In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

- Excerpts from Genesis What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? - Mark 8:36 The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you. - Ezekiel Man doth not live by bread only. - Deuteronomy I have been a stranger in a strange land.

        - Exodus (2:22)

He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord.

- Jeremiah Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, what makest thou? - Isaiah, 45:9 Train a child in the way he should go - and when he is old he will not depart from it. - Proverbs XXII : 6 Am I my brother's keeper? - Genesis IV : 9 How think ye? If a man have a hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?
How much then is a man better than a sheep? - Matthew XVIII : 12 The kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a shout, “Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.” Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the wise, “Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.” But the wise replied, “No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.” And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, “Lord, lord, open to us.” But he replied, “Truly I tell you, I do not know you.”
        - Matthew XXV: 1-12

"The kings came and fought, then fought the kings of Canaan in Taanach by the waters of Megiddo; they took no gain of silver; They fought from heaven; the stars in their courses fought against Sisera."
        - from "The Song of Deborah", Judges 5:17-19

The Bible remained for me a book of books, still divine — but divine in the sense that all great books are divine which teach men how to live righteously.
        - Sir Arthur Keith

"The Bible in English under every weaver and chambermaid's arm hath done us much harm."
        - Royalist William Cavendish, letter to King Charles II in the 1650s

"I wasn't what you would call religious, but I could never pick up a Bible without finding something that made me understand the world a little better."
        - from "The Outer Limits"

"We have used the Bible as if it was a mere special constable’s handbook, an opium dose for keeping beasts of burden patient while they are being overloaded."
        - Rev. Charles Kingsley, Letters to the Chartists (1860)

"Do not laugh at a blind man or mock a dwarf; help the lame. Do not taunt a madman or shout at him when he does something foolish. For every man is clay and straw, created by God the Builder."
        - Ancient Egyptian ethical tract

In the Name of God, the Beneficient, the Merciful... whoso saveth the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind.

- The Koran, Surah V, 32 "No greater love hath a man, than he lay down his life for his brother. Not for millions, not for glory, not for fame — for one person, alone in the dark. Where no one will every know or see." - How can we know the chosen ones? "Babylon 5" "What do you think is the essence of Christianity?"
        - John Humphrys interviews Margaret Thatcher

God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea, And rides upon the storm.

The wicked flee when no man pursueth. - Unknown An injustice is tolerable only when it is necessary to avoid an even greater injustice. - John Rawls, "A Theory Of Justice" "To live at all is miracle enough." "It is possible to pay another man's debts on his behalf, but it is not possible to make a guilty man innocent by suffering in his place." "There is nothing that somebody, somewhere, will not consider immoral." "If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven..." A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death. - Albert Einstein Two men please God - who serves Him with all his heart because he knows Him; and he who seeks Him with all his heart because he knows Him not. - Nikita Ivanovich Panin When the One Great Scorer comes to write against your name, He marks, not that you won or lost, but how you played the game. - Grantland Rice It is said that God will judge you in the same way that you judge others, and that he shall apply to you the same rules you apply to others. Perhaps, one may even judge oneself ... - Anon In heaven an angel is nobody in particular. - GB Shaw Where do Souls come from? - Anon I fear God, and next to God I chiefly fear him who fears Him not. - Saadi These are the times that try mens' souls

        - Thomas Paine

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to really test a man's character, give him power.

- Abraham Linclon The measure of a man's real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

        - Thomas B. Macauley

The quality of moral behaviour varies in inverse ratio to the number of human beings involved.

        - Aldous Huxley

Laws change, depending on who's making them, but justice is justice.

- Odo, "A Man Alone", Star Trek DS9 An eye for an eye will make the whole world go blind. - Mahatma Gandhi The love of heaven makes one heavenly. - William Shakespeare Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal. - Thomas Moore, Come, Ye Disconsolate Had I but served my God with half the zeal I served my king, he would not in mine age have left me naked to mine enemies. - William Shakespeare, Henry VIII "Do you believe you are in a state of grace?"
"If I am not, may God put me in it; and if I am, may God keep me in it."

