Positive Atheism's Big List of Quotations

Rou-Ru  •
S-San  •
Sar-Sc  •

 

Se-Sha

 

•  She-Shr
•  Si-So
•  Sp-Ste

     • No-Frames Quotes Index
     • Load This File With Frames Index
     • 
Home to Positive Atheism

PAMBLOQ Rules! Yesss!!

John Selden (1584-1654)
English jurist and scholar

John Selden, (portrait: oil painting, unknown artist; National Portrait Gallery, London)The Clergy would have us believe them against our own reason, as the woman would have had her husband against his own eyes, when he took her with another man, which she yet stoutly denied: "What, will you believe your own eyes before your own sweet wife?"
-- John Selden, Table Talk (1689), quoted from Jonathon Green, The Cassell Dictionary of Cynical Quotations

Thou little thinkest what a little foolery governs the world.
-- John Selden, regarding the Pope, in Table Talk (1689), quoted from John Bartlett, Familiar Quotations, (10th ed. 1919)

Never king dropped out of the clouds.
-- John Selden, Table Talk (1689), quoted from John Bartlett, Familiar Quotations, (10th ed. 1919)

PAMBLOQ Rules! Yesss!!

Etta Semple (1855-1914)
Freethought publisher of The Freethought Ideal

It has been claimed by many that Freethought does away with churches, creeds, Christs and even a God. So it does to a certain extent, but not as feared by Christians. Freethought has never said pull down your churches, burn up your creeds, crucify your savior or reject your god. No one ever knew a Freethinker to try to make laws to control people. All their efforts have been the other way, trying to tear down laws already made which control by "Thou shalt" and "thou shalt not."
-- Etta Semple, "Liberty of Conscience Is All That We Ask," an editorial appearing in Stemple's publication, The Freethought Ideal (ca. 1898), quoted from Annie Laurie Gaylor, Women Without Superstition, p. 325

If those who oppose Freethought did not strive to force all to think as they do, accept Christ by faith, believe the bible to be infallible, keep Sunday as a holy day, and work for a future reward, then our fight would be at an end instantly. Liberty of Conscience is all we ask -- not control of any class, creed, or sect.
-- Etta Semple, "Liberty of Conscience Is All That We Ask," an editorial appearing in Stemple's publication, The Freethought Ideal (ca. 1898), quoted from Annie Laurie Gaylor, Women Without Superstition, p. 325

Every true Freethinker accords to each individual the right to mental freedom. Where this freedom leads is no concern of others so long as it encroaches not upon their rights.
-- Etta Semple, "Liberty of Conscience Is All That We Ask," an editorial appearing in Stemple's publication, The Freethought Ideal (ca. 1898), quoted from Annie Laurie Gaylor, Women Without Superstition, p. 325

If I deny the existence of a God -- if I deny the idea of a gold paved city with pearly walls and jasper gates somewhere out of knowledge and space and prefer to die and to trust the unfaltering laws of nature -- if, in plain words I don't want to go to heaven, whose business is it but my own?
-- Etta Semple, "Liberty of Conscience Is All That We Ask," an editorial appearing in Stemple's publication, The Freethought Ideal (ca. 1898), quoted from Annie Laurie Gaylor, Women Without Superstition, p. 325

PAMBLOQ Rules! Yesss!!

Seneca (ca. 5 BCE to CE 65)
Roman writer, philosopher, statesman

    • See Seneca's Scarier Pronouncements

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful.
-- Seneca, quoted from Famous Dead Non-theists

It is the characteristic of a weak and diseased mind to fear the unfamiliar.
-- Seneca, Moral Epistles

There is this blessing, that while life has but one entrance, it has exits innumerable, and as I choose the house in which I live, the ship in which I will sail, so will I choose the time and manner of my death.
-- Seneca, quoted by Ingersoll

Just as I shall select my ship when I am about to go on a voyage, or my house when I propose to take a residence, so I shall choose my death when I am about to depart from life.
-- Seneca, Epistulae ad Lucilium, Epistle 70, sct. 11, from The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations

Nature made us relatives when it begat us from the same material and for the same destinies. She planted in us a mutual love, and fitted us for a social life.
-- Seneca, quoted from Joseph Lewis, The Ten Commandments (p. 571-2)

PAMBLOQ Rules! Yesss!!

