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"Q--is for quare, queries and quotes,"

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"Q--is for quare, queries and quotes,"

A new book of atheist quotations is soon being published under the title “Q—is for quare, queries and quotes”. There are 60 thematic sections or chapters. Many have some spare space on their last page. Over the next two weeks, welcome will be additional quotations by AU members where good and relevant, especially ones never published before.

Preface ………………………………………………………………………. 1
Chapter 1 Truths and Proverbs ……………… …………….… 3
Ch 2 Voices from the Past …………………………………… 10
Ch 3 Voices of the Present …………………………………… 15
Ch 4 Funeral Services ………………………………………….. 20
Ch 5 Marriages, Births and Education, Death, Prayers 25
Ch 6 Thoughts, Sayings and Self-Evident Truths …….. 38
Ch 7 Parables and Proverbs ………………………….… 41
Ch 8 Psalms and Songs and Poetry …………………. 44
Ch 9 Sense and Sensibility ………………………………… 50
Ch 10 Epigrams Epithets Epitaphs ……………….….. 55
Ch 11 Religion, Faith and Myths, Immortality ... 60
Ch 12 Religious Circumcision and FGM Abominations 73
Ch 13 Miracles ………………………………………………….… 79
Ch 14 “Intelligent” Design, also known as creationism 82
Ch 15 Creation Myths and Origin Beliefs …………… 92
Ch 16 Origins of Religion and Supernatural Belief 95
Ch 17 The Early Church and Large-scale Organised Religion 102
Ch 18 Festivals and Holy Days ……………………….. 105
Ch 19 Reason and Realism ……………………………... 107
Ch 20 Warnings: Caveat genus hominum…….…. 115
Ch 21 Optimism ………………………………………………… 133
Ch 22 Esperance ………………………………………………. 134
Ch 23 Plainly Put—Well Said ……………………………. 138
Ch 24 Short Sermons, True Stories …………………. 144
Ch 25 Biblical Passages too often Overlooked…….151
Ch 26 The Mass Murderer ………………………………… 154
Ch 27 Queries and Paradoxes …………………………… 157
Ch 28 Theological Thuggery and Wickedness …. 161
Ch 29 Theological Wriggling ……………………………….. 167
Ch 30 Farce ………………………………………………………… 171
Ch 31 Holy Book Blunders ………………………………… 178
Ch 32 Wit, Humour, Parody ………………………………. 183
Ch 33 Atheism and Morality ……………………………... 191
Ch 34 Atheist Life and Purpose …………………………. 198
Ch 35 Science and the Sense of Wonder ………….. 201
Ch 36 The Antiquity of Man ………………………………. 206
Ch 37 Atheist Nexus …………………………………………… 210
Ch 38 Science and Religion ……………………………….. 214
Ch 39 Questions and Answers ………………………….. 219
Ch 40 Letters to Editors ……………………………………… 224
Ch 41 Meet Presidents of the United States in 30 Statements 230
Ch 42 People: Who said it? …………………………….... 233
Ch 43 Words of Wisdom from or about Women … 243
Ch44 Interviews including Wafa Sultan ……………. 249
Ch 45 Superstition, Magic and Charms ……………. 256
Ch 46 Gloria in excelsis [beauty of art, poetry, music, science] 259
Ch 47 Human Rights Won, Partly Won or to be Won264
Ch 48 The Necessity of Atheism: Percy Bysshe Shelly… 273
Ch 49 Science Foundation on the Attack:
Richard Dawkins’ “Foundation for Science and Reason” 276
Ch 50 Agnosticism..…………………………………………... 278
Ch 51 Humanism ………………………………………………… 280
Ch 52 Kasese Humanist Primary School ……….… 283
Ch 53 Riches of the ‘Impoverished’ Church ……… 285
Ch 54 How to Escape Religion when Baptised … 287
Ch 55 Evil …………………………………………………………… 288
Ch 56 Slavery in the Bible ………………………….……. 293
Ch 57 Violence in the Name of Religion …………… 294
Ch 58 Exhortations …………………………………………… 300
C 59 Brief Comment: A twitter-length bible of 138 characters 303
Ch 60 Codicil: The International Humanist and Ethical Union 304
Epilogue ……………………………………………………………... 306

Stand up for your right not to be ruled by superstition 307-326

Index of authors about 326-333

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Latest Activity: Jan 26

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Comment was by Joan Denoo on January 26, 2021 at 11:56pm

Terry, do you know the publishing date? And, who is your publisher? 

I feel honored that you consider including my comments in your book. I realize any thoughts I have come from conversations I have with interesting people, or from my voluminous reading, or our group's wisdom.  I absorb ideas like a sponge.

