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Favorite Quotes about Atheism, Agnosticism, And Religion
#1

Favorite Quotes about Atheism, Agnosticism, And Religion
“Forget everything you ordinarily associate with religious study. Strip away all the reverence and the awe and the art and the philosophy of it. Treat the subject coldly. Imagine yourself to be a theologist, but a special kind of theologist, one who studies gods the way an entomologist studies insects. Take as your dataset the entirety of world mythology and treat it as a collection of field observations and statistics pertaining to a hypothetical species: the god. Proceed from there.”

― Lev Grossman, The Magician King
Why does the porridge bird lays his eggs in the air?

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#2

Favorite Quotes about Atheism, Agnosticism, And Religion
[Image: robert-anton-wilson-45351.jpg]
Don't mistake me for those nice folks from Give-A-Shit county.
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#3

Favorite Quotes about Atheism, Agnosticism, And Religion
"If a man were to practice today (all) the moral teachings of the old testament, he would be a criminal. If he were to practice today (all) the moral teachings of the new testament, he'd be insane." - Aron Ra.
"The advantage of faith over reason, is that reason requires understanding. Which usually requires education; resources of time and money. 
Religion needs none of that. - It empowers the lowliest idiot to pretend that he is wiser than the wise, ignoring all the indications otherwise "
 - A. Ra
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#4

Favorite Quotes about Atheism, Agnosticism, And Religion
“Supposing there was no intelligence behind the universe, no creative mind. In that case, nobody designed my brain for the purpose of thinking. It is merely that when the atoms inside my skull happen, for physical or chemical reasons, to arrange themselves in a certain way, this gives me, as a by-product, the sensation I call thought. But, if so, how can I trust my own thinking to be true? It’s like upsetting a milk jug and hoping that the way it splashes itself will give you a map of London. But if I can’t trust my own thinking, of course I can’t trust the arguments leading to Atheism, and therefore have no reason to be an Atheist, or anything else. Unless I believe in God, I cannot believe in thought: so I can never use thought to disbelieve in God.”
-C.S. Lewis

“Over a half century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of old people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: “Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.” Since then I have spent well-nigh 50 years working on the history of our revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: “Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.”
-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
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#5

Favorite Quotes about Atheism, Agnosticism, And Religion
"The idea of God was not a lie but a device of the unconscious which needed to be decoded by psychology. A personal god was nothing more than an exalted father-figure: desire for such a deity sprang from infantile yearnings for a powerful, protective father, for justice and fairness and for life to go on forever. God is simply a projection of these desires, feared and worshipped by human beings out of an abiding sense of helplessness. Religion belonged to the infancy of the human race; it had been a necessary stage in the transition from childhood to maturity. It had promoted ethical values which were essential to society. Now that humanity had come of age, however, it should be left behind." 


A History of God    Sigmund Freud
[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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#6

Favorite Quotes about Atheism, Agnosticism, And Religion
“Like the most of you, I was raised among people who knew - who were certain. They did not reason or investigate. They had no doubts. They knew that they had the truth. In their creed there was no guess — no perhaps. They had a revelation from God. They knew the beginning of things. They knew that God commenced to create one Monday morning, four thousand and four years before Christ. They knew that in the eternity — back of that morning, he had done nothing. They knew that it took him six days to make the earth — all plants, all animals, all life, and all the globes that wheel in space. They knew exactly what he did each day and when he rested. They knew the origin, the cause of evil, of all crime, of all disease and death.

At the same time they knew that God created man in his own image and was perfectly satisfied with his work... They knew all about the Flood -- knew that God, with the exception of eight, drowned all his children -- the old and young -- the bowed patriarch and the dimpled babe -- the young man and the merry maiden -- the loving mother and the laughing child -- because his mercy endureth forever. They knew too, that he drowned the beasts and birds -- everything that walked or crawled or flew -- because his loving kindness is over all his works. They knew that God, for the purpose of civilizing his children, had devoured some with earthquakes, destroyed some with storms of fire, killed some with his lightnings, millions with famine, with pestilence, and sacrificed countless thousands upon the fields of war. They knew that it was necessary to believe these things and to love God. They knew that there could be no salvation except by faith, and through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ.

