Religion And Science Quotes

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Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.
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Albert Einstein
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Science and religion are not at odds. Science is simply too young to understand.
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Dan Brown (Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon, #1))
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Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard, are sweeter
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John Keats (Ode On A Grecian Urn And Other Poems)
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For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
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Carl Sagan (The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark)
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I can see how it might be possible for a man to look down upon the earth and be an atheist, but I cannot conceive how a man could look up into the heavens and say there is no God.
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Abraham Lincoln
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Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge, which is power; religion gives man wisdom, which is control. Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals.
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Martin Luther King Jr.
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I don't want to believe. I want to know.
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Carl Sagan
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If there is any religion that could respond to the needs of modern science, it would be Buddhism.
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Albert Einstein
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Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.
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Richard P. Feynman
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The more I learn about the universe, the less convinced I am that there's any sort of benevolent force that has anything to do with it, at all.
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Neil deGrasse Tyson
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In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion.
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Carl Sagan
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When religion and politics travel in the same cart, the riders believe nothing can stand in their way. Their movements become headlong - faster and faster and faster. They put aside all thoughts of obstacles and forget the precipice does not show itself to the man in a blind rush until it's too late.
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Frank Herbert (Dune (Dune #1))
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I consider it an extremely dangerous doctrine, because the more likely we are to assume that the solution comes from the outside, the less likely we are to solve our problems ourselves.
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Carl Sagan
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Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings.
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Victor J. Stenger
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To surrender to ignorance and call it God has always been premature, and it remains premature today.
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Isaac Asimov
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Yoga is not a religion. It is a science, science of well-being, science of youthfulness, science of integrating body, mind and soul.
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Amit Ray (Yoga and Vipassana: An Integrated Life Style)
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There is a fundamental difference between religion, which is based on authority, and science, which is based on observation and reason. Science will win because it works.
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Stephen Hawking
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All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man's life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom.
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Albert Einstein (Out of My Later Years: The Scientist, Philosopher, and Man Portrayed Through His Own Words)
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I am an atheist, out and out. It took me a long time to say it. I've been an atheist for years and years, but somehow I felt it was intellectually unrespectable to say one was an atheist, because it assumed knowledge that one didn't have. Somehow, it was better to say one was a humanist or an agnostic. I finally decided that I'm a creature of emotion as well as of reason. Emotionally, I am an atheist. I don't have the evidence to prove that God doesn't exist, but I so strongly suspect he doesn't that I don't want to waste my time.
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Isaac Asimov
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Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who sets the planets in motion.
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Isaac Newton
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Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of lightโ€years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty, and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual. So are our emotions in the presence of great art or music or literature, or acts of exemplary selfless courage such as those of Mohandas Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr. The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both.
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Carl Sagan (The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark)
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Whether or not you believe in God, you must believe this: when we as a species abandon our trust in a power greater than us, we abandon our sense of accountability. Faithsโ€ฆ all faithsโ€ฆ are admonitions that there is something we cannot understand, something to which we are accountable. With faith we are accountable to each other, to ourselves, and to a higher truth. Religion is flawed, but only because man is flawed. The church consists of a brotherhood of imperfect, simple souls wanting only to be a voice of compassion in a world spinning out of control.
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Dan Brown (Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon, #1))
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Jasnah had once defined a fool as a person who ignored information because it disagreed with desired results.
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Brandon Sanderson (Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive, #2))
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God is an ever-receding pocket of๏ปฟ scientific ignorance.
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Neil deGrasse Tyson
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How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, โ€œThis is better than we thought! The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant?โ€ Instead they say, โ€œNo, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way.โ€ A religion, old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the Universe as revealed by modern science might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths.
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Carl Sagan (Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space)
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People cited violation of the First Amendment when a New Jersey schoolteacher asserted that evolution and the Big Bang are not scientific and that Noah's ark carried dinosaurs. This case is not about the need to separate church and state; it's about the need to separate ignorant, scientifically illiterate people from the ranks of teachers.
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Neil deGrasse Tyson
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Our belief is not a belief. Our principles are not a faith. We do not rely soley upon science and reason, because these are necessary rather than sufficient factors, but we distrust anything that contradicts science or outrages reason. We may differ on many things, but what we respect is free inquiry, openmindedness, and the pursuit of ideas for their own sake.
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Christopher Hitchens (God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything)
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Reality provides us with facts so romantic that imagination itself could add nothing to them.
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Jules Verne
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It's a lazy Saturday afternoon, there's a couple lying naked in bed reading Encyclopediea Brittannica to each other, and arguing about whether the Andromeda Galaxy is more 'numinous' than the Ressurection. Do they know how to have a good time, or don't they?
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Carl Sagan
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The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead โ€”his eyes are closed. The insight into the mystery of life, coupled though it be with fear, has also given rise to religion. To know what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive formsโ€”this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of true religiousness.
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Albert Einstein (Living Philosophies)
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Many of us saw religion as harmless nonsense. Beliefs might lack all supporting evidence but, we thought, if people needed a crutch for consolation, where's the harm? September 11th changed all that.
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Richard Dawkins
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Nothing exists except atoms and empty space; everything else is opinion.
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Democritus
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Ignorance is hardly unusual, Miss Davar. The longer I live, the more I come to realize that it is the natural state of the human mind. There are many who will strive to defend its sanctity and then expect you to be impressed with their efforts.
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Brandon Sanderson (The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1))
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Science is the only religion of mankind.
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Arthur C. Clarke (Childhood's End)
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A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism.
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Carl Sagan
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If you can approach the world's complexities, both its glories and its horrors, with an attitude of humble curiosity, acknowledging that however deeply you have seen, you have only scratched the surface, you will find worlds within worlds, beauties you could not heretofore imagine, and your own mundane preoccupations will shrink to proper size, not all that important in the greater scheme of things.
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Daniel C. Dennett (Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon)
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As for what it's against - the story is against those who pervert and misuse religion, or any other kind of doctrine with a holy book and a priesthood and an apparatus of power that wields unchallengeable authority, in order to dominate and suppress human freedoms.
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Philip Pullman (His Dark Materials)
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Note, to-day, an instructive, curious spectacle and conflict. Science, (twin, in its fields, of Democracy in its)โ€”Science, testing absolutely all thoughts, all works, has already burst well upon the worldโ€”a sun, mounting, most illuminating, most gloriousโ€”surely never again to set. But against it, deeply entrench'd, holding possession, yet remains, (not only through the churches and schools, but by imaginative literature, and unregenerate poetry,) the fossil theology of the mythic-materialistic, superstitious, untaught and credulous, fable-loving, primitive ages of humanity.
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Walt Whitman (Complete Prose Works)
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I agree with people like Richard Dawkins that mankind felt the need for creation myths. Before we really began to understand disease and the weather and things like that, we sought false explanations for them. Now science has filled in some of the realm โ€“ not all โ€“ that religion used to fill.
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Bill Gates
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The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike.
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Delos McKown
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Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there--on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
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Carl Sagan (Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space)
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We all have a thirst for wonder. It's a deeply human quality. Science and religion are both bound up with it. What I'm saying is, you don't have to make stories up, you don't have to exaggerate. There's wonder and awe enough in the real world. Nature's a lot better at inventing wonders than we are.
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Carl Sagan (Contact)
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Religion is an attempt to get control over the sensory world, in which we are placed, by means of the wish-world, which we have developed inside us as a result of biological and psychological necessities. But it cannot achieve its end. Its doctrines carry with them the stamp of the times in which they originated, the ignorant childhood days of the human race. Its consolations deserve no trust. Experience teaches us that the world is not a nursery. The ethical commands, to which religion seeks to lend its weight, require some other foundations instead, for human society cannot do without them, and it is dangerous to link up obedience to them with religious belief. If one attempts to assign to religion its place in manโ€™s evolution, it seems not so much to be a lasting acquisition, as a parallel to the neurosis which the civilized individual must pass through on his way from childhood to maturity.
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Sigmund Freud (Moses and Monotheism)
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We know enough at this moment to say that the God of Abraham is not only unworthy of the immensity of creation; he is unworthy even of man.
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Sam Harris
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The man of science has learned to believe in justification, not by faith, but by verification.
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Thomas Henry Huxley (Collected Essays of Thomas Henry Huxley)
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Anyone who values truth should stop worshipping reason.
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Jonathan Haidt (The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion)
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My people are going to learn the principles of democracy the dictates of truth and the teachings of science. Superstition must go. Let them worship as they will, every man can follow his own conscience provided it does not interfere with sane reason or bid him act against the liberty of his fellow men.
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Mustafa Kemal Atatรผrk
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The essence of Christianity is told us in the Garden of Eden history. The fruit that was forbidden was on the tree of knowledge. The subtext is, 'All the suffering you have is because you wanted to find out what was going on. You could be in the Garden of Eden if you had just kept your fucking mouth shut and hadn't asked any questions.
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Frank Zappa
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Man is manifestly not the measure of all things. This universe is shot through with mystery. The very fact of its being, and of our own, is a mystery absolute, and the only miracle worthy of the name.
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Sam Harris (The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason)
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We owe a huge debt to Galileo for emancipating us all from the stupid belief in an Earth-centered or man-centered (let alone God-centered) system. He quite literally taught us our place and allowed us to go on to make extraordinary advances in knowledge.
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Christopher Hitchens
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All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corruptible.
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Frank Herbert (Chapterhouse: Dune (Dune #6))
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This most beautiful system of the sun, planets and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being... This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of his dominion he is wont, to be called Lord God ฯ€ฮฑฮฝฯ„ฮฟฮบฯฮฑฯ„ฯ‰ฯ or Universal Ruler.
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Isaac Newton (The Principia: Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy)
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I believe in intuition and inspiration. Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution. It is, strictly speaking, a real factor in scientific research.
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Albert Einstein (On Cosmic Religion and Other Opinions and Aphorisms)
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There is no god, and that's the simple truth. If every trace of any single religion were wiped out and nothing were passed on, it would never be created exactly that way again. There might be some other nonsense in its place, but not that exact nonsense. If all of science were wiped out, it would still be true and someone would find a way to figure it all out again.
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Penn Jillette (God, No! Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales)
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It turned out I was pretty good in science. But again, because of the small budget, in science class we couldn't afford to do experiments in order to prove theories. We just believed everything. Actually, I think that class was called Religion. Religion class was always an easy class. All you had to do was suspend the logic and reasoning you were being taught in all the other classes.
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George Carlin (Brain Droppings)
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So long as the universe had a beginning, we could suppose it had a creator. But if the universe is really completely self-contained, having no boundary or edge, it would have neither beginning nor end: it would simply be. What place, then, for a creator?
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Stephen Hawking
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How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property โ€“ either as a child, a wife, or a concubine โ€“ must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the faith: all know how to die but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome.