Comment was by Terence Meaden on January 20, 2021 at 6:17am

Joan, I am thinking of using your comment in the forthcoming book:

“And like language, a different characteristic can be learned. If we can learn to be religious, we can learn to be non-religious. It is a matter of motivation to learn and learn something different. I remember my first class to be a teacher, the professor said “Learning is change in behaviour,” The rest of my teaching education, including those of Life Skills, was figuring out how to teach, especially if the student was not interested in what I was teaching.” Joan Denoo. Atheist Universe. 2021.

Comment was by Terence Meaden on January 20, 2021 at 5:50am

Re: the original meaning of quare, over 2000 years ago.

Hmmm, Joan, I'm glad you raised this question.

I was unaware of these strange and queer meanings of the word quare which is a natural word to me in the 'thinking' part of my world.

Quare is simply the Latin word for Why? It is pronounced as if in square-ray. I did not know that the word had been hi-jacked in the manner that you explain.
I must seek a replacement for it now, seeing that the "Collins” dictionary can mislead.
This explains why I opened the preface of my book with the following words:


PREFACE

Q—is for quare, queries and quotes.

Questions! We are always questioning.

Quare? “Why?”

Q: Why and how did religion come to dominate human mentality in every continent worldwide?

Answer: Initially, because people had no proper understanding behind what mattered to them the most: safety from danger, security as to food and water, and fertility as to livestock, crops and human birth.

Comment was by Joan Denoo on January 20, 2021 at 3:01am

It wasn't until I was teaching Life Skills in our prison system in Spokane that I ran across homosexuality in my classroom. Teaching human sexuality had to be part of my teaching plan. 

Comment was by Joan Denoo on January 20, 2021 at 2:57am

Terry, I like your quote from Steve Bruce: 

"Christian is not ‘natural’; it is an acquired characteristic. Like a language, it must be learned."

And like language, a different characteristic can be learned. If we can learn to be religious, we can learn to be non-religious. It is a matter if motivation to learn and learn something different.
I remember my first class to be a teacher, the prof said "Learning is change in behavior," The rest of my teaching education was figuring out how to teach, especially if the student was not interested in what I was teaching.

I was really up a creek when teaching teenagers in Texas, I had to teach the Earth is 6,000 years old. GGRR. The usual sexuality experience walked into my classroom every day and I could not offer options other an abstinence. 

When a young girl came to me about being pregnant, I could only offer support; when she, not he, was expelled, I made sure to continue supporting her. 

Comment was by Joan Denoo on January 20, 2021 at 2:26am

Terry, I have not seen or heard this word used before;  

"quare:"

n. An obsolete form of quire. A "dialectal variant of queer*.

adj. 1. remarkable or strange: a quare fellow.

adj. 2. great or good: you're in a quare mess. 

adv. very remarkably.

~"quare." Retrieved January 20 2021 Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014. 

*queer

As you use the word "quare" do you include the meaning as a disparaging term for a gay man or a lesbian.?"

adj. Deviating from what is expected or normal; strange.
adj. Odd or unconventional, as in behavior; eccentric.
adj. Of a questionable nature or character; suspicious.
adj. Offensive Slang Gay or lesbian.
adj. Usage Problem Of or relating to lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, or transgender people.
adj. Feeling slightly ill, as in being dizzy or queasy.
noun.  Offensive Slang Used as a disparaging term for a gay man or a lesbian.
noun.  Usage Problem A lesbian, gay male, bisexual, or transgender person.
transitive verb.  To ruin or thwart.

~ The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

Comment was by Joan Denoo on January 20, 2021 at 1:43am

quare, 

Comment was by Mrs.B on January 19, 2021 at 2:14pm

Thank you, Terry.

Comment was by Terence Meaden on January 19, 2021 at 2:07pm

OPTIMISM AMONG WE ATHEISTS

CHAPTER 21 

OPTIMISM      

“From a miniscule presence in 1900, a mere 0.2% of the globe, these systems [agnosticism and atheism] are today expanding at the extraordinary rate of 8.5 million new converts each year, and are likely to reach one billion adherents soon. A large percentage of their members are the children, grandchildren or the great-great-grandchildren of persons who in their lifetimes were practicing Christians.”  World Christian Encyclopedia 2009.

“People do not accidentally become religious. Being a Christian is not ‘natural’; it is an acquired characteristic. Like a language, it must be learned and, if it is not used in the home, in everyday conversation and in public life, it dies out. As the population that speaks a minority tongue shrinks, decline does not slow; it becomes faster. There is no natural obstacle to the death of a language. I do not see why the fate of a religion should be different.  Steve Bruce, professor of sociology, commenting on the decline in religion in Scotland. The Scotsman. May 2005.

