According to the Bible in the year 2348 BCE the earth was plunged into a global flood which killed everyone everywhere because everyone was doing everything naughty (except Noah and his immediate family).
How do we know the Bible says 2348 BCE for the flood? Because in the 17th century an Irish fellow named James Ussher figured it out by carefully adding up the ages of the ancestors of Jesus as listed in the Bible all the way back to Adam. He also determined that according to the Bible the universe was created in 4004 BCE.
That not only means there were people living continuously in Egypt before, during, and after the flood was supposed to have happened and killed everyone according to the Bible, but that there were people living in Egypt even before the Bible says the Earth and the Universe were created in 4004 BCE.
How do we know how long people were living there? Through archeological finds, carbon dating and Egyptian record keeping we know that people were continuously living in Egypt back to at least the 5400 BCE date.
So… no, the pyramids have never been underwater.
Capella’s Guide to Atheism – A guide from an ex-Christian to Bible errors, Bible contradictions, Bible atrocities, etc… as well as general problems with Christian beliefs » Were the Egyptian Pyramids Ever Underwater? – StumbleUpon
If atheism is the absence of belief in gods, then many Buddhists are, indeed, atheists.
Buddhism is not about either believing or not believing in God or gods. Rather, the historical Buddha taught that believing in gods was not useful for those seeking to realize enlightenment. In other words, God is unnecessary in Buddhism. For this reason, Buddhism is more accurately called nontheistic than atheistic.
The Buddha also plainly said that he was not a god, but “awakened.” Yet throughout Asia it is common to find people praying to the Buddha or to the many clearly mythical figures that populate Buddhist iconography. Pilgrims flock to stupas that are said to hold relics of the Buddha. Some schools of Buddhism are deeply devotional. Even in the nondevotional schools, such as Theravada or Zen, there are rituals that involve bowing and offering food, flowers and incense to a Buddha figure on an altar.
Philosophy or Religion?
Some in the West dismiss these devotional and worshipful aspects of Buddhism as corruptions of the original teachings of the Buddha. For example, Sam Harris, a self-identified atheist who has expressed admiration for Buddhism, has said Buddhism should be taken away from Buddhists. Buddhism would be so much better, Harris wrote, if it could be cleansed of the “naive, petitionary, and superstitious” trappings of religion altogether.
I have addressed the question of whether Buddhism is a philosophy or a religion elsewhere. I argue that it is both philosophy and religion, and the whole “philosophy versus religion” argument amounts to shoving Buddhism into ill-fitting conceptual packaging. But what about the “naïve, petitionary, and superstitious” trappings? Are these corruptions of the Buddha’s teachings? Sometimes, perhaps, they are, but sometimes they aren’t. Understanding the difference requires looking deeply beneath the surface of Buddhist teaching and practice.
Not Believing in Beliefs
It’s not just belief in gods that are irrelevant to Buddhism. Beliefs play a different role in Buddhism than in many other religions.
Buddhism is a path to “waking up,” or being enlightened, to a reality that is not consciously perceived by most of us. In most schools of Buddhism it is understood that enlightenment and nirvana cannot be conceptualized or explained with words. They must be intimately experienced to be understood. Merely “believing in” enlightenment and nirvana is pointless.
In Buddhism, all doctrines are provisional and are judged by their skillfulness. The Sanskrit word for this is upaya, or “skillful means.” Any doctrine or practice that enables realization is a upaya. Whether the doctrine is factual or not is not the point.
The Role of Devotion
No gods, no beliefs, yet Buddhism encourages devotion. How can that be?
The Buddha taught that the biggest barrier to realization is the notion that “I” am a permanent, integral, autonomous entity. It is by seeing through the delusion of ego that realization blooms. Devotion is a upaya for breaking the bonds of ego.
For this reason, the Buddha taught his disciples to cultivate devotional and reverential habits of mind. Thus, devotion is not a “corruption” of Buddhism, but an expression of it.
