Quotes Roundup (Winter 07)

Here’s a collection of some of the best quotes I’ve rounded up this winter…

Steven Weinberg:

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.

Bertrand Russell:

What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the wish to find out, which is the exact opposite.

Carl Sagan:

For me, it is far better to observe to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.

Mark Twain:

I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.

Here’s a shocking quote from Abraham Lincoln:

I will say, then, that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races; that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say, in addition to this, that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And in as much as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race. [Here’s the source, for those readers who can’t believe he actually said this.]

Seneca the Younger (circa 4 B.C.-65 A.D.):

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.

Canadacow gives this lesson on how religions discern god’s will:

How do I (or anyone) know God’s will? God’s will is self-evident
and written in his creation. Failing to find it there, search the
scriptures and pray. When two people with honest hearts search for the
answer and come to different conclusions, the one with the most guns gets to
burn the heretic. That’s how God’s will is discerned.

Blaise Pascal:

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.-

H.L. Mencken:

People say we need religion when what they really mean is we need police.

Steven Weinberg:

Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you’d have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, it takes religion.

Thomas Jefferson:

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.

Ralph Waldo Emerson:

The religion of one age is the literary entertainment of the next.

Madeline Marie O’Hare:

[paraphrased?] “If you are religious you cannot be moral because then you are doing things for the wrong reasons [ie reward, avoidance of punishment, etc.].

Andre Gide, French author and critic (1869-1951).

Believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it.

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