Quotations – Momentous, Memorable, Meaningful


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: 24
Latest Activity: 9 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 authority, obedience, and "liberal" vs. "conservative" values

Started by Grinning Cat. Last reply by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Jul 1. 1 Reply

Last week Loren shared this quotation in the group comments:But here steps in Satan, the eternal rebel, the first freethinker and the emancipator of worlds. He makes man ashamed of his bestial…Continue

Tags: politics, purity, loyalty, liberal, conservative

On Emotion, Vulnerability, and a Flawed God

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Craigart14 Jun 1. 6 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

"We need a much broader conversation on what morality of pro-life is"

Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by Plinius Apr 28. 3 Replies

"I do not believe that just because you're opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a…Continue

Tags: Planned, Parenthood, contraception, Pro-life,, O.S.B.

Aron Ra on Gods, Demons, and the Meaning of Life

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Loren Miller Apr 20. 2 Replies

This isn't quite a rant, but it's more than just a talk or a speech.  What follows here is the end of something Aron Ra delivered several years ago which has stuck with me practically since I first…Continue

Tags: soul, bible, skeptic, devil, god

Comment Wall


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Comment by Loren Miller on July 10, 2019 at 5:42am

The person who is certain, and who claims divine warrant for his certainty, belongs now to the infancy of our species.
-- Christopher Hitchens, god is Not Great

Sadly, if this is the case, we have a whole bunch of grown infants wandering about our society.

Comment by Loren Miller on July 9, 2019 at 6:15am

The president of the United States has claimed, on more than one occasion, to be in dialogue with God. If he said that he was talking to God through his hairdryer, this would precipitate a national emergency. I fail to see how the addition of a hairdryer makes the claim more ridiculous or offensive.
— Sam Harris, Letter to a Christian Nation

In this case, I'm fairly certain that Sam was referring to George W. Bush. The more current problem is that Trump either thinks he IS god or can out-negotiate a supreme being. Either way, we got a problem.

Comment by Loren Miller on July 8, 2019 at 6:06am

Lillian Gray: I want to know why you always think you can just walk out.
Henry Brubaker: Because that's murder they're talking about in there. And if I condone it, you can't turn around and tell these men why they're locked up. It's one standard for everyone, the way I see it.
Lillian Gray: And you can't see any options, no middle ground.
Henry Brubaker: No, I don't see playing politics with the truth, Lillian.
Lillian Gray: No way to compromise?
Henry Brubaker: Oh, on strategy, maybe... but not on principle.
Lillian Gray: [flustered] But that's what I... goddamn it, I agree with you...
Henry Brubaker: [bluntly] No you don't. Not really.
-- Jane Alexander and Robert Redford, Brubaker

While the above is fiction, it's based in fact, on former warden Thomas O. Murton, who ran two prison farms in Arkansas, five decades ago. It illustrates a phenomenon I expect we've all seen at one time or another: someone who claims to talk the talk and walk the walk, but when crunch time comes, they conform with the group in power. A founding father had something quite similar to say about this issue:

In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.
-- Thomas Jefferson

Comment by Grinning Cat on July 8, 2019 at 2:58am

Thomas Jefferson's description of a god worthy of respect is quite apt.

On the other hand, the god many conservative believers describe, who created us with brains and curiosity and reasoning yet would punish and torment us for infinity for daring to actually use them, would be nothing more than a cosmic bully. If such a god existed outside people's heads, it would be our moral duty to resist.

--me, dimly remembering someone or other

And if I knew specifically how to evolve our planet and our societies (and the selfish parts of our psychology!) beyond a money economy, to the sort of cooperative, thriving "free for all" (in a good way) vision described at RBE, I'd have several Nobel prizes--and several assassins after me. Too many oligarchs like their wealth, power, and privilege. That too is an obstacle to deal with.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on July 7, 2019 at 2:50pm
Climate warming means that what used to be extreme is becoming more common and what used to be impossible is now becoming possible.

Antoni Lewkowicz, Canadian Permafrost Association

image source

A resource based economy sounds right, Cane.

I had no idea John Adams was so out-of-the box.

Joan, I'm pretty vague on what making every wage-slave free would mean in practice.

Comment by Loren Miller on July 7, 2019 at 7:12am

Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. 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 blindfolded fear.
-- Thomas Jefferson

I'm a bit surprised it's taken us so long to get this quote in here, especially since it's among the most powerful disclaimers regarding any alleged belief in a deity Jefferson may have had. If he wasn't an atheist, he should have been one.

Comment by Loren Miller on July 5, 2019 at 6:14am

Let the human mind loose. It must be loose. It will be loose. Superstition and dogmatism cannot confine it.
-- John Adams

Sadly, the mind can be confined when it is young or hoodwinked by clever charlatans. An aware mind? Not so much.

Comment by Cane Kostovski on July 4, 2019 at 6:34pm

In a video interview in the Joe Rogan Experience where Tulsi Gabbard was the subject, Tulsi spoke about President Eisenhower's last speech AKA Farewell Speech which the text can be found here: Eisenhower's Farewell Speech

In it, he mentions the Congressional Military Industrial Complex and warns it is dangerous. He knew then what we would have to do to fight in today's political arena.

This Independence Day I look toward a day when the elite no longer rule. I offer RBE as a viable and hopefully peaceful solution.

Comment by Joan Denoo on July 4, 2019 at 3:45pm

"There shall be no North, no South, no East, no West,

no black, no white,

no male, no female,

no rich, no poor,

but a solidarity of the nation, making every wage-slave free, and every free human (should I say, every citizen) a voter.

~ Me, rephrasing of Frederick Douglass"Emancipation, Racism, and the Work Before Us," December 4, 1863.

Comment by Loren Miller on July 4, 2019 at 12:23pm

Damn, Joan. That quote is enormous, especially in the here and now. Thank you for posting it.


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