        - reported exchange from the trial of Joan of Arc

Fiat justitia, ruat coelum. (Do the right thing even if the heavens fall.) It's not nearly as naive a maxim as it seems, because in the real world it often turns out that doing what is morally the right thing is also, in practical terms, the right thing to do.

- Gwynne Dyer Conscience : The inner voice which warns us that someone might be looking Morality is your agreement with yourself to abide by your own rules. - Robert A. Heinlein, "Stranger in a Strange Land" Morality pertains only to the sphere of man's free will - only to those actions which are open to his choice. - Ayn Rand What is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after. There is no possible source of evil except good. If the knowledge of torture of others makes you sick, it is a case of sympathy... It can be argued that behaviour based on sympathy is in an important sense egoistic, for one is oneself pleased at others' pleasure and pained at others' pain, and the pursuit of one's own utility may thus be helped by sympathetic action. - Amartya Sen There is nothing good or evil save in the will. - Epicetus Those who restrain desire do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained. To say that authority, whether secular or religious, supplies no ground for morality is not to deny the obvious fact that it supplies a sanction.
        - Joseph Addison

If the empire of superstition and hypocrisy should be overthrown, happy indeed will it be for the world; but if all religion and morality should be over-thrown with it, what advantage will be gained?
        - John Adams

There is no reason why good cannot triumph as often as evil. The triumph of anything is a matter of organization. If there are such things as angels, I hope they are organised along the lines of the Mafia.
        - Kurt Vonnegut, from "The Sirens of Titan"

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
        - Edmund Burke

When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.
        - Edmund Burke

Nothing universal can be rationally affirmed on any moral or on any political subject. Pure metaphysical abstraction does not belong to any of these matters.  The lines of morality are not like the ideal lines of mathamatics. They are broad and deep as well as long. They admit of exceptions. These exceptions and modifications are not made by the process of logic, but by the rules of prudence. Prudence is not only the first in rank of the virtues political and moral, but she is the director, the regulator, the standard of them all. Metaphysics cannot live without definition, but prudence is cautious how she defines.
        - Edmund Burke [1]

When you find me attempting to break into your house to take your plate, under any pretence whatsoever, but most of all under pretence of purity of religion and Christian charity shoot me for a robber and a hypocrite, as in that case I shall certainly be.
        - Edmund Burke [1]

Superstition is the religion of feeble minds.
        - Edmund Burke [1]

Secularisation, it has been observed, is a general cultural characteristic of modern societies. Certainly, over the past 100 years European societies have witnessed a great ebbing of the tide of traditional religion. The contrast with North American is quite striking, and the counterexample of the United States, a very religious country, indicates that the death of faith has nothing in particular to do with modernisation or economic development, but everything to do with politics. Faith in the modern world seems to be liable to be poisoned by an overly intimate relationship between Church and state and, more generally, by an intimate relationship between ecclesiastical organisations and political power. Such a relationship eventually tends to be seen as illegitimate, particularly in a modernising society which has become highly educated. Jesus, when faced with an intellectual trap in the form of a coin did, after all, say "render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's", a remark that looks very much like a statement of the separation of Church and state. The American extreme version of this doctrine had, ironically, saved American Christianity from this particular fate.
        - Tom Garvin, "Preventing the Future"

One never dives into the water to save a drowning man more eagerly than when there are others present who dare not take the risk.

~ Friedrich Nietzsche If you love, you will suffer, and if you do not love, you will not know the meaning of a Christian life. - Agatha Christie He who would be friends with God must remain alone or make the whole world his friend. - Gandhi But, by all thy nature's weakness, Hidden faults and follies known, Be thou, in rebuking evil, Conscious of thine own. - Whittier, John Greenleaf There is nothing new under the sun - The Bible I have been a stranger in a strange land. - Exodus 2:22 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. - Ephesians 6:16 The Gods occupy the loftiest regions, men the lowest, the demons the middle region…They have immortality of body, but passions of the mind in common with men. - St. Augustine, "The City Of God" For one man who thanks God that he is not as other men there are a thousand to offer thanks that they are as other men, sufficiently as others are to escape attention. - John Dewey, "Human Nature and Conduct" It is good to be without vices, but it is not good to be without temptations. - Walter Bagehot "Virtue doesn't mean anything unless it's tested alongside vice."

