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Big Hat, No Cattle

Sort of like having guest bloggers, this post is a mash-up of quotes. Each quote is about the same idea, doubts about religion.

If you’d like to know the source for each one just click on the (blue) period at the end of that sentence.

Our history and each individual’s experience are sown thick with evidence that a truth isn’t hard to kill; and that a lie told well is immortal. Religion ┬áis darkness. There’s probably no god. Now stop worrying, and enjoy your life.

Science has done more for the development of Western civilization in 100 years than Christianity did in 1,800. There was a time when religion ruled the world. It’s known as the dark ages. Every step which the intelligence of Europe has taken has been in spite of the clerical party. Anything that we scientists can do to weaken the hold of religion should be done and may in the end be our greatest contribution to civilization.

This story of redemption won’t stand examination. That a man should redeem himself from the sin of eating an apple, by committing a murder on Jesus Christ, is the strangest system of religion ever set up. But… You can’t convince a believer of anything: for their belief isn’t based on evidence, it’s based on a deep-seated need to believe.

Don’t let yourself be deceived, great intellects are skeptical. Without cultural sanction, most or all of our religious beliefs and rituals would fall into the domain of mental disturbance. The idea that He would take his attention away from the universe to give me a bicycle with three speeds is just so unlikely that I can’t go along with it.

I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you’ll understand why I dismiss yours.

TRAVELER: God has been mighty good to your fields, Mr. farmer.

FARMER: You should gave seen how he treated them when I wasn’t around.

When I was a young boy, my father taught me that to be a good Catholic , I had to confess at church if I ever had impure thoughts about a girl. That very evening I had to rush to confess my sin. And the next night, and the next. After a week, I decided religion wasn’t for me.

The continually progressive change to which the meaning of words is subject, the want of a universal language which renders translation necessary, the errors to which translations are again subject, the mistakes of copyists and printers, together with the possiblity of willful alteration, are themselves evidence that human language, whether in speech or print, can’t be the vehicle of the Word of god.

This is my simple religion. No need for temples. No need for complicated philosophy. Your own mind, your own heart, is the temple; your philosophy is simple kindness. I believe there’s nothing we can know except to be kind to each other and do what we can for other people. I can live with doubt and uncertainty. I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong.

I prayed for freedom for 20 years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.

It may be that ministers really do think that their prayers do good and it may be that frogs really imagine that their croaking brings spring.

An Eskimo hunter asked the local priest, “If I did’t know about God and sin, would I go to hell?”

“No,” said the priest, “not if you didn’t know.”

“Then why,” asked the Eskimo earnestly, “did you tell me?