Positive Atheism's Big List of Quotations
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There is no God. Nature sufficeth unto herself; in no wise hath she need of an author.
The idea of God is the sole wrong for which I cannot forgive mankind.
It is not the opinions or the vices of private individuals that are harmful to the State, but rather the behavior of public figures.
If Nature denies eternity to beings, it follows that their destruction is one of her laws. Now, once we observe that destruction is so useful to her that she absolutely cannot dispense with it ... from this moment onward the idea of annihilation which we attach to death ceases to be real ... what we call the end of the living animal is no longer a true finis, but a simple transformation, a transmutation of matter. According to these irrefutable principles, death is hence no more than a change of form, an imperceptible passage from one existence into another.
Imperious, choleric, irascible, extreme in everything, with a dissolute imagination the like of which has never been seen, atheistic to the point of fanaticism, there you have me in a nutshell, and kill me again or take me as I am, for I shall not change.
Check our Big List of Carl Sagan Quotations
The method of science is tried and true. It is not perfect, it's just the best we have. And to abandon it, with it's skeptical protocols is the pathway to a dark age.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
If we long to believe that the stars rise and set for us, that we are the reason there is a Universe, does science do us a disservice in deflating our conceits?
In science it often happens that scientists say, "You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken," and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion.
If some good evidence for life after death were announced, I'd be eager to examine it; but it would have to be real scientific data, not mere anecdote.... Better the hard truth, I say, than the comforting fantasy.
In the middle 1970s an astronomer I admire put together a modest manifesto called “Objections to Astrology” and asked me to endorse it. I struggled with his wording, and in the end found myself unable to sign, not because I thought astrology has any validity whatever, but because I felt (and still feel) that the tone of the statement was authoritarian.
In Italy, the Inquisition was condemning people to death until the end of the eighteenth century, and inquisitional torture was not abolished in the Catholic Church until 1816. The last bastion of support for the reality of witchcraft and the necessity of punishment has been the Christian churches.
Our loyalties are to the species and the planet. We speak for Earth. Our obligation to survive is owed not just to ourselves but also to that Cosmos, ancient and vast, from which we spring.
Interviewer: "Didn't [Sagan] want to believe?"
Demagoguery enters at the moment when, for want of a common denominator, the principle of equality degenerates into the principle of identity.
He spends his life explaining from his pulpit that the glory of Christianity consists in the fact that though it is not true it has been found necessary to invent it.
The existence of a world without God seems to me less absurd than the presence of a God, existing in all his perfection, creating an imperfect man in order to make him run the risk of Hell.
Without doubt the greatest injury of all was done by basing morals on myth. For, sooner or later, myth is recognized for what it is, and disappears. Then morality loses the foundation on which it has been built.
To work hard, to live hard, to die hard, and then to go to hell after all would be too damned hard.
Margaret Sanger (1879-1966)
I wanted each woman to be a rebellious Vashti, not an Esther.
No Gods -- No Masters.
Towards orthodox religion, father's own attitude remained one of tolerance. He looked upon the New Testament as the noble story of a human being which, because of ignorance and the lack of printing presses, had become exaggerated. He maintained that religions served their purpose; some people depended on them all their lives to make them honest. Others did not need to be so held in line. But subjection to any church was a reflection on strength and character. You should be able to get from yourself what you had to go go church for.
None of us realized how the Ingersoll episode was to affect our well-being. Thereafter we were known as children of the devil. On our way to school names were shouted, tongues stuck out, grimaces made; the juvenile stamp of disapproval had been set upon us. But we had been so steeped in "heretic" notions that we were not particularly bothered by this and could not see ahead into the dark future when a hard childhood was to be made harder. No more marble angels were to be carved for local Catholic cemeteries, and, while father's income was diminishing, the family was increasing.
H G Wells: Sanger Made Circumstances
"Alexander the Great changed a few boundaries and killed a few men. Both he and Napoleon were forced into fame by circumstances outside of themselves and by currents of the time, but Margaret Sanger made currents and circumstances. When the history of our civilization is written, it will be a biological history and Margaret Sanger will be its heroine."
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
Religion is the natural reaction of the imagination when confronted by the difficulties in a truculent world.
That fear first created the gods is perhaps as true as anything so brief could be on so great a subject.
Faith in the supernatural is a desperate wager made by man at the lowest ebb of his fortunes.
Fanaticism consists in redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim.
For Shakespeare, in the matter of religion, the choice lay between Christianity and nothing. He chose nothing.
My atheism, like that of Spinoza, is true piety toward the universe and denies only gods fashioned by men in their own image, to be servants of their human interests.
There is a kind of courtesy in skepticism. It would be an offense against polite conventions to press our doubts too far.
The Subtle Fulmination of the Encircled Sea
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