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My favorite motto:
Humor distorts nothing, and only false gods are laughed off their earthly pedestals.
The gods too are fond of a joke.
No longer possessed by possessions, we may become open enough to become possessed by God.
I believe there is something out there watching over us. Unfortunately, it's the government.
I always distrust people who know so much about what God wants them to do to their fellows.
Susan B. Anthony
If I were not an atheist, I would believe in a God who would choose to save people on the basis of the totality of their lives and not the pattern of their words. I think he would prefer an honest and righteous atheist to a TV preacher whose every word is God, God, God, and whose every deed is foul, foul, foul.
What the caterpillar calls the end of the world,
the master calls a butterfly.
If the concept of God has any validity or any use, it can only be to make us larger, freer, and more loving.
If God cannot do this, then it is time we got rid of Him.
I'd rather live my whole life assuming there is a God, only to find out that there isn't, than to live my whole life assuming there isn't a God, only to find out there is.
People who want to share their religious views with you, almost never want you to share yours with them.
Only barbarians are not curious about where they come from, how they came to be where they are, where they appear to be going, whether they wish to go there, and if so, why, and if not, why not.
God made so many different kinds of people. Why would he allow only one way to serve him?
Goodwill towards all is true religion.
From the Buddhacarita
The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshipped anything but himself.
Richard Francis Burton
An apology for the Devil: It must be remembered that we have only heard one side of the case. God has written all the books.
The Bible may be the truth but it's not the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
I have never resisted the lord in my life, and I never will. But I'm not so hungry for dialogue with him that I have to make up his part as well as my own.
Orson Scott Card
Let your religion be less of a theory and more of a love affair.
If there were no God, there would be no Atheists.
The reformer is always right about what is wrong. He is generally wrong about what is right.
Men will wrangle for religion; write for it; fight for it; die for it; anything but live for it.
The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men are quite capable of every wickedness.
When I told the people of Northern Ireland that I was an atheist, a woman in the audience stood up and said, 'Yes, but is it the God of the Catholics or the God of the Protestants in whom you don't believe?
H.H. the Dalai Lama
Religion is like going out to dinner with friends. Everyone may order something different, but everyone can still sit at the same table.
This is my simple religion:
There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy.
Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.
Mankind have banned the Divinity from their presence; they have relegated him to a sanctuary; the walls of the temple restrict his view; he does not exist outside of it.
An Inuit hunter asked the local missionary priest: "If I did not know about God and sin, would I go to hell?" "No," said the priest, "not if you did not know." "Then why," asked the Inuit earnestly, "did you tell me?"
On the other hand, the Bible contains much that is relevant today, like Noah taking 40 days to find a place to park.
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
You talk to God, you're religious. God talks to you, you're psychotic.
Albert Einstein Scientists were rated as great heretics by the church, but they were truly religious men because of their faith in the orderliness of the universe.
A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; 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.
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.
True religion is real living; living with all one's soul, with all one's goodness and righteousness.
Buddhism has the characteristics of what would be expected in a cosmic religion for the future: it transcends a personal God, avoids dogmas and theology; it covers both the natural & spiritual, and it is based on a religious sense aspiring from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual, as a meaningful unity.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The religion that is afraid of science dishonors God and commits suicide.
Religion is to do right. It is to love, it is to serve, it is to think, it is to be humble.
I adopted the theory of reincarnation when I was twenty-six. Religion offered nothing to the point. Even work could not give me complete satisfaction. Work is futile if we cannot utilize the experience we collect in one life in the next. When I discovered reincarnation . . . time was no longer limited. I was no longer a slave to the hands of the clock. . . . I would like to communicate to others the calmness that the long view of life gives to us.
What is to give light must endure burning.
How many observe Christ's birthday! How few his precepts!
O! 'tis easier to keep holidays than commandments.
If all else fails, immortality can always be assured by spectacular error.
John Kenneth Galbraith
I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.
Mohandas K. Gandhi
Hate the sin and love the sinner.
It is easy enough to be friendly to one's friends.
But to befriend the one who regards himself as your enemy is the quintessence of true religion.
The other is mere business.
