“So, will science and religion find common ground, or at least agree to divide the fundamentals into mutually exclusive domains? A great many well-meaning scholars believe that such rapprochement is both possible and desirable. A few disagree, and I am one of them. I think Darwin would have held to the same position. The battle line is, as it has ever been, in biology. The inexorable growth of this science continues to widen, not to close, the tectonic gap between science and faith-based religion.”
-Edward O. Wilson (1929- ), American entomologist and evolutionary biologist. The father of sociobiology, which studies animal and human behavior as products of evolution. An atheist, he says we need to invest some of the passion now reserved for traditional religion into caring for our environment.
“I believe that virtuous behavior is trivialized by carrot-and-stick schemes, such as promises of highly improbable rewards or punishments in an improbable afterlife.”
-Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007), American novelist-satirist. Once called himself a “Christ-worshipping agnostic.” Succeeded Isaac Asimov in what Vonnegut called the “totally functionless capacity” of president of the American Humanist Association in 1992. The University of Chicago anthropology department inexplicably rejected his graduate thesis on the similarities between Cubist painting and nineteenth-century Native American uprisings, but later accepted his novel Cat’s Cradle and awarded him the degree. He said his study of anthropology “confirmed my atheism.” Once said everything one needs to know about good and evil was in Dostoyevsky’s Brothers Karamazov.
Not sure where this came from but I love this so much!!! RELIGION IS LIKE A PENIS!
“Men imagine gods to be born to have clothes and voice and body, like themselves… If oxen, lions, and horses had hands and could make fashion of art, they would fashion their gods in their own images… The Ethiopians make their gods black and snub-nosed; the Thracians say theirs have blue eyes and red hair…”
-Xenophanes (570-480 b.c.e.), Greek philosopher.
The Quotable Atheist
“Several thousand years ago, a small tribe of ignorant near-savages wrote various collections of myths, wild tales, lies and gibberish. Over the centuries, these stories were embroidered, garbled, mutilated, and torn into small pieces that were then repeatedly shuffled. Finally, this material was badly translated into several languages successfully. The resultant text, creationists feel, is the best guide to this complex and technical subject.”
-Tom Weller, author of Science Made Stupid: How to Discomprehend the World Around Us, winner of the 1986 Hugo Award for Best Non-Fiction Book. This parody of a high school science textbook includes a satirical account of the creationism vs. evolution debate and drawings by Weller of fictional prehistoric animals such as the duck-billed mastodon. His Web site offers Five Sure-Fire Zucchini Recipes and “supports The Coalition to Undermine Traditional Values.”
“Can a people that believes more fervently in the Virgin Birth than in evolution still be called an Enlightened nation? … The secular states of modern Europe do not understand the fundamentalism of the American electorate… In fact, we now resemble those nations less than we do our putative enemies. Where else do we find fundamentalist zeal, a rage at secularity, religious intolerance, fear of and hatred for modernity? … We find it in the Muslim world… Americans wonder that the rest of the world thinks us so dangerous, so single-minded, so impervious to international appeals. They fear jihad, no matter whose zeal is being expressed.”
-Gary Wills (1934- ), American Catholic scholar, historian and author. Pulitzer winner, 1993. His Nixon Agonistes — which the New York Time said “reads like a combination of H.L. Mencken, John Locke & Albert Camus — landed him on Nixon’s enemies list.
“America was founded by the refuse of the religious fanatics of England, these undesirable elements that came over on the Mayflower. Ignorant, religious fanatics who land here, abuse the Indians, and then go to bed with a board down the middle, you know, the bundling board, so they don’t have sex. That’s how we got started.”
-Frank Zappa (1940-1993), American avant-garde comic proto punk jazz Dadaist Surrealist rock composer-guitarist-singer-record producer and detester of labels. Three of his songs made Ann Lander’s list of the ten most obscene rock songs.
“The idea of God is the sole wrong for which I cannot forgive mankind.”
-Marquis de Sade (Donatien Alphonse François, 1740-1814), French sadist, libertine and pornographer. Celebrated as a philosopher by twentieth-century intellectuals fro Guillaume Apollinaire (who called Sade “the freest spirit that has yet existed”) to Simone De Beauvoir. Described himself in his will as “atheistic to the point of fanaticism.” His “Dialogue Between a Priest and a Dying Man” has been described as “clearly the work of someone with contempt for religion.”
“One of the signs of personal strength is that we take blame for what we do wrong. The other sign is that we take credit for what we do right. We do not alienate our power by assigning it to someone else… Strong people are comfortable in recognizing their own power…nor do they call their power ‘a higher power.’”
-Sherwin T. Wine (1928- ), American rabbi and founder in 1963 of Society for Humanistic Judaism without God. Describes his position as “ignosticism” — “finding the question of God’s existence meaningless because it has no verifiable consequences.” A bar/bat mitzvah at his Birmingham Temple in suburban Detroit consists of delivering a paper to the congregation on some Jewish hero or other.