Of course, devotion requires an object. To what is the Buddhist devoted? This is a question that may be clarified and re-clarified and answered in different ways at different times as one’s understanding of the teachings deepens.
If Buddha was not a god, why bow to Buddha-figures? One might bow just to show gratitude for the Buddha’s life and practice. But the Buddha figure also represents enlightenment itself and the unconditioned nature of all things.
In the Zen monastery where I first learned about Buddhism, the monks liked to point to the Buddha on the altar and say, “That’s you up there. When you bow, you are bowing to yourself.” What did they mean? How do you understand it? Who are you? Where do you find the self? Working with those questions is not a corruption of Buddhism; it is Buddhism.
See also the essay “Devotion in Buddhism” by Nyanaponika Thera.
All Mythological Creatures, Great and Small
The many mythological creatures and beings that populate Mahayana Buddhism art and literature are often called “gods” or “deities.” But, again, just believing in them is not the point.
Most of the time, it’s more accurate in western terms to think of the iconographic devas and bodhisattvas as archetypes rather than as supernatural beings. For example, a Buddhist might evoke the Bodhisattva of compassion in order to become more compassionate.
Do Buddhists believe these creatures exist? Certainly, in practice Buddhism has many of the same “literal versus allegorical” issues one finds in other religions. But the nature of existence is something Buddhism looks at deeply and in a different way from the way people ordinarily understand “existence.”
To Be, or Not To Be?
Usually, when we ask if something exists we are asking if it is “real,” as opposed to being a fantasy. But Buddhism begins with the premise that the way we understand the phenomenal world is delusional. The quest is to realize, or perceive, delusions as delusions.
So what’s “real”? What’s “fantasy”? What “exists”?
Libraries have been filled with the answers to those questions.
Mahayana Buddhism, which is the dominant form of Buddhism in China, Tibet, Japan and Korea, all phenomena are empty of intrinsic existence. One school of Buddhist philosophy, Madhyamika, says that phenomena exist only in relation to other phenomena. Another, called Yogachara, teaches that things exist only as processes of knowing and have no intrinsic reality.
One might say that in Buddhism, the big question is not whether gods exist, but what is the nature of existence? And what is the self?
Some medieval Christian mystics argued that it is incorrect to say that God exists, because existence amounts to taking a particular form within a space of time. God has no particular form and is outside of time. Therefore, God does not exist. However, God is. That’s an argument that many of us atheistic Buddhists can appreciate.
Buddhism: Philosophy or Religion?
What Buddhists Believe
Four Noble Truths
Secular Buddhism – Have Your Say About Secular Buddhism
The Four Dharma Seals — The Four Dharma Seals Define Buddhism
Stephen Batchelor’s Confession
Buddhism and Science – How Buddhism agrees with Science
Mount Meru – Mount Meru and the Buddhist Universe
Religion or Philosophy? – Buddhism
Buddha Versus Buddhism – Buddhism
Buddhism Basics — Start Here to Learn About Buddhism
Investigating Dharma — Working With Buddhism and Buddhist Doctrines
Are Beliefs like Buddhism Religion or Philosophies? Polls on Religion
The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend personal God and avoid dogma and theology. Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things natural and spiritual as a meaningful unity. Buddhism answers this description. If there is any religion that could cope with modern scientific needs it would be Buddhism. (Albert Einstein)
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. (Albert Einstein, 1954, The Human Side, edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, Princeton University Press)
Scientific research is based on the idea that everything that takes place is determined by laws of Nature, and therefore this holds for the action of people. For this reason, a research scientist will hardly be inclined to believe that events could be influenced by a prayer, i.e. by a wish addressed to a Supernatural Being.
(Albert Einstein, 1936, The Human Side. Responding to a child who wrote and asked if scientists pray.)
A man’s ethical behaviour should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.
(Albert Einstein, “Religion and Science”, New York Times Magazine, 9 November 1930)
I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the kind that we experience in ourselves. Neither can I nor would I want to conceive of an individual that survives his physical death; let feeble souls, from fear or absurd egoism, cherish such thoughts. I am satisfied with the mystery of the eternity of life and with the awareness and a glimpse of the marvelous structure of the existing world, together with the devoted striving to comprehend a portion, be it ever so tiny, of the Reason that manifests itself in nature. (Albert Einstein, The World as I See It)
I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own — a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotisms.