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Winston S. Churchill (The River War)
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It doesn't seem to me that this fantastically marvelous universe, this tremendous range of time and space and different kinds of animals, and all the different planets, and all these atoms with all their motions, and so on, all this complicated thing can merely be a stage so that God can watch human beings struggle for good and evil - which is the view that religion has. The stage is too big for the drama.
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Richard P. Feynman
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Science can teach us, and I think our hearts can teach us, no longer to look around for imaginary supporters, no longer to invent allies in the sky, but rather to look to our own efforts here below to make the world a fit place to live.
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Bertrand Russell (Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects)
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It's so hard to believe in anything anymore. I mean, it's like, religion, you really can't take it seriously, because it seems so mythological, it seems so arbitrary...but, on the other hand, science is just pure empiricism, and by virtue of its method, it excludes metaphysics. I guess I wouldn't believe in anything anymore if it weren't for my lucky astrology mood watch.
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Steve Martin
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God did not create man in his own image. Evidently, it was quite the other way about, which is the painless explanation for the profusion of gods and religions, and the fratricide both between and among faiths, that we see all about us and that has so retarded the development of civilization.
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Christopher Hitchens (God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything)
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Faith is a fine invention When gentlemen can see, But microscopes are prudent In an emergency.
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Emily Dickinson
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The clash between science and religion has not shown that religion is false and science is true. It has shown that all systems of definition are relative to various purposes, and that none of them actually โ€œgraspโ€ reality.
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Alan W. Watts (The Wisdom of Insecurity: A Message for an Age of Anxiety)
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It is the chief characteristic of the religion of science that it works.
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Isaac Asimov (Foundation (Foundation, #1))
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But my favorite of Einstein's words on religion is "Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind." I like this because both science and religion are needed to answer life's great questions.
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Temple Grandin (Thinking in Pictures: My Life with Autism)
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Science adjusts its views based on what's observed Faith is the denial of observation so that belief can be preserved.
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Tim Minchin
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The enemy of science is not religion... . The true enemy is the substitution of thought, reflection, and curiosity with dogma.
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Frans de Waal
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Your question is the most difficult in the world. It is not a question I can answer simply with yes or no. I am not an Atheist. I do not know if I can define myself as a Pantheist. The problem involved is too vast for our limited minds. May I not reply with a parable? The human mind, no matter how highly trained, cannot grasp the universe. We are in the position of a little child, entering a huge library whose walls are covered to the ceiling with books in many different tongues. The child knows that someone must have written those books. It does not know who or how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books, a mysterious order, which it does not comprehend, but only dimly suspects. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of the human mind, even the greatest and most cultured, toward God. We see a universe marvelously arranged, obeying certain laws, but we understand the laws only dimly. Our limited minds cannot grasp the mysterious force that sways the constellations. I am fascinated by Spinoza's Pantheism. I admire even more his contributions to modern thought. Spinoza is the greatest of modern philosophers, because he is the first philosopher who deals with the soul and the body as one, not as two separate things.
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Albert Einstein
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Any faith that admires truth, that strives to know God, must be brave enough to accommodate the universe.
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Carl Sagan (Contact)
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So it is best to keep an open mind and be agnostic. At first sight that seems an unassailable position, at least in the weak sense of Pascal's wager. But on second thoughts it seems a cop-out, because the same could be said of Father Christmas and tooth fairies. There may be fairies at the bottom of the garden. There is no evidence for it, but you can't prove that there aren't any, so shouldn't we be agnostic with respect to fairies?
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Richard Dawkins
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The existence of God is not subjective. He either exists or he doesnโ€™t. Itโ€™s not a matter of opinion. You can have your own opinions. But you canโ€™t have your own facts.
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Ricky Gervais
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Science can destroy religion by ignoring it as well as by disproving its tenets. No one ever demonstrated, so far as I am aware, the nonexistence of Zeus or Thor, but they have few followers now.
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Arthur C. Clarke (Childhood's End)
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Do those people who hold up the Bible as an inspiration to moral rectitude have the slightest notion of what is actually written in it?
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Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion)
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Islam expect every Muslim to do this duty, and if we realise our responsibility time will come soon when we shall justify ourselves worthy of a glorious past.
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Muhammad Ali Jinnah
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By relegating the things we fear and don't understand to religion, and the things we understand and control to science, we rob science of its artistry and religion of its mutability.
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Maggie Stiefvater (All the Crooked Saints)
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The essence of science is that it is always willing to abandon a given idea for a better one; the essence of theology is that it holds its truths to be eternal and immutable.
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H.L. Mencken
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It is customary to blame secular science and anti-religious philosophy for the eclipse of religion in modern society. It would be more honest to blame religion for its own defeats. Religion declined not because it was refuted, but because it became irrelevant, dull, oppressive, insipid. When faith is completely replaced by creed, worship by discipline, love by habit; when the crisis of today is ignored because of the splendor of the past; when faith becomes an heirloom rather than a living fountain; when religion speaks only in the name of authority rather than with the voice of compassion--its message becomes meaningless.
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Abraham Joshua Heschel (God in Search of Man: A Philosophy of Judaism)
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Well, science and religion are not competitors, theyโ€™re two different languages trying to tell the same story. Thereโ€™s room in this world for both.
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Dan Brown (Origin (Robert Langdon, #5))
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What we call rational grounds for our beliefs are often extremely irrational attempts to justify our instincts.
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Thomas Henry Huxley
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knowledge, absolutely sure of its infallibility, is faith
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Yevgeny Zamyatin (We)
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Now, the invention of the scientific method and science is, I'm sure we'll all agree, the most powerful intellectual idea, the most powerful framework for thinking and investigating and understanding and challenging the world around us that there is, and that it rests on the premise that any idea is there to be attacked and if it withstands the attack then it lives to fight another day and if it doesn't withstand the attack then down it goes. Religion doesn't seem to work like that; it has certain ideas at the heart of it which we call sacred or holy or whatever. That's an idea we're so familiar with, whether we subscribe to it or not, that it's kind of odd to think what it actually means, because really what it means is 'Here is an idea or a notion that you're not allowed to say anything bad about; you're just not. Why not? - because you're not!
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Douglas Adams
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Science tells me God must exist. My mind tells me I'll never understand God. My heart tells me I'm not meant to. [Vittoria Vetra]
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Dan Brown (Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon, #1))
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There are many sources of spirituality; religion may be the most common, but it is by no means the only. Anything that generates a sense of awe may be a source of spirituality. Science does this in spades.
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Michael Shermer
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All the tales of miracles, with which the Old and New Testament are filled, are fit only for impostors to preach and fools to believe.
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Thomas Paine (The Writing of Thomas Paine)
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I maintain that the cosmic religious feeling is the strongest and noblest motive for scientific research.
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Albert Einstein (The World As I See It)
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You don't get rich writing science fiction. If you want to get rich, you start a religion.
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L. Ron Hubbard
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It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.
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Albert Einstein (Albert Einstein: The Human Side)
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The world is my country, science is my religion.
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Christiaan Huygens
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The split in America, rather than simply economic, is between those who embrace reason, who function in the real world of cause and effect, and those who, numbed by isolation and despair, now seek meaning in a mythical world of intuition, a world that is no longer reality-based, a world of magic.
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Chris Hedges (American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America)
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Your beliefs don't make you a better person, your behavior does.
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Sukhraj S. Dhillon
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A religion contradicting science and a science contradicting religion are equally false.
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P.D. Ouspensky
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We are all born to love people and use things. Unfortunately, we grow to love things and use people...
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T. Rafael Cimino
โ€œ
What a lovely thing a rose is!" He walked past the couch to the open window and held up the drooping stalk of a moss-rose, looking down at the dainty blend of crimson and green. It was a new phase of his character to me, for I had never before seen him show any keen interest in natural objects. "There is nothing in which deduction is so necessary as religion," said he, leaning with his back against the shutters. "It can be built up as an exact science by the reasoner. Our highest assurance of the goodness of Providence seems to me to rest in the flowers. All other things, our powers, our desires, our food, are all really necessary for our existence in the first instance. But this rose is an extra. Its smell and its color are an embellishment of life, not a condition of it. It is only goodness which gives extras, and so I say again that we have much to hope from the flowers.
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Arthur Conan Doyle (The Naval Treaty - a Sherlock Holmes Short Story)
โ€œ
Formerly, when religion was strong and science weak, men mistook magic for medicine; now, when science is strong and religion weak, men mistake medicine for magic.
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Thomas Szasz
โ€œ
In this moment, I am euphoric. Not because of any phony god's blessings. But because, I am enlightened by my intelligence.
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โ€
A.A. Lewis
โ€œ
We should never wait for science to give us permission to do the uncommon; if we do, then we are turning science into another religion.
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โ€
Joe Dispenza (Breaking The Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One)
โ€œ
The word of Mohammad is a voice direct from nature's own heart - all else is wind in comparison.
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Thomas Carlyle
โ€œ
The greatest danger that besets us does not come from believers or atheists; it comes from those who, under the guise of religion, science or reason, imagine that we can free ourselves from the limitations of human nature and perfect the human species.
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โ€
Chris Hedges (I Don't Believe in Atheists)
โ€œ
Teach her about difference. Make difference ordinary. Make difference normal. Teach her not to attach value to difference. And the reason for this is not to be fair or to be nice but merely to be human and practical. Because difference is the reality of our world. And by teaching her about difference, you are equipping her to survive in a diverse world. She must know and understand that people walk different paths in the world and that as long as those paths do no harm to others, they are valid paths that she must respect. Teach her that we do not know โ€“ we cannot know โ€“ everything about life. Both religion and science have spaces for the things we do not know, and it is enough to make peace with that. Teach her never to universalise her own standards or experiences. Teach her that her standards are for her alone, and not for other people. This is the only necessary form of humility: the realisation that difference is normal.
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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions)
โ€œ
Every aspect of Nature reveals a deep mystery and touches our sense of wonder and awe. Those afraid of the universe as it really is, those who pretend to nonexistent knowledge and envision a Cosmos centered on human beings will prefer the fleeting comforts of superstition. They avoid rather than confront the world. But those with the courage to explore the weave and structure of the Cosmos, even where it differs profoundly from their wishes and prejudices, will penetrate its deepest mysteries.
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Carl Sagan (Cosmos)
โ€œ
If we are merely matter intricately assembled, is this really demeaning? If there's nothing here but atoms, does that make us less or does that make matter more?
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โ€
Carl Sagan (The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God)
โ€œ
We should enjoy and make the most of life, not because we are in constant fear of what might happen to us in a mythical afterlife, but because we have only one opportunity to live.
