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From Apollonius I learned freedom of will and undeviating steadiness of purpose; and to look to nothing else, not even for a moment, except to reason.
I cannot comprehend how any man can want anything but the truth.
There is but one thing of real value -- to cultivate truth and justice, and to live without anger in the midst of lying and unjust men.
Hast thou reason? I have. -- Why then dost not thou use it? For if this does its own work, what else dost thou wish?
Within ten days thou wilt seem a god to those to whom thou art now a beast and an ape, if thou wilt return to thy principles and the worship of reason.
Always run to the short way; and the short way is the natural: accordingly say and do everything in conformity with the soundest reason. For such a purpose frees a man from trouble, and warfare, and all artifice and ostentatious display.
If souls continue to exist, how does the air contain them from eternity?
Since it is possible that thou mayest depart from life this very moment, regulate every act and thought accordingly. But to go away from among men, if there are gods, is not a thing to be afraid of, for the gods will not involve thee in evil; but if indeed they do not exist, or if they have no concern about human affairs, what is it to me to live in a universe devoid of gods or devoid of Providence?
Though thou shouldst be going to live three thousand years, and as many times ten thousand years, still remember that no man loses any other life than this which he now lives, nor lives any other than this which he now loses.
Never value anything as profitable to thyself which shall compel thee to break thy promise, to lose thy self-respect, to hate any man, to suspect, to curse, to act the hypocrite, to desire anything which needs walls and curtains.
Religion hides many mischiefs from suspicion.
Religion! O Diabole!
I count religion but a childish toy,
"I count religion but a childish toy,
An idea isn't responsible for the people who believe in it.
Old godheads sink in space and drown
i once heard the survivors of a colony of ants that had been partially obliterated by a cow's foot seriously debating the intention of the gods towards their civilization
that stern and rockbound coast felt like an amateur when it saw how grim the puritans that landed on it were5
i do not see why men sheould be so proud insects have the more ancient lineage according to the scientists insects were insects when man was only a burbling whatisit
just as soon as the uplifters get a country reformed it slips into a nose dive
warty bliggens, the toad
Give up the dream that Love may trick the fates
There is yet another consideration which is fatal to the Christian religion, and that is its persecuting spirit. It calls in the aid of the Ecclesiastical and civil laws, and the iron hand of custom to condemn, and if possible to punish those who may express different opinions to its own.... Perish the cause which has no more rational argument in its favor than that which the stake or prison can supply!
It never occurred to my mind, nor did any controversy ever suggest the thought, that possibly the bible itself might not be what it appeared.
Who could have palmed such an immense imposture upon mankind? ... Just think of my astonishment when I found its doctrines, its crucifixion, its sacraments, its holy-days, &c., had been in the world thousands of years before the Christian era.
Religion, with an upward glancing eye, asks what there is above. Philosophy looks around her and seeks to make a happy home of earth. Religion asks what God would have her do: -- Philosophy, what nature's laws advise. Religion has never given us laws in which cruelty and vice may not be seen, but philosophy's pure moral code may be thus briefly stated: -- "Happiness is the great object of human existence..."
I have, sir, children, whose happiness is dearer to me than my own, for they have, I hope, a longer term of existence before them than I can look for; the possession, therefore, of principles which, if they are false, would be so detrimental to their interests, must have been to me a matter of deep solicitude, not only because they must necessarily share in any odium which attaches to the name of their mother, but also because their education must be erroneous, and eternal happiness be risked by unbelief. Allow me, then, to ask you whether I, who became an Infidel after twelve years of study and practice of Christian principles; after seriously investigating the internal and external evidences of Christianity; after searching, as I have done, into the origin and principles of all religions; after making public profession of my disbelief, having so important a thing at stake as the welfare and happiness of my children think you, sir, that [the religious tract] "The Sinner's Friend" can overthrow the reasoning of years...?
The person much inclined to ask God's assistance, learns to repose on the hope of its obtainment, instead of actively seeking the good desired by his own labour.
Christians! shake off the supineness which your priests have created in you; dare to think for yourselves, nor suppose your God can be pleased with the sacrifice of your reason. The bended knee is not the attitude for study. Read the Bible with the eye of criticism nor of faith. Suspend your devotions, and reflect on the reception of your past petitions. Ask no more till they are granted.
If you look up "atheism" in a dictionary, you will probably find it defined as the belief that there is no God. Certainly many people understand atheism in this way. Yet many atheists do not, and this is not what the term means if one consider it from the point of view of its Greek roots. In Greek "a" means "without" or "not" and "theos" means "god." From this standpoint an atheist would simply be someone without a belief in God, not necessarily someone who believes that God does not exist. According to its Greek roots, then, atheism is a negative view, characterized by the absence of belief in God.