(Albert Einstein, Obituary in New York Times, 19 April 1955)
One strength of the Communist system … is that it has some of the characteristics of a religion and inspires the emotions of a religion.
(Albert Einstein, Out Of My Later Years, 1950)
I cannot conceive of a personal God who would directly influence the actions of individuals, or would directly sit in judgment on creatures of his own creation. I cannot do this in spite of the fact that mechanistic causality has, to a certain extent, been placed in doubt by modern science. [He was speaking of Quantum Mechanics and the breaking down of determinism.] My religiosity consists in a humble admiration of the infinitely superior spirit that reveals itself in the little that we, with our weak and transitory understanding, can comprehend of reality. Morality is of the highest importance — but for us, not for God. (Albert Einstein,The Human Side, edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, Princeton University Press)
If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed. (Albert Einstein)
The idea of a personal God is an anthropological concept which I am unable to take seriously. (Albert Einstein, Letter to Hoffman and Dukas, 1946)
The foundation of morality should not be made dependent on myth nor tied to any authority lest doubt about the myth or about the legitimacy of the authority imperil the foundation of sound judgment and action. (Albert Einstein)
I do not believe in immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority behind it. (Albert Einstein, The Human Side)
I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one, but I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth. I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being. (Albert Einstein)
What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of “humility.” This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism. (Albert Einstein)
The mystical trend of our time, which shows itself particularly in the rampant growth of the so-called Theosophy and Spiritualism, is for me no more than a symptom of weakness and confusion. Since our inner experiences consist of reproductions, and combinations of sensory impressions, the concept of a soul without a body seem to me to be empty and devoid of meaning. (Albert Einstein)
I want to know how God created this world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know his thoughts. The rest are details. (The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton University Press, 2000 p.202)
It is very difficult to elucidate this [cosmic religious] feeling to anyone who is entirely without it. . . The religious geniuses of all ages have been distinguished by this kind of religious feeling, which knows no dogma and no God conceived in man’s image; so that there can be no church whose central teachings are based on it … 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. (The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton University Press, p. 207)
I see a pattern, but my imagination cannot picture the maker of that pattern. I see a clock, but I cannot envision the clockmaker. The human mind is unable to conceive of the four dimensions, so how can it conceive of a God, before whom a thousand years and a thousand dimensions are as one? (The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton University Press, 2000 p. 208)
We know nothing about [God, the world] at all. All our knowledge is but the knowledge of schoolchildren. Possibly we shall know a little more than we do now. but the real nature of things, that we shall never know, never. (The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton University Press, Page 208)
Geoff – I think Einstein is referring to the limitations of mathematical physics and his failed attempt of a continuous field theory of matter (i.e. mathematics does not describe reality, only its quantities). However, with a wave structure of matter in space we have further knowledge that Space is a substance with properties of a wave medium. But we are still imagining space based upon our own limited minds and imagination, so in a sense the solution is always incomplete.
Then there are the fanatical atheists whose intolerance is the same as that of the religious fanatics, and it springs from the same source . . . They are creatures who can’t hear the music of the spheres. (The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton University Press, 2000 p. 214)
Geoff – It is interesting that Einstein refers to the ‘music of the spheres’, a perfect description of the the spherical standing wave structure of matter in Space!