Civilization will not attain to its perfection until the last stone...”.  Emile Zola.

I live in hazard and infinity. The cosmos stretches around me, meadow on meadow of galaxies, reach on reach of dark space, steppes of stars, oceanic darkness and light. There is no god in it, no particular concern or particular mercy. Yet everywhere I see a living balance, a rippling tension, an enormous yet mysterious simplicity, an endless breathing of light. And I comprehend that being is understanding that I must exist in hazard but that the whole is not in hazard. Seeing and knowing this is being conscious: accepting it is being human.” John Fowles.

“Barely a day goes by without news of gross violations of human rights of Muslims living in so-called Islamic countries. Whether it is honour killings of sisters and mothers or the harassment of gays and calls for their death; whether it is imprisonment of political opponents or attacks on minorities, we Muslims who live in the West are constantly reminded of the rights we enjoy under secular parliamentary democracies as individual human beings.”  Tarek Fatah. AtheistWeb.  21 Aug 2009.

“France and Paris are the cradle of the Enlightenment, the birthplace of secularism and the separation between the State and the Church, a beacon of freedom of thought, scepticism and powerful satire. Agnès Poirier. The Guardian. 20 November 2015.

“Australia, New Zealand and Japan. The failure of the faith in the West is regularly denounced by Popes and Protestant leaders. Churches are being converted into libraries, laundromats and pubs. Those who disbelieve in deities typically make up large portions of the population, according to some surveys they make up the majority of citizens in Scandinavia, France and Japan.” G. Paul and P. Zuckerman. 2007.

“I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute…where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference.” John F. Kennedy.

Comment was by Terence Meaden on January 4, 2021 at 11:29am

Here is the remainder of the Preface to "Q":

[continuation]

As a long-coveted idea, the god concept appears from beyond science, and depends for quiddity and supernatural anecdote on human creativity, misguided ingenuity, fancy, and deluded inspiration. As Susan Blackmore said, “people’s desire to believe in the paranormal is stronger than all the evidence that it does not exist”.

Indeed, religious beliefs suit best those people who, with little conscious input, seek order in their lives—whether socially or solitarily—at the same time furnishing answers as how to obtain a happy afterlife. Bertrand Russell declared “Belief systems provide a programme which relieves the necessity of thought.”

Ludwig Feuerbach understood how “man created god in his own image”, seeing that all gods are created inside human heads—which is why they are all different, in being invented by different peoples in different ages in different continents each to their fancy.

To dissuade people to surrender irrational beliefs is demanding and often fruitless, because rational arguments do not work with religious people—otherwise there would be no religious people. A searching difficulty is that non-theists can no more prove that some god doesn't exist than theists can prove that one does; and many believers know this. Yet the same applies for characters of fiction like leprechauns, unicorns, flying spaghetti monsters, Dracula and ghosts. Once invented, they gain a life of their own. David A. Spitz expressed it this way: “One might ask ‘How can you prove that a god does not exist?’ One can only reply that it is scarcely necessary to disprove what has never been proved”.

In contrast to the bold assertions of religious faith, science is without dogma. It is forever open to enquiry, experimentation, and verification, forever willing to be revised if fresh evidence calls for it. There are no fables, no legends, no irrationalities, no spirits. Using the facts of science and well-supported logical hypotheses, scientists uncover practical, credible explanations for the physical laws, from which they can predict still more. Unlike theists—readily satisfied by blindness of faith—science shuns illusory fantasies.

Loren Miller: “We live now in the age of science, methodology and logic, where rational thought is slowly but surely displacing superstition as the primary means of evaluating our reality, how it behaves and what we can do with it. The brand of “crossing your fingers” which Pascal's Wager represents has no place and is unsupportable by any form of rational analysis.” 14 November 2009. Atheist Nexus.

Yet most theists in adoring their god oust other gods from their, or any, heaven. They banish the deities of others to the realms of fantasy which they achieve by applying higher standards of criticism to other faiths in contrast to lower standards for their own. In this fashion, acceptance of faith carries followers through the irrational tangles of their own beliefs. By contrast, in evolutionary science and all of biology, the world of intellect has accumulated a vast corpus of interdependent self-supporting experience, knowledge and theory. Such is the legacy of hundreds of thousands of busy scientists over the years since Darwin’s climactic year of 1859.

Modern Darwinism warrants total recognition in the form of popular steadfast law, and should be taught as such; whereas the Holy Bible is nothing but a book—with fables and disturbing theatres of violence joined with issues of dominance and subordination, and a dismal focus with its centuries of wars and massacres.

 

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