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httpjoke - A collection of jokes and stories circulating among offices on E-Mail as "Internet" folk humor. This is humor for your imagination; do not try these pranks at home.

The attitudes towards courtship, ethnic groups, gender differences, personalities, politics, products, and religion are not necessarily those of the authors, the contributors, or this web site. This is a humor page. All of us are the subjects of some jokes. I hope this collection can be a central repository. It may also help reduce the duplication we currently receive in our daily E-Mail.

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The trouble with born-again Christians is that they- are an even bigger pain the second time around.- [Herb Caen (b. 1916), U.S. columnist, author.- San Francisco Chronicle (20 July 1981)]

Believing is easier than thinking. Hence so many more believers than thinkers. [Bruce Calvert]

Who will venture to place the authority of Copernicus above that of the Holy Spirit? [John Calvin, citing Ps. 93:1 in his Commentary on Genesis]

God preordained, for his own glory and the display of His attributes of mercy and justice, a part of the human race, without any merit of their own, to eternal salvation, and another part, in just punishment of their sin, to eternal damnation. [John Calvin]

No efficiency. No accountability. I tell you, Hobbes, it's a lousy way to run a universe. [Calvin & Hobbes comic]

It's hard to be religious when certain people are never incinerated by bolts of lightning. [Calvin, Calvin and Hobes strip by Bill Waterson]

Mom and dad say I should make my life an example of the principles I believe in. But every time I do, they tell me to stop it. [Calvin & Hobbes]

Calvin: Do you believe in the devil? You know, a supreme evil being dedicated to the temptation, corruption, and destruction of man?
Hobbes: I'm not sure that man needs the help.

It does not pay a prophet to be too specific. [L. Sprague de Camp]

There is not one verse in the Bible inhibiting slavery, but many regulating it. It is not then, we conclude, immoral. [Rev. Alexander Campbell]

A one sentence definition of mythology? Mythology is what we call someone else's religion. [Joseph Campbell]

The priests used to say that faith can move mountains, and nobody believed them. Today the scientists say that they can level mountains, and nobody doubts them. [Joseph Campbell]

The night of December 25, to which date the Nativity of Christ was ultimately assigned, was exactly that of the birth of the Persian savior Mithra, who, as an incarnation of eternal light, was born the night of the winter solstice (then dated December 25) at midnight, the instant of the turn of the year from increasing darkness to light. [Joseph Campbell, _The Mythic Image_, Bollingen Series C, Princeton University Press, 1981, p. 33]

Creation 'scientists' must be aware that the informed workers in literary interpretation and in physical and biological sciences regard their stance as irresponsible, and that in the scholarly world as well as in the schools they are doing irreparable damage to the Christian cause. [Prof. Ken Campbell, Australian National University, in St. Mark's Review 137 (Autumn, 1989) (Anglican)]

I don't know whether this world has a meaning which transcends it. But I do know that I do not know that meaning and that it is impossible for me just now to know it. What can a meaning outside my condition mean to me? I can understand only in human terms. What I touch - what resists me - that is what I understand. And these two certainties - my appetite for the absolute and for unity, and the impossibility of reducing this world to a rational and reasonable principle - I also know that I cannot reconcile them. What other truth can I admit without lying, without bringing in a hope I lack and which means nothing within the limits of my condition? [Albert Camus, from The Myth of Sisyphus]

It is a matter of persisting. At a certain point on his path the absurd man is tempted. History is not lacking in either religions or prophets, even without gods. He is asked to leap. All he can reply is that he doesn't fully understand, that it is not obvious. Indeed, he does not want to do anything but what he fully understands. He is assured that this is the sin of pride, but he does not understand the notion of sin; that perhaps hell is in store, but he has not enough imagination to visualize that strange future; that he is losing immortal life, but that seems to him an idle consideration. An attempt is made to get him to admit his guilt. He feels innocent. To tell the truth, that is all he feels -- his irreparable innocence. This is what allows him everything. Hence, what he demands of himself is to live /solely/ with what he knows, to accommodate himself with what is, and to bring in nothing that is not certain. He is told that nothing is. But this at least is certainty. And it is with this that he is concerned: he wants to find out if it is possible to live without /appeal/. [Camus, An Absurd Reasoning]

If there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. [Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus]

Most religions do not make men better, only warier. [Elias Canetti]

U.S. Adults (Gallup): humans didn't evolve, 46 percent; evolution guided by God, 40; evolution occurred by itself, 10 percent. [Quoted by Adam L. Carley, Free Inquiry, Fall 1994]

The whole of religion has been one uniform curse to the human race... [Richard Carlile, As to God]

The enemy with whom I have to grapple is one with whom no peace can be made. Idolatry will not parley; superstition will not treat on covenant. They must be uprooted for public and individual safety. [Richard Carlisle]

I would never want to be a member of a group whose symbol was a guy nailed to two pieces of wood. [George Carlin]

We created god in our own image and likeness! [George Carlin]

I credit that eight years of grammar school with nourishing me in a direction where I could trust myself and trust my instincts. They gave me the tools to reject my faith. They taught me to question and think for myself and to believe in my instincts to such an extent that I just said, 'This is a wonderful fairy tale they have going here, but it's not for me.' [George Carlin, in the _New York Times_ 20 August 1995, pg. 17. He attended Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx, but left during his sophomore year in 1952 and never went back to school. Before that he attended a Catholic grammar school, Corpus Christi, which he called an experimental school.]

If churches want to play the game of politics, let them pay admission like everyone else [George Carlin]

This is a lttle prayer dedicated to the separation of church and state. I guess if they are going to force those kids to pray in schools they might as well have a nice prayer like this:

 Our Father who art in heaven, and to the republic for which it stands,
thy kingdom come, one nation indivisible as in heaven, give us this day
as we forgive those who so proudly we hail.  Crown thy good into temptation
but deliver us from the twilight's last gleaming.  Amen and Awomen.

[George Carlin, on Saturday Night Live]

I'm completely in favor of the separation of Church and State. My idea is that these two institutions screw us up enough on their own, so both of them together is certain death. [George Carlin]

Never attribute to Devil-worshipping conspiracies what opportunism, emotional instability, and religious bigotry are sufficient to explain. [Shawn Carlson, Ph.D.]

