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: 31 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

The core of permaculture is design.

Started by Joan Denoo Mar 5. 0 Replies

"The core of permaculture is design. Design is the connection between things. It’s the very opposite of what we’re taught in school. Education takes everything and pulls it apart and makes no…Continue

Tags: connection, design, permaculture

"If Right Doesn't Matter, We're Lost." (Adam Schiff)

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Grinning Cat Feb 1. 3 Replies

This is a bit rushed, but I wanted to post Adam Schiff's closing statement to the impeachment trial on 24 January 2020.  This is potent stuff, and it speaks to Schiff's integrity and determination to…Continue

Tags: statement, impeachment, Adam Schiff

On authority, obedience, and "liberal" vs. "conservative" values

Started by Grinning Cat. Last reply by Joan Denoo Dec 18, 2019. 2 Replies

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

The Founding Myth: A Striking Quote

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Grinning Cat Nov 4, 2019. 4 Replies

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been reading Andrew L. Seidel’s excellent book, The Founding Myth: Why Christian Nationalism is UN-AMERICAN. Barely four chapters in, Seidel has already…Continue

Tags: rights, The Founding Myth, Seidel, Andrew

Comment Wall


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Comment by Grinning Cat on February 12, 2020 at 9:59am

If any "supernatural" effects turned out to be real, not delusion or trickery, it would simply mean that there's more about the world to learn about and understand.

In Eliezer Yudkowsky's fan fiction Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, Harry's Aunt Petunia married an Oxford biochemistry professor, who had been homeschooling him with an emphasis on math, science, and critical thinking... so Harry is rather unprepared, to say the least, for Professor McGonagall's visit:

... Professor McGonagall turned into a cat.

... At once the small tabby cat morphed back up into a robed woman... Harry was breathing in short gasps. His voice came out choked. "You can't DO that!"...

..."You turned into a cat! A SMALL cat! You violated Conservation of Energy! That's not just an arbitrary rule... and what about the neurology? How can you go on thinking using a cat-sized brain?"

Professor McGonagall's lips were twitching harder now. "Magic."

"Magic isn't enough to do that! You'd have to be a god!"

Professor McGonagall blinked. "That's the first time I've ever been called that."

A blur was coming over Harry's vision, as his brain started to comprehend what had just broken...

...He pulled his thoughts together. The March of Reason would just have to start over, that was all; they still had the experimental method and that was the important thing.

(ellipses are mine)

Comment by Loren Miller on February 12, 2020 at 5:52am

If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.
― Mark Twain

Yeah ... funny thing, that.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on February 11, 2020 at 10:24pm

Good Maher quote, Loren.

Comment by Loren Miller on February 11, 2020 at 5:41am

If you believe in God, if you believe in miracles, then you believe in magic. You believe in magic. ... ' That's what both miracle and magic mean. So miracle is the same things as magic in the same way a boat is a yacht is if it is big enough.
-- Aron Ra

The whole magic / miracles identity set thing was a terrific observation by Aron, though I imagine there have been others who have come to the same conclusion. In any case, the concept of the supernatural is just so antithetical to that of the laws of physics and nature that it should have no chance with anyone who uses rational thought. And, of course, therein lies the problem.

Comment by Loren Miller on February 10, 2020 at 5:59am

Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet. Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.
-- Napoleon Bonaparte

Which has worked up until now ... though I wonder for how much longer in the age of the internet!

Comment by Loren Miller on February 9, 2020 at 7:16am

There is something feeble and a little contemptible about a man who cannot face the perils of life without the help of comfortable myths. Almost inevitably some part of him is aware that they are myths and that he believes them only because they are comforting. But he dare not face this thought! Moreover, since he is aware, however dimly, that his opinions are not rational, he becomes furious when they are disputed.
-- Bertrand Russell

At times I wonder who back in the late 19th and early 20th century was the greater advocate for atheism: Russell or Ingersoll. In the final analysis, I'm just glad we had both of 'em!

Comment by Loren Miller on February 8, 2020 at 2:47pm

I LIKE it, GC.  Molte grazie!

Comment by Grinning Cat on February 8, 2020 at 2:45pm

Loren, following up on your quote from yesterday, I've seen this one attributed to Michael Bakunin:

I shall continue to be an impossible person as long as those who are now possible remain possible.

Comment by Loren Miller on February 8, 2020 at 7:26am

[click on image to enlarge]

"A few quibbles," indeed, Bill.  I know I've repeatedly pointed to the 2009 Intelligence Squared debate on the topic, "Is the Catholic Church a force for good in the world?" and with good reason, but the RCC is hardly the only offender in this business.  Black-collar crime is recorded in every issue of FFRF's Freethought Today, as well as in Hemant Mehta's Friendly Atheist blog and doubtless other places as well.

Religion has a fundamental problem (never mind a problem with fundamentals!), and it is past time it recognized that.

Comment by Joan Denoo on February 8, 2020 at 12:25am

"It is worthy of remark that a belief constantly inculcated during the early years of life, whilst the brain is impressible, appears to acquire almost the nature of an instinct; and the very essence of an instinct is that it is followed independently of reason." 

- Charles Darwin, (1871). The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex. London: John Murray. 2d edition.


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