Silence is a great help to a seeker after truth. In the attitude
of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light and what is
elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness. Our
life is a long and arduous quest after Truth, and the
soul requires inward restfulness to attain its full height.
Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.
I find it puzzling that those who describe Evolution as "Just A Theory" propose Creationism as an alternative even though it is "Just a Superstition".
God is dead. -- Nietzsche
Nietzsche is dead. -- God
If it were proven that there is no God there would be no religion. ...But also if it were proven that there is a God, there would be no religion.
Ursula K. Le Guin
Most men's anger about religion is as if two men should quarrel for a lady they neither of them care for.
Edward F. Halifax
Life in Lubbock, Texas, taught me two things: One is that God loves you and you're going to burn in hell. The other is that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on earth and you should save it for someone you love.
The biblical account of Noah's Ark and the Flood is perhaps the most implausible story for fundamentalists to defend. Where, for example, while loading his ark, did Noah find penguins and polar bears in Palestine?
Robert A. Heinlein
I've never understood how God could expect His creatures to pick the one true religion by faith—it strikes me as a sloppy way to run a universe.
Sin lies only in hurting others unnecessarily.
All other 'sins' are invented nonsense.
A long and wicked life followed by five minutes of perfect grace gets you into Heaven. An equally long life of decent living and good works followed by one outburst of taking the name of the Lord in vain - then have a heart attack at that moment and be damned for eternity. Is that the system?
The nearer to the church, the further from God.
All ... religions show the same disparity between belief and practice, and each is safe till it tries to exclude the rest. Test each sect by its best or its worst as you will, by its high-water mark of virtue or its low-water mark of vice. But falsehood begins when you measure the ebb of any other religion against the flood-tide of your own. There is a noble and a base side to every history.
Thomas Wentworth Higginson
Fear of things invisible is the natural seed of that which everyone in himself calleth religion.
Some things have to be believed to be seen.
Those of little faith are of little hatred.
Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous.
Maybe this world is another planet's hell.
The price of freedom of religion, or of speech, or of the press, is that we must put up with a good deal of rubbish.
Practicing empathy and equanimity will always produce positive results, whereas evangelism, even on a small scale, serves only to isolate us from others.
Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear.
I never told my own religion nor scrutinized that of another. I never attempted to make a convert, nor wished to change another's creed. I am satisfied that yours must be an excellent religion to have produced a life of such exemplary virtue and correctness. For it is in our lives, and not from our words, that our religion must be judged.
Heaven is an American salary, a Chinese cook, an English house, and a Japanese wife.
Hell is defined as having a Chinese salary, an English cook, a Japanese house, and an American wife.
James H. Kabbler III
It is wonderful how much time good people spend fighting the devil.
If they would only expend the same amount of energy loving their fellow men, the devil would die in his own tracks of ennui.
When his life was ruined, his family killed, his farm destroyed, Job knelt down on the ground and yelled up to the heavens, "Why God? Why me?" and the thundering voice of God answered, "There's just something about you that pisses me off."
The only reason you are not yet a saint is because you do not wholly want to be one...
The fact is that far more crime and child abuse has been committed in the name of God, Jesus, and Mohammed than has ever been committed in the name of Satan. Many people don't like that statement, but few can argue with it.
Kenneth V. Lanning
Go to the truth beyond the mind. Love is the bridge.
When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad, and that is my religion.
Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.
Joe LouisGod tells Adam and Eve not to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. If this was the only way they could understand the difference between good and evil, how could they have known that it was wrong to disobey God and eat the fruit?
So much in land and sky
For which they do not know the cause,
They think Divinities are working there.
If they could but see that
Nothing can be created from nothing,
Then they would advance one more step
Toward the answer that they seek:
Those eternal elements became
Everything that is,
Without interference from Gods.
Lucretius - On the nature of things, (De rerum natura) of 60 BCE
Religious suffering is at one and the same time the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.
The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is therefore in embryo the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo.
It is now quite lawful for a Catholic woman to avoid pregnancy by a resort to mathematics, though she is still forbidden to resort to physics or chemistry.
God listens to knee-mail.