If Jesus Christ were to come today, people would not even crucify him. They would ask him to dinner, and hear what he had to say, and make fun of it. [Thomas Carlyle]

Just in the ratio knowledge increases, faith decreases. [Thomas Carlyle, English writer]

I don't believe in God. My god is patriotism. Teach a man to be a good citizen and you have solved the problem of life. [Andrew Carnegie]

Take a hard look at the Grand Canyon. Try to explain that through evolution. [Freddie Cash, net.fundie.idiot]

We [Catholics] are also under an obligation to keep secrets faithfully. And sometimes the easiest way to fulfill that duty is to say what is false, or to tell a lie. [Catholic Encyclical X, 195]

So that a false statement knowingly made to one who has a right to the truth will not be a lie. [Catholic Encyclical IX, 471]

If, therefore, the Catholic Church also claims the right of dogmatic intolerance with regard to her teachings, it is unjust to reproach her for exercising this right...She regards dogmatic intolerance not alone as her contestable right, but also as a sacred duty...According to Romans 8:11, the secular authorities have the right to punish, especially grave crimes with death; consequently, 'heretics may be not only excommunicated, but also justly put to death.' [The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1911 Edition, Vol. 14, pp.776,768]

I can imagine no greater misfortune for a cultured people than to see in the hands of the rulers not only the civil, but also the religious power. [Caius Valerius Catullus, Roman poet 87-54 BC]

The order of creation in the Bible is woefully incorrect and violates even the most simple and obvious rules of natural science. [Charles Cazeau, U.S. professor of geology]

We found that we didn't have much problem with him [J.C.], it was his followers we found questionable. [Graham Chapman, discussing making of Life of Brian]

Education and religion are two things not regulated by supply and demand. The less of either the people have, the less they want. [Charlotte Observer, 1897]

In God we rust. [Gordon Charrick]

It is usually when men are at their most religious that they behave with the least sense and the greatest cruelty. [Ilka Chase]

To downgrade the human mind is bad theology. [C. K. Chesterton]

The villa's and the chapel's where I learned with little labor The way to love my fellow man And hate my next-door neighbor. [C. K. Chesterton]

...once a person admits to not believing in God, this raises the question of whether or not that person believes in America.... [Chief spokesman for national office of the Boy Scouts]

Worship the gods as if they were present. [Motto inscribed on door of Chinese temple]

The Bible is one of the most genocidal books in history [Noam Chomsky]

We must not hold back in the battle for children's minds [Church of England spokesman]

Today, Jesus' name is used to divide us, to make us intolerant, bigoted, hateful. There is nowhere Jesus could be born today were he would feel comfortable. Jesus is being betrayed by the people who claim to believe in him. [F. Forrester Church, Unitarian minister and author of _God and Other Famous Liberals_, quoted in Life Magazine, Dec. 1994 Jesus issue]

History aside, the almost universal opinion that one's own religious convictions are the reasoned outcome of a dispassionate evaluation of all the major alternatives is almost demonstrably false for humanity in general. If that really were the genesis of most people's convictions, then one would expect the major faiths to be distributed more or less randomly or evenly over the globe. But in fact they show a very strong tendency to cluster...which illustrates what we all suspected anyway: that social forces are the primary determinants of religious belief for people in general. To decide scientific questions by appeal to religious orthodoxy would therefore be to put social forces in place of empirical evidence... [Paul Churchland,_Matter and Consciousness: A Contemporary Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind]

I wonder that a soothsayer doesn't laugh whenever he sees another soothsayer. [Marcus Tullius Cicero]

Kill them all. God will select those who should go to heaven and those who should go to hell. [Abbot Arnold de Citeaux, 1205]

It may be that our role on this planet is not to worship God, but to create him. [Arthur C. Clarke]

You don't believe in organized religion, yet a major theme in so many of your works seems to be a quest for God.

Yes, in a way--a quest for ultimate values, whatever they are. My objection to organized religion is the premature conclusion to ultimate truth that it represents... [Arthur C. Clarke, in _Playboy_ interview with Ken Kelly, 1986, from _Arthur C. Clarke: The Authorized Biography_ by Neil McAleer, Contemporary Books, 1992]

You will find men like him in all of the world's religions. They know that we represent reason and science, and, however confident they may be in their beliefs, they fear that we will overthrow their gods. Not necessarily through any deliberate act, but in a subtler fashion. Science can destroy a religion by ignoring it as well as by disproving its tenets. No one ever demonstrated, so far as I am aware, the nonexistance of Zeus or Thor, but they have few followers now. [Arthur C. Clarke, Childhood's End]

All religions united with government are more or less inimical to liberty. All separated from government are compatible with liberty. [Henry Clay]

For what is hairy is by nature drier and warmer than what is bare; therefore, the male is hairier and more warm blooded than the female; the uncastrated, than the castrated; the mature than the immature. [Clement of Alexandria, church father, Paedagogus 3.3]

Sensible and responsible women do not want to vote. The relative positions to be assumed by man and woman in the working out of our civilization were assigned long ago by a higher intelligence than ours. [Grover Cleveland, 1905]

Saying your prayers could be a health hazard according to a report in the Medical Journal of Australia. Dr. Margaret T. Taylor traced a case of lead poisoning to the rosary beads an eight-year-old girl was in the habit of kissing. Dr. Taylor suggested that lead poisoning from the same source could account for anemia among nuns and other members of the Catholic faith. [Cleveland Press, as quoted in _True Facts_]

It is wrong always, everywhere and for everyone to believe anything upon insufficient evidence. [W. K. Clifford]

We are a people of faith. We have been so secure in that faith that we have enshrined in our Constitution protection for people who profess no faith. And good for us for doing so. That is what the First Amendment is all about. [Pres. Bill Clinton]

Sometimes I think the environment in which we operate is too secular. That fact that we have freedom of religion doesn't mean we need to try to have freedom from religion. It doesn't mean that those of us who have faith shouldn't frankly admit that we are animated by that faith. [Pres. Bill Clinton]

The Bible is the authoritative Word of God and contains all truth. [Pres. Bill Clinton, at a prayer breakfast]

I ask you this whole week to pray for me and pray for the members of Congress; ask us not to turn away from our ministry. Our ministry is to do the work of God here on earth [Pres. Bill Clinton]

Thou shalt have one God only; who would be at the expense of two? [Arthur Hugh Clough, The Latest Decalogue]

You read the Bible in your own special ways you're fond of quoting certain things it says Mouth full of righteousness and wrath from above When do we hear about forgiveness and love? [Bruce Cockburn, Gospel of Bondage]

If life were to be found on a planet, then it would also have been contaminated by original sin and would require salvation. [Piero Coda, theology professor in Rome, in a statement to the Vatican, as reported by Ecumenical News International]

A Roman Catholic priest and theologian has called on his church to consider the possibility of evangelizing extraterrestrials, according to published reports. After two Swiss astronomers said they had discovered the first planet in a solar system similar to Earth's, Piero Coda, a theology professor in Rome, said any beings living on the planet would be in need of salvation. [Associated Baptist Press article, as quoted Jennifer Graham, Knight-Ridder Newspaper, in Mork from Ork is going to hell? Some scholars say extraterrestrials would be tainted by original sin.]

