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"The Theologian is an owl, sitting on an old dead branch in the tree of human knowledge, and hooting the same old hoots that have been hooted for hundreds and thousands of years, but he has never given a hoot for progress." -- Emmet F. Fields
"Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and tortuous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we call it the word of a demon than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize [hu]mankind." -- Thomas Paine
"'Faith' means not wanting to know what is true." -- Friedrich Nietzsche
"...if devotion to truth is the hallmark of morality, then there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.... the alleged short-cut to knowledge, which is faith, is only a short-circuit destroying the mind." [Ayn Rand, "Atlas Shrugged"]
"Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty." Bertrand Russell, "Unpopular Essays"
We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart." -- H.L. Mencken
"Religion is so full of inconsistencies that I could see no point in arguing each inconsistency out. It was background noise that you ignore." -- Gene Roddenberry
"Everywhere in the world there are ignorance and prejudice, but the greatest complex of these, with the most extensive prestige and the most intimate entanglement with traditional institutions, is the Roman Catholic Church." -- H.G. Wells
"The belief that the soul continues its existence after the dissolution of the body is a matter of philosophical or theological speculation rather than of simple faith, and is accordingly nowhere expressly taught in Holy Scripture." [The Jewish Encyclopedia (1910), Vol. VI, p. 564]
"And that inverted bowl we call the sky, Whereunder crawling coop't we live and die, lift not thy hands to It for help - for It Rolls impotently on as Thou or I." -- Rubàiyàt
"Theology-An effort to explain the unknowable by putting it into terms of the not worth knowing." [H.L. Mencken]
TREATY OF PEACE AND FRIENDSHIP BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND THE BEY AND SUBJECTS OF TRIPOLI OF BARBARY 8 Stat. 154, Treaty Series 358
Treaty signed at Tripoli November 4, 1796, and at Algiers January 3, 1797. Senate advice and consent to ratification June 7, 1797. Ratified by the President of the United States June 10, 1797 Entered into force June 10, 1797 Proclaimed by the President of the United States June 10, 1797.
As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion, -- as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen,-- and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religous opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries." [John Adams, 1797-05-27, Article 11, Treaty of Peace and Friendship between the US and the Bey and Subjects of Tripoli of Barbary. Treaties and Other International Acts of America, ed. Hunter Miller]
"It requires only two things to win credit for a miracle: a mountebank and a number of silly women." [Marquis de Sade]
"It is best to read the weather forecast before praying for rain." -- Mark Twain
"...our constitutional tradition, from the Declaration of Independence and the first inaugural address of Washington... down to the present day, has, with a few aberrations, see Church of Holy Trinity v. United States, 143 U.S. 457, 12 S.Ct. 511, 36 L.Ed. 226 (1892), ruled out of order government-sponsored endorsement of religion--even when no legal coercion is present, and indeed even when no ersatz, "peer-pressure" psycho-coercion is present--where the endorsement is sectarian, in the sense of specifying details upon which men and women who believe in a benevolent, omnipotent Creator and Ruler of the world are known to differ (for example, the divinity of Christ)." [Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, _Lee v. Weisman_, 505 U.S. 577, 641 (1992)]
"Faith is the glorification of ignorance." -- Jeff Dee
"I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the kind that we experience in ourselves. Neither can I nor would I want to conceive of an individual that survives his physical death; let feeble souls, from fear or absurd egoism, cherish such thoughts. I am satisfied with the mystery of the eternity of life and with the awareness and a glimpse of the marvelous structure of the existing world, together with the devoted striving to comprehend a portion, be it ever so tiny, of the Reason that manifests itself in nature." [Albert Einstein,_The World as I See It_]
"'God's' message in my dream was very different. It confirmed what I have come to believe -- that we are here on earth to live life fully. It helped me respect myself, and stop feeling wrong for doing what felt right. When I consider some kind of life-force, I now believe that she/he/it supports me in being who I am. There are no easy answers and life can get tough at times. Yet despite the ambiguity we all need to plunge ahead and do it anyway. We can find the courage and discover great joy." Marlene Winell, Leaving the Fold (Oakland, CA: New Harbinger, 1993), pp. ix-x.
"Faith is the antithesis of proof." [NY State Supreme Court Justice Edward J. Greenfield, 1995]
"The fact that there is a general belief in a future life is no evidence of its truth." [Clarence Darrow]