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I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.
The Oracle pursued a logical course of confuting theism, and leaving "a-theism" the negative result. It did not, in the absurd terms of common religious propaganda, "deny the existence
of God." It affirmed that God was a term for an existence imagined by man in terms of his own personality and irreducible to any tenable definition. It did not even affirm that "there are no Gods"; it insisted that the onus of proof as
to any God lay with the theist, who could give none compatible with his definitions.
We are incredibly heedless in the formation
of our beliefs, but find ourselves filled with an illicit passion for them when anyone proposes to rob us of their companionship. It is obviously not the ideas themselves that are dear to us, but our self-esteem, which is threatened.
We find it hard to believe that other people' s thoughts are as silly as our own, but they probably are.
Most of our so-called reasoning consists in finding arguments for going on believing as we already do.
Rationalizing is the self-exculpation which occurs when we feel ourselves, or our group, accused of misapprehension or error.
Partisanship is our great curse. We too readily assume that everything has two sides and that it is our duty to be on one or the other.
Freedom is to be obtained in spite of the government rather than through it.
Mediocre minds usually dismiss anything which reaches beyond their own understanding.
There is nothing more horrible than the murder of a beautiful theory by a brutal gang of facts.
Everyone complains of his memory, and no one complains of his judgement.
I do not believe it right for one group to impose its vision of morality on an entire society.
We must question the
story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty Humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes.
Its seems to me -- it's likely that heaven's here right now. If you could take life with its pain and misery, where you fail and you sometimes win, and if you package it into a game, people would pay
a fortune to have this game. And I don't know that I'd want it to be resolved so peacefully that the game would be all over.
Roddenberry Did Not Say This:
"I condemn false prophets, I condemn the effort to take away the power of rational decision, to drain people of their free will -- and a hell of a lot of money
in the bargain. Religions vary in their degree of idiocy, but I reject them all. For most people, religion is nothing more than a substitute for a malfunctioning brain."
I've had people say to me, look at the sky, the fields, the ocean, the beautiful sunset. Isn't that proof positive of God? I reply, "Following that line of thought, look at the magnificent rainbows
after a big rainstorm. Isn't that proof positive that God is gay?"
I do not want church groups controlling the schools of our country. They must remain free.
Anyone who knows history will recognize that the domination of education or of government by any one particular religious faith is never a happy arrangement for the people.
The kind of propaganda that some of the religious groups, aided and abetted by the opposition, put forth in that campaign  utterly disgusted me. If I needed anything
to show me what prejudice can do to the intelligence of human beings that campaign was the best lesson I could have had.
Those of us who believe in the right of any human being to belong to whatever church he sees fit, and to worship God in his own way, cannot be accused of prejudice when we do not want to see public
education connected with religious control of the schools, which are paid for by taxpayers' money.
The separation of church and state is extremely important to any of us who holds to the original traditions of our nation. To change these traditions by changing our traditional attitude toward public
education would be harmful to our whole attitude of tolerance in the religious area. If we look at situations which have arisen in the past in Europe and other world areas, I think we will see the reasons why it is wise to hold to our early traditions.
Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission.
The lessons of religious toleration -- a toleration which recognizes complete liberty of human
thought, liberty of conscience -- is one which, by precept and example, must be inculcated in the hearts and minds of all Americans if the institutions of our democracy are to be maintained and perpetuated.
The public schools shall be free from sectarian influences and, above all, free from any attitude of hostility to the adherents of any particular creed. Franklin D. Roosevelt, quoted in The Wars of
the Godly, by Reuben Maury (1928, p.213)
I hold that in this country there must be complete severance of Church and State; that
public moneys shall not be used for the purpose of advancing any particular creed; and therefore that the public schools shall be nonsectarian and no public moneys appropriated for sectarian schools.
To discriminate against a thoroughly upright citizen because he belongs to some particular church, or because, like Abraham Lincoln, he has not avowed his allegiance to any church, is an outrage against
that liberty of conscience which is one of the foundations of American life.
If there is one thing for which we stand in this country, it is for complete religious freedom, and it is an emphatic negation of this right to cross-examine a man on his religion before being willing
to support him for office.
Because we are unqualifiedly and without reservation against any system of denominational schools, maintained by the adherents of any creed with the help of state aid, therefore, we as strenuously insist
that the public schools shall be free from sectarian influences, and above all, free from any attitude of hostility to the adherents of any particular creed.
I believe that this Republic will endure for many centuries. If so there will doubtless be among its Presidents Protestants and Catholics, and very probably at some time, Jews. I have consistently tried
while President to act in relation to my fellow Americans of Catholic faith as I hope that any future President who happens to be Catholic will act towards his fellow Americans of Protestant faith. Had I followed any other course I should have felt that
I was unfit to represent the American people.