In the view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognise, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what makes me really angry is that they quote me for support for such views. (The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton University Press, p. 214)
What separates me from most so-called atheists is a feeling of utter humility toward the unattainable secrets of the harmony of the cosmos. (Albert Einstein to Joseph Lewis, Apr. 18, 1953)
When the answer is simple, God is speaking. (Albert Einstein)
The area of scientific knowledge has been enormously extended, and theoretical knowledge has become vastly more profound in every department of science. But the assimilative power of the human intellect is and remains strictly limited. Hence it was inevitable that the activity of the individual investigator should be confined to a smaller and smaller section of human knowledge. Worse still, this specialization makes it increasingly difficult to keep even our general understanding of science as a whole, without which the true spirit of research is inevitably handicapped, in step with scientific progress. Every serious scientific worker is painfully conscious of this involuntary relegation to an ever-narrowing sphere of knowledge, which threatens to deprive the investigator of his broad horizon and degrades him to the level of a mechanic …
It is just as important to make knowledge live and to keep it alive as to solve specific problems. (Albert Einstein, 1954)
The individual feels the futility of human desires and aims and the sublimity and marvelous order which reveal themselves both in nature and in the world of thought. Individual existence impresses him as a sort of prison and he wants to experience the universe as a single significant whole. The beginnings of cosmic religious feeling already appear at an early stage of development, e.g., in many of the Psalms of David and in some of the Prophets. Buddhism, as we have learned especially from the wonderful writings of Schopenhauer, contains a much stronger element of this. (Albert Einstein, 1930)
The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend personal God and avoid dogma and theology. Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things natural and spiritual as a meaningful unity. Buddhism answers this description .. If there is any religion that could cope with modern scientific needs it would be Buddhism. (Albert Einstein)
In my view, it is the most important function of art and science to awaken this religious feeling and keep it alive in those who are receptive to it. (Albert Einstein, 1930)
Science has therefore been charged with undermining morality, but the charge is unjust. A man’s ethical behaviour should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death. (Albert Einstein, 1930)
There is nothing divine about morality; it is a purely human affair. (Albert Einstein, 1934)
For the scientific method can teach us nothing else beyond how facts are related to, and conditioned by, each other. The aspiration toward such objective knowledge belongs to the highest of which man is capable, and you will certainly not suspect me of wishing to belittle the achievements and the heroic efforts of man in this sphere. Yet is equally clear that knowledge of what is does not open the door directly to what should be. One can have the clearest and most complete knowledge of what is , and yet not be able to deduct from that what should be the goal of our human aspirations. Objective knowledge provides us with powerful instruments for the achievements of certain ends, but the ultimate goal itself and the longing to reach it must come from another source. And it is hardly necessary to argue for the view that our existence and our activity acquire meaning only by the setting up of such a goal and of corresponding values. (Albert Einstein, 1939)
To make clear these fundamental ends and valuations, and to set them fast in the emotional life of the individual, seems to me precisely the most important function which religion has to perform in the social life of man. And if one asks whence derives the authority of such fundamental ends, since they cannot be stated and justified merely by reason, one can only answer: they exist in a healthy society as powerful traditions, which act upon the conduct and aspirations and judgments of the individuals; they are there, that is, as something living, without its being necessary to find justification for their existence. (Albert Einstein, 1939)
.. free and responsible development of the individual, so that he may place his powers freely and gladly in the service of all mankind. There is no room in this for the divinization of a nation, of a class, let alone of an individual. Are we not all children of one father, as it is said in religious language? (Albert Einstein, 1939)
If one holds these high principles clearly before one’s eyes, and compares them with the life and spirit of our times, then it appears glaringly that civilized mankind finds itself at present in grave danger. In the totalitarian states it is the rulers themselves who strive actually to destroy that spirit of humanity. In less threatened parts it is nationalism and intolerance, as well as the oppression of the individuals by economic means, which threaten to choke these most precious traditions. (Einstein, 1954. p43-4)
But if the longing for the achievement of the goal is powerfully alive within us, then shall we not lack the strength to find the means for reaching the goal and for translating it into deeds. (Albert Einstein, 1939)
We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. The true value of a human being is determined by the measure and the sense in which they have obtained liberation from the self. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive. (Albert Einstein, 1954)
The most beautiful and most profound experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. To know that 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 primitive forms – this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of true religiousness.
