QUOTES & DEFINITIONS ABOUT GOD, RELIGION, PHILOSOPHY, MORALITY, MORTALITY,
TIME, WAR, SCIENCE & SEX and yet some more topics that don't belong together,
but I had to put them someplace

last updated 09/10/02 LC


The God of the Puritans...was a monster too horrible to contemplate.

                                                   -- John Burroughs

PURITANISM: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.

                                                     -- H.L. Mencken

The chief contribution of Protestantism to human thought is its massive proof
that God is a bore.
                                                             -- H. L. Mencken

The Christian-Judaic God does not exist, and if He did exist as described in
the Bible, He would certainly not be a good role model.
                                                          -- Robert Sherrill

I don't believe in God because I don't believe in Mother Goose.

                                             -- Clarence Darrow

Heaven, as conventionally described, is a place so inane, so dull, so
useless, so miserable, that nobody has ever ventured to describe a
whole day in heaven, though plenty of people have described a day at
the seaside.
                                               -- George Bernard Shaw

The idea that a good God would send people to a burning hell is utterly
damnable to me -- the raving of insanity, superstition gone to seed!
I want no part of such a God.
                                                      -- Luther Burbank

In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty.
He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return
for protection to his own.
                                                       -- Thomas Jefferson

How can you have order in a state without religion?  For, when one man is
dying of hunger near another who is ill of surfeit, he cannot resign
himself to this difference unless there is an authority which declares
"God wills it thus."  Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people
quiet.
                                                      -- Napoleon Bonaparte

CHRISTIAN: One who follows the teachings of Christ insofar
as they are not inconsistent with a life of sin.
                                                         -- Ambrose Bierce

RELIGION: A set of beliefs held as dogmas, dominating the conduct of life,
going beyond or contrary to evidence, and inculcated by methods which are
emotional or authoritarian, not intellectual.
                                                       -- Bertrand Russell

HELL: A place where the police are German, the motorists French and the
cooks English.
                                                    -- Bertrand Russell

Heaven for climate, Hell for company.

                       -- J.M. Barrie

Man is the religious animal...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.
                                                           -- Mark Twain

The fruits of Chrisitanity were religious wars, butcheries, crusades,
inquisitions, extermination of the natives of America, and the introduction
of African slaves in their place.
                                                      -- Arthur Shopenhauer

There is no "supernatural"; there is only nature and its process, all of
which is ultimately within the grasp of the human brain, which is to say
within the grasp of science.  Prayer is self-delusion.  The "miracles"
that Jesus performed in the New Testament are no more believable than
the "miracles" credited to [a] mummified Argentine baby.
                                                      -- Robert Sherrill

The creator who could put a cancer in a believer's stomach is above being
interfered with by prayers.
                                                            -- Bret Harte

Whatever a man prays for, he prays for a miracle.  Every prayer reduces
itself to this: "Great God, grant that twice two be not four."
                                                       -- Ivan Turgenev

The deepest sin of the human mind is to believe things without evidence.
                                                  -- Thomas Henry Huxley

I consider Christian theology to be one of the great disasters of the
human race...It would be impossible to imagine anything more
un-Christlike than theology.  Christ probably couldn't have understood it.
                                                 -- Alfred North Whitehead

No opinion has ever been too errant to become a creed.
                                   -- Bertrand Russell, Smithsonian May 93

The Church 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 doesn't know whether to laugh or to cry.  Who
discovered that there was no such thing as a witch -- the priest, the
parson?  No, these never discover anything.
                                                        -- Mark Twain

Not one of the first six [U.S.] presidents was an orthodox Christian.
Most of the founders were Deists, who "doubted that Christ was a god"
and equated God with "the power behind nature, as discerned by science."

                                     -- Robert Sherrill, James A. Haight

Hospitals perform more miracles than churches.

                                    -- "Luree"

When dogma enters the brain, all intellectual activity ceases.

                                        -- Robert Anton Wilson

Science is simply a logical process of discovering truths about the world
we live in; the illusion is that science is some sort of a set of strange
rules, a religion that speaks algebra or a magical group of incantations
and spells.
                                                    -- Robert Carroll (?)

Science is the gathering of reproducible facts.

                              -- L.J. Henderson

It has been said that the primary function of schools is to impart enough
facts to make children stop asking questions.  Some, with whom the
schools do not succeed, become scientists.
                                                  -- Knut Schmidt-Nielsen

The difference between pornography and erotica is lighting.
                                          -- Gloria Leonard

When authorities warn you of the sinfulness of sex, there is an important
lesson to be learned.  Do not have sex with the authorities.
                                                         -- Matt Groening

INTELLECTUAL: A person who's found one thing that's more interesting
              than sex.

