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Q u o t e s


I contend that we are both atheists.  I just believe in one fewer god than you do.  When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.

Sir Stephen Henry Roberts.


Science has proof without any certainty.  Creationists have certainty without any proof.

Ashley Montague


The Bible tells you how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go.



I have no need for that hypothesis.

Leplace.  His reply when asked by Napoleon Bonaparte about Laplace’s 4 volume Celestial Mechanics which lacked any reference to the “author” of the universe. 


Accordingly, France Had Voltaire, and his school of negative thinkers, and England (or rather Scotland) had the profoundest negative thinker on record, David Hume:  a man, the peculiarities of whose mind qualified him to detect failure of proof, and want of logical consistency, at a depth which French skeptics, with their comparatively feeble powers of analysis and abstractions stop far short of, and which German subtlety alone could thoroughly appreciate, or hope to rival. 

John Stuart Mill, Bentham, London) and Westminster Review, Aug. 1938, revised in 1959 in Dissertations and Discussions, vol. 1.


I like the quote that you referred to so much that I am going to repeat it, since I am sharing the quote you referred to with friends. 

You believe in a book that has talking animals, wizards, witches, demons, sticks turning into snakes, burning bushes, food falling from the sky, people walking on water, and all sorts of magical absurd and primitive stories, and you say that we are the ones that need help?--Mark Twain

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? (

Profoundness, genius, spontaneity, merit, nobility, ingenuity, voice propriety, feeling, discernment, sensibility, good taste, great tone, rightness, courtliness, vivacity, boldness, style, freshness, harmony, perfection, imagination, purity, correctness.  The greatest writer of all times. God’s most astonishing creation.—Goethe of Voltaire on the occasion of his death,


The Jews are of all peoples the grosses, the most ferocious, the most fanatical, and the most absurd.—Voltaire, Philosophical Letters.


They are mad men (Jews), but you should not burn them for that.—Voltaire, Philosophical letters. 


The Pride of every Jew finds cause to believe that the cause of their down fall is not their detestable politics, or ignorance of social graces, but the raft of God.  They believe it took a miracle to undo them.—Voltaire, Philosophical Letters.


The Jews have always been waiting for a Messiah, but their Messiah is for them only, not for us, a Messiah ho will give them mastery over the Christians.—Voltaire—Philosophical Letters


You believe in a book that has talking animals, wizards, witches, demons, sticks turning into snakes, burning bushes, food falling from the sky, people walking on water, and all sorts of magical absurd and primitive stories, and you say that we are the ones that need help?--Mark Twain

The greatest repository for strange people and strange beliefs and actions are religions.  But there are others repositories which attract those with a religious mind--to name a few spiritualism, ecology, politics, holistic, and medicine.  It is the extremes to which these people go that separate them from their saner associates.  The paper below, though using religion as an example, encompasses all those kooks.


Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth, more than ruin, more even than death... Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit. Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid. Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of man.
-Bertrand Russell

Most people would rather die than think; in fact, they do so.
-Bertrand Russell

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong.
-H. L. Mencken


Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.
-Mark Twain

The notion that faith in Christ is to be rewarded by an eternity of bliss, while a dependence upon reason, observation, and experience merits everlasting pain, is too absurd for refutation, and can be believed only by that unhappy mixture of insanity and ignorance called 'faith.'
-Robert G. Ingersoll


They [the clergy] believe that any portion of power confided to me, will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they beleive rightly: for I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.
- Thomas Jefferson

If the liberties of the American people are ever destroyed, they will fall by the hands of the clergy.
-General Marquis De Lafayette, 1789

I count religion but a childish toy, and hold there is no sin but ignorance.
-Christopher Marlowe

A man is accepted into church for what he believes--and turned out for what he knows.
-Mark Twain

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. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.
-George Bernard Shaw


Atheism is the vice of a few intelligent people.


