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Meditation 83
Quotations III

"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 post a selection occasionally. This is the third in an ongoing series.

  1. We are all looking for rational reasons for believing in the absurd. Lawrence Durrell

  2. Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich. Napoleon

  3. Which is it: is man one of God's blunders or is God one of man's? Nietzsche

  4. Millions long for immortality who don't know what to do on a rainy Sunday afternoon. Susan Ertz

  5. At first I wanted to be a missionary, then I met one. Dr. T. Barry Brazelton

  6. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

  7. It is easier to suppose that the universe has existed for all eternity than to conceive a being beyond its limits capable of creating it. Percy Bysshe Shelley

  8. We may define "faith" as the firm belief in something for which there is no evidence. Where there is evidence, no one speaks of "faith." We do not speak of faith that two and two are four or that the earth is round. We only speak of faith when we wish to substitute emotion for evidence. The substitution of emotion for evidence is apt to lead to strife, since different groups substitute different emotions. Bertrand Russell

  9. The doctrine that the earth is neither the center of the universe nor immovable, but moves even with a daily rotation, is absurd, and both philosophically and theologically false, and at the least an error of faith. Catholic Church's decision against Galileo

  10. Where prayer, amulets and incantations work, it is only a manifestation of the patient's belief. Hippocrates

  11. He who begins by loving Christianity better than truth will proceed by loving his own sect better than Christianity and end in loving himself better than all. Samuel Taylor Coleridge

  12. To put it as simply as possible: I am not a Muslim. I do not accept the charge of apostasy, because I have never in my adult life affirmed any belief, and what one has not affirmed one cannot be said to have apostatized from. The Islam I know states clearly that "there can be no coercion in matters of religion." The many Muslims I respect would be horrified by the idea that they belong to their faith purely by virtue of birth, and that a person who freely chose not to be a Muslim could therefore be put to death. Salman Rushdie

  13. Man makes himself, and he only makes himself completely in proportion as he desacrilizes himself and the world. The sacred is the prime obstacle to his freedom. He will become himself only when he is totally demysticized. He will not be truly free until he has killed the last god. Mircea Eliade

  14. If wisdom and diamonds grew on the same tree we could soon tell how much men loved wisdom. Lemuel K. Washburn

  15. I had to set limits to knowledge in order to make place for faith. Immanuel Kant

  16. Life in Lubbock, Texas, taught me two things: One is that God loves you and you're going to burn in hell. The other is that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on earth and you should save it for someone you love. Butch Hancock

  17. If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice. Meister Eckhart

  18. I am constantly asked: "What can you, with your cold rationalism, offer to the seeker after salvation that is comparable to the cozy, home-like comfort of a fenced dogmatic creed?" To this the answer is many-sided. In the first place, I do not say that I can offer as much happiness as is to be obtained by the abdication of reason. I do not say that I can offer as much happiness as is to be obtained from drink or drugs or amassing great wealth by swindling widows and orphans. It is not the happiness of the individual convert that concerns me; it is the happiness of mankind. If you genuinely desire the happiness of mankind, certain forms of ignoble personal happiness are not open to you. If your child is ill, and you are a conscientious parent, you accept medical diagnosis, however doubtful and discouraging; if you accept the cheerful opinion of a quack and your child consequently dies, you are not excused by the pleasantness of belief in the quack while it lasted. Bertrand Russell

  19. It ain't the parts of the Bible that I can't understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand. Mark Twain

  20. I don't know if God exists, but it would be better for His reputation if He didn't. Jules Renard