George Serban, MD
American psychiatrist

Empirical thinking leads to a basically objective view of the world, belief leads to a view of the world in which the distinction between objective and subjective is blurred.... Thus, cause is apt to be mistaken for effect, the wish confused with its fulfillment, the symbol with the thing.
-- George Serban, MD, The Tyranny Of Magical Thinking (1982), thanks to Laird Wilcox, ed, "The Degeneration of Belief"

One pattern is a tendency toward intolerance of ambiguity. An individual may develop a propensity to perceive and evaluate things only as falling into definite categories, and be unable to distinguish nuances or intermediate grades.
-- George Serban, MD, The Tyranny Of Magical Thinking (1982), thanks to Laird Wilcox, ed, "The Degeneration of Belief"

PAMBLOQ Rules! Yesss!!

Anne Sexton (1928-1974)
American poet

And what of the dead? They lie without shoes
     in their stone boats. They are more like stone
than the sea would be if it stopped. They refuse
     to be blessed, throat, eye and knucklebone.
-- Anne Sexton, "The Truth the Dead Know"

PAMBLOQ Rules! Yesss!!

Sextus Empericus (ca. 4th century BCE)
Greek philosopher; proponent of Pyrrhonistic "suspension of judgment"

That [God] does not exist is the contention of those who are nicknamed "atheists," such as Euhemerus and Diagoras of Melos, and Prodicus of Ceos, and Theodorus, and multitudinous others. Of these Euhemerus said that those who were believed to be gods were actually certain men of power who for this reason had been deified by the others, and then were thought to be gods. Prodicus said that whatever benefits life was understood to be God -- things such as sun, moon, rivers, lakes, meadows, crops and everything of that kind.... And Critias ... seems to be from the ranks of the atheists when he says that the lawgivers of ancient times invented God as a kind of overseer of the right and wrong actions of men. Their purpose was to prevent anyone from wronging his neighbors secretly, as he would incur the risk of vengeance at the hands of the gods.... Theodorus, "the Atheist," is also in agreement with these men, and according to some, Protagoras of Abdera. The former, in his treatise On Gods, demolished with various arguments the theological beliefs of the Greeks, while Protagoras in one passage wrote expressly: "In regard to the gods I can say neither whether they exist nor of what sort they are, for many are the things that prevent me." The Athenians condemned him to death for this, but he escaped, and then perished, lost at sea.... And Epicurus, according to some, leaves God undisputed when addressing himself to the public, but not where the real nature of things is the issue.
-- Sextus, describing several atheists who preceeded him (about whom we know little besides what Sextus and Cicero wrote about them), quoted from George H Smith, Why Atheism? (2000) p. 175-6

PAMBLOQ Rules! Yesss!!

Butler D Shaffer
American law professor

What advocates of any form of censorship fail to understand is that a society of free and intelligent human beings must rest upon the premise that minds be free to think about, read about and talk about society.-- Butler D Shaffer, quoted from Wichita Falls Coalition Against Censorship, "Fighting Words"

Every religion or cause grows out of a desire either to make one’s own life more effortless, or to control and manipulate other people in order to enforce behavior in conformity with the expectations of the true believers.
-- Butler D Shaffer, Calculated Chaos, (1985), thanks to Laird Wilcox, ed, "The Degeneration of Belief"

We preoccupy ourselves so much with changing the lives of others not out of proclaimed sentiments of selfless human charity, but out of our selfish desire to validate our own identities. There is, of course, enormous ego gratification in the exercise of power over other people, but such satisfaction is rooted in our need to have others believe and behave as we do.-- Butler D Shaffer, Calculated Chaos, (1985), thanks to Laird Wilcox, ed, "The Degeneration of Belief"

PAMBLOQ Rules! Yesss!!

William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
English playwright and poet whose body of works is considered the greatest in English literature

William Shakespeare                         In religion,
What damned error but some sober brow
Will bless it, and approve it with a text,
Hiding the grossness with fair ornament?
-- Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, Act 3, Scene 2

Thrust your head into the public street, to gaze on Christian fools with varnish'd faces.
-- Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, Act 2, Scene 5, quoted from James A Haught, ed, 2000 Years of Disbelief

Methinks sometimes I have no more wit than a Christian.
-- Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, Act 1, Scene 3, quoted from James A Haught, ed, 2000 Years of Disbelief

His worst fault is, he's given to prayer; he is something peevish that way.
-- Shakespeare, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Act 1, Scene 4

I always thought it was both impious and unnatural that such immanity and bloody strife should reign among professors of one faith.
-- Shakespeare, I Henry VI, Act 5, Scene I, quoted from James A Haught, ed, 2000 Years of Disbelief