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โ€
Greg Graffin (Anarchy Evolution: Faith, Science, and Bad Religion in a World Without God)
โ€œ
No Gods Or Kings. Only Man. -Andrew Ryan
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โ€
John Shirley (BioShock: Rapture)
โ€œ
The mentally disturbed do not employ the Principle of Scientific Parsimony: the most simple theory to explain a given set of facts. They shoot for the baroque.
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Philip K. Dick (VALIS)
โ€œ
What do you think science is? There's nothing magical about science. It is simply a systematic way for carefully and thoroughly observing nature and using consistent logic to evaluate results. Which part of that exactly do you disagree with? Do you disagree with being thorough? Using careful observation? Being systematic? Or using consistent logic?
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โ€
Steven Novella
โ€œ
Be brave. Be free from philosophies, prophets and holy lies. Go deep into your feelings and explore the mystery of your body, mind and soul. You will find the truth.
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Amit Ray (Meditation: Insights and Inspirations)
โ€œ
Is it more probable that nature should go out of her course or that a man should tell a lie? We have never seen, in our time, nature go out of her course. But we have good reason to believe that millions of lies have been told in the same time. It is therefore at least millions to one that the reporter of a miracle tells a lie.
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Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason)
โ€œ
And here is the point, about myself and my co-thinkers. Our belief is not a belief. Our principles are not a faith. We do not rely solely upon science and reason, because these are necessary rather than sufficient factors, but we distrust anything that contradicts science or outrages reason. We may differ on many things, but what we respect is free inquiry, openmindedness, and the pursuit of ideas for their own sake.
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Christopher Hitchens (God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything)
โ€œ
They say that Caliph Omar, when consulted about what had to be done with the library of Alexandria, answered as follows: 'If the books of this library contain matters opposed to the Koran, they are bad and must be burned. If they contain only the doctrine of the Koran, burn them anyway, for they are superfluous.' Our learned men have cited this reasoning as the height of absurdity. However, suppose Gregory the Great was there instead of Omar and the Gospel instead of the Koran. The library would still have been burned, and that might well have been the finest moment in the life of this illustrious pontiff.
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Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Discourse on the Sciences and Arts and Polemics)
โ€œ
Science is a philosophy of discovery. Intelligent design is a philosophy of ignorance.
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Neil deGrasse Tyson (Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries)
โ€œ
Science knows it doesn't know everything; otherwise, it'd stop. But just because science doesn't know everything doesn't mean you can fill in the gaps with whatever fairy tale most appeals to you.
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Dara ร“ Briain
โ€œ
Our religion will not clash with nor contradict the facts of science in any particular.
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Brigham Young
โ€œ
It is remarkable, Hardin, how the religion of science has grabbed hold.
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Isaac Asimov (Foundation (Foundation, #1))
โ€œ
I used to pray that God would feed the hungry, or do this or that, but now I pray that he will guide me to do whatever I'm supposed to do, what I can do. I used to pray for answers, but now I'm praying for strength. I used to believe that prayer changes things, but now I know that prayer changes us and we change things.
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Mother Teresa
โ€œ
Why, I can't help wondering, is God thought to need such ferocious defence? One might have supposed him amply capable of looking after himself.
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Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion)
โ€œ
Science is a way to call the bluff of those who only pretend to knowledge. It is a bulwark against mysticism, against superstition, against religion misapplied to where it has no business being.
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Carl Sagan (The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark)
โ€œ
He saw that science had become as great a hoax as religion, that nationalism was a farce, patriotism a fraud, education a form of leprosy, and that morals were for cannibals
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Henry Miller (The Time of the Assassins: A Study of Arthur Rimbaud)
โ€œ
Since the beginning of time, spirituality and religion have been called to fill in the gaps that science did not understand.
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Dan Brown (Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon, #1))
โ€œ
A little philosophy inclineth man's mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion
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Francis Bacon
โ€œ
If you don't understand how something works, never mind: just give up and say God did it. You don't know how the nerve impulse works? Good! You don't understand how memories are laid down in the brain? Excellent! Is photosynthesis a bafflingly complex process? Wonderful! Please don't go to work on the problem, just give up, and appeal to God.
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Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion)
โ€œ
Religion without science is superstition. Science without religion is materialism.
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Bahรก'u'llรกh
โ€œ
Religions die when they are proved to be true. Science is the record of dead religions.
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Oscar Wilde
โ€œ
Still, even when false, legends can be most informative.
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Timothy Zahn (Thrawn (Star Wars: Thrawn, #1))
โ€œ
People who worry that nuclear weaponry will one day fall in the hands of the Arabs, fail to realize that the Islamic bomb has been dropped already, it fell the day MUHAMMED (pbuh) was born.
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Joseph Adam Pearson.
โ€œ
Ann Druyan suggests an experiment: Look back again at the pale blue dot of the preceding chapter. Take a good long look at it. Stare at the dot for any length of time and then try to convince yourself that God created the whole Universe for one of the 10 million or so species of life that inhabit that speck of dust. Now take it a step further: Imagine that everything was made just for a single shade of that species, or gender, or ethnic or religious subdivision. If this doesnโ€™t strike you as unlikely, pick another dot. Imagine it to be inhabited by a different form of intelligent life. They, too, cherish the notion of a God who has created everything for their benefit. How seriously do you take their claim?
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Carl Sagan (Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space)
โ€œ
Religion means to know God and to love Him.
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A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupฤda (The Science of Self-Realization)
โ€œ
Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense.
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Carl Sagan
โ€œ
Science is not enough, religion is not enough, art is not enough, politics and economics is not enough, nor is love, nor is duty, nor is action however disinterested, nor, however sublime, is contemplation. Nothing short of everything will really do.
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Aldous Huxley (Island)
โ€œ
My point is not that religion itself is the motivation for wars, murders and terrorist attacks, but that religion is the principal label, and the most dangerous one, by which a "they" as opposed to a "we" can be identified at all.
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Richard Dawkins (A Devil's Chaplain: Reflections on Hope, Lies, Science, and Love)
โ€œ
How came the bodies of animals to be contrived with so much art, and for what ends were their several parts? Was the eye contrived without skill in Opticks, and the ear without knowledge of sounds?...and these things being rightly dispatchโ€™d, does it not appear from phรฆnomena that there is a Being incorporeal, living, intelligent...?
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Isaac Newton (Opticks)
โ€œ
I will tell you why we have these extraordinary minds and souls, Miss Whittaker," he continued, as though he had not heard her. "We have them because there is a supreme intelligence in the universe, which wishes for communion with us. This supreme intelligence longs to be known. It calls out to us. It draws us close to its mystery, and grants us these remarkable minds, in order that we try to reach for it. It wants us to find it. It wants union with us, more than anything.
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Elizabeth Gilbert (The Signature of All Things)
โ€œ
Christianity may be good and Satanism evil. Under the Constitution, however, both are neutral. This is an important, but difficult, concept for many law enforcement officers to accept. They are paid to uphold the penal code, not the Ten Commandments โ€ฆ The fact is that far more crime and child abuse has been committed by zealots in the name of God, Jesus and Mohammed than has ever been committed in the name of Satan. Many people donโ€™t like that statement, but few can argue with it.
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Carl Sagan (The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark)
โ€œ
How can cosmic religious feeling be communicated from one person to another, if it can give rise to no definite notion of a God and no theology? In my view, it is the most important function of art and science to awaken this feeling and keep it alive in those who are receptive to it.
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Albert Einstein (The World As I See It)
โ€œ
Science and religion were not enemies, but rather allies - two different languages telling the same story, a story of symmetry and balance... heaven and hell, night and day, hot and cold, God and Satan. Both science and religion rejoiced in God's symmetry... the endless contest of ight and dark.
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Dan Brown (Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon, #1))
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ุงู„ูƒูŠู…ูŠุงุก ูˆุงู„ุทุจูŠุนุฉ ูˆุงู„ูƒู‡ุฑุจุงุก ู‡ูŠ ุงู„ุนู„ูˆู… ุงู„ุตุบูŠุฑุฉ. ูˆุงู„ุฏูŠู† ู‡ูˆ ุงู„ุนู„ู… ุงู„ูƒุจูŠุฑ ุงู„ุฐูŠ ูŠุดุชู…ู„ ุนู„ู‰ ูƒู„ ุงู„ุนู„ูˆู… ููŠ ุจุงุทู†ู‡. ูˆู„ุง ุชุนุงุฑุถ ุจูŠู† ุงู„ุฏูŠู† ูˆุงู„ุนู„ู… ุŒ ู„ุฃู† ุงู„ุฏูŠู† ููŠ ุฐุงุชู‡ ู…ู†ุชู‡ู‰ ุงู„ุนู„ู… ุงู„ู…ุดุชู…ู„ ุจุงู„ุถุฑูˆุฑุฉ ุนู„ู‰ ุฌู…ูŠุน ุงู„ุนู„ูˆู…. ูˆุงู„ุฏูŠู† ุถุฑูˆุฑูŠ ูˆู…ุทู„ูˆุจ ู„ุฃู†ู‡ ู‡ูˆ ุงู„ุฐูŠ ูŠุฑุณู… ู„ู„ุนู„ูˆู… ุงู„ุตุบูŠุฑุฉ ุบุงูŠุงุชู‡ุง ูˆุฃู‡ุฏุงูู‡ุง ูˆูŠุถุน ู„ู‡ุง ูˆุธุงุฆูู‡ุง ุงู„ุณู„ูŠู…ุฉ ููŠ ุฅุทุงุฑ ุงู„ุญูŠุงุฉ ุงู„ู…ุซู„ู‰.. ุงู„ุฏูŠู† ู‡ูˆ ุงู„ุฐูŠ ูŠู‚ูŠู… ุงู„ุถู…ูŠุฑ .. ูˆุงู„ุถู…ูŠุฑ ุจุฏูˆุฑู‡ ูŠุฎุชุงุฑ ู„ู„ุทุงู‚ุฉ ุงู„ุฐุฑูŠุฉ ูˆุธูŠูุฉ ุจู†ุงุกุฉ.. ูˆู„ุง ูŠู„ู‚ูŠ ุจู‡ุง ุฏู…ุงุฑุง ูˆู…ูˆุชุง ุนู„ู‰ ุงู„ุฃุจุฑูŠุงุก.. ูˆู‡ูˆ ุงู„ุฐูŠ ูŠู‡ูŠุจ ุจู†ุง ุฃู† ู†ุฌุนู„ ู…ู† ุงู„ูƒู‡ุฑุจุงุก ูˆุณูŠู„ุฉ ุฅุถุงุกุฉ ู„ุง ูˆุณูŠู„ุฉ ู„ู„ู‡ู„ุงูƒ.
