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The skeptic does not mean him who doubts, but him who investigates or researches, as opposed to him who asserts and thinks that he has found.
Hell has been conceived as a police institution, to inspire fear in this world. But the worst of it all is that it no longer frightens anyone, and therefore it will have to be closed down.
At times to be silent is to lie. You will win because you have enough brute force. But you will not convince. For to convince you need to persuade. And in order to persuade you would need what you lack: Reason and Right.
The so-called rational doctrine of the substantiality and spirituality of the soul, along with all the apparatus accompanying it, is a doctrine born of man's need to base upon reason his undeniable longing for immortality and his consequent belief in this immortality. All the sophistries which aim at proving that the soul is simple and incorruptible substance stem from this source. Further, the very concept of substance itself, as defined and fixed by Scholasticism, a concept which does not bear criticism, is a theological concept specifically designed to sustain faith in the immortality of the soul.
There is no argument worthy of the name that will justify the union of the Christian religion with the State. Every consideration of justice and equality forbids it ... Every sentiment of honor, every manly feeling, a righteous indignation at injustice. a determination to submit to no religious intolerance, love of peace and the welfare and prosperity of our country, with an ardent and unfaltering attachment to republican institutions -- all combine to induce us to demand a separation of Church and State, total and complete, now, henceforth, and forever.
Thankful for all the blessings that have been secured to us by the struggles and sacrifices of our fathers, let us show our gratitude and pay the debt we owe them to those who shall come after us, by adding to what we have received in strengthening the foundations of freedom, so that no fury of religious fanaticism will ever be able to destroy them. Long live the Republic! May she continue to grow in greatness and grandeur till her light and glory shall fill the earth.
Whenever religion touches science, it gets burned. In the sixteen century astronomy, in the seventeenth microbiology, in the eighteenth geology and paleontology, in the nineteenth Darwin's biology all grotesquely extended the world-frame and sent churchmen scurrying for cover in ever smaller, more shadowy nooks, little gloomy ambiguous caves in the psyche where even now neurology is cruelly harrying them, gouging them out from the multifolded brain like wood lice from under the woodpile. Barth had been right: totaliter aliter. Only by placing God totally on the other side of the humanly understandable can any final safety for Him be secured.
The guarantee that our self enjoys an intended relation to the outer world is most, if not all, we ask from religion. God is the self projected onto reality by our natural and necessary optimism. He is the not-me personified.
Beliefs are what divide people. Doubt unites them.
The habit of religion is oppressive, an easy way out of thought.
I believe that the Jews have made a contribution to the human condition out of all proportion to their numbers: I believe them to be an immense people. Not only have they supplied the world with two leaders of the stature of Jesus Christ and Karl Marx, but they have even indulged in the luxury of following neither one nor the other.
There is no question but that if Jesus Christ ... were to come back today, he would find it virtually impossible to convince anyone of his credentials despite the fact that the vast evangelical machine on American television is predicated on His imminent return among us sinners.
The truth is really an ambition which is beyond us.
Once we are destined to live out our lives in the prison of our mind, our one duty is to furnish it well.
The Subtle Fulmination of the Encircled Sea
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