Quotations – Momentous, Memorable, Meaningful

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Quotations – Momentous, Memorable, Meaningful

A place to share the words of others (or your own!) which have been impactful in your life, whether they're serious, poignant, humorous, or just something worth noting.

Members: 22
Latest Activity: 52 minutes ago

I have been a quote collector and quote monger for at least as long as I've been an atheist and probably a good deal longer.  My admiration for those who enjoy reputations as wordsmiths extends even further back, whether we're talking about John F. Kennedy's assertion: "We choose to go to the moon," George Santayana's warning: "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it," or James T. Kirk's deft observation when faced with the dauntingly huge First Federation ship: "Not chess, Mr. Spock ... poker!"

The realm of atheist activism has had its own share of verbal craftsmen and women, from Madalyn Murray O'Hair's: "An atheist believes that a hospital should be built instead of a church." to Aron Ra's succinct: "If you can't show it, you don't know it."

Regardless of the topic, these are words which are capable of fomenting inspiration, reflection, and sometimes even action.  They can educate and illuminate the human condition and allow us to better know ourselves.  That said, here is an open invitation to share those words which have been particularly meaningful or impactful or timely or just special to you for one reason or another.

Let's share those words and have fun!

One bit of clerical business: please hold your quotes in the comment area below to 20 lines or 200 words.  One comment should not so dominate the Home page of this group that no other comment is visible.  That way, the briefer comments and quotes of all participants are more likely to be seen, read, and appreciated.  If you have a long quote or commentary, create a post, please.

Discussion Forum

On Emotion, Vulnerability, and a Flawed God

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Patricia Jun 2. 2 Replies

On 31 May, 2018, Joan Denoo posted a most excellent quote from David Hume: That quote was well deserving of a response, which is the following:The most preposterous notion that H. sapiens has ever…Continue

Tags: flawed, vulnerable, emotion, god

Sam Harris on Morality and the Christian God

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Loren Miller May 24. 2 Replies

The debate between Sam Harris and William Lane Craig at Notre Dame in 2011 was particularly notable for one particular rebuttal by Harris to Craig, well into the debate.  Those 10 or so minutes…Continue

Big Bang vs Electric Universe, Lawrence Krauss' response

Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by Loren Miller May 23. 2 Replies

I wrote to Lawrence Krauss during the discussion of Big Bang vs Electric Universe:"Thurs, 5:54 PM, Lawrence, I belong to Atheist Nexus and a rather ugly debate began about the Big Bang Theory. One…Continue

The Oneida Perfectionists

Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by Loren Miller May 17. 4 Replies

The Oneida Perfectionists had a vision of utopian life, and they structured their communities according to ideological similarities.1. First, it believed that its members had entered into an…Continue

Tags: communist, authoritarian, leadership, utopia, free-love

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Comment by Joan Denoo on January 18, 2018 at 8:16pm

"The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshipped anything but himself."

~Sir Richard Francis Burton,

The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night (1885)    Terminal Essay: Social Conditions, fn. 13.

Comment by Bertold Brautigan on January 18, 2018 at 11:12am

Ran across this poem I can't resist posting--

Phillip Appleman – Gathering at the River

Is it

crossing over Jordan

to a city of light, archangels

ceaselessly trumpeting over

the heavenly choirs: perpetual Vivaldi,

jasper and endless topaz and amethyst,

the Sistine ceiling seven days a week,

the everlasting smirk

of perfection?

 

Is it

the river Styx,

darkness made visible, fire

that never stops: endless murder

too merciless to kill,

massacres on an endless loop,

the same old victims always

coming back for more?

 

Or is it the silky muck

of Wabash and Maumee, the skirr

and skim of blackbirds,

fields of Queen Anne’s lace

and bumblebees? Well,

go out once more, and feel

the crumble of dry loam,

fingers and soil slowly becoming

the same truth: there in the hand

is our kinship with oak, our bloodline

to cattle. Imagine

not eons of boredom or pain,

but honest earth-to-earth

and when our bodies rise again,

they will be wildflowers, then rabbits,

then wolves, singing a perfect love

to the beautiful, meaningless moon.