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ู…ุตุทูู‰ ู…ุญู…ูˆุฏ
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Science seeks the truth. And it does not discriminate. For better or worse it finds things out. Science is humble. It knows what it knows and it knows what it doesnโ€™t know. It bases its conclusions and beliefs on hard evidence -ยญ- evidence that is constantly updated and upgraded. It doesnโ€™t get offended when new facts come along. It embraces the body of knowledge. It doesnโ€™t hold on to medieval practices because they are tradition.
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Ricky Gervais
โ€œ
Left-wing and right-wing political ideologies have themselves become secular religions, providing people with a community of like-minded brethren, a catechism of sacred beliefs, a well-populated demonology, and a beatific confidence in the righteousness of their cause.
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Steven Pinker (Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress)
โ€œ
Reading list (1972 edition)[edit] 1. Homer โ€“ Iliad, Odyssey 2. The Old Testament 3. Aeschylus โ€“ Tragedies 4. Sophocles โ€“ Tragedies 5. Herodotus โ€“ Histories 6. Euripides โ€“ Tragedies 7. Thucydides โ€“ History of the Peloponnesian War 8. Hippocrates โ€“ Medical Writings 9. Aristophanes โ€“ Comedies 10. Plato โ€“ Dialogues 11. Aristotle โ€“ Works 12. Epicurus โ€“ Letter to Herodotus; Letter to Menoecus 13. Euclid โ€“ Elements 14. Archimedes โ€“ Works 15. Apollonius of Perga โ€“ Conic Sections 16. Cicero โ€“ Works 17. Lucretius โ€“ On the Nature of Things 18. Virgil โ€“ Works 19. Horace โ€“ Works 20. Livy โ€“ History of Rome 21. Ovid โ€“ Works 22. Plutarch โ€“ Parallel Lives; Moralia 23. Tacitus โ€“ Histories; Annals; Agricola Germania 24. Nicomachus of Gerasa โ€“ Introduction to Arithmetic 25. Epictetus โ€“ Discourses; Encheiridion 26. Ptolemy โ€“ Almagest 27. Lucian โ€“ Works 28. Marcus Aurelius โ€“ Meditations 29. Galen โ€“ On the Natural Faculties 30. The New Testament 31. Plotinus โ€“ The Enneads 32. St. Augustine โ€“ On the Teacher; Confessions; City of God; On Christian Doctrine 33. The Song of Roland 34. The Nibelungenlied 35. The Saga of Burnt Njรกl 36. St. Thomas Aquinas โ€“ Summa Theologica 37. Dante Alighieri โ€“ The Divine Comedy;The New Life; On Monarchy 38. Geoffrey Chaucer โ€“ Troilus and Criseyde; The Canterbury Tales 39. Leonardo da Vinci โ€“ Notebooks 40. Niccolรฒ Machiavelli โ€“ The Prince; Discourses on the First Ten Books of Livy 41. Desiderius Erasmus โ€“ The Praise of Folly 42. Nicolaus Copernicus โ€“ On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres 43. Thomas More โ€“ Utopia 44. Martin Luther โ€“ Table Talk; Three Treatises 45. Franรงois Rabelais โ€“ Gargantua and Pantagruel 46. John Calvin โ€“ Institutes of the Christian Religion 47. Michel de Montaigne โ€“ Essays 48. William Gilbert โ€“ On the Loadstone and Magnetic Bodies 49. Miguel de Cervantes โ€“ Don Quixote 50. Edmund Spenser โ€“ Prothalamion; The Faerie Queene 51. Francis Bacon โ€“ Essays; Advancement of Learning; Novum Organum, New Atlantis 52. William Shakespeare โ€“ Poetry and Plays 53. Galileo Galilei โ€“ Starry Messenger; Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences 54. Johannes Kepler โ€“ Epitome of Copernican Astronomy; Concerning the Harmonies of the World 55. William Harvey โ€“ On the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Animals; On the Circulation of the Blood; On the Generation of Animals 56. Thomas Hobbes โ€“ Leviathan 57. Renรฉ Descartes โ€“ Rules for the Direction of the Mind; Discourse on the Method; Geometry; Meditations on First Philosophy 58. John Milton โ€“ Works 59. Moliรจre โ€“ Comedies 60. Blaise Pascal โ€“ The Provincial Letters; Pensees; Scientific Treatises 61. Christiaan Huygens โ€“ Treatise on Light 62. Benedict de Spinoza โ€“ Ethics 63. John Locke โ€“ Letter Concerning Toleration; Of Civil Government; Essay Concerning Human Understanding;Thoughts Concerning Education 64. Jean Baptiste Racine โ€“ Tragedies 65. Isaac Newton โ€“ Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy; Optics 66. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz โ€“ Discourse on Metaphysics; New Essays Concerning Human Understanding;Monadology 67. Daniel Defoe โ€“ Robinson Crusoe 68. Jonathan Swift โ€“ A Tale of a Tub; Journal to Stella; Gulliver's Travels; A Modest Proposal 69. William Congreve โ€“ The Way of the World 70. George Berkeley โ€“ Principles of Human Knowledge 71. Alexander Pope โ€“ Essay on Criticism; Rape of the Lock; Essay on Man 72. Charles de Secondat, baron de Montesquieu โ€“ Persian Letters; Spirit of Laws 73. Voltaire โ€“ Letters on the English; Candide; Philosophical Dictionary 74. Henry Fielding โ€“ Joseph Andrews; Tom Jones 75. Samuel Johnson โ€“ The Vanity of Human Wishes; Dictionary; Rasselas; The Lives of the Poets
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โ€
Mortimer J. Adler (How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading)
โ€œ
When we speak of man, we have a conception of humanity as a whole, and before applying scientific methods to the investigation of his movement we must accept this as a physical fact. But can anyone doubt to-day that all the millions of individuals and all the innumerable types and characters constitute an entity, a unit? Though free to think and act, we are held together, like the stars in the firmament, with ties inseparable. These ties cannot be seen, but we can feel them. I cut myself in the finger, and it pains me: this finger is a part of me. I see a friend hurt, and it hurts me, too: my friend and I are one. And now I see stricken down an enemy, a lump of matter which, of all the lumps of matter in the universe, I care least for, and it still grieves me. Does this not prove that each of us is only part of a whole? For ages this idea has been proclaimed in the consummately wise teachings of religion, probably not alone as a means of insuring peace and harmony among men, but as a deeply founded truth. The Buddhist expresses it in one way, the Christian in another, but both say the same: We are all one. Metaphysical proofs are, however, not the only ones which we are able to bring forth in support of this idea. Science, too, recognizes this connectedness of separate individuals, though not quite in the same sense as it admits that the suns, planets, and moons of a constellation are one body, and there can be no doubt that it will be experimentally confirmed in times to come, when our means and methods for investigating psychical and other states and phenomena shall have been brought to great perfection. Still more: this one human being lives on and on. The individual is ephemeral, races and nations come and pass away, but man remains. Therein lies the profound difference between the individual and the whole.
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โ€
Nikola Tesla
โ€œ
There exists indeed an opposition to it [building of UVA, Jefferson's secular college] by the friends of William and Mary, which is not strong. The most restive is that of the priests of the different religious sects, who dread the advance of science as witches do the approach of day-light; and scowl on it the fatal harbinger announcing the subversion of the duperies on which they live. In this the Presbyterian clergy take the lead. The tocsin is sounded in all their pulpits, and the first alarm denounced is against the particular creed of Doctr. Cooper; and as impudently denounced as if they really knew what it is. [Letter to Josรฉ Francesco Corrรช a Da Serra - Monticello, April 11, 1820]
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โ€
Thomas Jefferson (Letters of Thomas Jefferson)
โ€œ
Imagine for a moment that we are nothing but the product of billions of years of molecules coming together and ratcheting up through natural selection, that we are composed only of highways of fluids and chemicals sliding along roadways within billions of dancing cells, that trillions of synaptic conversations hum in parallel, that this vast egglike fabric of micron-thin circuitry runs algorithms undreamt of in modern science, and that these neural programs give rise to our decision making, loves, desires, fears, and aspirations. To me, that understanding would be a numinous experience, better than anything ever proposed in anyone's holy text.
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โ€
David Eagleman (Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain)
โ€œ
I was raised very, very strictly with Christian Science. I didn't have a shot or an aspirin or anything until I was 13 years old. We had to go to church, do testimonies every Wednesday night. I think all religion is based on what happens after this life. You live a certain way so that when you die, things can be good. But why can't things be good now? Why can't you understand that you're in heaven now? That's how I live. I believe in God. I think that God is everywhere. Every morning I look outside, and I say, "Hi, God." Because I think that the trees are God. I think that our whole experience is God.
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โ€
Ellen DeGeneres
โ€œ
Think of how many religions attempt to validate themselves with prophecy. Think of how many people rely on these prophecies, however vague, however unfulfilled, to support or prop up their beliefs. Yet has there ever been a religion with the prophetic accuracy and reliability of science? ... No other human institution comes close.
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โ€
Carl Sagan (The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark)
โ€œ
Time passed. Art came off the walls and became rituals. Ritual became religion. Religion spawned science. Science led to big business. And big business, if it continues on its present, mindless trajectory, could land those lucky enough to survive its ultimate legacy back into caves again.
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โ€
Tom Robbins (Villa Incognito)
โ€œ
Why can't we simply borrow what is useful to us from Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, especially Zen, as we borrow from Christianity, science, American Indian traditions and world literature in general, including philosophy, and let the rest go hang? Borrow what we need but rely principally upon our own senses, common sense and daily living experience.
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Edward Abbey (Postcards from Ed: Dispatches and Salvos from an American Iconoclast)
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if you are unwilling to endure your own suffering even for an hour, and continually forestall all possible misfortune, if you regard as deserving of annihilation, any suffering and pain generally as evil, as detestable, and as blots on existence, well, you have then, besides your religion of compassion, yet another religion in your heart (and this is perhaps the mother of the former)-the religion of smug ease. Ah, how little you know of the happiness of man, you comfortable and good-natured ones! For happiness and misfortune are brother and sister, and twins, who grow tall together, or, as with you, remain small together!