( Albert Einstein – The Merging of Spirit and Science)
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. (Albert Einstein, 1954)
Synopsis: Findings seem to point to a region of the brain commonly referred to as the ‘God Spot’ or ‘God Module‘, that when stimulated creates hallucinations that are interpreted as mystical or spiritual experiences. This ‘spot’ is stimulated during meditation and prayer and is affected by electromagnetic fields and epilepsy. The resulting hallucinations may be the cause of mystical, spiritual and paranormal experiences as they can give feelings such as a presence in the room or an out of body experience. In the case of epileptics, this may be the reason for many of them becoming obsessed with religion. For those who experience the stimulation it is explained related to their own personal beliefs; a visit from an angel or lost loved one, an extraterrestrial encounter, a higher plane of consciousness or a visit from God.
Scientists, philosophers and atheists have long argued that God and spirituality are constructs of the human mind, although that opinion generally hasn’t been a popular one. After centuries of bloody holy wars and fierce theological dispute, the controversy of the Creator’s existence has taken a strange new turn: humanity may finally have uncovered tangible evidence that the phenomenon of religious faith is all in our heads.
A group of neuroscientists at the University of California at San Diego has identified a region of the human brain that appears to be linked to thoughts of spiritual matters and prayer. Their findings tentatively suggest that we as a species are genetically programmed to believe in God.
The researchers came upon these cerebral revelations in the course of studying the brain patterns of certain people with epilepsy. Epileptics who suffer a particular type of seizure are often intensely religious, and are known to report an unusual number of spiritually-oriented visions and obsessions. Measurements of electrical activity in the brains of test subjects indicated a specific neural center in the temporal lobe that flared up at times when the subjects thought about God. This same area was also a common focal point overloaded with electrical discharges during their epileptic seizures.
Could this heretofore unidentified part of the brain — nicknamed the “God module” — actually be some sort of physiological seat of religious belief? The scientists who discovered it believe it might be. They have performed a further study comparing epileptic subjects with different groups of non-epileptics — a random group of average people, as well as individuals who characterized themselves as extremely religious. The electrical brain activity of the subjects was recorded while they were shown a series of words, and the God module zones of the epileptics and the religious group exhibited similar responses to words involving God and faith. No word yet on whether the brains of atheists and agnostics might flatline the monitors, but the parallel results among the strong believers are considered impressive.
“There may be dedicated neural machinery in the temporal lobes concerned with religion,” the research team announced at a conference for the Society for Neuroscience. “This may have evolved to impose order and stability on society.”
Anthropologists and Darwinian theorists have frequently speculated that religion may have developed as a self-policing mechanism as cooperation with others became useful. With their intelligence and skills at making weapons, there was little to stop early humans from slaughtering each other like wild maniacs, until they began to fear unseen beings even bigger and badder than themselves. This sort of adaptation has always been considered a purely psychological function, but now we have the first evidence that the religious instinct may be physically hard-wired right into our noggins.
Which brings us to the most intriguing conundrum posed by the discovery of the God Spot. It’s a double-edged sword shoved right through the heart of the science vs. religion debate, bearing either good news or bad news for the faithful masses depending on how you answer the chicken-or-the-egg question: does it mean that God created our brains, or that our brains created God?
“These studies do not in any way negate the validity of religious experience or God,” the God module’s discoverers took care to note, plainly anticipating a reception of fire and brimstone from certain quarters. “They merely provide an explanation in terms of brain regions that may be involved.”
No matter how inconclusive or sketchy they label their findings as being, these scientists will inevitably be denounced as heathenistic blasphemers doing the work of Satan. Yet at the very same time, other equally devout worshipers will praise this discovery as a beautiful and wondrous epiphany that spells out God’s great plan.
So what’ll it be? A sacred temple in the temporal lobes, or an incidental conflagration of the synapses? The Kingdom of Heaven confined to the insides of our skulls, or “I think of God, therefore He is”? Touched in the head by an angel, or brainwashed into belief by biology?
