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Quote Of The Day

A place to post favorite quotes about atheism and other significant topics

Website: https://
Members: 14
Latest Activity: 9 hours ago

I have been a quote collector and quote monger for at least as long as I have been an atheist, and likely much longer.  There is a fascination in me of those who are sufficiently skilled in language that they structure words into concepts and ideas and proposed actions which grab my attention and interest, whether it is John F. Kennedy's unabashed statement: "We choose to go to the moon and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard," Robert A. Heinlein's blunt expression: "If you've got the truth, you can demonstrate it.  Talking doesn't prove it. SHOW people," or Captain Kirk's subtle yet important tactical observation, having encountered and been challenged by the dauntingly huge First Federation vessel: "Not chess, Mr. Spock ... Poker!"

Certainly, atheism has had its share of skilled spokespeople, whose words have inspired and driven us, whether it was Madalyn Murray O'Hair, saying: "An Atheist believes that a hospital should be built instead of a church," or Sam Harris, who noted that: "The only problem with Islamic fundamentalism are the fundamentals of Islam," or Aron Ra's far more succinct: "If you can't SHOW it, you don't KNOW it."

Consciously or unconsciously, I suspect all of us have learned and grown from such words and many others, becoming stronger and more mature, not just in our atheism but in ourselves, having heard such words as these, and that is the point of this group: not to just deal in quotes which praise and promote atheism but which advance the cause of knowledge, self-understanding and self-ownership.  Each of us have likely heard someone say something and think, "Wow!" and resonated to the significance of what they heard.

That's what I want to do here: share, learn, and grow, not just from THEIR words, but our own.

==========================

One suggestion for the main comment area of the group: Please keep your quotes to under 20 lines or 200 words.  That way, one entry won't dominate a given page of the comment area.  If you have a longer quote or speech which you think is significant, create a separate post in the group.

Please enjoy!

Discussion Forum

Christopher Hitchens – "The Only Conversation Worth Having"

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Mrs.B Jun 8. 3 Replies

There may be no one whose words in favor of freedom of thought and in opposition to the mind-binding effect of religious belief were quite so powerful as those of Christopher Hitchens.  His repeated…Continue

Tags: debate, the only conversation worth having, poisoned chalice, William Dembski, Christopher Hitchens

WAR is a racket.

Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by Joan Denoo Apr 27. 7 Replies

WAR is a racket. It always has been.By Major General Smedley Butleronline at: https://ratical.org/ratville/CAH/warisaracket.html"It is…Continue

Tags: skills, interpersonal, &, personal

New Rule: Losing to China | Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO)

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Stephen Brodie Mar 14. 7 Replies

Bill Maher has been, is now, and likely will continue to be a polarizing figure for a while to come.  He says shit that angers people, hosts guest who have views that are sometimes WAY past Six…Continue

Tags: China, Real Time, Bill Maher

Sam Harris - First Rebuttal Against William Lane Craig

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Mrs.B Feb 3. 4 Replies

The following is OLD, not quite 10 years old, presuming that the video was released not long after the Notre Dame debate between Sam Harris and William Lane Craig.  That doesn't change the fact that,…Continue

Tags: rebuttal, debate, christianity, William Lane Craig, Sam Harris

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Comment was by Loren Miller on May 5, 2021 at 4:58am

Men become superstitious, not because they have too much imagination, but because they are not aware that they have any.
-- George Santayana

A VERY interesting assessment on why we have a whole panoply of imagined gods out there and not very far off, if off at all.

Comment was by Loren Miller on May 4, 2021 at 6:49am

Ignorance more frequently begets confidence, than it does knowledge: it is those who know little, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.
-- Charles Darwin

Sounds an awfully lot like Dunning - Kruger, doesn't it?

Comment was by Joan Denoo on May 4, 2021 at 3:12am

Loren & Grinning Cat, you inspire me to a higher level of assertion. 

Grinning Cat, I especially like the Jefferson quote, "We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy, as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors."

Comment was by Joan Denoo on May 4, 2021 at 2:40am

Elie Wiesel's quote, from his book, "The Night Trilogy: "Night," "Dawn," and "Day." He describes his experience during the holocaust, events that occurred after, and its effects on many survivors.

Silence implies agreement to the abuse, a submission to intolerable behaviors, a denial of oneself! 

Comment was by Joan Denoo on May 4, 2021 at 1:51am

Loren, I agree with your list of those to whom we "owe a similar debt;" I add Madalyn Murray O'Hair, Katha Pollitt, Annie Laurie Gaylor, Greta Christina, Jamila Bey, Susan Jacoby, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Simone de Beauvoir,  Margaret Sanger, Joyce Carol Oates, Barbara Ehrenreich, Rebecca Goldstein, Susan Blackmore, & Patricia Churchland.

Obviously, many of these women may be unknown to some of our group. However, they influenced me as I made my way in atheism.

Comment was by Mrs.B on May 3, 2021 at 3:12pm

So much is still so backward.

Comment was by Grinning Cat on May 3, 2021 at 3:09pm

"I am certainly not an advocate for frequent and untried changes in laws and constitutions... But I know also, that laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy, as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors."

--Thomas Jefferson

(As appropriate regarding religion as other things!)

Comment was by Grinning Cat on May 3, 2021 at 3:05pm

That bastard [Yahweh] would need to understand the suffering he created and experience it himself. That might start to balance the scales ...
-- Loren Miller

I had fun a few years ago telling a street evangelist (going on about sinful, unworthy people, how we should be begging forgiveness from God, yadda yadda) that if his God existed, then HE would need to be down on his knees begging forgiveness from us humans for all the atrocities he committed or allowed, and he'd need to be making things right. (You'd think all those resurrections, and complete physical and mental healings, should be trivial for an omnipotent deity.)

Yes, that was very definitely more for onlookers' benefit than for the evangelist's.

And that reminds me of Harold Kushner's When Bad Things Happen to Good People, where a rabbi tells of coming to believe, in the face of personal tragedy, in an unorthodox, very limited invisible friend who can't control and fix everything, who's as saddened and outraged as we are when bad things happen. That's much more moral than positing an omni­every­god­damned­thing idiot and/or asshole.

Comment was by Loren Miller on May 3, 2021 at 6:44am

Take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.
-- Elie Wiesel

Very well said and largely self-explanatory.

Comment was by Stephen Brodie on May 2, 2021 at 4:53pm

I'm not sure Santayana ever totally gave his Catholicism.

But thanks  Loren  you made me remember I have a Kindle edition of Spinoza: A life by Steven Nadler. Time for a Re-Read me thinks.

 

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