Then I asked myself the question: Is there a supernatural power -- an arbitrary mind -- an enthroned God -- a supreme will that sways the tides and currents of the world -- to which all causes bow?

I do not deny. I do not know - but I do not believe. I believe that the natural is supreme - that from the infinite chain no link can be lost or broken — that there is no supernatural power that can answer prayer - no power that worship can persuade or change — no power that cares for man.

Is there a God?

I do not know.

Is man immortal?

I do not know.

One thing I do know, and that is, that neither hope, nor fear, belief, nor denial, can change the fact. It is as it is, and it will be as it must be.

We can be as honest as we are ignorant. If we are, when asked what is beyond the horizon of the known, we must say that we do not know. We can tell the truth, and we can enjoy the blessed freedom that the brave have won. We can destroy the monsters of superstition, the hissing snakes of ignorance and fear. We can drive from our minds the frightful things that tear and wound with beak and fang. We can civilize our fellow-men. We can fill our lives with generous deeds, with loving words, with art and song, and all the ecstasies of love. We can flood our years with sunshine — with the divine climate of kindness, and we can drain to the last drop the golden cup of joy.”
― Robert G. Ingersoll, The Works of Robert G. Ingersoll, Vol 1: Lectures
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#7

Favorite Quotes about Atheism, Agnosticism, And Religion
(11-30-2018, 05:38 PM)SteveII Wrote: “Supposing there was no intelligence behind the universe, no creative mind. In that case, nobody designed my brain for the purpose of thinking. It is merely that when the atoms inside my skull happen, for physical or chemical reasons, to arrange themselves in a certain way, this gives me, as a by-product, the sensation I call thought. But, if so, how can I trust my own thinking to be true? It’s like upsetting a milk jug and hoping that the way it splashes itself will give you a map of London. But if I can’t trust my own thinking, of course I can’t trust the arguments leading to Atheism, and therefore have no reason to be an Atheist, or anything else. Unless I believe in God, I cannot believe in thought: so I can never use thought to disbelieve in God.”
-C.S. Lewis

So according to C. S. Lewis, evolution is impossible?  It seems rather odd to me that a Christian fiction writer should offer an argument from incredulity.   Facepalm
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#8

Favorite Quotes about Atheism, Agnosticism, And Religion
My favorite quote on atheism ever:

“It is an insult to God to believe in God. For on the one hand it is to suppose that he has perpetrated acts of incalculable cruelty. On the other hand, it is to suppose that he has perversely given his human creatures an instrument—their intellect—which must inevitably lead them, if they are dispassionate and honest, to deny his existence. It is tempting to conclude that if he exists, it is the atheists and agnostics that he loves best, among those with any pretensions to education. For they are the ones who have taken him most seriously.”

― Galen Strawson
My Argument Against Free Will Wrote:(1) Ultimately, to control your actions you have to originate your original nature.

(2) But you can't originate your original nature—it's already there.

(3) So, ultimately, you can't control your actions.
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#9

Favorite Quotes about Atheism, Agnosticism, And Religion
(11-30-2018, 05:38 PM)SteveII Wrote: “Supposing there was no intelligence behind the universe, no creative mind. In that case, nobody designed my brain for the purpose of thinking. It is merely that when the atoms inside my skull happen, for physical or chemical reasons, to arrange themselves in a certain way, this gives me, as a by-product, the sensation I call thought. But, if so, how can I trust my own thinking to be true? [...]

Anyone wanna play a game called "Spot the Fallacy" with me? Tongue

(My bold).

(11-30-2018, 06:02 PM)Dom Wrote: [...]"The idea of God was not a lie but a device of the unconscious which needed to be decoded by psychology. A personal god was nothing more than an exalted father-figure[...]