        - Frank Pembleton, "Homocide: Life on the Streets"

It is an open question whether any behavior based on fear of eternal punishment can be regarded as ethical or should be regarded as merely cowardly.

- Margaret Mead, in Redbook Puritanism Is there a difference between a man who thinks that honesty is the best policy, and an honest man?

        - CS Lewis

None deserve praise for being good who have not the spirit to be bad: goodness, for the most part, is nothing but indolence or weakness of will.

- Francois La Rochefoucauld Moral indignation is in most cases 2% moral, 48% indignation and 50% envy.

        - Vittorio De Sica

Without temptation, how can we know if we are virtuous?

- Oddy A man feared that he might find an assassin; Another that he might find a victim. One was wiser than the other.
        - Stephan Crane

O who is more to blame: He who sins for pay — Or he who pays for sin?
        - Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz

I read these words which are the sum of all moral philosophy, and which cut short all the disputes of the casuists: When in doubt if an action is good or bad, refrain.
        - Voltaire,"Philosophical Dictionary" (1764)

It would repel me less to be a hangman than a soldier, because the one is obliged to put to death only criminals sentenced by the law, but the other kills honest men who like himself bathe in innocent blood at the bidding of some superior.
        - George Santayana, "Persons and Places"

Do not do unto others as you would that they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same.
        - George Bernard Shaw

God does not care what good you did, but why you did it. He does not grade the fruit but probes the core and tests the root.

- Angelus Silesius A psychopath kills Hitler as a baby, unknowingly saving the lives of millions of people. Hitler kills millions of Jews, believing them to be a plague on mankind that will cause the death of all mankind. A man with a vision of the Holocaust yet to come kills Hitler as a child, averting World War 2. Where is evil? Is it in the cause (intention) or the effect (results of act) ? Or is there something more? - Oddy "I've always assumed that every time a child is born, the Divine reenters the world. Okay? That's the meaning of the Christmas story. And every time that child's purity is corrupted by society, that's the meaning of the Crucifixion story. Your man Jesus stands for that child, that pure spirit, and as its surrogate, he's being born and put to death again and again, over and over, every time we inhale and exhale, not just at the vernal equinox and on the 25th of December."
        - Tom Robbins, "Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates"

"There is one god, greatest among gods and men, who bears no similarity to humans either in shape or thought... but humans believe that the gods are born like themselves, and that the gods wear clothes and have bodies like humans and speak in the same way... but if cows and horses or lions had hands or could draw with the hands and manufacture the things humans can make, then horses would draw the forms of gods like horses, cows like cows, and they would make the gods' bodies resemble those which each kind of animal had itself."
        - Xenophanes, writing in Ancient Greece circa 500 B.C.

"There is the dreadful pit of the glowing flames of the wrath of God; there is hell's wide gaping mouth open; and you have nothing to stand upon, nor any thing to take hold of, there is nothing between you and hell but the air; it is only the power and mere pleasure of God that holds you up... Your wickedness makes you as it were heavy as lead, and to tend downwards with great weight and pressure towards hell; and if God should let you go, you would immediately sink and swiftly descend and plunge into the bottomless gulf, and your healthy constitution, and your own care and prudence, and best contrivance, and all your righteousness, would have no more influence to uphold you and keep you out of hell, than a spider's web would have to stop a falling rock... the sun does not willingly shine upon you to give you light to serve sin and Satan; the earth does not willingly yield her increase to satisfy your lusts; nor is it willingly a stage for your wickedness to be acted upon; the air does not willingly serve you for breath to maintain the flame of life in your vitals, while you spend your life in the service of God's enemies."
        - Jonathan Edwards, from sermon entitled "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God"

"My grandfather used to tell me a story about chopsticks. One night Confucius dreamt that he was taken to visit the damned in hell. He was very surprised to see that hell was a beautiful banqueting room with the damned sitting around the table, groaning under the weight of the most delicious food he had ever seen. They were allowed to eat anything they
liked, but they had to use chopsticks, and the chopsticks were five foot long. The damned were starving, staring in agony at the uneaten food before them, knowing that even with all eternity in which to solve the problem, it could not be done.
And then Confucius is taken to heaven. And heaven is an identical banqueting hall full of delicious food. The people around the tables are happy and well-fed, but they, too, must obey the same rule. The food can only be eaten with chopsticks that are five foot long. Only in heaven, they're feeding each other."
        - Anne tells a story, "The Wisdom of Crocodiles"



I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who endowed us the sense, reason, and intellect, had intended for us to forgo their use.

