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: 6 hours 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 May 21, 2018 at 1:15am

“In all cases where a majority are united by a common interest or passion, the rights of the minority are in danger.”

~ James Madison, "as a revolutionary thinker, as a partisan political strategist, and as a president“

Comment by Loren Miller on May 20, 2018 at 6:15am

If I were not an atheist, I would believe in a God who would choose to save people on the basis of the totality of their lives and not the pattern of their words. I think he would prefer an honest and righteous atheist to a TV preacher whose every word is God, God, God, and whose every deed is foul, foul, foul.
-- Isaac Asimov

Certainly, Isaac's concept of a god is far more tolerable than the sorts we see out in the world. I guess the question becomes: can an exclusively loving god be as manipulative of his flock as one who alternatively loves and judges? I'm pretty sure not.

Comment by Joan Denoo on May 20, 2018 at 1:41am

Loren, I like your metaphor of sailing into the wind and "Learning and harnessing skills is how we improve ourselves and the lives of others, and it is something which religion knows NOTHING about."

Comment by Loren Miller on May 19, 2018 at 7:47am

The sailor does not pray for wind, he learns to sail.
-- Gustaf Lindborg

And when he learns to tack, he can even sail almost INTO the wind, as contradictory as that may sound.

Prayer is useless.  Learning and harnessing skills is how we improve ourselves and the lives of others, and it is something which religion knows NOTHING about.

Comment by Loren Miller on May 19, 2018 at 7:43am

LSD was and is interesting, but I think Pollan goes a bit hyperbolic with his statement there.

Comment by Bertold Brautigan on May 18, 2018 at 4:03pm

LSD truly was an acid, dissolving almost everything with which it came into contact, beginning with the hierarchies of the mind (the superego, ego and unconscious) and going on from there to society’s various structures of authority and then to lines of every imaginable kind: between patient and therapist, research and recreation, sickness and health, self and other, subject and object, the spiritual and the material. If all such lines are manifestations of the Apollonian strain in Western civilization, the impulse that erects distinctions, dualities, and hierarchies and defends them, then psychedelics represented the ungovernable Dionysian forces that blithely washes all those lines away.

~Michael Pollan

Comment by Joan Denoo on May 18, 2018 at 7:00am

Hitch does have a way with words!

Comment by Loren Miller on May 18, 2018 at 5:40am

So this is where all the vapid talk about the "soul" of the universe is actually headed. Once the hard-won principles of reason and science have been discredited, the world will not pass into the hands of credulous herbivores who keep crystals by their sides and swoon over the poems of Khalil Gibran. The "vacuum" will be invaded instead by determined fundamentalists of every stripe who already know the truth by means of revelation and who actually seek real and serious power in the here and now. One thinks of the painstaking, cloud-dispelling labor of British scientists from Isaac Newton to Joseph Priestley to Charles Darwin to Ernest Rutherford to Alan Turing and Francis Crick, much of it built upon the shoulders of Galileo and Copernicus, only to see it casually slandered by a moral and intellectual weakling from the usurping House of Hanover. An awful embarrassment awaits the British if they do not declare for a republic based on verifiable laws and principles, both political and scientific.
-- Christopher Hitchens

Once again, Hitchens calls a spade a spade, and I am happy to sit back and applaud.

Comment by Loren Miller on May 17, 2018 at 9:35pm

Bertold, AA is yet another in a series of Christian farces.  Its success rate is ludicrous by comparison with alternative, results-based techniques currently in use and available.  I know this because I have a friend who is directly involved in such a program, and he is as much an atheist as I am.

I've said it before and will repeat: WE are the authors of our actions.  Whatever gets accomplished on this planet (or off it) is done by US and no one else other than us.  There are no supernatural third parties, and if there were, we'd know about it

Comment by Bertold Brautigan on May 17, 2018 at 8:08pm

Few members of AA realize that the whole idea of a spiritual awakening leading one to surrender to a "higher power"--a cornerstone of Alcoholics Anonymous--can be traced to a psychedelic drug trip.

~Michael Pollan

 

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