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Meditation 152
Quotations XII

"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 twelfth in an ongoing series. Quotations are now indexed to assist anyone trying to locate a specific one.

  1. The greatest development in modern religion is not a religion at all - it's an attitude best described as "apatheism," Jonathan Rauch

  2. Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live. Oscar Wilde

  3. Give to every other human being every right that you claim for yourself - that is my doctrine. Thomas Paine

  4. There are many who have grave scruples about deceiving but think it as nothing to deceive themselves. Eric Hoffer

  5. The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. George Bernard Shaw

  6. A major function of fundamentalist religion is to bolster deeply insecure and fearful people. This is done by justifying a way of life with all of its defining prejudices. It thereby provides an appropriate and legitimate outlet for one's anger. The authority of an inerrant Bible that can be readily quoted to buttress this point of view becomes an essential ingredient to such a life. When that Bible is challenged, or relativized, the resulting anger proves the point categorically. Bishop John Shelby Spong

  7. I'm a firm believer in God himself, but that's as far as I can go. I'm not any denomination. I'm not Catholic or Presbyterian or Baptist or Methodist or Jewish or Muslim. I'm none of those things. And I'm sure that's just fine with God. Ray Charles

  8. There comes a point when a man must refuse to answer to his leader if he is also to answer to his own conscience. Hartley Shawcross

  9. The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches, but to reveal to him his own. Benjamin Disraeli

  10. Many people genuinely do not wish to be saints, and it is probable that some who achieve or aspire to sainthood have never felt much temptation to be human beings. George Orwell

  11. Shall I give you my recipe for happiness? I find everything useful and nothing indispensable. I find everything wonderful and nothing miraculous. I reverence the body. I avoid first causes like the plague. Norman Douglas

  12. I feel most ministers who claim they've heard God's voice are eating too much pizza before they go to bed at night, and it's really an intestinal disorder, not a revelation. Jerry Falwell

  13. Making fun of born-again Christians is like hunting dairy cows with a high-powered rifle and scope. P.J. O’Rourke

  14. I have little confidence in any enterprise or business or investment that promises dividends only after the death of the stockholders. Robert G. Ingersoll

  15. Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is a ridiculous one. Voltaire

  16. It has been fifty and six years since I read the Apocalypse, and I then considered it merely the ravings of a maniac. Thomas Jefferson

  17. Religion is a mere question of geography. Edward Gibbon

  18. God is the immemorial refuge of the incompetent, the helpless, the miserable. They find not only sanctuary in His arms, but also a kind of superiority, soothing to their macerated egos; He will set them above their betters. H.L. Mencken

  19. If you want to save your child from polio, you can pray or you can inoculate. Carl Sagan

  20. Once people get hung up on theology, they've lost sanity forever. More people have been killed in the name of Jesus Christ than any other name in the history of the world. Gore Vidal