Fear and Rage - Quotes
"Respect for religion" has become a code phrase meaning "fear of religion". Religion, like all other ideas, deserve criticism, satire, and, yes, our fearless disrespect.
All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.
We cross our bridges when we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and a presumption that once our eyes watered.
Rosencrantz and Guildestern Are Dead
There are three things all wise men fear: the sea in storm, a night with no moon, and the anger of a gentle man.
I donít want to die any more than anyone else, and I think itís a strange myth that atheists have nothing to live for. Itís the opposite. We have nothing to die for. We have everything to live for.
The logic of war seems to be if the belligerent can fight, he will fight. That leaders will not surrender until surrender is academic. How is a national leader to explain the sacrifice of so much for nothing?
Thinking About The Next War
Does it mean, if you donít understand something, and the community of physicists doesnít understand something, that means God did it? Is that how you want to play this game? Because if it is, hereís a list of things in the past that the physicists at the time didnít understand. A talk show you might have conducted 200 years ago might have said, 'The planets do retrograde? Canít understand that, must be a god.í And weíd say, 'You know, youíre right.í And ten years later, we understand it. So if thatís how you want to invoke your evidence for God, then God is an ever receding pocket of scientific ignorance that gets smaller and smaller and smaller as time goes on. So, just be ready for that to happen.
I object to religion in science classrooms not because it's religion but because it's not science.
If there is a God, He will have to beg my forgiveness. written on the wall of a concentration camp cell
Heaven or Hell? You make it seem as if that's an easy choice to make. Sitting there in heaven watching others burn, and I can't do anything to help? That in itself would be hell for me. I'd be up there fighting god and his angels to let me out, so that I can come down and at least try to help. I am a moral person. Heaven is for uncaring Hypocrites.
If it's true that we are all from the center of a star, every atom in each of us from the center of a star, then we're all the same thing. Even a coke machine or a cigarette butt in the street in Buffalo, is made out of atoms that came from a star. They've all recycled thousands of times, as have you and I. And therefore, it's only me out there, so what is there to be afraid of? What is there that needs solace seeking? Nothing. There is nothing to be afraid of because it's all us. The trouble is we have been separated by being born and given a name and an identity and being individuated. We have been separated from the oneness and that's what religion exploits, that people have this yearning to be part of the overall one again. So they exploit that. They call it god and they say he has rules and I think that's cruel. I think you can do it absent religion.
In the way that scepticism is sometimes applied to issues of public concern, there is a tendency to belittle, to condescend, to ignore the fact that, deluded or not, supporters of superstition and pseudoscience are human beings with real feelings, who, like the sceptics, are trying to figure out how the world works and what our role in it might be. Their motives are in many cases consonant with science. If their culture has not given them all the tools they need to pursue this great quest, let us temper our criticism with kindness. None of us comes fully equipped.
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
The idea that God could only forgive our sins by having his son tortured to death as a scapegoat is surely, from an objective point of view, a deeply unpleasant idea. If God wanted to forgive us our sins, why didn't he just forgive them? Why did he have to have his son tortured?
I would never die for my beliefs, because I might be wrong.
I hate to disappoint and take away the entertainment of it all but I am straight, not gay. It's disheartening to know such news on someone's personal life can be portrayed as fact with no viable source. This, to me, is an opportunity to expose our vulnerability to lies and manipulation through unprofessional and irresponsible news outlets, in which people consider TRUTH. Further, someone's sexual orientation should NEVER be big news, as it delivers a troubling message to children that they can't be themselves without fear of judgement. Race, creed, and sexual persuasion should not just be tolerated but understood and accepted. It's extremely disappointing that this topic would be used with the intention of being hurtful. We are near 2010... 2010! Yet race, sex and religion still play a major role in a hate-driven society. For the love of the future and humanity... let's wake up.
Senator, when you took your oath of office, you placed your hand on the Bible and swore to uphold the Constitution. You didn't place your hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible.
If you are offended by reading views that disagree with yours, then yes, you will be offended. However, it is not gratuitously offensive, it simply puts an argument, and if your views are strong enough, as I believe they are, you will be able to defend your views. You will not say, "Oh, it's offensive, it's offensive." You will say "No, you are wrong here and you are wrong here," and that's what you should do.
To criticise a person for their race is manifestly irrational and ridiculous but to criticise their religion, that is a right. That is a freedom. The freedom to criticise ideas, any ideas - even if they are sincerely held beliefs - is one of the fundamental freedoms of society. A law which attempts to say you can criticise and ridicule ideas as long as they are not religious ideas is a very peculiar law indeed.
