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: 7 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

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 Loren Miller on February 16, 2020 at 6:05am

[click on image to enlarge]

Does this remind you of another quote that has been popular around Atheist Nexus?  Oh, yeah:

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.
-- Voltaire

Comment by Loren Miller on February 15, 2020 at 8:13am

I can indeed hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true; for if so the plain language of the text seems to show that men who do not believe ... will be everlastingly punished. And this is a damnable doctrine.
-- Charles Darwin

No argument from me, Charles.

Comment by Grinning Cat on February 14, 2020 at 9:14am

“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

Comment by Loren Miller on February 14, 2020 at 6:06am

Just think about Irish history, the Middle East, the Crusades, the Inquisition, our own abortion-doctor killings and yes, the World Trade Center to see how seriously religious people take thou shalt not kill. Apparently, to religious folks – especially the truly devout – murder is negotiable. It just depends on who's killing doing the killing and who's getting killed.
-- George Carlin, When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops

I have learned to love Carlin's unvarnished anger when he gives expression to his hatred of religion. He doesn't hide his feelings ... and we shouldn't hide ours.

Comment by Grinning Cat on February 13, 2020 at 3:55pm

Indeed! The character of Abraham in that story failed a great moral test. He should have answered the "voice of God" with "Are you !#$*&ing kidding me? Hell no!!"

(A small quibble: "all monotheists" -- we shouldn't assume that all monotheistic religions are like the "big three" Abrahamic religions we're familiar with in the West.

It also reminds me of the flowchart for choosing your religion which begins with "How many gods do you want to worship?" Even for "None" there's an irrational option: "Are you rich and insane?" Yes: "Be a Scientologist.")

 (click to enlarge)

Comment by Patricia on February 13, 2020 at 12:49pm

Hear, hear.

Comment by Loren Miller on February 13, 2020 at 6:38am

... and not scorning the three delightful children who are everything to me who are my only chance at even a glimpse of a second life, let alone an immortal one, and I'll tell you something: if I were told to sacrifice them to prove my devotion to god, if I were told to do what all monotheists are told to do and admire the man who said, "Yes, I'll gut my kid to show my love of god," I'd say, "No, fuck you!"
-- Christopher Hitchens

If loving my daughter who clearly exists rather than loving a deity that cannot be bothered to show itself puts me on the outs with said deity, I can live with that.

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.


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