Believe what you want, but either way, I think those who draw any serious mechanistic or teleological conclusions from this research ought to have their heads examined, as well.
by D. Trull
Sources: The Times (London); The Los Angeles Times
Just ask any atheist, chances are they will answer, “absolutely!” Many try to disguise discrimination against non-believers as a moral issue. Much of that is discussed in False Assumptions. That rhetoric gravely mirrors that which is used against homosexuals today and was used only decades ago against African-Americans. As acceptance for other minority groups and religions grows, Atheists will probably be the last to gain the protection under the ‘PC’ umbrella.
It has never been advantageous for religions to be accepting or even tolerant of Atheism and doubters. Their smear campaigns, criticism, censorship and punishment of dissenting opinions throughout history still echos today. It was seen strongest in the anti-communist era with Mccarthyism and is now seen in areas dominated by radical Islam.
A Newsweek poll found that 26% of registered voters think that Atheists are inherently immoral, only 29% would vote for an Atheist, and only 3% called themselves Atheists.
In another poll, 53% of US responders found Atheism ‘Unfavorable’. The next highest was Muslems at 29%.
The following exchange took place at the Chicago airport between Robert I. Sherman of American Atheist Press and George H. W. Bush, on August 27 1987.
“What will you do to win the votes of Americans who are atheists?”
“I guess I’m pretty weak in the atheist community. Faith in God is important to me.”
“Surely you recognize the equal citizenship and patriotism of Americans who are atheists?”
“No, I don’t know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.”
“Do you support as a sound constitutional principle the separation of state and church?”
“Yes, I support the separation of church and state. I’m just not very high on atheists.”
“How can there be peace when drunkards, drug dealers, communists, atheists, New Age worshipers of Satan, secular humanists … and homosexuals are on top?”
– Pat Robertson
“… atheism is none other than raw depravity – the diabolical principle at work in people who dishonor their parents, murder, lie and commit every other moral crime.” – tencommandments.org
“Not only does atheism prevent atheists from properly understanding… but it prevents their minds from being elevated enough to understand the simplest common sense facts.” – tencommandments.org
“All you atheists are *******es. None of you have fought in any wars, or have done anything dangerous.”
“Have you been burned before? If not, then you will experience it for eternity, unless you accept Christ into your heart.”-guestbook
“THIS IS BS!!!! u guys have no right!! i know u are entitled to your own religion and ur own beliefs… but that is ALL BS!!! and u should be ashamed of urself!!! u inconsiderate a$$holes!!!!!!! TO HELL W/ ALL OF Y’ALL!!!!” – guestbook
When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.
When I was a kid I had an imaginary friend and I used to think that he went everywhere with me, and that I could talk to him and that he could hear me, and that he could grant me wishes and stuff. And then I grew up, and I stopped going to church.
No matter where you read it,
Or who has said it,
Not even if I have said it,
Unless it agrees with your own reason
And your own common sense.
To understand via the heart is not to understand.
I don’t know if God exists, but it would be better for His reputation if He didn’t.
Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime; give a man religion and he will die praying for a fish.
Do not pass by my epitaph, traveler.
But having stopped, listen and learn, then go your way.
There is no boat in Hades, no ferryman Charon,
No caretaker Aiakos, no dog Cerberus.
All we who are dead below
Have become bones and ashes, but nothing else.
I have spoken to you honestly, go on, traveler,
Lest even while dead I seem talkative to you.
Ancient Roman tombstone
An atheist doesn’t have to be someone who thinks he has a proof that there can’t be a god. He only has to be someone who believes that the evidence on the God question is at a similar level to the evidence on the werewolf question.
Men never commit evil so fully and joyfully as when they do it for religious convictions.
Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful.
The popular image of the “warfare between science and religion” is perpetuated by the media, for whom a controversy is more dramatic than the more subtle and discriminating positions between the extremes of scientific materialism and biblical literalism.
There are two distinct groups of people asserting incompatibility between science and religion: Those privileging science and those privileging religion.
Competing efforts to wield power – the struggles for influence, status, and the right to define and perform authoritative societal roles – is central to the rhetoric of conflict between science and religion.