What is wrong with inciting intense dislike of a religion if the activities or teachings of that religion are so outrageous, irrational or abusive of human rights that they deserve to be intensely disliked?
Take some time and put the Bible on your summer reading list. Try and stick with it cover to cover. Not because it teaches history; we've shown you it doesn't. Read it because you'll see for yourself what the Bible is all about. It sure isn't great literature. If it were published as fiction, no reviewer would give it a passing grade. There are some vivid scenes and some quotable phrases, but there's no plot, no structure, there's a tremendous amount of filler, and the characters are painfully one-dimensional. Whatever you do, don't read the Bible for a moral code: it advocates prejudice, cruelty, superstition, and murder. Read it because: we need more atheists ó and nothin' will get you there faster than readin' the damn Bible.
The Bible: Fact or Fiction?
So my decision to sever my ties with the Southern Baptist Convention, after six decades, was painful and difficult. It was, however, an unavoidable decision when th e convention's leaders, quoting a few carefully selected Bible verses and claiming that Eve was created second to Adam and was responsible for original sin, ordained that women must be "subservient" to their husbands and prohibited from serving as deacons, pastors or chaplains in the military service. This was in conflict with my belief - confirmed in the holy scriptures - that we are all equal in the eyes of God.
The truth is that male religious leaders have had - and still have - an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter.
I don't believe in Heaven and Hell. I don't know if I believe in God. All I know is that as as individual, I won't allow this life -- the only thing I know to exist -- to be wasted.
Never turn your back on Fear. It should always be in front of you, like a thing that might have to be killed.
Kingdom of Fear
Not scorning the three delightful children who are everything to me and my only chance at even a glimpse at a second life, let alone an immortal one. Iíll tell you something, if I was told to sacrifice them to prove my devotion to God, if I was told to do what all monotheists are told to do and admire the man who said, "Yes, Iíll gut my kid to show my love of God." Iíd say "No, fuck you."
I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.
If this is a war, my side has the nuclear bomb. We have K Street. We have Wall Street. Debbie doesn't have anybody. I want a government that is responsive to the people who got the short straw in life.
I donít have an issue with what you do in the church but Iím going to be up in your face if youíre going to knock on my science classroom and tell me I got to teach what youíre teaching in your Sunday school. Thatís when weíre going to fightÖ Thereís no tradition of scientists knocking down the Sunday school door, telling the preacher Ďthat might not necessarily be true.í Thatís never happened. There are no scientists picketing out front of churches. Thereís been this coexistence forever, so to have religious communities knocking down the science door, thereís something wrong there.
The Amazing Meeting, Keynote Speech, 2008
There is no god, and thatís the simple truth. If every trace of any single religion were wiped out and nothing were passed on, it would never be created exactly that way again. There might be some other nonsense in its place, but not that exact nonsense. If all of science were wiped out, it would still be true and someone would find a way to figure it all out again.
It annoys me that the burden of proof is on us. It should be "You came up with the idea. Why do you believe it?" I could tell you I've got superpowers. But I can't go up to people saying "Prove I can't fly." They'd go: "What do you mean 'Prove you can't fly'? Prove you can!"
But who prays for Satan? Who in eighteen centuries, has had the common humanity to pray for the one sinner that needed it most, our one fellow and brother who most needed a friend yet had not a single one, the one sinner among us all who had the highest and clearest right to every Christian's daily and nightly prayers, for the plain and unassailable reason that his was the first and greatest need, he being among sinners the supremest?
... if God really did create the world, then all I can say is well done God, round of applause for God. But if he expects to be worshipped on the back of it, then I'm afraid he can go straight to hell, which is where I suspect he originated, if such a place exists, because the god of the Old Testament reads as if he's a auditioning for the role of Satan. It would be hard to imagine a more malevolent entity without the aid of a pair of comedy horns and a pitchfork.
Just look at his track record. He comes out of the desert a few thousand years ago killing and smiting with righteous abandon, spawns three religions that absolutely loathe each other, supplies us with scriptures that set us at each other's throats like dogs over trifles, dividing us into us and them, into believers and infidels, ensuring that every one of us will be born with millions of instant enemies. Thanks to this monster, we live in a world divided against itself, where every one of us is an infidel to somebody, including you, no matter what you believe, even if it's nothing, you can be guaranteed that somebody somewhere hates your guts because of it. Welcome to planet earth, the centre of the universe. Enjoy your stay. Although apparently not enjoying it will get you into heaven that little bit quicker.