As she lay there dozing next to me, one voice inside my head kept saying,
"Relax...you are not the first doctor to sleep with one of his patients,"
but another kept reminding me, "Howard, you are a veterinarian."
                                                           -- Dick Wilson

If sex is so personal, why do we have to share it with someone?

                                                       -- Anon.

Testicles are nature's way of saying, "Put your other hand here."

                                          -- The Playboy Advisor

ROMANTIC LOVE: Nature's way of duping us into reproducing our species.

                                                       -- Schopenhauer

If there is one simple distinction between science and foolishness
[pseudoscience], I think it is this: science takes the mundane and
makes it wonderful; foolishness takes the wonderful and makes it
merely mysterious.
                                               -- Walter F. Cuirle

To believe in a miracle is not an act of reason but of faith.

                                             -- (David?) Hume

Faith means not wanting to know what is true.

                                 -- Nietzsche

Science shares with religion the claim that it answers deep questions
about origins, the nature of life, and the cosmos.  But there the
resemblance ends.  Scientific beliefs are supported by evidence, and
they get results.  Myths and faith do not.

                              -- Richard Dawkins, "River Out Of Eden"

If you keep your mind sufficiently open, people will throw a lot of
rubbish into it.
                                                -- William A. Orton

Being open-minded doesn't mean accepting fantastic claims at face value.

                                                       -- Rasmus Jansson

Being open-minded shouldn't mean being gullible.

                                 -- Robert Todd Carroll

CONJURING: The approximation of the effect of a true magician
using means of subterfuge and trickery.
                                               -- James Randi

"Mundus vult decipi"  (the world wants to be deceived)

                                            -- (unknown)

"Homo vult decipi; decipiatur."  (Man wishes to be deceived; deceive him.)

                                                              -- (unknown)

The only thing infinite is our capacity for self-deception.

            -- Robert Todd Carroll, Sacramento City College

Man's capacity for self-delusion is infinite.

      -- Dr. Elie A. Shneour, Biosystems Research Institute

Some things need to be believed to be seen.

                            -- Guy Kawasaki

What distinguishes real medicine from "alternative medicine" is simply
that real medicine works. Any time truly scientific procedures show that
an "alternative" therapy really works, it loses its "alternative" status
and becomes part of the normal body of medicine.
                                                    -- Matthew H. Fields

It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon
insufficient evidence.
                                             -- William Kingdon Clifford

William James used to preach the "will to believe." For my part, I should
wish to preach the "will to doubt.".... What is wanted is not the will to
believe, but the wish to find out, which is the exact opposite.

                             -- Bertrand Russell, Sceptical Essays (1928)

NEWS ITEM: The First National Bank of Little Snake, Colo., announced
today that it is merging with New Mexico's Banco Flaccido to form
ViagraBank, the world's biggest financial institution ever.  In other
news, Hurricane Viagra swept through a Florida trailer park, leaving
53 double-wides up-ended.
                         -- Mark Stein, "Viagra Nation," WSJ 05/12/98

My iguana's sick.
He's all floppy. Could he have
Reptile dysfunction?

    -- Chef Troy, Haiku Master

To err is human, but it feels divine.
                          -- Mae West

I used to be Snow White -- but I drifted.
                              -- Mae West

God must have loved the common man, he made so many of them.
                                          -- Abraham Lincoln

Men and women can never be friends, the sex thing always gets in the way.

                                      -- Billy Crystal, "Harry and Sally"

Vision is not the verbatim recording of the outside world.

                                    -- Robert Todd Carroll

Science is not religion and it doesn't just come down to faith.  Although
it has many of religion's virtues, it has none of its vices.  Science
is based upon verifiable evidence.  Religious faith not only lacks
evidence, its independence from evidence is its pride and joy, shouted
from the rooftops. Why else would Christians wax critical of doubting
Thomas?  The other apostles are held up to us as examplars of virtue
because faith was enough for them. Doubting Thomas, on the other hand,
required evidence.  Perhaps he should be the patron saint of scientists.

On reason I receive the comment about science being a religion is because
I believe in the fact of evolution.  I even believe in it with passionate
conviction.  To some, this may superficially look like faith.  But the
evidence that makes me believe in evolution is not only overwhelmingly
strong; it is freely available to anyone who takes the trouble to read up
on it.  Anyone can study the same evidence that I have and presumably come
to the same conclusion.  But if you have belief that is based solely on
faith, I can't examine your reasons.  You can retreat behind the private
wall of faith where I can't reach you.
                                                        -- Richard Dawkins

PORNOGRAPHY: The name given to any sexual literature somebody is trying
to suppress.
                                      -- Alex Comfort, "The Joy of Sex"

When religion ruled the world, they called it the Dark Ages.