Methodist Church of Valley Forge
In some awful, strange, paradoxical way, atheists tend to take religion more seriously than the practitioners.
The ink of the scholar is more sacred than the blood of the martyr.
Religious belief is a fine guide around which a person might organize his own life, but an awful instrument around which to organize someone else's life.
Richard D. Mohr
Man cannot make a worm, yet he will make gods by the dozen.
Michel Eyquem de Montaigne
Religion and science both profess peace (and the sincerity of the professors is not being doubted), but each always turns out to have a dominant part in any war that is going or contemplated.
Friedrich Nietzsche Which is it: Is man one of God's blunders or is God one of man's?
Woman was God's second mistake.
Faith, indeed, has up to the present not been able to move real mountains.... But it can put mountains where there are none.
Most people would like to be delivered from temptation but would like it to keep in touch.
My country is the world, and my religion is to do good.
Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction.
I think it's ironic that the only people who claim that humans are too advanced to have evolved naturally are the ones who demonstrate the least advanced mode of thinking.
Nirvana or lasting enlightenment or true spiritual growth can be achieved only through persistent exercise of real love.
M. Scott Peck
When people are fanatically dedicated to political or religious faiths or any other kinds of dogmas or goals, it's always because these dogmas or goals are in doubt.
Robert M. Pirsig
Pope John Paul II
Everybody that is just is called to form part of the Kingdom of Heaven--whether they be Buddhas, Jews, or Atheists--as long as they are good.
The worst prison is a closed heart.
If you spent one-tenth of the time you devoted to distractions like chasing women or making money to spiritual practice, you would be enlightened in a few years.
When someone tells me that 'the Almighty told me to do this', I want to see the transcript.
The worst moment for the atheist is when he is really thankful and has nobody to thank.
The idea that God is an oversized white male with a flowing beard who sits in the sky and tallies the fall of every sparrow is ludicrous. But if by 'God' one means the set of physical laws that govern the universe, then clearly there is such a God. This God is emotionally unsatisfying...it does not make much sense to pray to the law of gravity.
My atheism, like that of Spinoza, is true piety towards the universe and denies only gods fashioned by men in their own image to be servants of their human interests.
They kill in the name of justice because they can't kill in the name of Christ.
No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what he means.
George Bernard Shaw
Hearing nuns' confessions is like being stoned to death with popcorn.
We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.
If two philosophers agree, one is not a philosopher.
If two saints disagree, one is not a saint.
There is a story, which is fairly well known, about when the missionaries came to Africa.
They had the Bible and we, the natives, had the land.
They said "Let us pray," and we dutifully shut our eyes.
When we opened them, why, they now had the land and we had the Bible.
Desmond M. Tutu
In religion and politics people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing.
Man is the 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.
But who prays for Satan? Who, in eighteen centuries, has had the common humanity to pray for the one sinner that needed it most?
Strange...a God who could make good children as easily as bad, yet preferred to make bad ones; who made them prize their bitter life, yet stingily cut it short; mouths Golden Rules and forgiveness multiplied 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 this poor, abused slave to worship him!
The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.
A priest goes into a barbershop, gets a haircut, thanks the barber, and asks how much he owes him. The barber says "Father, you're a holy man of the cloth, I couldn't charge you, it's on the house. "The priest says, "Thanks you very much" and leaves. The next day, magically appearing on the doorstep of the barbershop are 12 gold coins.
A few day later, a Buddhist monk goes in for a shave and a shine, and when the time comes to pay the barber says, "No money, please, you're a spiritual leader, a man of the people, it's on the house." The next day. Magically appearing on the doorstep are 12 rubies.
The following week a rabbi comes in, gets a haircut, goes to pay, and the barber says, "No, Rabbi, you are a learned man, a wise man, I can't take any money from you, go in peace." And the next day, magically appearing on the doorstep of the barbershop are 12 rabbis...
Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned.
Adam blamed Eve, Eve blamed the serpent and the serpent didn't have a leg to stand on.
Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than going to the garage makes you a car.
One bright, beautiful Sunday morning, everyone in tiny Smithville wakes up early and goes to their local church.