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Friedrich Nietzsche (The Gay Science)
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4. Religion. Your reason is now mature enough to examine this object. In the first place, divest yourself of all bias in favor of novelty & singularity of opinion... shake off all the fears & servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal 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. You will naturally examine first, the religion of your own country. Read the Bible, then as you would read Livy or Tacitus. The facts which are within the ordinary course of nature, you will believe on the authority of the writer, as you do those of the same kind in Livy and Tacitus. The testimony of the writer weighs in their favor, in one scale, and their not being against the laws of nature, does not weigh against them. But those facts in the Bible which contradict the laws of nature, must be examined with more care, and under a variety of faces. Here you must recur to the pretensions of the writer to inspiration from God. Examine upon what evidence his pretensions are founded, and whether that evidence is so strong, as that its falsehood would be more improbable than a change in the laws of nature, in the case he relates. For example in the book of Joshua we are told the sun stood still several hours. Were we to read that fact in Livy or Tacitus we should class it with their showers of blood, speaking of statues, beasts, &c. But it is said that the writer of that book was inspired. Examine therefore candidly what evidence there is of his having been inspired. The pretension is entitled to your inquiry, because millions believe it. On the other hand you are astronomer enough to know how contrary it is to the law of nature that a body revolving on its axis as the earth does, should have stopped, should not by that sudden stoppage have prostrated animals, trees, buildings, and should after a certain time have resumed its revolution, & that without a second general prostration. Is this arrest of the earth's motion, or the evidence which affirms it, most within the law of probabilities? You will next read the New Testament. It is the history of a personage called Jesus. Keep in your eye the opposite pretensions: 1, of those who say he was begotten by God, born of a virgin, suspended & reversed the laws of nature at will, & ascended bodily into heaven; and 2, of those who say he was a man of illegitimate birth, of a benevolent heart, enthusiastic mind, who set out without pretensions to divinity, ended in believing them, and was punished capitally for sedition, by being gibbeted, according to the Roman law, which punished the first commission of that offence by whipping, & the second by exile, or death in fureรข. ...Do not be frightened from this inquiry by any fear of its consequences. If it ends in a belief that there is no God, you will find incitements to virtue in the comfort and pleasantness you feel in its exercise, and the love of others which it will procure you... In fine, I repeat, you must lay aside all prejudice on both sides, and neither believe nor reject anything, because any other persons, or description of persons, have rejected or believed it... I forgot to observe, when speaking of the New Testament, that you should read all the histories of Christ, as well of those whom a council of ecclesiastics have decided for us, to be Pseudo-evangelists, as those they named Evangelists. Because these Pseudo-evangelists pretended to inspiration, as much as the others, and you are to judge their pretensions by your own reason, and not by the reason of those ecclesiastics. Most of these are lost... [Letter to his nephew, Peter Carr, advising him in matters of religion, 1787]
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Thomas Jefferson (Letters of Thomas Jefferson)
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Science investigates, religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge which is power, religion gives man wisdom which is control. Science deals mainly with facts, religion deals with values. The two are not rivals. They are complementary. Science keeps religion from sinking into the valley of crippling irrationalism and paralysing obscurantism. Religion prevents science from falling into the marsh of obsolete materialism and moral nihilism.
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Martin Luther King Jr. (Strength to Love)
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Try and penetrate with our limited means the secrets of nature and you will find that, behind all the descernible laws and connections, there remains something subtle, intangible and inexplicable. Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion. To that extent I am, in fact, religious.
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Albert Einstein
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God without dominion, providence, and final causes, is nothing else but Fate and Nature. Blind metaphysical necessity, which is certainly the same always and everywhere, could produce no variety of things. All that diversity of natural things which we find suited to different times and places could arise from nothing but the ideas and will of a Being necessarily existing.
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Isaac Newton (The Principia: Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy)
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Every time you understand something, religion becomes less likely. Only with the discovery of the double helix and the ensuing genetic revolution have we had grounds for thinking that the powers held traditionally to be the exclusive property of the gods might one day be ours. . . .
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James D. Watson
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If no one had ever challenged religious authority, thereโ€™d be no democracy, no public schools, womenโ€™s rights, improvements to science and medicine, evolution of slavery and no laws against child abuse or spousal abuse. I was afraid to challenge my religious beliefs because that was the basis of creationโ€”mine anyway. I was afraid to question the Bible or anything in it, and when I did, thatโ€™s when I became involved with PFLAG and realized that my son was a perfectly normal human being and there was nothing for God to heal because Bobby was perfect just the way he was.
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Mary Griffith
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The suppression of uncomfortable ideas may be common in religion or in politics, but it is not the path to knowledge, and there's no place for it in the endeavor of science. We do not know beforehand where fundamental insights will arise from about our mysterious and lovely solar system. The history of our study of our solar system shows us clearly that accepted and conventional ideas are often wrong, and that fundamental insights can arise from the most unexpected sources.
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Carl Sagan
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I told them weโ€™re tired of the culture wars, tired of Christianity getting entangled with party politics and power. Millennials want to be known by what weโ€™re for, I said, not just what weโ€™re against. We donโ€™t want to choose between science and religion or between our intellectual integrity and our faith. Instead, we long for our churches to be safe places to doubt, to ask questions, and to tell the truth, even when itโ€™s uncomfortable. We want to talk about the tough stuffโ€”biblical interpretation, religious pluralism, sexuality, racial reconciliation, and social justiceโ€”but without predetermined conclusions or simplistic answers. We want to bring our whole selves through the church doors, without leaving our hearts and minds behind, without wearing a mask.
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Rachel Held Evans (Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church)
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When anyone tells me that he saw a dead man restored to life, I immediately consider with myself whether it be more probable that this person should either deceive or be deceived or that the fact which he relates should really have happened. I weigh the one miracle against the other and according to the superiority which I discover, I pronounce my decision. Always I reject the greater miracle. If the falsehood of his testimony would be more miraculous than the event which he relates, then and not till then, can he pretend to command my belief or opinion.
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David Hume
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When the faithful are asked whether God really exists, they often begin by talking about the enigmatic mysteries of the universe and the limits of human understanding. โ€˜Science cannot explain the Big Bang,โ€™ they exclaim, โ€˜so that must be Godโ€™s doing.โ€™ Yet like a magician fooling an audience by imperceptibly replacing one card with another, the faithful quickly replace the cosmic mystery with the worldly lawgiver. After giving the name of โ€˜Godโ€™ to the unknown secrets of the cosmos, they then use this to somehow condemn bikinis and divorces. โ€˜We do not understand the Big Bang โ€“ therefore you must cover your hair in public and vote against gay marriage.โ€™ Not only is there no logical connection between the two, but they are in fact contradictory. The deeper the mysteries of the universe, the less likely it is that whatever is responsible for them gives a damn about female dress codes or human sexual behaviour.
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Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
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Are you really surprised by the endurance of religion? What ideology is likely to be more durable than one that conforms, at every turn, to our powers of wishful thinking? Hope is easy; knowledge is hard. Science is the one domain in which we human beings make a truly heroic effort to counter our innate biases and wishful thinking. Science is the one endeavor in which we have developed a refined methodology for separating what a person hopes is true from what he has good reason to believe. The methodology isn't perfect, and the history of science is riddled with abject failures of scientific objectivity. But that is just the point-these have been failures of science, discovered and corrected by-what, religion? No, by good science.
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Sam Harris
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There are few ways in which good people do more harm to those who take them seriously than to defend the gospel with arguments that won't hold water. Many of the difficulties encountered by young people going to college would be avoided if parents and teachers were more careful to distinguish between what they know to be true and what they think may be true. Impetuous youth, upon finding the authority it trusts crumbling, even on unimportant details, is apt to lump everything together and throw the baby out with the bath.
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Henry B. Eyring
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Religion is based primarily upon fear. It is partly the terror of the unknown and partly as the wish to feel that you have a kind of elder brother who will stand by you in all your troubles and disputes. Fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the parent of cruelty, and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion have gone hand in hand. It is because fear is at the basis of those two things. In this world we can now begin a little to understand things, and a little to master them by help of science, which has forced its way step by step against the opposition of all the old precepts. Science can help us to get over this craven fear in which mankind has lived for so many generations. Science can teach us, and I think our own hearts can teach us, no longer to look around for imaginary supports, no longer to invent allies in the sky, but rather to look to our own efforts here below to make this world a fit place to live in, instead of the place that the churches in all these centuries have made it.
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Bertrand Russell (Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects)
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We wrap up our violent and mysterious world in a pretense of understanding. We paper over the voids of our comprehension with science and religion, and make believe that order has been imposed. And, for the most of it, the fiction works. We skim across the surfaces, heedless of the depths below. Dragonflies flitting over a lake, miles deep, pursuing erratic paths to pointless ends. Until that moment when something from the cold unknown reaches up to take us. The biggest lies we save for ourselves. We play a game in which we are gods, in which we make choices, and the current follows in our wake. We pretend a separation from the wild. Pretend that a manโ€™s control runs deep, that civilization is more than a veneer, that reason will be our companion in dark places.
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Mark Lawrence (Prince of Thorns (The Broken Empire, #1))
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The human psyche has two great sicknesses: the urge to carry vendetta across generations, and the tendency to fasten group labels on people rather than see them as individuals. Abrahamic religion mixes explosively with (and gives strong sanction to) both. Only the willfully blind could fail to implicate the divisive force of religion in most, if not all, of the violent enmities in the world today. Without a doubt it is the prime aggravator of the Middle East. Those of us who have for years politely concealed our contempt for the dangerous collective delusion of religion need to stand up and speak out. Things are different now. โ€˜All is changed, changed utterly.
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Richard Dawkins (A Devil's Chaplain: Reflections on Hope, Lies, Science, and Love)
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There is nothing in which deduction is so necessary as in religion," said he, leaning with his back against the shutters. "It can be built up as an exact science by the reasoner. Our highest assurance of the goodness of Providence seems to me to rest in the flowers. All other things, our powers, our desires, our food, are all really necessary for our existence in the first instance. But this rose is an extra. Its smell and its colour are an embellishment of life, not a condition of it. It is only goodness which gives extras, and so I say again that we have much to hope from the flowers.
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Arthur Conan Doyle (The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock Holmes, #4))
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Real haiku is the soul of poetry. Anything that is not actually present in one's heart is not haiku. The moon glows, flowers bloom, insects cry, water flows. There is no place we cannot find flowers or think of the moon. This is the essence of haiku. Go beyond the restrictions of your era, forget about purpose or meaning, separate yourself from historical limitationsโ€”there you will find the essence of true art, religion, and science.
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Santลka Taneda (Mountain Tasting: Haiku and Journals of Santoka Taneda)
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It is also worth noting that one can obtain a Ph.D. in any branch of science for no other purpose than to make cynical use of scientific language in an effort to rationalize the glaring inadequacies of tbe Bible. A handful of Christians appear to have done this; some have even obtained their degrees from reputable universities. No doubt, others will follow in their footsteps. While such people are technically "scientists," they are not behaving like scientists. They simply are not engaged in an honest inquiry into the nature of the universe. And their proclamations about God and the failures of Darwinism do not in the least signify that there is a legitimate scientific controversy about evolution.
