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Religious believers of the world, you are free to continue to debate the simple, narrow question that divides you from atheists, but you have no right, in so doing, to treat the Humanists of the world with contempt. You owe them a deep debt of gratitude, for not only have they shed much light on a naturally dark world but they have very probably helped civilize your own specific religion.

Steve Allen (1922-2000) American composer, entertainer, and wit.
Vulgarians at the Gate (2001)
Added on 5-Feb-21 | Last updated 5-Feb-21
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There are a score of great religions in the world, each with scores or hundreds of sects, each with its priestly orders, its complicated creed and ritual, its heavens and hells. Each has its thousands or millions or hundreds of millions of “true believers”; each damns all the others with more or less heartiness — and each is a mighty fortress of Graft.

Upton Sinclair (1878-1968) American writer, journalist, activist, politician
The Profits of Religion, Book 1 “The Church of Conquerors,” “The Priestly Lie” (1917)
Added on 19-May-20 | Last updated 19-May-20
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People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Worship,” The Conduct of Life, ch. 6 (1860)
Added on 30-Jan-17 | Last updated 24-Feb-22
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The convictions that leaders have formed before reaching high office are the intellectual capital they will consume as long as they continue in office. There is little time for leaders to reflect. They are locked in an endless battle in which the urgent constantly gains on the important. The public life of every political figure is a continual struggle to rescue an element of choice from the pressure of circumstance.

Henry Kissinger (b. 1923) German-American diplomat
The White House Years, ch. 3 (1979)
Added on 3-Aug-15 | Last updated 3-Aug-15
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There is no absurdity, however palpable, which cannot be firmly implanted in the minds of all, if only one begins to inculcate it before the early age of six by constantly repeating it to them with an air of great solemnity.

[Es giebt keine Absurdität , die so handgreiflich wäre , daß man sie nicht allen Menden fest in den Kopf regen könnte, wenn man nur schon vor ihrem sechsten Jahre anfienge, sie ihnen einzuprägen, indem manunabläffig und mit feierlichstem Ernst sie ihnen vorsagte.]

Arthur Schopenhauer
Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) German philosopher
Parerga and Paralipomena, Vol. 2, ch. 26 “Psychological Observations [Psychologische Bemerkungen],” § 344 (1851) [tr. Payne (1974)]

(Source (German)). Alternate translations:

There is no absurdity so palpable but that it may be firmly planted in the human head if you only begin to inculcate it before the age of five, by constantly repeating it with an air of great solemnity.
[tr. Saunders (1851)]

There is no absurdity, however palpable it may be, which may not be fixed in the minds of all men, if it is inculcated before they are six years old by continual and earnest repetition.
[tr. Dircks(1897)]
Added on 22-Feb-11 | Last updated 14-Sep-22
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In my opinion, any faith that cannot withstand a little shaking isn’t constructed too well to begin with. Jesus built his church on a rock, not on swampland.

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John Russell (contemp.) ("jr")
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 10-Feb-19
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