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Edgar A PoeMeditation 275
Quotations XXV

"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. This is the twenty-fifth in an ongoing series.

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  1. The alleged shortcut to knowledge, which is faith, is only a short circuit destroying the mind." Ayn Rand

  2. Christians hold that their faith does good, but other faiths do harm. At any rate, they hold this about the Communist faith. What I wish to maintain is that all faiths do harm. We may define 'faith' as a firm belief in something for which there is no evidence. When 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. Bertrand Russell

  3. We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing, all-powerful God, who creates faulty humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes. Gene Roddenberry

  4. The whole thing (religious belief) is so patently infantile, so foreign to reality, that to anyone with a friendly attitude toward humanity it is painful to think that the great majority of mortals will never be able to rise above this view of life. Sigmund Freud

  5. If a man would follow, today, the teachings of the Old Testament, he would be a criminal. If he would follow strictly the teachings of the New, he would be insane. Robert G. Ingersoll

  6. Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer. Mark Twain

  7. Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we call it the word of a demon than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind. Thomas Paine

  8. All religions bear traces of the fact that they arose during the intellectual immaturity of the human race - before it had learned the obligation to speak the truth. Not one of them makes it the duty of its God to be truthful and understandable in his communications.
    Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

  9. Fanaticism is . . . overcompensation for doubt. Robertson Davies

  10. If Christ had died in the 20th Century, Catholic school children would be wearing little electric chairs around their necks. Lenny Bruce

  11. Here's another question I've been pondering: What is all this shit about angels? Have you heard this? Three out of four people believe in angels. Are you f...... stupid? Has everybody lost their minds? You know what I think it is? I think it's a massive, collective, psychotic chemical flashback for all the drugs smoked, swallowed, shot, and absorbed rectally by all Americans from 1960 to 1990. Thirty years of street drugs will get you some f...... angels, my friend! George Carlin

  12. One occasion for the theological intervention to prevent the mitigation of human suffering was the discovery of anaesthetics. Simpson, in 1847, recommended their use in childbirth, and was immediately reminded by the clergy that God said to Eve: 'In sorrow shalt thou bring forth children.' And how could she sorrow if she were under the influence of chloroform? Simpson succeeded in proving that there was no harm in giving anaesthetics to men, because God put Adam into a deep sleep when He extracted his rib. But male ecclesiastics remained unconvinced as regards the sufferings of women, at any rate in childbirth."
    Bertrand Russell

  13. Anyone who engages in the practice of psychotherapy confronts every day the devastation wrought by the teachings of religion. Nathaniel Brandon

  14. I have not met an intelligent person whose views were not narrowed and distorted by religion. James Buchanan

  15. I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. Richard Dawkins

  16. As men's prayers are a disease of the will, so are their creeds a disease of the intellect. Ralph Waldo Emerson

  17. No man who ever lived knows any more about the hereafter . . . than you and I; and religion . . . is simply evolved out of chicanery, fear, greed, imagination and poetry. Edgar Allan Poe

  18. The revelations of the devout and learn'd
    Who rose before us and as prophets burn'd
    Are all but stories, which, awoke from sleep
    They told their comrades, and to sleep return'd.
    Omar Khayyam

  19. Opinion of ghosts, ignorance of second causes, devotion to what men fear, and taking of things casual for prognostics, consisteth the natural seeds of religion. Thomas Hobbes

  20. Religion is in the interest of churches
    That sell other worlds in this to purchase."
    Samuel Butler