- Galileo The most precious gift God gave humans is reason. Its best use is the search for knowledge. To know the human environment, to know the earth and galaxies, is to know God. Knowledge (science) is the best form of prayer. - Fatima Mernissi 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 Faith: Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel. - Ambrose Bierce Faith : Not wanting to know what is true. - Friedrich Nietzsche Patience with others is Love, Patience with self is Hope, and Patience with God is Faith.

        - Adel Bestavros

There lives more faith in honest doubt than in half the creeds.

- Alred, Lord Tennyson Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it.Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.
        - Buddha

I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church.
        - Thomas Paine

As to the book called the Bible, it is blasphemy to call it the Word of God. It is a book of lies and contradictions, and a history of bad times and bad men. There are but a few good characters in the whole book.
        - Thomas Paine, Letter to William Duane, April 23, 1806

The fact is that there is a profound spiritual hunger in the western world which, for a variety of reasons, its church is no longer able to assuage. So a book which suggests that there is a spiritual significance to the Christian story but that this has been suppressed by the church undoubtedly appeals to those who are anxious to square this circle.
        - Melanie Phillips, on the success of the "Da Vinci Code", "Daily Mail"



Question with boldness even the existence of a God, because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear.

 - Thomas Jefferson It may be that there is no God, that "The existence of all that is beautiful and in any sense good is but the accidental and ineffective byproduct of blindly swirling atoms" that we are alone in a world that cares nothing for us or for the values that we create and sustain - that we and they are here for a moment only, and gone, and that eventually there will be left no trace of us in the universe. A man may well believe that this dredful thing is true. But only the fool will say in his heart that he is glad that it is true. - Sterling M. McMurrin The gods can either take away evil from the world and will not, or, being willing to do so cannot; or they neither can nor will, or lastly, they are able and willing. If they have the will to remove evil and cannot, then they are not omnipotent. If they can but will not, then they are not benevolent. If they are neither able nor willing, they are neither omnipotent nor benevolent. Lastly, if they are both able and willing to annihilate evil, why does it exist? - Epicurus, (Greek philosopher 300 B.C.) If God is omnipotent, omniscient and wholly good, whence evil? If God wills to prevent evil but cannot, then He is not omnipotent. If He can prevent evil but does not, then he is not good. In either case he is not God.

        - David Hume, 18th century Scottish philosopher

God is dead : But men's natures are such that for thousands of years yet there will perhaps be caves in which his shadow will be seen.

- Friedrich Nietzsche Either God exists or he doesn't exist. If we believe in him and he exists, we are rewarded. If we believe in him and he doesn't exist, we lose nothing. But if we don't believe in him, and he does exist, we are damned. Therefore, as we lose nothing be believing, the safest thing to do is to believe. - Pascal's Wager If God could make angels, why did he bother with men? - Dagobert Runes, "Treasury of World Literature" (1966) Perhaps our purpose on this world is not to worship God, but to create Him. - Arthur C. Clarke It is the final proof of God's omnipotence that he need not exist in order to save us. - Peter De Vries An honest god is the noblest work of man. - Robert G. Ingersoll If God created us in his own image, we have more than reciprocated. -Voltaire God is the invention of Man. So the nature of God is only a shallow mystery. The deep mystery is the nature of Man. - Nanrei Kobori, Buddhist Abbot If Christianity is a lie then we all die ... Permanently. - Unknown "I’ve been looking for God for 50 years and if he was there, I would have found him."
        - Thomas Hardy

Man has been here 32,000 years. That it took a hundred million years to prepare the world for him is proof that that is what it was done for. I suppose it is. I dunno. If the Eiffel tower were now representing the world's age, the skin of paint on the pinnacle-knob at its summit would represent man's share of that age; & anybody would perceive that that skin was what the tower was built for. I reckon they would. I dunno.

