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Meditation 64
Quotations I

"I hate quotations, tell me what you know." Ralph Waldo Emerson.

But as some people do like quotations and think they can be useful in succinctly communicating an opinion, we will publish a selection occasionally, mostly but not entirely relevant to agnosticism, rationalism, and free thought. This is the first in an apparently unending series. Quotations are now indexed by name and by opening words to assist anyone trying to locate a specific one.

  1. "In this “sacred” book of family scandals we find filth, sex orgies, cannibalism, atrocities, sex perversions, incest, bloody violence unparalleled in any other chronicle in all the literature of the world. Fortunately, not one-third of the human family has ever heard of the Christian Bible; not one-tenth of the Christians have ever read it, and no two who have read it agree as to its meaning. Won’t you help get this book out of the hands of our children, out of decent homes, and out of hotel and motel rooms? " Frank C. Hughes
  2. "Is god willing to prevent evil but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him god?" Epicurus
  3. "My country is the world, and my religion is to do good" Thomas Paine
  4. "Remember your humanity, and forget the rest." - Bertrand Russell
  5. "The difference between a moral man and a man of honor is that the latter regrets a discreditable act even when it has worked." H. L. Mencken
  6. "Religion is for people who are afraid to go to hell. Spirituality is for people who have already been there." Anonymous
  7. "An apology for the devil: it must be remembered that we have heard one side of the case. God has written all the books." Samuel Butler
  8. "The history of mankind will probably show that no people has ever risen above its religion, and man's spiritual history will positively demonstrate that no religion has ever been greater than its idea of God." Tozer
  9. "The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike." Delo McKown
  10. Faith is a euphemism for prejudice and religion is a euphemism for superstition. Paul Keller
  11. Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful. Lucius Amaeus Seneca
  12. It is an incredible con job when you think of it, to believe something now in exchange for a life after death. Even corporations, with all their reward systems, don't try to make it posthumous. Gloria Steinem
  13. I have found Christian dogma unintelligible. Early in life, I absented myself from Christian assemblies. Benjamin Franklin
  14. In dark ages people are best guided by religion, as in pitch-black night a blind man is the best guide; he knows the roads and paths better than a man who can see. When daylight comes, however, it is foolish to use blind, old men as guides. Heinrich Heine
  15. 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. Eleanor Roosevelt
  16. Losing my faith was the most spiritual thing that ever happened to me. Julia Sweeney
  17. I wish to propose for the reader’s favourable consideration a doctrine which may, I fear, appear wildly paradoxical and subversive. The doctrine in question is this: that it is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true.
    Bertrand Russell
  18. I am free of all prejudices. I hate everyone equally. W. C. Fields
  19. First, prove to me objectively that there is a god, any god. Only then do we need to discuss which particular theistic religion, cult, sect, or denomination happens to have the minor details correct. John Tyrrell
  20. They say there's a heaven for those who will wait.
    Some say it's better but I say it ain't.
    I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints.
    Sinners are much more fun...
    And only the good die young.

    Billy Joel, Only the Good Die Young