The evaporation of 4 million (people) who believe in this crap would leave the world a better place. [Andrei Codrescu, on the NPR program All Things Considered, Dec. 19, 1995, referring to believers in the Rapture]

The devil and God are components of a Siamese twin. Neither has any existence apart from the other. In denying the existence of the one, Christians have helped to kill the other. If there need to be no fear of hell, people may well ask what is the attraction of heaven? Gods and devils were born together. Gods and devils will die together. [Chapman Cohen, The Devil, Pamphlets for the People, no. 6]

Regularity in Nature is not proof of the control of Nature by a Divine intelligence; it is rather the reverse. If something- call it matter, or ether, or x - exists, it must operate in accordance with its innate qualities; and so long as this x remains uncontrolled, its manifestations will continue unchallenged- in other words, there will be order. The same causes, the same results. That is the manifest signs of a natural order that knows nothing of God. [Chapman Cohen]

Now, primitive man is neither a metaphysician nor an idealist. He does not concern himself with the origin and destiny of the universe, nor even with its nature, except so far as his necessities compel him to form some conclusions as to the nature of the forces around him. His gods are in no sense a creation of an idealising faculty, they are the most concrete matter-of-fact expressions. It is not even a question of morality. He does not say, Let us make gods in the interest of morality and the higher life; it is the sheer pressure of facts upon an uninformed mind that leads him to believe in those extra-natural beings, whose anger he is bound to placate. [Chapman Cohen]

Gods are fragile things; they may be killed by a whiff of science or a dose of common sense. [Chapman Cohen]

If religion cannot restrain evil, it cannot claim effective power for good. [Morris Cohen]

A whole generation started the day with prayer and ended up not benefiting very much from it. After all, it was not 7-year-olds who gathered stoned and naked at Woodstock. [Richard Cohen]

The religious right has many people crippled and blinded...They're cowering when there's no need to cower. The government's job is not to suggest, promote or choose religious thoughts to be recommended to the people. [Tennessee State Sen. Steve Cohn, in response to a Tennessee Senate resolution urging people to post and observe the Ten Commandments]

He who begins by loving Christianity more than Truth, will proceed by loving his sect or church better than Christianity, and end in loving himself better than all. [Samuel Taylor Coleridge]

To doubt has more of faith ... than that blank negation of all such thoughts and feelings which is the lot of the herd of church-and-meeting trotters. [Samuel Taylor Coleridge]

I told the priest, Don't count on any second coming, God got his ass kicked the first time he came down here slumming. [Concrete Blonde]

The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness. [Joseph Conrad]

For every age is fed on illusions, lest men should renounce life early, and the human race come to an end. [Joseph Conrad (Korzeniowski)]

And I just want to say...anyone who quotes the bible...that's bullshit. Because the bible is a book that has fucked up the world more than any other single book. A book that was written by a bunch of male chauvinists. [Consolidated, Dominion]

As you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make one drink, so also, You can drag a Christian to the truth, but you can't make one think. [Delmar Coughlin]

The problem with Protestantism is that it's not quite silly enough to be rejected out of hand. [R. Craig Coulter]

I am a prophet sent by God to declare the destruction of the United States because of abortion. [Michael Courtney]

A man said to the Universe,
Sir, I exist
Yes, said the Universe,
but that has not created within me
a sense of obligation.
 [Stephen Crane]

Why does god cause tornados and train wrecks? [Crash Test Dummies]

Keep your faith in God, but keep your powder dry. [Oliver Cromwell]

I slept with Faith, and found a corpse in my arms on awaking;
I drank and danced all night with Doubt, and found her a virgin in the morning.
[Aleister Crowley, _The Book of Lies_]

If one were to take the bible seriously one would go mad. But to take the bible seriously, one must be already mad. [A. Crowley]

There are no atheists in the foxholes. [William Thomas Cummings, _Field_Sermon_on_Bataan_ (1942)]

The price of seeking to force our beliefs on others is that someday they might force their beliefs on us. [Mario Cuomo]

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners... But for that very reason, I was shown mercy so that in me... Jesus Christ might display His unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. Now to the king eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. [Jeffrey Dahmer, convicted serial killer, in a statement to the court, Milwaukee, WI, February 17, 1992]

The best that we can do is to be kindly and helpful toward our friends and fellow passengers who are clinging to the same speck of dirt while we are drifting side by side to our common doom. [Clarence Darrow]

I don't believe in god because I don't believe in Mother Goose. [Clarence Darrow, speech, Toronto, 1930]

I am an agnostic; I do not pretend to know what many ignorant men are sure of. [Clarence Darrow]

The fact that there is a general belief in a future life is no evidence of its truth. [Clarence Darrow]

proof involves? The evidence against the persistence of personal consciousness is as strong as the the evidence for gravitation, and much more obvious. It is as convincing and unassailable as the proof of the destruction of wood or coal by fire. If it is not certain that death ends personal identity and memory, then almost nothing that man accepts as true is susceptible as proof. [Clarence Darrow, The Myth of Immortality]

They were allowed to stay there on one condition, and that is that they didn't eat of the tree of knowledge. That has been the condition of the Christian church from then until now. They haven't eaten as yet, as a rule they do not. [Clarence Darrow]

To think is to differ. [Clarence Darrow, Scopes trial, July 1925]

I say that religion is the belief in future life and in God. I don't believe in either. [Clarence Darrow, interview, N.Y. Times, 19 April 1936]

The origin of the absurd idea of immortal life is easy to discover; it is kept alive by hope and fear, by childish faith, and by cowardice. [Clarence Darrow]

In spite of all the yearnings of men, no one can produce a single fact or reason to support the belief in God and in personal immortality. [Clarence Darrow, The Sign, May 1938]

Just think of the tragedy of teaching children not to doubt. [Clarence Darrow]

If today you can take a thing like evolution and make it a crime to teach in the public schools, tomorrow you can make it a crime to teach it in the private schools and next year you can make it a crime to teach it to the hustings or in the church. At the next session you may ban books and the newspapers... Ignorance and fanaticism are ever busy and need feeding. Always feeding and gloating for more. Today it is the public school teachers; tomorrow the private. The next day the preachers and the lecturers, the magazines, the books, the newspapers. After a while, Your Honor, it is the setting of man against man and creed against creed until with flying banners and beating drums we are marching backward to the glorious ages of the sixteenth centry when bigots lighted fagots to burn the men who dared to bring any intelligence and enlightenment and culture to the human mind. [Clarence Darrow, at the Scopes Monkey Trial, 1925]