I do not believe in immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority behind it.
- Albert Einstein


Although I cannot believe that the individual survives the death of his body, feeble souls harbor such thought through fear or ridiculous egotism.
- Albert Einstein



God is a gross answer, an indelicacy against us thinkers-- at bottom merely a gross prohibition for us: you shall not think!
- Nietzsche, Ecce Homo

Prayers never bring anything... They may bring solace to the sap, the bigot, the ignorant, the aboriginal, and the lazy - but to the enlightened it is the same as asking Santa Claus to bring you something for Xmas
- W. C. Fields


Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.
- Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)

A man who believes that he eats his God we do not call mad; yet, a man who says he is Jesus Christ, we call mad.
-Claude A. Helvetius (1715-1771)

The Bible is a book that has been read more and examined less than any book that ever existed.
-The Theological Works of Thomas Paine

Idiots, the lame, the blind, the dumb, are men in whom the devils have established themselves: and all the physicians who heal these infirmities, as though they proceeded from natural causes, are ignorant blockheads.
-Martin Luther (1483-1546) German Protestant leader

If religious belief be indeed so necessary to mankind, as we are continually assured that it is, there is great reason to lament, that the intellectual grounds of it should require to be backed by moral bribery or subornation of the understanding.                                                          J.S. Mill, Three Essays on Religion,  Utility of Religion, p. 71. 

What to me is dark, illumine

What is low raise and support

That to the height of this great argument

I may assert eternal providence

And justify the ways of God

Milton, Bk. I, Paradise Lost


"...but I would still reply, that the knavery and folly of men
are such common phenomena, that I should rather believe the most
extraordinary events to arise from their concurrence, than admit
of so signal a violation of the laws of nature."
["An Essay Concerning Human Understanding", David Hume, 10:2:30]

"The Christian religion not only was at first attended with miracles, but
even at this day cannot be believed by any reasonable person without one."
[David Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, 1748]

"No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the
testimony be of such a kind, that its falsehood would be more
miraculous than the fact which it endeavors to establish."
[David Hume, "Of Miracles", from An Enquiry
Concerning Human Understanding, 1748]

"The believer is happy; the doubter is wise."
[Hungarian proverb]

"The many instances of forged miracles, and prophecies, and supernatural
events, which, in all ages, have either been detected by contrary evidence,
or which detect themselves by their absurdity, prove sufficiently the strong
propensity of mankind to the extraordinary and marvellous, and ought
reasonably to begat a suspicion against all relations of this kind."
[David Hume, "Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding" 1748]

Therefore be on your guard against the Jews, knowing that wherever they have their synagogues, nothing is found but a den of devils in which sheer self­glory, conceit, lies, blasphemy, and defaming of God and men are practiced most maliciously and veheming his eyes on them. --[Martin Luther, The Lies of the Jews, 1543]

However, they have not acquired a perfect mastery of the art of lying; they lie so clumsily and ineptly that anyone who is just a little observant can easily detect it. But for us Christians they stand as a terrifying example of God's wrath. Martin Luther, supra.

...but then eject them forever from this country. For, as we have heard, God's anger with them is so intense that gentle mercy will only tend to make them worse and worse, while sharp mercy will reform them but little. Therefore, in any case, away with them!      Martin Luther, supra.

I brief, dear princes and lords, those of you who have Jews under your rule­­ if my counsel does not please your, find better advice, so that you and we all can be rid of the unbearable, devilish burden of the Jews, lest we become guilty sharers before God in the lies, blasphemy, the defamation, and the curses which the mad Jews indulge in so freely and wantonly against the person of our Lord Jesus Christ, this dear mother, all Christians, all authority, and ourselves. Do not grant them protection, safe ­conduct, or communion with us.... .With this faithful counsel and warning I wish to cleanse and exonerate my conscience.                                                                                                                            Martin Luther, supra.