So true! One of the clues is the fact that some Christians literally refer to God as "The Father".

(My bold).
My Argument Against Free Will Wrote:(1) Ultimately, to control your actions you have to originate your original nature.

(2) But you can't originate your original nature—it's already there.

(3) So, ultimately, you can't control your actions.
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#10

Favorite Quotes about Atheism, Agnosticism, And Religion
(11-30-2018, 08:00 PM)Thoreauvian Wrote:
(11-30-2018, 05:38 PM)SteveII Wrote: “Supposing there was no intelligence behind the universe, no creative mind. In that case, nobody designed my brain for the purpose of thinking. It is merely that when the atoms inside my skull happen, for physical or chemical reasons, to arrange themselves in a certain way, this gives me, as a by-product, the sensation I call thought. But, if so, how can I trust my own thinking to be true? It’s like upsetting a milk jug and hoping that the way it splashes itself will give you a map of London. But if I can’t trust my own thinking, of course I can’t trust the arguments leading to Atheism, and therefore have no reason to be an Atheist, or anything else. Unless I believe in God, I cannot believe in thought: so I can never use thought to disbelieve in God.”
-C.S. Lewis

So according to C. S. Lewis, evolution is impossible?  It seems rather odd to me that a Christian fiction writer should offer an argument from incredulity.  

First, his point would only excludes any conception of evolution as being undirected (a cornerstone of Darwinian evolution). It would not exclude any concept of evolution directed with a purpose (aka God/ID). Second, it is not an argument from incredulity. It is that Naturalism (the ideology) is self defeating. If our brains are a product of time and chance and survival and NOT for ascertaining answer to questions about ontology and metaphysics, we automatically have a defeater for thinking our brains are a product of time and chance and survival.
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#11

Favorite Quotes about Atheism, Agnosticism, And Religion
(11-30-2018, 08:25 PM)EvieTheAvocado Wrote:
(11-30-2018, 05:38 PM)SteveII Wrote: “Supposing there was no intelligence behind the universe, no creative mind. In that case, nobody designed my brain for the purpose of thinking. It is merely that when the atoms inside my skull happen, for physical or chemical reasons, to arrange themselves in a certain way, this gives me, as a by-product, the sensation I call thought. But, if so, how can I trust my own thinking to be true? [...]

Anyone wanna play a game called "Spot the Fallacy" with me? Tongue

(My bold).

It would be a short game...there isn't one!
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#12

Favorite Quotes about Atheism, Agnosticism, And Religion
That you know of, sure.
My Argument Against Free Will Wrote:(1) Ultimately, to control your actions you have to originate your original nature.

(2) But you can't originate your original nature—it's already there.

(3) So, ultimately, you can't control your actions.
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#13

Favorite Quotes about Atheism, Agnosticism, And Religion
(11-30-2018, 08:59 PM)SteveII Wrote: [...] If our brains are a product of time and chance and survival and NOT for ascertaining answer to questions about ontology and metaphysics, we [then] automatically have a defeater for thinking our brains are a product of time and chance and survival.

My bold.

Non-sequitur (and also a more specific fallacy).
My Argument Against Free Will Wrote:(1) Ultimately, to control your actions you have to originate your original nature.

(2) But you can't originate your original nature—it's already there.

(3) So, ultimately, you can't control your actions.
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#14

Favorite Quotes about Atheism, Agnosticism, And Religion
(11-30-2018, 08:25 PM)EvieTheAvocado Wrote:
(11-30-2018, 06:02 PM)Dom Wrote: [...]"The idea of God was not a lie but a device of the unconscious which needed to be decoded by psychology. A personal god was nothing more than an exalted father-figure[...]

So true! One of the clues is the fact that some Christians literally refer to God as "The Father".

(My bold).