On the ordinary view of each species having been independently created, we gain no scientific explanation... [Charles Darwin]

I can hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true; for if so the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe, and this would include my Father, Brother and almost all my best friends, will be everlastingly punished. And this is a damnable doctrine. [Charles Darwin]

                   gullibility + arrogance
Unshakable faith = -----------------------
                         common sense

[Scott Davies (scottd@cory.EECS.Berkeley.EDU) on alt.atheism.moderated]

There are no physicists in the hottest parts of hell, because the existence of a hottest part implies a temperature difference, and any marginally competent physicist would immediately use this to run a heat engine and make some other part of hell comfortably cool. This is obviously impossible. [Richard Davisson]

Consider the idea of God. We do not know how it arose in the meme pool. Probably it originated many times by independent 'mutation.' In any case, it is very old indeed. How does it replicate itself? By the spoken and written word, aided by great music and great art. Why does it have such high survival value? Remember that 'survival value' here does not mean value for a gene in a gene pool, but value for a meme in a meme pool. The question really means: What is it about the idea of a god that gives it its stability and penetrance in the cultural environment? The survival value of the god meme in the meme pool results from its great psychological appeal. It provides a superficially plausible answer to deep and troubling questions about existence. It suggests that injustices in this world may be rectified in the next. The 'everlasting arms' hold out a cushion against our own inadequacies which, like a doctor's placebo, is none the less effective for being imaginary. There are some of the reasons why the idea of God is copied so readily by successive generations of individual brains. God exists, if only in the form of a meme with high survival value, or infective power, in the environment provided by human culture. [Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene]

Another meme of the religious meme complex is called faith. It means blind trust, in the absence of evidence, even in the teeth of evidence. The story of Doubting Thomas is told, not so that we shall admire Thomas, but so that we can admire the other apostles in comparison. Thomas demanded evidence. Nothing is more lethal for certain kinds of meme than a tendency to look for evidence. The other apostles, whose faith was so strong that they did not need evidence, are held up to us as worthy of imitation. The meme for blind faith secures its own perpetuation by the simple unconscious expedient of discouraging rational inquiry. [Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene]

Blind faith can justify anything. In a man believes in a different god, or even if he uses a different ritual for worshipping the same god, blind faith can decree that he should die - on the cross, at the stake, skewered on a Crusader's sword, shot in a Beirut street, or blown up in a bar in Belfast. Memes for blind faith have their own ruthless ways of propagating themselves. This is true of patriotic and political as well as religious blind faith. [Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene]

I think what attracts me about the Electric Monk is that it's such an eloquent example of the futility of belief for belief's sake. I mean there's only any point in believing something if it's true. [Richard Dawkins, interview with Douglas Adams]

And it's not just faith itself: it's the idea that faith is a virtue and the less evidence there is, the more virtuous it is. You can actually quote, well, Tertullian for example: It is certain because it is impossible. Sir Thomas Brown, actually seeking for more difficult things to believe, because things for which there is mere evidence are just too easy, and it's no test of his faith. In order to have a test of your faith, you must be asked to believe really daft things like the transubstantiation, you know, the blood of Christ turning into wine, and stuff... That is so manifestly absurd that you've got to be a really great believer, in the class of the Electric Monk, in order to believe it..... You're actually showing off your believing credentials by the ability to believe something like that... If it were an easy thing to believe, substantiated by facts, then it wouldn't be any great achievement. [Richard Dawkins, interview with Douglas Adams]

The level of awe that you get by contemplating the modern scientific view of the universe: deep time (by which I mean geological time), deep space, and what you could call deep complexity, living things..... that level of awe is just orders of magnitude greater and more awe-inspiring than the sort of pokey medieval world-view which the church still actually has. I mean, they sort of pay lip-service to the scientific world-view, but if you listen to what they say on Thought For The Day [a religious program on BBC Radio] and things like that, it is medieval. It's a small world, a small universe, with the sky up there, very little advance since that time. So I yield to nobody in my awe for the universe and for life, but I also have a deep desire to understand it, in terms of what makes it work, what makes it tick, and not to take refuge in spurious non-explanations like I just believe it because I believe it, that sort of thing. [Richard Dawkins, interview with Douglas Adams]

On the contrary, if the universe were just electrons and selfish genes, meaningless tragedies like the crashing of this bus [full of children from a Roman Catholic school and for no apparent reason but with wholesale loss of life] are exactly what we should expect, along with equally meaningless _good_ [italics in original] fortune. Such a universe would be neither evil nor good in intention. It would manifest no intentions of any kind. In a universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won't find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference. [Richard Dawkins, _River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life_, 1995, BasicBooks, New York; ISBN 0-465-01606-5]

I suspect the reason is that most people [...] have a residue of feeling that Darwinian evolution isn't quite big enough to explain everything about life. All I can say as a biologist is that the feeling disappears progressively the more you read about and study what is known about life and evolution.
I want to add one thing more. The more you understand the significance of evolution, the more you are pushed away from the agnostic position and towards atheism. Complex, statistically improbable things are by their nature more difficult to explain than simple, statistically probable things. [Richard Dawkins, from the _New Humanist_, the Journal of the Rationalist Press Association, Vol 107 No 2]

Science offers us an explanation of how complexity (the difficult) arose out of simplicity (the easy). The hypothesis of God offers no worthwhile explanation for anything, for it simply postulates what we are trying to explain. It postulates the difficult to explain, and leaves it at that. We cannot prove that there is no God, but we can safely conclude the He is very, very improbable indeed. [Richard Dawkins, from the _New Humanist_, the Journal of the Rationalist Press Association, Vol 107 No 2]

The analogy between telescope and eye, between watch and living organism, is false. All appearances to the contrary, the only watchmaker in nature is the blind forces of physics, albeit deployed in a very special way. A true watchmaker has foresight: he designs his cogs and springs, and plans their interconnections, with a future purpose in his mind's eye. Natural selection, the blind, unconscious, automatic process which Darwin discovered, and which we now know is the explanation for the existence and apparently purposeful form of all life, has no purpose in mind. It has no mind and no mind's eye. It does not plan for the future. It has no vision, no foresight, no sight at all. If it can be said to play the role of watchmaker in nature, it is the blind watchmaker. [Richard Dawkins, _The Blind Watchmaker_ (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1987), p. 5]

The theory of evolution by cumulative natural selection is the only theory we know of that is in principle capable of explaining the existence of organized complexity. [Richard Dawkins, _The Blind Watchmaker_ (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1987), p. 317]

