ciroccoj: (wonder)
Carl Sagan re. Percival Lowell's observation of canals on the surface of Mars: "There is no question that [Lowell's] canals were of intelligent origin. The only question was, which side of the telescope the intelligence was on. Where we have strong emotions, we are liable to fool ourselves."
ciroccoj: (contemplative)
So I read this book, called The Heathen's Guide to World Religions: a Secular History of the One True Faiths. Very funny book, though painfully irreverent at times - not so much of religious teachings/teachers, mostly of the organized religions themselves. One of the things I really like is that he has the neatest quotes peppered all the way through, usually having some tangential relevance to the bit of philosophy or history being discussed on that page. Profound, or funny, or silly, or horrifying. From great philosophers to politicians to cartoon characters. Here's some of the ones I like the most from the first two sections, though "like" is maybe not the right word to use, since I strongly disagree with a few of them and one actually kinda terrifies me.

Personal faves? Jefferson, Pratchett and Colbert :)


To you I'm an atheist; to God I'm the Loyal Opposition.
- Woody Allen

Question with boldness even the existence of God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear.
- Thomas Jefferson

It may help to understand human affairs to be clear that most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused, not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally evil, but by people being fundamentally people.
- Terry Pratchett

I work hard, and I love my kids. So why should I spend half my Sunday hearing about how I'm going to Hell?
- Homer Simpson

Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.
- Mark Twain

We owe to the Middle Ages the two worst inventions of humanity - romantic love and gunpowder.
- Andre Maurois

Jesus was a Jew, yes, but only on his mother's side.
- Archie Bunker

"There are no atheists in foxholes" isn't an argument against atheism, it's an argument against foxholes.
- James Morrow


Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.
- John 8:32

Capital punishment is as fundamentally wrong as a cure for crime as charity is wrong as a cure for poverty.
- Henry Ford

Mere factual innocence is no reason not to carry out a death sentence properly reached.
- Antonin Scalia

I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.
- Stephen Roberts

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reasons, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.
- Galileo

We have no desire to make anybody look like an idiot, but we love it when they do.
- Stephen Colbert

I believed in the virgin birth, I believed a man lived inside of a whale, and I believed that the Earth was 5,000 years old. But then something very important happened to me - I graduated sixth grade.
- Bill Maher

Nothing so needs reforming as another person's habits.
- Mark Twain

It's not the end of the world, but you can see it from here.
- Pierre Elliot Trudeau

ETA: BTW, [ profile] woffproff, I have not forgotten your meme question. About halfway done writing the entry for it :)

November 2012

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