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.
[Reposting Alan Perlman's suggested speech for Pope Benedict's retirement, which he posted at the now-defunct site Atheist Nexus ten years ago.Archive copy at the Wayback Machine: …Continue
This one, with its context, is too long for the group comments, but in my opinion the context deserves to be more widely known. You'll probably enjoy it, whether or not you're a writer."Now,…Continue
The following is commentary, made by Atheist Universe member Doug Hanlon, regarding the Supreme Court of the United States, I presume in response to some of the previous quote postings which…Continue