All religions make me wanna throw up
All religions make me sick
All religions make me wanna throw up
All religions suck
They all claim that they have the Answer
When they don't even know the Question
They're just a bunch of liars
They just want your money
They just want your consciousness
All religions suck
All religions make me wanna throw up
All religions suck
All religions make me wanna BLEAH!
They really make me sick
They really make me sick
They really make me ILL!
[Religious Vomit, Dead Kennedys
(from In God We Trust, Inc., Alternative Tentacles VIRUS 5)]
You've got a Methodist Coloring Book
And you color really well
But don't color outside the lines
Or God will send you to hell
 [Dead Milkmen, Methodist Coloring Book]

...this monkey mythology of Darwin is the cause of permissiveness, promiscuity, prophylactics, perversions, pregnancies, abortions, pornotherapy, pollution, poisoning and proliferation of crimes of all types. [Judge Braswell Dean, in Time Magazine, March 1981]

...And whereas it has also come to the knowledge of the said Congregation that the Pythagorean doctrine -- which is false and altogether opposed to the Holy Scripture -- of the motion of the Earth and the immobility of the Sun, which is also taught by Nicolaus Copernicus in De Revolutionibus orbium coelestium, and by Diego de Zuiga on Job, is now being spread abroad and accepted by many... Therefore, in order that this opinion may not insinuate itself any further to the prejudice of Catholic truth, the Holy Congregation has decreed that the said Nicolaus Copernicus, De Revolutionibus orbium, and Diego de Zuiga, On Job, be suspended until they are corrected. [Decree of the Roman Catholic Congregation of the Index condemning De Revolutionibus, March 5, 1616]

The Catholic Church... upheld feudalism, then monarchism, warning of growing evils and possible revolutions. In the same manner, and under the same reservations, she now upholds capitalism; but, above all things and forever, she upholds the Catholic Church. [Daniel DeLeon, The Vatican in Politics, 1891]

The capitalist class is interested in keeping the workingmen divided among themselves. Hence it foments race and religious animosities that come down from the past. [Daniel DeLeon, Two Pages from Roman History, 1903]

Nothing exists except atoms and empty space; everything else is opinion. [Democritus]

The kindly God who lovingly fashioned each and every one of us and sprinkled the sky with shining stars for our delight -- that God is, like Santa Claus, a myth of childhood, not anything a sane, undeluded adult could literally believe in. That God must either be turned into a symbol for something less concrete or abandoned altogether [Daniel Dennett, Darwin's Dangerous Idea, p. 18]

In the beginning, there were no reasons; there were only causes. Nothing had a purpose, nothing has so much as a function; there was no teleology in the world at all. [Daniel C. Dennett, _Consciousness Explained_ (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1991), p. 173]

I don't want to start
Any blasphemous rumours
But I think that God's
Got a sick sense of humour
And when I die
I expect to find him laughing
 [Depeche Mode, Blasphemous Rumours
  (from Some Great Reward, Mute CDSTUMM19)]
girl of eighteen
fell in love with everything
found new life in Jesus Christ
hit by a car
ended up
in a life support machine
 [Depeche Mode]

The seeker after truth must, once in the course of his life, doubt everything, as far as is possible. What is doubtful should even be considered as false. This doubt should not, meanwhile, be applied to ordinary life. [Descartes, 1-3rd Principles of Human Knowledge]

When Yahweh your god has settled you in the land you're about to occupy, and driven out many infidels before you...you're to cut them down and exterminate them. You're to make no compromise with them or show them any mercy. [Deut. 7:1 (KJV)]

Already the spirit of our schooling is permeated with the feeling that every subject, every topic, every fact, every professed truth must be submitted to a certain publicity and impartiality. All proffered samples of learning must go to the same assay-room and be subjected to common tests. It is the essence of all dogmatic faiths to hold that any such show-down is sacrilegious and perverse. The characteristic of religion, from their point of view, is that it is intellectually secret, not public; peculiarly revealed, not generally known; authoritatively declared, not communicated and tested in ordinary ways...It is pertinent to point out that, as long as religion is conceived as it is now by the great majority of professed religionists, there is something self-contradictory in speaking of education in religion in the same sense in which we speak of education in topics where the method of free inquiry has made its way. The religious would be the last to be willing that either the history or the content of religion should be taught in this spirit; while those to whom the scientific standpoint is not merely a technical device, but is the embodiment of the integrity of mind, must protest against its being taught in any other spirit. [John Dewey, Democracy in the Schools, 1908]

It (modern philosophy) certainly exacts a surrender of all supernaturalism and fixed dogma and rigid institutionalism with which Christianity has been historically associated [John Dewey]

Styles of sculpture, music, and dance used to vary greatly from village to village within New Guinea. Some villagers along the Sepik River and in the Asmat swamps produced carvings that are now world-famous because of their quality. But New Guinea villagers have been increasing coerced or seduced into abandoning their artistic traditions. When I visited an isolated triblet of 578 people at Bomai in 1965, the missionary controlling the only store had just manipulated the people into burning all their art. Centuries of unique cultural development (heathen artifacts, as the missionary put it) had thus been destroyed in one morning. [Jared Diamond, _The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal_, 1992, Harper Collins, New York, page 231]

Missionaries are perfect nuisances and leave every place worse than they found it. [Charles Dickens]

I believe the spreading of Catholicism to be the most horrible means of political and social degredation left in the world. [Charles Dickens]

To prove the Gospels by a miracle is to prove an absurdity by something contrary to nature. [Diderot]

Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest. [Denis Diderot, Dithyrambe sur la fete de rois]

I have only a small flickering light to guide me in the darkness of a thick forest. Up comes a theologian and blows it out. [Denis Diderot]

It is very important not to mistake hemlock for parsley, but to believe or not believe in God is not important at all. [Denis Diderot]

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away. [Philip K. Dick]

The myths about Hades and the gods, though they are pure invention, help to make men virtuous. [Diodorus Siculus, about 20 B.C.]