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Sam Harris (The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason)
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If you want to teach your children that they are the tools of God, you had better not teach them that they are God's rifles, or we will have to stand firmly opposed to you: your doctrine has no glory, no special rights, no intrinsic and inalienable merit. If you insist on teaching your children false-hoodsโ€”that the Earth is flat, that "Man" is not a product of evolution by natural selectionโ€”then you must expect, at the very least, that those of us who have freedom of speech will feel free to describe your teachings as the spreading of falsehoods, and will attempt to demonstrate this to your children at our earliest opportunity. Our future well-beingโ€”the well-being of all of us on the planetโ€”depends on the education of our descendants.
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Daniel C. Dennett (Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life)
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A nation is born stoic, and dies epicurean. At its cradle (to repeat a thoughtful adage) religion stands, and philosophy accompanies it to the grave. In the beginning of all cultures a strong religious faith conceals and softens the nature of things, and gives men courage to bear pain and hardship patiently; at every step the gods are with them, and will not let them perish, until they do. Even then a firm faith will explain that it was the sins of the people that turned their gods to an avenging wrath; evil does not destroy faith, but strengthens it. If victory comes, if war is forgotten in security and peace, then wealth grows; the life of the body gives way, in the dominant classes, to the life of the senses and the mind; toil and suffering are replaced by pleasure and ease; science weakens faith even while thought and comfort weaken virility and fortitude. At last men begin to doubt the gods; they mourn the tragedy of knowledge, and seek refuge in every passing delight. Achilles is at the beginning, Epicurus at the end. After David comes Job, and after Job, Ecclesiastes.
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Will Durant (Our Oriental Heritage (The Story of Civilization, #1))
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Humans think they are free, conscious beings, when in truth they are deluded animals. At the same time they never cease trying to escape from what they imagine themselves to be. Their religions are attempts to be rid of a freedom they have never possessed. In the twentieth century, the utopias of Right and Left served the same function. Today, when politics is unconvincing even as entertainment, science has taken on the role of mankind's deliverer.
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John N. Gray (Straw Dogs: Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals)
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Thatโ€™s what the human brain is there forโ€”to turn the chaos of given experience into a set of manageable symbols. Sometimes the symbols correspond fairly closely to some of the aspects of the external reality behind our experience; then you have science and common sense. Sometimes, on the contrary, the symbols have almost no connection with external reality; then you have paranoia and delirium. More often thereโ€™s a mixture, part realistic and part fantastic; thatโ€™s religion.
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Aldous Huxley (Island)
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I am most often irritated by those who attack the bishop but somehow fall for the securities analyst--those who exercise their skepticism against religion but not against economists, social scientists, and phony statisticians. Using the confirmation bias, these people will tell you that religion was horrible for mankind by counting deaths from the Inquisition and various religious wars. But they will not show you how many people were killed by nationalism, social science, and political theory under Stalin or during the Vietnam War. Even priests don't go to bishops when they feel ill: their first stop is the doctor's. But we stop by the offices of many pseudoscientists and "experts" without alternative. We no longer believe in papal infallibility; we seem to believe in the infallibility of the Nobel, though....
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Nassim Nicholas Taleb (The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable)
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Consider again that dot [Earth]. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there - on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
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Carl Sagan (Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space)
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From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of particular interest. But for us, it's different. Consider again that dot. That's here, that's home, that's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there โ€“ on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.
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Carl Sagan (Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space)
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I esteem myself happy to have as great an ally as you in my search for truth. I will read your work ... all the more willingly because I have for many years been a partisan of the Copernican view because it reveals to me the causes of many natural phenomena that are entirely incomprehensible in the light of the generally accepted hypothesis. To refute the latter I have collected many proofs, but I do not publish them, because I am deterred by the fate of our teacher Copernicus who, although he had won immortal fame with a few, was ridiculed and condemned by countless people (for very great is the number of the stupid). {Letter to fellow revolutionary astronomer Johannes Kepelr}
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Galileo Galilei (Frammenti e lettere)
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Why do you want a letter from me? Why don't you take the trouble to find out for yourselves what Christianity is? You take time to learn technical terms about electricity. Why don't you do as much for theology? Why do you never read the great writings on the subject, but take your information from the secular 'experts' who have picked it up as inaccurately as you? Why don't you learn the facts in this field as honestly as your own field? Why do you accept mildewed old heresies as the language of the church, when any handbook on church history will tell you where they came from? Why do you balk at the doctrine of the Trinity - God the three in One - yet meekly acquiesce when Einstein tells you E=mc2? What makes you suppose that the expression "God ordains" is narrow and bigoted, while your own expression, "Science demands" is taken as an objective statement of fact? You would be ashamed to know as little about internal combustion as you know about Christian beliefs. I admit, you can practice Christianity without knowing much theology, just as you can drive a car without knowing much about internal combustion. But when something breaks down in the car, you go humbly to the man who understands the works; whereas if something goes wrong with religion, you merely throw the works away and tell the theologian he is a liar. Why do you want a letter from me telling you about God? You will never bother to check on it or find out whether I'm giving you personal opinions or Christian doctrines. Don't bother. Go away and do some work and let me get on with mine.
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Dorothy L. Sayers
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I believe that the universe was formed around 15 billion years ago and that humans have evolved from their apelike ancestors over the past few million years. I believe we are more likely to live a good life if all humans try to work together in a world community, preserving planet earth. When decisions for groups are made in this world, I believe that the democratic process should be used. To protect the individual, I believe in freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, freedom from religion, freedom of inquiry, and a wall of separation between church and state. When making decisions about what is right or wrong, I believe I should use my intelligence to reason about the likely consequences of my actions. I believe that I should try to increase the happiness of everyone by caring for other people and finding ways to cooperate. Never should my actions discriminate against people simply because of their race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, or national origin. I believe that ideas about what is right and wrong will change with education, so I am prepared to continually question ideas using evidence from experience and science. I believe there is no valid evidence to support claims for the existence of supernatural entities and deities. I will use these beliefs to guide my thinking and my actions until I find good reasons for revising them or replacing them with other beliefs that are more valid.
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Ronald P. Carver
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Science, the largest religion of the twentieth century, had become tarnished by images of exploding space shuttles, crack babies, and a generation of complacent Americans who allowed the television to raise their children. People were looking for something - I think they just didn't know what. And even though they were once again starting to open their eyes to the world of magic and the arcane that had been with them all the while, they still thought I must be some kind of joke.
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Jim Butcher (Storm Front (The Dresden Files, #1))
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Educators may bring upon themselves unnecessary travail by taking a tactless and unjustifiable position about the relation between scientific and religious narratives. We see this, of course, in the conflict concerning creation science. Some educators representing, as they think, the conscience of science act much like those legislators who in 1925 prohibited by law the teaching of evolution in Tennessee. In that case, anti-evolutionists were fearful that a scientific idea would undermine religious belief. Today, pro-evolutionists are fearful that a religious idea will undermine scientific belief. The former had insufficient confidence in religion; the latter insufficient confidence in science. The point is that profound but contradictory ideas may exist side by side, if they are constructed from different materials and methods and have different purposes. Each tells us something important about where we stand in the universe, and it is foolish to insist that they must despise each other.
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Neil Postman (The End of Education: Redefining the Value of School)
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Enter no conflict against fanatics unless you can defuse them. Oppose a religion with another religion only if your proofs (miracles) are irrefutable or if you can mesh in a way that the fanatics accept you as god-inspired. This has long been the barrier to science assuming a mantle of divine revelation. Science is so obviously man-made. Fanatics (and many are fanatic on one subject or another) must know where you stand, but more important, must recognise who whispers in your ear." - Missionaria Protectiva, Primary Teaching.
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Frank Herbert (The Great Dune Trilogy)
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Science is opposed to theological dogmas because science is founded on fact. To me, the universe is simply a great machine which never came into being and never will end. The human being is no exception to the natural order. Man, like the universe, is a machine. Nothing enters our minds or determines our actions which is not directly or indirectly a response to stimuli beating upon our sense organs from without. Owing to the similarity of our construction and the sameness of our environment, we respond in like manner to similar stimuli, and from the concordance of our reactions, understanding is born. In the course of ages, mechanisms of infinite complexity are developed, but what we call 'soul' or 'spirit,' is nothing more than the sum of the functionings of the body. When this functioning ceases, the 'soul' or the 'spirit' ceases likewise. I expressed these ideas long before the behaviorists, led by Pavlov in Russia and by Watson in the United States, proclaimed their new psychology. This apparently mechanistic conception is not antagonistic to an ethical conception of life.
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Nikola Tesla (Inventions, Researches and Writings of Nikola Tesla)
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So this is where all the vapid talk about the 'soul' of the universe is actually headed. Once the hard-won principles of reason and science have been discredited, the world will not pass into the hands of credulous herbivores who keep crystals by their sides and swoon over the poems of Khalil Gibran. The 'vacuum' will be invaded instead by determined fundamentalists of every stripe who already know the truth by means of revelation and who actually seek real and serious power in the here and now. One thinks of the painstaking, cloud-dispelling labor of British scientists from Isaac Newton to Joseph Priestley to Charles Darwin to Ernest Rutherford to Alan Turing and Francis Crick, much of it built upon the shoulders of Galileo and Copernicus, only to see it casually slandered by a moral and intellectual weakling from the usurping House of Hanover. An awful embarrassment awaits the British if they do not declare for a republic based on verifiable laws and principles, both political and scientific.
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Christopher Hitchens
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The disciplines of physical exercise, meditation and study aren't terribly esoteric. The means to attain a capability far beyond that of the so-called ordinary person are within the reach of everyone, if their desire and their will are strong enough. I have studied science, art, religion and a hundred different philosophies. Anyone could do as much. By applying what you learn and ordering your thoughts in an intelligent manner it is possible to accomplish almost anything. Possible for an 'ordinary person.' There's a notion I'd like to see buried: the ordinary person. Ridiculous. There is no ordinary person.
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Alan Moore (Watchmen)
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What the hell does it all mean anyhow? Nothing. Zero. Zilch. Nothing comes to anything. And yet, there's no shortage of idiots to babble. Not me. I have a vision. I'm discussing you. Your friends. Your coworkers. Your newspapers. The TV. Everybody's happy to talk. Full of misinformation. Morality, science, religion, politics, sports, love, your portfolio, your children, health. Christ, if I have to eat nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day to live, I don't wanna live. I hate goddamn fruits and vegetables. And your omega 3's, and the treadmill, and the cardiogram, and the mammogram, and the pelvic sonogram, and oh my god the-the-the colonoscopy, and with it all the day still comes where they put you in a box, and its on to the next generation of idiots, who'll also tell you all about life and define for you what's appropriate. My father committed suicide because the morning newspapers depressed him. And could you blame him? With the horror, and corruption, and ignorance, and poverty, and genocide, and AIDS, and global warming, and terrorism, and-and the family value morons, and the gun morons. "The horror," Kurtz said at the end of Heart of Darkness, "the horror." Lucky Kurtz didn't have the Times delivered in the jungle. Ugh... then he'd see some horror. But what do you do? You read about some massacre in Darfur or some school bus gets blown up, and you go "Oh my God, the horror," and then you turn the page and finish your eggs from the free range chickens. Because what can you do. It's overwhelming!
