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Meditation 938
Quotations LII

I love quotations because it is a joy to find thoughts one might have, beautifully expressed with much authority by someone recognized wiser than oneself.  Marlene Dietrich

This is an occasional selection of quotations mostly, but not entirely, relevant to agnosticism, rationalism, and free thought. This is the fifty-second in an apparently unending series. Suggestions for previously unused quotations are always welcome.

  1. Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. John G. Diefenbaker

  2. New ideas pass through three periods: It can't be done; It probably can be done, but it's not worth doing; I knew it was a good idea all along. Arthur C. Clarke

  3. Ancestors are the process by which gods get made. Dave Godfrey

  4. Gods are fragile things; they may be killed by a whiff of science or a dose of common sense. Chapman Cohen

  5. Protestant marriage is legalized concubinage. Bishop James Vincent Cleary.

  6. Before that time, when we were not enlightened, the word of the priest was the word of truth; but after that, when we get to be a little more enlightened, we saw that they could tell us lies. Gabriel Dumont

  7. Every man's religion is his own, and nobody else's business. T.C. Haliburton

  8. I have no temple and no creed,
    I celebrate no mystic rite;
    The human heart is all I need
    Wherein I worship day and night
    Robert Norwood

  9. A nothing will serve just as well as a something about which nothing can be said. Ludwig Wittgenstein

  10. The basis of all religious belief is the child's fear of the dark. Hugh MacLennan

  11. Anything capable of sustaining the whole cosmos has to be beyond understanding, in which case it does not matter whether we say it exists or not. Simon Blackburn

  12. Religion was insurance. It meant you got security afterwards. It meant you could always turn over a new leaf. Just as long as you got in an act of perfect contrition said before your last end, you'd be all set. Brian Moore

  13. I hear my curé; my curé hears the Bishop; the Bishop hears the Pope; and the Pope hears our Lord Jesus Christ, who aids with his Holy Spirit to render them infallible on the teaching and government of His Church. Ignace Bourget.

  14. As our own species is in the process of proving, one cannot have superior science and inferior morals. The combination is unstable and self-destroying. Arthur C. Clarke

  15. A superstition is a premature explanation that overstays its time. George Iles

  16. We read in the Old Testament that it was a religious duty to exterminate conquered races completely, and that to spare even their cattle and sheep was an impiety. Dark terrors and misfortunes in the life to come oppressed the Egyptians and Etruscans, but never reached their full development until the victory of Christianity. Gloomy saints who abstained from all pleasures of sense, who lived in solitude in the desert, denying themselves meat and wine and the society of women, were, nevertheless, not obliged to abstain from all pleasures. The pleasures of the mind were considered to be superior to those of the body, and a high place among the pleasures of the mind was assigned to the contemplation of the eternal tortures to which the pagans and heretics would hereafter be subjected. Bertrand Russell

  17. My blaspheny's a synonym for truth
    in these stifled courtrooms
    where God on the witness stand
    identifies himself, hand over mouth,
    Gwendolyn MacEwan

  18. I still say a church steeple with a lightening rod on top shows a lack of confidence. Doug McLeod

  19. Where was God during the Holocaust? With the answers they provide, the apologists for the Almighty prove that the pen can be as much an instrument for obfuscation as for explanation. The rationales of the theologians tend to distract and befog. Michael Carin

  20. Scientific thinking might be defined as learning to distinguish the exception from the rule. I'd have a hard time entrusting my health to someone who didn't know the difference. Stan Polanski