                                            -- bumpersticker

When you meet that certain someone with that special twinkle in his eye,
make sure it's not the sun shining through the back of his head.

                                                         -- Rex McDowell

Kill them all!  God will recognize his own.

     -- Purported to have been said by Abbot Arnaud-Amalric in 1209, when
     his army asked their commander how they were to distinguish between
     those captives still faithful to the Holy Church and those deserving
     of punishment.  They followed his instructions exactly.

A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic.

                                             -- Joseph Stalin

If we didn't die, we would not appreciate life as we do.

                    -- Jacques-Yves Cousteau (1920-1997)

Either life is always and in all circumstances sacred, or intrinsically of
no account; it is inconceivable that it should be in some cases the one,
and in some the other.

-- anon. English journalist, observing the Sisters of Charity in Calcutta,
   quoted by Annie Dillard

I will not carry a gun, Frank...I'll carry your books, I'll carry a torch,
I'll carry a tune, I'll carry on, carry over, carry forward, Cary Grant,
cash-and-carry, carry me back to Old Virginia, I'll even "hari-kari" if you
show me how, but I will not carry a gun.

                  -- "Hawkeye" Pierce, M*A*S*H TV, written by Larry Gelbart

Death is the greatest kick of all.  That's why they save it for last.

                                                     -- L.A. Graffiti

Time destroys all things.

       -- Lewis H. Lapham, and probably many others

Time files like an arrow, but fruit flies like an apple.
                                                -- Anon.

Time's fun when you're having flies.
                           -- Kermit

Time converts the improbable to the inevitable -- give me a million years
and I'll flip a hundred heads in a row more than once.
                                                     -- Stephen Jay Gould

I went to the end of the rainbow once.  But there was no pot of gold, just
a little bit of chocolate.
                                                           --Matt Groening

If there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls
for attachment than any other, it is the principle of free thought -- not
free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought
we hate.
                                          -- Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes

If the aliens would only keep all the folks they abduct, our world would
be a little saner.
                                                 -- quoted by Carl Sagan

Human beings like war.  They will always find an excuse for it.

                                              -- Peter Brimelow

Always remember, however sure you are that you can easily win, that there
would not be a war if the other man did not think he also had a chance.

                                                     -- Winston Churchill

It's hard to be religious when certain people are not incinerated
by bolts of lightning.
                                                         -- Anon.

If you hear voices in your head and talk about your invisible buddy,
you're a nutcase.  If the voices in your head tell you that certain people
are evil and deserve to die, and your invisible buddy is infinitely large
and can do EVERYTHING, you are a religious fundamentalist.  
                                                               -- "Slythe"

The fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who
are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at
Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers.  But they also laughed at
Bozo the Clown.
                                                          -- Carl Sagan

Oh, sure, you can use FACTS to prove ANYTHING that's even REMOTELY true!

                                                        -- Homer Simpson

At the core of the [sexual revolution] struggle was the issue of who
controls sex -- the church (through bully pulpit and the concept of sin
and damnation), the state (through lawbook and prison), or the individual
(through courage, curiosity, freedom and choice).

                                                     -- James R. Petersen

The hands that help are better far than lips that pray.

                                 -- Robert G. Ingersoll

Smoking is one of the leading cause of statistics.

                                          -- Anon.

A world without monsters, ghosts, demons, and gods unfetters the mind to
soar to new heights, to think unthinkable thoughts, to imagine the
unimaginable, to contemplate infinity and eternity knowing that no one
is looking back.  The universe takes on a whole new meaning when you know
that your place in it was not foreordained, that it was not designed for
us -- indeed, that it was not designed at all.  If we are nothing more
than star stuff and biomass, how special life becomes.

                                                      -- Michael Shermer

Man is the Religious Animal.  He is the only Religious Animal.  He is
the only animal that has the True Religion -- several of them.

                                                        -- Mark Twain

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

                                                     -- Philip K. Dick

Giving money and power to Government is like giving whiskey and car keys
to teenage boys.
                                                        -- P.J. O'Rourke

The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the
suppression of ideas.
                                      -- Carl Sagan & Ann Druyan

A union of government and religion tends to destroy government
and degrade religion.

    -- Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, Engel v. Vitale, 1962

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.

                         -- Hunter S. Thompson

Good movies are logical but unpredictable.  Mediocre movies are logical
but predictable.  Bad movies are illogical but predictable.

                                                 -- Andrei Konchalovsky

Swing is when the music feels like it's getting faster, but it's not.