When I look upon seamen, men of science and philosophers, man is the wisest of all beings; when I look upon priests and prophets nothing is as contemptible as man. [Diogenes]

Let me try to make crystal clear what is established beyond reasonable doubt, and what needs further study, about evolution. Evolution as a process that has always gone on in the history of the earth can be doubted only by those who are ignorant of the evidence or are resistant to evidence, owing to emotional blocks or to plain bigotry. By contrast, the mechanisms that bring evolution about certainly need study and clarification. There are no alternatives to evolution as history that can withstand critical examination. Yet we are constantly learning new and important facts about evolutionary mechanisms. [Theodosius Dobzhansky Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution, American Biology Teacher vol.35 (March 1973) reprinted in EVOLUTION VERSUS CREATIONISM, J. Peter Zetterberg ed., ORYX Press, Phoenix AZ 1983]

Are we courting you? Maybe we are, but what's wrong with that? You are the glue that holds America together. [Bob Dole, to a rally of the Christian Coalition]

For many years I have exhorted you in vain, with gentleness, preaching, praying and weeping. But according to the proverb of my country, 'where blessing can accomplish nothing, blows may avail.' We shall rouse against you princes and prelates who, alas, will arm nations and kingdoms against this land...and thus blows will avail where blessings and gentleness have been powerless. [St. Dominic, to the heretical Albiginses, Encyclopedia Brittanica]

Where would Christianity be if Jesus got eight to fifteen years with time off for good behavior? [NY State Senator James Donovan, speaking in support of capital punishment]

You've got to put in your pew time and come by your disdain for religion honestly, like us. [Doonsbury cartoon]

I can find no room in my cosmos for a deity save as a waste product of human weakness, the excrement of the imagination. [George Norman Douglas, South Wind (1917)]

I prayed for twenty years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs. [Frederick Douglass, escaped slave]

I bet you don't want anything about the Bible taught in school.
If they teach Greek and Roman mythology, they should also teach Middle Eastern mythology.

[Morton Downey, controversial TV talk-show host, to Rob Sherman, spokesman for American Atheists, on the show]

Geology shows that fossils are of different ages. Paleontology shows a fossil sequence, the list of species represented changes through time. Taxonomy shows biological relationships among species. Evolution is the explanation that threads it all together. Creationism is the practice of squeeezing one's eyes shut and wailing does not!. [Dr.Pepper@f241.n103.z1.fidonet.org]

If thinking freely for yourself is a sure ticket to hell, then the conversations in heaven must be awfully boring. [San Francisco's infamous *Dr. Weirde*]

Do not put your trust in such trinkets of deceit! [Dracula, on the crucifix]

How can the Church be received as a trustworthy guide in the invisible, which falls into so many errors in the visible? [John W. Draper (1811-1882), U.S. chemist]

If I were personally to define religion, I would say that it is a bandage that man has invented to protect a soul made bloody by circumstances. All forms of dogmatic religion should go. The world did without them in the past and can do so again. I cite the great civilizations of China and India. [Theodore Dreiser, press interview, March 1941]

I have too much respect for the idea of God to make it responsible for such an absurd world. [Georges Duhamel]

If God were suddenly condemned to live the life which he has inflicted upon men, He would kill himself. [Alexander Dumas]

Just as Philo, learned in Greek speculation, had felt a need to rephrase Judaism in forms acceptable to the logic-loving Greeks, so John, having lived for two generations in a Hellenistic environment, sought to give a Greek philosophical tinge to the mystic Jewish doctrine that the Wisdom of God was a living being, and to the Christian doctrine that Jesus was the Messiah. Consciously or not, he continued Paul's work of detaching Christianity from Judaism. Christ was no longer presented as a Jew, living more or less under the Jewish Law; he was make to address the Jews as you, and to speak of their Law as yours; he was not a Messiah sent to save the lost sheep of Israel, he was the coeternal Son of God; not merely the future judge of mankind, but the primeval creator of the universe. In this perspective the Jewish life of the man Jesus could be put into the background, faded almost as in Gnostic heresy; and the god Christ was assimilated to the religious and philosophical traditions of the Hellenistic mind. Now the pagan world-- even the anti-Semitic world--could accept him as its own. [Will and Ariel Durant, _The Story of Civilization_]

Christianity did not destroy paganism; it adopted it. The Greek mind dying, came to a tranmigrated life in the theology and liturgy of the Church; the Greek language, having reigned for centuries over philosophy, became the vehicle of Christian literature and ritual; the Greek mysteries passed down into the impressive mystery of the Mass. Other pagan cultures contributed to the syncretist result. From Egypt came the ideas of a divine trinity, the Last Judgement, and a personal immortality of reward and punishment; from Egypt the adoration of the Mother and Child, and the mystic theosophy that made Neoplatonism and Gnosticism, and obscured the Christian creed; there, too, Christian moanasticism would find itsw exemplars and its source. From Phrygia came the worship of the Great Mother; from Syria the resurrection drama of Adonis; from Thrace, perhaps the cult of Dionysus, the dying and saving god. From Persia came millennarianism, the ages of the world, the final conflagration, the dualism of Satan and God, of Darkness and Light; already in the Forth Gospel Christ is the Light shining in the darkness, and the darkness has never put it out. The Mithraic ritual so closely resemled the eucharistic sacrifice of the Mass that Christian fathers charged the Devil with inventing these similarities to mislead frail minds. Christianity was the last great creation of the ancient pagan world. [Will and Ariel Durant, _The Story of Civilization_]

With the judgment of the angels and the sentence of the saints, we anathematize, execrate, curse and cast out Baruch de Spinoza, the whole of the sacred community assenting, in presence of the sacred books with the six hundred and thirteen precepts written therein, pronouncing against him the malediction wherewith Elisha cursed the children, and all the maledictions written in the Book of the Law. /.../ Let him be accursed by day, and accursed by night; let him be accursed in his lying down, and accursed in his rising up; accursed in going out and accursed in coming in. May the Lord never more pardon or acknowledge him; may the wrath and displeasure of the Lord burn henceforth against this man, load him with all the curses written in the Book of the Law, and blot out his name from under the sky. [Catholic Church, excommunication of Spinoza, 27 July 1656, quoted by Will Durant in _The Story of Philosophy_; also George Seldes, _The Great Quotations_, 1983]

We've satisfied our endless needs, And justified our bloody deeds, In the name of Destiny, And in the Name of god [Eagles,The Last Resort]

God says do what you wish, but make the wrong choice and you will be tortured for eternity in hell. That sir, is not free will. It would be akin to a man telling his girlfriend, do what you wish, but if you choose to leave me, I will track you down and blow your brains out. When a man says this we call him a psychopath and cry out for his imprisonment/execution. When god says the same we call him loving and build churches in his honor. [William C. Easttom II, skeptic@icon.net]

So behold here the triumph God's wisdom has won.
Behold here the damage that can't be undone.
Stagnation is good, and we're good to the core,
while faith rots us like salt rots the land
 If your god helps the helpless, may he help you all well.
I'm bound for the outside to find my own hell.
If defiance means death, I would die before stand
like a sheep to be thrown to God's hand.
 [Julia Ecklar, The Hand of God from the album _Divine Intervention_]

Christian Science repudiates the evidences of the senses and rests upon the supremacy of God. Christian healing . . . places no faith in hygiene or drugs; it reposes all faith in mind, in spiritual power divinely directed. [Mary Baker Eddy, on Christian Science healing]

My mind is incapable of conceiving such a thing as a soul. I may be in error, and man may have a soul; but I simply do not believe it. [Thomas Edison, Do We Live Again?]