-Mark Twain, Was the World Made for Man? essay Which is it, is man one of God's blunders or is God one of man's? - Anon Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather must recognize that it is he who is asked. - Viktor Frankl God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December. - James M.Barrie Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man - Rabindranath Tagore God is subtle but he is not malicious. - Albert Einstein Religions that teach brotherly love have been used as an excuse for persecution, and our profoundest scientific insight is made into a means of mass destruction. - Bertrand Russell I do not pretend to be able to prove that there is no God. I equally cannot prove that Satan is a fiction. The Christian god may exist; so may the gods of Olympus, or of ancient Egypt, or of Babylon. But no one of these hypotheses is more probable than any other: they lie outside the region of even probable knowledge, and therefore there is no reason to consider any of them. - Bertrand Russell The mother eagle teaches her little ones to fly by making their nest so uncomfortable that they are forced to leave it and commit themselves to the unknown world of air outside. And just so does our God to us. He stirs up our comfortable nests, and pushes us over the edge of them, and we are forced to use our wings to save ourselves from fatal falling. Read your trials in this light, and see if you cannot begin to get a glimpse of their meaning. Your wings are being developed. - Hannah Whithall Smith If God did not exist it would be necessary to invent Him. But all nature cries aloud that He does exist; that there is a supreme intelligence, an immense power, an admirable order, and everything teaches us our own dependence on it. - Voltaire Difficulties show men what they are. In case of any difficulty remember that God has pitted you against a rough antagonist that you may be a conqueror, and this cannot be without toil. - Epicetus #


The universe is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.

- Eden Phillpotts My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind. - Albert Einstein All things are ready, if our minds be so. - William Shakespeare, Henry V It may well wait a century for a reader, as God has waited six thousand years for an observer. - John Kepler, on "Martyrs of Science " In the beginning, there was nothing, which exploded. - the origins of the multiverse by Terry Pratchett "You have written this large book on the system of the universe, and yet I can find no mention of God in it."
"Sir, I have no need of that hypothesis."

        - Reported exchange between Napoleon & physicist Pierre Simon de Laplace

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

- Ashley Montague All things are artificial, for nature is the art of God. - Sir Thomas Browne "To see the world in a grain of sand, And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, And eternity in an hour." - William Blake, `Auguries of Innocence' We honour God for what He conceals - Unknown That the universe was formed by a fortuitous concourse of atoms, I will no more believe than that the accidental jumbling of the alphabet would fall into a most ingenious treatise of philosophy. - Jonathon Swift Life results from the non-random survival of randomly varying replicators (such as DNA). - Richard Dawkins, biologist. Chance is perhaps the pseudonym of God when He does not wish to sign his work. -Anatole France God does not play dice with the universe. - Albert Einstein Albert, stop telling God what to do. - Niels Bohr The Truth is of course, is the Universe is playing God with dice... - Anon Ocean, n. A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man : who has no gills. - Ambrose Bierce, The Enlarged Devil's Dictionary The universe may be as great as they say. But it wouldn't be missed if it didn't exist. - Piet Hein My deeply held belief is that if a god of anything like the traditional sort exists, our curiosity and intelligence is provided by such a God. We would be unappreciative of that gift ... if we suppressed our passion to explore the universe and ourselves. - Carl Sagan Is god omnipotent ? If he is, can he create a rock so heavy he can't lift it ?

        - Stephen Hawking, "A Brief History of Time"

In many cultures it is customary to answer that God created the universe out of nothing. But this is mere temporizing. If we wish courageously to pursue the question, we must, of course ask next where God comes from? And if we decide this to be unanswerable, why not save a step and conclude that the universe has always existed?

        - Carl Sagan, "Cosmos"

The effort to understand the universe is one of the very few things that lifts human life a little above the level of farce and gives it some of the grace of tragedy.