Elihu Root (1845-1937)
It is not a question of religion, or of creed, or of party; it is a question
of declaring and maintaining the great American principle of eternal separation between Church and State.
is as much ignorance as there is concern about intolerance today. The most fully developed literature we have on the subject is that dealing with race and ethnicity. Although of critical importance in its own right, this literature also provides a necessary
foundation for our engagement of other "others" -- e.g., gender, faith, class, sexual preference.
Part of it is a reflection of the national politics. There's been an increasing vigor and a sense of empowerment of the right, and I think that's carried over to the mainline denominations. Their conservative
side, which would have either gone underground or been left in the past, says,
"Hey this is as much our denomination as anyone else's, and we're going to stay and fight for it."
I asked God if it was a sin and He didn't say anything.
If God is pleased in making you sick and unhappy, I hate God.
Emancipation from every kind of bondage is my principle. I go for recognition of human rights, without distinction of sect, party, sex, or color.
Agitate! Agitate! Ought to be the motto of every reformer.... Agitation is the opposite of stagnation -- the one is life, the other death.
Ignorance is the evil -- knowledge will be the remedy. Knowledge not of what sort of beings we shall be hereafter, or what is beyond the skies, but a knowledge pertaining to terra firma, and
we may have all the power, goodness and love that we have been taught belongs to God himself.
And when your minister asks you for money for missionary purposes, tell him there are higher, and holier, and nobler missions to be performed at home. When he asks for colleges to educate ministers,
tell him you must educate woman, that she may do away with the necessity of ministers, so that they may be able to go to some useful employment.
For my part, I see no need to appeal to any written authority, particularly when it is so obscure and indefinite as to admit different interpretations. When the inhabitants of Boston converted their
harbor into a teapot rather than submit to unjust taxes, they did not go to the Bible for their authority; for if they had, they would have been told from the same authority to "give unto Caesar what belonged to Caesar." Had the people, when
they rose in the might of their right to throw off the British yoke, appealed to the Bible for authority, it would have answered them, "Submit to the powers that be, for they are from God," No! on Human Rights and Freedom, on a subject that
is as self-evident as that two and two make four, there is no need of any written authority.
As we believe our case to be based on truth, we know it can bear the test of reason, and, like gold doubly refined, will come out purer and brighter from the fiery ordeal. The young man [a male opponent
in the audience] ... based his principal argument against us, "Because," said he, "you can bring no authority from revelation or from nature." ... It is true we do not go to revelations written in books; but ours is older than all
books, ... That revelation is no less than the living, breathing, thinking, feeling, acting revelation manifested in the nature of woman. In her manifold powers, capacities, needs, hopes, and aspirations, lies her title-deed, and whether that revelation
was written by nature or nature's God, matters not, for here it is. No one can disprove it. No one can bring an older, broader, higher, and more sacred basis for human rights. Do you tell me what Paul or Peter says on the subject? Then again I reply that
our claims do not rest on the opinions of any one, not even on those of Paul and Peter, for they are older than they. Books and opinions, no matter from whom they came, if they are in opposition to human rights, are nothing but dead letters.
All that I can tell you is, that I used my humble powers to the uttermost, and raised my voice in behalf of Human Rights in general, and the elevation and Rights of Woman in particular, nearly all my
life.... Yet in spite of hardships, for it was not easy to travel at that time as now; and the expense, as I never made a charge or took up a collection, I look back to that time, when a stranger and alone, I went from place to place, in high-ways and
by-ways, did the work and paid my bills with great pleasure and satisfaction; for the cause gained ground, and in spite of heresies I had always good audiences, attentive listeners, and was well received wherever I went.
With no description or definition to work from, we will literally fail to know what we are talking about.
The establishment of religious freedom was no less momentous an achievement than the clearing of the great forest or the winning of independence, for the twin doctrines of separation of church and state
and liberty of individual conscience are the marrow of our democracy, if not indeed America's most magnificent contribution to the freeing of Western man.
Although is had its share of strenuous Christians... the gathering at Philadelphia was largely made up of men in whom the old fires were under control or had even flickered out. Most were nominally
members of one of the traditional churches in their part of the country.. and most were men who could take their religion or leave it alone. Although no one in this sober gathering would have dreamed of invoking the Goddess of Reason, neither would anyone
have dared to proclaim his opinions had the support of the God of Abraham and Paul. The Convention of 1787 was highly rationalist and even secular in spirit.
The divine is perhaps that quality in man which permits him to endure the lack of God.
What makes our opponents useful is that they allow us to believe that without them we would be able to realize our goals.
God, that checkroom (dépotoir) of our dreams.
Hatred, for the man who is not engaged in it, is a little like the odor of garlic for one who hasn't eaten any.
Stupidity, outrage, vanity, cruelty, iniquity, bad faith, falsehood -- we fail to see the whole array when it is facing in the same direction as we.
Kill a man, one is a murderer; kill a million, a conqueror; kill them all, a God.
I never cease being dumbfounded by the unbelievable things people believe.
The Subtle Fulmination of the Encircled Sea
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