Oppose anything that trespasses on the secular line of the separation of church and state, because civilization begins where the separation of church and state begins. There are no exceptions to that in any country. So it’s in the general interest, as well as your own, that we patrol that line with great vigilance.
Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011)
“We discover in the gospels a groundwork of vulgar ignorance, of things impossible, of superstition, fanaticism and fabrication .” Thomas Jefferson
If I saw no signs of a divinity, I would fix myself in denial.
If I saw everywhere the marks of a Creator, I would repose peacefully in faith.
But seeing too much to deny Him, and too little to assure me, I am in a pitiful state, and I would wish a hundred times that if a God sustains nature it would reveal Him without ambiguity.
We understand nothing of the works of God unless we take i as a principle that He wishes to blind some and to enlighten others.
Pascal, seventh century
“A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.”
I cannot imagine a god who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purpose are modeled after our own – a god, in short, is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither I can believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotism.
And from a recently found letter auction off in June of 2008:
“The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.”
Einstein, who was Jewish and who declined an offer to be the state of Israel’s second president, also rejected the idea that the Jews are God’s favored people.
“For me the Jewish religion like all others is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions. And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people. As far as my experience goes, they are no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything ‘chosen’ about them.”
“Our belief is not a belief. Our principles are not a faith. We do not rely solely upon science and reason, because these are necessary rather than sufficient factors, but we distrust anything that contradicts science or outrages reason.”
“Atheism is not a philosophy; it is not even a view of the world; it is simply an admission of the obvious. In fact, “atheist” is a term that should not ever exist. No one ever needs to identify himself as a “non astrologer” or a “non-alchemist”. We do not have words for people who doubt that Elvis is still alive or that aliens traversed the galaxy only to molest ranchers and their cattle. Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make in the presence of unjustified religious beliefs. An atheist is simply a person who believes that the 260 million Americans (87 percent of the population) claiming to “never doubt the existence of God” should be obliged to present evidence for his existence-and, indeed, for his BENEVOLENCE, given the relentless destruction of innocent human beings we witness in the world each day.”
–Sam Harris, “Letter to a Christian Nation”
“Faith is a cop-out. It is intellectual bankruptcy. If the only way you can accept an assertion is by faith, then you are conceding that it can’t be taken on its own merits.”
–Dan Barker, former evangelist, author, critic
“When I became convinced that the universe is natural, that all the ghosts and gods are myths, there entered into my brain, into my soul, into every drop of my blood the sense, the feeling, the joy of freedom. The walls of my prison crumbled and fell. The dungeon was flooded with light and all the bolts and bars and manacles became dust. I was no longer a servant, a serf, or a slave. There was for me no master in all the wide world, not even in infinite space. I was free–free to think, to express my thoughts–free to live my own ideal, free to live for myself and those I loved, free to use all my faculties, all my senses, free to spread imagination’s wings, free to investigate, to guess and dream and hope, free to judge and determine for myself . . . I was free! I stood erect and fearlessly, joyously faced all worlds.”
–Robert G. Ingersoll
“Although the time of death is approaching me, I am not afraid of dying and going to Hell or (what would be considerably worse) going to the popularized version of Heaven. I expect death to be nothingness and, for removing me from all possible fears of death, I am thankful to atheism.”
–Isaac Asimov, “On Religiosity,” Free Inquiry ††
“You do not need the bible to justify love, but no better tool has been invented to justify hate.”
–Richard A. Weatherwax
“but i choose to believe in christ being my savior because i have to…i think that qualifies for thinking outside the box”
–Christian Flamer, Carlos Rodriguez, 09/15/2006
“Remember then that there is only one important time, and that time is now. The most important one is always the one you are with. And the most important thing is to do good for the one who is standing at your side. For these, my dear boy, are the answers to what is most important in this world. This is why we are here.”
–Jon J. Muth
“I contemplate with sovereign reverence the act of the Whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.”
— Thomas Jefferson, 1802 letter to Danbury Connecticut Baptist Association
“Why should I allow that same God to tell me how to raise my kids, who had to drown His own?”
“How can atheists sue God? It would be rather like me sueing the Easter Bunny.”
–Nameless British Fan of AANR, famed Facebook Christian Apologist, as written on “The Free Sandwich” thread