ordinary man to cast off orthodox beliefs, for he is seldom allowed to hear the other side.... Whereas the Christian view is pressed on him day in and day out.
It is a mistake to try to impose [Christian beliefs] on children and to make them the basis of moral training. The moral education of children is much too important a matter
to be built on such foundations.
I want here to make three suggestions: first, that the doubts the ordinary man feels about religion are justified, and need not be stifled or concealed; second, that there is no ground for the view
that Christianity is the only alternative to communism, or that there can be no sound character training that is not based on religion; and, third, I want to make some practical suggestions to the parents who are not believers, on what they
should tell the children about God, and what sort of moral training they should give them.
[M]y chief aim was to combat the view that there can be no true morality without supernatural sanctions. So I argued at length that the social, or altruistic, impulses are the real source of morality,
and that an ethic based on these impulses has far more claim on our allegiance than an ethic based on obedience to the commands of a God who created tapeworms and cancer-cells.
At the time of the broadcasts, I held two assumptions that were common among the more highbrow type of sceptic. These were: (i) that Jesus, though he was deluded in believing himself to be the long-awaited
Jewish Messiah, was, nevertheless, a great moral teacher, and a man of outstanding moral excellence, and (ii) that though Christianity is now rapidly being outgrown, it was a great force for good in its day. In the light of wider knowledge, both assumptions
now seem to me to be false. I now incline to the view that the conversion of Europe to Christianity was one of the greatest disasters of history.
Jesus, in fact, was typical of a certain kind of fanatical young idealist: at one moment holding forth, with tears in his eyes, about the need for universal love; at the next, furiously denouncing the
morons, crooks and bigots who did not see eye to eye with him. It is very natural and very human behaviour. But it is not superhuman.
There is no ground whatever for the claim, so often made by religious apologists, that these ideals are specifically Christian and originated with Jesus. What were specifically
Christian were some of the less enlightened teachings, which have done untold harm. Christians claim that organised Christianity has been a great force for good, but this view can be maintained on one assumption only: that everything good in the Christian
era is a result of Christianity and everything bad happened in spite of it.
During the ages of faith the Church argued, not illogically, that any degree of cruelty towards sinners and heretics was justified, if there was a chance that it could save them, or others, from the
eternal torments of hell. Thus, in the name of the religion of love, hundreds of thousands of people were not merely killed but atrociously tortured in ways that made the gas chambers of Beslen seem humane.
One of the most persistent fallacies about the Christian Church is that it kept learning alive during the Dark and Middle Ages. What the Church did was to keep learning alive in the monasteries, while
preventing the spread of knowledge outside them.... Even as late as the beginning of the nineteenth century, however, nine-tenths of Christian Europe was illiterate.
We can tell them that everyone believed at one time, and some people believe now, that there are two great powers in the world: a good power called God, who made the world and
who loves human beings ... and a bad power called the Devil, who is opposed to God and who wants people to be unhappy and bad. We can tell them that some people still believe this, but that most people now think there's not really a Devil
The Daily Mail, other journals, shriek in response
Christianity is not so weak a faith that its adherents should run screaming from those who attack it.... Mrs. Knight has perhaps shocked a number of people into thinking for themselves.
In Jerusalem ... the angry face of Yahweh is brooding over the hot rocks which have
seen more holy murder, rape and plunder than any other place on earth. Its inhabitants are poisoned by religion.
The Revolutionarys Utopia, which in appearance represents a complete break with the past, is always modeled on some image of the Lost Paradise, of a legendary Golden Age.... All utopias are fed
from the source of mythology; the social engineers blueprints are merely revised editions of the ancient text.
If conquerors be regarded as the engine-drivers of History, then the conquerors of thought are perhaps the pointsmen who, less conspicuous to the traveller's eye, determine the direction of the journey.
The inner defenses are unconscious. They consist of a kind of magic aura which the mind builds around cherished belief. Arguments which penetrate into the magic aura are not dealt with rationally but
by a specific type of pseudo-reasoning. Absurdities and contradictions are made acceptable by specious rationalizations.
Somebody once asked Niels Bohr why he had a horseshoe hanging above the front door of his house. Surely you, a world famous physicist, can't really
believe that hanging a horseshoe above your door brings you luck? Of course not, Bohr replied, but I have been reliably informed that it will bring me luck whether I believe in it or not.
Since I was both an atheist and an absurdist, I had decided that the most absurd thing
I could do would be to develop an intimate relationship with the God I didn't believe in.