I always thought the "thy staff and thy rodd comfort me" was a bit of a giveaway. 
The other gods, and lesser spirits like the serpent, had animal forms - and "god" was always a man, holding his stick, making the beasts go away.
"The advantage of faith over reason, is that reason requires understanding. Which usually requires education; resources of time and money. 
Religion needs none of that. - It empowers the lowliest idiot to pretend that he is wiser than the wise, ignoring all the indications otherwise "
 - A. Ra
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#15

Favorite Quotes about Atheism, Agnosticism, And Religion
(11-30-2018, 09:05 PM)EvieTheAvocado Wrote:
(11-30-2018, 08:59 PM)SteveII Wrote: [...] If our brains are a product of time and chance and survival and NOT for ascertaining answer to questions about ontology and metaphysics, we [then] automatically have a defeater for thinking our brains are a product of time and chance and survival.

My bold.

Non-sequitur (and also a more specific fallacy).

Then you are not understanding the original quote or my point. If our brains did not evolve to be effective at answering metaphysical questions (like is Naturalism true), then how can we trust it to answer metaphysical questions?
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#16

Favorite Quotes about Atheism, Agnosticism, And Religion
(11-30-2018, 09:29 PM)SteveII Wrote: If our brains did not evolve to be effective at answering metaphysical questions (like is Naturalism true), then how can we trust it to answer metaphysical questions?

Um, we can't.  Which is why metaphysics is such a messed-up discipline.

Nor are our brains naturally suited to science and logic, which is why they took so long to develop historically.  However, we can certainly understand their value now, from long trial and error -- even with our primitive brains which were evolved to work in older environments.

In other words, I think you are overlooking the value of naturalism in explaining what we actually observe.

(11-30-2018, 08:59 PM)SteveII Wrote: First, his point would only excludes any conception of evolution as being undirected (a cornerstone of Darwinian evolution). It would not exclude any concept of evolution directed with a purpose (aka God/ID). Second, it is not an argument from incredulity. It is that Naturalism (the ideology) is self defeating. If our brains are a product of time and chance and survival and NOT for ascertaining answer to questions about ontology and metaphysics, we automatically have a defeater for thinking our brains are a product of time and chance and survival.

You have to take humans in context. We are just one among millions of species which evolved on this planet, and the only one which, by chance, was able to develop science and logic for figuring out what's what. That doesn't show any direction to evolution at all.

Methodological naturalism has been shown to work, but metaphysical naturalism is still a matter of well-informed opinion.
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#17

Favorite Quotes about Atheism, Agnosticism, And Religion
(11-30-2018, 09:29 PM)SteveII Wrote:
(11-30-2018, 09:05 PM)EvieTheAvocado Wrote:
(11-30-2018, 08:59 PM)SteveII Wrote: [...] If our brains are a product of time and chance and survival and NOT for ascertaining answer to questions about ontology and metaphysics, we [then] automatically have a defeater for thinking our brains are a product of time and chance and survival.

My bold.

Non-sequitur (and also a more specific fallacy).

Then you are not understanding the original quote or my point. If our brains did not evolve to be effective at answering metaphysical questions (like is Naturalism true), then how can we trust it to answer metaphysical questions?

Because our brain does not have to evolve for the purpose of allowing us to answer metaphysical questions in order for us to be able to answer metaphysical questions. No teleology required. It's a non-sequitur in terms of logical validity, and if it were instead a premise, to say that teleology/design was required, then it's an unsound one if left to stand by itself without argument, as that would be to question-beg the very claim that is being made.

(11-30-2018, 10:10 PM)Thoreauvian Wrote:
(11-30-2018, 09:29 PM)SteveII Wrote: If our brains did not evolve to be effective at answering metaphysical questions (like is Naturalism true), then how can we trust it to answer metaphysical questions?

Um, we can't.  Which is why metaphysics is such a messed-up discipline.