- Steven Weinberg The most extensive computation known has been conducted over the last billion years on a planet-wide scale: it is the evolution of life. The power of this computation is illustrated by the complexity and beauty of its crowning achievement, the human brain. - David Rogers, "Weather Prediction Using a Genetic Memory" God used beautiful mathematics in creating the world. - Paul Dirac The more we study mind and matter scientifically the more we see that all things follow a natural sequence, a sequence as liable to work for our disadvantage as for our advantage. It flows like the water of a river, it falls like rain, it is as impartial as the sea. It is as innocent of malice as it is of compassion. - Llewelyn Powys, Pathetic Fallacy This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but a whimper. - T. S. Eliot Now, children, come on over here. I'm going to tell you a bedtime story. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin. Once upon a time, there lived a magnificent race of animals that dominated the world through age after age. They ran, they swam, and they fought and they flew, until suddenly, quite recently, they disappeared. Nature just gave up and started again. We weren't even apes then. We were just these smart little rodents hiding in the rocks. And when we go, nature will start over. With the bees, probably. Nature knows when to give up, David. - Stephen Falken, "Wargames" They are a mystery, and I am both terrified and reassured to know that there are still wonders in the universe – that we have not yet explained everything. - G’Kar, "Babylon 5 - Mind War" #


 A Catholic Clergyman whose name escapes me was lured unsuccessfully into a war of semantics. He was asked the question, "You believe that your God is the One, True God, correct?"
"Yes," he replied.
"And so the Allah of the Muslims is a false god?"
"No, he is the same god."
"Ah, but they have it wrong.You are more correct than they, for if they were more correct, you would be worshipping thier god, being a rational man."
The clergyman stopped for a moment, and then spoke:
"We stand at the edges of a vast, circular ballroom. In the center, suspended from the ceiling, is the most beautiful chandelier ever created. It not only provides light and heat, it also allows us to see one another, and interact as equals. Each of us, where we stand, see a different aspect of that same chandelier. None is more correct than the other. We choose to view that part of the chandelier, because that aspect is pleasing to us, or actually more pleasing than any other part."
"Oh, and what of those who do not believe in God?"
"Then there are some who choose to not look at the light at all."

 - Unknown Religion is a candle inside a multicolored lantern. Everyone looks through a particular color, but the candle is always there. - Mohammed Neguib "As for that," said Waldenshare, "sensible men are all of the same religion." "Pray, what is that?" inquired the Prince. "Sensible men never tell." - Benjamin Disraeli, "Endymion" All religions must be tolerated...for...every man must get to heaven in his own way. - Frederick II These are the days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed except his own.

        - GK Chesterton


What was God doing (in His Time) for an eternity into His past before He Created the Universe Ex Nihilo? God existed by Himself through an Eternity before the Creation without needing a Universe. Why did He suddenly desire to create the Universe?

- Peter A. Angeles, The Problem of God: A Short Introduction What happens when the same number of people pray for something as pray against it? How does God decide whose prayer to answer? Does the total number of people praying for or against something matter? How about the righteousness of the supplicants? Are positive prayers answered more frequently than negative ones? Does God take the positive ones and Satan the negative? Does the intensity of the praying have any effect on the outcome? Does the length of time one devotes to praying have any effect on the frequency with which one's prayers are answered? Do the words and phrases used in the prayer -- either positive or negative -- have any bearing on the success rate? Does the nature of the thing or things prayed for have any bearing on the prayer's success rate -- either positive or negative prayers? Why or why not?? - Robert A. Baker, "Prayer Wars" Skeptical Briefs During many ages there were witches. The Bible said so. The Bible commanded that they should not be allowed to live. Therefore the Church, after doing its duty in but a lazy and indolent way for 800 years, gathered up its halters, thumbscrews, and firebrands, and set about its holy work in earnest. She worked hard at it night and day during nine centuries and imprisoned, tortured, hanged, and burned whole hordes and armies of witches, and washed the Christian world clean with their foul blood. Then it was discovered that there was no such thing as witches, and never had been. One does not know whether to laugh or to cry. - Mark Twain, "Europe and Elsewhere" Perhaps the saddest thing to admit is that those who rejected the Cross have to carry it, while those who welcomed it are so often engaged in crucifying others. - Nicholas Berdyaev Christianity persecuted, tortured, and burned. Like a hound it tracked the very scent of heresy. It kindled wars, and nursed furious hatreds and ambitions. It sanctified, quite like Mohammedism, extermination and tyranny. All this would have been impossible if, like Buddhism, it had looked only for peace and the liberation of souls. It looked beyond; it dreamt of infinite blisses and crowns it should be crowned with before an electrified universe and an applauding God... Buddhism had tried to quiet a sick world with anesthetics; Christianity sought to purge it with fire. - George Santayana, "The Life of Reason" (1906) The next time believers tell you that 'separation of church and state' does not appear in our founding document, tell them to stop using the word 'trinity.' The word 'trinity' appears nowhere in the bible. Neither does Rapture, or Second Coming, or Original Sin. If they are still unfazed (or unphrased), by this, then add Omniscience, Omnipresence, Supernatural, Transcendence, Afterlife, Deity, Divinity, Theology, Monotheism, Missionary, Immaculate Conception, Christmas, Christianity, Evangelical, Fundamentalist, Methodist, Catholic, Pope, Cardinal, Catechism, Purgatory, Penance, Transubstantiation, Excommunication, Dogma, Chastity, Unpardonable Sin, Infallibility, Inerrancy, Incarnation, Epiphany, Sermon, Eucharist, the Lord's Prayer, Good Friday, Doubting Thomas, Advent, Sunday School, Dead Sea, Golden Rule, Moral, Morality, Ethics, Patriotism, Education, Atheism, Apostasy, Conservative (Liberal is in), Capital Punishment, Monogamy, Abortion, Pornography, Homosexual, Lesbian, Fairness, Logic, Republic, Democracy, Capitalism, Funeral, Decalogue, or Bible. - Dan Barker, Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist This crime called blasphemy was invented by priests for the purpose of defending doctrines not able to take care of themselves.
        - Robert G. Ingersoll