First to set fire to their synagogues or schools and to bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn, so that no man will ever again see a stone or cinder of them. This is to be done in honor of our Lord and of Christendom, so that God might see that we are Christians, and do not condone or knowingly tolerate such public lying, cursing, and blaspheming of his Son and of his Christians. For whatever we tolerated in the past unknowingly ­ and I myself was unaware of it ­ will be pardoned by God. But if we, now that we are informed, were to protect and shield such a house for the Jews, existing right before our very nose, in which they lie about, blaspheme, curse, vilify, and defame Christ and us (as was heard above), it would be the same as if we were doing all this and even worse ourselves, as we very well know.                                                                    

Second, I advise that their houses also be razed and destroyed. For they pursue in them the same aims as in their synagogues. Instead they might be lodged under a roof or in a barn, like the gypsies. This will bring home to them that they are not masters in our country, as they boast, but that they are living in exile and in captivity, as they incessantly wail and lament about us before God.                                                                     

Third, I advise that all their prayer books and Talmudic writings, in which such idolatry, lies, cursing and blasphemy are taught, be taken from them. (remainder omitted)

Fourth, I advise that their rabbis be forbidden to teach henceforth on pain of loss of life and limb. For they have justly forfeited the right to such an office by holding the poor Jews captive with the saying of Moses (Deuteronomy 17 [:10 ff.]) in which he commands them to obey their teachers on penalty of death, although Moses clearly adds: "what they teach you in accord with the law of the Lord." Those villains ignore that. They wantonly employ the poor people's obedience contrary to the law of the Lord and infuse them with this poison, cursing, and blasphemy. In the same way the pope also held us captive with the declaration in Matthew 16 {:18], "You are Peter," etc, inducing us to believe all the lies and deceptions that issued from his devilish mind. He did not teach in accord with the word of God, and therefore he forfeited the right to teach.

Fifth, I advise that safe­conduct on the highways be abolished completely for the Jews. For they have no business in the countryside, since they are not lords, officials, tradesmen, or the like. Let they stay at home. (...remainder omitted).

Sixth, I advise that usury be prohibited to them, and that all cash and treasure of silver and gold be taken from them and put aside for safekeeping. The reason for such a measure is that, as said above, they have no other means of earning a livelihood than usury, and by it they have stolen and robbed from us all they possess. Such money should now be used in no other way than the following: Whenever a Jew is sincerely converted, he should be handed one hundred, two hundred, or three hundred florins, as personal circumstances may suggest. With this he could set himself up in some occupation for the support of his poor wife and children, and the maintenance of the old or feeble. For such evil gains are cursed if they are not put to use with God's blessing in a good and worthy cause.

Seventh, I commend putting a flail, an ax, a hoe, a spade, a distaff, or a spindle into the hands of young, strong Jews and Jewesses and letting them earn their bread in the sweat of their brow, as was imposed on the children of Adam (Gen 3[:19]}. For it is not fitting that they should let us accursed Goyim toil in the sweat of our faces while they, the holy people, idle away their time behind the stove, feasting and farting, and on top of all, boasting blasphemously of their lordship over the Christians by means of our sweat. No, one should toss out these lazy rogues by the seat of their pants.                                 Martin Luther, supra.


"Who knows if to live is to be dead, and to be dead, to live? And we really, it may be, are dead; in fact I once heard sages say that we are now dead, and the body is our tomb ..." [Socrates. Plato, Gorgias 492e]

" ... it is not easy to believe that the gods possess any underground dwelling where the souls collect." [Pausanias, Description of Greece 3.25.5]

There go the loves that wither,
The old loves with wearier wings;
And all dead years draw thither,
And all disastrous things;
Dead dreams of days forsaken,
Blind buds that snows have shaken,
Wild leaves that winds have taken,
Red strays of ruined springs.
From too much love of living,
From hope and fear set free,
We thank with brief thanksgiving
Whatever gods may be
That no life lives for ever;
That dead men rise up never;
That even the weariest river
Winds somewhere safe to sea.

[Algernon Charles Swinburne 1837-1909, The Garden of Proserpine]

In a Reichstag speech in 1938, Hitler again echoed the religious origins of his crusade. "I believe today that I am acting in the sense of the Almighty Creator. By warding off the Jews, I am fighting for the Lord's work. "



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