Children of a Stupid God
The very concept of blasphemy is a perfect illustration of the cowardly immaturity of the religious mind and the emptiness of religion itself. If religion contained any truth, it could be ridiculed, insulted, even defiled, without being diminished in any way. Its truth would shine through: undimmed, unblemished, shaming those who abused it into silence. But thatís not how things are. Religion is prickly. Itís intolerant. Itís ultra-defensive precisely because itís brittle and fragile. Itís about as substantial as a meringue. Itís all froth and no substance. Itís had thousands of years to make its case and all itís produced is sophistry, violence and a raft of morals that would shame a rattlesnake. And no amount of windbaggery and flim-flam from clergy can any longer disguise the simple bald fact that there is nothing there.
...only we don't call it 'ignorance', we call it 'faith'. What a horrible little word that is - faith - exuding as it does its fake aura of purity and virtue while fronting some of the ugliest ideas this planet has ever seen. Closing people's hearts when it should be opening them. Making them proud of things they should be ashamed of. And ashamed of things they should be proud of.
And I can see that everything about this God has been purposely designed to poison our experience of life on earth, not to enhance it, to keep us fearful, to suppress knowledge, to curtail freedom and creativity, and to celebrate death. It's nothing less than the sanctified dumbing-down of the human race. And demanding respect for it is frankly an insult that deserves to be repaid with considerable interest.
It doesn't have any effect on your life. What do you care?! People try to talk about it like it's a social issue. Like when you see someone stand up on a talk show and say, "How am I supposed to explain to my child that two men are getting married?"... I dunno, it's your shitty kid, you fuckin' tell 'em. Why is that anyone else's problem? Two guys are in love but they can't get married because you don't want to talk to your ugly child for fuckin' five minutes?
You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that, you son of a bitch."
Show me a man or a woman alone and I'll show you a saint. Give me two and they'll fall in love. Give me three and they'll invent the charming thing we call 'society'. Give me four and they'll build a pyramid. Give me five and they'll make one an outcast. Give me six and they'll reinvent prejudice. Give me seven and in seven years they'll reinvent warfare. Man may have been made in the image of God, but human society was made in the image of His opposite number, and is always trying to get back home.
Naturally, the common people don't want war, but after all, it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag people along whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be bought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denouce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country.
There's a reason you separate military and the police. One fights the enemies of the state; the other serves and protects the people. When the military becomes both, then the enemies of the state tend to become the people.
Atheism leaves a man to sense, to philosophy, to natural piety, to laws, to reputation; all of which may be guides to an outward moral virtue, even if religion vanished; but religious superstition dismounts all these and erects an absolute monarchy in the minds of men.
You never see animals going through the absurd and often horrible fooleries of magic and religion ... Dogs do not ritually urinate in the hope of persuading heaven to do the same and send down rain. Asses do not bray a liturgy to cloudless skies. Nor do cats attempt, by abstinence from cat's meat, to wheedle the feline spirits into benevolence. Only man behaves with such gratuitous folly. It is the price he has to pay for being intelligent but not, as yet, quite intelligent enough.
I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.
To rebel against a powerful political, economic, religious, or social establishment is very dangerous and very few people do it, except, perhaps, as part of a mob. To rebel against the "scientific" establishment, however, is the easiest thing in the world, and anyone can do it and feel enormously brave, without risking as much as a hangnail. Thus, the vast majority, who believe in astrology and think that the planets have nothing better to do than form a code that will tell them whether tomorrow is a good day to close a business deal or not, become all the more excited and enthusiastic about the bilge when a group of astronomers denounces it.
Although the time of death is approaching me, I am not afraid of dying and going to Hell or (what would be considerably worse) going to the popularized version of Heaven. I expect death to be nothingness and, for removing me from all possible fears of death, I am thankful to atheism.
If I were not an atheist, I would believe in a God who would choose to save people on the basis of the totality of their lives and not the pattern of their words. I think he would prefer an honest and righteous atheist to a TV preacher whose every word is God, God, God, and whose every deed is foul, foul, foul.
An Atheist believes that a hospital should be built instead of a church. An Atheist believes that a deed must be done instead of a prayer said. An Atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death. He wants disease conquered, poverty vanished, war eliminated.
With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil ó that takes religion.
But believing in something doesnít make it true. Hoping that something is true doesnít make it true. The existence of God is not subjective. He either exists or he doesnít. Itís not a matter of opinion. You can have your own opinions. But you canít have your own facts.
If what Jesus said was good, what can it matter if he was God or not?
God Bless You Dr. Kevorkian
You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war.