All Bibles are man-made. [Thomas Edison]

So far as religion of the day is concerned, it is a damned fake... Religion is all bunk. [Thomas Edison]

I have never seen the slightest scientific proof of the religious theories of heaven and hell, of future life for individuals, or of a personal God. [Thomas Alva Edison, Columbian Magazine]

I do not believe that any type of religion should ever be introduced into the public schools of the United States. [Thomas Edison]

The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked, his wrath towards you burns like fire; he is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in his sight; you are ten thousand times more abominable in his eyes than the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours. You have offended him infinitely more than ever a stubborn rebel did his prince; and yet it is nothing but his hand that holds you from falling into the fire every moment. It is to be ascribed to nothing else, that you did not go to hell the last night, that you was [sic] suffered to awake again in this world, after you closed your eyes to sleep. [Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, preached July 8, 1741. In Ola Elizabeth Winslow, ed., Jonathon Edwards: Basic writings (New York: New American Library, 1966) p. 159.]

I cannot conceive of a personal God who would directly influence the actions of individuals, or would directly sit in judgment on creatures of his own creation. I cannot do this in spite of the fact that mechanistic causality has, to a certain extent, been placed in doubt by modern science. [He was speaking of Quantum Mechanics and the breaking down of determinism.] My religiosity consists in a humble admiratation of the infinitely superior spirit that reveals itself in the little that we, with our weak and transitory understanding, can comprehend of reality. Morality is of the highest importance -- but for us, not for God. [Albert Einstein, from Albert Einstein: The Human Side, edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, Princeton University Press]

...a doctrine which is able to maintain itself not in clear light but only in the dark, will of necessity lose its effect on mankind, with incalculable harm to human progress. In their struggle for the ethical good, teachers of religion must have the stature to give up the doctrine of a personal God, that is, give up that source of fear and hope which in the past placed such vast power in the hands of priests.... The further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge. [Albert Einstein, address at the Princeton Theological Seminary, May 19, 1939, published in _Out of My Later Years_, New York: Philosophical Library, 1950.]

The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed. It was the experience of mystery-- even if mixed with fear -- that engendered religion. A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, our perceptions of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which only in their most primitive forms are accessible to our minds -- it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute true religiosity; in this sense, and in this alone, I am a deeply religious man. [Albert Einstein,_The World as I See It_]

The mystical trend of our time, which shows itself particularly in the rampant growth of the so-called Theosophy and Spiritualism, is for me no more than a symptom of weakness and confusion. Since our inner experiences consist of reproductions, and combinations of sensory impressions, the concept of a soul without a body seem to me to be empty and devoid of meaning. [Albert Einstein]

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_]

If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed. [Albert Einstein]

A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death. [Albert Einstein, Religion and Science, New York Times Magazine, 9 November 1930]

I do not believe in immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority behind it. [Albert Einstein: The Human Side, edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, and published by Princeton University Press.]

A human being is part of a whole, called by us the Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest--a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. [Albert Einstein]

It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it. [Albert Einstein, 1954, from Albert Einstein: The Human Side, edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, Princeton University Press]

What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of humility. This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism [Albert Einstein]

The foundation of morality should not be made dependent on myth nor tied to any authority lest doubt about the myth or about the legitimacy of the authority imperil the foundation of sound judgment and action. [Albert Einstein]

Scientific research is based on the idea that everything that takes place is determined by laws of nature, and therefore this holds for the action of people. For this reason, a research scientist will hardly be inclined to believe that events could be influenced by a prayer, i.e. by a wish addressed to a Supernatural Being. [Albert Einstein, 1936, responding to a child who wrote and asked if scientists pray. Source: Albert Einstein: The Human Side, Edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffmann]

I cannot believe that God plays dice with the cosmos. [Albert Einstein, in the London Observer, 5 April 1964, on his problems with quantum mechanics and not, as popularly misinterpreted, an expression of religious belief.]

The more a man is imbued with the ordered regularity of all events the firmer become his conviction that there is no room left by the side of this ordered regularity for causes of a different nature. For him neither the rule of human nor the rule of divine will exists as an independent cause of natural events. To be sure, the doctrine of a personal God interfering with natural events could never be refuted, in the real sense, by science, for this doctrine can always take refuge in those domains in which scientific knowledge has not yet been able to set foot. But I am convinced that such behavior on the part of representatives of religion would not only be unworthy but also fatal. For a doctrine which is to maintain itself not in clear light but only in the dark, will of necessity lose its effect on mankind, with incalculable harm to human progress. In their struggle for the ethical good, teachers of religion must have the stature to give up the doctrine of a personal God, that is, give up that source of fear and hope which in the past placed such vast power in the hands of priests. In their labors they will have to avail themselves of those forces which are capable of cultivating the Good, the True, and the Beautiful in humanity itself. This is, to be sure a more difficult but an incomparably more worthy task... [Albert Einstein, Science, Philosophy, and Religion, A Symposium, published by the Conference on Science, Philosophy and Religion in Their Relation to the Democratic Way of Life, Inc., New York, 1941]

Although I cannot believe that the individual survives the death of his body, feeble souls harbor such thought through fear or ridiculous egotism. [Albert Einstein]

I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own -- a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotisms. [Albert Einstein, obituary in New York Times, 19 April 1955]

The minority, the ruling class at present, has the schools and press, usually the Church as well, under its thumb. This enables it to organize and sway the emotions of the masses, and make its tool of them. [Albert Einstein, letter to Sigmund Freud, 30 July 1932]

I am convinced that some political and social activities and practices of the Catholic organizations are detrimental and even dangerous for the community as a whole, here and everywhere. I mention here only the fight against birth control at a time when overpopulation in various countries has become a serious threat to the health of people and a grave obstacle to any attempt to organize peace on this planet. [Albert Einstein, letter, 1954]

You will hardly find one among the profounder sort of scientific minds without a religious feeling of his own. But it is different from the religiosity of the naive man. For the latter, God is a being from whose care one hopes to benefit and whose punishment one fears; a sublimation of a feeling similar to that of a child for its father, a being to whom one stands, so to speak, in a personal relation, however deeply it may be tinged with awe.