Comment by Bertold Brautigan on January 18, 2018 at 7:31am

Following on Loren's:

  • America was created by true believers and passionate dreamers, by hucksters and their suckers—which over the course of four centuries has made us susceptible to fantasy, as epitomized by everything from Salem hunting witches to Joseph Smith creating Mormonism, from P.T. Barnum to Henry David Thoreau to speaking in tongues, from Hollywood to Scientology to conspiracy theories, from Walt Disney to Billy Graham to Ronald Reagan to Oprah Winfrey to Donald Trump. In other words: mix epic individualism with extreme religion; mix show business with everything else; let all that steep and simmer for a few centuries; run it through the anything-goes 1960s and the Internet age; the result is the America we inhabit today, where reality and fantasy are weirdly and dangerously blurred and commingled.

                --Kurt Andersen

Comment by Loren Miller on January 18, 2018 at 6:20am

No country can be both ignorant and free.
-- Thomas Jefferson

This is a big one. Between having elected one unqualified celebrity (Donald Trump) and now proposing another celebrity to oppose him in 2020 (Oprah Winfrey), the American electorate is demonstrating a phenomenal degree of cluelessness about what it takes to run our government. We need someone who has experience in governance, understands the issues and the processes involved, and can negotiate to find consensus, at bare minimum. Instead, US voters are turning presidential elections into a popularity contest where the next proposed race would be between a racist martinet and a woo-monger.

America can't afford much more if any more of this.

Comment by Bertold Brautigan on January 17, 2018 at 6:00pm

Failing states are an early sign of a failing civilization.

--Lester Brown

Comment by Joan Denoo on January 17, 2018 at 4:27pm

Thomas, I agree, especially as I close up my home of 42-years, try to distribute my stuff to children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. 

Some of the stuff, everyone wants; some, nobody wants; some is too precious for me to give to strangers or throw away. 

My family is simply going to have to put up with my monthly storage place charges and go through all those boxes if they remember something they need or want. 

I still have all my utility bills in my name and add that cost to the rent I charge. 

My car remains in my garage since I stopped driving, whenever that was. The kids will sell it when they have time to do it. I don't want to be bothered. 

All my clothes, except for 4 T-shirts, 4 pairs of pants, my newest shoes and my winter coat are with me. All the rest are in boxes in the storage unit. I like that just fine. I don't need to dress up because I don't want to go anywhere; except for the kids' graduation, weddings, funerals, or I die. 

On second thought, I want to be buried in my garden clothes, wrapped in a sheet, and buried in the North Woods of N.E. WA State on my daughter's property.

I never did find my great-grandparents' graves on their farms in Missouri and Oklahoma. They live in memories and genealogy records. 

Comment by Thomas Murray on January 17, 2018 at 3:58pm

Loren,
I believe I have posted this a while back and it is worth posting again...I have this quote taped to our refer door...

"The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion."

Albert Camus

Comment by Loren Miller on January 17, 2018 at 2:01pm

Which reminds me, Bertold:

Freedom is always the freedom of dissenters.
-- Rosa Luxemburg

Comment by Bertold Brautigan on January 17, 2018 at 12:32pm

I saw Spielberg's The Post last weekend. Stellar performance by Meryl Streep as always, and I even liked Tom Hanks as Ben Bradlee, although I usually find him somehow irritating. Not much plot, and we already know the story. But there was a good reminder that once upon a time SCOTUS declared in a 6 - 3 vote that

Freedom of the press is for the governed, not for the governors.

I fear that the decision wouldn't have gone that way nowadays.

Comment by Loren Miller on January 17, 2018 at 7:52am

Joan, apparently the NING shortcut URL has expired.  The video it referred to is this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRCtUiykDeQ

which is the last part of one of the more moving deconversion stories I have ever heard.

 

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