Liberal friendly quotes:
"Is [God] willing to prevent evil, but unable? then he is impotent.
Is he able, but not willing? then he is malevolent. Is he both willing
and able? whence then is evil?"
-- Epicurus, quoted by Philo in Dialogues, X.
"If everything must have a cause, then God must have
a cause. If there can be anything without a cause, it may just
as well be the world as God, so that there cannot be any validity
in that argument
The idea that things must have a beginning
is really due to the poverty of our imagination."
-- Bertrand Russell, Why I am not a Christian
"Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
-- Lord John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, 1887. Often misquoted as
"Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Acton
was condemning the doctrine of papal infallibility.
"A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on
sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary.
Man would indeeded be in a poor way if he had to be restrained
by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death."
-- Albert Einstein
"That is the idea -- that we should all be wicked if
we did not hold to the Christian religion. It seems to me that
the people who have held to it have been for the most part extremely
wicked. You find this curious fact, that the more intense has
been the religion of any period and the more profound has been
the dogmatic belief, the greater has been the cruelty and the
worse has been the state of affairs. In the so-called ages of
faith, when men really did believe the Christian religion in all
its completeness, there was the Inquisition, with all its tortures;
there were millions of unfortunate women burned as witches; and
there was every kind of cruelty practiced upon all sorts of people
in the name of religion."
-- Bertrand Russell, Why I am not a Christian
"You find as you look around the world that every single
bit of progress in humane feeling, every improvement in the criminal
law, every step toward the diminution of war, every step toward
better treatment of the colored races, or every mitigation of
slavery, every moral progress that there has been in the world,
has been consistently opposed by the organized churches of the
world. I say quite deliberately that the Christian religion, as
organized in its churches, has been and still is the principal
enemy of moral progress in the world."
-- Bertrand Russell, Why I am not a Christian
"Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do
it with religious conviction."
-- Blaise Pascal
"He is YOUR God, They are YOUR rules, YOU Burn in Hell."
-- Ephemera Buttons and Magnets
a God who could make good children as easily a bad,
yet preferred to make bad ones; who could have made every one
of them happy, yet never made a single happy one; who made them
prize their bitter life, yet stingily cut it short; who gave his
angels eternal happiness unearned, yet required his other children
to earn it; who gave is angels painless lives, yet cursed his
other children with biting miseries and maladies of mind and body;
who mouths justice, and invented hell -- mouths mercy, and invented
hell -- mouths Golden Rules and forgiveness multiplied by seventy
times seven, and invented hell; who mouths morals to other people,
and has none himself; who frowns upon crimes, yet commits them
all; who created man without invitation, then tries to shuffle
the responsibility for man's acts upon man, instead of honorably
placing it where it belongs, upon himself; and finally, with altogether
divine obtuseness, invites his poor abused slave to worship
-- Mark Twain, The Mysterious Stranger
"During many ages there were witches. The Bible said
so. The Bible commanded that they should not be allowed to live.
Therefore the Church, after eight hundred years, gathered up its
halters, thumb-screws, and firebrands, and set about its holy
work in earnest. She worked hard at it night and day during nine
centuries and imprisoned, tortured, hanged, and burned whole hordes
and armies of witches, and washed the Christian world clean with
their foul blood. Then it was discovered that there was no such
thing as witches, and never had been. One does not know whether
to laugh or to cry
There are no witches. The witch text
remains; only the practice has changed."
-- Mark Twain, Europe and Elsewhere, "Bible Teaching and
"Blasphemy? No, it is not blasphemy. If God is as vast as
that, he is above blasphemy; if He is as little as that, He is
-- Mark Twain, a Biography
"If I were to construct a God I would furnish Him with some
way and qualities and characteristics which the Present lacks.
He would not stoop to ask for any man's compliments, praises,
flatteries; and He would be far above exacting them. I would have
Him as self-respecting as the better sort of man in these regards.
He would not be a merchant, a trader. He would not buy these things.
He would not sell, or offer to sell, temporary benefits of the
joys of eternity for the product called worship. I would have
Him as dignified as the better sort of man in this regard. He
would value no love but the love born of kindnesses conferred;
not that born of benevolences contracted for. Repentance in a
man's heart for a wrong done would cancel and annul that sin;
and no verbal prayers for forgiveness be required or desired or
expected of that man. In His Bible there would be no Unforgiveable
Sin. He would recognize in Himself the Author and Inventor of
Sin and Author and Inventor of the Vehicle and Appliances for
its commission; and would place the whole responsibility where
it would of right belong: upon Himself, the only Sinner. He would
not be a jealous God -- a trait so small that even men despise
it in each other. He would not boast. He would keep private Hs
admirations of Himself; He would regard self-praise as unbecoming
the dignity of his position. He would not have the spirit of vengeance
in His heart. Then it would not issue from His lips. There would
not be any hell -- except the one we live in from the cradle to
the grave. There would not be any heaven -- the kind described
in the world's Bibles. He would spend some of His eternities in
trying to forgive Himself for making man unhappy when he could
have made him happy with the same effort and he would spend the
rest of them in studying astronomy."
-- Mark Twain's Notebook
"The best minds will tell you that when a man has begotten
a child he is morally bound to tenderly care for it, protect it
from hurt, shield it from disease, clothe it, feed it, bear with
its waywardness, lay no hand upon it save in kindness and for
its own good, and never in any case inflict upon it a wanton cruelty.
God's treatment of his earthly children, every day and every night,
is the exact opposite of all that, yet those best minds warmly
justify these crimes, condone them, excuse them, and indignantly
refuse to regard them as crimes at all, when he commits them.
Your country and mine is an interesting one, but there is nothing
there that is half so interesting as the human mind."
-- Mark Twain, Letters from the Earth
"Man is a Religious Animal. He is the only Religious
Animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion -- several
of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself
and cuts his throat if his theology isn't straight. He has made
a graveyard of the globe in trying his honest best to smooth his
brother's path to happiness and heaven
The higher animals
have no religion. And we are told that they are going to be left
out in the Hereafter. I wonder why? It seems questionable taste."
-- Mark Twain, The Lowest Animal essay, 1897
"I have recently been examining all the known superstitions
of the world, and do not find in our particular superstition (Christianity)
one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology."
-- Thomas Jefferson
"Believing that religion is a matter which lies solely between
man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith
or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach
actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence
that act of the whole American people which declared that their
Legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of
religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building
a wall of separation between Church and State."
-- Thomas Jefferson to Danbury Baptists, 1802
"As the government of the United States of America is not
in any sense founded on the Christian Religion..."
-- Article XI of the English text of the Treaty of Tripoli, approved
by the U.S. Senate on June 7, 1797 and ratified by President John
Adams on June 10, 1797. (This article is lacking in the Arabic
original. Note that congress and President Adams approved this
And from the other side...
"The great masses of people do not consist of philosophers;
precisely for the masses, [religious] faith is often the sole
foundation of a moral attitude
For the political man, the
value of a religion must be estimated less by its deficiencies
than by the virtue of a visibly better substitute. As long as
this appears to be lacking, what is present can be demolished
only by fools or criminals."
-- Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, p. 267
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