But the scientist is possessed by the sense of universal causation... There is nothing divine about morality; it is a purely human affair. His religious feeling takes the form of a rapturous amazement at the harmony of natural law, which reveals an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection... It is beyond question closely akin to that which has possessed the religious geniuses of all ages. [Albert Einstein, Mein Weltbild, Amsterdam: Querido Verlag, 1934]

Invisible Pink Unicorns are beings of awesome mystical power. We know this because they manage to be invisible and pink at the same time. Like all religions, the Faith of the Invisible Pink Unicorns is based upon both logic and faith. We have faith that they are pink; we logically know that they are invisible because we can't see them. [Steve Eley]

And the alcoholic bastard waved his finger at me
His voice was filled with evangelical glee
Sipping down his gin and tonics
While preaching about the evils of narcotics
And the evils of sex, and the wages of sin
While he mentally fondles his next of kin...
 [Danny Elfman, Insanity]

Man makes himself, and he only makes himself completely in proportion as he desacrilizes himself and the world. The sacred is the prime obstacle to his freedom. He will become himself only when he is totally demysticized. He will not be truly free until he has killed the last god. [Mircea Eliade]

Our literature is a substitute for religion, and so is our religion. [T.S. Eliot, Milton, 1947]

For that again, is what all manner of religion essentially is: childish dependency. [Albert Ellis]

In a sense, the religious person must have no real views of his own and it is presumptuous of him, in fact, to have any. In regard to sex-love affairs, to marriage and family relations, to business, to politics, and to virtually everything else that is important in his life, he must try to discover what his god and his clergy would like him to do; and he must primarily do their bidding. [Albert Ellis, Ph.D]

And it is in his own image, let us remember, that Man creates God. [H. Havelock Ellis]

In an early class, one of the students asked me if I believed in God. I replied, 'I don't think so.' And then proceeded to wail on the theme, using material from this column of some weeks ago, in which I observed the perpetuation of insanity on this planet through the mediums of Arabs-vs-Jews, Catholics-vs-Protestants, Southern Baptists-vs-Everyone. I said I felt if 'God created man in his *own* image, in the image of God created he them,' (Genesis 2:27, King James's italics, not mine) then *we* were God. And when Man (*my* cap, not King James's) in his most creative, his most loving, his most gentle and most human, then he is most God-like. The student said he would pray for my immortal soul. He also asked for my address, so he could send me some literature on the subject of God. I thanked him politely and told him I'd gotten all the literature I could handle on the subject from a certain Thomas Aquinas. [Harlan Ellison, from The Glass Teat, Article #29]

When belief in a god dies, the god dies. [Harlan Ellison, Deathbird Stories]

Do you believe
God makes you breath?
How did he lose
Six million Jews?
[Emerson, Lake, & Palmer]

As men's prayers are a disease of the will, so are their creeds a disease of the intellect. [Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance (1841)]

The god of the cannibals will be a cannibal,
of the crusaders, a crusader,
and of the merchants a merchant.
[R.W. Emerson]

Other world! There is no other world! Here or nowhere is the whole fact. [Ralph Waldo Emerson]

A sect or party is an elegant incognito devised to save a man from the vexation of thinking. [Ralph Waldo Emerson]

7. Certain crimes are committed more immediately against God himself; others, against the state; and a third kind against certain persons. The chief crie in the first class, cognizable by temporal courts, is blasphemy, under which may be included atheism. This crime consists in denying or vilifying the Deity, by speech or writing. All who curse God or any of the persons of the blessed Trinity, are to suffer death, even for a single act; and those who deny him (sic), if they persist in their denial. The denial of a providence, or of the authority of the holy Scriptures, is punishable capitally for the third offence. [1771 edition of Encyclopedia Brittanica, under Law: Tit. 33 Of crimes]

Either God wants to abolish evil, and cannot;
 Or he can, but does not want to;
 Or he cannot and does not want to.
 If he wants to, but cannot, he is impotent.
 If he can, but does not want to, he is wicked.
 But, if God both can and wants to abolish evil,
 Then how come evil in the world?
  [Epicurus, 350-?270 BC]

There is nothing to fear from gods, There is nothing to feel in death, Good can be attained, Evil can be endured [The Four Herbs of Epicurus, 341-270 BC]

Thus that which is the most awful of evils, death, is nothing to us, since when we exist there is no death, and when there is death we do not exist. [Epicurus]

[66] To sum up (or I shall be pursuing the infinite), it is quite clear that the Christian religion has a kind of kinship with folly in some form, though it has none at all with wisdom. If you want proofs of this, first consider the fact that the very young and the very old, women and simpletons, are the people who take the greatest delight in sacred and holy things, and are therefore always found nearest the altars, led there doubtless solely by their natural instinct. Secondly, you can see how the first great founders of the faith were great lovers of simplicity and bitter enemies of learning. Finally, the biggest fools of all appear to be those who have once been wholly possessed by zeal for Christian piety. They squander their possessions, ignore insults, submit to being cheated, make no distinction between friends and enemies, shun pleasure, sustain themselves on fasting, vigils, tears, toil and humilations, scorn life and desire only death - in short, they seem to be dead to any normal feelings, as if their spirit dwelt elsewhere than in their body. What else can that be but madness? And so we should not be surprised if the apostles were thought to be drunk on new wine, and Festus judged Paul to be mad. [Erasmus, 'Praise of Folly']

Religion stills a thinking mind. [Greg Erwin]

If I didn't know better, I would think that you were just making definitions up in an ad hoc manner to avoid coming to a conclusion which contradicted your a priori wishes. [Greg Erwin]

Churches should look to their members and friends only for the financing of their undertakings, and no church should engage in any undertaking, no matter how laudable it may be, that its members and friends are unable or unwilling to finance. [Senator Sam Ervin]

When religion controls government, political liberty dies;and when government controls religion, religious liberty perishes. [Sen. Sam Ervin]

All religious vows, codes, and commitments are null & void herein. Please refrain from contaminating the ideosphere with harmful memes through prayer, reverence, holy books, proselytizing, prophesying, faith, speaking in tongues or spirituality. Fight the menace of second-hand faith! Humanity sincerely thanks you! [Greg Erwin, _The Nullifidian_]

They feed you on the guilt to keep you humble, keep you low Some man and myth they made up a thousand years ago. [Silent Legacy, Melissa Etheridge]

Do we, holding that the gods exist, deceive ourselves with insubstantial dreams and lies, while random careless chance and change alone control the world? [Euripedes, Hecuba]

He was a wise man who originated the idea of gods. [Euripedes (484-406 B.C.)]

I have repeated whatever may rebound to the glory, and suppresed all that could tend to the disgrace, of our religion. [Eusebius, early Church Father, in _Praeparatio Evangelica_, chapter 31, book 12]

The North American church is out of touch with global realities. [Evangelical Foreign Mission Association, affiliated with the Baptist Church, on the current state of mission outreaches by American christian churches]

(19)Yet she increased her whorings, remembering the days of her youth, when she played the whore in the land of Egypt (20) and lusted after her paramours whose members were like those of donkeys and whose emissions was like that of stallions [Ezekiel 23]