A case can be made that religious language is unverifiable and hence factually meaningless when it is used in a sophisticated and nonanthropomorphic way.
The thesis that the sentences "God exists" and "God does not exist" are factually meaningless is only prima facie justified. This is so because a commonly accepted and fully developed theory of meaning is not yet available. Until one is, we must rest content with a partial theory and a partial justification.
Could it not be said that it is improbable that we would have a universe in which life arose anywhere? One answer that might be given is that we do not know whether it is improbable or not. Judgments about a priori probabilities in such cases are arbitrary, and we have no evidence in this case of any relevant empirical probabilities.
Religious experiences are like those induced by drugs, alcohol, mental illness, and sleep deprivation: They tell no uniform or coherent story, and there is no plausible theory to account for discrepancies among them.
Religious experiences in one culture often conflict with those in another. One cannot accept all of them as veridical, yet there does not seem to be any way to separate the veridical experiences from the rest.
Since experiences of God are good grounds for the existence of God, are not experiences of the absence of God good grounds for the nonexistence of God? After all, many people have tried to experience God and have failed. Cannot these experiences of the absence of God be used by atheists to counter the theistic argument based on experience of the presence of God?
CS Lewis is certainly right to suppose that in considering the question of whether miracles exist there is a danger that one will appear to a priori arguments and assumptions. But the solution to this problem is not to decide on naturalism or supernaturalism beforehand. Rather, one must attempt to reject the a priori arguments and instead base one's position on inductive considerations. Lewis has not shown that this is impossible. Thus he has not shown that one must choose between naturalism and supernaturalism before investigating the possibility of miracles.
As the astronomer rejoices in new knowledge which compels him to give up the dignity of our globe as the centre, the pride, and even the final cause of the universe, so do those who have escaped from the Christian mythology enjoy their release from the superstition which fails to make them happy, fails to make them good, fails to make them wise, and has become as great an obstacle in the way of progress as the prior mythologies which it took the place of two thousand years ago.
I would not exchange my freedom from old superstition, if I were to be burned at the stake next month, for all the peace and quiet of orthodoxy, if I must take the orthodoxy with peace and quiet.
I hope and believe my co-religionists understand and admit that I disclaim their theology in toto, and that by no twisting of language or darkening of its meanings can I be made to have any thing whatever in common with them about religious matters.... they must take my word for it that there is nothing in common between their theology and my philosophy.
Religion is a temper, not a pursuit.
The clergy complain of the enormous spread of bold books, from the infidel tract to the latest handling of the miracle question.
My business in life has been to think and learn, and to speak out with absolute freedom what I have thought and learned. The freedom is itself a positive and never-failing enjoyment to me, after the bondage of my early life.
There is no theory of a God, of an author of nature, of an origin of the Universe, which is not utterly repugnant to my facilities; which is not (to my feelings) so irrelevant as to make me blush; so misleading as to make me mourn.
I certainly had no idea how little faith Christians have in their own faith till I saw how ill their courage and temper can stand any attack on it.
The lesson taught us by these kindly commentators on my present experience is that dogmatic faith compels the best minds and hearts to narrowness and insolence.
My own feeling of concern arises from seeing how much moral injury and suffering is created by the superstitions of the Christian mythology.
I certainly never believed, more or less, in the "essential doctrines" of Christianity, which represent God as the predestinator of men to sin and perdition, and Christ as their rescuer from that doom. I never was more or less behuiled by the trickery of language by which the perdition of man is made out to be justice, and his redemption to be mercy.
It is clear however that a Christianity which never was received as a scheme of salvation, -- which never was regarded as essential to salvation, -- which might be treated, in respect to its records, at the will and pleasure of each believer, -- which is next declared to be independent of its external evidences, because those evidences are found to be untenable, -- and which is finally subjected in its doctrines, as in its letter, to the interpretation of each individual, -- must cease to be a faith, and become a matter of speculation, of spiritual convenience, and of intellectual and moral taste.... But at length I recognised the monstrous superstition in its true character of a great fact in the history of the race, and found myself, with the last link of my chan snapped, -- a free rover on the broad, bright breezy common of the universe.
1. In the 19th century, opium was widely used for medical purposes as a painkiller, and did not connote a delusionary state of consciousness. Thus it is in the sense of making suffering bearable, not the sense of a drug-induced delusion that Marx uses the term here. Possible misunderstanding is promoted in some translations which render this phrase as the “opium for the people” rather than “of ” the people. — MIA editors.