We definitely disagree there, buddy, not that that's a problem or anything! I'm sure it doesn't bother either of us! But here is one more way in which we depart from one another Angel
My Argument Against Free Will Wrote:(1) Ultimately, to control your actions you have to originate your original nature.

(2) But you can't originate your original nature—it's already there.

(3) So, ultimately, you can't control your actions.
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#18

Favorite Quotes about Atheism, Agnosticism, And Religion
“In fact, "atheism" is a term that should not even exist. No one ever needs to identify himself as a "non-astrologer" or a "non-alchemist." We do not have words for people who doubt that Elvis is still alive or that aliens have traversed the galaxy only to molest ranchers and their cattle. Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make in the presence of unjustified religious beliefs.”

~ Sam Harris, Letter to a Christian Nation
[Image: Bastard-Signature.jpg]
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#19

Favorite Quotes about Atheism, Agnosticism, And Religion
“To be fair, much of the Bible is not systematically evil but just plain weird, as you would expect of a chaotically cobbled-together anthology of disjointed documents, composed, revised, translated, distorted and 'improved' by hundreds of anonymous authors, editors and copyists, unknown to us and mostly unknown to each other, spanning nine centuries”
― Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion
My Argument Against Free Will Wrote:(1) Ultimately, to control your actions you have to originate your original nature.

(2) But you can't originate your original nature—it's already there.

(3) So, ultimately, you can't control your actions.
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#20

Favorite Quotes about Atheism, Agnosticism, And Religion
Asking "if there is no God, what is the purpose of life"?

Is like asking "if there is no master, whose slave will I be"?

 - Dan Barker
"The advantage of faith over reason, is that reason requires understanding. Which usually requires education; resources of time and money. 
Religion needs none of that. - It empowers the lowliest idiot to pretend that he is wiser than the wise, ignoring all the indications otherwise "
 - A. Ra
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#21

Favorite Quotes about Atheism, Agnosticism, And Religion
“You can't just say there is a god because the world is beautiful. You have to account for bone cancer in children.”

― Stephen Fry
My Argument Against Free Will Wrote:(1) Ultimately, to control your actions you have to originate your original nature.

(2) But you can't originate your original nature—it's already there.

(3) So, ultimately, you can't control your actions.
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#22

Favorite Quotes about Atheism, Agnosticism, And Religion
Not sure if this is real, but it's perfect. 

[Image: 46936575_2064784193568154_16585449489804...e=5C67B9DF]
"The advantage of faith over reason, is that reason requires understanding. Which usually requires education; resources of time and money. 
Religion needs none of that. - It empowers the lowliest idiot to pretend that he is wiser than the wise, ignoring all the indications otherwise "
 - A. Ra
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#23

Favorite Quotes about Atheism, Agnosticism, And Religion
(11-30-2018, 05:38 PM)SteveII Wrote: “Supposing there was no intelligence behind the universe, no creative mind. In that case, nobody designed my brain for the purpose of thinking. It is merely that when the atoms inside my skull happen, for physical or chemical reasons, to arrange themselves in a certain way, this gives me, as a by-product, the sensation I call thought. But, if so, how can I trust my own thinking to be true? It’s like upsetting a milk jug and hoping that the way it splashes itself will give you a map of London. But if I can’t trust my own thinking, of course I can’t trust the arguments leading to Atheism, and therefore have no reason to be an Atheist, or anything else. Unless I believe in God, I cannot believe in thought: so I can never use thought to disbelieve in God.”
-C.S. Lewis

Ignorant strawman. 
Brains evolved because the better they were, the more it promoted survival. 
Lewis had no idea how and why brains work the way they do. The "atoms inside" his brain are arranged the way they are, because DNA evolved to put them where they function well. His analogy of the map of London is totally false. The fact is we *can* trust out thinking, in general, as it's verified by others, and in the very few cases where thought is psychotic, professionals can make a diagnosis. 
So, Lewis (neither a philosopher, theologian, or anything for that matter) is dismissed, AND SteveII should have known better than post that piece of rubbish.  

