If we go back to the beginning, we shall find that ignorance and fear created the gods; that fancy, enthusiasm or deceit adorned them; that weakness worships them; that credulity preserves them and that custom, respect and tyranny support them in order to make the blindness of men serve their own interests. If the ignorance of nature gave birth to the gods, the knowledge of nature is calculated to destroy them.
- Baron D’Holbach
God is a placeholder for our ignorance. Saying God did it is just saying that some phenomenon that is hard to understand is caused by some being that is impossible to understand.
- Jeremy Beahan
I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world.
- Richard Dawkins
My atheism, like that of Spinoza, is true piety towards the universe and denies only gods fashioned by men in their own image, to be servants of their human interests.
- George Santayana
Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right.
- Isaac Asimov
The terrible immoralities are the cunning ones hiding behind masks of morality, such as exploiting people while pretending to help them.
- Vernon Howard
Theology is never any help; it is searching in a dark cellar at midnight for a black cat that isn't there.
There is no nonsense so gross that society will not, at some time, make a doctrine of it and defend it with every weapon of communal stupidity.
- Robertson Davies
I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.
- Umberto Eco
When men stop believing in God, it isn't that they then believe in nothing: they believe in everything.
- Umberto Eco
To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.
- Thomas Paine
A pious man is one who would be an atheist if the king were.
- Jean de La Bruyere (1645-1696)
Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile!
- Kurt Vonnegut
The memory of my own suffering has prevented me from ever shadowing one young soul with the superstition of the Christian religion.
- Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Surely the immutable laws of the universe can teach more impressive and exalted lessons than the holy books of all the religions on earth.
- Elizabeth Cady Stanton
I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.
- Susan B. Anthony
Kill a man and you're a murderer, kill many and you're a conqueror, kill them all, you're a god.
- Jean Rostand
The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.
- Albert Einstein
All religions, with their gods, their demi-gods, and their prophets, their messiahs and their saints, were created by the prejudiced fancy of men who had not attained the full development and full possession of their faculties.
- Mikhail Bakunin
A man is accepted into a church for what he believes and he is turned out for what he knows.
- Mark Twain
It is not hardness of heart or evil passions that drive certain individuals to atheism, but rather a scrupulous intellectual honesty.
- Steve Allen
Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity.
- Thomas Jefferson
It is an interesting and demonstrable fact, that all children are atheists and were religion not inculcated into their minds, they would remain so.
- Ernestine Rose
I condemn false prophets; I condemn the effort to take away the power of rational decision, to drain people of their free will—and a hell of a lot of money in the bargain. Religions vary in their degree of idiocy, but I reject them all. For most people, religion is nothing more than a substitute for a malfunctioning brain.
- Gene Roddenberry
Dallas (on hiatus)'s Blog
Posted on April 28, 2012 at 5:55pm
Why We Like What We Like
By Alva Noë
Can you tell the difference between gourmet liver paté and dog food?
I mean, can you tell the difference by taste?
Many of you are probably pretty sure that you could, and also that you could tell the difference between a $100 bottle of a splendid vintage and some $5 schlock, right? But can you really? In a blind taste test?
Posted on December 8, 2011 at 5:00pm
This is a great article by Malcom Gladwell about how we sometimes fail under intense pressure to perform well, because we either choke or panic. He briefly describes the difference between implicit and explicit learning, and how these relate to choking and panicking under pressure. Well worth the long read. From the… Continue
Posted on November 7, 2011 at 5:35pm
This is a decent article. He starts out with a pretty good assessment of what a fanatic is and wants, but then he suddenly changes gears to talk about literature and humor. Kind of caught me off guard, but if you read the tagline he tells you he's gonna do that. Worth the long read.
He has some good observations:
"Conformity and uniformity, the urge to belong and the desire to make everyone else belong, may be the most widespread if not the… Continue