“It is impossible for anyone to dispel his fear over the most important
matters, if he does not know what is the nature of the universe but
instead suspects something that happens in myth. Therefore, it is
impossible to obtain unmitigated pleasure without natural science.”

– Epicurus

Ancient wisdom so applicable, especially in the present era in which more people will understand it.


I read this on PZ Myers blog this weekend and thought it was great -

In a similar but more cynical vein (I can’t remember the exact wording or who may have said it):

“Religion is the conviction, as hollow and foolish as it is common, that you’re going to get another shot at life later on to make up for all the things you reckon you missed out on the first time around.”


Carl Sagan:

For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.

Carl Sagan

For me too!!


Carl Sagan:

<blockquote>Carl Sagan
 You can also consider the analogy of a drunken person and a sober person.
 Where a drunken person drinks in order to be happy, who can deny that such a person is happy when drunk? But the happiness can become a crutch and can be unhealthy in the long run. The happiness is only apparent and not real.</blockquote>


Via Daylight Atheism:

An extended excerpt from Hurston's autobiography, Dust Tracks on a Road, makes the point even clearer. In a long, beautiful passage, one that predates the work of Carl Sagan and other famous scientific popularizers, she writes of her own feeling of interconnection with the cosmos, and her knowledge that the atoms of her body will outlast death and go on to take new forms:
<blockquote>Prayer seems to me a cry of weakness, and an attempt to avoid, by trickery, the rules of the game as laid down. I do not choose to admit weakness. I accept the challenge of responsibility. Life, as it is, does not frighten me, since I have made my peace with the universe as I find it, and bow to its laws. The ever-sleepless sea in its bed, crying out "how long?" to Time; million-formed and never motionless flame; the contemplation of these two aspects alone, affords me sufficient food for ten spans of my expected lifetime. It seems to me that organized creeds are collections of words around a wish. I feel no need for such. However, I would not, by word or deed, attempt to deprive another of the consolation it affords. It is simply not for me. Somebody else may have my rapturous glance at the archangels. The springing of the yellow line of morning out of the misty deep of dawn, is glory enough for me. I know that nothing is destructible; things merely change forms. When the consciousness we know as life ceases, I know that I shall still be part and parcel of the world. I was a part before the sun rolled into shape and burst forth in the glory of change. I was, when the earth was hurled out from its fiery rim. I shall return with the earth to Father Sun, and still exist in substance when the sun has lost its fire, and disintegrated into infinity to perhaps become a part of the whirling rubble of space. Why fear? The stuff of my being is matter, ever changing, ever moving, but never lost; so what need of denominations and creeds to deny myself the comfort of all my fellow men? The wide belt of the universe has no need for finger-rings. I am one with the infinite and need no other assurance.</blockquote></blockquote>

Incandescent. Superb. Dazzling.


The quote that took me from believing to not believing:

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 blind-folded fear

Thomas Jefferson

Not believing in what? Ultimate truth and reason? Intentionality? Not sure what any person these days imply when they say they “don’t believe”.

–The Abolition of Man, CS Lewis.

“If we are to have values at all we must accept the ultimate platitudes of Practical Reason as having absolute validity…”

A Response to Richard Carrier’s Review of C.S. Lewis’s Dangerous Idea (2007), Darek Barefoot

In his Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, Hume made the grudged admission (placed on the lips of his character Philo) that the "cause or causes" of order in the universe "probably bear some remote analogy to human intelligence."[url=http://www.anselm.edu/homepage/dbanach/dnr.htm](20)[/url] Hume had already qualified the statement by commenting that the world contains so much suffering that we can hardly believe it to be the creation of a caring God. Yet by admitting that the universe seems to draw its coherence from an intelligent cause (or causes), Hume revealed that the argument from suffering had been the mainstay of his religious skepticism all along. Hume, in other words, implies a difference between the beliefs that (1) behind the universe is an all-governing intelligence and (2) behind the universe is an intelligence that cares about us. I believe that both propositions are true, although the question of whether God can be a loving being is beyond the scope of this paper. But even if we only get as far as a universe-governing mind we have made progress.

Not believing in believing of course.

Er… dur… the quote does mention “God”, so it would not be too difficult for someone capable of a bit of reason, and with your history of abusing Cyghost, to figure out that he might just be referring to Yahweh, Bebeh Jebus, Holey Ghostey and that lot. I myself am at this stage a tad agnostic about that great Aztec liver-lover god Pretzlpakit ( may he always be served with fried onions ).

There's no reason, in theory, why god's presence couldn't be measured or detected in some way. The only reason that believers claim that god "can't" be detected in this way is because god *isn't* detected, and so a vast and intricate rationale has to be devised to explain this vast, loving, eternal, all-powerful "something" which is, in every external, objective respect, indistinguishable from nothing."

Oh so very classic indeed.

Great quote. Who or what is NMS?

Mate, I have no idea - it was a quote attributed to “NMS from the old Usenet days”. Pretty meaningless as these things go, but I thought anonymous Interweb user a little clumsy :slight_smile:

I just think it sums up pabi’s spectacular absence in so many words :stuck_out_tongue:

Elegantly said.

My ego demands that I post the follow:

The immaterial, undetectable god is often put forward as to why god cannot be subject to the scientific method. While I'll admit that such a god might potentially exist, such an impotent god is hardly worth discussing.
...a god doing "anything" in our universe would be bound to leave evidence of shattered laws and constants throughout our reality

One of my personal favorites: “If lightning is the anger of the gods, the gods are concerned mostly with trees.”

– Lao Tse.

Please explain the power of belief if the pope has an armored car and church towers have lightning rods?

Old Tom Paine used his common sense when he came up with these gems:

The age of ignorance commenced with the Christian system.

Each of those churches show certain books, which they call revelation, or the word of God. The Jews say, that their word of God was given by God to Moses, face to face; the Christians say, that their word of God came by divine inspiration: and the Turks say, that their word of God (the Koran) was brought by an angel from Heaven. Each of those churches accuse the other of unbelief; and for my own part, I disbelieve them all.

All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.

Why do smart people believe absolutely stupid things? I have an answer. They believe based on when and where they were born. [b]Smart people are just more skilled at defending ideas they arrived at because of stupid reasons[/b].
Thought this was worth spreading ;)

From Wikipedia:

Crunchiness is the gustatory sensation of muffled grinding of a foodstuff. Crunchiness differs from crispiness in that a crispy item is quickly atomized, while a crunchy one offers sustained, granular resistance to jaw action. While crispiness is difficult to maintain, crunchiness is difficult to overcome.

wow… random… ::slight_smile: