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
- 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.
Man doth not live by bread
I have been a stranger
in a strange land.
- Exodus (2:22)
He that hath pity upon
the poor lendeth unto the Lord.
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 :
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 :
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
"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.
- William Cowper,
"Light Shining Out of Darkness"
The wicked flee when no
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
- Mervyn Peake, "The
"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."
- Carl Lofmark, "What
is the Bible?"
"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
When the One Great Scorer
comes to write against your name, He marks, not that you won or lost, but
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
In heaven an angel is
nobody in particular.
- GB Shaw
Where do Souls come from?
I fear God, and next to
God I chiefly fear him who fears Him not.
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
- 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
- William Shakespeare
Earth has no sorrow that
Heaven cannot heal.
- Thomas Moore, Come,
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,
"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.
- St. Augustine Contra
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
- Amartya Sen
There is nothing good
or evil save in the will.
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
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 
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
- Edmund Burke 
Superstition is the
religion of feeble minds.
- Edmund Burke 
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
- Agatha Christie
He who would be friends
with God must remain alone or make the whole world his friend.
But, by all thy nature's
weakness, Hidden faults and follies known, Be thou, in rebuking evil, Conscious
of thine own.
- Whittier, John
There is nothing new under
- 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
- 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
- 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
how can we know if we are virtuous?
A man feared that he might
find an assassin; Another that he might find a victim. One was wiser than
- 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
- 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
"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
- 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
"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.
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
Faith: Belief without
evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things
- 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.
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"
THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
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.
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,
If Christianity is a lie
then we all die ... Permanently.
"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?
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
- 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
- Hannah Whithall
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.
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.
THE ORIGINS OF THE
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
- Albert Einstein
All things are ready,
if our minds be so.
- William Shakespeare,
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
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,
Chance is perhaps the
pseudonym of God when He does not wish to sign his work.
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...
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
- 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,
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,
- Stephen Falken,
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
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,
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.
"Yes," he replied.
"And so the Allah
of the Muslims is a false god?"
"No, he is the same
"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."
- 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
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
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
- 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."
Religion is regarded by
the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful.
- Seneca the Younger
(4 B.C. - 65 A.D.)
"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
# NOTES ON SOURCES
 Quoted in "Edmund
Burke: His Life & Opinions" by Stanley Ayling
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