Toward no crimes have men shown themselves so cold-bloodedly cruel as in punishing differences of belief.
        - James Russell Lowell

"Christianity is an appeal to selfishness. It is a promise of a great reward in the future which is bought with faith, obedience, time, effort, and money in the present."

"I am treated as evil by those who feel persecuted because they are not allowed to force me to believe as they do."

- Unknown Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful. "I count religion but a childish toy, And hold there is no sin but ignorance." - Christopher Marlowe "Heresy is only another word for freedom of thought." - Graham Greene "Not by accident, you may be sure, do the Christian Scriptures make the father of knowledge a serpent : slimy, sneaking and abominable." - H. L. Mencken Whatever the main biological function of human copulation, it is not conception, which is just an occasional by product. In these days of growing human over-population, one of the most ironic tragedies is the Catholic Church's claim that human copulation has conception as its natural purpose, and that the rhythm method is the only proper means of birth control. The rhythm method would be terrific for gorillas and most other mammal species, but not for us. In no species besides humans has the purpose of copulation become so unrelated to conception, or the rhythm method so unsuited for contraception.
        - Jared Diamond, "The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee"

A shipowner was about to send to sea an emigrant ship.
He knew that she was old, and not overwell built at the first; that she had seen many seas and climes, and often had needed repairs. Doubts had been suggested to him that possibly she was not seaworthy. These doubts preyed upon his mind, and made him unhappy; he thought that perhaps he ought to have her thoroughly overhauled and refitted, even though this should put him to great expense.
Before the ship sailed, however, he succeeded in overcoming those melancholy reflections. He said to himself that she had gone safely through so many voyages and weathered so many storms, that it was idle to suppose that she would not come safely home from this trip also. He would put his faith in Providence, which could hardly fail to protect all these unhappy families that were leaving their fatherland to seek for better times elsewhere. He would dismiss from his mind all ungenerous suspicions about the honesty of builders & contractors.
In such ways he acquired a sincere and comfortable conviction that his vessel was thoroughly safe and seaworthy; he watched her departure with a light heart, and benevolent wishes for the success of the exiles in their strange new home that was to be; and got his insurance money when she went down in mid ocean and told no tales.
What shall we say of him? Surely this, that he was verily guilty of the death of those men. It is admitted that he did sincerely believe in the soundness of his ship; but the sincerity of his conviction can in no way help him, because he had no right to believe on such evidence as was before him. He had acquired his belief not by honestly earning it in patient investigation, but by stifling his doubts…
        - William K. Clifford, "The Ethics Of Belief", 1874


[1] Quoted in "Edmund Burke: His Life & Opinions" by Stanley Ayling

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