                                                    -- Duke Ellington

Everything works better when the ball goes through the hoop.

                                       -- Frederick C. Klein

I go on guilt trips a couple of times a year.  Mom books them for me.

                                                             -- Anon.

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy
and taste good dipped in chocolate.
                                                    -- Anon.

I made my husband join a bridge club. He jumps next Tuesday.

                                                    -- Anon.

Some people have an overly literal view of the truth.

                                    -- Michael Swaine

When ideology is involved, truth is the first casualty.

                                        -- Tim Callanan

GOOD DELICATESSEN: Unforgetabagel

                         -- Anon.

Come down from the cross, we can use the wood.

                            -- Tom Waits, 1999

Some Christians use the Bible much as a drunk does a lamppost -- more
for support than for illumination.

              -- Rev. William Sloane Coffin, quoted by H. Irvin Smith

What the world needs is not dogma, but an attitude of scientific
inquiry, combined with a belief that the torture of millions is not
desirable, whether inflicted by Stalin or by a Deity imagined in the
likeness of the believer.
                                                 -- Bertrand Russell

HEALTH: The slowest possible rate at which one can die.

                                               -- anon.

The [Catholic] church doesn't "make saints" and neither does the pope.
God makes saints; the church's task is to recognize the saints God has
made.
                                                      -- George Weigel


The problem with the world is that everyone is a few drinks behind.

                                                 -- Humphrey Bogart

Where we have strong emotions, we're liable to fool ourselves.

                                                 -- Carl Sagan

Just because I wouldn't give cooking instructions in my philosophy class
doesn't mean I'm afraid of introducing my students to cooking. Cooking
belongs somewhere else. So does religious instruction. So does the
teaching about different creation stories. In fact, I think children
should be instructed in public schools about the creation stories of
many different cultures, but such instruction should be done in a world
religions or cultural anthropology course, not a science course.

                                                  -- Robert Todd Carroll

The reason there are so many religious nuts out there is because
religion itself is intrinsically nutty.
                                            -- Anne Nicol Gaynor

Easter's been cancelled.  They found the body.

                                -- Johnny L.A.

Man is certainly stark mad. He can't make a flea, but makes gods
by the dozen.
                                              -- Montaigne, 1588

Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism
ever conceived. 

                                  -- Isaac Asimov (1920-1992)

So are we supposed to stop advancing? And who says it's bad to play God?
We already alter the course of God's "will" in hundreds of ways.  When we
use antibiotics to combat the flu, when we figure out a way to wipe
smallpox off the very face of the earth, surely we're altering the natural
course of things.  Who says the natural course of things is even right?
Maybe God isn't good.
                                                       -- Joe Rosen, M.D.

What contemptible scoundrel has stolen the cork from my lunch?

                                                -- W.C. Fields

Don't count on any second coming. God got his ass kicked the first time
he came down here slumming.
                                                     -- Concrete Blonde

The Christian religion is basically a religion of magic, of
sacraments which protect one from Satan and which change bread
and wine into Christ, of miracles which contravene the natural
order for good or ill, of resurrection from the dead and of the
promise of eternal life.
                                                 -- Bob Carroll

You believe in a book that has talking animals, wizards, witches, demons,
sticks turning into snakes, burning bushes, food falling from the sky,
people walking on water, and all sorts of magical, absurd and primitive
stories, and you say that WE are the ones that need help?
                                                            -- Mark Twain

Life is lumpy.
                       -- Robert Fulghum

God used to be the best explanation we'd got, but we've now got vastly
better ones. God is no longer an explanation of anything, but has instead
become something that would itself need an insurmountable amount of
explaining.
                                                         -- Douglas Adams

God is an unnecessary hypothesis.

                -- Robert Carroll

Believing is easier than thinking.

               -- "Rib Eye" (SDMB)

People from times even more superstition-prone than our own
developed a belief that a person rose from the dead, then passed
it on orally *at least 30 years* before it was even written down?
Impressive!
                                                     -- (Unknown)

When a follower of one religion condemns the differing spiritual
practices of another, that person is saying, "My unprovable beliefs
are superior to your unprovable beliefs."
                                                   -- Edward Tabash

No amount of belief makes something a fact.

                             -- James Randi

A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence.

                          -- David Hume (ca. 1748)

The stories the Jews told their children thousands of years ago,
like the stories the Greeks and every other ancient tribe told
their people, should not be taken as science lessons for the 21st
century. Our ancient ancestors may have a lot to teach us about
many important things, but biology isn't one of them.

                                                -- Robert Carroll

The market for nonsense is infinite.

                      -- James Randi



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