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Woody Allen
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When you come to look into this argument from design, it is a most astonishing thing that people can believe that this world, with all the things that are in it, with all its defects, should be the best that omnipotence and omniscience have been able to produce in millions of years. I really cannot believe it. Do you think that, if you were granted omnipotence and omniscience and millions of years in which to perfect your world, you could produce nothing better than the Ku Klux Klan or the Fascists? Moreover, if you accept the ordinary laws of science, you have to suppose that human life and life in general on this planet will die out in due course: it is a stage in the decay of the solar system; at a certain stage of decay you get the sort of conditions of temperature and so forth which are suitable to protoplasm, and there is life for a short time in the life of the whole solar system. You see in the moon the sort of thing to which the earth is tending -- something dead, cold, and lifeless.
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Bertrand Russell
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For centuries the church has stood by while science picked away at religion bit by bit. Debunking miracles. Training the mind to overcome the heart. Condemning religion as the opiate of the masses. They denounce God as a hallucination - a delusional crutch for those too weak to accept that life is meaningless. I could not stand by while science presumed to harness the power of God himself! Proof, you say? Yes, proof of science's ignorance! What is wrong with the admission that something exists beyond our understanding? The day science substantiates God in a lab is the day people stop needing faith!
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Dan Brown (Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon, #1))
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But what about human nature? Can it be changed? And if not, will it endure under Anarchism? Poor human nature, what horrible crimes have been committed in thy name! Every fool, from king to policeman, from the flatheaded parson to the visionless dabbler in science, presumes to speak authoritatively of human nature. The greater the mental charlatan, the more definite his insistence on the wickedness and weaknesses of human nature. Yet, how can any one speak of it today, with every soul in a prison, with every heart fettered, wounded, and maimed? John Burroughs has stated that experimental study of animals in captivity is absolutely useless. Their character, their habits, their appetites undergo a complete transformation when torn from their soil in field and forest. With human nature caged in a narrow space, whipped daily into submission, how can we speak of its potentialities? Freedom, expansion, opportunity, and, above all, peace and repose, alone can teach us the real dominant factors of human nature and all its wonderful possibilities. Anarchism, then, really stands for the liberation of the human mind from the dominion of religion; the liberation of the human body from the dominion of property; liberation from the shackles and restraint of government. Anarchism stands for a social order based on the free grouping of individuals for the purpose of producing real social wealth; an order that will guarantee to every human being free access to the earth and full enjoyment of the necessities of life, according to individual desires, tastes, and inclinations. This is not a wild fancy or an aberration of the mind. It is the conclusion arrived at by hosts of intellectual men and women the world over; a conclusion resulting from the close and studious observation of the tendencies of modern society: individual liberty and economic equality, the twin forces for the birth of what is fine and true in man.
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Emma Goldman (Anarchism and Other Essays)
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In the history of science, ever since the famous trial of Galileo, it has repeatedly been claimed that scientific truth cannot be reconciled with the religious interpretation of the world. Although I an now convinced that scientific truth is unassailable in its own field, I have never found it possible to dismiss the content of religious thinking as simply part of an outmoded phase in the consciousness of mankind, a part we shall have to give up from now on, Thus in the course of my life I have repeatedly been compelled to ponder on the relationship of these two regions of though, for I have never been able to doubt the reality of that to which they point.
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Werner Heisenberg
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The criers of the Mysteries speak again, bidding all men welcome to the House of Light. The great institution of materiality has failed. The false civilization built by man has turned, and like the monster of Frankenstein, is destroying its creator. Religion wanders aimlessly in the maze of theological speculation. Science batters itself impotently against the barriers of the unknown. Only transcendental philosophy knows the path. Only the illumined reason can carry the understanding part of man upward to the light. Only philosophy can teach man to be born well, to live well, to die well, and in perfect measure be born again. Into this band of the elect--those who have chosen the life of knowledge, of virtue, and of utility--the philosophers of the ages invite YOU.
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Manly P. Hall (The Secret Teachings of All Ages)
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Frederick Douglass told in his Narrative how his condition as a slave became worse when his master underwent a religious conversion that allowed him to justify slavery as the punishment of the children of Ham. Mark Twain described his mother as a genuinely good person, whose soft heart pitied even Satan, but who had no doubt about the legitimacy of slavery, because in years of living in antebellum Missouri she had never heard any sermon opposing slavery, but only countless sermons preaching that slavery was God's will. With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil โ€” that takes religion.
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Steven Weinberg
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This century will be called Darwin's century. He was one of the greatest men who ever touched this globe. He has explained more of the phenomena of life than all of the religious teachers. Write the name of Charles Darwin on the one hand and the name of every theologian who ever lived on the other, and from that name has come more light to the world than from all of those. His doctrine of evolution, his doctrine of the survival of the fittest, his doctrine of the origin of species, has removed in every thinking mind the last vestige of orthodox Christianity. He has not only stated, but he has demonstrated, that the inspired writer knew nothing of this world, nothing of the origin of man, nothing of geology, nothing of astronomy, nothing of nature; that the Bible is a book written by ignorance--at the instigation of fear. Think of the men who replied to him. Only a few years ago there was no person too ignorant to successfully answer Charles Darwin, and the more ignorant he was the more cheerfully he undertook the task. He was held up to the ridicule, the scorn and contempt of the Christian world, and yet when he died, England was proud to put his dust with that of her noblest and her grandest. Charles Darwin conquered the intellectual world, and his doctrines are now accepted facts. His light has broken in on some of the clergy, and the greatest man who to-day occupies the pulpit of one of the orthodox churches, Henry Ward Beecher, is a believer in the theories of Charles Darwin--a man of more genius than all the clergy of that entire church put together. ...The church teaches that man was created perfect, and that for six thousand years he has degenerated. Darwin demonstrated the falsity of this dogma. He shows that man has for thousands of ages steadily advanced; that the Garden of Eden is an ignorant myth; that the doctrine of original sin has no foundation in fact; that the atonement is an absurdity; that the serpent did not tempt, and that man did not 'fall.' Charles Darwin destroyed the foundation of orthodox Christianity. There is nothing left but faith in what we know could not and did not happen. Religion and science are enemies. One is a superstition; the other is a fact. One rests upon the false, the other upon the true. One is the result of fear and faith, the other of investigation and reason.
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Robert G. Ingersoll (Lectures of Col. R.G. Ingersoll: Including His Letters on the Chinese God--Is Suicide a Sin?--The Right to One's Life--Etc. Etc. Etc, Volume 2)
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Science has carried us to the gateway to the universe. And yet our conception of our surroundings remains the disproportionate view of the still-small child. We are spiritually and culturally paralyzed, unable to face the vastness, to embrace our lack of centrality and find our actual place in the fabric of nature. We batter this planet as if we had someplace else to go. That we even do science is a hopeful glimmer of mental health. However, it's not enough merely to accept these insights intellectually while we cling to a spiritual ideology that is not only rootless in nature but also, in many ways, contemptuous of what is natural.
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Ann Druyan
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Those whose acquaintance with scientific research is derived chiefly from its practical results easily develop a completely false notion of the mentality of the men who, surrounded by a skeptical world, have shown the way to kindred spirits scattered wide through the world and through the centuries. Only one who has devoted his life to similar ends can have a vivid realization of what has inspired these men and given them the strength to remain true to their purpose in spite of countless failures. It is cosmic religious feeling that gives a man such strength. A contemporary has said, not unjustly, that in this materialistic age of ours the serious scientific workers are the only profoundly religious people.
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Albert Einstein (The World As I See It)
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...Turn our thoughts, in the next place, to the characters of learned men. The priesthood have, in all ancient nations, nearly monopolized learning. Read over again all the accounts we have of Hindoos, Chaldeans, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Celts, Teutons, we shall find that priests had all the knowledge, and really governed all mankind. Examine Mahometanism, trace Christianity from its first promulgation; knowledge has been almost exclusively confined to the clergy. And, even since the Reformation, when or where has existed a Protestant or dissenting sect who would tolerate a free inquiry? The blackest billingsgate, the most ungentlemanly insolence, the most yahooish brutality is patiently endured, countenanced, propagated, and applauded. But touch a solemn truth in collision with a dogma of a sect, though capable of the clearest proof, and you will soon find you have disturbed a nest, and the hornets will swarm about your legs and hands, and fly into your face and eyes. [Letters to John Taylor, 1814, XVIII, p. 484]
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John Adams (The Letters of John and Abigail Adams)
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It's a most peculiar psychologyโ€”this business of 'Science is based on faith too, so there!' Typically this is said by people who claim that faith is a good thing. Then why do they say 'Science is based on faith too!' in that angry-triumphal tone, rather than as a compliment? And a rather dangerous compliment to give, one would think, from their perspective. If science is based on 'faith', then science is of the same kind as religionโ€”directly comparable. If science is a religion, it is the religion that heals the sick and reveals the secrets of the stars. It would make sense to say, 'The priests of science can blatantly, publicly, verifiably walk on the Moon as a faith-based miracle, and your priests' faith can't do the same.' Are you sure you wish to go there, oh faithist? Perhaps, on further reflection, you would prefer to retract this whole business of 'Science is a religion too!
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Eliezer Yudkowsky (The Less Wrong Sequences)
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This was the scientific age, and people wanted to believe that their traditions were in line with the new era, but this was impossible if you thought that these myths should be understood literally. Hence the furor occasioned by The Origin of Species, published by Charles Darwin. The book was not intended as an attack on religion, but was a sober exploration of a scientific hypothesis. But because by this time people were reading the cosmogonies of Genesis as though they were factual, many Christians felt--and still feel--that the whole edifice of faith was in jeopardy. Creation stories had never been regarded as historically accurate; their purpose was therapeutic. But once you start reading Genesis as scientifically valid, you have bad science and bad religion.
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Karen Armstrong (A Short History of Myth)
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So we find that the three possible solutions of the great problem of increasing human energy are answered by the three words: food, peace, work. Many a year I have thought and pondered, lost myself in speculations and theories, considering man as a mass moved by a force, viewing his inexplicable movement in the light of a mechanical one, and applying the simple principles of mechanics to the analysis of the same until I arrived at these solutions, only to realize that they were taught to me in my early childhood. These three words sound the key-notes of the Christian religion. Their scientific meaning and purpose now clear to me: food to increase the mass, peace to diminish the retarding force, and work to increase the force accelerating human movement. These are the only three solutions which are possible of that great problem, and all of them have one object, one end, namely, to increase human energy. When we recognize this, we cannot help wondering how profoundly wise and scientific and how immensely practical the Christian religion is, and in what a marked contrast it stands in this respect to other religions. It is unmistakably the result of practical experiment and scientific observation which have extended through the ages, while other religions seem to be the outcome of merely abstract reasoning. Work, untiring effort, useful and accumulative, with periods of rest and recuperation aiming at higher efficiency, is its chief and ever-recurring command. Thus we are inspired both by Christianity and Science to do our utmost toward increasing the performance of mankind. This most important of human problems I shall now specifically consider.