It is a heretic that makes the fire, not she which burns in it.
-- Shakespeare, The Winter's Tale, Act 2, Scene 3, quoted from Albert J Menendez and Edd Doerr, The Great Quotations on Religious Freedom

Modest doubt is call'd the beacon of the wise.
-- Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida, Act 2, Scene 2, quoted from James A Haught, ed, 2000 Years of Disbelief

We are such stuff as dreams are made of, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.
-- Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act 4, Scene 1

I will be flesh and blood.
For there was never yet philosopher
That could endure the tooth ache patiently,
However they have writ the syle of gods
And made a pish at chance and sufferance.
-- Shakespeare, commenting on what we might today call the "Intelligent Design" hypothesis, in Much Ado About Nothing, Vi.

William ShakespeareTomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death.
Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more; it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing.
     -- Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act 5, Scene 5, quoted from James A Haught, ed, 2000 Years of Disbelief

PAMBLOQ Rules! Yesss!!

Samuel Sharp (1799-1881)
English banker who, upon retirement, turned to biblical studies and later became a well-respected though self-taught Egyptologist; books include Egyptian Inscriptions (two editions, 1836 and 1856) and History of Egypt from the Earliest Times till AD 640 (six editions, 1846 through 1876)

We have a hieroglyphical inscription in the British Museum as early as the reign of Sevechus of the eighth century before the Christian era, showing that the doctrine of Trinity in Unity already formed part of their religion and that ... the three gods only made one person.
-- Samuel Sharp, in Egyptian Mythology, p 14, quoted from John E Remsberg, The Christ, p. 388

We have the Annunciation, the Conception, the Birth and the Adoration, as described in the first and second chapters of Luke's gospel; and as we have historical assurance that the chapters in Matthew's gospel which contain the miraculous birth are an after addition not in the earliest manuscripts, it seems probable that these two poetical chapters in Luke may also be unhistorical, and borrowed from the Egyptian accounts of the miraculous births of their kings.
-- Samuel Sharp, Egyptian Mythology, quoted from John G Jackson, Pagan Origins of the Christ Myth (1941)

PAMBLOQ Rules! Yesss!!

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)
Irish-born British playwright and a founder of the Fabian Society, he wrote plays of iconoclastic social criticism

George Bernard ShawThe fact that a believer is happier than a sceptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.
-- George Bernard Shaw, Androcles and the Lion, Preface (1916)

We know now that the soul is the body, and the body the soul. They tell us they are different because they want to persuade us that we can keep our souls if we let them make slaves of our bodies.
-- George Bernard Shaw, Ellie, in Heartbreak House, act 2

Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.
-- George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, "Maxims for Revolutionists: Liberty and Equality" (1903)

He is a barbarian, and thinks that the customs of his tribe and island are the laws of nature.
-- George Bernard Shaw, Caesar, in Caesar and Cleopatra, act 2

The early Christian rules of life were not made to last, because the early Christians did not believe that the world itself was going to last.
-- George Bernard Shaw, Hotchkiss, in Getting Married

Why should we take advice on sex from the pope? If he knows anything about it, he shouldn't!.
-- George Bernard Shaw
, (attributed: source unknown)

What a man believes may be ascertained, not from his creed, but from the assumptions on which habitually acts.
-- George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman (1903), thanks to Laird Wilcox, ed, "The Degeneration of Belief"

PAMBLOQ Rules! Yesss!!

PAMBLOQ Rules! Yesss!!

PAMBLOQ Rules! Yesss!!

 

The Subtle Fulmination of the Encircled Sea

Please Feel Free
to Grab a Quote
(or Maybe Three)

Grab some quotes to embellish your web site,
to use as filler for your group's newsletter,
or to add force to your Letters to the Editor.

Use them to introduce the chapters of a book or
accent the index or margins of a special project.

Poster your wall!    Graffiti your (own) fence.
Sticker your car!!
Poster your wall.    Graffiti your (own) fence!!!

That's what this list is for!
That's why I made it!

In using this resource, however, keep in mind that
it's someone's life's work, a hedge against old age.

If you decide to build your own online
collection, then find some new material!
Dig up quips that haven't yet been posted!

 

AndCopy Graphic Rule

 
 

Biographical sketches, source citations, notes, critical editing, layout, and HTML formatting are copyright ©1995–2008, by Cliff Walker, except where noted.

 
 

AndCopy Graphic Rule

 

There's something to be said
for doing your own work.

 

PAMBLOQ Rules! Yesss!!