The blackest billingsgate, the most ungentlemanly insolence, the most yahooist brutality, is patently endured, countenanced, propagated, and applauded. But touch a solemn truth in collision with the dogma of a sect, though capable of the clearest proof, and you will soon find you have distrubed a nest, and the hornets will swarm about your eyes and hand, and fly into your face and eyes.
Susan B. Anthony
I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.
Both read the bible day and night - but you read black where I read white.
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.
A man's ethical behavior should be based effectively 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.
I cannot conceive otherwise than that He, the Infinite Father, expects or requires no worship or praise from us, but that He is even infinitely above it.
If the obstacles of bigotry and priestcraft can be surmounted, we may hope that common sense will suffice to do everything else.
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 mythologies.
A society that will trade a little liberty for a little order will deserve neither and lose both.
The Church says the Earth is flat but I know that it is round. For I have seen the shadow on the moon, and I have more faith in a shadow than in the Church.
Michel Eyquem de Montaigne
After all it is setting a high value upon our opinions to roast people alive on account of them.
My mind is my own church.
The good, say the mystics, is God, a being whose only definition is that he is beyond man's power to conceive - a definition that invalidates man's consciousness and nullifies his concepts of existence. Man's mind say the mystics, must be subordinated to the will of God. Man's standard of value say the mystics, is the pleasure of God, whose standards are beyond man's comprehension and must be accepted on faith.
Thus, the purpose of man's life is to become an abject zombie who serves a purpose he does not know, for reasons he is not to question.
One is often told that it is a very wrong thing to attack religion, because religion makes men virtuous. So I am told; I have not noticed it. 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.
The so-called Christian nations are the most enlightened and progressive - but in spite of their religion, not because of it. The Church has opposed every innovation and discovery from the day of Galileo down to our own time, when the use of anesthetic in childbirth was regarded as a sin because it avoided the biblical curse pronounced against Eve. And every step in astronomy and geology ever taken has been opposed by bigotry and superstition. The Greeks surpassed us in artistic culture and in architecture five hundred years before the Christian religion was born.
The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out, the conservative adopts them.