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Nikola Tesla
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You go deep enough or far out enough in consciousness and you will bump into the sacred. Itโ€™s not something we generate; itโ€™s something out there waiting to be discovered. And this reliably happens to nonbelievers as well as believers.โ€ Second, that, whether occasioned by drugs or other means, these experiences of mystical consciousness are in all likelihood the primal basis of religion. (Partly for this reason Richards believes that psychedelics should be part of a divinity studentโ€™s education.) And third, that consciousness is a property of the universe, not brains. On this question, he holds with Henri Bergson, the French philosopher, who conceived of the human mind as a kind of radio receiver, able to tune in to frequencies of energy and information that exist outside it. โ€œIf you wanted to find the blonde who delivered the news last night,โ€ Richards offered by way of an analogy, โ€œyou wouldnโ€™t look for her in the TV set.โ€ The television set is, like the human brain, necessary but not sufficient.
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Michael Pollan (How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence)
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The night before brain surgery, I thought about death. I searched out my larger values, and I asked myself, if I was going to die, did I want to do it fighting and clawing or in peaceful surrender? What sort of character did I hope to show? Was I content with myself and what I had done with my life so far? I decided that I was essentially a good person, although I could have been better--but at the same time I understood that the cancer didn't care. I asked myself what I believed. I had never prayed a lot. I hoped hard, I wished hard, but I didn't pray. I had developed a certain distrust of organized religion growing up, but I felt I had the capacity to be a spiritual person, and to hold some fervent beliefs. Quite simply, I believed I had a responsibility to be a good person, and that meant fair, honest, hardworking, and honorable. If I did that, if I was good to my family, true to my friends, if I gave back to my community or to some cause, if I wasn't a liar, a cheat, or a thief, then I believed that should be enough. At the end of the day, if there was indeed some Body or presence standing there to judge me, I hoped I would be judged on whether I had lived a true life, not on whether I believed in a certain book, or whether I'd been baptized. If there was indeed a God at the end of my days, I hoped he didn't say, 'But you were never a Christian, so you're going the other way from heaven.' If so, I was going to reply, 'You know what? You're right. Fine.' I believed, too, in the doctors and the medicine and the surgeries--I believed in that. I believed in them. A person like Dr. Einhorn [his oncologist], that's someone to believe in, I thought, a person with the mind to develop an experimental treatment 20 years ago that now could save my life. I believed in the hard currency of his intelligence and his research. Beyond that, I had no idea where to draw the line between spiritual belief and science. But I knew this much: I believed in belief, for its own shining sake. To believe in the face of utter hopelessness, every article of evidence to the contrary, to ignore apparent catastrophe--what other choice was there? We do it every day, I realized. We are so much stronger than we imagine, and belief is one of the most valiant and long-lived human characteristics. To believe, when all along we humans know that nothing can cure the briefness of this life, that there is no remedy for our basic mortality, that is a form of bravery. To continue believing in yourself, believing in the doctors, believing in the treatment, believing in whatever I chose to believe in, that was the most important thing, I decided. It had to be. Without belief, we would be left with nothing but an overwhelming doom, every single day. And it will beat you. I didn't fully see, until the cancer, how we fight every day against the creeping negatives of the world, how we struggle daily against the slow lapping of cynicism. Dispiritedness and disappointment, these were the real perils of life, not some sudden illness or cataclysmic millennium doomsday. I knew now why people fear cancer: because it is a slow and inevitable death, it is the very definition of cynicism and loss of spirit. So, I believed.
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Lance Armstrong (It's Not about the Bike: My Journey Back to Life)
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there is found a third level of religious experience, even if it is seldom found in a pure form. I will call it the cosmic religious sense. This is hard to make clear to those who do not experience it, since it does not involve an anthropomorphic idea of God; the individual feels the vanity of human desires and aims, and the nobility and marvelous order which are revealed in nature and in the world of thought. He feels the individual destiny as an imprisonment and seeks to experience the totality of existence as a unity full of significance. Indications of this cosmic religious sense can be found even on earlier levels of developmentโ€”for example, in the Psalms of David and in the Prophets. The cosmic element is much stronger in Buddhism, as, in particular, Schopenhauer's magnificent essays have shown us. The religious geniuses of all times have been distinguished by this cosmic religious sense, which recognizes neither dogmas nor God made in man's image. Consequently there cannot be a church whose chief doctrines are based on the cosmic religious experience. It comes about, therefore, that we find precisely among the heretics of all ages men who were inspired by this highest religious experience; often they appeared to their contemporaries as atheists, but sometimes also as saints.
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Albert Einstein (Religion and Science)
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If the people of Europe had known as much of astronomy and geology when the bible was introduced among them, as they do now, there never could have been one believer in the doctrine of inspiration. If the writers of the various parts of the bible had known as much about the sciences as is now known by every intelligent man, the book never could have been written. It was produced by ignorance, and has been believed and defended by its author. It has lost power in the proportion that man has gained knowledge. A few years ago, this book was appealed to in the settlement of all scientific questions; but now, even the clergy confess that in such matters, it has ceased to speak with the voice of authority. For the establishment of facts, the word of man is now considered far better than the word of God. In the world of science, Jehovah was superseded by Copernicus, Galileo, and Kepler. All that God told Moses, admitting the entire account to be true, is dust and ashes compared to the discoveries of Descartes, Laplace, and Humboldt. In matters of fact, the bible has ceased to be regarded as a standard. Science has succeeded in breaking the chains of theology. A few years ago, Science endeavored to show that it was not inconsistent with the bible. The tables have been turned, and now, Religion is endeavoring to prove that the bible is not inconsistent with Science. The standard has been changed.
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Robert G. Ingersoll (Some Mistakes of Moses)
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Faith is always coveted most and needed most urgently where will is lacking; for will, as the affect of command, is the decisive sign of sovereignty and strength. In other words, the less one knows how to command, the more urgently one covets someone who commands, who commands severelyโ€”a god, prince, class, physician, father confessor, dogma, or party conscience. From this one might perhaps gather that the two world religions, Buddhism and Christianity, may have owed their origin and above all their sudden spread to a tremendous collapse and disease of the will. And that is what actually happened: both religions encountered a situation in which the will had become diseased, giving rise to a demand that had become utterly desperate for some "thou shalt." Both religions taught fanaticism in ages in which the will had become exhausted, and thus they offered innumerable people some support, a new possibility of willing, some delight in willing. For fanaticism is the only "strength of the will" that even the weak and insecure can be brought to attain, being a sort of hypnotism of the whole system of the senses and the intellect for the benefit of an excessive nourishment (hypertrophy) of a single point of view and feeling that henceforth becomes dominantโ€” which the Christian calls his faith. Once a human being reaches the fundamental conviction that he must be commanded, he becomes "a believer." Conversely, one could conceive of such a pleasure and power of self-determination, such a freedom of the will [ This conception of "freedom of the will" ( alias, autonomy) does not involve any belief in what Nietzsche called "the superstition of free will" in section 345 ( alias, the exemption of human actions from an otherwise universal determinism).] that the spirit would take leave of all faith and every wish for certainty, being practiced in maintaining himself on insubstantial ropes and possibilities and dancing even near abysses. Such a spirit would be the free spirit par excellence.
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Friedrich Nietzsche (The Gay Science)
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Tell me something. Do you believe in God?' Snow darted an apprehensive glance in my direction. 'What? Who still believes nowadays?' 'It isn't that simple. I don't mean the traditional God of Earth religion. I'm no expert in the history of religions, and perhaps this is nothing new--do you happen to know if there was ever a belief in an...imperfect God?' 'What do you mean by imperfect?' Snow frowned. 'In a way all the gods of the old religions were imperfect, considered that their attributes were amplified human ones. The God of the Old Testament, for instance, required humble submission and sacrifices, and and was jealous of other gods. The Greek gods had fits of sulks and family quarrels, and they were just as imperfect as mortals...' 'No,' I interrupted. 'I'm not thinking of a god whose imperfection arises out of the candor of his human creators, but one whose imperfection represents his essential characteristic: a god limited in his omniscience and power, fallible, incapable of foreseeing the consequences of his acts, and creating things that lead to horror. He is a...sick god, whose ambitions exceed his powers and who does not realize it at first. A god who has created clocks, but not the time they measure. He has created systems or mechanisms that serves specific ends but have now overstepped and betrayed them. And he has created eternity, which was to have measured his power, and which measures his unending defeat.' Snow hesitated, but his attitude no longer showed any of the wary reserve of recent weeks: 'There was Manicheanism...' 'Nothing at all to do with the principles of Good and Evil,' I broke in immediately. 'This god has no existence outside of matter. He would like to free himself from matter, but he cannot...' Snow pondered for a while: 'I don't know of any religion that answers your description. That kind of religion has never been...necessary. If i understand you, and I'm afraid I do, what you have in mind is an evolving god, who develops in the course of time, grows, and keeps increasing in power while remaining aware of his powerlessness. For your god, the divine condition is a situation without a goal. And understanding that, he despairs. But isn't this despairing god of yours mankind, Kelvin? Is it man you are talking about, and that is a fallacy, not just philosophically but also mystically speaking.' I kept on: 'No, it's nothing to do with man. man may correspond to my provisional definition from some point of view, but that is because the definition has a lot of gaps. Man does not create gods, in spite of appearances. The times, the age, impose them on him. Man can serve is age or rebel against it, but the target of his cooperation or rebellion comes to him from outside. If there was only a since human being in existence, he would apparently be able to attempt the experiment of creating his own goals in complete freedom--apparently, because a man not brought up among other human beings cannot become a man. And the being--the being I have in mind--cannot exist in the plural, you see? ...Perhaps he has already been born somewhere, in some corner of the galaxy, and soon he will have some childish enthusiasm that will set him putting out one star and lighting another. We will notice him after a while...' 'We already have,' Snow said sarcastically. 'Novas and supernovas. According to you they are candles on his altar.' 'If you're going to take what I say literally...' ...Snow asked abruptly: 'What gave you this idea of an imperfect god?' 'I don't know. It seems quite feasible to me. That is the only god I could imagine believing in, a god whose passion is not a redemption, who saves nothing, fulfills no purpose--a god who simply is.
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Stanisล‚aw Lem (Solaris)