Before the service starts, the townspeople sit in their pews and talk about their lives, their families, etc.
Suddenly, Satan appears at the altar!!
Everyone starts screaming and running for the front entrance, trampling each other in their determined efforts to get away from Evil Incarnate.
Soon, everyone is evacuated from the church except for one man, who sit calmly in his pew, seemingly oblivious to the fact that God's ultimate enemy is in his presence.
This confuses Satan a bit. Satan walks up to the man and says, "Hey, don't you know who I am?"
The man says, "Yep, sure do."
Satan says, "Well, aren't you afraid of me?"
The man says, "Nope, sure ain't."
Satan, perturbed, says, "And why aren't you afraid of me?"
"Well, I've been married to your sister for 25 years."
Give a man a fish, and you'll feed him for a day; give him a religion, and he'll starve to death while praying for a fish.
If God doesn't like the way I live, let him tell me, not you.
God is love.
Love is blind.....
Morality is doing what is right, no matter what you are told.
Religion is doing what you are told, no matter what is right.
The problem with fundamentalists insisting on a literal interpretation of the Bible is that the meaning of words change. A prime example is 'Spare the rod, spoil the child.' A rod was a stick used by shepherds to guide their sheep to go in the desired direction. Shepherds did not use it to beat their sheep. The proper translation of the saying is 'Give your child guidance, or they will go astray.' It does not mean 'Beat the shit out of your child or he will become rotten' as many fundamentalist parents seem to believe.
Lead me not into temptation.
I can find it myself.
Zen is not what you think!
Perhaps most people say their is no God simply because they would then have to stop and think that what they are doing may be wrong.
Christians are quick to scoff at the absurdity of other religions when most fail to realize they worship a book that contains talking snakes, bushes and donkeys.
No one will judge you ever, for why and how, could God judge GOD's own creation and call it bad?
It doesn't really make a difference what religion is right. What really matters is the one I choose to believe in. Because that's the one that helps me get through the day and back to my bed at night.
God wants spiritual fruit, not religious nuts.
I do not pray that the devil will overlook me and attack someone else. I pray that he loses sleep at night, pacing around his firery living room, trying to think of a way extinguish my faith and silence me.
If triangles had a God, He'd have three sides.
Old Yiddish Proverb
When it's a question of money, everybody is of the same religion.
If God did not exist it would be necessary for us to invent Him.
I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: 'O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.' And God granted it.
God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh. (Possibly from H.L. Mencken)
After all, it is no more surprising to be born twice than it is to be born once.
With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.
A religious awakening, which does not awaken the sleeper to love, has roused him in vain.
I must observe that people have a tendency to project onto a spiritual teacher all their own fantasies and expectations, this often leads to great disappointment, but in the converse a jerk is still a jerk no matter which culture he comes from.
Everything that we think God has in his mind necessarily proceeds from our own mind; it is what we imagine to be in God’s mind, and it is really difficult for human intelligence to guess at a divine intelligence. What we usually end up with by this sort of reasoning is to make God the color-sergeant of our army and to make Him as chauvinistic as ourselves.
See also this Impatient letter from God
Shit Happens, in various World Religions:
Taoism: Shit happens, go with the flow.
Hare Krishna: Shit happens Rama Rama Ding Ding.
Hinduism: This shit has happened before.
Islam: Shit happening is the will of Allah.
Zen: What is the sound of shit happening?
Existentialism: Shit doesn't happen; shit is.
Buddhism: When shit happens, is it really shit?
Confucianism: Confucius says, "Shit happens".
7th day Adventist: Shit happens on Saturdays.
Protestantism: Shit won't happen if you work harder.
Catholicism: If shit happens, you deserved it.
Jehovah's Witnesses: No shit happens until Armaggedon, and it won't happen to us.
Unitarian: What is this shit?
Mormon: Shit happens again & again & again.
Judaism: Why does this shit always happen to us?
Pentacostalism: Praise the shit!
Atheism: There is no shit!
New Age: Shit happens and it happens to smell good if you open your heart to it.
Rastafarianism: Let's smoke this shit.
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