When a culture feels that its end has come, it sends for a priest.
Love and art do not embrace what is beautiful but what is made beautiful by this embrace.
Poetry, mythology, and religion represent the world as man would like to have it, while science represents the world as he gradually comes to discover it.
Few people have ever seriously wished to be exclusively rational. The good life which most desire is a life warmed by passions and touched with that ceremonial grace which is impossible without some affectionate loyalty to traditional form and ceremonies.
Security depends not so much upon how much you have, as upon how much you can do without.
Though many have tried, no one has ever yet explained away the decisive fact that science, which can do so much, cannot decide what it ought to do.
Homo religiosus invents religious symbols, which he venerates and worships to save him from facing the finality
of his death and dissolution. He devises paradise fictions to provide succor and support.... In acts of supreme self-deception, at various times and in various places he has been willing to profess belief in the most incredible myths because of what they
have promised him.
As I see it, creative achievement is the very heart of the human enterprise.... The destiny of man, of all men and of each man, is that he is condemned to invent what he will be -- condemned if he is
fearful but blessed if he welcomes the great adventure. We are responsible in the last analysis, not simply for what we are, but for what we will become; and that is a source of either high excitement or distress.
Humanists hold that ethical values are relative to human experience and need not be derived from theological or metaphysical foundations.
Many humanists have argued that happiness involves a combination of hedonism and creative moral development; that an exuberant life fuses excellence and enjoyment, meaning and enrichment, emotion and
Three key humanist virtues are courage, cognition, and caring -- not dependence, ignorance, or insensitivity to the needs of others.
The overriding need is "to develop a new Planetary Humanism" that will seek to preserve human rights and enhance human freedom and
dignity and will emphasize our commitment "to humanity as a whole." The underlying ethical principle "is the need to respect the dignity and worth of all persons in the world community." Thinkers as diverse as Peter Singer and Hans
Küng also emphasize the need for a new global ethic beyond nationalistic, racial, religious, and ethnic chauvinism.
Human life has no meaning independent of itself. There is no cosmic force or deity to give it meaning or significance. There is no ultimate
destiny for man. Such a belief is an illusion of humankind's infancy. The meaning of life is what we choose to give it. Meaning grows out of human purposes alone. Nature provides us with an infinite range of opportunities, but it is only our vision and
our action that select and realize those that we desire.... Thus the good life is achieved, invented, fashioned in an active life of enterprise and endeavor. But whether or not an individual chooses to enter into the arena depends upon him alone. Those
who do can find it energizing, exhilarating, full of triumph and satisfaction. In spite of failures, setbacks, suffering, and pain, life can be fun.
The beginning of wisdom is the awareness that there is insufficient evidence that a god or gods have created us and the recognition that we are responsible in part for our own destiny. Human beings
can achieve this good life, but it is by the cultivation of the virtues of intelligence and courage, not faith and obedience, that we will most likely be able to do so.
We need to be skeptical of utopianists who offer unreliable totalistic visions of other worlds and strive to take us there. We need some ideals, but we also need to protect ourselves from the miscalculations
and misadventures of visionaries.
The skeptic has no illusions about life, nor a vain belief in the promise of immortality. Since this life here and now is all we can know, our most reasonable option is to live it fully.
I believe that a person should take an affirmative outlook. There are always problems in life, old and new, uncertainties, and unexpected contingencies. The optimal way to deal with this is not to give
up in despair, but to move ahead using the best intelligence and resources that we have to overcome adversity.
Secular humanism emphasizes the use of reason and critical intelligence to solve human problems. It has confidence in the ability of the human species to apply science and technology for the betterment
of human life; it is skeptical of the existence of occult, paranormal, or transcendent realities. Although it is the modern-day version of classical atheism in what it rejects, it also expresses a positive normative concern for developing constructive
ethical values relevant to the present conditions of humankind on this planet,. It is uncompromising in its commitment to democracy and planetary humanism, and it considers human freedom and fulfillment to be the highest human values. In all of these
ways it offers a new paradigm for guiding human life in what might be termed the post-modern era.
The Subtle Fulmination of the Encircled Sea
Please Feel Free
Grab some quotes to embellish your web site,
Use them to introduce the chapters of a book or
Poster your wall! Graffiti your (own) fence.
That's what this list is for!
In using this resource, however, keep in mind that
If you decide to build your own online
There's something to be said