Quote:“Over a half century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of old people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: “Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.” Since then I have spent well-nigh 50 years working on the history of our revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: “Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.”
-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

The vast majority of the population of the Soviet Union during the rise of Communism were members of the Eastern Orthodox Church ... Christians. 
So much for that tripe. Did belief in the gods help the slaves in the US ? Did belief in a god help the Russian serfs for a thousand years ?
Germany was a Christian nation. Did that prevent the horrors of National Socialism ?

Quote:If our brains are a product of time and chance and survival and NOT for ascertaining answer to questions about ontology and metaphysics, we automatically have a defeater for thinking our brains are a product of time and chance and survival.

Wrong. 
Brains are not a product of "chance". You don't understand probability and evolution ... you really should get an education. 
Better brains promoted survival. Pathetic sentimental attempt at the black and white thinking fallacy. 
Is there evidence that homo sapiens was trying to "answer questions about ontology and metaphysics" 100,000 yeas ago ? LMAO
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#24

Favorite Quotes about Atheism, Agnosticism, And Religion
(12-01-2018, 07:11 AM)EvieTheAvocado Wrote:
(11-30-2018, 09:29 PM)SteveII Wrote:
(11-30-2018, 09:05 PM)EvieTheAvocado Wrote: My bold.

Non-sequitur (and also a more specific fallacy).

Then you are not understanding the original quote or my point. If our brains did not evolve to be effective at answering metaphysical questions (like is Naturalism true), then how can we trust it to answer metaphysical questions?

Because our brain does not have to evolve for the purpose of allowing us to answer metaphysical questions in order for us to be able to answer metaphysical questions. No teleology required. It's a non-sequitur in terms of logical validity, and if it were instead a premise, to say that teleology/design was required, then it's an unsound one if left to stand by itself without argument, as that would be to question-beg the very claim that is being made.

If you believe Naturalism and evolution are true, you are saddled with a defeater for your argument: the chances the brain would evolve to ponder the question is so, so, so low as to be difficult to claim. Any other argument postulating such 'long odds' would be dismissed. The only reason it is believed is the presumption of Naturalism. There is a name for presupposing your conclusion.
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#25

Favorite Quotes about Atheism, Agnosticism, And Religion
(11-30-2018, 10:10 PM)Thoreauvian Wrote:
(11-30-2018, 09:29 PM)SteveII Wrote: If our brains did not evolve to be effective at answering metaphysical questions (like is Naturalism true), then how can we trust it to answer metaphysical questions?

Um, we can't.  Which is why metaphysics is such a messed-up discipline.

Nor are our brains naturally suited to science and logic, which is why they took so long to develop historically.  However, we can certainly understand their value now, from long trial and error -- even with our primitive brains which were evolved to work in older environments.

In other words, I think you are overlooking the value of naturalism in explaining what we actually observe.

The problem is that Naturalism is no a good explanation for human consciousness--at all. You have to believe in odds that you would not accept in any other argument--except perhaps where did life come from.

Quote:
(11-30-2018, 08:59 PM)SteveII Wrote: First, his point would only excludes any conception of evolution as being undirected (a cornerstone of Darwinian evolution). It would not exclude any concept of evolution directed with a purpose (aka God/ID). Second, it is not an argument from incredulity. It is that Naturalism (the ideology) is self defeating. If our brains are a product of time and chance and survival and NOT for ascertaining answer to questions about ontology and metaphysics, we automatically have a defeater for thinking our brains are a product of time and chance and survival.

You have to take humans in context.  We are just one among millions of species which evolved on this planet, and the only one which, by chance, was able to develop science and logic for figuring out what's what.  That doesn't show any direction to evolution at all.

Methodological naturalism has been shown to work, but metaphysical naturalism is still a matter of well-informed opinion.

I don't think it is well-informed. I just think you are stuck with it if you don't believe in God.
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