That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forebearance, love, and charity towards each other.
[I]t is contrary to the principles of reason and justice that any should be compelled to contribute to the maintenance of a church with which their consciences will not permit them to join, and from which they can derive no benefit; for remedy whereof, and that equal liberty as well religious as civil, may be universally extended to all the good people of this commonwealth.
Life has no meaning beyond this reality. But people keep searching for excuses. First there
was reincarnation. Then refabrication. Now there's theories of life after amoebas, after death, between death, around death. Now you come back as a shirt, as a pair of pants. If Shirley MacLaine tells some brilliant guy, "There's an
ethereal planet that sits right next to a delicatessen in Ethiopia and if you go shop there twice a day, you'll live forever," this putz believes it because he needs an answer from somebody. People call it truth, religion; I call it insanity,
the denial of death as the basic truth of life. "What is the meaning of life?" is a stupid question. Life just exists. You say to yourself, "I can't accept that I mean nothing so I have to find the meaning of life so that I shouldn't mean
as little as I know I do." Subconsciously you know you're full of shit. I see life as a dance. Does a dance have to have a meaning? You're dancing because you enjoy it.
They must find it difficult... Those who have taken authority as the truth, rather than
truth as the authority.
Edgar Lee Masters (1869-1950)
Many books have been written to show that Christianity has emasculated the world, that it shoved aside the enlightenment and wisdom of Hellas for a doctrine of superstition and ignorance.
The Typical American?
Poem about Robert Green Ingersoll
Poem for R G Ingersoll
Poems about Clarence Darrow
On a Bust
Darrow 2 (unpublished)
No egoism is so insufferable as that of the Christian with regard to his soul.
I thought it was only in revealed religion that a mistranslation improved the sense.
I cannot believe in a God that has neither honor nor common sense.
The mystic sees the ineffable, and the psychopathologist the unspeakable.
You know, of course, that the Tasmanians, who never committed adultery, are now extinct.
What mean and cruel things men do for the love of God.
There is no explanation for evil. It must be looked upon as a necessary part of the order of the universe. To ignore it is childish, to bewail it senseless.
Suffering did not ennoble; it degraded. It made men selfish, mean, petty and suspicious. It absorbed them in small things ... it made them less than men.
Hypocrisy is the most difficult and nerve-racking vice that any man can pursue; it needs an unceasing vigilance and a rare detachment of spirit. It cannot, like adultery or gluttony, be practised at spare moments; it is a whole-time job.
Tolerance is only another name for indifference.
What does democracy come down to? The persuasive power of slogans invented by wily self-seeking politicians.
Through the history of the world there have always been exploiters and exploited. There always will be ... because the great mass of men are made by nature to be slaves, they are unfit to control themselves, and for their own good need masters.
A dictator ... must fool all the people all the time and there's only one way to do that, he must also fool himself.
The artist can within limits make what he likes of his life.... It is only the artist, and maybe the criminal, who can make his own.
The arguments for immortality, weak when you take them one by one, are no more cogent when you take them together.... For my part, I cannot see how consciousness can persist when its physical basis has been destroyed, and I am too sure of the interconnection of my body and my mind to think that any survival of my my consciousness apart from my body would be in any sense a survival of myself.
Now the answer ... is plain, but it is so unpalatable that most men will not face it. There is no reason for life and life has no meaning.
I am sick of this way of life. The weariness and sadness of old age make it intolerable. I have walked with death in hand, and death's own hand is warmer than my own. I don't wish to live any longer.
The great tragedy of life is not that men perish, but that they cease to love.
Since Christendom comprehends only a small part of the globe, should not everyone who believes in God be saved by his own religion?
The King of France is called the Most Christian King, but this does him an injustice, for he never did a Christian thing.... The Pope is called His Holiness but he is the biggest scoundrel on earth.
If we are ever to discover the laws of nature, we must do so by obtaining the most accurate acquaintance with the facts of nature, and not by dressing up in philosophical language the loose opinions of men who had no knowledge of the facts which throw most light on these laws. And as for those who introduce ethereal or other media to account for these actions, without any direct evidence of the existence of such media, or any clear understanding of how the media do their work, and who fill all space three and four times over with aethers of different sorts, why the less these men talk about their philosophical scruples about admitting action at a distance the better.
Unlike evolution, intelligent design can't be tested or demonstrated experimentally, because it presumes what it purports to prove -- so it's really no more scientific than its threadbare cousin, creationism.
Evolution, as such, is no longer a theory for a modern author. It is as much a fact as that the earth revolves around the sun.
The Subtle Fulmination of the Encircled Sea
Please Feel Free
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